Impossible – Possible

When people think God can’t fix our broken world and decide to take matters into their own hands, the first thought that comes to my mind is do they really understand the power of God! Have they forgotten what took place some 2,000 years?! The God we serve has a flawless tract record and He can make the impossible-possible. Let me remind you, the same God that turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana, healed an Official’s son at Capernaum in Galilee, drove out an evil spirit from a man in Capernaum, healed Peter’s mother-in-law sick with fever, healed many sick and oppressed people, reeled in a miraculous catch of fish on the Lake of Gennesaret, cleansed a man with leprosy, healed a Centurion’s paralyzed servant in Capernaum, healed a paralytic who was let down from a roof, healed a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath, raised a widow’s son from the dead in Nain, calms a storm on the sea, cast a legion of demons into a herd of pigs, healed a woman in the crowd with an 12 year issue of blood, raised Jairus’ daughter back to life, healed two blind men, healed a man who was unable to speak, healed an invalid at Bethesda, fed over 5,000 people, walked on water, healed many sick in Gennesaret as they touch His garment, healed a gentile woman’s demon-possessed daughter, healed a deaf and dumb Man, fed over 4,000 plus women and children, healed a blind man at Bethsaida, healed a man born blind, healed a boy with an unclean spirit, put a shekel in a fish mouth to pay the Temple Tax, healed a blind-mute demoniac, healed a woman who had been crippled for 18 years, healed a man with dropsy on the Sabbath, cleansed ten lepers on the way to Jerusalem, resurrected Lazarus from the dead in Bethany, restored sight to Bartimaeus in Jericho, withered the fig tree on the road from Bethany, healed a Servant’s severed ear while He was being arrested, didn’t murmur a word during his trial, was beaten beyond recognition, crucified on a cross, He was buried in a borrowed tomb, and in 3 days was resurrected from the dead, and GLORY TO GOD, He now lives in you and I! The only thing God can’t do is fail and the other thing He will never do is lie! If God said it, you can bank it!! God said in Isaiah 55:10-11, “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” So today speak God’s word in the wake of a dying world and let Him do the healing and delivering our world so desperately need!

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Protest vs Riot

#YOUDECIDE

There is a wide difference between protesting and rioting. Everything from civil rights to women suffrage has been catalyzed by protesting the status quo. We engage in civil protest when we fight for what is right when wrong has set the precedent!


Now the latter, rioting. Rioting is fueled by hate and lack of information not to mention unbridled energy that typically hurts other people and property. All have to do with passion and purpose.


– Passion without purpose is the equivalent of rioting.

– Purpose without passion is the equivalent of quieting.


In either case, to do nothing is silencing and that makes one just as conspicuous.


One of my Texas Southern University Profs, Dr. Eugene Barrington, always told we, graduate students (back-n-da-day), you are conspicuous by your silence.


If at the end of the day, you did something to close the gap…then at least you contributed something, anything less would be uncivilized.

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Tests and Trials Won’t Break You!

Most would agree that we are certainly in a season of tests and trials. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” Time feels like an enemy whenever we are traveling through the valley of hardship and affliction. However, once we come to terms with our plight the second thing we want to know is how long will we have to endure. Unfortunately, God does not have a watch and He certainly doesn’t discern time the same way we do! 2 Peter 3:8 says, “A day is a thousand years and a thousands years a day.” Try figuring that math and hit me up if you have legitimate quantifiable answer! You see, God exist outside of time therefore, He can never ‘lose’ the past or anticipate the future. God doesn’t need to know the future, because to a timeless God, there would be no future. Everything would be ever-present in one timeless moment. With that being said, in spite time, we must also equally remember that during fiery tests and trials God is always present with us. He is with us just like He was with the three Hebrew boys in that fiery furnace (Daniel 3:8-25). I don’t know about you but I can certainly appreciate Shadrach Meshach, and Abednego’s testimony. I want to encourage you that God knows, and in due season, all will be revealed. So while we are waiting for time to manifest destiny don’t give up, don’t lose heart, or get tired of doing good. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time [season] we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” In seasons like this, it’s essential to fix our thoughts on heavenly things, not on temporary things of this earth. Fix our eyes on Jesus. He is the God who understands every temptation; He understands suffering and pain; and He understands our weaknesses. 2 Corinthians 4:17-19 reminds us that, “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” If you like most of us today need comfort, let God comfort you. If you need strength beyond yourself, let Him strengthen you. If you need wisdom, ask and the Bible promises that it will be given to you (James 1:5). As hard as the tests and trials may be, allow God to be God. Allow Him to do the supernatural work that only He can do. Allow Him to strengthen and increase your faith in the valley of hardship or affliction.

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Your Keeper!

God doesn’t intend for pain and adversity to overwhelm us. The God we serve is a Keeper! Psalm 121:5-6 testifies that, “The LORD is your Keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.” Psalm 121 helps us remember that God is an all-sufficient and caring God! He is with us in the good and bad times! It doesn’t matter what we are going through His love and provisions are incomparable! There is no one created that loves you more than the Creator. When David talks about God being the shade in his right hand, he is symbolically pointing out that God his only source of strength he can depend on. As you know, David experienced the sunshine of God’s blessings but, he also traveled through the nighttime of fiery trials and through it all, he learned never to take his eyes off of the LORD his Creator and Keeper! Here’s the even greater news, we who belong to God will also be kept steady by God in the light and the dark–God will help and enable us to persevere in Him every single moment of this life, under every sun and moon, day and night–from this time forth, until the day Jesus returns to take us home! Well then, if God was David’s keeper, He is my Keeper and He is also your Keeper. So, smile when you feel like crying, rejoice outwardly when you feel like dying inwardly, lift up your voice to praise even when you feel weighed down and lame, and pray to God even though words can’t effectively articulate the pain your enduring! We have tremendous hope, knowing that God is our Keeper. Take sometime and read Psalm 121, and ask the Lord to expose its scriptural truths and then apply those truths to your life today! James 1:22 reminds us not to be only hearers of the word of God but doers also less we deceive ourselves!

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The Epic Battle is like Chattel

The battle to overcome your emotional struggles is a battle for your mind. If you are worrying, stressed out and depressed, it is because you are thinking things that are not true.

In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, Paul writes,

“…for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

It is not our flesh that we fight but rather our minds and what Satan tries to do to our minds. One of Satan’s favorite strategies is to plant his thoughts in your mind so completely that you come to believe they are your thoughts, so you will begin to act on these thoughts.

This strategy of Satan may get you to ask the question, “Well, how can I be blamed for acting on these thoughts if they are not mine?” Friend, you are not responsible for every thought that comes into your head. But you are responsible for how you act on it. This is why we are to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

When a thought comes seeking to lure you deeper into worry, doubt, anger, hatred, shame or more, you have two choices. You can reject it, or you can adopt it and make it your own. When you reject these thoughts, you free yourself to focus on the Spirit.

If you will set your mind on the things of the Spirit, you will have both life and peace. You will also have purpose, meaning and joy. With the Holy Spirit governing your thoughts, external circumstances do not dictate your responses. If you want to overcome your emotional struggles, change your thoughts. If you seek to be set free from that which holds you hostage, then set your mind on God’s truth.

Adapted:T. Evans

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Goodness is the Enemy to Greatness

Author Noel Pinnock, B.S., M.P.A., C.A., CCC

www.noelpinnock.com

The basic definition of good is ‘well’ and the basic definition of great is ‘very well.’ The two are remarkably similar in context and meaning but both are competing rivals in many respects. Some settle on being good while others strive to be great. There is no wonder why there are so few people, companies, and organizations that share their place in the greatness circle. While good is ‘good,’ it is certainly not great.

For example, I live in Missouri City, a good suburb a few miles just outside of the city of Houston, which struggles to crossover into greatness because we lack essential Leadership, Engagement, Growth, and Stability or, in other words, LEGS. For some, living a good city, working for a good organization, or raising a good family is okay but to others, like me, and possibly you, we work tirelessly to overcome the paralytic and caustic sting of goodness in an effort to strive for greatness and are relentless in the pursuit of it. Leading a city is no different from leading your home, business, or non-profit organization because it requires individuals who are like pistols, hot-blooded people, not the mild manner conforming types, that will succumb to the awesome power of the existing culture. Culture is an umbrella term which encompasses social behaviors and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups. Culture eats strategy for lunch every day because it is that rhythm that pulls people to the dancefloor or pushes them to the threshing floor because nobody likes dancing to noise and without LEGS, we are limited in movement, function, and sometimes, purpose. Why?

Well, leadership is an essential factor in moving from good to great because leadership properly engages people in ways that not only solicit their input but also empowers them to transform that input into reality. Without engagement, people perish. Everyone has an innate desire to be a part of something great. When people are informed and engaged and understand their role in the good-to-great conversion process, great things happen. Without growth, people freeze and don’t see a clear path to the next level. This is a major reason why some acquiesce or abdicate responsibilities and elect to travel the road of the least resistance. Without stability, people flee and when they leave, they take with them institutional knowledge that can adversely impact the trajectory of progress. You see, the secret of greatness is not achieved in some complicated algorithmic equation, prophecy from a person who we consider an expert in an industry, or from the leaf pages someone’s magnum opus. It is not even achieved by understanding what your competitors are doing or not doing but is laser-focused on what you are doing and who are the people who have subscribed to the notion that we can achieve increased success that shatters the norm.  Great business, cities, organization, etc., focus on getting and hanging on the right people in the first place.

Level 5 leaders who are productively neurotic, those who are self-motivated and self-disciplined, those who wake up every day, compulsively driven to do the best they can because it is simply part of their deoxyribonucleic acid.

The reason why greatness eludes so many is because we sometimes invest a lot of time, money, and energy in “trueing-up” anecdotal things while omitting the more serious issues that lay inside themselves or inside the company or organization.  I coin this phenomenon, the logic box, in that our individual or organizational collection of knowledge, skills, abilities, and habits limits perception and act as a restriction on objective thought and creative expression. Good is the enemy of great and nothing great has ever become great by just settling on being good. Jim Collins, author of the book, Good to Great, writes:

Picture an egg. Day after day, it sits there. No one pays attention to it. No one notices it. Certainly, no one takes a picture of it or puts it on the cover of a celebrity-focused business magazine. Then one day, the shell cracks and out jumps a chicken. All of a sudden, the major magazines and newspapers jump on the story: “Stunning Turnaround at Egg!” and “The Chick Who Led the Breakthrough at Egg!” From the outside, the story always reads like an overnight sensation—as if the egg had suddenly and radically altered itself into a chicken.

Now picture the egg from the chicken’s point of view. While the outside world was ignoring this seemingly dormant egg, the chicken within was evolving, growing, developing—changing. From the chicken’s point of view, the moment of breakthrough, of cracking the egg, was simply one more step in a long chain of steps that had led to that moment. Granted, it was a big step—but it was hardly the radical transformation that it looked like from the outside.

It is a silly egg-analogy, but then our conventional way of looking at change is no less silly. Everyone looks for the “miracle moment” when the conversion from good to great happens but if you ask some good-to-great executives from Walgreens to Facebook when change happened they cannot pinpoint a single key event that exemplified their successful transition. Transitioning from good to great takes some time but time is inconsequential when you keep your eyes on the prize, proverbially speaking.  I live by a simple axiom…in God we trust, the rest show data. If we are ever to be great, we must confront the brutal facts and respond to these three questions that affect individual and organizations alike:

  1. What do you do better than anyone in the world?
  2. What drives your economic engine?
  3. What are you are most passionate about?

After answering these questions, align your organizational or personal strategy around the responses, monitor your progress, confront your new reality, and celebrate your successes or opportunities for improvement. Remember this, the good will become great and the great can become awesome because steady, consistent progress leads to eventual breakthrough! #getatit

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I Can’t Breathe

In recent years, domestic and racial tension is probably the highest than it’s ever been in our nation. Everywhere you scroll and, on every page, you read death, death, and more death. It’s difficult to consistently maintain a positive measure of encouragement when it’s persistently being drowned out by the billowing waves of discouragement. Thankfully, we serve a God that takes what the enemy meant for bad and turns it around for our good and his glory. I Corinthians 10:13 reminds us,” No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” Discouragement is a temptation that is “common to man”. And sometimes as deal with it we need tenderness and other times we need toughness. But either way discouragement is not to be tolerated, festered or wallowed in. It’s to be fought and not with human hands! Fact is, when we feel discouraged, we want comfort, which is right to feel. But the comfort we often turn to are more self-rewarding and self-gratifying. The recent senseless, untimely, and unnecessary death of George Floyd is yet another burning log thrown in the bonfire of social, racial, and ethnic inequality. When will these flames of injustice be finally extinguished? When will we as God children realize that hate cannot drive out hate? When we will look past skin tone and ethnic backgrounds and realize this a spiritual battle we are fighting!! People are not the enemy!!! Ephesians 6:12-13 clearly distinguishes this difference, “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. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” At the end of the day and top of the morning, prayer is our weapon to win. I know some of you reading this may be saying, “How long shall we keep praying?” Well, the short answer is, “Until something happens.” God isn’t sleep! He sees, he knows, and he cares about the struggles and challenges we endure every day. God doesn’t want us to take matters into our own hands rather, he prefers that we take all matters and place them at the foot of the cross! I know it’s not easy but we can’t succumb to the hand of the enemy by tolerating discouragement to ‘rule the roost’. Yes, we all want to see justice served and this will happen in time but right now this family and our nation needs our prayers for comfort, peace, strength, and healing! My prayers are with Floyd’s family and a host of friends some of which I know personally that loved him dearly! Big Floyd you exhaled your last breath of carnality and instantaneously you inhaled your first breath of eternity in the arms of Jesus Christ and your beloved mother who was also there waiting for you to come home!

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