A WORD FROM THE EDITOR
Imagine a large vase filled with water. At the bottom of the vase are dirt, sand, and tiny bits of rock that have all settled. Then something comes along and stirs it all up, the water becomes dirty and murky before it all settles to the bottom again. This is the imagery God put in my mind the other week.
“And this,” He told me, “Is what happens when you settle.”
The same concept applies for settling when it comes to dating or picking a mater, but that’s not the kind of settling we’ll be focusing on.
Instead, we’re going to be looking at relationships where we’ve ‘settled’ things between a friend, family member, acquaintance, etc. and say we’ve buried the hatchet when in actuality we never did. We allowed things to cool over, sometimes even convincing ourselves we forgave and forgot, but we never addressed the issue that led to the discord in the first place. As a result it all falls to the bottom, but the moment another argument or disagreement pops up, all that stuff we claimed to have forgotten about and forgave that person for has resurfaced.
Once again, we’re at odds until we and the other person decide to pretend we’ve moved past it…
Jesus presented all of this to me as I was sitting around the house one day, and all of these angry thoughts began stirring up inside of me, things that had happened between me and people I knew. The more it whirled around, the more I began to feel myself seething. The whole time the enemy whispered, “Remember when they said this to you? And remember when this happened? Oh, and don’t forget about that one—that one really got under your skin, didn’t it?”
Suddenly I found myself having imaginary arguments of my own, dwelling on the past and rearing off on each of those people as though they were right there in the room with me. I began spewing out all kind of hate and curses, things I felt I should’ve said at the time but didn’t. Finally, as I started to fly off the handle with all sorts of profanity (yes, I was that hot people) Christ intervened. First He told me to calm down, then He told me that all those things were irrelevant. They happened years ago; there’s a reason He didn’t allow me to say that stuff then. It’s because it would not have changed the situation for the better or been constructive in any way.
I also had to see that just as I represented Him then as His servant, I’m still His servant now. How would that look for me to claim Him as my Lord and Savior but proceed to handle disputes in such a manner?
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27 KJV)
As I gathered myself, I saw the Lord was right (and of course He is; God is always right,) but I wondered why was it that these things kept popping back up. That was so LONG ago, Lord! So why do I keep thinking about it? Why do I still get so angry?”
Remember that image I described about the large vase and the water?
“I thought I settled this stuff!”
God immediately responded, “That’s your problem. You settled when you should’ve cleaned it up. When you settle it, the problem doesn’t go away. All you did was take a step back from that person until things returned back to normal, but you didn’t allow Me to clean it from the inside-out. You didn’t let Me handle it, and as a result, all the stuff you thought you were over comes right back.”
Jesus went on to say how when I allow Him to clean it, He has to first empty the vase, remove all the dirt and gunk at the bottom, then He refills it. When this happens whatever issues there were are gone and the relationship is restored, “Who wants to drink from a dirty vase? On the surface the water looks clean, but if you know that there was mud resting at the bottom, would you still drink from it?” Of course I wouldn’t Lord, I thought,
“Then let Me clean it.”
As people we hold on to garbage that we have no business holding on to: a feud/rivalry, grades, bitterness, rage—and we hold on to it for too long, way too long.
Time to let go.
You can’t move forward until you begin to acknowledge the hurt in your life, then you have to tackle your pride.
So for me, it’s not just about owning up to being upset about the things people said or did that got me, but also admitting how weak it made me feel because deep down that is my real issue. The feeling that they won and I lost, the sense of defeat because I failed to defend myself the way I wanted to. It is at a time like this where I must remind myself I already have someone defending me and His name is Jesus. The One who had every right to say whatever He wanted and speak His mind. Christ had every reason to let people know what He thought of them and let them know who they were messing with when they put Him on trial.
Yet He chose not to.
Now that same One is going before me every day, helping me to recall I didn’t lose. I won because the old me would have went off on those people. The new me, the one who’s one of His own, chose to hold her peace and show mercy in the midst of her anger. That takes real strength.
And now, I need to let Him do what must be done: clean out all the junk. A person who’s an empty well can’t pour into anyone, however, no one can drink from a dirty vase either.
All you’ll do is contaminate the people you call yourself pouring into.
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, May 8, 2016, “The Essence of a Man (Psalm 37:23)”
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and delighteth in his way.” (Ps. 37:23 KJV)
Women have more power and more clout than they realize. When God created man, the woman was taken from man’s rib, but from then on all men came from the woman.
The man was designed to be the head, and so if a man’s steps are ordered in the Lord and he’s following God, then when he lines up so will his helpmate. How he handles adversity determines what kind of man he is, “It’s easy to hit somebody in the mouth…just because he has the ability to beat someone down doesn’t make him a man,” but rather it’s when that man knows he can and chooses not to.
Women must understand that a man who will not listen to God will not listen to her, either. Men and women must obey God, “No matter how odd it sounds, do what God asks of you. He will never ask you to do something you can’t do… There are no winners or losers;” only obedient and disobedient.
As believers, we cannot get upset just because we didn’t get what we want or go about moping over what we feel is a failure, “When you do what you’re supposed to do, you have to accept what God allows.” You can’t deal with the things the way the world does, “God is still moving. Whichever way the Lord is leading you, go.”
We have to learn to give God thanks in everything, “You handle life by getting up again… If you’re for the Lord, you have to be for Him in season, out of season,” in victory and defeat. Your circumstances shouldn’t affect your praise. God is worthy of honor and glory that is due unto Him.
(You can listen to the sermon in its entirety on our site: KTOR Radio)
Wednesday, May 11, 2016, “Humble Faith (Luke 18:9-14)”
Jesus tells a parable of the publican and the Pharisee. The Pharisee boast in himself and goes on and about what all he does, and how much he gives, while the publican simply asks for forgiveness, “When you walk upright and humbly, you can’t worry about naysayers… Whatever you do, however you do it, it should be done to the glory of God.” We do nothing to exalt ourselves; we render back glory unto God and in turn He exalts us.
Even when there’s evil and wrongdoing going on all around us, God is still God, “Sometimes God will put you in a position to see if you will trust Him more than you desire things.” Regardless of what’s happening around you, listen to Jesus when He speaks.
By lining up in Christ, we can’t do anything but succeed, “When you position yourself God, you can’t help but stay on point.” We may find ourselves in situations where it seems like there are walls all around us, but if we can give the Lord praise in that season those walls have to come down. The children of Israel probably thought it strange when God kept having walk around walls of Jericho, but they did, “A humble servant doesn’t mind being called crazy.” There probably people who looked at them strangely for doing what they did, but they prevailed and God got the glory.
A servant of the Lord cannot be bothered by how people will look at them or what they will say about them. You must simply focus on the task and that means learning to hear, but not hear and see, but not see, “When you know God has put a divine purpose on you, humble is the way.” Remain humble, remain grateful and move.
THE ART GALLERY
Poems, shorts and other creative pieces
“A Poem for Mothers”
by Joseph ‘Joe’ Solomon
Joseph Solomon (a poet, singer and minister) is possibly best known for his Chase God webisodes on YouTube (ChaseGodTV.) He eventually went on to perform at RHETORIC, an annual event held in California where some of the best men and women of God perform for thousands of people. The following link below is a poem Joseph did for Mothers Day titled A Poem for Mothers.
Watch it here: Mothers Day Poem
Events, announcements for the month of May
- May 5: National Day of Prayer
- May 7: Last day of elections, Prairie View City Hall
- May 8: Mother’s Day
- May 19: Pastor Prince’s Birthday
- May 22: Sister Doria’s Birthday; “The Remedy” Talent Showcase, 5 p.m.
**This issue has been edited**