Thursday, August 28, 2008

45 Years ago, He Had A Dream

As an African American, I cannot express the contentment and interal joy
I have watching an historical phenomenon come to pass, as a child I have
always been inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. As an adult, I can
appreciate, the profound wisdom, talent and insight, of this man and his
vision for the future. 45 years ago, he spoke of a dream that seemed so
far fetched and unattainable of his time. Truly it wasn't a dream...it
was hope. This man inspired thousands with this hope. As I watch Barack
Obama conjure 1st time voters out of the woodwork, its more than a dream
fulfilled...it is hope renewed.

This is attraction of Obama. The same magnetic pull Martin Luther King
possessed...hope.

I'm watching people dancing and chanting as they await Obama's speech at
the Democratic National Convention. I realize something vital...ALL
people NEED hope. They WANT hope. No matter how dire a prospect or
situation looks hope, is always there. In this light, Modern day
Christians, who SHOULD be a conductor of HOPE have failed miserably. The
hope of the Gospel alone, the message of redemption and remission of
sin, the message of eternal life in peace and joy with God the Father,
Jesus the Son is not the hope others see in Modern day Christians, they
do not see it, therefore they are not inspired by it. They do not
identify with it, because it has not been presented to them. They do not
dance for it, because no joy has been found in it. The hope of the
Gospel has been presented to the world as a legalistic measure, a burden
and a stumbling block they run from this "Gospel" to a hope that is
temporary...as inspiring as it may be for the near future, it is short
term.

All the while Christians attack Obama for offering the one thing people
desire...hope. While they harbor a greater hope than he (Obama) offers.
Do not be confused, I'm not promoting Obama, who is a man. I am and
always will promote Christ Jesus the Savior of the world and HIS message
of hope, grace and liberty! Although, I will freely admit that if I
would vote, undoubtedly, it would be a vote for Obama! If anyone should
think negatively of my opinion, let me remind you that it was the
Evangelicals that put Bush into office in the first place. So what am I
saying here?? I'm saying return to your first love!

As an African American, my history is filled with the sadness and
devastation of slavery, oppression and a denial of our basic rights. If
there is ANYTHING I, and those like me understand...its HOPE! To see
Obama, a black man, accept the nomination for president on the
anniversary of MKJ's "Dream" speech is truly a beautiful moment for
hope...which proves it can be fulfilled.

Indeed my hope IS Christ Jesus, IN Christ Jesus, FOR Christ Jesus. And
some day...some day very soon, I will see Him returning to replace
temporary hope with the manifestation of eternal truth! Come quickly
Lord Jesus!
Author's Note:
Sent from my T-Mobile Sidekick®. Please excuse any typos and grammatical
errors as I type without a spell checker.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gospel 101

There is a sentiment among Christians that I must confess disturbs me to my core. I have heard this sentiment several times around forms and comments that I am compelled to speak about here. It is the idea, that unbelievers must "change or give up their lifestyle" to be saved.

"They don't want to give up their lifestyle"

Does this statement sound familiar to you? Maybe you have stated it yourself. I have heard statements of this sentiment repeatedly. It has never sat well with me.

This sentiment not only conveys an attitude of arrogance towards the unbelieving society, but shows a profound lack of understanding of what exactly the Gospel entails.

Gospel 101

Today's Christian society is so upside down and inside out with pseudo doctrines and sayings that the Gospel has become something un-relatable to the unbelieving society.  Because it is un-relatable, it never been easier to brush aside the message of grace as it presented, distorted and full of condemnation. It is distorted by the belief that Christians think they must live "morally" first before they can be saved. It is distorted by the pride that condemns those who live "inappropriately". By and by, we get unbelievers who despise the very (true) nature of Christianity, and in turn Christ himself. Christianity as it is today, divided and confused, is so tangled up with various worship, behaviors and speech of legalism, that it has become extremely difficult for those who are apart of the culture as it is today, to accept the gospel of grace as they know it to mean (by the truth of scripture). They have lost touch with reality in this sense. Condemning the lost for being lost, they present themselves as wholesome and pure. They present themselves "humble" yet, still condemning. Ignoring the basic principles of Christ. Christ came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Yes, I've heard John 3:16 quoted more times than I can count, but John 3:17 is completely ignored, as Christians speak negatively against the unbelieving society they have never tried to minister to!

The Basics

Christianity no longer looks like a model of grace, love and liberty. It has become a model of bondage, condemnation and legalism. I must confess, when I read comments from various blogs such as the one stated above, they do not surprise me, but truly... it makes me sick to my stomach. Such statements fly in the face of the basic principles of the Gospel.

1. The clear purpose Christ was the salvation of man, not the condemnation of man, as stated in John 3:17. I've said it several times and I'll say it until my last breath. Christ never condemned a sinner for being a sinner (demonstrated in various places in the Word) BUT He reacted HARSHLY towards hypocritical behavior in handling the Word of God. (Pharisees and Church, Revelation 2 & 3) If we, as a believing society, do not recognize this act of Christ's, we have every reason to expect His condemnation towards us.

2. There is a lie that needs exposing, NO amount of Bible studying, prayer, meditation, church attendance, counseling etc. etc. etc. will EVER save anyone. The single most life altering thing is belief in Him period. Check this out...it can't be a belief that acknowledges His existence, it clearly explains in James 2:19 that the "devils believe and tremble". So what then, is the difference between your professed belief and theirs (devils)? Hopefully, you'll have a lot more love, honor and respect that comes along with your belief than theirs! So what then, does it mean to "believe" Him. I don't believe that is is that difficult to understand, I just believe that it is difficult for a Christian with a legalistic mind set to apply, thereby, they don't really believe  HIM, as it states in Titus 1:16, in "works they deny him".  Let me expound a bit further the concept of "belief" unto salvation... Any of you who has a loving relationship with another can easily understand "belief unto salvation". If your spouse, parent, sister, brother etc. tells or promises you that they will do something specific for you, let's say go to the store to get eggs for a cake you plan to make, would you not believe them? Would you not wait upon them to provide and deliver upon their promises? Would you not trust them, because you know them? Because you have lived with them so long?? Many of those trapped in the lies of legalism, claim belief  in the Lord, but we don't believe He will deliver those promised "eggs". Many of those trapped in legalism, do not wait upon Him to deliver those eggs. They run around the kitchen... recipe in hand trying in vain to make that cake without eggs. Trapped in legalism, they do not believe, because they do not know Him. It is by this very reason, they condemn the unbelieving society.

3. God is a spirit, therefore, He must be worshipped in Spirit. By default, we cannot... absolutely can not worship Him, know Him, understand Him and recognize Him under our OWN power.

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (This scripture alone strikes a blow against "dos and don'ts under our own power)

17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law" -- Galatians 5:16-18

Only by BELIEF, and TRUST  do we receive HIS spirit to do all of these things, therefore, we MUST walk, live, and focus in SPIRIT, for the time has come that those must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. The danger of legalism, do's and don'ts, is that, it focuses on the physical. It focuses on sins, it creates a physical focus of a spiritual issue that has been taken care of at the cross. If you do not trust Him as simply as you would your own loved ones, then the Spirit of truth eludes you. If you are not walking after the spirit as exhorted by Paul in Romans 8, then all the studying, praying, counseling, church attending, pill-popping, group meetings in the world, cannot and will not help you. It may make you feel better for a while, but you will find yourself in the same vicious cycle once again. Tortured by the devil, who will replay your sins and guilt before you like a broken record, until you have taken all leave of any resemblance of trust, faith and belief in Him, the Savior of ALL in ALL things.

It Begins With Us...

If we as a believing society DO understand these basics then we KNOW and TRUST that any confessed/professed belief of Christ Jesus can only be determined valid in the eyes of God. We KNOW and TRUST that the Holy Spirit of promise is a LIFE altering force, that can change a hardcore such as the apostle Paul into a soul-saving entity! If we DO understand this and accept this, we most certainly do not need to be intimidated by an unbeliever's lifestyle. We do not need to... or wish to... condemn the unbeliever's way of life. Instead, we EXCLAIM and PROCLAIM the name of JESUS! The HOPE and the LOVE of Christ that He loves them as they are! We become fishers of men, and not bearers of bonds!

"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" --1 Peter 4:17

What SHALL the end of them be indeed???

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Where Have I Been?

The past two weeks I have been "given to hospitality". My uncle has been staying with us from California. He has been such a blessing and a wonderful houseguest to have. It was sad to see him go! That's what I have been up to the past two weeks :) I am working on my next post and should be up within a day or two. Please feel free to check out the archives for older posts, as well my FAQ sidebar. As school starts next week, I suspect my posts will be less frequent until I can get into a school groove but, goal is to prevent that from happening, so I'll be doing my very best to set time aside for posting. My firstborn starts as a freshman in high school and my oldest son (3 0f 6) begins Kindergarten. It will prove to be a busy week!

I would like to give a "shout out" to my baby girl Roxannah (2 0f 6) who turned 7 on August 15th. And to my baby boy Ezekiel (4 0f 6) who turned 4 August 20th. Happy Birthday babies! I love you so much!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Thought to Share

I was visiting a brother-in-Christ's site and commented on a post he had on Obama. I wanted to share my thoughts here on this post. In light of the general Christian perspective on Obama, and the election of our next presidential candidate, here are my thoughts on the matter.


If we believe in a risen Messiah who has saved us unto eternal salvation, then
we know all is temporal. If we believe that our Christ will return on high, then
we live as foreigners on earth. Knowing this, we are alive and well during the
end times, we know what the eventual end of America will be. No one elected will
form America into moral correctness or purity. It is a fantasy and one not in
alignment with the Gospel.

We have suffered through 8 years under George
W. Bush "rule". We all know what group elected him into office, America has not
gotten any better morally... proving without a doubt the manifestation of the
Word,

"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the
power of God." -- 1 Corinthians 2:5


If any Christian is inclined to
vote, by all means vote! But do it under the power of the Holy Spirit. Do it
with the will of God in mind, unlimited by the parameters of human thought and
reasoning. Never forgetting, that it IS the will of God for Christ to reign
FOREVER as King. Knowing this will, we must be prepared to accept that His
wisdom of the next President of the United States just may not line up with
yours...

Keep your eyes heaven-ward for it IS nearer than when we first
believed...

In the love of Christ,
Hannah

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Pretty Neat Networking Site

I discovered a pretty nifty social networking site called the LordsMessage.com. You can sign up for free. It gives you your personal url and allows you to invite friends to participate in live chat. It also has a message board, journal, blog and more. You can subscribe to iPrayer feed as well. The great thing about it is you promote your own personalized testimony. When the site was referred to me, I didn't think I would find it appealing, however, its pretty wholesome. To network click on this link, Lords Message Network

I liked enough to join it :) check out my personalized profile at: Confessions_ucb feel free to join as a friend of mine! My personalized space on this site is still a work in progress. Take a moment and read my first "inspiring story" at this link: My Inspiring Story . Overall, all I give this social networking site two thumbs up!

Additional links:

Inspiring Story List

LordsMessage Bloglist

There is no "more" :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Lies We Tell

When I was a babe in Christ, fumbling my way around the Word, there was a major issue I need to confront...the lies I told myself. When confronted with Faith, or my lack thereof, I would deny, in the face of evidence, the weakness of my budding Faith. To the detriment of spiritual growth, I would excuse my impromptu speech and/or action, that conveyed the very essence of doubt, the true source of the evil that exists in the world. Hebrews 3:12

If we should not bear false witness against another, as an express command of the Lord (Exodus 20:16), how much worse is our false witness to ourselves, when the Holy God considers ALL without excuse?

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" -- Romans 1:18-20

And if Paul, in this passage, speaks of the unbelieving society, how much more so, are we, tabernacles of the living God, without excuse? Truly the lies we tell ourselves, are lies we tell to the Lord!

The Proof is in the Pudding

As a youth in Christ, my departure in thought and knowledge, from God was evident. I praised Him in church and joyfully singing, but when faced with the trials and tests of life, doubt, anxiousness and fretfulness set in. While trying not to appear unfaithful, those feelings were my main motivators in trying to accomplish a "solution" to those tests. Those feelings, or truths would not be suppressed, no matter how I "behaved" faithfully, or contentedly, they slipped out in actions or words that revealed the truth of the condition of my heart. Me...of little faith...

Christ taught unreservedly the matters of the heart and the truth that lives therein. This principle is undeniable in every existing human on this planet, out of the abundance of the heart does the MOUTH speaks. Don't confuse this simple principle, it does not reference a "slip of the tongue" once or twice, but the way a person's life is lived on a consistent and continuous basis...is a reflection of the status of their heart.

"For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"-- Luke 6:44-46

Indeed many do call Him "Lord, Lord" and do not the things He commands (love, faith). Only the doers of the Word are justified in His sight. (Romans 2:13) I, too, was once an unjustified "hearer", with an evil heart of unbelief, which deceived me into believing I, myself, had to actively live a "moral" life (dead works) to be righteous in His sight. I thank the LORD, my God for the renewing of my mind, by the power of the blood of Christ Jesus, that I have no capacity or ability to do this, but I REST, upon Him for my salvation. No, not the Sabbath, be it Saturday or Sunday, (or any other day in dispute in these forums) not ONE day of the week, I rest, but with every breath I take, I REST upon Him, for that alone is my justification. With my heart I believe He will finish what He started, with my heart I believe His promises to me. For He, my God, my LORD has been nothing but Faithful to me, and has the best interests of me, by which He does by His Holy Wisdom. For this I accept the cup of salvation and declare His works...for He has loosened me from the bonds of a deceitful heart, my sin.

"What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?

I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds."-- Psalms 116:12-16

The Heart Cannot Lie

Does this post make you a little uncomfortable perhaps? Does it expose, to yourself, the truth behind that meek, and oh so humble smile? It is not my intent to shame, but expose the truth of sin that the Devil has purported. The lie that sin (singular, departing from God) should be conquered by the flesh, it has been perpetuated in the commands of church attendance as a way of salvation. It has been distorted into rituals of Sabbath-keeping, physical baptisms, tithing, fasting, prayers and yes, bible studies. If you want to keep the Sabbath, keep it because you LOVE the Lord with all your heart! If you want to be baptized do it because your true heartfelt confession and as a witness to Him! If you want to tithe, don't tithe a portion (ten percent) but tithe it ALL, Luke 21:4 and not to a church organization, but to someone who ACTUALLY needs it! James 2:15-16 If you desire to fast, do it in secret, for your own edification and spiritual growth, to solidify your own relationship with God the Father, through Jesus Christ, the Son. Matthew 6:17-18 If you want to pray, do it because you can't stand living another minute on this earth without speaking to the One, you Love! If you want to study do it because you desire to know Him on HIS terms, do it patiently knowing He will reveal all things to to you in HIS time, do it Faithfully. If anything is done because you believe your "works" pave the way to salvation, yet inwardly your faith and love for and in the Lord is lacking, it becomes religious, ritualistic, unpleasant in the sight of God (Hebrews 11:6) and a load of dead works. Yes, the heart cannot and does not lie, it is why its the one and only place the Lord will look to determine the salvation of a soul. The heart is the one place the Lord will look for righteousness or not, in which, His wrath will one day expose an unfaithful heart.

Hold Fast!

So hold fast to the profession of your Faith, (Hebrews 4:14) realizing that your fight lies in rebuking the lies of the Devil. Holding on to your Faith in an unbelieving society of ritualistic, religious Christians and unbelievers is our fight until the return of Christ Jesus of Nazareth!!

Hear His call!

"I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth." -- Revelation 2:13

"But that which ye have already hold fast till I come."-- Revelation 2:25

"Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." -- Revelation 3:3

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." -- Revelation 3:11

 

QUICKLY COME LORD JESUS!

 

There is no "more" :)