(May 20) Vol. 6, No. 14

Planting and Watering

I want to take you back to almost three years ago. I found myself constantly battling lust to the point where I found myself obsessing over my brothers in the faith. I knew looking at them that way was wrong, yet I found myself struggling to keep my head above water. So, I began praying for God to help me see men (whether they were in the faith or not) as my flesh and blood, “Lord, help me to see men as my brothers, as people and not objects…”

Flash forward to the present and God answered that prayer in a way I didn’t see coming.

For whatever reason, I thought the Lord would just go to work on my heart and then POOF—I would instantly start viewing men as family. Instead He actually sent me a brother, and not just any brother, but a little brother who I’ve gotten to know and pour into. I’ve seen some of my own internal struggles within him. Each time I thought dude was someone who was just passing by, Jesus would send me right back, “Go write to him,” “Give him copy of of your poem,” “Pray for him,” “Send him a letter poem,” “Go check on him, find out how he’s doing,” “Write to him again,” “Send him a scripture.”

And all the while I would laugh and think, “So You got jokes, Jesus?” because as I ministered and talked to him, I began learning new things about myself: weaknesses, strengths, areas needing improvement, trouble spots I kept pushing away; things I didn’t know I could do or were in me—everything. I can now say I’ve gone from being desperately ‘thirsty’ her guys having a guy I’m proud to call my little brother and who I love with all my heart.

That dude will always be my boy. You can count on it. Although he does have his moments…I mean he is my little brother after all…

(I want to take a moment to apologize to my older siblings. Man, I had no clue I could be so annoying—honest!)

Seriously though, I’m thankful for the whole experience. It wasn’t easy, the road started out kind of rough, but it has helped me to become a better sister in Christ to men, and my fellow sisters in Christ as well. When you begin to think about someone outside of yourself it changes you. Especially when it’s rooted in genuine sincerity and godliness. Still, imagine my surprise when the Lord instructed me to take a step back,

“Huh? What You talkin’ ’bout, Jesus?” I remember having tears in my eyes, “You had this boy become family to me…and now You want me to say goodbye? He’s too dear to me now to just let him go, God…”

That’s when Christ said, “I’m not asking you to say goodbye; I’m asking you to let him go so he can grow. You did your part, you planted a seed, and now it’s time for Me to finish what I’ve started in him.”

Let go so he can grow. Give him room. You did your job. I pondered on all these things.

With God’s permission, I have Sunday. Whether it’s one Sunday in the month or every Sunday, that is our day to catch up but that’s all. From this point forward I have to move on to the next assignment. Believe me ladies and gentlemen, when I become attached to a person it is very difficult for me to pull away…but then again, perhaps that’s the point God was making…

Perhaps that’s what He was trying to get me to see.

You don’t know what the purpose is behind certain folks showing up when they do, but there they are. God may have you assist someone through the season they’re in, vice versa, but once it’s over it is time to move on. If you keep a death grip on them you could end up stifling their growth. Sometimes Jesus will have you say your goodbyes and part ways or He may have you become lifelong friends. Whatever the outcome, a person can’t thrive if you are blocking out the light and rain they need.

Either you will plant or you will water, but not both (I Corinthians 3:6-7.)

So, did you do what God instructed you to do? Did you plant or water? Good. Now, focus on the next mission and allow God to give the increase.

Local news in the area


by Jacqueline S. Sadberry
Editor in Chief

It was reported toward the beginning of this year that Temple of Refuge COGIC Pastor Michael Prince was running to become the city of Prairie View’s next mayor. Prince hit the campaign hard, going from door to door in almost every part of the city, talking to the people and asking for support at the polls.

Unfortunately as of May 7, Prince lost the race by a margin of 29 votes.

Sunday morning, May 8 however Prince led praise and worship with a smile and full of joy.

He confessed to his congregation that he was upset at first when he found out he didn’t win, “I was down for about an hour,” he said, but afterward he got back up and continued doing what he knew needed to be done in the Lord, “I didn’t lose; I still won,” said Prince, reflecting on all the lives he has touched through his ministry and the tireless work he’s done in the community.

Since the results came out, people have approached Prince saying they were sure he was going to win. The pastor reflected about how many said they thought he “had it” as an explanation for why they didn’t vote. Some have even suggested he should ask for a recount, but Pastor has waved this off, saying that we should all support the new leadership and rally together for the good of the city.

All in all, the city of Prairie View has over 5,000 residents but just over 300 voted—less than ten percent.

He has no plans to run again, “I did what I was supposed to do,” said Prince, adding that God placed the people in position and the people have spoken. “The Lord told me to put my name in the hat or the blood would be on my hands,” he reiterated, stating that he was obedient and he had no regrets, “I ran a clean campaign…”

So what’s new for TOR’s pastor? He plans to continue working in the community as he has been doing and laboring in the ministry. Prince recently stepped down as the missions president for the Original Beaumont district, reporting that his doctor told him he needed to slow down and take care of himself. He was able to get some rest and spend the day at home enjoying his family, “It’s been the first time in five years…”

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 15, 2016, “There Are No Shortcuts in God’s Work (Proverbs 14:12)”

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12 KJV)

In regards to life, we have to have the marksmen approach. Most days we will be faced with some pretty difficult situations, and our natural inclination is to look for the easiest and quickest way to get through it, but without a strategy in place we’re only setting ourselves up for failure.

Prov. 14:12 describes the shotgun method—you shoot and hope to hit your target, but the way of a marksmen requires patience, practice, long-suffering and endurance. There will be some who will come in and try to discourage you from waiting even though God told you to hold on or those who will question why you’re moving forward with something despite the Lord instructing you to go, “When God has released you, it doesn’t matter what other folks are saying…when He says do it, do it.”

A primary example of becoming a marksman would be the three Hebrew boys. They refused to conform to what everyone else was doing; instead they chose to stand for what was right even when people set up a trap for them, “The three Hebrew boys didn’t talk about what they were going to do; they just did it…” To go forward in Christ means we will have to go through some things, “…there are no shortcuts in the Lord… People have a tendency to study you to try and get to you, but long as God is covering you they can’t touch you.”

Understand that you are either serving God or Satan; there’s no in between or middle ground. You can be cold or hot, but not lukewarm because to be cold is to not know any better. Being lukewarm on the other hand means you know what’s right but you still choose to do wrong anyway. Some might make the argument that it’s their life to live, but do not forget to recall that all souls belong to God and therefore your life is not your own. A person puts their soul in jeopardy every time they willingly walk in sin.

We look at the three Hebrew boys, and we think of their choice not to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar as an obvious one, but perhaps our moment of truth was something more subtle. Perhaps you gave into a friend or family member, or fell succumb to peer pressure and compromised your belief, “Are you committed to serving God despite the circumstances?”

Our labor is not in vain, “When you know you’re laboring for God, you don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.” It’s not our job to try and keep up with anybody; Jesus doesn’t even want us to occupy our minds with that, “Let the Joneses be the Joneses… You have an assignment just as these Hebrew boys did—can you remain steadfast?”

(You can hear the sermon in its entirety on our church’s website: KTOR Radio)

No Bible study was held for this week.

Poems, shorts and other creative pieces

Photograph, “P E A C E”
by Iyke Ibeh

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.48.07 AM

Curiosity was what drew me to this artist’s work. A photographer in Abuja, Nigeria, Iyke Ibeh (pronounced “Ike” “Ee-bay”) has an assortment of work on Instagram. He is currently self-employed and has a nice following of close to 3500. He has a site for his work, as well as a Facebook page for his company Urban Drafts Media Services. You can follow Iyke (@iykeibeh) and see more of his work here: I Y K E I B E H

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**


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