Posts Tagged ‘religion’

My Advantage 

Posted: September 25, 2017 in Articles, Religion
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The seeming advantage that I have when it comes to faith in Jesus is that I remain fully aware of how lost I am without Him, what my lot was when I sought and found Him, and that I am keenly aware that I’m a complete sinner that is only saved by grace.

Remaining aware but not living in this awareness allows me to run headlong into my day serving Jesus with fervor, passion, and with relentlessness all the while doing so with an ever growing level of grace as taught to me by His Holy Spirit.

So I ask you dear brothers and sisters to take a second and recall what He as done for you, where He has brought you from, what He has saved you from/for, and thank Him/praise Him/Worship Him for it.

Have a Jesus/filled day!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

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Just as it was with Thomas Edison in the linked video my life was filled with negative words that were spoken over me yet when positive ones were spoken they one out because the positive will always defeat the negative.
I was told over and over again that I was “dumb” and “wasn’t going to amount to nothing” by many of the generation of my family that came before me and since they were my elders I believed them.

When I joined the Army I had men and women in my leadership chain that told me how smart that I was and since they were my leaders I believed them.

One of these stories in my life was positive and one was negative yet the positive one once spoken exponentially outran the negative and I have since no matter if it is a job, college, or whatever have always been viewed by peers, leaders, and subordinates alike as a man of intelligence.

Now, know that while that story ended up well it pales in comparison what happened in my life when I heard what God said about me and BELIEVED it!!!

Choose this day to refute the negative that anyone is speaking over your life and instead go to God’s Word to see what HE has to say about who and what you are to HIM.

You are the “apple of His eye” and “chosen” by Him purposely to do great things in His Name.

You are a prince or princess and co-heir to the throne with Jesus Christ so stop believing the world’ foolish obsession with finding ones self-worth and seek Jesus today and you will find your “God-worth” which is eternally more valuable than anything that the world has to offer.

Everything that I have is granted to me by God and the simple knowledge that He loves me means more to me that every book of “knowledge” that this world has to offer.

Besides, once I chose Him He opened up His storehouse of wisdom and made it available to me and that is when the “true intelligence” in my being began.

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

Colossians‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭(NIV‬‬): “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

I often softly 😂 (lol) when I see all of the posts on social media, hear it on tv/radio, or have conversations with people who say that we are not to “judge” (admonish) people.

 The Bible is clear that we are to not judge ones’ heavenly eternity with our earthly eyes/minds and as we read the scripture above from the letter that our brother the Apostle Paul sent to the Colossi and as we read other scriptures in the Bible it clearly teaches us to among many other things to also admonish one another.

It’s in there folks….yet we should remember to do admonish with the caveat of doing so knowing that we ourselves must FIRST remember the “mud” in our own eye before judging the “speck” in our brother or sister’s eye AND IN LOVE.

This will enable us to judge with a higher level of grace and mercy that Christ has shown us while also coming at it from a place of love which will immediately or eventually “bless” instead of cursing the situation.

I have failed in this area numerous times over the years BUT PRAISE AND THANK JESUS that He has been patient with me and has grown me each year to be more and graceful towards others by using those closest to me to show me the “mud” in my own eye as I judged the “speck” in their eye eye  (I have also had to consider that constantly judging others made me feel better about myself as I judged them and ignored the areas of my life that I should be judging and correcting and IJS that when God made me consider this I either had to change course or stop growing…I can also see that many reading this also face this challenge today from the posts that I read on social media or hear from the mouths of many brothers/ sisters).


Thank you (and sorry at the same time but He has used me for you guys the same way 😂) Tracy Gowen Garrett Sarah Elizabeth Masters Mariah Ann Garrett, Devonte’ Townsend, and Kegan Masters as well as the rest of my family/friends.
I praise God for admonishments because they are not only catalysts for proper change in my life but they also are fertilizer for spiritual and more Jesus-like growth in me as I humble myself before God (He just gave me this as I was typing this btw…had never thought of it this way) He then grants me more wisdom because He know that I won’t “puff up with pride” and use it unwisely.

Even if I do He has seen that I have a history of humbling myself before Him so even when I do become prideful in that way I will repent and to my amazement He STILL grants me even more wisdom and my growth then becomes even more exponential ( didn’t even mean to go this way with this but He gives so I take and pass it on 😂).

SO, admonish others if you must through the prism of God’s grace/mercy granted to you as it does harm to the message of Christ when we don’t i the brother or sister that it’s directed at.  

Even worse not kearning  to admonish in love can entirely close up the hearts of the non-believer to the message of Jesus’s salvation for them and I must add that you will be held accountable for it (note: I say this so that you will take this seriously because God has shown me that He also takes into account our missteps due to the level of growth we are at and even forgets them entirely when we truly repent, ask for forgiveness and allow Him to work on us in this area).

Have a Jesus filled day and go and love on someone today will ya!!!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett 

(Note:  As you read the following article (by Randy Conley) please read it (as God impressed me to) from the view of the thermometer being “the world’s” way of leadership and the thermostat’s” way of leadership as being that of a Godly man or woman AS being led by the Holy Spirit and the Bible’s precepts.)

Are you a thermometer or a thermostat leader?

A thermometer reflects the temperature of the environment. It simply reacts to what’s happening around it. 

If the temperature is hot, it tells you so. If it’s cold, the thermometer reflects that reality as well. It’s a dumb instrument in the sense it doesn’t contain intelligent, multipurpose functionality. It has one purpose and one purpose only.

A thermostat, on the other hand, regulates the environment. It sets the desired temperature of the room and actively works to maintain it within a given range. 

If the temperature rises above the goal, the thermostat signals the air conditioner to crank up and cool the room down. If the temperature falls below the goal, the thermostat causes the heater to turn on in order to warm the room up. 

The thermostat is intelligent in the sense it’s always monitoring the environment, and if the temperature gets too hot or cold, it decides what to do to correct the situation.

Thermometer leaders react to their surroundings. When the tension gets high and people are on edge, these leaders are often seen losing their cool. They become irritable, harsh, demanding, critical, impatient, and maybe even lose their temper and yell or curse. Thermometer leadership doesn’t inspire trust and commitment with people, it erodes it.

Thermostat leaders, however, constantly have a pulse on the morale, productivity, stress level, and environmental conditions of their team. 

When the temperature gets hot because the team is under pressure of a heavy workload, resources are scarce, or pending deadlines are causing stress, they cool things off by acting as the calming influence with the team. 

They take time to listen to the concerns of their team members and provide the necessary direction and support that’s needed to help the team achieve its goals. Thermostat leaders also alleviate pressure on their team by mixing in some lighthearted fun at opportune times.

Likewise, when work is slow and people are prone to just go through the motions, thermostat leaders get their teams refocused on the vision, purpose, and goals of the team. Because they are actively monitoring the environment of their teams, they know when the team needs to be challenged with new goals and priorities, or when they just need a friendly kick in the pants to stay focused on their current initiatives.

Thermostat leaders build trust and confidence with their followers, whereas thermometer leaders erode trust. 

When times get wild and crazy, people want to see their leaders react with calm, focused, and determined leadership. They want them to set the tone for how the team should react during tough times and navigate the rough seas ahead. 

That’s a tough challenge for leaders because they are team members themselves and are subject to the same, and often times more and different, stressors of those experienced by the team.

So, how would you respond to this question? Are you a thermometer or thermostat leader?

Randy Conley

“LOVE”

Posted: September 1, 2017 in Articles, Religion
Tags: , , , , ,

When I view my life through the prism of the verses found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 I wholly realize how much work Jesus has to do in me.  

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: (NLT):

“4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

In my devotional this morning (which I will post in its entirety in a bit) i felt challenged to place my name in the place of “love” when reading these scriptures to see how closely I match it (for example: “Ron is patient”) and I soon figured out that I have a long way to go because there are still so many of these areas that Paul describes as attributes that I should have in “love” that I either don’t have yet, only partially have, or struggle in acquiring.  

The good thing is that this exercise doesn’t bring my joy down but builds up my faith that I AM growing since I had almost none of these when I started my walk with the Lord some 12-13 years ago.  

I encourage all of us to try this exercise and keep it in mind as we go throughout each day so that we can find areas to get better in the process of loving each other.

Pray and ask God to expose the “loveless” or “love-lacking” areas that have residence in your heart and also ask Him to strengthen the areas even more that you already are good in loving others in.

Have a love and Jesus-filled day!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett 

(The devotional from the one-year reading plan on the Youversion app):
Sixteen Characteristics of Love
I tried following the example of a missionary I once heard about who, each day, would read the four verses from today’s New Testament passage, which lists the sixteen characteristics of love. For the word ‘love’ she would substitute her own name. When she reached a characteristic that she knew was not true of her, she had to stop. Her aim was, one day, to get through the whole list.
The four verses (1 Corinthians 13:4–7) start with ‘love is patient’. So I substituted my own name and started with ‘Nicky is patient’. I do not think it will come as any surprise to those who know me well that I had to stop there!
The great evangelist D. L. Moody was once staying with a group of friends in England. One evening they asked Henry Drummond to read and expound on a portion of Scripture. After some urging, Henry drew a small New Testament from his pocket, opened it at 1 Corinthians 13 and began to speak on the subject of love. D. L. Moody wrote in response:
‘It seemed to me that I had never heard anything so beautiful. The one great need in our Christian life is love, more love to God and to each other. Would that we could all move into that love chapter and live there.’
We get an idea of what Henry Drummond must have said that evening in his book The Greatest Thing in the World. He writes: ‘What is… the supreme good? You have life before you. Once only you can live it. What is the noblest object of desire, the supreme gift to covet? In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul takes us to Christianity at its source; and there we see ‘the greatest of these is love.’
God is love. We deceive ourselves if we think we can love God and hate other people (1 John 4:20). Love should be number one on your spiritual priority list. It should be the main thing in your life. It is, in the words of St Paul, ‘the most excellent way’ (1 Corinthians 12:31). 
Psalm 100:1-5
1. Enjoy God’s love for you
The psalmist exhorts us to ‘Shout for joy to the Lord… Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs’ (vv.1–2). He tells us to ‘enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name’ (v.4); ‘Enter with the password: “Thank you!”’ (v.4, MSG); ‘Be thankful and say so to Him’ (v.4, AMP).
Why? What is the reason for such joy, thanksgiving and praise? The psalmist gives the answer in verse 5: ‘For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.’
God is good and he loves you. This pretty much sums up the message of the entire Bible. It is his love that is the source of our love: ‘We love because he first loved us’ (1 John 4:19). Understand, believe and accept that he loves you and enjoy his love.
Lord, I thank and praise you for your amazing love for me. Thank you that your love endures forever. Help me to enjoy your love today.
1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13
2. Embrace a life of love
Henry Drummond explains that at the beginning of this chapter we have love contrasted; in the heart of it, we have love analysed and towards the end we have love defended as the supreme gift.
Love contrasted

The description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is one of the most beautiful and best-known passages in the entire New Testament. Many non-churchgoers would recognise it as being read at weddings. Paul places it in the middle of his teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ.
He lists nine gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:27–30. At the start of chapter 12 he also listed nine gifts. There is an overlap of five. So thirteen gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed in all. Paul has been describing the importance of these gifts for the body of Christ to function fully.
He is not diminishing the importance of gifts by talking about love. Rather, he is saying, ‘gifts are very important but love is even more important.’ We desperately need the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be properly exercised in the church today. However, as in Paul’s day, love is even more important. It is ‘the most excellent way’ (v.31).
In fact, Paul says if we have all the gifts and give everything we have to the poor and die the death of a martyr but we have not love, we gain nothing (13:1–3). He is not criticising the use of the gifts, such as speaking in tongues and prophecy (vv.1–2), anymore than he is criticising philanthropists or martyrs (v.3). He is simply stressing the importance that everything you do should be done in love.

Love analysed

Paul then lists sixteen characteristics of love. Every time I read this list I feel deeply challenged. I know how far short of all these characteristics – not just the first one! – I so often fall. I like The Message translation:

            ‘Love never gives up [‘Love is patient’, NIV]

            Love cares more for others than for self.

            Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

            Love doesn’t strut,

            Doesn’t have a swelled head,

            Doesn’t force itself on others,

            Isn’t always “me first”,

            Doesn’t fly off the handle,

            Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

            Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

            Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

            Puts up with anything,

            Trusts God always,

            Always looks for the best,

            Never looks back,

            But keeps going to the end’ (vv.4–7, MSG).
Love defended

Love is permanent. Everything else is temporary. All the gifts of the Spirit will one day be unnecessary. Some have argued that what Paul is saying here is that the gifts of the Spirit (such as speaking in tongues) would cease at some point in history. In fact, he is saying the very opposite. He is saying that the gifts of the Spirit will not cease until we see Jesus ‘face to face’ (v.12). As yet we do not see Jesus ‘face to face’ and therefore the gifts of the Spirit have not yet ceased. We still need them desperately.
But, the greatest thing in the world is love. Faith, hope and love are a great trilogy, but ‘the greatest of these is love’ (v.13).

Lord, we desperately need this kind of love in the church today. Help me grow in love to reflect the way St Paul describes. May I make my love for you, and for others, the highest priority of my life.
Song of Songs 5:1-8:14
3. Ensure that love is the main thing
The word ‘love’ or ‘lover’ appears over and over again in the Song of Songs. It is all about romantic love between a lover and his beloved. They are overcome by love for one another. The beloved says that she is ‘heartsick with love for him’ (5:8, MSG).
There is a strong element of physical and erotic love. Both describe the physical beauty of their marriage partner (5:10–16; 6:4–9). As one commentator put it, ‘The Song of Songs is a long, lyric poem about erotic love and sexual desire – a poem in which the body is the object of desire and source of delight, and lovers engage in a continual game of seeking and finding… sexual gratification.’
But their love goes way beyond the physical and the erotic. The beloved says, ‘This is my lover, this is my friend’ (5:16c). There is nothing better in marriage than having someone as your partner, your lover and your best friend.
In yesterday’s passage the lover says, ‘You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water’ (4:15). Each human being has a never-ending flow of beautiful and wonderful resources.
As the Song of Songs draws to an end, there is a beautiful description of the never ending quality of love: ‘Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave’ (8:6). And now, after the resurrection of Jesus, we can say that love is even stronger than death: ‘Love never fails’ (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Again, I like The Message version:
‘The fire of love stops at nothing –

   it sweeps everything before it.

Flood waters can’t drown love,

   torrents of rain can’t put it out.

Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold –

   it’s not to be found in the marketplace’ (8:6c–7, MSG).
Thank you, Lord, that your love for me is like a fire that stops at nothing. May my love for you be the highest priority in my life. Thank you that your love cannot be bought or earned, but only gratefully and humbly received.
Pippa Adds
1 Corinthians 13:1–7
These extraordinary verses need to be read constantly in homes, schools, businesses… everywhere. They should be studied, learnt and practised.

I read today that sociologists say that even the most introverted person will influence over 10,000 people in their lifetime.

The question to the “Christian” this morning is…what type of influence will you be?

Will it be the world’s status quo or it’s way of doing things or will it be to show the 10,000 or more persons that you will influence in your lifetime a life that is TRULY submitted to Christ?

Most of us love to say that we are committed to Jesus BUT when confronted with the truth of His Word in our daily lives we quite often show our true allegiance to our race, our culture, our creed, our political system, our heritage, THUS “the world” instead of Jesus as we walk in agreement with those opinions instead of Jesus’s truth day to day.

It’s never too late dear friends!  

Take time today to pray to Jesus and ask Him to cast His beautiful light into the areas that you hide in secret darkness that are knowingly or unknowingly aligned with the world’s way of doing things

Ask Him to purge your heart of allegiances that hinder your growth in Him be they your family, your racial pride, your political persuasion, etc., as they all MUST be secondary to Jesus for if they are not then THEY are YOUR God and God will NEVER play second fiddle to another “god” even one that you create.

Jesus wants and deserves first place in your heart above all others so if you claim Him as Lord and Savior then ensure that your sole allegiance lies with Him when challenged by the untruths that pose as truth in this earth.

Be blessed and have a Jesus-filled day!!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett 

“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