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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Leave it behind in 2013

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14

But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.  Genesis 19:26

Leave it behind

Now is the time people reflect and assess how well 2013 was.  No matter your assessment – good or bad one thing for sure you are a live and have an opportunity to clean the slate, “turn the page” and leave it all behind in 2013. What can you leave behind in 2013?

Unfulfilled goals

Just because you did not LOOSE the desired WEIGHT, improve FINANCES, EXERCISE, get a new JOB, or eat HEALTHIER life still goes on.  Count your blessing and leave all unfulfilled goals behind and don’t look back. Where the mistake is made,  people tend to hang out in the past, waddling in their defeats, and disappointments.  They take on the spirit of Lot’s wife. 

God’s angels told Lot and his family to leave the wickedness of their past but one has to believe that there was something about the past that keep Lot’s wife looking back or standing and watching oppose to pressing toward the mark. The end result she was turned into a pillar of salt! As tempting as it may be let go of the past and follow God’s lead.

"Turning the page"

For the last sermon of 2013, Pastor Stafford Wicker used the aforementioned scripture from Philippians as a subject.  His message to the congregation was to “turn the page.”  His take away points were:

  1. “Don’t be a slave to your past”
  2. “Don’t let your past dictate your future”
  3. “Keep your eye on your goal (God) and don’t turn back”
  4. “Don’t be bitter get better”

In the book of Philippians Paul wrote  how faith can work in practical terms and during troubled times.  Paul had every right to be bitter, angry, and frustrated.  Because of his Crusade for Christ and letters to the first church, Paul was persecuted and placed under house arrest in the name of Jesus.  In his darkest hour he did not dwell on his current conditions. He forgot the past and reached forward to greater opportunities.  

Steps to a Happier New Year

The dawning of a new year – 2014 – is on the horizon.  Press toward the mark (God) by setting new goals and aspirations. Here are a few steps that can help make 2014 a Happier Year.

  1. Leave the past in the past
  2. Keep eyes focused on future – God
  3. Surround yourself with positive and spirit filled people who encourage
  4. Praise God always – during the good and bad times
Redirect your thoughts by focusing on the savior and not the past.  He will direct your path and lead you into a happier new year in 2014!


Dear heavenly father,

I look around and see a beautiful world which you have given me. I thank you for seeing me through 2013 – the good, the bad, and misfortunes.  Despite it all your Grace and Mercy kept me.  Thank you for allowing me to see the dawning of a new year. May this year be prosperous – filled with good health, joy, blessing and your favor!  This I claim in your son Jesus Christ name. Amen. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The words we speak echo


Image provided by: Dr. Diva Verdun
 Read: Ecclesiastes 5:2-3

Whatsoever a man sow that shall he reap.  Galatians 6:7


Do you remember as a child hearing your first echo?  The fascination of yelling hello and hearing the repeated sound was fun.  The echo returns to the sender what it hears. Paul told us of another type of “echo” when he said, whatsoever a man sow that shall he reap Galatians 6:7.

Harsh words hurt

Words we often speak or receive from family, friends, coworkers, and children can be harsh. They are sowed in the spirit and harvest hatred, anger, and quitters.  “You are just like your father, a failure, no good, an idiot.”  Those words reverberate like an echo stabbing and cutting the spirit deep. 

Children also echo their parents, repeating what they hear by inflecting words of destruction – “You are ugly, fat, and no one likes me.”  The tongue is powerful. Our words, positive or negative, once spoken into the universe, there is recourse – they will return as an echo.

The tongue is fire

The bible tells us the tongue is fire; it is evil and can corrupt the whole body. So, it is imperative to guard our lips for what we speak, our words can ruin a person.  In anger, a fit of rage or when disciplining children people say damaging expressions. Once spoken the words echo in the recipient’s mind. Watch the words that you say.

Echoes can be destructive and hard to stop. They negate what God has in store for a person.  They tear down God’s temples – the person. Only God can end the negative noise and unless he does individuals will live in a perpetual hell.   God will heal and help change speech by using loving, encouraging, uplifting, and words of blessings.

As stewards of what God has given us authority over meditate on your conversations. If you have spoken harmful words repent seek forgiveness and rebuild confidence in those harmed. If that child are friend is an adult it is not too late to rekindle the fire which was smothered by harsh echoes.


Eternal Father in Heaven, words I speak is manifested in the universe and the spirit. Your word states what a man sows he also shall reap. Help me to guard the words I say about myself as well as others.  May they be words to uplift, encourage, and bless. Rekindle the fire in my heart to see good in self and others and not bad. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your eyesight Amen.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Submitted by: Keith Johnson - Guest Writer
Read Geneses 4:1-15

…Am I my brother’s keeper Geneses 4:8

Are you your brother’s keeper?

Everyone has heard that question before. It would appear to be a simple question that should be able to be answered one of two ways. Yes or no.  The answer given may not be as straightforward as yes or no. Yes, with an explanation. It could be no with an explanation. There could be a why. Or even the possibility of a maybe.

Cain and Abel

In the Bible, when brothers Cain and Abel brought their offering to the Lord, the Lord respected Abel and his offering, which came from his flock of sheep. His brother Cain also presented an offering to the Lord, which was fruit that came from the ground. The Lord did not respect Cain and his offering. Cain got very angry and his countenance (his face or features) “fell” as Scripture says.

In Genesis 4:7 (NKJV), Cain got instructions from the Lord. “If you do well will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you; but you should rule over it.”The instructions were direct and to the point. Cain, however, did have choice of free will. The choice Cain ultimately made has continued to affect mankind as much today as it did then.
He chose not to follow God’s instructions. In Genesis 4:8 it says “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother, and it came to pass, when they were in the field that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him”. God already knew what had happened but asked “Cain, where is Abel your brother?”  Then Cain used the line that has been used for centuries. Verse 9 says “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper? The Lord asks in verse 10 “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the Ground.

Voices cry out from the ground

How many voices, like Abel’s, cry out from the ground? Over time, there are too many voices to count that cry out. The voices of Trayvon Martin, Jonathan Davis, most recently and Renisha McBride cry out. Unarmed young people whose lives were lost to gun violence and laws allowing for deadly force to be used based on the assailant’s fear. Despite the confusion and chaos from these earthly laws, God hears those voices. Awareness through social media, non violent protests become voices to move the legal system to speak for these victims...

Australia is not a brother’s keeper

Here in Australia, refugees from war torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and even Syria risk their lives to come to settle where there is peace and no war. The current government, which just came into power, says “we will stop the boats”. These refugees come to Australia, risking their lives, but most will never step foot on the Australia soil. The “boat people” as they are called, are processed in detention centers off the Australia mainland. Most will be sent to Papua New Guinea as a result of this new “immigration” policy. Am I my brother’s keeper? If you are a refugee and expect Australia to be your “keeper, it is highly unlikely.

We as people can not exist alone or in divided groups. We all need one another. There are voices that are not in the ground, that are among the living that are crying out. When we are asked the question “Am I my brother’s keeper? Our answer should emphatically be “YES I AM!” Be blessed.

Keith Johnson is native of Minneapolis, Minnesota currently residing just outside Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. A mass communications graduate of Morehouse College and a elementary education trained teacher. Keith is a Christian, who believes "God's will" be done by "loving thy neighbor as thyself".

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Good Morning! - A gift from God

You are a Gift from God.

God has given you a gift...

Employ it.

Serve one another as good managers of the Grace of God.

Always strive to do your best!

Make it a great day!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Good Morning! - Believe in yourself

Believe in yourself!

Learn to believe in yourself!

Know that God planted a SEED - a DREAM in YOU.

Tap into that dream and connect with God

Always pray and do your best!!!

God loves you and so do I

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Sounds of Blackness: The night before Christmas musical fantasy

Minneapolis MN – ‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house The Sounds of Blackness could be heard all about….

The Sounds of Blackness

The Sounds of Blackness is a group known for their soul filled music with inspiring lyrics, and for over forty years they have maintained relevance by the Grace of God. 

This holiday season the Sounds of Blackness will light up the stage with their 35th performance of the Christmas poem – A Visit from Saint Nicolas, better known as The Night before Christmas. December 12, 2015 8:00 PM 
Doors Open: 7:00 PM,
at Minneapolis' famous 
The Fitzgerald Theater
.  It is a family friendly production featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Rudolph the Rappin' Reindeer. A show chocked filled with love and fun through music.This musical fantasy is a testament to God’s bountiful blessings.

The Night before Christmas in Minneapolis

The Night before Christmas is musical fantasy which stays true to the poem’s original story-line but with a few fresh adaptations.  The musical tells the real meaning of Christmas from an African-American perspective. Gary Hines, the ensemble’s founding director, stated “The musical is true to the poem but the Lord gave us inspiration to put our spin on it.” The three live mice will come to life as well as stockings prancing about. But oppose to visions of sugar plums dancing in the children's heads, there is a new twist with a hint of Black heritage to boot – visions of chitterlings come to life!  Sit back and enjoy soulful music, hearty dialogue and a healthy dose of comedy.

”Once a sound always a sound”

The Sounds of Blackness consist of a thirty members who are believers in Jesus Christ.  Their ministry through music is always about glorifying God and bringing a message of inspiration through music to people everywhere. “No matter what presentation or performance our music always portrays our heritage from Gospels, spirituals, jazz, blues, hip hop, Rhythm and Blues.” All genres can be experienced in The Night before Christmas.  As long as God continues to bless them there are no signs of stopping now.

The future looks very promising for this multi Grammy group. Their travels have taken them worldwide performing to sell out crowds. Their goal is to take The Night before Christmas on the road in the near future. 

So, as you plan your Christmas season festivities schedule a date to check out The Sounds of Blackness musical fantasy - A Night before Christmas.  If you don't get a chance to witness this spectacular show this year reach out to the group and request them to bring the musical fantasy to city near you!  "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Ticket Info: The Fitzgerald Theater
Office 651.290.1200 and online at  
Tickets On Sale NOW - Dont Miss It

Good Morning! - Success & Failure

There is nothing you cannot do. Surround yourself with positive people. If you hang wil successful people
you will think success!

Think positive, change your way of thinking, pray, and seek God!

make it a great day


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