A WORD FROM THE EDITOR
This week I found myself at a crisis point. I was ready to give up on writing altogether—I didn’t want to write anything; I wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of it.
Understand that for me, writing has been a passion of mine since the day I learned how to write. I’ve been writing stories since the first grade, so to tell me to stop would be like telling me to stop breathing…and yet here I was, ready to pull the plug on the very thing I had loved doing for so long. I was frustrated for awhile, because I know I have a gift. If there’s nothing else I know I’m exceptional at, it’s writing and yet it seems like it isn’t going anywhere. I stared at my poetry, the book I’ve been working on for two years now, this newsletter, and I begin to ask,
“Why am I doing this? I’m sharing as much as I can on my blog, I do reading when I host Youth Sunday nights at church, but…I feel like I’m wasting my time. I’m not making any money and I doubt anybody’s reading any of it. What am I really supposed to be doing with my life?
“I don’t want to write anymore God…”
The Lord had me start texting people I’ve written to or who’ve heard my poetry and asked them to give me reminders or say something positive. Texting them like that for me was like sending out the bat signal—I felt desperate to cling on to some kind of hope that what I was doing wasn’t all in vain.
What I was looking for was what I had always been searching for with my gifts: flattery, “You’re gifted,” “You’re inspiring,” “Your gift is amazing,” “You’re talented!”
What I got instead was a reminder that it’s bigger than me. I got text messages bringing my attention back to Christ because that’s where my focus should be. My friends helped me to recall that Jesus suffered because He knew there was a purpose to His suffering. I was also reminded that He gave me my gift for a reason; to decide I wasn’t going to do it anymore was like throwing it back in His face.
This is not about how much money I can make or how many fans I can get; it’s about allowing God to use me through my gift to reach back to those behind me while edifying Him in the process. I made it about myself when this is supposed to be about God. I realize now that I must get back to that place I was in when I first gave my gift back to Jesus; I desired only to please HIM—not people, not me—Him.
Caleb had to wait 40 years on his promise, but he still received it. I’ve been waiting for a promise the Lord spoke to me back when I was 24. It’s been three years, so why should I get impatient now?
I am writing this to say that sometimes we forget who we’re supposed to be doing this for and why we’re doing it. If you find yourself on the verge of giving up, before you throw in the towel, I would suggest that you ask God to give you a reminder.
He’ll tell you all the things you need to hear, even if it’s not precisely what you were looking for.
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
Sunday sermons, Wednesday messages
Sunday, April 3, 2016, “Freedom Bound (John 8:31-32)”
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32 KJV)
The truth can give us quite a shock to our system; sometimes we are reluctant to receive it. This is what happened with the Pharisees and Sadducees when Jesus began to reveal the truth to them in His Word. The truth needs to be heard in order to break down falsehoods we’ve accepted and lay down a good, solid foundation. One thing is for certain: whether we choose to accept it or not, it doesn’t make the truth any less than what it is, “The truth is always going to be the truth no matter what language it’s in.”
Jesus’s living water is in each of those who declares salvation in the Lord and we have been called to stand on His Word, “When you are in this world but not of it you stand on the Word” because unfortunately not everyone is going to receive it, but we must continue to live it out whether people choose to accept it or not. “right is right and wrong is wrong regardless of who it is.” We cannot show favoritism or bias toward other people, “If we are going to be children of God, then let’s be children of God…” Those who follow Christ are leaders, and leaders train up leaders. Be sure you are leading people back to God.
When you allow God to resonate in you, you don’t have to boast about who you are, “A true king doesn’t have to flex because they respect his boundaries…you don’t have to tell people that you belong, just let it show…” Don’t let the fact that you didn’t come from the best household or that you don’t have the latest and greatest cause you to stop moving, “You’re not free because you didn’t determine in your mind that you wanted to be free.”
Being freedom bound means we aren’t worried over people’s opinions of us. We weren’t concerned about what they thought when we were out in the world, then what are we fretting about now? “I don’t have to be something I’m not to win people over… If they’re not going to be with you, they’re not going to be with you.” Stop trying to win over folks with compromise. Either they will serve the Lord with you or they won’t, but you don’t drop your standards to appease others.
(You can listen to the message in its entirety on the church website: KTOR Radio)
Wednesday, April 6, 2016, “A Reversal of Shame (Lk. 7:36-50)”
One thing we must remember as we go higher in the Lord is that none of us are worthy. Despite whatever positions or titles we hold in the church, however much work we do in the community or mission trips we take, no is worthy, but God loves us anyway. God’s people understand this, but church folks have a tendency to get selective memory, “Sometimes people can’t let go of your past… You’ve move on, walking in grace and mercy,” but they will still find a way to bring up what you used to do.
No matter what someone has done in their past, they are still a human being. The woman in this passage knew she was unworthy, but she still felt compelled to do something for the Savior. She didn’t have any money but that she had, she gave. Often we take our little bit for granted, “God wants us to offer what we have… Just because you feel you don’t measure up to someone else doesn’t mean you don’t participate.” Pour out to God anyway; stop comparing yourself to someone else, “…You can’t be somebody else…you have to tap into your own alabaster box.”
There is always room for improvement; it is because of this that none of us are above anyone. We have to free ourselves from the critics, including ourselves, by freeing our minds, “The woman freed her mind and did something for the Lord.” Some of us may look at those coming into the church like Simon did, and a few of us may even believe it doesn’t take a whole lot of shouting and dancing, but “some of us have sinned so hard that we have no choice but to love the Lord because we know where we should be.” You never know what a person has gone through, and it may not take that much for you, but for someone else it just might.
“When you know you’re unworthy, you use every given opportunity to render back unto Him.”
THE ART GALLERY
Poems, shorts and other creative pieces
by Jacqueline S. Sadberry
I feel as though I have
A meaningless gift
I can do
Except make people smile
And receive the occasional
I’m starting to believe
What those naysayers said
Is a waste of time
And I should find
Something else to do
To throw it away
Is what I’m tempted to do
Send me a reminder
I keep getting suggestions
All these great ideas
But no idea as to how to
Put them into action
I feel stuck
I feel worthless
I stare up at ceilings
And spend countless minutes
That become hours
What am I doing with my life?
Why do I even bother?
If You could
Please, say something
To me, Your daughter
And bring to my attention
Why I even do what I do
I begin to question
Why do I even do this?
It’s not like they’re reading it
They won’t buy my book
I’ve already tried that
They won’t even share
My Facebook page
Comes out to my events
It’s bigger than me
It’s just that sometimes
I get the sense that this
Is too big for me
So I rather hand it all over
To someone else
And spend the rest of my days
Dreaming about something
I am beginning to believe
Will never happen
Because at least when I dream
It’s a reality
Even if it’s only made up
I am asking You,
Begging You to
Why is it
That I do what I do
Why did You give me this gift?
Why did I fall in love with it?
Why do I love it so much?
What is the point in all this?
God, what is the point?
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing,
remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, but thine
A friend reminded me today
That there is purpose in your pain
That’s why Jesus stayed on that cross
So though it seems hopeless right now
And the dream appears to be
Miles and miles away
I will hold on to the vision
And will continue to say
Not my will, Father
But Your will
Events, announcements for the month of April
- April 2: Mission Workshop, Temple, Texas
- April 7: Brother Philip Prince’s Birthday
- April 12-14: PVACF “Deadly Love” Series, PVAMU MSC Student Lounge, 7 p.m.
- April 24: “The Remedy” Talent Showcase, 5 p.m.
- April 28: Sister Erma Sadberry’s Birthday
**This issue has been edited**