Category: Inspiration

The Angels Are Rejoicing!

Sugarland Church of Christ Young Adults, we had another baptism On Sunday! We welcome Ashley Ramirez to the Saints at Sugar Land. Brother and Sister Beaty nurtured Ashley early on and Brother Trevis Bonnett taught Ashley after 10:00 am worship service on Sunday, after which she obeyed the Gospel and was baptized. Great work Trevis! Also, great work to Justin Patterson for the visitors and new converts that he has been working with. That’s 2 Baptism in the first week of 2013.

Glory be to God!

We also had Shai Brown, place membership at Sugarland Church of Christ this week. (If anyone has others that they know of that would like to be taught, please refer them to Trevis Bonnett, Eugene Johnson, Marcus Ford, or Richard Blount). You can contact the Sugar Land Church of Christ at (281) 561-0881.


But if He don’t…

One of the best lines of one of my favorite songs (Impossible, Da’T.R.U.T.H) has been replaying in my mind during the past few weeks. In the song, the artist says, “…Say yes He can, and yes He will, but if He don’t, I still—will bless Him aloud…” While I know that the statement may not be grammatically correct (don’t should be doesn’t for all those concerned), the message is very profound; praise God regardless of how He responds to your situations. It’s typical of humans to place conditions on our interactions, dealings, and relationships with others; could this be because it’s also human nature to be selfish? Jesus Christ walked the face of this Earth and demonstrated how to rise above our fleshly nature of valuing ourselves over others by doing the opposite and humbling himself to the point of a brutal and humiliating death on a cross (Phil 2:8). In striving to be followers of Christ or “Christ-like”, we must learn to take the conditions off and exude love and care for others in the same manner that Jesus did, unconditionally. One of the benefits of giving or doing for others without putting provisions in place that warrant that others “return the favor,” is peace. Many people never experience true peace and are angry or driven by negative emotions because they feel like they’ve “done their part” but the other involved parties have not. Sadly, some people will not only turn their nose up at other people (including physical and spiritual family), but will turn their backs on God when they believe they’ve met His conditions but He’s failed to honor theirs (See Doing The Least blog 4-12-12). Though it’s usually harder to have a positive outlook during situations when we feel like God is not responding in the way we hope for, we have to humble ourselves and rest assured on the fact that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28, NLT). Adopt the mindset that the youngsters Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, had when their lives were on the line before King Nebuchadnezzar. They said (paraphrased), “We won’t bow down before you because God is able to deliver us from you and your fiery furnace, and even if He doesn’t, we still won’t serve your gods or worship your golden image!” (Daniel 3:16-18) By the way, God delivered them in such a magnificent way! God can deliver you also from whatever you may be struggling with as well, for He is God, the great I Am; and even if He doesn’t answer your prayers the way you feel He should, He is still the Great God of Heaven and is deserving of your praise. It’s imperative that we strive to trust in God and live righteously at all costs and in all situations (not just those that we consider to be favorable or satisfactory) if we hope to truly have peace while on Earth and live eternally in heaven when our time on Earth is done.

MD 8/30/12

Give Him [God] Your Life

The following is an excerpt from a rap I wrote some time ago…may God get the glory from it!

So many people struggle with trying to “find themselves”  in life but end up lost and depressed when they fail to  find satisfaction with the pleasures or power they’re pursing… well, this one’s for you!

Yes! You were created with purpose, made in His image, equipped for service. No, you’re not worthless, you’re one of a kind; hand-crafted by God with such a beautiful mind—enclosed in a special case. From the sole of your feet up to the top of your face, God, He put every feature in place.  Nah, He didn’t assemble you, He made you with Grace! Seeing this is the case, why would you not relish Him, how could you not embrace— all of the wonderful gifts that He’s given you…and be ecstatic because He’s already forgiven you? Open your spiritual eyes and take a look at your life [The Lord is seeking you]

 Give Him your life—there’s only one life to live; better use it wisely, gonna have to give an account of the things that you’ve done with your body, you better get it under control! Just give him your life…quit playing games, you were made in His image so it’s time to change your life! Secure your soul, before it’s your time to go…give Him your life!

Mark 8:36For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

MD 8/20/12

Add Life To Your Prayers!

It has been said that communication is the foundation on which all relationships are built. It has also been said that communication and satisfaction in relationships are directly proportionate; consequently, the greater the level of communication in the relationship, the higher the level of satisfaction between those communicating. I believe both of these ideas to be true and I imagine that if you reflect on past and present relationships, you’ll agree that the intensity of the communication played a significant part in either the termination or preservation of those relationships. In essence, the intimate relationships one has with others is a direct result of one’s effort to share, receive and bond with others through communicated expressions; where communication is not present, relationships are superficial or nonexistent. While this is important to understand for the sake of human relationships, for us as Christians, understanding this concept is critical. Prayer is the means in which we communicate with the Lord; if our efforts at prayer are minimal (i.e. only before meals, at bedtime, in the morning, or in crises) then we can’t expect to have a fulfilling relationship with God, our Father. So many passages throughout the bible emphasize the importance and power of prayer so I won’t attempt to insert a relevant scripture here; however, it is important to note that if you find your prayer life to be very mundane, such as saying the very same words each time you pray (whether daily or periodically), you can rest assured that your relationship with God, based on your prayer tendencies, is shallow. If I’m unlikely to maintain a decent relationship with a person by simply repeating the same words each time we talk, why would I expect to have such a great relationship with God if I did the same? If you have established a relationship with God through obedience of the gospel and baptism into Christ (Mark 16:15, 16, Gal 3:27), then move beyond mere greetings and habitual one-liners with God and experience the many benefits of having an interpersonal (inter-spiritual) relationship with Him through prayer. In the same way that communication allows us to learn more about each other and ultimately helps us to relate better, make it a point to learn more about God (through study of His word) and through prayer, persistent (Rom 12:12) and incessant (1 Thess 5:17) prayer, so that we can understand the Lord and maintain a healthy relationship with Him. Move beyond simply having a prayer life, and aim to add life to your prayers!

MD 8/3/12

But Why?!

There comes a time in the life of a maturing child when he or she will not simply accept the easy or convenient answer from the person from whom he or she is asking; instead, the child, in effort to get further clarification will pose that powerful three letter word of a question, “why?” If we’ll be honest with ourselves, we all, at some point in time and in some form or fashion, have asked the question why. Far too often will people utilize the question “why” to spark a futile debate or to try and confuse or dissuade others; however, the sincerest of all the reasons why people ask “why” is so that one can truly understand a concept or a process, and hopefully, incorporate what is true into his or her own life. Proverbs 4:7 concludes, “Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding!” (NKJV) In our lives, God will allow us, from time to time, to come up against some tough opposition and expose us to some difficult challenges, all in effort to build our faith and endurance (James 1:2). While some people believe that asking God why in the midst of turmoil is like angrily shaking a fist at Him; truth be told, sincerely asking God why, coupled with prayer, supplication and seeking Godly counsel (the word of God, spiritually faithful brothers/sisters in Christ, elders, etc.) on the matter, will likely lead one to understand what God’s will is. God desires that all that we do or say be done or said with purpose, which ultimately is, to give Him the glory. If you are acting carelessly or out of ignorance or spite in your life and during trying times, God is not getting the glory; on the contrary, God is pleased when one aims to learn what He wills then follows through. Seek to live a purposefully consistent life, one that exalts God above all. Turn away from haphazard and riotous living, which only leads to the grave and eternal separation from God. Why ask why? So that you may understand what the Lord wants and obey.

MD 7/24/12

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Pet 2:1-3, NIV) The concepts presented by the Apostle Peter in this passage are not very difficult to understand; however, for one to truly apply them, humility is required. One phrase I’ve heard on several occasions, which I’ve observed to be true, states “Grown folks will do what grown folks wanna do!” Peter, in this text, is telling “grown folks” that if they expect to grow spiritually, that have to get rid of that “grown folks” mindset, which is what drives evil actions, lying, hypocrisy, evil speech, etc., and revert back to an “infant-like” one. Universally, milk is essential for the proper growth and development of an infant. While God has allowed man to develop milk formulas and substitutes that have proven to be adequate, doctors advise that milk from the mother’s breast is the most nourishing and most beneficial for the baby because it contains the mother’s antibodies, nutrients and such. If we can liken milk from the mother’s breast to the sincere and pure milk of the word, we can then see that while alternative ways for people to live and develop themselves exist, those alternatives are limited in comparison to God’s design. Only the pure word, God’s holy and divine word, can help us to grow and develop spiritually. The milk of His word gives His children what’s needed to be the people He wants them to be; the people who live the type of lives He wants them to live. So here’s a new saying, “The word of God will make those folks that are spiritually grown humble themselves and do what God wants them to do!” Keep in mind however, that just as babies transition from milk to stronger foods and meats, Christians must allow the word of God to build up their spiritual digestive systems so that they can advance from spiritual milk to spiritual meat as well! Don’t fall into the same category of spiritual malnourishment as those identified in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 5:12 says, “By now you should be teachers, but you need someone to teach you again the first lessons of God’s message. You still need the teaching that is like milk. You are not ready for solid food.” (NCV) It’s time to get your “spiritual grown man/woman” on Christians!

MD 7/13/12

Seeing so many people trying to remain germane in a world that is fleeting is a sad sight indeed. There are a host of popular reality shows on television and other media channels that are centered on people who are either trying to create a name for themselves or trying to remain current in the eyes of the people; in essence, they’re all trying to stay relevant in a world that’s passing. It’s no secret that we all, in some form or fashion, like attention, however, one has to question his or her own motives if he or she desires to be in the spotlight more often than not. Yes, it’s ok to have a nice car, it’s quite alright to have a fine wardrobe, and it’s not a bad thing to have a little extra money to blow; however, when these things and others are used to obtain glory for oneself and not to honor God and bless others, one is tiptoeing that fine line between self-gratification and reverence to God. Consider what Jesus tells his disciples, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and the streets, to be applauded by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward!” (Matt 6:1-2, HCSB) If you practice wickedness before people in effort to be seen by them, you can be certain that God has something in store for you as well (not a reward)! If you’re striving to be a Christian, don’t miss out on what God has  prepared for you by being distracted by (or attracted to) things that will take your focus off of Him; be especially aware of those things that are intended to elevate your standings with others. Jesus states, “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25, NASB) Who, in their right mind, would want to invest all that they have in a stock that is clearly destined for failure? Why would one waste time, one of God’s greatest gifts, chasing temporal things. 1 John 2:17 reports, the world is passing away, and also its lusts. This same scripture closes by stating, “But the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (NASB) In other words, don’t spend your life trying to fit in with man, stand out for God! Don’t lose your soul pursuing momentary praise; pay homage to God and live forevermore!”

MD 7/3/12

Lets Praise the Lord

Does God need our praise? No, certainly not! However, God, the creator, does desire our praise and has been seeking it since the creation. Ps 150:6 asserts, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” (NKJV) Ps 145:3 adds, “The Lord is great and worthy of our praise; no one can understand how great he is.” (NCV) Don’t know what to praise God for, let me give you just a few reasons that I praise Him (in no particular order)…feel free to add to my list then pass it on to others.

I praise you Lord for life, sight, hearing, health, strength, control of my body, family, food, clothing, shelter, love, the ability to reason, friends, transportation, my job, joy, peace, faith, recreation, laughter, the ability to smell, mobility, prayers requested on my behalf, friends, money, hugs, kisses, happiness, the gift of salvation, education, nature, comfort, my wife, my daughter, my unborn child, words of encouragement, kindness from strangers, the gospel of Jesus Christ, care from loved ones, memories, communication, companionship, wellbeing, celebrations, challenges (they build faith), patience, hope, the ability to taste, God’s guidance, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, good times, physical blessings, spiritual blessings, safety, protection, deliverance, liberty in Christ Jesus, music, songs, singing, art, trust, forgiveness, God’s availability, the Holy Spirit, the bible, good counsel, technology, smiles, the Church, the goodness of God, the ability to give Him praise in many ways…

Will you praise Him? Keep in mind that more time spent praising God leaves less time to murmur and complain. God not only desires your praise, as aforementioned, He deserves your praise. If He never blesses you again (though being able to read this blog is a blessing in itself), He is still worthy of all the praise that you could give! Bless the Lord, for He has truly blessed you!

MD 6/25/12

Activating Faith

“God can do the impossible only if you believe He specializes in doing big things. God can do the impossible, anything that you need, just get your eyes off of things that you see. God can do the impossible!” -Da’ T.R.U.T.H song titled Impossible

The Christian who is living by faith in a world whose motto is “seeing is believing,” has a daunting but necessary task, that is, to put complete trust in the One true God whom he can’t see in all situations at all times. Faith is as vital to the Christian’s spiritual wellbeing as food is for one’s physical health; consider what Hebrews chapter 11 has to say on the matter. Though nothing is impossible for God, Heb 11:6 reveals that it’s impossible to please God, the One who can do all things, without faith. While many people will claim to have faith, their actions often suggest otherwise when a situation arises that challenges their comfort. If one hopes to have the abundant life, as presented in John 10:10, he or she must not talk about their faith only, but demonstrate it before God and others, especially during the more difficult times. Consistently making the tough decisions, the ones that distinguish the Christian warriors from the consistent worriers and true believers from truly belligerent, requires faith, not a faith, that is dead, but one that is coupled with actions! This active faith can be seen in James 2:18 which says, “But someone may well say you have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works and I will show you my faith by my works.” (NASB) Heb 10:38-39 asserts, “…but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” (ESV) Take full advantage of every opportunity to put your faith into action and rid yourself of stress and worry about things you have no control. Remember, the one that you love, follow, and serve, Christians, is in full control because He has power and authority over ALL things. Activate your faith, let go and let God!

MD 6/15/12

The hard decisions

I truly believe that anyone who claims to be a Christian will come across a situation(s) at some point in their lives that will test the integrity of their Christianity and faith. I’m not referring to decisions such as whether or not to attend worship services because of a slight cough and mild headache, or determining if it’s feasible to attend a social event because of the abundance of alcohol (and other such temptations) that is likely to be present; I’m referencing situations that are much more difficult. As a Christian, what do you do when your values and obedience to Christ may cause you to be ostracized by your closest kinfolk; wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, best friend, etc? Do you compromise your faith and relationship with God to appease people? Do you walk away from your job, career, and money when you’ve come to clearly see that your company’s code of ethics is contrary to God’s standards for righteous living? Do you attempt to justify yourself and make God’s word “fit” your response to the situation by any means necessary, or do you trust that God will sustain you despite the evil looks and unfair treatment you may get from others if you follow His will? Surely, all those who will live Godly will suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12); for the true Christian, suffering is inevitable. In fact, according to Hebrews 5:8, even Jesus, God’s own son, learned obedience through the things He suffered. Christians, undoubtedly, will have difficult decisions to make in life; the faith that one displays during these tough times is necessary for that Christian to mature spiritually. As long as “so-called” Christians try to take the easy way out or make decisions based on how people will respond rather than base their thoughts, speech, and actions on what God has revealed through His word, they can’t expect to receive much in return from God. “So that God would get the glory,” should be the motto and motive driving the lives of Christians; aiming to please people or validate oneself will ultimately cause one to be excluded from the presence of God when all is said and done!

MD 6/11/12