(March 25) Vol. 6, No. 7

A WORD FROM THE EDITOR
What Are You Leaving God With?

I’ve noticed something as of late.

I am horrible with time management. I have no problem showing up to places on time, but as far as deadlines go, I’m usually always waiting until the last minute to finish something…

Like these newsletters for instance…

I know that every Friday a new issue comes out because that’s the deadline I set, and yet, between every Thursday night and Friday morning/early ‘afternoon-ish’/thirty or so minutes before the next issue is to be posted I am furiously typing away on my laptop, saying the same thing I keep saying inside my head, “Why do I keep doing this? There’s no reason I can’t have all this done by Thursday. So why do I keep waiting until the very last second to try and get all this stuff done? I CANNOT—I will not keep doing this to myself. This is crazy!”

Yet here I am again, on a Thursday night (time is currently 11:37 p.m.) and all I really want to do is take an ‘L’ on this and go to sleep, “Eh, do we really need an issue this week?”

But then I think about how I spent a good portion of my day, almost every day this week, doing things that had absolutely nothing to do with God:

I binge-watched a few episodes of my favorite anime: Bleach, season 9 and Inuyasha, season 6.

I listened to music, added some free tunes to my library.

I played Naruto Online, check on my Neopet…

Oh. I did study my Word, so I suppose that’s at least ONE thing for Jesus, but that’s not the point. The point is this: I was so deep into everything else I wanted to do that the things I needed to do for the Lord got pushed to the side because I was drained. Jesus gets left with the scraps as a result of me not spending any real time with Him.

Although to be honest, sometimes He doesn’t even get scraps; just crumbs.

I recall something God told me from a passage I studied recently. He said that He was committed, faithful, to me. He didn’t have to prove Himself because His works speak for themselves. I, however, have the nerve to question Him when I have yet to show myself to be anywhere near half way reliable.

“I’m committed to you. Why can’t you commit to Me?”

I give my attention to my friends and family, I invest in the things I want to do or enjoy, but the things I need to be focusing on I’m always pushing aside, “I’ll get to it later,” “I’ve got plenty of time to do that,” “Eh…I don’t really feel like it right now,” “I’m not in the mood to do any of that. Maybe I’ll come back to it when my mind is right and I can concentrate better.”

And I do come back…only to give God less than nothing. I still expect to receive everything from Him, of course. That quite lopsided, wouldn’t you say?

The things is, a lot of are doing this each and every single day. We keep placing God on the shelf and we continue to tell Him, “Later.” We become painfully difficult, dragging our feet, but we’re always trying to rush God to give us the promises He has for us. We’re always saying how we’re not going to do that anymore only to keep doing it.

First, let me say how thankful I am God is not like me. I would be in bad shape right about now…

Second, I truly and sincerely am working to stop giving God crumbs. Just as I expect Him to (and know God will) give me all of Him, I need to return that same commitment. As we learned in this week’s Bible study, God isn’t asking for perfection; He just wants some consistency.

I imagine how much better the assignment could have turned out had I just simply made the time, made ROOM for Jesus, instead of handing Him the last couple of sloppy seconds and then waiting for that stamp of approval. Christ told us the righteous will barely make it.

I can’t make it in on sloppy work.

So, I am going to push myself to give God more. I will not sit up here and say I’m going to make this miraculous turnaround and stop procrastinating. All I am saying is that I’m going to push myself harder than I have been; Jesus deserves that from me.

Now how about you? Are you giving God your all?

Or are you leaving Him with scraps and crumbs?


NEWS
Local news in the area

No happenings as of yet, but the church is still currently raising money to finish the installation of our restroom. You can donate here: KTOR Radio


BREAKING BREAD
Sunday sermons, Wednesday messages

Sunday, March 20, 2016, “Lord Have Mercy on Me (Mark 16:46-52)”

Bartimeaus was a blind man who had been rejected by everyone, including this own family. As he sits on the roadside, begging, he hears Jesus coming and begins to cry out to Him. “The church folks saw him as an annoyance…” They tried to silence him, but Bartimaeus only cried out more.

“At some point you have to get delivered from people…” Sometimes people, even ones within the church, will try to make you feel less than but “until you’re happy with you, everyone around you [will be] miserable.”

After Bartimaeus receives his sight from Jesus, instead of moving on to other things he becomes a follower of Christ and follows after Him, “A lot of us come and get what we want from God and take off; Bartimaeus didn’t do that.” We should mirror Bartimaeus’s humility. He was humble enough to ask God for mercy, “We have to learn how to say, ‘Lord have mercy,’ when in tense situations…it will promise you a new life, that you enter into the kingdom of God.”

Pray continually without ceasing and do not allow people to keep you from getting what you need from God.

“Don’t miss out on your blessing because somebody says you can’t do it.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2016, “Resurrected Faith (Mark 16:1-8)”

At one time or another we all have probably had to have our faith be resurrected, “Going through the process of being resurrected is not nearly as bad as recognizing it needs to be resurrected.” The disciples at this time had lost their leader and were in hiding. They were afraid and their faith needed to resurrected, “Imagine how the people felt thinking their Leader was dead…but His death became a good thing because of the resurrection.”

Mary (Jesus’s mother) and Mary Magdalene were making their way to the tomb with Salome to anoint Christ’s body. Mary and Mary Magdalene were two of Jesus’s most faithful followers, “They had the most faith while everyone else was hiding.” It wasn’t safe for them because those who opposed Christ were searching for His disciples so they could kill them. As the women made their way to the tomb they immediately recognized their first obstacle: the stone in front of the entrance. Despite this they continue on, and when they arrived, the stone had been rolled away,

“God rolls the problem away…” We wasted time worried about the problem we’re faced with instead of just moving forward and trusting God to take care of it. These women knew what kind of obstacles they were facing before they even set foot on their journey to the tomb, but they went anyway. Part of having resurrected faith is moving forward regardless of how you feel, how hurt you are, or how bad things look.

Once they arrived, they found that Jesus was gone. An angel appeared unto them and gave instructions to go and tell the disciples and Peter (who isolated himself from the disciples due to guilt) of Jesus’s return. They were afraid, but they did as they were instructed. The women came to fulfill one assignment only to be sent to do another. “You never know where God wants to take you…they left afraid but stayed on course… Don’t let fear stop you.” Fear blocks your resurrection faith.

The disciples walked with Jesus, witnessed all the miracles He performed, but were still in the flesh; they hid in fear, wondering what was to come. Peter said he loved the Lord but betrayed Him. God, however, stilled used them. Peter especially went on to bring over 3000 souls to Christ. We all have had a time that wasn’t exactly our proudest moment, but even in that the Lord can raise us up to be better servants for Him.


THE ART GALLERY
Poems, shorts and other creative pieces

Dorothy Dandridge in Bloom
by LaToya Mathis (via instagram: @latoyaswarmmode)

We don’t just have poetry in the Art Gallery…

LaToya Mathis_Dorothy Dandridge

This week’s featured artwork is titled Dorothy Jean Dendrite in Bloom. The artist, LaToya Mathis, is a talented young woman who has gathered quite a following on Instagram with her realistic drawings and sketches.

Ms. Mathis is currently doing a series on women for Women’s History Month. She had this to say on her page, “[Dandridge] was her own bouquet, a blooming beauty. How could she have known that in her light would spring the Viola, and the Regina and the Taraji? She didn’t, she just flourished.”

She is currently taking commissions, so if you’d like to purchase a LaToya Swarmmode one of a kind or have you draw up a custom piece, feel free to direct message her on IG:  @latoyaswarmmode


“ATTENTION, ATTENTION!”
Events, announcements for the month of March

  • Mar. 4: Missions Workshop, 10 a.m. and Conference, 7 p.m., Prairie View, Texas
  • Mar. 11: First Lady Prince’s Birthday
  • Mar. 13: Friendship Church Anniversary, 3:30 p.m., Port Arthur, Texas
  • Mar. 27: “The Remedy” Talent Showcase, 5 p.m.
  • Mar. 29: Sister Watson’s Birthday

**This issue has been edited**

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