Let me paint the picture for you. Imagine being a mother or father of a child that you tried desperately to conceive and them being held by the hands of a killer. A rifle placed at their temple and being told to denounce your faith for the sake of keeping your baby alive. Imagine the amount of confidence that a parent must have in their faith to be able to confess their faith in that situation? Can you honestly say that you could do it? Would you even give it a thought? If I’m going to remain transparent with you, I’m not sure I could. Real talk. Having that level of awareness of where I am increased my respect for those that are presently faced with that challenge and die daily based on their decision.
Just this past week, I was having a discussion with someone about the value of church. This time I decided to do more listening than talking and I can say I was very intrigued by the points that were made. I wholeheartedly agreed with most of them, though it did not deter me from my belief that church is essential to those who desire to operate in the things of God.
The discussion was about why people attend church for years and never move on the faith that they claim to hold so dear to them. How can people be under a Word for so many years and continue to live unsatisfied with where they are in life? If you truly believe that faith is both acting and believing… why are so many of them not doing either? I went on to explain that though it may not look like they are where they should be, you have no idea how far they’ve come. One also cannot neglect the importance of free will. I don’t care how many checks people hand you, if you never cash them or make a deposit at the bank, they’re just slips of paper. The lack of action on your part doesn’t affect the value of the checks, you just won’t reap the benefit until you do your part. I could go on about the conversation but I’d rather bring light to an article that I read just a few days after that put a lot of things into perspective. God is truly always there to reaffirm what we believe, even when we least expect it.
The article comes from Essence.com by Paul Carrick Brunson, whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet. He is true example of stepping out on faith and seeing things come to pass that far outweighed the scope of his imagination. Check out his “9 Ways to Keep Believing:” Continue reading
Last Wednesday, the world watched as Oprah closed out 25 years of hosting a phenomenal, world changing talk show. People across the globe welcomed her into their homes every evening to be entertained, inspired, and most importantly educated on the happenings in the world they live in. She not only gave us stories of the Hollywood celebrities and icons, but she told the stories of everyday people with the same amount of respect and passion. Her generosity is one that is hard to match and there’s no wonder why she is blessed beyond measure and able to experience a life that most people can only dream of.
Still, with everything that she has given and all of the lives she has impacted for the good, there are people who have shunned her because of her questionable religious beliefs. So much so that she felt the need to address it in her closing remarks. Throughout the three day celebration, Oprah repeatedly called on the name of Jesus. Thanking Him for allowing her to live out the vision set before her. Oprah is a talk show host, not a pastor. She makes her living in the secular arena and she’s exposed to the entire world. She is a brand and part of marketing a brand is knowing your audience. It would not be very business savvy on her part to isolate herself and risk losing her appeal to a massive audience that is sure to make up every religion known to man. Similar to my last post, it’s more important to draw people to Christ by your actions, rather than your preaching.
Oprah is the prime example of living out what you believe. She may have never uttered the name of Jesus but her actions, her heart, and her passion for people exuded everything I know to be of Him. This past Sunday, a pastor spoke about how he’d pick a man who lived out 5 Bible teachings over the man who could quote 500 any day. Haven’t we learned by now that some of those same men that can preach circles around you quoting scripture from Genesis to Revelations, are the same ones we can read about sleeping with little boys, having extramarital affairs, and babies out of wedlock? Weren’t those same people claiming Judgment Day on May 21st proclaiming Christianity? I’m not belittling the role of a pastor… I have an awesome pastor! What I am saying is that God cares about your works. He cares more about what you’re doing than what you’re saying. Continue reading
How is that for starters?! No, this isn’t the real deal YET. And no, there’s no end in sight for me YET. However, it’s just a small act of faith that represents my new BOLDness in this faith walk. Let me explain… Continue reading