Saturday, February 5, 2011

Teach the Youth (Males)

I was home Friday going over some of my lessons and I paused to take a break.  My normal routine is to go outside via my back door, and just stand outside and marvel at God’s glory.  That day, I wanted to take a seat under the corridor that leads up to my front door.  As I was about to open my door, I peaked out via the side glass and seen a bunch of young men running over my lawn until they were out of site.  Then I seen this big strapping one, position himself on my lawn, wiped his feet, made some adjustments and he too ran until he was out of sight.  So I went outside to investigate and I saw what they were doing.  My next door neighbor’s boys seem to entertain their friends often when they (the parents) are not home.  On the side of my driveway there is a portion of grass that is approximately 10ft-12ft in width, which we share since the homes are built sort of close to each other, and then is their driveway.  What these young men were doing was seeing if they could clear that grass from my driveway to theirs by running and leaping over it.  What caused me to address these young men is the type of grass that I have.  It is low tolerant when it comes to traffic, and can easily wither away.  So when I came outside, they already knew I was coming to speak to them.  The big one adjusted himself as though I was no one important, I’m guessing since he had more size than me.  I fell into the trap and entertained my flesh.  I violated his space to where I was close enough to kiss him, and made my point clear to stay off of my lawn.  I believe the point was well taken.  My behavior on the other hand, was completely in error.

            One reason why I was in error is I assumed that these young men knew better.  I am not privy to their upbringing, whether they are raised in a respectful home, or in a dysfunctional one.  My second error, is I may have embarrassed him to now he will have an ought with me instead of seeing me as a friend.  Their behavior is no different from young males walking around showing their dirty drawers, acting the fool in the malls, or trying to sleep with every girl they lay their eyes on.  It is no different because in every situation the question begs, have they been taught better?  Just as I shared yesterday regarding teaching the young women, there is a stronger urgency to teach the young men, especially young black men.  I do not want to flood this reading with statistics; however this is the first statistical data I have ever read that now shows teenagers as young as 13 being in danger.  It is very, very disturbing.  Click here to read more about it.

            Why are our young males behaving in this manner?  What is the root cause?  Allow me to share something that may shed some light.  In 1985 a young beautiful woman penned a song called “The Greatest Love of All.”  This young beautiful woman is Whitney Houston.  Look what her first and second stanza reads:

I believe that children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone to fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me

Now please consider these verses from the bible:
“He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” (Pr 13:24)
“Chasten your son while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction.” (Pr 19:18)
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Pr 22:6)
“Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.” (Pr 29:17)
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph 6:4)

What does Whitney’s song and these verses have in common?  It points to the necessity of teaching our youth the right things, or else.  Whitney’s song said, “Teach them well and let them lead the way” These young men who walk around showing their behinds, who are they leading, more important, who taught them?  Whitney’s song said “people need someone to look up to”  These young men who are making babies but not owning up to their responsibilities, who were they looking up to, more important, who will their children look up to?  The verse above states “train up a child in the way he should go” These young men who do not respect women, or go as far as raping them, where did they get their training from?  Another verse says “correct your son, and he will give you rest” These young men who are constantly in and out of jail causing their mom or dad to run back and forth to court, or staying up late at night waiting for them to come home because that would be their comfort that they lived another day, where is the correction there?  I can go on and on.  Whitney was on point, and the bible is crystal clear.

That thug that you see on the corner that you turn a blind eye to is a product of him not being taught how to be a responsible and respectable young man.   Let’s analyze this a bit further.  Let’s give this thug the name Dushawn. You come to find out, that Dushawn’s father was is thug also, and went to jail when Dushawn was young.  So he had no positive male role models around growing up.  Dushawn’s grandfather was an alcoholic and so was the grandfather’s father, and so on and so on.  Dushawn’s mom was molested by her father.  Dushawn’s grandmother on the mom side knew about it but did nothing because it has happened to her as well, and it can go back and back which points to a pattern of behavior.  These issues can go deep as the black hole, until it reaches to Adam and Eve.  My point is what about the now?  What do we do, so the cycle does not continue moving forward?  The overall solution, is they have to be taught different than what they know now.  Is it simple? No it is not, but nonetheless that is what has to happen to break this damaging chain of behavior. 

When looking at our youths, both male and female, it is easy to talk about their negative behavior.  It is easy to comment on the way they dress.  It is easy to look at them with disgust.  It is easy to point out why they are the way they are and put blame on being raised this way or that way, but if that is all we do, then it is just as bad as we ignoring it.  When milk is spilled, it is spilled.  Wash the glass and pour some more in it.  Talking about why they are the way they are is not going to help.  Yes, some of this behavior is based on generations of the same thing, ok, let’s break that cycle.  Yes, the t.v. and the music videos, and the songs, and other media avenues add to the problem.  It is easier to train youths to not feed into that stuff, than to address the companies and media outlets to change their delivery, so let’s start with what is easy. 

To address these issues will be long and the methods may be complex.  There can also be different avenues outside of the bible that can be of assistance.  What is evident, is what they know now, is leading them down the wrong path, and in order for their path to change to the right one, they will have to learn that there is a different and better way and it must be taught in order to learn it.  Amen!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Teach The Youth (Females)

I was speaking with a friend of mine a few weeks back and she shared with me some disturbing information.  She was looking to by some undergarments for her daughter who is a young teenager.  She was browsing on JcPenny’s website to where she could not believe her eyes.  When she sent me the link, I was shocked as well.  JcPenny was advertising underwear for young teenage girls such as “Flirtitude push up bras and lace bikini thongs.”  Are you kidding me?  Help me understand why would young teenage girls need push up bras with a flirty look to them?  What purpose would it serve outside of the obvious?  Also, why would young teenage girls need lace bikini thongs?  What is the emphasis behind this sort of marketing?  What is sad, is not only are they marketing it, but how young teenage girls will flock to purchase them, and possibly some adults, who think it would be cute to buy them for their daughters.
This is what our society has become.  A society that sees success is only attainable when sex or sex appeal is involved.   Companies use commercials with half dressed women, in an attempt to sell their product, which by the way does no service.  Men are so busy looking at the woman only to forget what the commercial was really about.   Music videos especially rap ones; have women parading around in clothes where part of the apparel is clearly lost in crevices.  The reality shows that show more skin than clothes.  Majority of the drama shows has some form of intimate scenes that are borderline soft porn, and the message that all of this portrays is that it is acceptable for women to behave in this manner.  Young women are no longer focusing on keeping a reputation that points to chastity, but more showing signs that sex is possible depending on what the man can offer.  Whatever happened to respect?  Whatever happened to dignity?  What worth is being expressed from these young girls nowadays?   My goodness.  I remember as a young man, you can tell if a girl was holding even if she was revealing little.  I remember how exciting it was to imagine how she would look without clothes.  No, my mind should not have been there, but it caused me to focus more on who the girl was based on her character and not on how much flesh was revealed.  Nowadays, everything is out.  No room for imagination.  Young boys are able to see what these young girls have, and that is their focus.  These young girls have come to the conclusion that a boy would like them based on how skimpy the outfits they are wearing and not by the content of their conversation, which in some cases, that too is in jeopardy.
In the book of 1 Peter, the Apostle was addressing women to negate the things that give weight to their character by outer means, but strengthening that of the inner.  He stated “Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”  (1 Pet 3:3-4)  This is so important because it speaks not only how a woman should behave via her appearance, but also what type of message is she putting out there.   Would the man only be drawn to them based off of their goods, or would he be drawn to her spirit and the aura she displays?
Young girls are not being taught the way of old and have fallen into situations that their minds are not prepared for.  It is our responsibility to instruct these young girls better than how they have been taught.  The bible states “older women be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-- that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” (Tit 2:3-5)  Sadly, you have mature women behaving like the teenagers, and mothers being a friend to their daughters instead of being a parent.  This is hurtful and it is damaging, not only to the young women now, but also to the generations that follow.  A change is needed yesterday.  Amen!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Logic or Faith

It is amazing how people can take a stance on not believing in God solely based on their reasoning.  I remember a conversation I had with a man at work and he was sharing with me on how lucky he was.  The story he shared to me was more than luck, but a miracle.  So when I heard it, I said “thank God everything worked out ok.”  This man began to lace me on how God had nothing to do with it, and how God is a myth, and a whole bunch of garbage.  I tell you family, I really do not like to defend the faith in that manner, but I enjoyed my conversation with him.  I asked him why he doesn’t believe in God.  He said because he cannot believe in nothing his five senses cannot identify with.  So my response is then how do you believe in luck?  Where does luck connect with any of your five senses?  To make a long story short, he said I do not believe in anything that cannot be proven.  He must have sensed I was going to ask him, how then luck is proven, because he walked away.  We never really talked again after that.  He was fired shortly afterward because of his violent attitude.  To be honest, I am glad that he was gone, because he is one of those people that might go postal, and I am sure, he would have came after me first.
Believing in God can be difficult for some.  Their stance is if it is not logical then it is not believable.   Logic says, they cannot trust what they cannot contact or understand with their senses or intellect.  If they pray, who are they praying to, since they cannot see anyone.  That seems to be the stance for many.  So what is logic and what is faith?  Logic is defined as principles of reasoning applicable to any branch of knowledge or study.  Faith is a belief that is not based on proof.  Looking at these two words, the contrast is evident.  My challenge however, is that logic is based on the use of one’s capacity to reason, which is based off of a flawed method.   For example, a person’s bias can affect the way they see things.  A person’s preferences can affect what they hear, so is logic a good stance to defend?  Another example, a woman is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  She was given a death sentence of 3 weeks to live.  She requested a second, third, and a fourth opinion to where all 4 doctors had concurred she has 3 weeks to live.  Suddenly, the cancer is gone.  Without any medical or scientific treatment, the cancer has disappeared as though she never had it.  Those who stood on logic would use words such as “anomaly” or “phenomenon” to explain it.  If it defies logic, why can it be God?  This woman unbeknownst to the doctors had people praying in the name of Jesus for her to recover.  This is what is called a corporal prayer.  The bible states “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”  (Mt 18:19)  On one side, logically she should have died, and on the other side, a bunch of people believed if they prayed together in Jesus’ name, she will be healed.  In this scenario, logic would have to be abandoned and sound judgment will have to be applied, pointing to the high possibility that faith was the answer.

There are countless stories like the one above.  A petite woman lifting a car off of her child, a man being shot point blank range in the forehead only for the bullet to pierce the skin, and not the skull, or what about a dog that saves a family from a burning house whose baby has the name Nevaeh, heaven spelled backwards.  How then is logic applied?  The bible says “But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”  (1Co 2:9-11)  When it comes to God and His word, logic will fail.  Logic will fail because man’s mental abilities have limits.  Our creative and wildest imagination could not come close to what God can do.
There are things where logic can be applied, and is very helpful in making sound decisions regarding secular things.  However, when it comes to God, we will be limited until we put down logic and exercise faith.  If not, not only will logic fail, but logic can turn one into a fool, for only a fool can witness so many things that cannot be explained yet line up with what is written in the Bible, and yet say there is no God (Ps 14:1)  Amen!
“The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion on an intelligent and powerful Being." –Isaac Newton

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Need For Scriptures

We live in a world where proof is required for everything.  When we buy a car, we need to perform a test drive.  When we buy appliances we need to see that it works.  On top of that, we need some type of warranty to make sure we are covered, in case the product later fails.  Unfortunately, there is a valid reason why this is so.  It’s greed. The ruler of this world has had his way.  He entered the hearts of the weak, and led them to believe they need things to make them happy.  These things are not free, so the more money you have, the more things you have.  Because of greed, many will try any and everything to get over.  Those who become victims, tell themselves “this will never happen again.”  Now trust is gone.  Instead of someone telling us that the item they are selling will work, and we believe it; we now require proof.  This is the same when it pertains to God, His promises and His blessings.  Man requires proof, where God requires faith.  This is an unhealthy way of thinking, and it can only be broken by reading the scriptures.
Scripture tell us, that when we lean to our own understanding, we get lost; however, if we trust God He will direct our paths (Pr 3:5-6).  Scripture instructs us on how we are to behave towards one another (Jn 13:34), for if we are left with our own instructions, we can become destroyers instead of builders.  Scriptures tell us, that because of our thinking, we forfeited our right to be immortals (Gen 3:22); however, it also tells us how to have life eternal (Jn 3:15).  So it is evident, that there is a need, urgency, a necessity for scriptures, for without it, we are lost and dead.
Scripture is also an inspiration to us.  When you look at it, in the beginning, God spoke, and it came to pass (Gen 1:1-29).  Moses through God’s authority would have made rock flow water (Nu 20:7-8).  If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains (Lu 17:6).  You read stories on how Jesus healed the sick, and made the blind see, and the dumb speak, and he ends in “your” faith did this (Matt 4:23-24, Mr 7:31-37, 8:22-26).  Then James said no matter what you are going through it is all good (Ja 1:2-3).  In other words, do not concentrate right now on your circumstance, just ride it out, and look to the end because in the end is glory.  Hallelujah!   All of this happens because it said so in scripture. 
But how did God, an invisible and all powerful spirit, put words in a book for us to read?   Simple and to the point, and I believe it with all my heart; scriptures was written by man but inspired by God.  Deut 18:21-22 says"And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”  Peter also confirmed this by saying in 2 Peter 1:19-21 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;  knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”. So in “Layman’s terms”, the Holy Scriptures is God’s main evidence that the Word of God, the Bible, is His word and not something made up by men. 
            Family, the Lord speaks to me daily.  I give God praise in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening.  It is when I am at my desk; I receive the word for the following day.  Today, I listened and listened, but did not hear anything.  I spoke to my former pastor and friend and I knew if I just speak to him for a little bit, I will receive something.  I thought I did, but it turned out that it wasn’t.  At approximately 6:20pm-6:25pm, I received this from the Lord.  I heard, “My Word is important.” Everybody wants proof.  Proof is contingent upon a flawed mind understanding what it sees.  When it comes to God, that logic is incomparable.  A flawed mind cannot comprehend a flawless doctrine, hence faith is necessary.  Family, this was probably one of my hardest lessons, but I believe the Lord wants me to share with one of you, that you indeed need the scriptures.  I pray that God bless and keep you, and that He reveals to you the mysteries of the faith via scriptures.  Amen!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

But I Love Him

Girl #1: 
Have been dating a guy for a few months.  He says the right things to her.  He does the right things for her.  He is the perfect gentlemen.  Time goes on and her feelings grow more and more for him.  One day she receives a call from one of her friends to meet her at a restaurant.  She complies and the two sit at a table and wait.  The restaurant looks familiar so she begins to tell her friend how her man brought her there before, and she begins to glow as she remembers the evening.  Her friend touches her hand and points in the direction of a family having dinner.  When she looks, she sees the person who she has referred to as her man having dinner………with his wife and kids.  Her friend says to her, you must end it, to a response of “but I love him.”

Girl #2:
Is a child of God.  She goes to church every Sunday, she goes to bible study every Wednesday, and is present for almost every church activity.  You can see her happiness when she is around her church family.  When she goes home, the atmosphere is different.  She has a husband who works, and takes care of the bills, but he drinks more than usual, and when he is on the phone with his buddies, his profanity laced conversations will make a sailor blush, nor does he shows any respect for her faith walk.  She invites him to church, but he feels he is a grown man, and do not need to hear another grown man yell at him.  She shares with her church sister how she wishes he would change.  Her church sister inquired how they got to the point of marriage, where she tucked her head down in a bashful and sort of embarrassing manner and giggled like a teenager.  Her church sister nodded in understanding, but asks “is this who you believe God wants in your life?”  Her response, “but I love him.”

Girl # 3:
Is in a terrible relationship.  Her man is always high, hardly holds down a job, and comes in at all hours of the night.  One night she confronts him on his actions, and he responded in a degrading manner.  To keep the peace, she does not bring it up any more.  One day while doing his laundry, she finds an open condom wrapper in his back pocket.  She waited patiently for him to come home that night and confronts him.  Because he was caught, he begins to beat her senseless.  She manages to get out of the apartment and one of the neighbors sees her and takes her in.  The neighbor calls police and the boyfriend was arrested.  At court time, she insists she does not want to press charges.  Things cooled down, but another evidence of an affair arises and she tries to confront him in a manner that is gently.  He begins to raise his voice and throw things around the apartment.  The neighbor comes with her two sons at the door, and she tells him “not this time.”  He storms out threatening that the neighbors better not be here when he returns.  The neighbor said to her that she should not have allowed him to come back, and her response, “but I love him.”

      Three different girls and three different scenarios that we are all too familiar with.  There seems to be a disconnect in what some women believe is love, and what love really is.  The bible gives the most clear and beautiful example of what love is.  In 1 Cor 13:4-8, love:
  • Suffers long
  • Is kind
  • Does not envy
  • Does not parade itself
  • Is not puffed up
  • Does not behave rudely
  • Does not seek its own
  • Is not provoked
  • Thinks no evil
  • Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
  • Bears all things
  • Believes all things
  • Hopes all things
  • Endures all things
  • Never fails
       Some women need to hold their men to a higher standard.  These relationships seem to be built on convenience and compromise instead of being built on love and respect.  Ladies, love also is reciprocal.  If you are giving love, it supposed to be returned back to you.  If this is not the case, there is an error present. 

Girl # 2 hits home for me.  My wife was similar to Girl # 2.  My wife was not going to church, but she was going to weekly bible studies.  She would invite me, but of course I would decline.  I did not get high or drunk, but I did have a toilet mouth.  Every week she would invite me, and every week I would decline.  There was a time I was irritated due to the constant invites.  Then she suddenly stopped inviting me.  I noticed her demeanor was different.  She spoke differently, she looked different, everything about was different.  One day I purposely did something to anger her, and she handled it with ease.  I felt so ashamed.  I began to show up to their bible studies.  It was only women there.  I just sat in the living room trying to act manly.  As the woman of God was sharing the gospel, I moved from the living room to the floor near their table.  Before you knew it, I was at the table with them.
 By the grace of God, I am now in my rightful place.  There is a verse for this ladies.  It reads “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,  when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.” (1Pe 3:1-2)  I am proof of this verse, however the scripture did say “may be won.”  If a woman is doing what she is suppose to in this scenario and the man is not moved, then he is not worthy.  There is an example of a Godly woman in front of him, and he is blatantly disregarding, which is the same as disregarding the word.

I pray that this lesson be used as a guide for women to make sound decisions in the future when choosing a man.  Amen!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Do Good, Not Evil

I sometimes wonder if people feel it is better to do evil instead of good. My wife and I were in Walmart earlier.  It was very crowded and there were more registers open to accommodate customers with 20 items or less than those with more.  My wife and I went to a register and after briefly waiting; the cashier said that she was closed.  No worries.  When she said that, I looked at her register light, which was register 17, and it was off.  So the mistake was on us.  We went to the next register over and waited patiently until it was our turn to have our groceries rung up.  There was a couple in front of us who would be next to put their items on the conveyor belt.  The woman however kept looking back at register 17.  I took it as she also was on that line and was also told it was closed.  So naturally when someone keeps looking in a specific direction it makes you curious to look also.   There were customers after customers going to that register only to be told that she was closed.  I could not see what was so fascinating about a cashier telling customers that her line was closed.
The line we were on was a slow line, but we were getting there.  It was now the couple’s turn to be rung up.  While her mate was placing the items on the belt, she started to look in the direction of register 17 again.  Me and my nosey self also looked over.  While the cashier’s back was turned, due to packing the groceries, an old lady rode up in one of those motorized carts and began to place her items on the belt.  When the cashier realized what was happening, the lady had almost all of her items on the belt.  The facial expression on the cashier’s face was obvious.  It was not of anger, but of “oh well.”  What happened next I could not believe.  The woman in front of me began to make noise because the cashier allowed the old woman to remain on the line.  Mind you, her mate was already packing the groceries on the belt.  She made a big stink and asked for a manager.  The cashier tried to explain, but that woman was not having it.  I glimpsed at my wife, and my wife’s expression of course was of disgust.  A manager came and the woman started to go off, and trust me family, my tongue was itching to break through my lips to say something.  This woman then made a lame attempt in apologizing to the old woman saying it is not about her. 
Family, that was a clear and undeniable expression of one’s wicked heart.  The bible speaks on things that God is against and one of them is “A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil.” (Pr 6:18)  Let’s look at this again.  After the woman was told that register 17 was closed, she did not want to leave it alone.  She kept looking back to see if the cashier will let someone go through.  This is where the “feet that are swift in running to evil” comes in.  It was almost like she was hoping for it.  This woman’s wicked intent did not allow her to even display common sense.  Her mate was already putting the groceries on the belt, so why push the issue?  She has a wicked heart that’s why.  Her darkness did not even see why the cashier let the old woman pass.  The old woman was in the handicap cart.  Did she really want the cashier to tell the woman to remove her items?  If you are not disgusted yet, maybe you will be after this.  This woman went and spoke to another manager after her groceries were bagged and was leaving the store.  My goodness.
Family, I felt so disgusted that I went home and called the store and made sure I spoke to the manager to defend that cashier.  To my not so surprise, the woman gratuitously exaggerated the facts according to what the manager had shared with me.  God is against this behavior.  The word of God warns us about this behavior.  No one knows the mind of God, but we read examples of His righteous judgment.   Whenever you hear of someone going through something, or things just not seem to work out in their favor, remember this lesson.  It may be “karma” finding its way home.  Amen!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Are You A Prodigal Child?

Well, I would not say prodigal.  I took a deeper look into the word and it means wastefully or recklessly extravagant.  I pray that it does not apply to you.  I was referring to a portion of the bible that speaks about a son, who wanted his share of his father’s riches prematurely.  It is a very touching story that resonates with many of our decisions we made when we were younger.
            The story goes as follows: "A certain man had two sons.  "And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood.  "And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.  "But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.  "Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  "And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.  "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  'I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, "and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." (Lu 15:11-19)
            The story is titled in the bible as the “Prodigal Son.”  Although we may not have spent lavishly like he did, but we did want to go out on our own as quickly as possible.  We wanted to taste what the world has to offer.  We did not take heed to the many warnings our parents foretold in our ears.  We ignored it as an old folk tale.  We were younger and smarter than they were when they grew up, so we had it together.  We went to parties every weekend.   Having sex was of the utmost importance.  To those whom this apply, the drugs added the icing on the cake.  Part of us wish we knew of this life sooner.  However, there is always that moment.  An epiphany if you will.  We all at one time or another got to that point and ask that famous question.  “What am I doing with my life?”
            Just like the prodigal son who realized his error at his lowest point, we also at one point realized that our parents were right.  Any of you have children?  Have you not said now I know why my mom did this or that?  My father used to tell me all the time to save, save, and save, and all I did was spend, spend, and spend.  It is now, that I realized he was trying to show me good habits dealing with my finances.  Ladies, you know I am talking right.  Some of you see shoes, and it is like another personality takes over you.  You buy that pair of shoes and an outfit to match, knowing you have a bill to pay soon.  No worries, you will default on one bill to accommodate that one, hence the term, “rob Peter to pay Paul.” Or what about that favorite one?  Get an education!  You will be nothing without it.  Now I may sound insensitive, but this is real.  I’ve seen grown women, as cashiers at McDonald’s.   I’ve seen grandmothers working at Walmart.  Praise God, they have a job, but ask them is this how they pictured it would be, and 99% will tell you absolutely not.  
            Some of you after all these years are still at that lowest point.  If your decisions were similar to the prodigal son’s error, then take his example of humility and go before God and say you need His help.  Tell God, you have not wanted your life to be this way, and you need His help to change.  Just as the prodigal son’s father was happy to see him return and received him, so you will God receive you even now.  Get up from your fall, hold your head high, and now receive what God has for you. Amen!