One of the biggest lessons I learned since I started on a new path in life a year and a half ago is that Virgin Mobile has got to be the worst name for a company. This is especially true if you are divorced, went through a breakup, or a teenager getting your first cell phone. What is this company trying to do? Inspire people to go out and get laid? Or just start a little blackbook on your cell phone. Speaking of mobile phones, I am done with smart phones. I came to a point where I admit I am powerless over technology. The apps are great but you get to use them for an hour and then they take about three to six months to charge back up. On top of all that, when I was charging my laptop and had my dumb phone plugged into the laptop with a data cable and listening to my Stitcher App with a pair of headphones, you would have thought I was on life support with all of the wires coming out of me.
Yes, I got my start as a devotional writer but writing on the same thing every day burned me out, especially trying to make a living as a freelance writer. Although it did get me interested in a career in Web Developing which may involve getting my bachelor’s at University of Phoenix. Hopefully I will do better than my attempts at being an accountant. As anal as I am I’m not anal enough to be a CPA.
Now I have a part-time job in a grocery store which even at top pay I can still make the same as a full-timer on minimum wage-sad, eh? Even more sad is the fact that stock clerks started at $9 in grocery back in 1979 and now they start at minimum wage. The federal minimum wage was $3.35 back then and stockers have been getting paid the same thing now since the minimum wage was $4.25. If you think that’s bad, imagine starting off a new job at $7.25 an hour and with the high turnover rate because no one wants to work hard, you get promoted to lead stocker. Being this doesn’t involve a raise (much of one anyway), you are still making not much more than $7.25 and possibly supervising clerks that may make more than you if they hire in with more experience.
So here I am sitting in a brand new coffee shop that just opened up and reading a help wanted sign (yes, some places still have those; that’s how you know it’s a small business). I may apply for a job here. In good with the manager already. Prayers would be appreciated on that one. This would be a dream to become a Professional Barista/Freelance Web Developer/Content Writer someday.
Blessings & Peace,
E Bishop Wooten
Well, as much as I hate using an old address to sell plasma to pay for my rent at the Bunkhouse (hopefully someone at the plasma center won’t read this), I seem to be blessed financially anyway. For example, I have $4.57 in my account, I stop at McD’s for some dollar menu items that cost $4.08. Why does my account balance equal $2.49 the next day? Shouldn’t it be .49? Then a day or two later I get some chicken on the dollar menu at Church’s which should zero out that account. Today I check it and it’s $3.49. I could ask God for a full direct deposit but something tells me that would be putting God to the test. His blessings aren’t that obvious. You actually have to be quite anal(ytical) to catch them. And by the way, the last thing you want to do is make sense of God’s blessings!
Now I may get to be a part-time stock clerk at a local grocery store (with my experience that’s, n/m, none of your business. . .j/k Either way if I was offered the chance to be a store manager or a syndicated columnist with a content writing service, you would think it would be a no-brainer since being a retail manager would be nights, weekends, and Sundays. But after two years of scrounging a living as a freelance writer (not as bad as hard construction day labor) I pretty much decided this lifestyle sucks and isn’t consistent enough. I’m ready for full-time work again. But I probably need to finish my Bachelor’s (probably at University of Phoenix). My work though Elance has caused me to get into Web Development and it’s practical so I can probably pass the classes. and get a grant + scholarships since I haven’t worked much the last two years.
The plasma story reminds me of when Jesus said something to the religious zealots of His day about neglecting the latter for the former; i.e., focusing so much on the keeping of God’s law that you neglect a brother in need. Even Rahab lied to protect spies. Besides if you try to be completely honest at any job you would be fired. If you have that kind of faith, go for it. I know when I was a Department Manager the team stocking guide I filled out gave me 1.5-2 days to finish the job and I only had eight hours. Truck drivers can only drive so many hours but have to go over due to traffic. If they are honest about that they would still be canned for violating company policy. That would be called playing the game. The only alternative would be living on the streets and being a leech on society. Would anybody listen to someone share the gospel if they looked and dressed like a veteran hobo? I met a lot of “godly” people on the streets. Sadly I cannot tell who is real or just psychotic. I don’t think all the meds in the world would pull some of those people who have lived on the streets since the ’80′s back to reality. It’s really sad visiting that neigborhood. I know if I had to live there again I would probably be needing drug and alcohol rehab. However when it comes to drugs & alcohol and antipsychotic medicine, it’s a tossup which one is worse for you in the long run.
I heard a classic song from the late ’60′s by the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival. You may know them simply as CCR ; they had such hits as “Proud Mary” and “Bad Moon Rising” (as a kid I though he was singing ‘there’s the bathroom on the right’. It’s before my time but I follow rock from the ’60′s through ’90′s and some contemporary. While staying at the Bunkhouse Men’s Dorm in South Fort Worth, I heard the song “Who will stop the rain?” I heard at the time it was mainly about the Vietnam War, but it could apply to today and does not necessarily have to do with war. Yeshua HaMashiach/Jesus Christ prophesied there would be wars and rumors of wars. Sometimes I think the worst kinds of wars are those that don’t involve military weapons. Sometimes the biggest weapon of mass destruction is our own mouths (James Chapter 3).
Who will stop the rain? As far back as history can go there have been wars; wars between nations, families, individuals, etc. These can be physical, with or without weapons, or emotional/mental. Of course for those that don’t study history, then just read the paper because we will continue to relive “the old days” if we don’t learn anything from our past. So, the answer to “who will stop the rain?” The answer is obvious to those that follow the teachings of Judeo-Christianity. The promised Messiah of Israel. Christians on the other hand know the identity of the Messiah and the only thing you can do to prove that He is still living is receive Him into your life (salvation does not stop there by the way).
Now, I’m finished preaching so I’ll upload the video of a 1969(?) classic.
In the words of the late Jimi Hendrix, “there must be some kind of way outta here.”
Sometimes I wonder if Lenny Kravitz is Jimi Hendrix reincarnated.
Now that I am in my mid-thirties and pushing 40, I notice many of my high school friends that I reconnected with through the amazing power of Facebook comment on how they are getting old. Some are just joking but some actually do have a fear of old age. My dad always taught me that you are only as old as you feel and that life is only as hard as you make it. Life is only hard when we make decisions that are out of step with the will of God which is laid out in scripture; of course any devotional or inspirational that focused on Yeshua as the Messiah and if anointed by the Holy Spirit can be divine inspiration.
When you live right, i.e. focus on God, life seems easier because we are supernaturally regenerated. The healthcare system may think we are “manic” and try to medicate it. I believe one hippie biker Jesus-freak referred to that as the “Jesus High”. Also, our bodies seem to supernaturally balance itself out and even the medical professionals in the Orient say that sickness only happens when our bodies are out of balance. I could recommend a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer called “Being in Balance.” I don’t know what Dr. Dyer believes about Jesus but I notice he is the most charismatic new age teacher and he quotes the New Testament and Jesus Christ a lot. I also notice how amazed I am when I hear someone who looks like they should be in college tell me that they are approaching senior citizenship as fast as they can.
This goes with a story of someone that was close to me seeing a strand of gray hair and insisting that it was blond. I am not colorblind, I have my own gray strands on the sides (they are just overshadowed by the dumbo ears). Anyway, sometimes I have to wonder if the fear of gray hair, fear of getting old, or whatever you call it is related to something much deeper that the Bible talks about.
It’s called the fear of death. No true believer in the Living God and His Messiah will fear death because the presence of the Holy Spirit in their life will assure them of righteousness and peace. It will also give them joy which in God-terminology is true happiness and transcends one’s circumstances. The real assurance that you are a child of God is that you are led by the Holy Spirit. Many evangelists say you can have assurance and peace if you believe (or trust) in Jesus, say the sinner’s prayer, and walk down an aisle to get baptized.
You can do all those above things and not have a genuine assurance of your salvation if you are not led by the Holy Spirit! The Bible, or Jesus the real Word of God, teaches that many will be deceived. Many will come to Him when He returns expecting Him to let them into heaven because they think they knew Him; only to have Him tell them to depart from them workers of iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-scariest verse in the Bible).
Do you fear getting old? If you don’t know the Father and the Son and experienced the supernatural filling of the Holy Spirit then you will likely have the crap scared out of you when you read the book of Revelation. In which case you will probably need an immodium at the first sign of gray hair.
Every true believe that has experienced God acknowledge that the spiritual walk with the Living Messiah is a mystery. As well as the mysterious Godhead. That being said, it kind of makes you question the faith of those that act like they know everything about God and judge others who have a different way of relating to God. By nature, there is a fine line between caring and controlling. Therefore, those that perceive us as being out of fellowship may try to “lead us back into the fold” which may make us feel like they are trying to control out relationship with God.
As long as you know God is leading you, you don’t have anything to worry about. You will know. But keep in mind there are other spirits in this world. The Occult is a satanic mysticism. Sadly enough, many charismatic believers have been accused of practicing the occult. Pentecostals are among this group. True mysticism is a spiritual encounter with the Living God by virtue of the Living God. The Occult is a mysticism that has to be manipulated or controlled by humans. For example, it’s a form of magic. This is how you can tell if a person performing miracles is a false prophet, aka antichrist. They are not following God and His Messiah, they are merely practicing black magic to manipulate and control people.
Many of the godly Catholic saints were known to be mystics as well as many pentecostals, charismatics, and Methodist enthusiasts. I read an article that said John Calvin preferred doctrinal knowledge over mysticism. Am I the only one who had alarm bells going off in his head? It’s widely known the Greeks value knowledge. Remember though that knowledge without wisdom corrupts. You can learn about God reading the Bible, devotional literature, or going to church, but God has to be experienced in order to be lived out. Anybody that is skeptical about a genuine and authentic move of God better thank twice before they speak out against it or they could be blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Anybody that is truly seeking God will have spiritual experiences as well as a Beatitude attitude toward God and others. If not they could be a false convert and need to be prayed for and encouraged.
Just a reminder of something in Proverbs about the wisdom of a quiet man (or woman). But a quiet person doesn’t speak, you say. Exactly! Ever heard someone say they quit talking because when they do they get in trouble? A wise person only speaks when they have something to say. And only then when it’s used to build someone up. It’s also good to be educated on whatever subject you’re talking about. That is, unless you want to be instantly humbled. Hmmm. . . Maybe introverts are geniuses.
This reminds me of something. Not my place to say what. Good advice nonetheless. For men as well and not just women.
A continuation of Yesterday's post. I have a tendency to overwhelm people so I cut it in half.
The unhealthy fear is fear of condemnation. Jesus said that He came into the world to save sinners not condemn them. The Apostle Paul tells us that there is no condemnation for us in the Messiah Yashua. After all, we are pretty good at condemning each other, don't you think?
Jesus said that if we loved Him we would obey His commandments because they are not burdensome. If you are keeping a mental checklist because you're afraid God is going to punish you then you don't understand grace very well, or the love of God for that matter. The whole duty of man, as written by Solomon (the wisest man in the Old Testament who had the most ladies I might add) declared at the end of Ecclesiastes that the whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commandments.
If you study the law of God, or law of Moses, you will notice that from a holistic perspective all you have to do is put God first out of a heart filled with love and turn around and demonstrate that love to your neighbor. After all, how can you love a God you can't see and not love those around you that you can see?
Many times in the OT, or Tanakh, it says to fear the Lord and walk according to His ways. Proverbs declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Then we switch over to the NT where it says that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. I John 4:18 tells us that perfect love casts out fear.
You hear many believers say that we are a New Testament church. We are not under law but under grace. The Old Testament is a history book. One Jewish person even told me, with regards to the New Testament, that if it’s a testament then it’s not new and if it’s new then it’s not a testament. In other words, God doesn’t change. The book of Hebrews even says that God/Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
To start off, there is a healthy fear of God and an unhealthy fear. The healthy fear just means to respect Him. To stand in awe of His majesty. In doing so we will actually want to obey His commandments and precepts. This usually comes from a heart filled with love. Since this is unnatural to our human nature it usually comes when we acknowledge the Living God and His Son for the Word teaches that if you have not the Son, then you have not the Father. While, unlike most believers, I don’t go around shouting out Jesus is God because I don’t believe He is the Father or the Father is the Son, I was reading in the Gospel of John that when Jesus acknowledged He was the Son of God was enough to admit equality with His Father. Although Philippians is noted for saying in Ch. 2, v. 5-11 that even Jesus Christ didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped.
Despite being equal with His Father, He was still 100% human. Had it not been for His perfect relationship with God, He would not have been fully inspired by the Holy Spirit to become perfect sacrifice for us. I read that in a DL Moody ebook on Amazon. They’re free as Reverend Moody is not receiving royalties anymore. He’s about as rich as you can get these days.