BUY STEEL WATERS

666 Followers: A Social Medium

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Discern who you are following people of God… even those who seem on the up and up.  It’s the ones that project a decent moral compass that will draw you in.  All the while, their doctorates of theology and doctrine of philosophies are skewed; warped by what sounds and feels good by their own will and righteousness that does not align with Christ.  These Jack Horners have run rampant in social media:  dipping their thumbs in filthy lucre only to plunge them into YOUR plumb lines to leave your thoughts crooked, as well.

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“The Rule of Thumbed Plumb Lines”
a.k.a.
“Plumb Line Loco”

Be careful of Jack
Horners whose thumbs in plumb lines
Have butchered the scales.

 

People are channeling all manner of crooked thoughts into us through various mediums. Denzel Washington is praised for his acting chops but to what degree is he channeling spirits to achieve the greatness we laud him for?  He AND the late Maya Angelou have both (purportedly) admitted openly that they channel the spirits of our ancestors for roles, poetry and prose that have inspired and taken the collective breath of society away.  Oprah, despite the prolific things she has accomplished in her life and the obstacles she has overcome, does not believe (and openly proclaimed) that Jesus is NOT the only way to get to God and that the “secret” to life is the power of self-will and determination within.    That is gnosticism.  That flies directly in the face of the Biblical truths that Christians are supposed to be aligning to.  Yet, they are based in a truth of the Kingdom of GOD and HIS Holy Spirit indwelling in us.

Yet and still, because they are successful and philanthropic in nature, we allow them a pass into our minds which then directly affects the state of our souls.  We are to be watch guards to the treasure kept that is within us as we house the Holy Spirit.  We cannotfellowship with darkness and say that we are in God Who is light for we make ourselves to be liars – even if the darkness FEELS good.

My platforms definitely need to be recalibrated often.  As what I study and my understanding of it increase in breadth, so too does the likelihood of error in said understanding as well as the communication of my understanding.  This has been a slow lesson for me to wrap my mind around as I have sat and watched my Twitter account teeter around 666 followers for the past 3+ months.  It has mystified and boggled my mind that the number of followers I have seems to have hit a ceiling at THIS specific level:  the number of the beast.  It has fluctuated below, risen slightly above but, by and large, remains settled around this threshold.

If I’m honest with myself, the person I was 3-4 years ago would have been even more flustered and bamboozled by how I’ve run amuck and been led astray into Twitter’s frayed foray in the first place.  I remember being appalled by the “followers” that one can amass on Twitter.  The word itself seemed, in my  mind, to be something that should only be reserved for those who follow after Jesus Christ.

Yet, in my attempt to build a brand for my book and ministry, I wandered into and tested the “STEEL” waters.  Have I compromised myself?  To a degree, yes.  And let’s think about that for a moment.  Whether known or unbeknownst, when a person who is being followed and looked to for leadership is compromised, the state of the people following said person is compromised, as well.  They are like a copy of a copy:  the integrity of each layer beneath the original becomes more and more degraded… and all I’m trying to do is follow Christ Jesus!

That is what makes God so awesome.  HE.  IS. WHOLE.  He. Is. Uncompromised AND uncompromising in His promises towards us but more importantly in His promise of Who He is to HIMSELF.  This is what makes Him WHOLE.  This is what makes Him ‘wholly’ HOLY.

If there is any spirit to channel through this social medium, let it be that of the Father, Son and Holy SPIRIT.

SELAH.

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

You Weren’t Meant to Be a Spectator, Sport

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Bow your head and close your eyes.  That position can be interpreted as one of deference for the personage of whomever you are submitting yourself to.  It seems right.  It even feels right (after years of doing it).  There is a time and place for it relative to the time that you commit to coming before the Almighty God in reverence to Him, gratefulness or repentance.  However, the absolute WRONG time and place to bow your head while praying is in the middle of war.

Watch and pray , that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ - Matthew 26:41

‘Watch ye and pray , lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.’ - Mark 14:38

‘Take ye heed , watch and pray : for ye know not when the time is.’  - Mark 13:33

‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always , that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’ - Luke 21:36

Jesus mentions this different positioning four times in the Gospel whereby we are to WATCH AND PRAY.  We are to watch and pray for the enemy.  This makes sense when we remember that he is described as a thief who has come to steal, kill and destroy as a lion who prowls seeking whom he may devour.  In the latter reference, we are even told to be vigilant which is rooted in the word “vigil” which Merriam-Webster defines as both “the act of keeping awake at times when sleep is customary (period of wakefulness)”  and “an act or period of watching or surveillance (watch).”

The type of watch that is described here alludes to an anticipatory action.  It’s almost like a snake handler who watches the snake for the key time to strike or counter-strike.  Even in war, there are is a group of soldiers called a “sortie” which, after crouching together, will launch out to attack at the opportune time.  They are not huddled together for warmth, kicks and giggles – they are ready to STRIKE!  They are not slumped in a trance with their heads in the sand, they are doing two things:  they are watching their commander for the signal to GO (which is apostolic in nature) and they are analyzing the battleground and the movement of their enemy.  Knowing your terrain and who you are fighting lets you know what you are dealing with.  And brother/sister in Christ, though we walk in the flesh, we do not war in the flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but MIGHTY through God to the pulling down of (spiritual) strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)!

Continuing on to verse 5 of the aforementioned scripture, we ought and need to cast down the imaginations in our minds that have convinced us that we are to be on defense all the time as Christians and that we do not have offensive plays to execute and weaponry to wield.

Simply put, we were never meant to be a spectator in the Kingdom – praying then stepping back to watch God move.  When we do this, we relegate ourselves to be sideline spectators:  praying while the game is being played with no real dynamic contribution.  When we do that, we forfeit the game without even knowing it . When we do that, we forfeit the reason why God us in His image and likeness:  to rule over the kingdoms of darkness with authority in this world so that it can be restored FULLY to God’s Kingdom  We ought to stop forgetting WHO we look like.  We are to pray and then watch God to see how HE would have US to move.

Is that not what Jesus did?

Then answered Jesus andsaid unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.’ - John 5:19 (emphasis added)

When Jesus saw sickness and disease advancing on God’s people, He looked UP towards His Father (which eyes wide open, not eyes wide shut in prayer) to see how He was handling that form of sickness on His own and mirrored it down here on earth as Christ saw it in heaven.

When Jesus saw someone oppressed by an unclean spirit, He stepped back not in awe or fear but to see how to stir up the type of faith (the belief God has in HIMSELF as bestowed to us through the Holy Spirit as both a gift and fruit) that might not be released except with prayer and fasting.

 When Jesus saw injustice on earth, He LOOKED to God the Father in heaven for strategy; He didn’t mirror the flawed attacks of men in the earth on some ol’ “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” – shoot, he even put the soldier’s ear BACK on after Peter lopped it off in the garden of Gethsemane!  Guess how He knew how to do that?  He had seen His Father operate miraculously like that FIRST and did what he SAW!

He who lives by the sword dies by the sword yet, we ought to die daily to the flesh by the sword of the SPIRIT which is the Word of God!  Would YOU want to go into battle with someone wielding a gun or sword with their eyes closed?!!  Swing a battle ax at the cataracts on your eyes!  Receiving revelation, wisdom and understanding concerning how to wage war effectively against a spiritual enemy is of the utmost importance for YOU to help to usher Jesus’ return to the earth.  Until all of His enemies are made His footstool with YOUR help, the heavens will continue to withhold Him.

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.’ - Acts 3:20-21

The picture created for this article has images of Tim Tebowing.  You may scoff at this in light of the direction of this article but let me ask you this:  would it make since for Tim Tebow to have done his signature move during the middle of the game on the field?  NO!  Not only would he have been pursued and quickly captured by the opposing team, he would have lost a down the minute his knee hit the ground!  He had to keep his head on a swivel until the end (zone) goal was reached.  The other side to that is when the “next possession” came, he didn’t stay kneeling.  He suited up and got right back in until the battle was fought to the fullest.  Whether he locked a ‘W’ in the win column or not, he wiped the slate clean, put his back to the game and moved on to the next city – ensuring that a win neither made him complacent nor a loss kept him wallowing in defeat.

Stand up!  WATCH, PRAY and ACT, people of God!

“Prayer (Warrior Side) Lines”

In kingdom warfare,
You were never meant to be
A spectator, sport.

‘And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come , he answered them and said , The kingdom of God cometh not with observation.’ – Luke 17:20

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

O Wretched Man that I Am: I Will NOT… Scratch That!

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Half of the battle to be won in this Christian walk is being comfortable in the skin of your own hypocrisy.  We are spirit and we are flesh.  Those who have believed in their heart and confessed with their mouths the Lord Jesus (having said “Jesus is Lord”) as their risen Savior have a spirit that is salvaged and redeemed from eternal separation from God (death).  But that flesh, though?!!  It’s doomed!  Until we get our resurrection bodies, it will continue to plague us as it continues to allow sin to live rent-free within it.

That means that I will continue to be a walking contradiction.  That means I will continue to be diametrically opposed to the juxtaposition of the sin in my skin against my spirit which rests in Christ.  Everyday, I have urges that I fight (win, lose AND draw!).  Everyday, I have tendencies I’ve overcome come back over to entice me.  Everyday, I do things that I do not want to do.  Paul sounds less and less crazy to me as I begin to pour over my life with his God-inspired words  (to the Romans) ringing in my mind:

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but am carnal, sold under sin.

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would , that do I not; but what I hate , that do I.

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18 For I know that in me (that isin my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law,that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am!who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.’ - Romans 7:14-25

That’s some heavy, twisted stuff, right?!!  Let me make it plain with a lighter, real-life example.

I walk 20 minutes to work everyday, one way.  Since upgrading to a smartphone with a nice glass screen, I’ve been very cautious and conscious about making sure I don’t place it somewhere on my person or in my bag that will cause the screen to get scratched.  Though I walk to work, that is the end of my daily commute which begins with a brief drive to a train station and a not-so-brief train ride into the city.  As such, I have keys on me.  Since the weather has gotten colder, I try to position my belongings in such a way that I don’t have to fumble and struggle to access them in my big winter coat.

What that means is that I place my keys in one of four possible pockets.  Now… what I tell myself everyday is “Self, make sure that you don’t put your phone in the same pocket as your keys, else you risk damaging it!” To which I simply respond “Okay” to make sure I know what it is that I want to do (not really, but you get the point!).

But it has NEVER failed that by the time I get to walking and listening to music or talking to someone on the phone through my earpiece, I end up putting my phone RIGHT in the same pocket as my keys!  No matter what I try, it seems like I always end up putting my phone in the SAME pocket (remember, I have FOUR choices between two side pockets and two chest pockets) that I ought to avoid!  When the weather got extra bitter one morning and I decided to take my glasses off, I even put the glasses in the same pocket as my keys!

Seriously?!!  It really is half infuriating, half amusing.  Wretched man, indeed!  Who shall deliver me from this body?!!

Take the “will” Jesus!

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

The Verdict Is In-Sane

WorldGoneMad

The recent verdicts of George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson and the NYPD involved in the wrongful deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner have respectively garnered a lot of social unrest in recent days.  Peaceful “die ins” and “hands up, don’t shoot” demonstrations, social media movements such as #ICantBreathe and #BlackLivesMatter along with senseless looting and rioting have spanned a spectrum of reactions.

Yet there is a reaction that stretches beyond time that has also withstood the test of time as one of the most controversial verdicts of the 21st century:  the murder trial of O.J. Simpson.

WithIN the JUSTICE system, there exists loopholes upheld by the U.S. court of law that normally work against those without a voice who have been marginalized in society.  So imagine the reaction when someone such as O.J. Simpson (who had transcended such marginalization) finds himself facing the judicial jaws of a life without parole.   Imagine him being able to afford a competent and shrewd lawyer who was able to use said loopholes to manipulate a verdict that continues to be debated to this day some 20 years later?  Further still, imagine that this lawyer was a black male who the system seems set to so faithfully entrap.  If you will, imagine what kind of response would be garnered when, with such odds stacked against him, O.J. and Johnnie Cochran were able to actually beat the system that had been beating their kind (black men) to an imprisoned pulp fiction for generations.

O.J. did it.  Indeed.

His case became a symbol of an unjust system being turned upon itself.  Such cannibalization sent a booming cannonball into and over the war zones of black communities shrouded by the shadows of substance that embodies centuries of a country built off of denying undeniable rights to LIFE, LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness to whomever the victories of history deemed to be unfit.

I was a junior in high school at the time of the trial and verdict so I couldn’t articulate how I or my black community felt.  I did feel as though he was guilty yet I wasn’t too shaken up by the tumultuous joy that accompanied the outcome of the verdict.

Fast forward 20 years to the deaths of Travyon, Michael, Eric and a slew of other young black men and I now understand the reaction of a large majority of the black community.  It’s almost as if it served as a precursor to the outcomes we’re reviewing today; but in fact, these outcomes existed 20+ years ago without the light of social media and personal camera phones to illuminate the LEGION of injustice in America.

The reaction was never about whether O.J. did it.  People honestly cared less about O.J. and more about beating the system.  A system that reaches verdicts with weak defense of the defenseless, weak prosecution of those who have ab/used lethal force in positions of authority, wrongful deaths and an apparent disregard for black life with the same level of insanity as freeing a murderer on the strength of rap bars passing as legal jargon such as  “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!”

The verdict is in… sane.

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I Love Anger in a World Gone Mad

WorldGoneMad

Though most would never admit to this, many of us LOVE to be angry.

Particularly, Christians have a special type of anger that absolves us from moderating it when we call it “righteous indignation.”  Righteous indignation allows us to be angry when we see sin in the world – and rightly so.  But that anger most often times is channeled more towards the PEOPLE in the world who illustrate the sin more so than the sin or the real spiritual enemies behind  them.

This is why we end up “hating” homosexuals instead of loving the person and hating homosexuality and the lust that is 1) the driving motivator behind it and 2) an extension of regular red-blooded heterosexual lust.

This is how we end up at odds with one another – spending time being pissed off (as liberal Democrats) at conservative Republicans who claim the same Christian set as we do.

This is how a saved person can curse you out worse than a sailor with what is stored in the abundance of their heart.

This is why and how churches split and demoninations… rather, denominations have formed in the past.

Anger is a slippery slope.  Even after you direct it towards the devil and his minions, if one continues to operate in anger towards them more so than love and compassion for the person being oppressed as Jesus did, one will continue to be stuck in a rut.

Specifically, I’VE been stuck in a rut.  Over the years, I’ve come to a better understanding and execution of the gift of the Holy Spirit that allows us to discern spirits.  I can discern when some foolishness is happening in the background that is causing my children to act out or when a demonically influenced sickness is plaguing my family.  Yet, I was so offended by the existence and operation of these influences that my anger got the best of me.

I would raise my voice and really Hulk out when the adversary reared his ugly head over and over again in our lives.  This is were many of us are in the black community as we are still processing the injustices of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner – we can even throw the media’s treatment of and purported actions of Bill Cosby in there, too!

The sign below is a walking contradiction.  If we believe that we are made in the image and likeness of God Whom 1 John 4:8 says IS love but we are ready to hate (which takes roots in and cues from unforgiveness) ANYONE within the same brotherhood of humanity we’re all a part of, there is something fundamentally flawed about that:

WorldGoneMad

If a man say , I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brotherwhom he hath seen , how can he love God whom he hath not seen?’ - 1 John 4:20

Shouldest not thou also have had compassionon thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?  And his lord was wroth , and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.  So likewise shall my heavenlyFather do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.’ - Matthew 18:33-35 (for the full scripture, see Matthew 18:21-35)

But I get it.  It’s cooler to quote Rick Ross in a protest than to pick God’s approach to love.  Who does that when fighting for civil injustice within a corrupt, broken and imbalanced system?

WorldGoneMad

Operating in a state of wrath and anger alienates us from the Holy Spirit Who has fruit such as faith, love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), meekness, temperance, gentleness and goodness; all of which stand in direct opposition and contrast to anger.  It also separates me from the righteousness of Jesus and, in doing so, severs my connection to God Who has the BEST strategies to give us concerning overcoming anger, hate and injustice with love.  If separated from my source of power, life and strength, I am weak in the battles that I wage.

I can remember being so angry that for anyone coming into a situation where I was dealing with some foolishness bound in the heart of my children, they would be hard-pressed to tell that I loved them and wasn’t upset with them.  the harsh reality is that I used to get more upset at them for the sin within them that was largely beyond their ability to control.  I have had to learn how to separate their actions from who God created them to be… and I’m still being graded on a curve in my efforts to do so.

Jesus showed compassion towards ALL – even the demoniac.  He was firm in His addressing unclean spirits but He operated according to what He saw His Father in heaven doing (Who IS love, by the way) when He was moved by compassion for people bound up in the wages of sin.

Love is a constant and conscious work.  Anger is a constant reaction.  Both can have a lasting impact but only one can salvage a “world gone mad” through how the Son can work through YOU.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.’ - 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

‘Be ye angry , and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:’ - Ephesians 4:26

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

Paying A Life Tribute: The District of Ferguson

BlackTributes

The district of Ferguson is the latest city to offer up the life of our youths as a tribute to a game that’s being played out in America.

With the recent release of Mockingjay PART I – the follow up to Hunger Games:  Catching Fire, there are some striking similarities both in imagery and systemic flaws that overlap with what is developing in our country following the Ferguson verdict.

In both Panem and America, there is a system in place that doesn’t merely strip resources from the “have-nots” – it then pits them against one another to fight (to the death, at times) for the scraps that the “haves” have left behind.  This is the black on black crime that the folks at Fox(hole) News keep wanting to talk about.  This type of “game” plays out in a form of population control akin to Egypt when it enslaved the Hebrew nation until the Red Sea’s borders began to swell against such a kingdom of quarter quells.  Though I do not recall President Snow referencing the Hunger Games as a means of population control, the fact that it has gone on annually for a couple of generations suggests this as an intentional tool of attrition.

Yet, the minute we try bring attention to what is at work behind the scenes of an unjust and imbalanced society, the Conservatives (with a “Capitol” C) come out with their own propos – spinning the attention back on blacks as a problem instead of the broken system that they are benefiting from.

When I see the national guard posted up in Ferguson, I can’t help but think of the Capitol’s “Peacekeepers” who occupied districts with extreme force to uphold “order.”

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They then became the violent hand of President Snow used to quell the rising rebellion that Katniss Everdeen sparked.  Though she was not the first tribute, her uprising brought out the issues at the heart of Panem.

Equally, though Michael Brown is not the first black youth to lose his life violently to those who are meant “to protect and serve,” the outcome of his death has set the nation afire.  It is the tipping point of our generation – fueled further by the recent injustice of the choking death of Eric Garner by New York’s keepers of the peace.  “The Capitol,” in its abusive attempt to keep it, is losing power.

But the Capitol should beware because eventually, THEIR youth will be offered up as tributes (spoiler alert for Mockingjay Part 2!) – sacrificed against their will once this “Panem-demic” spreads to their doorsteps* in the same way that America’s “war on drugs” spilled over from the ghettos into suburbs.  If you are not hip to what I’m referring to, the government (purportedly) sent in drugs to neutralize would-be supporters of grass roots civil rights and civil disobedience movements.  Unfortunately for the country, they couldn’t control the substances well enough to keep the rebellious youth of white America from dipping their noses into Pandora’s box.  How’s that for white pow(d)er?!!  But, I digress.  Besides, like Benjamin Watson said, this is not a “skin problem” – it is a “sin problem.”

We are paying tribute with the lives of our citizens.  This is beyond race.  This is beyond age.  This.  Is.  Injustice.  The picture that rests above these words reflects a range of age, race and situations that have stretched across our nation.  The sad part is that for every story that breaks the news, there are always thousands of others that are covered up and go unnoticed.  Take a minute to look at the faces.  Do you see any that you do not recognize?  If so, scroll your cursor over the names below to read the stories that correspond to each respective face:

Tributes:

Emmett Till                        Amadou Diallo                  Kelly Thomas *                 Oscar Grant
Travyon Martin               Tamir Rice                          Luis Rodriguez                 Victor White III
John Crawford III          Michael Brown                 Eric Garner                        Who’s Next?

Can you hear the cannons booming as Panem’s version of TAPS plays softly in the distance?

There are many sides to this developing story.  There’s the side of the peacekeepers who bring their cultural biases and fears into the fracas – fueled by a culture that is bred to hate and fear them.  There’s the side of the dead whose voices, though they can no longer breathe (#ICantBreathe), speak to us from the grave as Abel’s blood did after Cain killed him.

Speaking of brother against brother, there is certainly a side of black on black crime/violence that no one within our community has tried to deny.  It’s not that we do not wish to address it because it is an obvious problem.  However, these crimes are not carried out by deputized thugs.  We’re not in the Wild West riding with The Regulators who took the law into their own hands under Billy the Kid’s leadership.  We have our hands full enough as it is dealing with thugs… but thugs in uniform?!!  Who will police the police?

There’s the side of those who have been abused by the system in place but managed to make it out.  What some have referenced as the Black elite.  There are two factions here.  Those who are apathetic and will not rise against the system which they are now assimilated into; and those who are tormented and angered by the life that plagues them simply by way of image and association (pulled over for “driving while being black”).

There’s the side of those who have been conditioned to destroy our own – resorting to looting and burning down the very houses and businesses within their communities driven by anger and fear.  This fear can program a person to think and behave how the enemy… but we must remember who the REAL enemy is.

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Fear and anger are weapons of the devil.  So, in truth, I don’t want to hear about how scared, angry and sad we are.  I do not fear for my son’s life.  I am not angry about the loss of life.  I will not remain sad about the state of affairs around me.  I am MORE THAN A CONQUEROR  in Christ! We were not given a spirit of fear nor should we let the sun go down on our anger – we have been given power, love and a sound mind by God.

Don’t let fear in – it will program your subconscious to bubble up anger to a boiling point over time; causing us to lash out at our own people (again, looting and burning OUR own communities) or the authority (disobeying and showing both warranted and unwarranted disrespect to police).  This is what Peeta did when he choked out Katniss after being reprogrammed with fear by and rescued from President Snow.

We simply cannot fight fire with fire; everything burns.  We ALL burn.

Though the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force, it is a supernatural force that fights supernatural enemies behind the scenes with spiritual resources.  Look through the right lens.   The devil has sown seeds of dissension on both sides of these issues and then slipped away into the shadows as we fight one another.  The greatest trick the devil ever did was to convince the world he didn’t exist; and we simply cannot continue to focus our attention on the usual suspects.  We are losing ground and rounds in a boxing match where we’ve been blindfolded by our opponent.

But if we fight the darkness with the light of Christ, everything and everyone will be illuminated – brought out from the kingdom of darkness which uses ignorance and hate to fuel the flames that are catching fire.

Such a fire will consume us with misdirected passion.  Burned out from the passion we’ve spent, we end up fighting a spiritual battle with carnal means instead of the weapons of our TRUE warfare.  This is what satan wants.  If we’re too tired to fight, we won’t see straight enough to turn our battles on him and his demonic ranks.  But WHEN we do learn to aim correctly, the house of the  prince of the power of the air will CONTINUE to topple:

‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’ - Ephesians 6:12

 ‘For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;’ - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

‘Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.’ - 2 Samuel 3:1

 My beautiful black people – don’t be the Mockingjay.  Don’t mimic the tactics you hear and see around you.  Reflect the light of God.  If you think what I’m saying makes no sense, I know at least one person whose quote you may take with a lesser grain of salt:

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In memoriam of the civil rights tributes that have fallen:

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

Which Comes First: The PROMISE, or the LAND?

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As we enter into the season of Christmas, it becomes apparent that we are building up our children to honor the gift more than the promise of said gift  This is inhibiting their ability to learn how to trust in the written promises of the KNOWN gifts outlined in the Bible.  These gifts are often yet to be revealed in the natural but are guaranteed as our inheritance in the spiritual.

Trusting the promise and believing in it while it is yet unseen is the condition and atmosphere that breeds a thriving faith.

We like it when the gift immediately follows a long-standing promise that we recently discover or begin planting belief in; but some promises require that the seed of faith matures more in a season of germination before it can release the gift.

Our problem is that we begin to doubt the gift exists if it takes to long.  Doubt, the opposite of faith, then uproots or undoes the seed [of faith] we’ve planted.

We must make ourselves as children again.  They do not forget!  They do not stop believing!  They will incessantly remind us of a promised or requested gift and eagerly await it until it comes to pass for special occasions!

Though this blog began as an encouragement to train up our children, in truth, this is meant to retrain and remind us of that sincere and earnest faith we had as children before the world conditioned us to be disappointed and extend our faith to the limits of only what we can see.

I believe in the promise that my father WILL walk.  He will regain functionality in his arm.  He will overcome the effects of his stroke in Jesus’ name and by His stripes (blood) reinforced by the gift of healing of the Holy Spirit!  I believe that healing provisions have already healed my father and are available to restore him from his stroke as by Christ’s stripes, he WAS healed!:
1 Peter 2:24

I believe in the promise that my promotion DOES come from the north, not the east, west or south!:
Psalm 75:6-7

I KNOW that He will heal the land within our region as we humble ourselves before Him for a FRESH outpouring of His Holy Spirit!:
2 Chronicles 7:14
Joel 2:28
Acts 2:17 (reminder of Joel 2:28!)

 

What are some things you are believing God’s written and spoken promises for in your life that have yet to come to pass?  Make a list.  Check it twice!

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

Be of Good Cheer Giving Yourself Away

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The truest and most sincere form of submission occurs not when we agree with what we’re submitting to but when we yield and give ourselves away to something we don’t fully understand or agree with.

At my church, we periodically sing about that from time to time ; giving ourselves away in praise and worship very literally/spiritually on one accord with William McDowell.

Last week during our service, a prophetic word went forth regarding two different factions of children: the children of Light and the children of darkness.  In parallel, there are also children of obedience (complete submission) and the children of disobedience (defiance and rebellion).

I want to expound on that very briefly.  Scripture says that the Lord loves a cheerful giver which we typically ascribe to tithing. but, with the operative word here being “give,” we can ascribe it to giving ourselves away in submission, as well.

We must be cheerful in our submission. this means that there is a trust and a faith in the authority we are submitting ourselves to.

If we cop an attitude toward God when submitting to His will, we are not being cheerful and are dishonoring that which we are giving to him.  The same is true regarding who we submit to in our brothers and sisters in authority over us, as well.

To that point, how can we claim to be cheerful givers to a God Whom we have not seen when we cannot be a cheerful giver to our brother in authority on earth whom we have seen?

Yes, that is a twist on the scripture we know from 1 John 4:20 that uses this comparison to speak on loving your Father in Heaven Whom you have not seen while hating (the opposite of love) your brother whom you have seen.

This is counter-intuitive and double-minded and should not be so!  Give yourself (your free will) away as a cheerful giver!

Granted, there is a duality here in that the brother (or sister) whose authority is being submitted to must be loving as the unseen Father in Heaven is love. No doubt, this should help solicit the cheerfulness in the person giving their will away in submission.

So be of good cheer… give yourself away!

MANU FORTI MINISTRIES, LLC

“Speaking LIFE to unlock the POWER within YOU” ™

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, 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 each individual’s stack [of sins] is, 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 unto Him.  Yet He provided a way to break out of the confines of these cups 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 it’s 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 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

Israel would become the chosen people and children 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   his stature relative 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 when I was getting a spanking from my father as a child and I heard him utter the infamous 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 have ever witnessed in my youth.

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; taking on the wages of sin when He came down from heaven and took on both the form of 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”