Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

“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

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

Amos‬ ‭5:21-26‬ ‭(NIV‬‬) ” I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! “Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel? You have lifted up the shrine of your king, the pedestal of your idols, the star of your god — which you made for yourselves.”
(Please note that the questions that are posed by me in this piece are questions that God asked me to pose as I wrote it.)
As I conducted my daily quiet time with God and read His Word this morning He showed me again what He has been placing on my heart when He has me speak to His people (and myself) on hypocrisy, righteousness, duplicity, honesty, and walking in agreement with the world on issues instead of walking in the standard of HIS Truth (see the scriptures below from Amos).

So many people go to church, give their tithes/offerings, lift their hands up, jump, shout, scream, cry, have religious meetings, etc., not realizing that while those things are things that are “good” without God they mean nothing.

How do we leave God out of these things? We have left God out of it because we leave God and His truth out of our daily lives BEFORE we go and do these things.
He has shown me how we leave Him out of and walk in disobedience in many areas but the two that He constantly uses as glaring examples are politics and issues dealing with “race”.

In politics we have His people aligning with their preferred party so they castigate the other party of their wrongs yet when their party does the exact same thing they are either silent or make excuses for their aligned party.

In “race” issues His people who SHOULD ONLY be aligned with HIS race will castigate even the innocent of another race that is doing or has done evil things yet when the people who they identify with as “their kind” (this is nonsense if you claim Christ whether you like it or not) perpetrate the same kind of evil towards others they either make excuses or remain silent.  

This behavior is unGodly NOT because I say so but because HE says so both in His Word (look it up..start with Gal 3:28) and via revelation to me some 12 years ago when He told me that I could NOT serve Him with my “black first” or “black pride” attitude the way that He designed me to. I either had to serve it or Him…as you can see I chose and will always choose Him even at the expense the black community’s shunning of His Word from me that I mostly serve and love (love everyone but He has mandated this as my main mission field).

No matter the issue be it politics, race, religion etc., the standard should ALWAYS be Jesus!  

Our love, our ways, our way of doing things will fail since we’re not perfect but HIS love, His ways, and His way of doing things never will because He is so let’s today declare that we will stop aligning with things that have no chance to “save” and align with the truth of Jesus.

If this is you today (speaking to someone in particular that is reading this right now…he knows who he is) wipe that scorn off of your face towards me right now because you disagree with this word EVERYTIME He has me write it (YES…He sees your face, hears your prideful words that you speak against His servant simply for doing his job.  Know that the servant doesn’t give a rip though only in the context of where you are being disobedient to the Lord…I fear for you there).

God has a couple of questions for you with your “prideful” self.  

Are you really wanting to be on the side of your racial pride instead of on His side? Why do you even go to church if you are not willing to serve and listen to Him as Lord?  

You believe in Him and that’s “good” but don’t you want to receive all that He has waiting for you? You pray everyday but you have made your “race” your God since you sometimes overlook the Truth to walk in agreement with your race even when they walk against God’s teachings…do you really think that God doesn’t see your duplicity and cowardice to follow Him instead of worrying about what your “race” will think?

As I close, Joshua’s said it best Joshua 24:15 (KJV): 15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Lastly, there are many of you (along with the other that God had me speak to earlier) who continue to castigate me for simply speaking the word that God gives me on these things.

I beseech you to go to His Word to witness if what He has told me is true or not. 

 What is sad is that most of you already know but just like the Israelites in the desert you have become so “stiff-necked” that you continue to defy God in this area and it will eventually cost you.

And with that…I’m out!  

Have a blessed day!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

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Whenever something “racial” happens and you side with your “race” instead of inquiring of the Lord Who Is Truth and Who you claim is your God you sir, ma’am, child have yourself an idol that you revere MORE than the One that you claim to love above all else (His command, eh?) and you MUST ditch that idol.

This does NOT mean that we stand up or against in justices but far too often lately the Lord has shown me time and again that people of an affected race who claim Christ as Lord side with their “skin” no matter what even when their “skin” perpetrate wrongs when seeking justice lumping the innocent of another “race” alongside the evil in the offending race.

This is unGodly behavior and the Lord is sick of it and is warning whoever reads this or hears it via the passing of it to someone that there will be a great judgement for perpetuating this sin…IN HIS NAME SOMETIMES NO LESS!!

REPENT of this evil for the time of the Lord is near and His desire is that you throw this shackle off of your life and trade it for His burden for it is much “lighter” and chocked full of promise.

Oh yeah, there is one that is reading this right now whose words are “this n—- done lost His mind!” Know that the Lord SPECIFICALLY is pointing this message to you today for you have mocked His servant (your boy) for preaching this as HE has given to His servant to save souls in the past.   

Know that indeed that my “mind” is completely healed and it is yours that is sick and polluted by your “racial” thinking and black-first (insert YOUR race here for everyone else) mentality instead of a Christ first mentality and no matter how many times you go to church, how many songs to Jesus you sing, no matter how much “good” you do, no matter how many times you raise your hands or pay your tithe, etc., it is for naught in God’s eyes because you have an idol of your race that is your God…you know it is true YET you continue to disobey God because you fear being judged by your race.

Who do you serve? Who is truly your God?  

Search the scriptures to see if what God has had me say is true. You yourself has said (God just gave me this by the way) “yeah, I know what he (Ron) is saying is true BUT.”

There IS NO “BUT”…you are either obedient or not and your either serve God or your “skin god”….”as for me and my house….

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

Acts 4:13: Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:11: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

As I finished reading today’s “Coffee Break” devotional by my dear sister @Lorraine Ezell (Link: http://coffeebreakdevotional.blogspot.com/) the Holy Spirit guided me back to the scripture from Acts and impressed upon me “the story of your NOW life, huh?”.

Since I am a person who loves a life that is filled with humor I knew that God was sort of poking his beautiful finger in my side saying “that’s you!!!” so of course I LOL’ed because it’s “soooo” true.

Most people don’t know that I struggled in school due to all of the distractions in my environment (no father, domestic abuse, surrounded by violence, generational curses, etc.) and I was routinely called a “dummy” and someone who would “never amount to nothing” by many of those as I grew up that should have been encouraging me and helping me instead of beating me down (this practice is continued today no matter what “hood”…black, white, or “other” people live in…stupidity is an equal opportunity foe).

But God!!!

Close to the time for me to hopefully graduate high school I looked around and determined that if I stayed where I was that I would either be selling drugs (had already sold some weed..sorry Momma…now you know), working a job that I hated due to my lack of education, in prison, or dead so I determined to “get out” any way I could and I did through the Army (no way at that time could I have gotten into college or a trade school).

When I gave my life to Christ He walked me back through those times and showed me that He was with me all of the way and that even through my bad choices He always had a “plan” for me, it was “good”, and that He would see me through it…and this was even when I was angry at Him and even staring my “hate” of Him on more than one occasion for allowing me to grow up in my mess of a childhood…Praise Him!

What does this walk down memory lane have to do with Acts 4:13?

Well, as you can see I was never a rocket scientist and couldn’t even stay I’m a Holiday Inn Express so that I could pretend to be one.

This is the reason that so many that knew me before I gave my life to Christ ESPECIALLY those that I grew up with stand in amazement when they read anything that I now write.  Further, sometimes when I go back to my hometown I have gotten used to the question “is that YOU?”  Or “nawww…that can’t be you…you couldn’t even put two,sentences together when you were a kid!”,  LOL!!!

Here I am…this “uneducated” and “untrained” man being used by the Lord whomNOW has so much confidence and who is such a far cry from the little boy who used to only puff his chest out only pretending to be one (many “men” do this today trying to fool people into believing that they are real men when in fact they are not…real men serve Jesus!).

So as I read this scripture today God reminded me of my past which lead Him to show me how HIS wisdom and my access to it makes me “wise” among men (I appear “stupid” sans of it), and how He will continue to grow me in wisdom as I continue to follow Him towards eternity…Ain’t He GREAT?

There is someone reading this today who struggling and who feels dumb, stupid, a failure, broke down, etc., because that is all that you have ever been told that you are and that you will ever be.

I have news for you…you can either continue to listening to that nonsense or you can start listening to what God has to say about you…His plans of “prospering” YOU, and His plans to give you “hope and a future.

He is using this blogpost RIGHT NOW to get your attention to tell you to get your eyes off of this world and to get your eyes onto Him!

You are INTELLIGENT because you have access to HIS intelligence!
You CAN be WISE because you have access and the key “Jesus” to the vast storehouse of His wisdom.

And most importantly…YOU ARE LOVED with an everlasting love that penetrates your person down to the tiniest cell into the very depths of your spirit!

He said and did all of this for me and If He did it (for me He will surely do it for you and one day you will look back and do as I did today thanking God for how far He has brought you and for giving you wisdom that the whole world will marvel at.

He loves you today, forever, and always!

Your brother in Christ (the former “dummy”…only because I listened to and received it from the people saying it instead of listening to what God’s word says that He said I am),

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

Job 7: 11-18:

11 “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or a sea monster, that you set a guard over me?
13 When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint,’
14 then you scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
15 so that I would choose strangling and death rather than my bones.
16 I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
17 What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him,
18 visit him every morning and test him every moment?

Sometimes I feel like Job…not that I’m suffering from anything like he did in my personal life but I suffer a deep pit in my heart and soul when God reveals to me the depths of foolishness that He has shown me in many of my family and friends who claim Christ yet fail to hear from His Holy Spirit.

I know this is a hard thing to hear…trust me, it was when God put it in my heart today as I read from His Holy texts and to tell the truth this is one of many posts that I have been loath and heartbroken to write as of late because God has shown me that many people (many people whom I care deeply about) who read the words that I write have no clue that the anger and disgust that they have when reading the things I write or in hearing the things that I say are in reality suffering from the “pride” that God so warns us to avoid through His many prophets, teachers, and scribes in the Bible and though the people that He currently speaks through that TRULY hear and recognize His voice via His Holy Spirit.

Again, I know it’s tough to hear and I can feel the “un-friends” or “unsubscribe” clicks that are about to happen as I type this because God has already placed the knowledge that some will do this even before I post this BUT if I truly am going to live as He says that I will… I MUST do as He says and pen this warning of the many heartfelt warnings that He has given me to share with HIS people and all that know me knows that even when faced with the pressure of the ever-increasingly “PC” (politically correct) world that we live with that this (me) man of God will do…what…the…Master…instructs….me….to…do.

I don’t claim to be anything special, I don’t claim to hear any more from God than anyone else does, I don’t claim to always fully comprehend what He is telling me or what He instructs me to say.

Heck, and since I’m an honest man I don’t always agree with what He tells me, and as I have stated I’m not always thrilled to be the “mouthpiece” that God uses me to be

However, I MUST always at least have a “willing heart” that will allow me to soar past my “questions”, my doubts, my flesh, the devil’s negative whispers, and my own selfish desires (wants/needs) so that He can use me not to fulfill my own wishes BUT so that I may fulfill HIS will for THAT IS why He created me and THAT is what I signed up for when I joined HIS Holy Army and just as I do daily..I reaffirm this commitment RIGHT NOW before you dear brothers and sisters.

I could understand if anything that I ever wrote or said was much like what I wrote or said in my former life was laden with “death” because there was no “life” anywhere in it but I do my best represent Jesus Christ in the best way that this (me) vessel (that’s all that I am) can with the level of God’s unmerited grace and mercy that I’ve learned to utilize in the 48 years that I’ve roamed this earthly realm.

YES, sometimes I fail but ONLY when I use MY words NOT HIS and I praise Him that even with all of my perfections He STILL chooses to use me and more importantly HE STILL LOVES ME!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!

So, it is without any further hesitation that I speak what God spoke into my heart today as was engrossed in reading His Word today.

There are many of you dear brothers and sisters who are ignoring HIS word and falling for the world’s “word” and He wants you to know that “it’s” word is the enemy’s word.

Further, there are many of you that (much like His people Israel did over and over again in the Bible) who are ignoring what His Word says because it makes you uncomfortable and put’s you at odds with “man” and his society.

In accepting this comfortable life you are not only turning your back on God you are aligning yourself with the dark, evil forces that rule this world no matter how much you think you are aligned with God.

By your acceptance of this world’s ways you are rebelling against the God who saved you from “hell, death, and the grave” and you will face judgment on the day that the Lord returns in all of His “might and glory”.

You have accepted what the world says is “right” and have disparaged God’s people (your brothers and sisters) when they’ve only tried to relay the message from Him that you are “wrong” and your “pride” is causing you to stumble towards a great “fall”.

BUT…God in His forever grace and mercy also wanted me to let you know that it’s not too late and all that you need to do is simply seek Him and you will find Him, ask Him for forgiveness and you will be forgiven, repent and turn away from the world’s evil, and that He is waiting for you with open arms only if you will humble yourself before His mighty hand.

Shucks, you are not alone in this for in writing this there are things that God has shown me that I currently allow in my life that are a compromise to this world’s way of doing things and I must proceed in the same steps in the fore-mentioned paragraph and know that I paused while writing this and repented for what He showed me in my heart, asked for forgiveness for it, and ran into His open arms with worship and praise thanking Him for not letting me “reap” what I was “sowing”…PRAISE GOD!!!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

 

 

 

I posted the following as a comment to a comment on my post dealing with President Obama speaking at a Mosque with terrorist ties and that spouted anti-LBGT rhetoric. Only a few people know this complete story of how God taught me how to deal with this issue.

“Yessir my brother! (Name withdrawn).

I would say that I was MORE homophobic BEFORE I gave my life to Jesus because growing up in Texas we were raised that way. When I met my wife she had numerous gay friends and many of them became my friends.

When I gave my life to Christ many of them immediately stopped speaking to me for fear that I would treat them like the “Christians” that they knew did. However, they couldn’t be further from the truth because once I gave my life to Christ I was so blown away at how much grace and mercy that He showed me though I was evil, that I was determined to show the same grace to any and everyone…I have often failed at that but I’m growing in it day by day.

One day in youth camp we were having a leader’s meeting and I was struggling because I had a kid in my room who was gay and I didn’t feel that I was prepared to deal with the questions from him or the other boys in the room.

During the meeting we had a prayer session and the Holy Spirit answered my questions. I asked God: How do I, someone who grew up a homophobe minister to this kid? What if I turn him away fro Jesus?…and about twenty other questions because I truly felt that I needed to reach this kid but I didn’t know-how.

In that moment the Holy Spirit spoke into my spirit: “love him like I love you”. I then wondered what most Christians do: “what about what the Bible says”? And the Holy Spirit spoke into my heart: “simply show them Me through you, speak to their questions in love…never watering down my Word but not forcing it in them and love them as I love you even if they don’t accept me. Live your life in such a way that ALL men will seek me through you and you will provide them answers without even preaching a word to them because through you they will see Me”.

As the leader session ended I shared this with the group and tears flowed and we all praised God.

I learned that when questioned that I never water down Or try to conform God’s Word to suit the individual, to simply pray and ask for guidance via the Holy Spirit on ALL Issues (we tend to make some more important than others…they are ALL the same to God), and most importantly to love as Jesus loves me.

Again, I fail sometimes but I do my best as I grow yet I now am able to speak into the lives of kids who are dealing with simple issues who feel alone, afraid, and abandoned by the Church and I’m able to do so with love.

It’s funny how God uses people though, huh? A former homophobe showing the love of Jesus to teens who are in the LBGT community!”

Ron “Big Black” Garrett