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STRENGTH TO ENDURE PT.1
“It is never easy to endure pain or an uncomfortable situation. It seems easy to quit and avoid the pain but if you quit, you will suffer later. It is far better to endure the pain now and enjoy life later. Life is all about endurance.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
Endure: to go through something difficult without quitting Hebrews 10:32-39 Amplified Bible (AMP) But remember the earlier days, when, after being [spiritually] enlightened, you [patiently] endured a great conflict of sufferings,33 sometimes by being made a spectacle, publicly exposed to insults and distress, and sometimes by becoming companions with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy and deep concern for those who were imprisoned, and you joyfully accepted the [unjust] seizure of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, conscious of the fact that you have a better possession and a lasting one [prepared for you in heaven]. 35 Do not, therefore, fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward. 36 For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised. Click here to Read More
Breaking News Flash
Forward Thinkers, God will give us strength to endure all things but in order for us to learn how strong we are, God will have to allow us to endure some difficult things. Forward Thinkers, the difficulties of life are not designed to break us, but mature us if we endure through the test.
Forward Thinkers, Paul is a perfect example for us to look at today in this text out of the book of Hebrews:
- Forward Thinkers, Paul had to endure a dark past. He used to be (yes, Forward Thinkers, we all have a used to be story) on the wrong side of the Kingdom of God but now he is leading people into the Kingdom of God. ***Side note*** God will not waste any part of your life story; even the dark days of your past have a purpose in the divine plans of God.
- Forward Thinkers, Paul had to endure hardships after he got saved. Remember God told us we would go through the shadows of the valley of death, but He would never leave us or forsake us. We endure hardships standing on the promises of God that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. Forward Thinkers, don’t allow anybody to convince you that they can offer you a life without trials and tribulations. As a matter of fact, run fast from that person or organization because they are trying to manipulate you.
Forward Thinkers, when times get hard, we endure because God empowers us to keep going.
Tip of the day: Instagram and Facebook is not the place to run to for strength. Tyrese Gibson is an example of when it’s time to shut up Facebook and open up the Holy Book. Social media is mostly for entertainment, not empowerment. Forward Thinkers, the bible will encourage you through your hardships, but social media will ridicule you into depression.
Paul Was Publicly Exposed To Insult and Persecution
-Forward Thinkers, many would throw Paul’s past in his face hoping to destroy his future. Forward Thinkers, you can’t allow anyone to hold you hostage to your past. Trust God and walk in the newness of life with boldness and authority.
-Forward Thinkers, in the bible, Jabez (his name means painful) had to endure being reminded by his mother daily of the pain his birth caused her, but he endured and God expanded his territory. Endure. God has more in store for you.
-Forward Thinkers, David was publicly rejected by his family but he endured the rejection and God anointed him as King.
-Forward Thinkers, the Houston Astros star player Jose Altuve (only 5’6″) was told his whole life that he was too small to play baseball, but he endured the negative scouting reports and God gifted him to become the biggest player in baseball.
Endure the shade, both dry and wet. Endure the lies, gossip, and rumors. Endure the old truths of your past and live your new truth as a new creature.
Forward Thinkers, when others insult and persecute you, just endure and stay strong because the best is still yet to come.
Paul Lost Some Stuff
Not too long ago, Hurricane Harvey came and many lost some stuff, but today you’re standing, testifying that God gave you the strength to endure.
In the Bible, Job lost some stuff, but he endured painful losses and God blessed him with double for his trouble.
Houston Astros baseball team lost over 100 games for 3 straight years from 2011-13 and lost 92 games in 2014, but they had a vision and endured the losses while sticking to their vision and in 2017 they became World Champions.
Forward Thinkers, if you endure the losses, the losses actually become lessons that make you wiser and stronger.
Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence
Confidence allows you to walk by faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Failures, losses, and setbacks are tools used by Satan to rob you of your confidence.
Houston Astros pitcher Charlie Morton, a 33-year-old journeyman, said, “Give me the ball. Put the team on my back, coach. I got this.” He didn’t let the hardships of his journey rob him of his confidence.
The failures and losses are what you experienced, not who you are. So continue to endure and experience God elevating you beyond them.
Forward Thinkers, the world wants to give you a label to rob you of your confidence, but we must endure and remember that Jesus endured the cross so we could endure the battles of this life and come out victorious.
Forward Thinkers, Jesus was betrayed but He endured.
Forward Thinkers, Jesus was publicly mocked but He endured.
Forward Thinkers, Jesus hung on a rugged cross and was buried in a grave, but He endured.
Forward Thinkers, Jesus looked defeated for 2 days but He endured the grave knowing on the 3rd day he would rise again.
Forward Thinkers, today is your day to rise up out of all the hell you’ve been through and trust God for the strength to endure and win.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING… SHOW OR SUBSTANCE (AND) YOU ARE?
I am told there is one sure way to absolutely get the devil’s attention and that is to begin to turn one’s life to Christ. You’ve probably heard many a pastor refer to a person’s lifestyle as an open invitation for Satan to gain access to their world. Supposedly, as long as you engage in the things and happenings of this world, Lucifer has no need to spend any energy dealing with the struggle for your soul. You see, life’s trials and temptations alone are enough to sentence any one of us to an afterlife void of the Lord, which, if you didn’t know it, is the quintessential definition of hell itself. A life without spiritual purpose, a life without spiritual guidance, a life without faith is a life wandering aimlessly on a toll way headed straight to hell. The devil does not need to work to gain access to this life. It is a conformed life. He can merely wait at the toll booth gate and collect unsuspecting souls on their way by. You remember when you partied so hard that even the next day didn’t completely clear up the stupor from the night before? I’m just humbly suggesting that maybe some of us could at least make the devil sweat just a little bit while he tries to manipulate your life’s circumstances. Click here to Read More
On the other hand, a life grounded in spiritual purpose, imbued with integrity and anchored in faith instantly becomes a target for satanic bullets. Hopefully, if not consistently, we should be trying to make Satan’s work harder by appealing to the Lord everyday to allow us to do His Will instead of our own. Satan is coming for anyone who tries to hear and respond to God’s Word. Again, one of my favorites…”Some people are like seed along the path where the Word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the Word sown in them.” Mark 4:15. If we know this, then what are we doing to arm ourselves against the inevitable onslaught of the evil one? “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of the light.” Corinthians 11:14. The point of all this is to let you know that as a believer, you have a neon sign that shines brightly in all the kingdoms of this world and the next. It identifies you and alerts everyone around you about your soul’s true mission, which is to honor God. And for the record, Satan cannot stand the thought that your love for God supercedes his ability to wreck your world. I’m told that at one time he, too, loved God dearly. He came, however, to love himself more. Now if the devil has his way, he wants us to love ourselves and our things, our addictions more than we love God. And then, like Lucifer, try to get your light to shine brighter on you. Just know if that ever happens, feel for that toll booth token, because you’ve just bought your ticket straight to hell. “For as I have often told you before and now (I) say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their God is their stomach and their glory is their shame. But our citizenship is in heaven…” Philippians 3:18-20.
I can only hope, sincerely hope, that you recognize the next trial or temptation headed your way is but a speck on a windshield, a splattered piece of nothing standing in your way on your way to the Promised Land. Any other consideration would be a mistake and an insult to God. His highway is free. It doesn’t cost you anything to get on it. As a matter of fact, just stay on the service road and you’re sure to find your way. May God bless and keep you always.
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING… IN THE PRESENCE OF COURAGE, POWER CRUMBLES EVERY TIME
I have often thought, heard and to some degree concluded that Jesus, as was Paul, was killed because He dared to stand up and speak truth to power. He and many of His followers, convicted by their beliefs, professed and preached that the ruling religious law of the day, although large and in charge, was indeed corrupt and deserving of renunciation. In my office I have a poster which states, “One man with courage makes a majority.” Until recently, I had never associated this powerful statement with the life and death and life of Jesus Christ. But the courage of faith coupled with the commitment to act on that faith sometimes leaves you in the unenviable position of being alone. Have you ever found yourself so committed to a course of action, so positive in your convictions and your resolve, so steadfast in your purpose that nothing could change your mind or your behavior? Click here to Read More
I suppose we should all be so blessed to at least once in our lives know that we know that we know. Can you now imagine Jesus, so sure, so confident, so right that even in death, He knew that He knew? I must then ask the question of you and myself. What do you know? What does your faith and courage allow you to be the majority of, when numerically, you’re in the minority? The point is that at some time during your faith walk, you will find yourself walking absolutely by yourself. Inevitably, one day, it will become necessary for you, as well as me, to take a position of faith that will perhaps alienate us from so called friends and family, just as Jesus was alienated from the hierarchy of the church of His day. Expect to one day be forced to take a stand based solely on faith.
Maybe it’s already happened to you. I know it has happened to me. On that day you consciously decide to choose the Lord instead of the world. You know that you know. People who are recognized in this world as having principles and integrity are supposed to be honored for their stances even when they go against popular opinion. The bible teaches us that those men and women of God were often victimized, sometimes ridiculed and often times crucified. The bible also lets us know these are the exact people we should emulate. These people, who are our faith examples, lived lives ‘set apart.’ We’ve all heard the phrase ‘stepping out on faith.’ Reality suggests that this is a very scary sometimes lonely place to be. The beauty of this spiritual reality is: God cannot show up until you step out. Our struggle with faith then is clearly trying to recognize its power. Without the absolute conviction of the inherent power of faith, we never get a chance to experience the Hand of God at work in our own lives. We’re afraid. It’s probably the biggest fear that we have with the most devastating of consequences; to believe that you know versus, knowing that you know. I will concede that we are put to the test on a daily basis. Do you believe or don’t you? If you do, prove it. Put some substance behind the phrase, ‘faith based initiative.’ Put some effort behind your vocal commitments. The truth is, we so easily sound like it’s a forgone conclusion regarding our faith, when in actuality we shy away from the courage it takes to stand alone and stand for God in this world. My belief is that the first step, the first time, is the hardest. But after that, God takes over and takes us places we could never imagine. From me to you, I wish you the imagination of the saints and faith the size of a mustard seed. May God bless and keep you always.
STRENGTH TO ENDURE PT.2
“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” “To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” John F. Kennedy
Daniel 6:7-10 New International Version (NIV)
7 The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. 8 Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 9 So King Darius put the decree in writing.
10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Click here to Read More
Forward Thinkers, Daniel took a knee knowing there would be consequences. A true litmus test of your core belief system is: can you do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do no matter the ‘what if’s’ that doing the right thing may produce?
Daniel made a decision to trust God and not allow anyone or anything else to shine brighter in his life than God. Forward Thinkers, unfortunately, many have allowed sports such as the NFL to become bigger in their lives than God and moral consciousness.
You have to have strength to endure when you decide to take a stance against the powers in high places. Forward Thinkers, last year, Colin Kaepernick, an African American quarterback, like Daniel, took a knee to expose the injustices in the land.
Question: will the church be found taking a knee or will we continue to take a seat? I’m not talking about just the Black church; I’m talking about the church Jesus birthed and declared the gates of hell shall not prevail against.
Forward Thinkers, before we unfold the text, notice Daniel took a knee in prayer to glorify God but the enemy tried to steal the narrative and report that Daniel was disrespecting the king. Church, Colin Kaepernick took a knee to expose police brutality, mass incarceration, high murder rates, mis-education of poor people, unfair bail system, inner-city school closures, sex trafficking, high access to guns and drugs with limited access to college tuition and home loans. Forward Thinkers, taking a knee was never about disrespecting the flag or military.
Six Points To Having The Strength To Endure While Taking A Knee
Forward Thinkers, Daniel prayed 3 times a day and if you study the life of Daniel, you will discover he was very successful. To have the strength to endure, we must pray before, during, and after each situation we face daily. Prayer keeps us connected to God. Prayer is like a mobile phone charger; it covers us and recharges us when we are running low. Without prayer, our strength will run low.
Forward Thinkers, Daniel took a knee and prayed in protest. Definition of Protest: (n) a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something (v) to express an objection to what someone has said or done. (e.g. the inmates will not run the prison statement by Houston Texans Owner Bob McNair)
Things were not right so Daniel protested. Forward Thinkers, Daniel had three friends we refer to as the three Hebrew boys that joined together in protest and their protest landed them in a pit of fire but God showed up in the fire with them and delivered them out. Forward Thinkers, it may get hot but God is able to keep you through it all.
Forward Thinkers, what confuses me is, how did protesting injustice become a Black and White issue when non-Blacks came to America out of protest to religious injustices in England? White America, if protesting set you free from injustice, tell us again, why are you mad at Colin Kaepernick?
The 1st Amendment gives all Americans the right to peacefully protest and almost nothing is more peaceful than taking a knee. When Jesus protested in the temple, he turned over the tables declaring, “No more injustice in my Father’s house.”
Side note: Jesus protested for fair treatment of others and if we are Christians, should we not be Christ-like?
Daniel was attacked because he took a knee and this is why many remain silent in the face of injustice; they are afraid of the personal attacks. Forward Thinkers, many NFL players wanted to take a knee but the fear of President Donald Trump, Jerry Jones, and Bob McNair paralyzed them and kept them in formation.
Daniel knew there would be consequences. Daniel knew there was a den of lions waiting for him but he took a knee anyhow.
Kaepernick knew there was a possibility of him being black-balled but he took a knee anyhow.
Forward Thinkers, is there anything you believe in strong enough to take a knee in the face of persecution?
Forward Thinkers, I challenge you to look at the kids around you because I believe they are worth marching for, speaking truth into power for, and protesting injustice for even at the cost of personal loss and public persecution.
Like Daniel and his three friends, Forward Thinkers, we must believe God is able and no weapon formed against us will prosper.
Daniel 6:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”
Daniel 6:22-23New International Version (NIV)
22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
Forward Thinkers, the bible just said it all. God will protect you and those that come against you; God will deal with them. As the bible says and the singer sung, this battle is not mine, it’s the Lord’s.
Forward Thinkers, God will protect us from the fire and the lions.
Daniel 6:28 New International Version (NIV)
28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
God elevated Daniel because he endured through it all. God always has a promotion on the other side of persecution and dark situations. Forward Thinkers, I love the fact that Daniel’s three friends said they don’t look like what they been through.
Forward Thinkers, when you stand for what is right, God will do what is right and cause us to prosper so others will know His power and give Him glory.
Daniel’s action caused change to take place and a new decree was issued that everyone could now worship God openly.
Forward Thinkers, we must remember our actions today will affect the lives of others for the better. Forward Thinkers, we are world changers and impact players; so when we take a knee, others will be given the freedom and courage to get up and run their race to victory.
In conclusion Forward Thinkers, I believe it is clear; as Believers, we have a Christ-like responsibility to speak out against injustices and support those without a voice. And for those that believe protesting serves no purpose, let me bring to your attention, we protested at NRG on last Sunday afternoon and before the nightly news aired, the Houston Texans Public Relations team had issued a statement which meant they felt our presence and heard our voices.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church
STRENGTH TO ENDURE PT.3
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” – E. O. Wilson
Forward Thinkers, daily I receive reports from people declaring, Pastor I’m tired, and the prayer requests continue to come in from people declaring they are stressed out by life and desiring to quit or throw in the towel. Forward Thinkers, many report it does not seem fair for them to have to carry such a heavy load in life.
Forward Thinkers, if that sounds like you, I encourage you to declare, Lord, give me the strength to endure. Click here to Read More
The bible often uses metaphors to compare the Christian walk to sporting events such as running a race or fighting a battle and Jesus often used parables to communicate with his audience. Today, I will follow that pattern and use boxing to empower you with the strength to endure.
2 Timothy 4:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Forward Thinkers, I had the privilege to be in the locker room a couple of weeks ago praying before the fighters went in the ring to fight. That’s the first thing I want to pull out today you must have a prayer life before the fight begins because once the punches start flying it becomes more difficult to pray. Forward Thinkers, never allow life to become so busy that you become too busy to pray unless you desire for life to knock you out.
I was once at a fight where the boxer came out of the locker room with a full band and dancers. His pre-fight game was on point but he got knocked out in 1st round. He had spent so much time looking the part he obviously forgot to prepare for a real fight. Forward Thinkers, don’t get caught up spending so much time impressing people that you never have time to prepare for the battles of life. The bible warns us to be alert and prepared because Satan desires to knock us out.
Let’s look at 3 Pre-Fight Details
1) Work Out. Forward Thinkers, we need to work out to increase our strength to endure. There is no time for excuses and laziness will never produce a victory. Forward Thinkers, work the Word and increase your strength to endure.
2) Weight Class. Forward Thinkers, a boxer must get rid of all the dead weight that could cause him to be disqualified for his chance to win a championship. Ask yourself what dead-weight are you trying to carry into the ring?
3) Wait. Forward Thinkers, a boxer has to wait in the back until it’s their time to fight, remember those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength to endure, we can’t allow impatience to turn us into slaves of defeat.
Forward Thinkers, now let’s go back to the text at 2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight—-in 1980 Sugar Ray Leonard knocks out Roberto Duran after losing to him in a previous fight and Ray says he lost the 1st fight because he tried to fight in a style that was not suited for him.
- Forward Thinkers, no strength can be found in fighting someone else’s fight
- Forward Thinkers, every charger can’t charge every phone but every charger has value
A GOOD FIGHT—Forward Thinkers, be the best you that you can be. You get tired because you are using so much energy being someone you were not created to be.
- Forward Thinkers, body shots don’t look like they hurt, but enough shots to the body will cause you to fall, therefore, we must be covered with the full armor of God at all times.
- Forward Thinkers, we must have a strong core because everything depends on your belief system.
- Forward Thinkers, your stance is very important and this season you can’t afford to get caught slipping.
I have finished the race—Forward Thinkers, today focus on the finish line not the difficulty of the race.
- There was one fighter that looked like he was defeated after the first few rounds and I heard his corner man say we have to finish the fight; you’ve work too hard to get knocked out early. (Forward Thinkers, who you have in your corner is very important)
- Forward Thinkers, his corner man also told him to forget the last round and focus on this round.
- Forward Thinkers, don’t stop because God specializes in comeback stories and if you find the strength to endure you may be next in line.
I have kept the faith—Forward Thinkers, we must keep the faith at all times and continue to declare — faith don’t fail me now. Forward Thinkers, we must hold on to the promises of God during our most difficult battles. We must commit to never letting go.
In conclusion, let’s look at Isaiah 40:27-31.
Isaiah 40:27-31 New International Version (NIV)
27 Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
27– Forward Thinkers, like Jacob, many believe and feel their situation is hidden from the Lord and God has no regard for them. Many feel they are tired and it seems God is nowhere to be found. Forward Thinkers, we must remember Jesus on the cross cried out, Lord why has thou forsaken me, but we must also remember the teacher is silent during the test but the silence doesn’t mean the teacher doesn’t care.
28– Forward Thinkers, the word is full of testimonies and the Kingdom of God is overloaded with praise reports. Have you not heard, there is nothing too hard for God?
There is no searching of His understanding-
Forward Thinkers, stop trying to figure God out and start praising Him because your praise has two purposes: 1) It moves God 2) It motivates you
29– He gives power to the faint and the weary and for those without might He increases strength. Forward Thinkers, God will multiply your strength to endure to win.
30– Forward Thinkers, on your own you will faint and grow weary causing you to stumble and fall, exhausted, but we must stay connected to the things of God and increase our strength to endure.
31– BUT those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength and power; lift up their wings as eagles; run and not be weary; walk and not faint or become tired and fatigued.
Forward Thinkers, we must endure and stay in the Word of God because all strength comes from being connected to things of God.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located at 200 W. Greens Road, Houston, Texas, 77067.
Bishop Calvin Barlow, Jr. 31 Years
It was a remarkable time in South Nashville that will be remembered for some time to come. Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and his lovely wife Rutha L. Barlow, celebrated 31 years in the ministry, with 3 separate services. He is the Sr. Pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church, in South Nashville. On Saturday October 21st the planning committee held a gospel concert which sang praises for anyone in listening space. On Sunday October 22nd two services were held at the church. One at 9:30 AM and the other at 3:00 PM (CDT) Bishop Barlow Jr. Son, Minister Calvin C. Barlow, III delivered a most powerful sermon and ministered in song shortly afterward. His church home is Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.
An equally powerful evening service followed after a sumptuous homemade, full course meal in SMBC’s Fellowship Hall. Before and after the services, the church Fellowship Hall held its own with a myriad of unique and one of the kind decorations.Click here to Read More
The color scheme was red and black, with cut glass simulated crystal adornments. Pastor Ray Lee Jackson of the Beech Grove Baptist Church in Eaglesville, TN.
Sister Joyce Helms, Lanese Campbell, Minister Shawn Holmes, Lindsay Helms, the kitchen crew, media ministry, musicians and every other ministry department worked tirelessly together to make it happen.
The overall theme: “A Man Who Labors After God’s Heart” only touched the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to describing his years of unconditional love for God and his people. Of course he didn’t get there by himself, so the same can be said for First Lady Barlow and the first family of SMBC.
The 9:30 AM (CDT) service kicked off with the congregation respectfully standing until the honorees were seated. Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and First Lady Rutha L. Barlow were escorted into the sanctuary by Sister Christanie Tyus and Brother Devon Holmes. It began with a call to worship from Minister Shawn Holmes, a welcome from Deacon Cedric Whitaker, Praise and Worship from the SMBC Mass Choir, followed by the reading of the Vision Statement by Elder Emma Dee Harlan and prayer for worship by Minister Shawn Holmes. The SMBC Praise Team joyously sang praise of worship and the call for tithes and offerings was presented.
The speaker was introduced and another selection was rendered from the SMBC Praise Team. A magnificent, timely Word was laid down by Minister Calvin Barlow, III, after he was introduced by his brother and church musician, John Barlow. After the sermon, Minister Shawn Holmes offered the Invention to Christmas Discipleship. An invitational selection from the SMBC Praise Team filled the beautiful sanctuary with the Holy Spirit and afterwards, guest speaker, Minister Calvin C. Barlow, III provided the Benediction.
The 3:00 PM (CDT) service proved to be just as powerful and filled with the Holy Spirits the morning service. The honorees; Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. and Mrs. Rutha L. Barlow were escorted in by Brother John and Sister Shareka Barlow. Elder Emma Dee Harlan asked for the Call to Worship, the Beech Grove Baptist Church Choir rendered impacting Praise and Worship. The Deacons oversaw Devotion, Minister Shawn Holms read the selected scripture and Minister Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. lead the congregation in prayer.
Beech Grove Baptist Church sang a beautiful Hymn of Praise and a hearty welcome was given by Sister Brittany Wilkerson. Beech Grove Baptist Church responded and afterwards the worship through giving was combined with a Deacon handling the offertory prayer. Deacon Jeff Tyus introduced the evening service speaker, more Hymns of praise from Beecch Grove Baptist Church. Pastor Ray Lee Jackson successfully laid out the Proclamation of the Word and the Invitation to Christian Discipleship. Beech Grove Baptist Church sang the Invitational Selection and various remarks and presentation of gifts came from both, SMBC Church Family and guest.
First Lady Rutha L. Barlow rendered some loving remarks and Bishop Calvin C. Barlow, Jr. gave the Benediction. SMBC First Lady was escorted out of the sanctuary by; Lady Rita Jackson and Bishop Barlow, Jr. were escorted out by Pastor Ray Lee Jackson and the SMBC ministerial staff. Another well rounded, tasty meal was provided for the second service congregation and guests. It was a two day celebration that merely touched on his 31 years of service in the ministry.
“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine”, Timothy 5:17 KV. A captivating and well fitted scripture for this time period and beyond.
Faith of a Mustard Seed
The Invitation is extended to you for This Evening, October 10th at 7:00pm for “An Evening With Howard Thurman: Prelude To A Season of Reflection”. Metropolitan Interdenominational Church at 2128 Eleventh Ave. N. 37208 where Rev. Edwin C. Sanders, II is Senior Servant and Host. Come out and join us in this rare moment of inspiration. I will be a part of a Panel of person who had personal encounters with him.
In his ‘Epilogue’ to ‘Jesus And The Disinherited’, Dr. Howard Thurman has managed to give critical direction and purpose to life in these words: “When a solitary individual is able to mingle his strength with the forces of history and emerge with a name, a character, a personality,… it means that against the background of anonymity he has emerged articulate… “. In defining a major point of departure for Bible-Life Study, I am convinced that the concept ‘articulate’ must be examined.
I recall my year at Boston University in 1971-72 and the fact that in my movement through the city’s public transportation system to and from campus to my work study job teaching sewing at the Harriet Tubman House on Holyoke St., I was plagued by brothers who, in their zealousness for the Black Muslim faith in which they had found deliverance, hurled at me doctrines which were disturbing to me at the time. It was not a question of ‘smugness’ for I had not darkened the door of a single church in Boston. But, I suspect, a question of ‘articulation of faith’.
Later in my life while in ministry at Salem, in Harlem, I was making hospital rounds and stopped in a clothing store on Delancy Street. The Jewish shop owner looked at the clergy collar that I was wearing and began to question me about my faith. His questions went to the very heart, the very gut of Christianity. The kind of questions that make for warfare in the Bible Study classes of the traditional Church! By the time I broke away we had spent over two hours in dialogue and he said to me that I was the most intelligent Christian that he had met.Click here to Read More
At first I thought this to be quite an honor. But, the more I think about it, how many Christians had ever spent the time with him, (or any Jewish fellow) on the grounds and meaning of our belief system? I knew then that I was learning to articulate my faith. Time and time again I came to know in the streets of New York City that a troubled life is stopped in it’s tracks in the midst of an articulate faith statement.
When I began teaching Philosophy of Religion at Bennett College, I came to terms with the demonic environment that Christian/religious education settings breed. As I began to develop the skill for diffusing the condemnation, in order that each could be free to express their faith views without fear of attack, I soon realized that this was for the vast majority of college aged students, the very first public religious education environment. How do we affect the ever changing global community when our personal Church traditions (as smug as so many of them are) is all that we bring? by email: email@example.com