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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Keep holding on: God will sustain thee

Holding on
We glory in tribulations also knowing that tribulation work patience; and patience experience and experience hope. And hope makes us not ashamed because the love of God is shed aboard in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.  Romans 5:3-5

 Setbacks has inflected everyone, if it has not just keep living. Disappointments can range from work, illness, or financial dilemmas which can cause life altering hardships. 

Misfortunes can breed a spirit of withdrawal as well as excluding God from the problem. In an attempt to maroon God, stress builds up and runs rampant in a person’s life, often times consuming their strength and well-being which ultimately causes health issues. Yes, we all have struggles but through the mist of the storm we have to learn how to hold on to God’s hand and his word.

When you evaluate your life, the mind’s eye depicts failure. You have not reached the personal level of success desired. The life goals are way off the mark, thus making you feel like a failure. Your steps over the years became more arduous and existing seems to be futile. You may think the highway to ‘success’ has ended but one thing prevails, God is not dead. Christ’s unchanging love and intent for His children never changes, he wants us all to succeed! We have to follow the Master’s plan and cast our burdens upon God and he will sustain us Psalms 55:22

The most excellent way to end your battle is to get in line with God; it is never too late! Let pass adversities and doubt stay behind. Stop telling yourself you are too old or God has forsaken you. Part of your re-connection to God’s Life Line, keep holding on to the unseen faith. God is always waiting on His children to return, seek, praise, honor and adore Him! When you stop and absorb these words one has to realize that God is truly in your corner! Just keep holding on have faith daily! Your journey is not easy but Glory to God our Father will never leave us or forsake us through the tribulations. The Lord has brought up your soul from the grave, kept you alive so that you should not go down to the pit. Psalms 30 1-12

Let us pray: Our Father which is in heaven thank you for your mercy and grace and keeping us covered daily. Teach us to hold on to our faith and realize that you are with us through the joy and pain of our lives. We love you and may we glorify you in the name of Jesus. Amen


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Friday, December 24, 2010

So this is Christmas: Be thankful for what you got!

Santa and Mr. Clean
“The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works. All his works shall praise him Psalms 145:9-10

So this is Christmas a time of good cheer! Family and friends come together enjoying festive soirees. The year draws  closer to an end and a New Year awaits just beyond our horizon.

Over the past twelve months we had good times and faced some bad. But most important we need to take time to reflect back and ponder what you are thankful for. As you sit around your dinner tables, lounge around with  friends take a minute to count your blessings one by one no matter how small. 

Many got new jobs others not. Just be Thankful for what you got! Some purchased new cars, or wiped out their  debit while others welcomed new life or got a bonus check! For me, there were no great big Cadillac but God did found favor on me and my family with many blessings through out this past year. No matter how hard times may have appeared to be He always had a way to show me what the worst could be. For you see, so many of our brothers and sisters have nothing at all but for some reason God has blessed me!

So as you usher out 2010 and welcome 2011 remember no day is promised -  just think of those who were with you last year but gone to glory today. Now thank God for Blessing you for 365 days and pray for an even better new year!

May this day be great and tomorrow even better but please make sure to have a most prosperous year here to come!

This is my prayer for you in 2011!

Be encouraged

Tigner Rand

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Are you a Failure?

So you believe that you’re a failure.

Sure, you graduated college with a B.A. and master’s degree. Now after ten years of higher learning there is really nothing to show but a sub par job. Though it is hard to perceive, those desires of the heart, your so call ‘grand’ ideas were closer to hitting a target than you think. Realize your situation is not unique however holding on to fears, bad breaks, and set backs are!

Through the course of life we all have fallen short of goals and dreams. Let’s face it, nobody is perfect, everyone has failed at something right? According to Psychologist, two most common fears people face are failure and success. Its also evident apprehension is the number one culprit for a myriad of lost opportunities along with a handful of bad breaks in many people’s life. Based on these facts, you are a failure. Well, maybe not a complete failure.

Fear of failure
The fear of failing has caused many people to fail before they attempt to start let a lone finish the project.

Fear of success

The majority of people want to succeed in life but have placed stumbling blocks in their way; fear of failure, what people would say, or procrastination.

Do any of these definitions depict you? Is there a fear to start or finish a project? Have you sabotaged your dreams with procrastination? Either way you can break through the barriers of fear by committing to memory God will provide all your needs, just believe and don't give up hope. Satan will do all he can to cause disarray in your life. God said ask and you will receive, just believe, stop being fearful, thinking in the past, shack the negative thoughts and receive your blessing from God!

Be encouraged; rekindle the fire and a winner in Christ today!


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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Florida School Board Shooting: "V' for Luck or Miracle?

Picture this; a man walks into a meeting, spray paints the letter 'V' in red paint on the wall orders everyone out except six male Bay District school board members.

These men are now staring death in the face while a deranged man waves a gun before them. After a brief dialog, Clay Duke opens fire, people scatter, finding a hideaway where ever possible. With all the bullets flying the gun man missed each person.

This turns out to be a true to life horrifying episode that actually took place earlier this week in a Florida School board meeting. The question I raise was it luck or divine intervention from God that covered each person who was fired upon? Were the men intentionally missed by the gun man or did the Holy Spirit have control?

I believe the latter. God continuously provides miracles for all to see. Often times we take God’s wonders for granted or dismiss the situation as being lucky. God gave six men from Bay District School Board a blessing, a second chance if you will. How will they respond? Like the nine lepers who were healed by Jesus who kept going or like the one leper, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.

As you go through your daily activities today take time to thank God for the little things. We never know when you are staring death in the face.


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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Pains of Life

Winter's Depression
Photo by: Tigner J.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.   Psalms 42:11

Sighing and exhaling noisily….
My days and nights seem to be colder, longer, and not to mention darker. Metaphorically it appears to be more than just winter weather. Life - blustery bone chilling wind slicing through layers of clothes as if non existent causing the mind to revert back to the days of obscurity and depression. 

A mind of despair

My state of mind has hit a dead end - thoughts are jaded, vision hazy and decision making skewed. Where is the joy filled life of sunshine I so often speak about? Why have my rays of hope chosen to abandon me during a time that joy is most desperately desired? Lord stop this roller coaster because I want to escape. But to my dismay the ride of life has no emergency switches just hold on tight and dare not let go!

Facing predicaments

Individuals from time to time face predicaments that cause a person to slip into a state of gloom or mild depression. How do you cope? Who do you call? Do you give up? Revert to bad habits of comfort? Just like a drug - it is only a temporary fix. 

I have come to realize no matter how terrifying a situation may be God is there waiting. For each moment of disparity, God has already thrown a life line however stubbornness and willing to stay in the sea of self pity prolongs the pain apposed to reaching out for His hope. Your mind is a powerful weapon that can be used to conquer the world or work against you. 

When facing trials and tribulation cast away your personal feelings that appear to be holding you back: fear, doubt, money, jobs, or love life. Hook yourself to the word, find ways to encourage and be encouraged. Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Tigner Rand

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Rear view mirror is the past not the future!

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matt. 11:28-30

Have you noticed the design of a car’s windshield, wide with no obstructions enabling a driver to see turns, bumps, hills, valleys, intersections and stop signs? The intent is for you to keep eyes on the road seeing everything in your path. Now take in perspective the rear view mirror; a small rectangular device designed to adjust and get a quick view -  not to zero in on what is behind.

In prospective to our future many have reduced the windshield to that of a rear view mirror by focusing on the past and becoming discouraged opposed to staying positive. Learning to close the doors of the past and letting go is easier than you think! When we concentrate on empty doors and past disappointments we hinder God from opening doors of opportunities yet to come. God cannot move you forward if you constantly look in the rear view mirror of your past.

Adjust your eyes so that the focal point is your windshield of life. Keep your mind on the prize which is Christ Jesus and use the rear view mirror as it was intended – A quick glance and move on.


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Sunday, November 21, 2010

If Only... Life's missed Opportunities

Photo: Tigner J.

Bear in mind Apostle Paul who thought the throne in his side impeded him from doing more for Christ. God saw it differently, “my grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:7-10. Moses was yet another who requested God to remove his infliction. Why wouldn’t a sovereign God help Moses during his time of need? God had granted him powers to do all things along with the ability to let Pharaoh see he was sent by God. Despite it all God did not take away the one thing Moses thought would inhibit him from doing his best. Moses had a speech impediment, he stuttered. Exodus 4: 10 God’s grace is sufficient.

People frequently complain that their goals and objectives cannot be accomplished due to stumbling blocks, health issues or impairments. Repeatedly they preface situations or misfortunes with two words ‘If only’. These two ineffectual words have become habitual, causing a lack of success and giving people a reason not to follow through on goals, careers, dreams and desires in life.

I’ve come to present some remarkable people who beat the odds and did not allow their mishaps keep them from reaching their zenith in life.

“All of our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them” - Stockwell

Melssa Stockwell
Take for example Army 1st Lt. Melissa Stockwell who lost her leg in the Iraq War. She has done her greatest work with one leg. During rehabilitation she embraced swimming and focused on something different. She stated it "made me feel more like myself." So apposed to drowning in self pity Melissa became a world class amputee swimmer breaking records with the Paralympics and qualified for the summer games in China. In Melissa’s words she has done more with one leg than she would have with two. The tragedy "hasn't changed my outlook much. I'm going to the Paralympics. I have a career (working for a prosthetics company).” A hidden talent was uncovered. Melissa did not take the attitude ‘If only’ I had two legs I could fulfill my dreams nor believe life was over unlike many who would have cried and complained to God if they were in such circumstances as this solider. Melissa is soaring higher than ever imagined all because she did see her disability as an inability to accomplish something new.

Clark College’s oldest graduate

How about Mrs. Albernia Hardeman, an 85 year old dorm director who took one class per year since 1965 and finally obtained a BA in communication in 1985. You are not the first to ask why a woman at that age would get a degree she can’t do anything with. On the contrary Mrs. Hardeman never gave up on her dream regardless how long it took. If this regal woman in her golden years can accomplish her goals why can’t you?

Mary Price Walls
Now take a look at Mary Price Walls, whose application was rejected by University of Missouri all based on the color of her skin. Here is a woman who wanted to attend college and in her mind’s eye believed "I would have made a wonderful school teacher." Ms. Walls give the impression since the University of Missouri shut the door in her face she, substituted becoming an educator for a career as a janitor and elevator operator. Where there other institutions accepting minorities at that time? Of course, my mother and a host of her friends all obtained degrees and went on to higher levels of education at such institutions as Columbia University a decade earlier than Ms. Walls. So, did Mary Walls give up and allow one closed door opportunity turn into a deterrent? Yes.

The new crusade

For every tragedy or disappointment I believe God has an opportunity for you to succeed as a spokesman for Him. Bobby Tillman was randomly murdered. The Douglasville, Georgia teen was targeted by a group of boys because he was the ‘next person’ walking down the streets. Monique Rivarde lost her child for no probable cause. Unlike many parents who have faced such tragedy, this courageous mother is on a crusade since her son’s death. She has been seen attending and forming rallies in the name of Bobby. “If I can get through to one child, then I know my son's death was not in vain. Is Ms. Rivarde grieving? I’m sure she is. In spite of all the pain she is defying all odds by not sitting in a corner with dark shades questioning God. Bobby Tillman’s mother has chosen to step out and turn her tragedy into a victory not just for other parents but for Christ!

We can do all things through Christ that can strengthen us, make crooked paths straight and mount wings like eagles. 'If only' we believe in ourselves, trust in God and keep the faith of a mustard seed all aspirations can be accomplished provided we allow Jesus Christ to take control of our life. The next time the words ‘if only’ surface find the inner strength to keep pressing on in the name of Jesus Christ.

Tigner J. 

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What reminds you of home?

We are family - Thanksgiving 2006
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

I often reflect of home. I miss those summer Strawberry moons and  whistling breezes of night. 

Holiday traditions of tasting cake batter and their tantalizing sweet aroma which fill the air. A la cart of savory meats, smoked turkeys, honey glazed hams, and pots filled with guts. A mixture of stinky greens adorn the table. No worries there are plenty for all to eat just pick your weed, collard, mustard, or kale they are all a treat! There are the splendiferous holiday Soirees chocked filled with more friends, food, and fun. These memories remind me of home.

What reminds you of home?

Is home a place just to visit, eat, and sleep? Or is it an edifice filled with celebration and warm feelings; laughter, love, memories? We are days away from Thanksgiving. People will endure airport delays and spend hours traveling the highways and by-ways to get home. 

As you spend time with family friends and loved ones enjoy every moment, take pictures and embrace one another. But in the midst of reflections remember the Christ words to love others (our enemies), do good towards them and lend without expecting anything back Luke 6:35-36.

Tell me what remind you of home
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Looking back over my life I thank God for my family,friends, fellowship and home. Each thought rekindles my spirit to love even more!

I raise the question what reminds you of home? Are there fond memories or dreadful times? What are you thankful for? Whatever the season brings shout in a thunderous voice of Thanksgiving telling everyone of God’s wondrous works! 

Find time to extend your gratitude of God’s blessings to others besides your family. Give without expecting to get anything back. Your reward will be great and the God of the Most High will be merciful unto you. May this Thanksgiving be filled with joy and many blessings. Be safe and enjoy your family!

Tigner Rand

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

You are the Spokesman for the Christian Brand!

By instinct humans tend to gravitate toward things they feel affection for: people, food, events, sport teams you name it we look for the wow factor and love to be part of it. Take for example commercials that marketers have created by placing employees on the front line as the spokesman for various brands: Pizza Hut, Fidelity, as well as all have found great success using this marketing approach. Simply put employees are now seen as a company’s best asset. What better person can you get to express commitment, dedication, and attentiveness toward a brand/company than its employees? Stormy Simon, Overstock senior VP-marketing and customer care, who herself has appeared in company ads stated, "We're showing our employees as the face of our company in this age where in the last few years, people have lost some trust [in corporate America].” These are people consumers can relate with.

This concept or principle of using “employees” as spokes persons is nothing new. Can it be said that Jesus Christ himself implemented such a practice with his disciples? Are followers of Christ nothing more than Christian brand ambassadors? Is it not true that one job requirement of a Christian is to Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven? Matt. 5:16 Through our daily walk with Christ we have learned, understand and deliver what the Christ brand is all about to non-believers as well as those who are stuck in the middle of confusion.

Jesus hand picked his disciples and charged them to follow Him and they will be made fishers of men”. Matt. 4:19 Also, during His ministry Jesus gave authority to the disciples to go and make more disciples in nations teaching them to observe all things commanded of them. Matt. 28:16-20.

As a genuine, loyal ambassador for Christ’s brand along with a willingness to help your fellow man in need, people can be converted. So rekindle the fire within so others can see the God in you!


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Monday, November 8, 2010

God wants Full Custody not visiting hours

A friend made a statement that resonated with me, “God does not want just visiting hours with His children; He wants FULL CUSTODY!!!” The truth of the matter many Christians only visit, or call on God when there is trouble, hard times, barriers, or when they are seeking answers. Simply put, God is asking for full custody not temporary visitation to fit our needs. To put custody in a carnal perspective, typically children from broken families, foster homes, or divorce yearn for a relationship, love, comfort and affection from parents not just an occasional timed scheduled event. This is the same guardianship God longs to have with His children. More often than not the root cause for people shunning from relationships with God is lack of desire, time, or the belief of solving one’s own problems. The misnomer that an occasional prayer and thanksgiving is all that is needed to have a relationship is far from the truth. These idiotic thoughts drive a wedge deeper between God and His children.

The true question is “Are you willing to relinquish your all to God”? Often times people find themselves attempting to do things on their own oppose to surrendering or allowing God the Father just as a parent to have full custody. He has an open schedule that we can call out to Him at any time. It is His desire for us to allow Him full custody however we have to open the door to allow Him the opportunity. Once you hand over you life God becomes the navigator provided you give him total control. In this new state of living will all troubles go away? No. Will things become easier? Sure. Will some of your desires be granted? In God’s time they will. At the end of the day you need to remember God’s word that states He will not leave or for sake us and by relinquishing yourselves to God he will Show His ways, teach the right paths to travel, as well as Guide in His truth. Psalms 25:4-5

As simplistic as this devotion reads so can your quest to a new life can begin. It is your call do you want just visiting hours or can you let go and allow God full custody of your life? You choose!


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