Monthly Archives: January 2011

Reflection on the New Year’s Revival – Me (D.B.Saunders)

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Ok. So I didn’t want to overwhelm you with three sermons and three reflections, so I’ll just do one focusing collectively on all three sermons. For the sake of time and your attention, I’ll do my reflections in bullet style like the sermonic highlights.

1.       “Learning What to Leave Behind” (Gen. 12:1-4)

–          Baggage: Today I was joking on Facebook about spiritual hoarding, but it really hit me when Pointer related the death of Aaliyah to our spiritual demise. We have to let some stuff go. Too many of us have forfeited ministry for the stupid issues in our past we can’t let go of. Let go of your bitterness, resentment, insecurities and let God fill you up, so He can use you. Pointer concluded this sermon with saying “You can’t beat God’s giving”. This is so true. For every resentment, memory, sinful desire, guilt, inadequacy, person, relationship, place, and habit I gave up for God, He blessed me with promotions, education, relationships, knowledge, joy, peace, bliss, contentment, forgiveness…

–          Confusion in Ur: I know I’ve been guilty of worshipping idols in my life, and trying to downplay it because I was still worshipping God. The people in Ur knew of God and probably still feared Him, but He was not their number one. Until we make God the number one thing on our list of priorities and treasures, we’ll be guilty of idolatry.

–          Lot: Woooowww! This one really hit me hard! This New Year I have made a promise to myself to stop letting people use me. Although I’m still praying for compassion, I do have a tendency to take on a “project” every once in a while. For some reason I allow people to play up their victimization and then … somehow…they become my responsibility. However, just like Pointer said, my inability to challenge them to do better is causing their destruction vs. their growth. This year, people with issues coming to me will get help, but with the intent of progression. If I start to see their not growing, I’m gonna gracefully cut them off.

2.       “The Sufferer’s Shout” (Ps. 66:8-12)

–          We already survived it: I’m growing to the level of spiritual maturity that I thank God for my hardships. Instead of complaining about being broke, having some bad people around me, lazy coworkers/co-laborers, having my name or the name of family members scandalized or because things just aren’t going how I want them to, I am learning to thank God that my hardships didn’t kill me. I’m starting to look at the big picture that God is using my hardships to strengthen me for the things He has for me on the other side.

–          Temperament of our Hardship: This point killed me! While I go through things, I’m starting to realize that God not looking for me to just break, not to just seek Him for relief, not just to see His majesty…He’s looking for me to start acting like Him!! I’ve been saying for the past year that I want to be an image bearer of God, but I never related that back to using hardship to improve my image…I’m definitely going do some serious work here…

3.       “Need and Interruption” (Mk. 5:36)

–          Independence: I have trust issues…point blank. I grew up with the belief that if you don’t trust people with things that mean something to you, you won’t get hurt, disappointed or burnt. This is wrong, but it worked for me for a long time…until I started placing this belief on God…I have to let go and let God.

–          Isolation from Faith-Stealers: I mean…what can I say? This hit home. It’s hard to get used to being lonely… I’ve never been an extrovert, but I’d like companionship from time to time. However, God desires me to long to be with Him not people. I’m learning that the more I grow in Him, the more that’s gonna make people uncomfortable, so I’m gonna stop taking things personally. I understand that not everyone will embrace my growth joyously. J

–          Holding on to the Conversation: THAT’S WHY THIS BLOG WAS STARTED!!! I love the contact, but like Pointer said, “It’s not perpetual”. When things hit hard…my emotions, my frustrations, my anger with God, even prevents me from getting what I need from His contact and sadly sometimes it keeps me from seeking contact, but I’ll always have the conversations. That’s why I look like a mad secretary during preaching time. That’s why I don’t sit next to my buddies during preaching time. That’s why I have two Bibles on my phone, like ten at home and always at least one in my purse. That’s why I couldn’t care if all the service sucks as long as the sermon was good…because I need the conversation!!!

–          Individual Responsibility for our Miracles: Amen. This hit me so hard…I don’t know what to say…I just thank him for that…J

Overall, I thank Pastor Pointer for his messages. They have helped me in a way that I could never express. These sermons will be a part of my memory, weapon arsenal, and devotional time…for a long time. May God bless you Pastor Pointer in your ministry. I can’t wait to hear you again! Until then, I’ll remember to leave the old stuff behind as I board for my flight in God’s will of learning to shout through my suffering as I learn to let interruptions strengthen my faith as I wait for Him to meet and minister to my needs. God bless.

“Need and Interruption” – Rev. P.A. Pointer

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Ok, grand finale. Closing night! Friday night…Pastor Phillip A. Pointer of Upper Marlboro, MD and Alexandria, VA just went ahead and PREACHED!!! Coming from Mark 5:36 (Jesus tells the disciples to have faith after Jairus’ daughter dies), he preached on “Need and Interruption”.

Here are the highlights of Friday night’s sermon:

–          Oftentimes, our independence is not an issue of arrogance, but more so a reflection of our lack of trust in people and God.

–          Sometimes Jesus causes interruptions during His progress, because He wasn’t us to hold on to our faith when things get worse.

o   DON’T BE AFRAID, KEEP BELIEVING!

o   DON’T LET INTERRUPTIONS BE A DISRUPTION OF YOUR FAITH!

–          What God does when we maintain our faith:

1.       He Isolates Us From People Who Can’t Help Our Faith (v. 37)

o   The closer we get to God, the smaller our circle gets.

§  God takes faith-stealers out of our lives!

§  There is a crowd of people surrounding us just to spectate with the hopes of entertainment with no investment whatsoever

§  He isolates us from professional mourners (those who find significance and even enrichment from our victimization) who are insincere with surface grief only

2.       He Makes Contact and Has Conversation With Our Needs (v. 41)

o   When Jesus touched her, she wasn’t dead, because He told them she was alive before He even went to her!!!!!!! J

§  It looks dead, but it ain’t.

§  Go by what He says, not what you see!!!

§  TRUST WHAT HE SAYS!

o   We can’t sit unmoved when He touches us. Something has to happen!

o   We need more than contact, though. We need conversation as well. Contact isn’t perpetual (or continuous, lol).

§  When we don’t feel the contact, we have to hold on to the conversation!

o   We have to operate on what we know, not just what we feel.

o   He talks to us, touches us and then we get up!

3.       He Assigns You to Minister to Your Minister (v. 43)

o   God’s miracles are made clear and real when they show up tangibly and physically and practically.

o   He wants us to participate in the perpetuation of our miracle (he could have just said that at the beginning and sat down and I would have shouted!!!!!).

o   WE HAVE MALNOURISHED MIRACLES! He gives us the blessing, but we haven’t fed it! Real praise is done in the sanctuary of individual responsibility!

o   When God makes a way, it’s our job to walk in the way He’s made.

“The Suffer’s Shout”- Rev. P.A. Pointer

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Rev. Pointer preached from Psalms 66:8-12 on the second night of our New Year’s Revival. As I said in the last post, I’ll give my reflection on all three sermons collectively in a separate post.

Here are the highlights of Thursday’s sermon:

–          God is at the bottom of our trouble (stop blaming it on spiritual inadequacy and/or the Devil).

o   He is the mastermind of life’s mystery.

§  His orchestration of misery is proof of His favor.

§  One of the best ways for Him to develop us is through difficulty.

o   Life’s difficulties are designed to develop our character.

§  Stop having selected memory and realize that all things are working for our good!!

–          Sufferers ought to shout because suffering teaches us that:

1.       We Can’t Be Destroyed By What We’re Going Through

o   In order to give our testimony, we had to survive it!

o   He doesn’t guarantee the upkeep of our exterior, but He does promises to keep our soul!

o   Earthly blessings fade, but the soul never deteriorates!

o   Our shout should be based on who has us, not what we have!

o   God is a stabilizer (He guards, guides and keeps our steps sure): Direction and Destination belong to Him

§  HE WON’T KEEP US IN PERFECTION, BUT HE’LL KEEP US IN PROGRESSION!

§  God sabotages our plans as shade from the heat we can’t handle. He’s what we need when we need it.

  • His identity is static, but His manifestation is dynamic! J

2.       I’m Being Developed by What I’m Going Through

o   God has tailored our troubles to the perfect temperature that will burn out our imperfections without burning the purity He sees in us.

§  He leaves us in the fire until He looks at us and sees His reflection. CAN GOD SEE HIS REFLECTION ON YOU?? UNTIL THEN, YOU’LL STAY IN THE FIRE!!!

o   God takes us to our nets (points of limitation).

§  He uses the points that our feelings of inferiority are exposed to show us His majesty and remind us of our identity in Him! J

o   He orchestrates afflictions to keep us humble.

3.       I Will be Delivered from What I’m Going Through

o   If we could get ourselves out, we wouldn’t need deliverance.

o   Don’t get discouraged by closed doors, God’s go the keys to the doors we need to get in!

o   How could we know He’s a problem-solver if we never had any problems?

 

“Learning What to Leave Behind” – Rev. P.A. Pointer

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At our New Year’s Revival, themed “Renewing, Recommitting and Reconnecting” (Rm. 12:1-2), Pastor Phillip A. Pointer of Upper Marlboro, MD and Alexandria, VA preached all three nights. When I say he preached, I mean he preached! He got up in our business, exposed us, convicted us, challenged us, comforted us…all that!

The first night, he came from Genesis 12:1-4 (story of Abram’s departure from Harran), and entitled his sermon “Learning what to Leave Behind”. First he told the story of Aaliyah (I love her still and wish she wouldn’t’ve died L). The cause of the flight which caused her death back in August 2001 was too much luggage on the plane. She went shopping and did not want to send her purchases separately. She wanted to keep the luggage with her and it ultimately caused her death. He related this to our lives. Too many of us have decided to keep all of our baggage on our trips and this will be the cause of our doom if we don’t let go. You can take flight into God’s will with extra baggage (I wrote “stop being spiritual hoarders”)!

Since he preached three nights, I’ll just do a separate reflection on his sermons collectively instead of one for each sermon.

Ok…here are the highlights of Wednesday’s sermon:

–          Our struggle to find lift off in life is caused by too much baggage.

o   Some of the things we want to bring with us need to be left behind.

o   We must abandon the familiar.

–          What we need to pack: faith, trust and hope in God’s provision

–          We get called out to be called to.

–          What to abandon/leave behind:

1.       The Old Land

o   It’s very easy to get comfortable in confusion. Harran was a land of luxury but it was also a land of confusion.

§  We need to move if there’s confusion!

  • Ur>Babel>Confusion>Idolatry
  • Abram grew up in a land that worshipped gods, but had a working knowledge of God.
  • Too many of us know God, but choose to worship Baal. Am I worshipping Baal?

2.       The Old Legacy (Your Father’s House)

o   It makes no sense to move with the same old people.

§  It’s not enough to just leave the land. We have to leave the people as well!

  • IF WE DON’T LEAVE THEM, GOD WILL TAKE THEM AWAY FROM US!

o   We have to get used to being alone (the further up you go…the smaller your circle gets).

§  We don’t need people’s hands on us to get through. We have enough in our soul to get through.

3.       Lot

o   We have a false sense of responsibility to people. Because we can’t let them go, we’re destroying them!

§  WE GOTTA LET THEM GO! LEAVE LOT ALONE!! DON’T LET LOT RUN THE GUILT GAME ON YOU!

§  There’s a difference between being a crutch to the wounded and being a couch to the whole.

–          When we are obedient and leave things behind for God, He’ll give us something that much better.

o   YOU CAN’T BEAT GOD’S GIVING!!!

 

“It’s Time” – Pastor Jamison D.H. Hunter

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The first Sunday of 2011 was, as expected, a joyous and celebratory occasion with new members and people who had made New Year’s Resolutions to recommit their lives to living for God. In that, Pastor Hunter took this opportunity to give a great charge and challenge to all those in attendance that “It’s Time”. Coming from Joshua 1:1-5, he delivered a powerful sermon charged with conviction, comfort and challenge.

Here are his sermon’s highlights:

–          When God makes a radical change, it doesn’t take an entire group of people.

  • He gives vision to visionaries. We have to stop handcuffing visionaries.
  • God doesn’t ask for your opinion or permission when He’s making a change.
  • God can do what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants, because He’s God!

–          GOD’S GETTING READY TO SHIFT SOME THINGS!

–          EVERYBODY’S NOT PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL!

  • Some of us are moving on up, but you may not be able to come!
  • God can’t trust just anybody with the spotlight.
    • Numbers 13-14: can you handle the spotlight?
  • Joshua’s qualifications:
    • He leaned on the Lord
    • He was loyal to his leader
      • In order to be a good leader, you have to be a good follower.

–          It’s time to reap the harvest of seeds we didn’t plant.

–          How to get ready for the change:

  1. Get Over What God Took
  • You can’t move into your destiny if you’re stuck in the past.
  • It’s time to move forward into what God has for us.
  • Some people are in our life for one season and one reason.  Stop making seasonal/reasonal people lifetime friends/companions.
    • God didn’t take stuff out of our life for us to look for them again!
  • STOP WORSHIPPING YOUR MOSES!!!!!!!!!!
    • We paralyze ourselves by getting stuck in old seasons.
  1. Cross Over
  • We struggle with our “that” because we haven’t crossed over our “this”.
  • To conquer “this” we have to look back at our past Jordans and take courage!
  1. Take Over
  • With the title to our blessings in our hand, the enemy still convinces us that he has possession.
    • We can either pout that he’s got our stuff or GO GET IT!
  • We have to stop settling for and living in marginality.

Snob’s Reflection:

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve blogged, because of the holidays and some personal things, but this sermon definitely got me right back on course. It is definitely time to step up and change. Pastor Hunter’s sermon challenged me to do things differently mainly in the area of vision. God’s given me visions, but I have been guilty of sitting on them because of the lack of support. Growing up in a democratic society, I’ve always felt that I needed the approval of a group of people in order to do something, even something for God. However, this sermon open my eyes to something I probably heard before: with God in your corner who cares if nobody else is there? The point on not worshipping your Moses was also very convicting. I will admit that I have some very strong, positive influences in my life like my mother, father, aunts, and some mentors, but I can’t be them, nor can I do everything like they do. I have been guilty of, not necessarily worshipping them, but of worshipping their methods. As Pastor Hunter says, living in the past paralyzes us in our pursuit of God’s destiny. I don’t want to miss what He has for me, because I wasn’t focused, because I was trying to life my life like someone else, or because I couldn’t have a real relationship with Him that addressed my needs, my personality and my assets, instead a relationship based on those I’ve witnessed others have around me. God I pray that in this new year, 2011, I rise to the challenge, that you instill the urgency of answering your call to whatever or wherever you’ll have me. Don’t let me become paralyzed by attempts of mirroring my ministry or relationship after others’. I pray this post has helped the readers to realize it is time. We’ve gotta get over what He took, cross over and take over! God bless.

“A Set-up for a Miracle” – Pastor Jamison D.H. Hunter

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Pastor Hunter preached his second sermon of the year from Mark 6:30-44 and entitled his sermon “A Set-up for a Miracle”.

Here are his sermon’s highlights:

–          If you don’t seek rest from ministry, you make yourself susceptible to satanic attacks.

–          Victory doesn’t mean we won’t be attacked.

–          Even the holiest (Jesus) need rest.

  • Spiritual weakness leads to spiritual destruction.

–          OUR NEEDS ARE NEVER GREATER THAN HIS PROVISION.

  • God has provisions for our needs before we knew we needed it.

–          How to set yourself up for a miracle:

  1. Go Get It
  • God performs it, but we have to participate in it.
  • We are so busy telling God what to do, we miss our blessings.
  • Sometimes God puts us in storms to give us the answer to our questions.
  1. Be Patient in the Process
  • No matter how many “no”s you get, there’s a divine “yes” waiting in the pile.
    • Keep looking! Don’t lose your diligence, lest you loose your blessing!
    • Don’t give up your patience during your search.
  1. Give
  • There’s nothing like God’s multiplication!
  • Jesus doesn’t add or subtract from our little bit, He stretches it.

Snob’s Reflection:

                Miracles are, well let me say were, things I have/had difficulty dealing with. I’m pretty reasonable and this led me to see God pretty realistically and practically (or so I thought). I understood that Christ performed miracles while on earth to make himself known to those around Him, but never really thought He would (not because He couldn’t but just because I figured we should get it by now) do it today, until I thought back over the story of my grandfather. I thought about how four years ago, doctors counted him out as a lost cause. About how his chemo and radiation quit on him, how experimental herbs failed, and how doctors said there’s no way he’d make it into 2007…but God! My grandfather is still alive today! Maybe not doing great! But here, because God is still doing a mighty work through him. Until God’s through with him, he’s gonna be around, and I thank God for that. This sermon caused me to reflect on the things going on in my life. The areas of lack that need to be stretched and multiplied, the areas of strain that need refreshment, amongst other things. I thought about how I struggle financially, but God keeps stretching my pennies to pay bills of hundreds of dollars, how my rent always gets paid, how the electricity, internet, phones, water and heat stay on, how my husband and I eat until we’re full EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, DAY AND MORNING, how we have a closet, three dressers, a bookshelf, three tubs, a space saver, and bags of clothing to choose from each day (sometimes changing throughout the day), how we have both our parents in good health, siblings who love us, friends, a great church, a great pastor, and a strong love for one another. Only because of God! I think about how my husband struggled to find employment for one year and five months and right at his point of giving up (after hundreds of “no”s) God gave him a job (a divine “yes”). Although it may not be his dream job, he’s gainfully employed doing something he’s good at and bringing in income to support our household…God is just good!!! This sermon just really spoke to my testimony. As Alex, my family and I continued to trust God with our finances, the fate of our family members, and the direction of our course, God has not failed us. He’s performed so many miracles already, there’s no way I could ever again say “God doesn’t still perform miracles, today”. I know He does today and I’m in the process of setting up for another one by being available and obedient (go get it), patient (be patient during the process), and giving all I have to Him every day! God bless.