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Monday, March 26, 2012

Don't Give up! Your Best is Yet to Come

Juggling responsiblities

Negative words are powerful
During my impressionable years of Catholic School I heard negative prophesying from nuns.  Despite my parents motivating and encouraging there were other deterring adults and so called role models stating “Old bad Tigner Rand is not going to amount to nothing.” Like a spoonful of medicine without sugar, I ingested these words. The mind visualized, accepted, and ultimately squeezed life out of my God given abilities. Today, regardless of my faults, short comings and what others said about me God saw the best in me while others claimed the worst.

A moth’s mind
Confusion invaded the spirit followed by years of weeping, wailing, and questioning God about life. I quit quite attending church. During the painful seclusion from weekly worship I continued praying. The human mind is like a moth, unable to grasp or understand Our Heavenly Father’s plan.

One cold and rainy Sunday God laid on my heart “how can you ask me for all your desires when you cannot spend one day praising my name.” The message was profound; it was the rebirth of me. I vowed that moment not to miss church again unless I was sick or traveling for work. I finally got it! The relationship was rekindled.

Pessimistic Christians
Someone reading this had experienced a boat load of tears and tried to comprehend why life has dealt one bad situation after another. News flash, God is trying to get your attention! There was time I felt the same way. While my world was crumbing, God was still holding me up.  Leaning me up on my bad side so I can now stand today and say how grateful I am for his mercy.

Answer this question
What is the state of your relationship with Christ?  Sure, you have a relationship but what is the status; stranger, acquaintance, or friend? A relationship is more than just a daily short prayer or complaint about what you don’t have. The friendship of God is with those who reverence him; and he will show them his covenant. Psalms 25:14 

 Yearning for your love
God yearns to be your friend. It’s spending time conversing with The Father no different than talking to your BFF. It is communing with the Holy Spirit while commuting to work, cooking, showering, or throughout the work day (praying without ceasing).  Your connection grows as you spend time reading the word.

Thumbs up for God
Fine Wine instantly
In the Second chapter of John, Jesus revealed his glory when he changed water into wine. God’s supernatural was done instantly. What normally took years to make great wine Jesus did in a matter of seconds. Jesus told the servants to fill the jars to the brim, now take to the head of the banquet. When the master tasted the water it had been turned to wine John 2:6-9.

You currently sit defeated and bewildered. You are at the end of your rope, life is over, and I’m too old. Stop, read, and comprehend John 2: 1-11 again. If Jesus can make water to taste like 20 year old wine instantly,  just imagine what he can  bring forth from you!

Brothers and sisters, seek God with all your heart today set aside all your material desires all things you are praying for that are not of God. I challenge you to pray for wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Pray for a relationship, asking the Trinity to be part of your life.  I dare you to implement this on a daily bases so God can reveal himself to you!

A work in progress
I am a phenomenal person, nothing like the negative outlaw prescribed for me. It took years of dedication before I could tune in with God and accept the change.  Knowing God’s word proclaimed it: “Knowing now I have been made new in the attitude of my mind and can do all things through Christ that strengthened me!”
God sees the best in you even when you only see the worst. Establish a deep rooted Bond with the Father; your best is yet to come.

Tigner Rand

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Monday, March 19, 2012

God Shows Favor to the Humble

Pastor Charles Westmorland
Image by: Tigner J.
Seeing a man in a humble state says a lot about his character; their qualities distinguish them from others and they typically stand out in a crowd. During the announcement for this year’s 43rd annual Dove Awards  I actually detected modesty, after witnessing a gentleman demonstrating what Jesus stated; let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, Mat. 5:16. that man turned out to be gospel recording artist of Pastor Charles Westmorland. Humility can have a lasting impression.

Paul spoke of humility to the People of Philippi and Romans: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves, Phil. 2:3-11  for by the grace given me I say to everyone; do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment. These passages matches up to what Charles displayed during this note-worthy event (Hind sight is truly twenty-twenty.)   I saw a man with distinguished character of sorts while interviewing Jamie-Grace, new artist of the year nominee, in comparison to other reporters buzzing about the room like busy bees. My thought, he had to be working for someone other than himself.  One lesson I learned through my walk with Christ if you see a person doing a great thing; family, friend, or stranger, compliment them, people frequently hear negative and not enough kind accolades.

After a quick introduction my speculation was true, besides being a singer with the Charles Westmorland Chorale, he was on assignment interviewing for the internet radio show, The Circuit with Valerie where he has a featured segment called “The power up moment.”  The Circuit gives Charles a platform to provide practical application to daily challenges listeners face based on scripture.  What I saw firsthand now makes sense as to why his light shown so bright!  I had to let it be known that Charles’ humility was visible; his light was not hiding under any bushel. 
What I perceived, from my initial observation as humility in a stranger became a lesson of what the rewards can be for a person who submits humbly unto God.  Charles stated, he is currently not singing professionally even though his intent was to sing forever. It was a struggle, a tug-a-war wanting to pursue music yet God was pulling him into Ministry.  The turning point came from lessons taught at an early age “the best place you can ever be is in the will of God”

As immortal humans we often struggle in this area of trying to out wit God by wanting our desires answered on our scheduled yet when they come back delayed we question God.   As the saying goes; ‘if you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans.’ The number one struggle in a person’s Christian walk is learning how to submit to God’s Will, and giving up the control.  We lay out goals and visions for ourselves while never consulting God about His master plan.  It is God who directs the lives of his creatures, Rom. 12:2 and not us directing or tell God what to do.  By committing and meekly coming before the Lord he will provide the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4-5

Pastor Westmoreland made it clear, once he submitted and realized that his music would have to be put on hold, God begin to shift and show there was more than just a word in song, there is a word/message in preaching.  For the past year, Westmorland, and wife Deloris, has been the full-time Pastors at Restoration Ministries in Jonesboro, Georgia. Rest a sure “[congregation] people know that the music is word based and high spirited throughout the worship service and that Charles has a passion to get the message out not only through song but through word.
No matter where you are right now; in a struggle, hopeless, a storm, or wilderness, the first step is to submit to God’s Will and form a relationship.  So for those who are fighting and resisting God, pursue a strong bond with Him it increases ones faith and you will begin to find where God’s true faith actually lie. For each step you take in your walk of faith; from ankle deep, to knee deep, waist deep, until you are wading in the deepest part of the ocean God will provide away.  Get in His will. As Pastor Westmoreland illustrated, once in the will, “God allows you to move into what he has for your life.” So when you reach a barrier or crossroad, “the provisions you need will be at every juncture.” If God is telling you to move in a certain direction go, as stated earlier when you get to every juncture he will make a way.
As for Charles’ music, the mantle has been passed on to his son Darius Westmoreland who has started to write and produce music, some of which is song during weekly church service. Parents are always proud of their children, especially Charles and Deloris Westmorland because their music now lives through their son; “It’s like God morphed a bit of me and a pinch of that from his mother and created a 21st century musical talent”.

Restoration Ministries is located at 3057 Walt Stephens Rd. Jonesboro, Rd. 30236. Weekly services start at 1:30 P.M.

The Circuit with Valerie, an internet radio show that features hot topics and Gospel music. Check it out Sun.@9am and Wed. @2pm on

Tigner J.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Father & Son Bond: Golf and Varsity Hot Dogs

Recently, I took a business trip out of town and as usual the flight from Orlando to Atlanta was full, thank God for early seat assignment, because nobody takes pleasure in being the man in the middle seat, it is like a dentist drilling in your mouth without Novocain. As I joined two gentlemen who were already settled for take-off, my intent was to get situated and sleep. After numerous attempts of uncomfortable adjustments in my confined yet plush seating arrangements on Delta’s 757, I was finally sitting shoulder to shoulder, when the man in the middle seat commented, “it must be hard traveling [based on your size],” my reply was yes.

It is not unusual or uncommon for passengers to strike up conversation prior to take off however, once airborne pleasantries typically fade into cabin silence and jet engine noise. This flight took on a slightly different quest; I met Henry and John, father and son. There was something special about these men besides their gentle spirit, and southern drawl it was their kindred friendship more commonly found in life long childhood friends, yet this bond was between father and son. Every man who has a son long for such fellowship, it was a wonderful sight to see a father and son sitting side by side talking and enjoying each other’s company.

At first glance I assumed both were traveling on business until John enlightened me of their two day adventure hitting the prestigious links of ARNOLD PALMER’S BAY HILL CLUB & LODGE in Florida, which by the way is home of Palmer’s annual Golf Invitational where such greats as KJ Choi, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods have fared well. I could hear their excitement as each man tagged teamed discussing their adventure of playing Bay Hill, all while capturing a photo of Golf Legend Arnold Palmer and not to leave out a snapshot of his custom made golf cart. Through the duration of our flight, I heard passion from a son who loved spending time with his father and in between quick glances out the window and short moments of child amazement; father also expressed the joy of spending time with son.

As we flew over the imaginary state line of Florida and Georgia, our channel of communication was filled with more sport adventures from Georgia and Texas football, to baseball back to golf. The more in-depth our conversation became, my spirit was sensing a deeper connection greater than three men talking sports. It’s funny how God’s plan differs from your own when you allow Him to take charge. At one moment I allowed self to get in the way by not wanting to ask the not so popular question about God yet I could feel His presence; when three or more come together in my name I am there… Like Tiger sizing up a forty foot putt, I finally asked, “What do you attribute to your close relationship?” John replied family, church, honoring your mother and father, as well as God. After another quick glance out the window of God’s sky-blue, father, Henry interjected mostly God; He has been the center of our life.

What is the status of your family relationship? So many families have been destroyed due to a house divided, filled with anger, bitterness and strife. The Father Son and Holy Spirit have been locked out causing love not to live there anymore. Ego and pride has caused families to slide off course of Christ’s green fairways of life because three difficult words: I love you, sorry and help me. Jesus word clearly states do not let the sun go down on anger Eph. 4:26. Life is too short for families to harbor disagreements which give place for the devil.

The take away from this encounter, God don’t make mistakes there was a reason for our conversation, in which I appreciate God allowing our connection, secondly, I witnessed a strong presence of love, which is the key to a happy life. Just through our brief interaction, love is very relevant to their relationship. I saw a son who enjoyed his father and a father, who is now retired, cherishing his son. So often we speak of our love for others yet we never implement the action which is required with Love such as this duo. John stated he told his wife he does it for his father while Henry echoed his wife believes he is doing it for the son. But I know otherwise they do it for each other. Their long talks of sports, leisure times playing golf or just enjoying each other’s company is priceless.

Atlanta's The Varsity - V
As the pilot announced “please prepare for our approach landing” I asked John where did he see himself five years from now, with a slight smile on his face he was content as to where he is now and if he could spend more time like this with his father ,” I would not change a thing”. Which lead to asking what was the next planned destination, as of now nothing, just a stop by the world famous Varsity before heading home. It’s something about the big red ‘V’ for Varsity in Midtown Atlanta, its nostalgia has an alluring effect on natives and adults in their golden years just like Henry who was excited to make a pit stop for a chili dog and a P.C. (that’s Varsity lingo for Plain chocolate milk served with ice). Well on second thought John took a mulligan, a do over this time it will be dogs and water.

As we reached the dog leg of our conversation, we shook hands and parted by saying we will be praying for each other. While watching my row mates go their separate ways I could not help but to reminisce of the times my dad and I shared together. Now older and wiser I think of the words he left for me a month before giving up the ghost; take hold of my words with all your heart, keep my commands and you will live. Get Wisdom and understanding. I also miss the times we spent talking and eating some of his mystery dishes. One thing for sure my new friends in Christ had a great time playing a round golf and experiencing the everlasting chorus; "What'll ya have? What'll ya have? What'll ya have? Have your order in your mind and your money in your hand!" Make sure to take another trip for two Father Henry and Son John continue enjoying life, sports and a pair dogs all the way!

Tigner James


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