Posts Tagged ‘Articles’

“Everybody wants to be elite until it’s time to have to be elite.”

P.J. Fleck 

Head Coach University of Minnesota)

As I watched the show “Being P.J Fleck” …the cameras follow the dynamic coach as he mentors the young people assigned to his program he made the statement that is quoted above.

God (as He often does) impressed upon my heart that this statement is true among those who claim Him by Name some want to be “elite” (closer to Him) but are unwilling to put the work in when it’s time to do so.

Many in our faith look at others in the faith with secret or overt envy because it seems that they are “elite” as a “Christian” and “want what they got”.

Now know that this is a worldly way of thinking that is wrong because God loves each of His children and “all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God” but there are things that Christians can do to draw themselves into a closer relationship with Jesus which to anyone watching them would make them seem “elite” in their envious eyes.

First of all would be to pray and lay everything in your life at Jesus’ feet or as My Pastor Rusty Nelson said a week or so ago in a teaching to nail it to the cross because “the devil has access to anything that you haven’t nailed to the cross”.

Next, develop a habit of spending quality, quiet time with God praying to Him, thanking Him, worshipping Him, and just as you do in developing any relationship spend time getting to know Him by reading His love letter and instruction manual for this thing we call life the Bible as it’s teachings when truly applied to a “life” is proven to change said life.

None of this will make you anymore “saved” but what it will do is usher in more and more peace into your life and it is that peace that makes one Christian look more “elite” than another.

Lastly, don’t be discouraged if you are not at some level like another person of faith either because your assignment may be different than theirs and it’s not wise to continue to always be watching others (it’s okay to get your bearing upon salvation and at times as you “grow”) since you cannot fully focus on YOUR walk with Christ if you have your eyes sternly focused on others walk with Him.

Be “elite” today!! Focus on the things that matter and those are the things that concern our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

He loves you and if I can let me let you in on a lil secret….You are already elite of Jesus is your Lord!!!!

It’s your mindset that must change if you feel less than elite because you can never know who you are in Christ Jesus if you don’t spend the time to get to know Him by doing the things that it takes to develop that closer relationship with Him.

He loves you and so do I!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

If the first words out of our (the Christian’s) mouth when an incident like the one in Charlotte or any other hate-filled event happens is NOT prayer then we are part of the problem and not a part of the eternal solution.

Everyone has words to say when an event happens but are those words fruitful?  

Do they hinder or help? And most importantly are they words that have been crafted and let out of your mouth guided by God’s Holy Spirit?

Let me give you a hint…if your words return hate for hate, if they tear down and don’t build up, or if they are words that stoke fear or anxiety instead of hope it’s a good bet that they are not words that are led by His Spirit EVEN if they are spoken from a pulpit or by a religious leader.

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

#don’thatethemessenger

#prayandwaitforGodbeforeyouspeak

#ourwordsmatter

“When Ye Fast…”

Posted: August 12, 2017 in Articles, Religion
Tags: , , , ,

I normally don’t talk about it too much when I’m fasting unless it’s with other believers that I’m in a corporate fast with or with my family.

Even then in my personal fasts I sometimes don’t even share that I’m fasting with anyone to include my family yet over time and since I’ve done it so much they quickly figure it out if I’m not participating in food, abstaining from television, social media, etc. that I’m probably on some sort of fast.

Just recently our Pastor (Rusty Nelson) called for a corporate fast for our entire church and it has been particularly hard for me because I had recently been on a couple of personal fasts so that I could hear clearer from the Lord and I already felt weak going into the fast so I really didn’t want to but in obedience I must so I am.

I bring this up only because this time has been different and I’ve actually shared the fact that I’m fasting to a group of people (being vague as not to identify them) since they are always bringing me food so that they would not waste it.

I couldn’t quite figure out why I felt compelled to talk about fasting this time after not talking about it much over many years but today God impressed upon my heart why He wanted me to share what? why, and how I (we) fast.

This particular group that I’m speaking of is mostly a group of people who routinely go to church and profess some belief in Jesus and once I asked them not to bring me food because I didn’t want to waste it they understood.

However an incredible thing has happened as these people most of whom have never tried the discipline of fasting have engaged me time after time with questions about the various ways to fast be it corporate, Daniel, fasting of various medias (social, Tv etc), and personal to name a few.

Of course some (most) were intrigued, some were put off, and a few had no comment on the subject but the beautiful thing is that because God chose this time to have me be open about the discipline of fasting and put me in a situation where I needed to let people know what I was doing His Name has been on our lips all week.

Also, I have constantly been pulled aside with questions which evolve into other questions of faith and I have even gotten to pray for healing for someone (even a few people whose face looks like someone just broke wind in front of them when I talk about God have had questions and thus have heard about Jesus).

Now please understand that the Bible is clear that we are not supposed to bring light to our fasts if possible: Matthew 6: 16-18: 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Know that this verse is always on my mind when I fast but God impressed upon my heart to “not be religious” and in this case that it was fine because of the fruit of increased faith and/or belief in Him that would result because of the conversations…and He is of course correct.
Just felt like I needed to share this one with you all today ESPECIALLY my brothers and sisters who are fasting with me.

Lastly, please ensure that we follow the referenced scripture in the paragraphs above as far as fasting goes unless God as I feel this time has given you the green light to speak out on it.

Also, if you are a believer who has not tried the discipline of fasting I encourage you to pray about it and try it.
Start off small if you have to with something like social media, Tv, maybe sugary foods, coffee (trust me..if you are a big coffee drinker this one is tough 😂), and/or you can find many credible, Bible based resources to guide you as you learn the fasting WITH prayer discipline that Jesus modeled for us to emulate.
Be blessed and have a Jesus filled day!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

Mark 2:13-17: (NIV)Jesus Calls Levi and Eats With Sinners

13 Once again Jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him, and he began to teach them. 14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

I’m always amazed at how Christians shun those who do not share their faith when the very charter of said faith IS that we must emulate or “do what Jesus did” (if you will) and engage them so that through us (willing vessels) the pure, beautiful, life changing light of Jesus can penetrate their dark world and draw them to Him.

We are suppose to emulate our Lord as best we can at the level of grace that we are at yet far too often God has shown me that Christians (myself included) shun the very people that they have been mandated to help.

As we can see from the scriptures above that Jesus did not shun anyone and regularly hung out with “sinners” and people who were “disreputable” according to the religious people of His day.

Fast forward to current day and all throughout the history of our faith we see the same pattern of “religiousness” played out today as God’s people routinely showers the world with vitriolic rhetoric and quite often hateful comments instead of showering the world with the same love that Jesus showed us when we were still steeped in our sin (some of us are still there…we just look good and Christian in our church clothes).

It seems that in our “holiness” we in the faith sometimes get off track and get so offended at how the world acts that we forget that it is THEY who WE are here FOR, that WE are no better than THEM for “all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (except for our relationship with God through Christ Jesus), and that God still loves each and every one of THEM and desires that “NONE should perish”.

Getting back to the scriptures above we see that Jesus ate with sinners so we can surmise that at these meals He laughed with them, He conversed with them, and since we know that many among them had issues He also cried and grieved with them yet WE walk around in a religious fog behaving as if we shouldn’t do the same.

As I close I’ll leave you with what God impressed upon me to write this today with and that is “son…meet them where they are at as I did with you”.

God didn’t wait until I acted “perfectly” (trust me..still don’t) or until I behaved like the Christian that others think I should be in THEIR eyes.

He first lured me in through people (watch this) who were simply kind to me who never preached one word of the gospel to me yet their kindness and the lives that they lived intrigued me to ask them questions about why they were so kind to me…THEN they were able to speak on Jesus!

Through a twenty year process they ate with me, cried with me when tragedy befell me, prayed with and/or for me EVEN when I shunned them (sometimes cussed them for it) or told them not to, and it was through this long process of interaction that the many showed me enough of Christ Jesus that I eventually decided to see if He was indeed real for myself and as you can now see…I KNOW THAT HE IS!!!

Sadly, the Christians that most hindered me from seeking after Jesus were the fake, phony, Holy in front of everyone but a devil in the dark (I saw them though because I was there too), looking down at a sinner, and if don’t join my church now Christians who I viewed as not much different than the “hoods”, thugs, and criminals that I knew from “da hood”.

Which “Christian” will you be today?

Shed off all of the religion and show the world Jesus by meeting them where they are at.
This doesn’t mean that you have to become like them and do what they do.  NO…if they hang around a Holy man, woman, or child of God long enough God will use YOU to change THEIR atmosphere and YOU will infect them with Jesus instead of them being able to corrupt you.

Lastly, ensure that you do what Jesus did by staying “prayed up”  before encountering the darkness of the world and ensure that each sojourn that you make is led by His Holy Spirit.

May the peace of Jesus be with you today in all that you do.
Ron “Big Black” Garrett

https://www.facebook.com/Illumeably/videos/255895358148905/
This awesome lecture (linked by Mrs. Angela Lee Duckworth) is nothing more than a worldly version of many of the of the New Testament and specific the author of many of its writings the Apostle Paul on how to “succeed”.

God impressed in my heart as I watched it that if we lived life with “grit” commitment to Him, His Word, His teachings, and led by His Holy Spirit then we would garner the means of “success”. Not as the world views it but if an eternal one.

I am not the smartest, I’m not the best looking, I’m not the wealthiest…I am not a lot of things but what I am most importantly is a child of God who does his best to keep his commitments and who does not quit AND who raised his kids to hold their commitments once they made them (my daughter will attest to that).  

If you signed up for something you followed through and you definitely weren’t allowed to quit ESPECIALLY if I put $ in it, 😂.

This taught my children to first be wise in choosing their commitments and if they did commit that they would have to follow through even to the point of loss and this was BEFORE we became Christians…even more so now.
Ron “Big Black” Garrett

‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:29-32‬ (NIV):  “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

This passage of scripture sounds like a lot of the church and many “Christians” today…especially the “approve of them” or the approval (saying that these things (these actions or “sins” are not going against God or even worse that He approves or is okay with sin.

Nor does this mean that we as Christians use the words of these scriptures to go out and beat people with them either. Jesus didn’t do that to “you” did he?  

I know He didn’t do that to me. He placed the choice in front of me…Him or the world…let me choose….once I chose told me to obey YET loved me either way but since I chose Him I gained His eternal life and became His eternal son.

Showing love towards people doesn’t NOT make one guilty of or says that we approve of sin either as so many in the church seem to think. We (the church) shun sinners and hold them to a standard that they don’t yet know how to attain with our “stinking in God’s nostrils” religion thinking that we are doing God some kind of favor when Jesus Himself hung with the “riff raft” not becoming one of them but changing them as they communed with, ate with, talked with, and listened to His message that was full of love, mercy, and grace (we don’t show a lot of grace these days especially towards the people of the world that don’t know any better).

If the people who run around “preaching” all of the time ACTUALLY, TRULY, and HONESTLY lived a Christ-like life out before the world (including their homes) it would do more to entice people who are not in the faith to want to be IN the faith.

YES, we never “water down” the gospel or walk in agreement with sin but what did Christ do when He met people? He often simply talked with them, found out about their lives, healed them of their ailment and THEN told them “go and sin no more” AND He did so in complete love, grace, and mercy.

It seems to me that He saved His most vitriolic comments for those who KNEW God’s Word church folk) who put the burden of the law around people’s necks without keeping it themselves, and the religious hypocrites of the day calling them “hypocrites” or “brood of vipers” revealing their true nature…I DO NOT WANT TO BE ONE OF THEM (hypocrites) and work daily to lay my life out before Jesus that I am not.

So let’s declare that today we will find at least one person to show the love of Jesus to without condemning them to hell before they even know that jell is real or showing them the Jesus that can keep them from going there.

Let’s walk our lives out before the world like the champions for Christ that we are filled with love as we exude pure, unfiltered grace, and mercy towards others as Christ has done for us.

Call, visit or show that person that you have a “beef” with that you forgive them even if they don’t forgive you so that they can witness for themselves that there is a God in Heaven that “forgives” and that you are choosing to forgive because He first forgave you.

Read the scriptures and proof me wrong in this…better yet proof the Holy Spirit that gave me this insight and put this word into my heart this morning as I communed with God.

Lastly, ensure that you know that I fully understand that someone that you approach may reject you…it’s cool and you are being no less than what Jesus said you would be at times…”rejected”. So show Jesus (to them) and move onto the next soul that He puts in front of you or minister Jesus into the next and every situation that comes before you today as you will undoubtedly be the only glimpse of Jesus that some will see today in this evil and dark world.

He loves you and so do I dear brother and sister!  

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

During my Bible study time today God showed me that just as it was with Israel as they went up to fight against the tribe of Benjamin for evil that the men of Gilead who were "Benjamites" committed we do not always succeed immediately at a task immediately EVEN when the Lord is with us (read the account in the scriptures found in Judges 20:1-21:25).

The Israelites lost two battles to Benjamin even after the Lord told them that they would succeed. However, the Israelites kept inquiring of the Lord and God gave them the victory when HE determined it to be.

As I read this the Lord put in my spirit to write to someone today that though you have been fighting a mighty battle believing God for a promised victory know that He has has already handed you the victory yet you MUST continue to trust in Him for it.

God promises us victory but what is important to note is that the victory may not always be attained in the manner that we wish it to be attained.

So stay strong today, gear up for your battle, fight with your Godly weapons as hard as you can, get your family of brothers and sisters to fight with you, be encouraged that God has given your enemy into your hands to be "utterly destroyed", and rejoice for your victory is surely near.

He loves you! He interrupted my daily routine with this "special broadcast" JUST FOR YOU!!!

He knows that you have fears and doubts but know that He already knows that you hides them in your heart scared to be judged by others for them, He is not offended by them but He does want you to stop being so religious that you fail to place them at His feet acknowledging that you are too weak to rid yourself of them and that you need HIS power to deal with them.

So lay the doubts and fears at His feet EVERY time they enter your mind and allow Jesus to do what Jesus does every day….fights for you and loves you with His perfect love!!

Be blessed and I pray for you to have strength in the Lord Jesus surrounded by His perfect peace in battle be they physical, spiritual, or both today!

Ron "Big Black" Garrett