Mission Possible

Reaching,Feeding, Teaching Communities

Are You Running Away From Romans 15?

Posted by forthemission247 on July 20, 2014

Deer_running_away

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7 NIV

Yes, just like the above Scripture says. We are to be accepting of one another in order to bring praise to God, however this is not what I see and often times I am guilty not following the Word either on this matter.

Here is what I see on my job on Sundays mostly. (I no longer work on Sundays :)

  • People just getting off from church discussing how much they put in the tithing basket.
  • Dressed up folks with an attitude towards cashiers and others.
  • Church folk walking past homeless, hungry people in the hallways and outside and some may yell: “I’ll pray for you!”

But this is not the bad part folks. The bad part is how we treat each other as Brothers and Sisters in Christ. If you read the entire chapter 15 of Romans, you will notice that Paul was cajoling us to behave as Christ followers, be imitators of the Lord in order to bring unity to the Church.

Why is this so important? Shouldn’t we be witnessing to strangers and those who are not part of the kingdom?

True.

But how we treat each other reflects how we will and often do, treat strangers. If you don’t bother to communicate with, buy food for and clothe even your own neighbor in Christ- why would you do so for a stranger? Someone you do not know?

Some of us fall into a different category that is just as shallow: We cater to family more because we are bound by DNA- and that is not biblical either. Blood may be thicker than water, but we are speaking about the blood of CHRIST now- which is supreme over ours.

Here’s a breakdown of Romans 15

  1. Bear with the failings of the weak(v.1)
  2. Each of us should please his neighbor for the neighbor’s own good(v.2)
  3. Everything that was written in Scripture, is to teach us(v.4)
  4. We ought to have one heart and one mouth so we may glorify God and Jesus Christ(v.5)
  5. Accept one another as Christ accepted us(v.7)
  6. Christ has become of Jews on behalf of God’s Truth(v.7)
  7. Christ became a servant of Jews to confirm God’s truth  so that the Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy(v.9)

I kept reading Romans over and over again because it would slam into my heart, make me think and then conviction came in. I may not be as ruthless as those Church-goers but is my heart in the right place?

Some will argue that the Pauline letters are not the “Red letters” of Jesus and so it is all based on Paul’s opinion.

I agree…somewhat. But Paul uses the Torah/Pentateuch to back up what he says in most letters- and the discussion of Paul will be saved for a later, longer series of posts.

For now, just ask yourself: Are you running from Romans 15? Find encouragement in Christ. You can do all things though who?

Through Christ who strengthens you!(Phil. 4:13)

Be blessed!

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4 Powerful scriptures for students and parents to meditate on

Posted by forthemission247 on June 25, 2014

What College Students Should KNow

1001 Things Every College Student Should Know

The Lord said to Abram, “Now leave your country, your people, and your father’s house.” (Genesis 12:1 NIV)

It is only June, but teenagers across the nation are having to ask themselves the hard questions, now that many have graduated high school:

  • Do I want to work then head off to college?
  • Do I wish to move far away?
  • Do I have to still listen to mom and dad?
  • What if I am disowned?
  • Is military right for me?
  • Is Christian colleges a good idea for me?
  • What if a liberal arts major will not get me that good job?

Quick Question: Have you filled out a FAFSA yet? If you are thinking of starting school soon, maybe you should.

*4 Powerful Scriptures to meditate on if you are a parent or teen:

  1. Proverbs 19:1- “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
  2. Genesis 12:1-(See above post)
  3. Psalms 1-” Blessed is the man…”(read entire Psalm 1)
  4. Psalm 119:105- “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

I do know that God has a way of turning a carnal, fear ridden path into a joyous one if we believe. I am a living witness to that.

So if you feel in your Spirit that you should stay home for another year or so and work before going to college- then you should do just that.

But if you feel the Lord telling you to “leave your country and your father’s house”- then you should do that. Abram would not have become Abraham(father of many) if he decided, “Oh, I will stay with what I am familiar with”

The world is constantly changing: politically, economically, culturally, spiritually and it is a climate that as a young person, you have to have some form of compass to guide you through all these changes. Yes, parents are a great guide and you should definitely hold to all those good lessons about life they’ve taught you.

Now, you are sent amongst the wolves…(sorry, not trying to scare anyone), but really you are at an age where you can decide what happens from here on out.

Let God be your compass in all that you do. I encourage you, young ones to pray and keep striving!

*Families, please discuss what these Scriptures mean to you.

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The Love of a Father, The Traits of a Dad

Posted by forthemission247 on June 15, 2014

Father and Son

All last month I’ve seen the prettiest bouquets and cards made for mothers. Nice hats, shoes, and even foods dedicated to mom.

And all of that is super cool. We love our mothers and we should everyday.

What about dad? What are some traits dads posses and what does he do that we should admire too? As children, my sister and I were raised by a father(he rests with God now) and I remember still honoring him on mother and father’s day because he was both to us.

Traits of a Father(these can belong to moms as well)

  • Physical strength
  • Mentor
  • Teacher
  • Provider
  • Disciplinarian

Can you think of any more?

When I think of those traits, I can not help but think of God. It reminds me of Psalm 91:4,

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.(NIV)

 

Feathers? Wings? His faithfulness?

God is playing dual roles here. Like a faithful mother hen that loves her children. Yet we also know him as the one who sent his one and only son to die for us…to die in our place in order to bring us to redemption. Through the ages He has been fighter, mentor, teacher, provider, and disciplinarian.

All for those whom he has created and loved.

What is the attitude of fathers today?

Sadly, there are still men out there who are not exemplary fathers at all. They lay up with women because of lust and at the first sign of conflict-

They run.

The mothers and their children suffer.

Let me say this and I will conclude afterwards: A man is more than what he “squirts out” from his jeans(genes?)- okay? Animals and insects can do that. What makes a man into a father is that he fulfills his role and takes care of his duties/responsibilities.

No more excuses.

And to those dads who are thankful for  good gifts from God. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you.

Any daddy stories? Plug in your own two cents here or share with friends!

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Keep it Real: Evil is Evil, Psychology Has its Place

Posted by forthemission247 on May 31, 2014

Maleficent

Maleficent, From Wikia

A while back, I did a post on Dragon Ball’s Vegeta and how we should “check ourselves” before we become just like him.

He was evil.

However, Vegeta goes through a growth period and we warm up to him a bit. Hey, he has children now in the animation, but he’s still same ol’ Vegeta.

Now, we have movies and books that tell us:  “There is no one truly evil. Only ill people or those who’ve had a hard life.”

Is this true? Has evil been written off the books? And now everything has a *gulp*…psychological reason?

Hmmm, let’s take a horrible trip backwards to some “ill” acts committed by humans, beginning with recent news.

The Santa Barbara Killer, “who vowed to slaughter women that rejected him”

Boy Stabs Girl, who turned down prom date.

Virginia Naval Station shooting.

And not only that, recently a pastor had allegedly raped a young girl in her own home.

A bank was robbed this week in my neck of the woods.

And on and on…

Remember Columbine? 9/11? Sandy Hook? Virginia Tech…?

Need I say more? These acts were crimes against humans. Plain and simple.

Yet, we have Maleficent out and CT has explored the movie in depth(I have not seen it, so I can’t judge it yet), and they ask a valid question: Why are we going back to an evil character’s origins? Will this make us understand them more? Are we now looking to pity monsters?

I say, if we know their history- what now? What will we do with these facts?

Let me be real clear here. I am the first to think of determining factors since I love social sciences. We all have had bad starts and are probably having a bad day/evening right now.

And many will not blame us for a snappy ‘tude or the occasional blast of “Leave me alone!”

But to harm another soul?

What boundary do these people push past when they can just give up and literally kill another person? And if all evil have origins, how come many of us have the reason and excuse to choke/maim/kill someone- yet never do it?

I am trying hard not make this a long post, I will revisit when I can. I am simply asking the question: Does knowing the origin of evil make it less evil?

Do the scales magically fall from our eyes now that we know why?

Here is my own hypocritical moment: I write stories involving monsters. Sure I do. Because I believe they have a story- all wicked creatures have an origin, but if there is no redemption in the end, or no repentance, why bother?

*One particular author I just enjoy reading is Wendy Alec. Her books tell of Lucifer’s beginnings, but in my opinion, she keeps it biblical, with some fantastical elements there to propel the story.

 

Home in on the discussion. What are your thoughts? Do you have examples, Scriptures, other insight to share? Also, share this post with anyone who may need it! :)

 

 

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One Piece: What Makes Us Stronger?

Posted by forthemission247 on May 26, 2014

 One Piece, Franky's House

One Piece is an anime about pirates on a long…really long journey and Luffy, a boy who can stretch his body,wants to be King of the Pirates someday, and already he has shown excellent leadership skills in who he chooses to sail with.

In one particular episode which spans a few episodes, Luffy has to fight one of the toughest world government alive and we are reminded: with each journey, we are made stronger.

I thought about my own trials. What have I been through that has made me stronger? When I look back, some of my trials were small compared to now: As a child, Math was just not my strong suit. Sure, I was okay at it, but was horrible at it in middle school. At times I was not a good friend to myself and therefore not great to others either. I was very antisocial(still a bit shy now).

As I got older, my “journey” or experiences became more serious: learning to be a respectful daughter, learning about who God is, trying but failing to avoid temptations- and losing loved ones.

And then, even more serious events: losing old friends and new friends either to death or just growing apart, learning to be a good wife, learning to love those who do not love me back, and losing a father, mother in law, friend and then some.

Yeah, I understand what Luffy and them are going through.

But let’s take it deeper- Jesus knows what we are going through too. He was lied on, lied to, abused, and killed.

But He rose, ever stronger and gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Job was made stronger from his trials too. Check out what he says,

But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”-Job 23:10

Now back to One Piece, what made Luffy and the gang stronger was not wishing and hoping. Nor was it gaining more weapons on board(although that certainly helps).

What helped them was that each journey since Episode 1 made each of them stronger in some way.They are coming “forth as gold”. Each foe gets more difficult to defeat. Each battle seems more daunting than the next. And right now he has to remember every fight, every lesson because CP9 is no joke.

Sounds familiar?

I could not help comparing this episode with my own life.

With each failure, each financial setback, each demonic foe, each loss, I am growing in faith.

For today, for this week, heck, for this whole journey of your life, think of Job, think of Christ, think of King David. And  if you are an anime fan like me, think Luffy and the Strawhat pirates and how much they have grown over the course of their journey to and through the Grand Line in their search of the One Piece.

God Bless yall! :)

And , if you feel blessed by this post. Why not share it somewhere? 

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Redeemed so that I won’t become a Boney

Posted by forthemission247 on April 27, 2014

Warm Bodies, Isaac Marion

It has been a year now since I’ve seen Warm Bodies. The movie was adapted from the book by author Isaac Marion. My husband and I thought it was actually a pretty cool movie, simply because it had a different premise than all the other coming of age movies to date and I for one enjoyed the love story-gruesome, yes.

Slight Spoiler ahead: What does it take to be redeemed?

But the other night, my husband made a comment about how the Boneys resemble people who have just given up, while the zombies still had some hope to be redeemed and there was only one way they were redeemed(see how at the end of this post).

In the movie, the protag is a zombie and he hangs out with another older zombie and they both actually communicate with one another. With grunts and such but yet they still communicate.  The other zombies are like, regular walking dead(does that make sense?)

However, the dark, skeletal creatures, a.k.a., the Boneys have peeled their skins off and gnaw at their own bodies. They are filled with rage to the point that even they will eat zombies and humans alike! Spooky, huh?

Even worse. If they detect you have a beating heart- you’re dead.

What happens when a person loses hope?The Boneys

Psalm 37:8 says, “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil”(NIV). I am quite sure we have all been angry and probably are right now. And even though anger isn’t sin, it can lead to evil.

This is what happens to people who have no hope in Christ or have lost their hope. They are spiritually dead. They know not where to turn and have forgotten their first love. Like zombies, they mil around their lives disconnected but at least there was a chance- and there still is.

Sounds like who I was. And if I am not careful, I could become a spiritual zombie too or worse, a Bony.

The end is near. I do believe this with all my heart, and folks are acting out of sorts and many I can tell right off they have given up hope and are intent on being hellish to anyone they come into contact with. We will pray for them and in this way, we allow God to deal with them.

The Good news: At one point, we all were zombies. Dead, yet were raised by Christ. He was and still is our only hope.

In the movie, the redeeming element needed to “fix” the zombies…was love. Know My Heart by Brittany Myers for Deviantart.com

The Boneys? Well, they have given themselves over to the devil and although they appear fierce and menacing, Jesus is still the Lion of Judah and greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world(1 John 4:4).

So don’t give up, even though you slouch in the spirit and to others you seem akin to a zombie.

“Zombies” need love too.

And our One True love is waiting with outstretched hands.

If you need someone to pray for you and with you about anything, please email us. Feel free to share this post with others on your social networks as well.

Be Blessed :)

 

 

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Are we only concerned with “who’s the boss?” A lesson from ‘The Shack’

Posted by forthemission247 on March 19, 2014

The ShackFrom an author’s mind we see what they see and we believe we know what they believe…(confused yet?)and this is what makes fiction so fascinating. You can take parts of the truth: setting, people, objects and ideas- and turn into something that will literally crush the systems we have set up for ourselves.

If you have not read “The Shack”  by William Paul Young, go read it. In fact a review of The Shack is available if you want to glean just a little bit from it. This book had some pieces in it I could not let go and it was a wake up call for me. Whatever we think of God now, it will change after reading this bit of fiction. Here’s a snippet or blurb of what the book is all about:

Mackenzie Allen Philips took his family on a trip in Oregon and during the trip his little girl Missy is abducted and presumed murdered. Four years later, he receives a mysterious note requesting him to return to the shack and this is where his Great Sadness will be confronted by an even greater God, but what and who he encounters will confound his mind and the readers’ minds because nothing is as it seems and William Paul Young makes sure he includes theology along with literary magic and sensitivity.”(From The Norfolk Christian Fiction Examiner)

In this book God is portrayed by a black woman whom Mackenzie loving calls, “Papa”, Sarayu is an Asian woman-the Holy Spirit, and Jesus seems to be of an Indian or Arabic race. I loved this story because it did not give us the traditional “look” of what God may appear to be.

Anyway, there is a part of the story where the main character questions Jesus about hierarchy and systems of government. The character, Mackenzie feels that it was a good idea that people created governments and economics and that we have religion. In the story, however, Jesus frowns upon this. We as people feel as if only true relationships can exist if someone is in control.

In the story, God, the Holy Spirit(Sarayu) and Jesus all sat at a table together just having conversation and having a joyous time with it.

So who was in charge in this circle?

God wanted to have a relationship with the main character, the same relationship he has with the Holy Spirit and Jesus.

The same one he wants to have with you. Only we are concerned with “Who’s the boss?”

This is what causes rifts in friendships, relationships, church businesses- why does there have to be a hierarchy. Can’t we just respect and love one another for who God made us to be? Sure we are so used to systems that now our minds depend upon it for order.

Love has no order. It is what it is.

Just like God is “I am that I am”

He just is.

Read the book, then read the Holy Word. Pray, communicate with God.

He wants a relationship with you.

Share this post with friends and family and be blessed!  :)

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Is it God Who Changes Us or Us Who Changes…Us?

Posted by forthemission247 on March 6, 2014

Things ChangeFunny way to word things in the title, but I think the Holy Spirit wants me to let you all know what change actually means and he is leading to me to expound on what change means according to man and according to Him. To begin, let me show you why people can not change themselves-completely; and that it is only through allowing God inside.

The Definition and etymology of “change” may blow your mind.

The word change is a transitive verb meaning it flows. But where to? It flows to the object receiving the action of the verb. So when someone tells me they have changed, immediately my brain asks: “Who/what has changed you or what have you changed?”

What really bugs me a little is that change comes from the Latin word cambiare which actually means to exchange.

What needs to be exchanged? Could it be I am exchanging pride for humility so God can teach me? Hmmm.

Okay, okay, let’s keep this one simple: When we change something, it means we are molding something, shaping it to make different. Like how clay can be molded into masks and then put into the kiln to burn or how we take outfits and alter them to suit our tastes. So, yes  we can effect change in some things. But ourselves?

Dropping a word of encouragement can cause a change in a person- if they accept it and nurture it as they should. Accept? Nurture? I’ll get back to this later because already you think it is something that must be done by you in order to change but there is nothing your hands, or eyes, or legs and toes can do to change yourself…

Some great quotes on change I have read or heard:

Go to the altar to be altered”

“The universe is change : our life is what our thoughts make it”-Marcus Aurelius

“Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the Phoenix”-Christina Baldwin

Change is definitely constant and rebirth is something we cannot do. Instead of the “Which came first the chicken or the egg?” question, we are now wondering: Is it I who changes or did God change me?

Going back to nurturing and accepting. These are keys to unlock the door of change. A stubborn person never receives help, but the one who takes the seed of encouragement and wisdom, has now let in some essence of God but believing in His Son causes powerful change and thus those great testimonies.

Before I go to Scripture…

As I’ve mentioned before, the word change is a transitive verb which means an object is receiving an action. In my spiritual eye I see this as meaning total SURRENDER to the Lord.

So yes, we do have to do something.

We need to let go and let Him in.

Because those nasty habits, addictions and other ungodly behaviors requires God anyway- not you. You are not equipped in the flesh to handle something like that. The battle is his.

If you quit smoking, that means something inside you enabled you to do so.

If you quit snapping at folks and getting angry all the time, something inside you snapped in order for you to stop.

There is no physical program or button that you have pressed to suddenly eat healthier, love better and make better choices.

When folks say, “I gots to get right before going to church.” What in the heck do they mean? If you can get right yourself you don’t need the Lord then.

Some Scriptures about Change.

Romans 12:1-2

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

1 Corinthians 15:51

Ephesians 2:8-9

Titus 3:5

While you search those Scriptures. Think about what repent really means. It means to change your mind about something or to feel contrite about the wrongs(sins) you have done.

And you do that by simply submitting to Christ and then you will find you love Him so much, that your outward habits will naturally(or should I say supernaturally) change anyway.

What do you think? :)

God Bless Yall!

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A Month of Red Hearts and Chocolate, a Poem

Posted by forthemission247 on March 1, 2014

BaptismHe is our Lord as well,

From days and night of ancient old

to now even in the twenty eight days

raining red hearts and chocolate

we chocolate, we smooth, we bitter

scarlet letters mean much to us

we holler, we stomp, we shout

We know what He’s all about

And  we know evil

became a part of the Plan too.

And we’re here.

We’re here.

*Poem by Erica

Here are a couple of things I learned this week, please check out these links and remember that Black History is everyone’s history too.

Heard of Phyllis Wheatley? She wrote poems on morality and religion even though her  life was definitely not filled with roses. Find out why.

Find out why George Lisle is so important to church history and black history at the same time!

Have any anecdotes, poems, questions to share? Please do so here or simply share this post via the social buttons below this post. God Bless You! :)

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What is the Hype With Being “The One?”

Posted by forthemission247 on February 18, 2014

Neo Stops BulletsCrawl over to YouTube and you will find some people are tired of movies with “The One” or they make sarcastic remarks about it.

Think of Neo. Keanu Reeves is famous for this movie and other movies where he is chosen. But in The Matrix he was created, designed for a purpose-to save the world from wicked machines and there were evil people too he had to combat.

In Constantine, he was chosen as “The Sacrifice” and given another chance to take down demons.

Now we have Divergent coming to theaters March 21st. Another “The One” kind of movie? I don’t think so. For a full synopsis of the books and the movie go to Veronica Roth‘s website. There is more than just a” one and only” in the story. Everyone is chosen to do their part.

Which brings me to Jesus.

One man. Son of God. It did not take many. And he was cloaked in humility. In wisdom.

In love.

It takes not many to shake the world, but Jesus did have followers, disciples, people who loved Him. And he left us a precious gift…

The Holy Spirit was breathed on those around him and it lives in us if we will accept the Lord Jesus as the Son of God and as our Savior. Only one can live in our hearts. It only took one to make us understand and to boggle our minds all at once.

Too many “ones” would distort the favor of one gift.

How can one gift, in the form of a child, in the form of man make us weep, make us love and even cause strife?

But there are those of us who have this one umbilical cord connecting us to Father God. So we are all one.

So what is the fascination with one? The fascination is that one can have all the power- to show us.

Morpheus, Neo, and Trinity from The Matrix, represented the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit(The Holy Trinity) in my own religious opinion- with Morpheus being God, Trinity the Holy Spirit, and Neo the Son who was sent as sacrifice.

God is God all by Himself and sent himself as the sacrifice.

But all it takes is one to spark the idea and change the world….

These are just my random thoughts on oneness. What do you think about one-ness? :)

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