"If King Were Alive Today"
Mrs. Wanda Lee-Farmer
First Baptist Church, Clarksdale
Annual Black History program
Absolutely amazing! You do not want to miss this.
Forty-Nine Years Ago...
Mr. Andra Lewis
MLK High School Speaking Contest
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
Listen and you will be blessed!
What are you practicing? It’s been said more times than anyone can count, “Practice makes perfect.” If this is true, then what we practice can either make us or break us.
While eating lunch with a friend, I was asked if I always ate in that manner. Baffled, I asked what she meant. “Do you always eat so properly? You’re at home, you can relax,” she answered. Still a bit perplexed, I responded, “Yes, I always eat this way, even when I’m alone. If I practice eating this way on a regular basis, it becomes a habit, and then a way of life. I don’t have to think about which fork to use or anything else when in a formal setting. It’s all ‘normal’ to me. It’s automatic.”
So, what are you practicing in your spiritual walk? Do you have to ‘catch’ yourself when you are with a certain group of friends to make sure those more colorful words don’t come out your mouth? Do you have to remind yourself about the TV shows you watch or the movies you go to with one group versus another group of people?
Do you practice giving a soft answer so that when the hard questions and comments come, it is automatic for you to respond with a soft answer? Do you practice having a quiet time with God each day, praying and reading your Bible or do you have to dust off rour Bible when company comes. Do you practice thanking God for His goodness each day or do you stumble and stutter when asked to bless the food.
What do you practice? What are you trying to perfect? My goal is to live a life that is pleasing to God, a life that is Christ-centered. Do you desire to live a life that demonstrates right living and thinking? If so, then that’s what you should be practicing. If you practice Godliness when you’re all alone, when you get before others, you won’t have to scramble to figure out what to do. Simple conduct yourself the way you’ve been practicing.
What are you practicing, today?
Thursday had all the makings of a great day. I shorted myself $65. Additionally, I was way over budget at the grocery store. To make matters worse, I bought two weeks’ worth of the wrong yogurt, the wrong deodorant, scented candles with VERY little scent, and a useless piece of technology - then I threw away the receipt. Hence, these worthless items belonged to me.
I discovered I had done one absent-minded thing after another from the time I left the house. However, at the close of the day, I came to the firm conclusion that it had been a great day and I was looking forward to either a great day or an amazing day tomorrow.
In my mind, the following elements are how we should define our days:
- A good day is any day we awake with breath in our bodies.
- A great day is any day that we take that breath and use it to give honor to God.
- An amazing day is when we awake on the other side of Glory in the arms our Savior and are forever worshipping at the Throne of God in total awe and amazement.
In spite of the less-than-desirable events of the day, I can still describe it no other way than to say it was a great day. When I came out the grocery store, shaking my head in disbelief that I was that far over budget, the thought came to me that it was time to praise God.
As Christians, we tend to “call down all of Heaven” when we have problems and then offer the obligatory, half-hearted “Thank you” when God delivers us from the situation. I told God I wanted to learn to praise and thank Him just as fervently as when seeking His deliverance. I wanted to thank Him when my little world is falling apart just as much as I do when all is well.
Time to put Operation Crazy Praise
I sat in the car and began to thank Him.
- “Lord, I thank you that my going over budget doesn’t mean the mortgage won’t get paid or the utilities.”
- “I thank you that You’ve given me a sound mind to know that I am over budget.”
- “I thank You that you gave me a husband with enough sense to know we needed to have some sort of budget.”
- “Thank You for giving me a man with wisdom as a husband and some oversized boy.”
- “I thank You that I have the health and strength to lift my own groceries into this car.”
- “I thank You for this car
- “I thank You that I have a house to bring this items to.”
- “Thank You for the refrigerator and pantry to store these items until we need them.”
- “I thank You for the hedge of protection that you have placed around me that no hurt, harm, or danger has come to me this day as I am out and about.”
- “Lord, I thank You for watching over my family while I’m gone.”
- “I thank You for keeping my husband.”
- “I thank You that my husband has a sound mind to be able to work his job and provide for us.”
- “Laaaawd… Jeeeesus!!! Thank Ya’…” By this time, my head was rocking, my feet were tapping, and my hands were waving! I had some loud-I-don’t-care-who-sees-me-crazy-praise going on in my car.
So, how’s your
day going? If you’re a believer, it should be either a good day or a great; and one day, it will be an amazing day. Until then, have a great day.
I was re-organizing some items when I came across an old box. My box of “mommy treasures” had been tucked away for over a decade. I couldn’t resist the temptation of looking through every scrap of paper. There were cards, letters, items from a previous business, travel souvenirs, floor plans, and loads of stuff now only worthy of the trash can. As I leisurely strolled down “mommy memory lane,” the things my children had done remained my prized possessions.
For a reason that still escapes me, I kept all (or nearly all) the baby teeth that fell out in individual sandwich bags with the child’s name, age, date, and former location of tooth written on each bag. Don’t ask me why - I don’t know. I found a bag full of hair from the youngest child’s first haircut. Don’t ask me why - I don’t know.
For a reason that is quite clear, I kept their letters. The following is a letter that one of my older boys wrote about me when he was in early elementary school.
· Picks us up from school
· Helps us with homework
· Helps us to be smart
· Lays out our clothes
· Gives us hugs and kisses
· Doesn’t try to kill us or anything
· The best thing is that she teaches us to be Christians while eating green grits for dinner
I’m somewhat fuzzy as to why I was putting food coloring in the grits and even more confused as to why we were eating grits for dinner. Even so, what struck me about this note was that my son, at his young age, understood that learning to be Christ-like wasn’t just something, but it was the best thing. This reminded me that teaching about God didn’t have to be in a formal setting or anything special. I encourage you to teach Christ in the ordinary events of life and even while eating green grits for dinner.
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When I say “constant conversation,” I’m not talking about nonstop chatter. I’m thinking more about a type of communing, an endless or ongoing connectivity with God.
So, what does that look like? Think about it this way, when something really great happens in your life - a total surprise - who do you share your excitement with first? Friends, family, spouse, Facebook fans??? Who do you invite in for the thrill of the moment, first? A life in constant conversation with God will rejoice with God, first and then others.
When tragedies arise, a life in constant conversation with God will weep in the Savior’s arm, first. I know God already knows, but I’m going to tell God all about it anyway. Depending upon what it is, I may or may not share it with others, but I’m going to my Father, first.
My desire is to live my life in constant conversation with God. When I’m doing the laundry, housework, errands, etc., I’m chatting with my Savior. I’m thanking Him for the energy to be able to haul one more load of laundry. I thank Him for the nice big front loaders we have, I thank Him that I have a sound mind and can operate the machines. These might seem like little things, but my mom had dementia and was incapable of doing simple tasks such as laundry. I thank Him for ordinary in life.
When do you talk with God?
· Laundry / other housework?
· Driving to and from work?
· Running errands?
· When managing your finances?
· How about all of the above and then some
In other words, talk with Him in every aspect of your life. Here are some benefits of staying in constant conversation with God.
· Helps you be more peaceful
· Helps you to trust God even more
· Gives you more restful sleep
· Tackles fears and doubts
· Helps you make wiser decisions
I’m sure you can think of more - so, when you talk to God and how it benefits you. Share your comments and encourage others.
For all of you young at heart.
My husband shared an ebook with me that he had received several years ago. The name caught my attention - “Winning the Fight Between You and Your Desk” by Jeffrey Mayer. Not only did this title catch my attention, it made me laugh. There is no fight between my desk and me. A fight implies that at least two people or entities are exchanging “blows.” I haven’t fought back in a long time. I’m simply being pounded! Hence, there is no “fight,” only a slaughter.
Have you ever felt like that in your Christian walk? Have you ever felt like you’re so far off the mark that there’s no point in trying to dig your way out of your mess? Do you ever feel like just giving up because the enemy is pounding you so hard? You’re not alone. As a body of believers, we are under attack, daily. And yes, sometimes it does feel like a losing battle. Here are some tips to help get the craziness and clutter under control in your spiritual life.
1. First things first - make sure you have a personal relationship with Christ so you can build on a solid foundation. Don’t try to fix everything in your life in a day.
2. If you haven’t already, establish a daily time with God. I know some of you are saying, “I don’t have time - that’s my problem.” Not to worry - let me help you be a bit more at ease. Daily time with God doesn’t have to be a formal two hours of prayer, Bible reading and memorization of entire books of the Bible (of course that’s great if you do that). Start small - 5 or 10 minutes of committed time with God and God alone. I have a devotional time with God before my feet touch the floor in the morning, but I’m not a morning person so I’m often half asleep. My real time with God is in the afternoon when I’m wide awake and looking forward to hearing from Him. If you think about it, surely a few minutes can be found each day. The point is to be consistently devoted. As time goes on, you’ll want to spend more and more time. You’ll find it from somewhere.
3. Focus, focus, focus on what God has called you to do. Get a handle on the busy work that keeps you from being about your Father’s business.
4. No matter how large or small the matter - trust God for the outcome.
Jeffrey Mayer’s book can help you with de-cluttering your desk, but only God’s Book can help you de-clutter your life. Arm yourself with the Word of God, get back in the ring, and win the good fight.