I thought this picture was perfect for this post. LOL! "Influence: It Makes People Do Stuff!" Think about it. Is that NOT the truest of true, concerning "influence"??
This is what hit my brain this morning, as I prepared my heart and mind for work, as I pondered the lives and futures of our children, and as I thought about what it is to be a good father: "Nothing was EVER able to out-influence our parents when we were growing up!" I look at kids today and how EASILY they are influenced by music, television, social media, etc. They actually see reality where we saw fantasy, make-believe, and straight bull as kids. For us, it had EVERYTHING to do with the influence of our parents! We had more time with our parents than we did with sitters, kinfolk, and before/after school care programs. The influence of Winston Sr. and Elaine C. was FAR greater than that of Too Short, NWA, 2-Live Crew, or any other controversial music group, movie, or neighborhood "element".
We were not saints, but our grasp of REALITY and moral aptitude & obligation was CLEAR! Again, this is only because our parents made it a point to pour into us at every opportunity and put us in the environments necessary for such growth to take place. In this day and age, we have got to be extremely vigilant and intentional in teaching our youngans!!
Again, I say, NOTHING WAS EVER ABLE TO OUT-INFLUENCE OUR PARENTS WHEN WE WERE GROWING UP!!" HINT, friggin, HINT!!!!
HAPPY THURSDAY Y'ALL!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!
P.S. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." -Proverbs 22:6-
Okay, Okay, I just HAD to follow that last post with this one!! Remember when I mentioned that God reeked havoc on the Philistines after they took the Ark away?? Well this is the beginning of the havoc, found in 1 Samuel 5:1-5:
"After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold."
LOL!! RIGHT?? Now substitute "Dagon" out for whatever sin or addiction ails you, and KNOW that it AIN'T GOT NOTHIN on our God, the GREAT I AM!! Allow God to leave the gods of porn, alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual addiction, immaturity, ignorance, fear, malice, foolishness and all other things that cause that gap between us and our Father, headless and handless. Such gods will never be able to find us or touch us as long as we are in God's care and serve Him.
Again, I'm just sayin!! I LOVE Y'ALL!!
I have read the Books of Samuel several times over the past 16 years and every time, something new stands out and strikes my heart. Before I share the exact scripture, I do want you all to keep in mind that Israel had a history of refusal to destroy remnants of that which God needed GONE from their lives and lands. The scripture that sticks with me today is 1 Samuel 7:4. It says, "So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only."
In the story, leading up to this verse, we see the Philistines coming in to defeat Israel. They took away, as part of their spoils, the Ark of the Covenant. God reeked a bit of havoc on the Philistines to the point they decided to return the Ark, back to its people. I'm thinking that in the while that the Ark was gone, the Israelites began to worship the gods of the Philistines which was normal for a conquered people to do back in the day.
Now, the Ark is back. This is Samuel's word to the people:
"If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve Him only, and He will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:3)."
Knowing, by now, what verse 4 states, think about it. Samuel said, "RID yourselves" of them. The children of Israel simply put them away. We put things away to what.......go BACK for them, right?? Here lies the issue. In the cycle of sin and salvation, we sin. We, then, become slaves to the sin we love so much. It feels good. It looks good. It tastes good. Every body is doing it. It's so cool and pleasurable to partake in it. When we see the detriment of our doings, we cry out to God for salvation and deliverance. God, being the Father He is, hears us. He answers by giving us just that, the way out, salvation, deliverance. We simply box up our sins and put them away. He tells us, "Serve Me only! I've shown you the way!" We do good for a moment, then we find ourselves bored and impatient with serving God. We step out to the garage and grab that box off the top shelf and we begin again to bend to the will of the flesh.
That sound about right? We have got to STOP just putting away the things that drain and exhaust our hearts' and our souls' desires to make and keep God as our God!! Whatever it is, it needs to be gotten RID of!! If it is alcohol, don't just put it away!! Pour it down the drain! Enlist the wife or hubby or the kids to help. I'm sure they would LOVE to take those bottles away for b.b. gun practice. If it is porn, then take your nekkid movie collection and toss it into the fireplace or on the grill and BURN it! I am sure the wife or hubby will be a GREAT help in that department. Drugs? GET HELP, BEFORE the money is gone and you find yourself doing MORE ungodly things to support that habit.
Yes, I know it is easier said than done, but EFFORT people, MAKE EFFORT!! Take a step in the right direction and I PROMISE God will meet you there!! Open your eyes and ears to the right things. ACCEPT correction and instruction as it comes to lead you to the places in which you need to be found.
God's Word has always been "RID"! To often, our response is always to simply put away! It is SOLELY up to us to do better for ourselves, for our families, for our children!!
I'm JUST SAYIN!!!
HAPPY MONDAY Y'ALL!! I LOVE YOU ALL EACH AND EVERY ONE, WAY TOO MUCH TO HAVE LET THIS THOUGHT FLOAT AWAY UNHEARD!!
Think about how ant beds pop up in yards and annoy the devil out of us. Now, we all know that in order to get rid of them effectively, we must somehow get to that queen and kill her. If not, the ant bed will be back, in another part of the yard. Then, we find ourselves fighting the soldiers of the ant army over and over and over, NEVER fully wiping them out.
Read the following scriptures of the book of Revelations, chapter 12, and let it marinate.
"1 A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2 She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. 5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”[a] And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God,
and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens
and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short.”
13 When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15 Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus."
OH, HOW EXHAUSTING IT MUST BE FOR SATAN, TO KNOW WE WILL JUST KEEP COMING AND COMING AND COMING!!! OUR QUEEN IS UNTOUCHABLE!!!
HAPPY SATURDAY Y'ALL!! THE VICTORY HAS BEEN OURS SINCE BEFORE GOD SPOKE US TO BE!!! AMEN!!
This thought hit me, as I pondered my response to the voice in my head that just asked me, "What are you doING Bryan?"
I often hear people, myself included, talking more about "done's" and "gonna do's" way more that their "doings". What's the most important of the 3? The Past? The Present? The Future? I say, "THE PRESENT!!"
NOW is all we truly have. Scripture tells us that "Tomorrow is not promised." NOW is what determines our futures. The past, if anything, should be a reference to why the NOW is what it currently is.
What am I doING toward my future, my calling, my purpose?
What am I beING toward my future, my calling, my purpose?
How about you??
For many years of my younger life, I struggled to truly understand my father. A man of few words when it came to his deeper parts, he left a young man like me to assumption. I have to admit that my father and I hardly ever saw, clearly, eye to eye throughout my teenage and early adult years.
In 2005, he and I met for dinner and conversation at Copeland's, at the corner of Airport & Hillcrest. That night, I felt I didn't gather what I desired from him, but there was one thing he said, in reference to some of the things of which I sought understanding. Dad simply said, "Keep on livin!" Over the few years that followed, I began to see and grasp understandings of so much stuff. As a man, as a father, as a husband, a lot began to make sense. Time and experience is what I needed most, to gain the grasp I felt I was missing.
As I look at my kids now, and see me, so deeply rooted in them, I think of what it is that has helped me to understand my father most. The more I have gotten to know my own heart and self, I've gotten to know my father. He is me and I am him, in SO MANY ways. Seeing him in me and how I responded to him in my early years, helps me to understand why folks respond to me the way that they do.
Knowing how I love, protect, and will inflict serious harm on anyone who comes against my kids, I KNOW my Dad has always been that way about my brothers and I. They say that "the proof is in the pudding" and sometimes you have to "read between the lines." I agree that my father and I are so much alike in this way. To truly know our hearts will take work on the parts of the curious ones. You have to know how to read!! LOL!
Just so you know, Dad, I have actually listened and carried with me, A LOT of the things you've said and taught me in my life. I am grateful that YOU are my father. My being the father I am today, has so much to do with what I've observed of you over my short span of life. It also has a great deal to do with the you that resides in me, by the works of God Almighty.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD!! I LOVE YOU, MAN!!!!
When you see a friend or loved one, whose spirit is in a downward spiral, don't be afraid to jump out there to catch him/her. You'd be surprised at the strength that already exists inside of you. Your words may be the very things that restore him or her, or at least give them the strength and courage to get through yet another day.
"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His Love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Philippians 2:1-4)."
HAPPY MONDAY Y'ALL!! I LOVE YA, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!!
As I sat in Starbucks, early this morning, working on something my little sister L. Serentity Parker and big brother Troy K. Venning, have been urging me to do for YEARS now, a father and son enter. The son heads for the restroom and as he passes I notice "118:24" on the back of his shirt. Immediately, I grab my Bible and go to the Book of Psalms. It says, "The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad." Then, I thought about John 19:30 where Jesus tells us, "It is finished."
I thanked God for that verse. Think about it. All that you need to succeed and do exactly what God wills for you, is there already. It exists in your talents, your gifts, your hearts, minds, and souls. The only thing that prevents us from seeing it, is our own lack of walking the necessary path. To give a little added clarification, I offer Proverbs 19:21, "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."
Be encouraged in knowing that the path is clear and provisions provided, when you identify YOUR purpose, YOUR calling, YOUR reason for walking the earth, and simply head out in THAT direction.
When the young boy came out of the restroom, our eyes connected and he threw his head back, as to say, "what's up". It was as though he KNEW that he gave me a boost and that he had served part of his own purpose at that moment. I am encouraged to push forward, to continue seeking out more of what God has for me to do. All from some numbers separated by a colon on the back of a little boy's shirt. THANKS LIL DUDE!! May God Bless you and continue to guide you and your parents through this life!! AMEN!
I came across an old writing and thought I'd share "My Heart's Version of Lamentations 3:19-24":
I remember the heartaches, betrayals, hurt, and pain;
And the confusion and chaos that plagued my brain.
Remember them, I do, so well and vividly.
Bitter is my soul, burning deep within me.
But giving in to my heart, eliminates my thinking.
My heart keeps me afloat, when my mind would have me sinking.
My heart knows the Lord all too well.
My heart, within me, is where "I AM" has chosen to dwell.
By His love, I am never defeated.
By His love, I have all I have ever needed.
For, "The Lord Is My Portion," more than I will ever know.
The least I can do for Him is to simply let my Faith show in all I do and in
every place that I go.
HAPPY SATURDAY Y'ALL!! HAVE AN AWESOME DAY AND KNOW THAT GOD HAS GOT YOUR EVERY NEED COVERED!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!!
She sees me,
not the mirror me,
The me God made me,
My heart, my soul,
Made tangible to
Of the fire and fury
She is unafraid.
Tamer of my Heart
Mate of my Soul
God created her
To all others
Bending light in
A natural propagation
Takes Place as
Our two hearts marry
To make one
Then Love becomes
Our every action,
Even our sweat.
No story to give
Only our Truth
She sees me.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams