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Archive for the ‘expressions’ Category

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
-Proverbs 15:2 (NIV)
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,
but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
-Proverbs 15:4 (NIV)

The Word provides a contrast between the wicked and the wise when it comes to conversation. Each conducts himself in a vastly different way. The wise and the wicked conduct themselves differently, especially when it comes to how they use their words. According to Proverbs 15, the conduct of the wise leads to one taking “the path of the upright” (verse 19).

  • You have to remain composed
  • You have to resist confrontation

Your conduct in conversation will reveal your character. You can turn people off or away by the way you speak to people. Think about how you say things to others. Even what you say can lose its message and meaning when you are not conscious of how you conduct yourself in conversation.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14 (ESV)

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I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.- Psalm 40:1 (NKJV)

I dare anyone to say that David was  not patient.  I truly suspect that David endured enough to learn extreme levels of patience as God bought him up as a shepherd boy, a man of war and a priest-like king.  He was developed as he discovered his destiny, developing patience all along the way.

David is a shining example of patience in practice.  He didn’t just offer lip service about waiting on the Lord.  He exemplified faith as he held on, awaiting and expecting God to respond to him. 

He developed patience as he was developed by God.  The patience that he would need to restrain his men from tearing Shimei to shreds would come about over time.  The patience that would allow him to mourn for his wayward son Absalom was developed years prior to losing his throne to his son.

Look at Psalm 40.  David was in a “horrible pit” and God delivered him, but the Word does not say that it was an overnight deliverance (v. 2).  The Lord even put a new song in David’s mouth according to verse 3.   Yet, David shows that he learned some things along the way, experiencing newfound endurance as he waited on the Lord. 

David learned what God desires out of those who seek the Lord earnestly.  David learned more about the truth of worship rather than the tradition of worship.  David was able to look at God’s abundant mercy and blessings and his own utter unworthiness. 

David saw that being picked up out of the pit was only the stirring up of genuine praise (v. 2).  David got fired up for praise so much that he began to sing that “new song” (v. 3).  David got so caught up in worship that he started filling the assembly of God’s people with wonderful words like: tender mercies, faithfulness, righteousness, lovingkindness, and salvation (vv. 9-11).  David was speaking from an experience that was birthed as he awaited the Lord’s response.  He went so far as to say that he did not restrain his lips (v. 9).  David learned the benefits and blessings of putting patience into practice.

But I am poor and needy;  Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.

Psalm 40:17 (NKJV)

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I will bless the LORD at all times;  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.– Psalm 34:1 (NASB)

There’s plenty of room for boasting when it comes to the Lord.  We call it praise.  It involves worship, blessing the Lord with the “fruit of your lips.”   Beyond what we say, it involves our very spirit in coordination with the Lord’s Spirit.  We can be lifted up in the midst of someone else shouting praises to His name as another pours out tears of relief from pain and another cries out His name in acceptance of His answers to the confusion of life.  Each of these people offer the Lord what they have to offer Him, and they offer it from the heart and in the spirit and truth.

What are you using to worship God? What about worship? Are you in it or into it?

The Book of Psalms is the Holy Bible’s hymnal of sorts.  It’s a book of praises and poems.  In several instances, it reveals that the entire volume is suitable for the wide variety of needs within the congregation on any given day.  Yet, Psalm 34 opens up with a proclamation and profession that should ignite contagious worship.  It opens with blessing the Lord at all times, praise continually in my mouthThe psalm continues to speak of how the writer will boast about the Lord so much that the “humble and afflicted [will] hear and be glad.”  Then, in verse 3, the psalm writer provides an outright and open invitation to worship together  Imagine how uplifted that congregation would be after that declarative opening  and the opportunity to get lifted up and join in the blessing.

 David wrote this psalm out of the pure inspiration of the Lord showing Himself as his protection.  David had pretended to be insane before Abimelech.  He truly was at his wit’s end at that point.  There was no real guesswork once God had delivered David from his enemies.  He could boast about the Lord.  He had earned some bragging rights about the God he served and the God who saved him. 

We don’t use extol like it appears in the King James Version.   We do understand that we can boast of the Lord’s goodness and grace.  We do know that we can brag about His mercy and His might.  We do know that we can bless the Lord for His loving kindness and His peace.  He’s done so much already for us.  There’s so much we can offer Him.  Let’s start by submitting and surrendering to His Spirit within us so that we can spark some blessing and boasting among us.

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I wrote Words from the Underground in order to speak out and give a literary voice to the stories that lie hidden within the inner city streets of urban America.  I’ve been out there over the years.  Back in the day, I craved the allure of the street life that promised easy riches and high times.  I discovered that nothing is easy out in the streets, especially when you throw in drugs and money.  Fast forward several years.  I found myself on the streets as I sought to stir up community involvement through urban faith-based and community-based programs.  Later, once a minister of the gospel, I was doing “street ministry,” sharing through the Word and good works.  It was a complete turn around.

 I use my creative expressions through writing and seek to shed light on the darkness that exists and seems hidden from the eyes of most of America.  They do not know the pain of the people.  They fail to see the people on the streets as real people.  To me, it is more than a book.  It’s poetry mixed with social commentary and advocacy.  Perhaps, someone will read this and gain a deeper and clearer understanding of what goes on out there.  Someone else may read this and feel like someone has finally put into words what had been pulsating within them for so many years.  Finally, this may truly move someone to do something.  Maybe someone will develop a program to help others within their city.  Maybe someone else will start speaking out and advocating for the people who live in these inhumane conditions.  Truthfully, I would be satisfied if someone just read my words and started treating people like people, never truly knowing what someone else’s story may be beneath the mask they wear day in and day out.  Maybe so.

Enter into a world unknown to many… the Underground.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

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 A while back, maybe a year or two, I started working on some poems that told the story about life in the inner city and the urban streets.  I began to conjure up poems and vignettes about the streets in the fashion and style of an Iceberg Slim or Donald Goines.  I started crafting urban sorrow songs like those penned by Rick James and Marvin Gaye.  I wrote “Words from the Underground” which will be released tomorrow at www.lulu.com/lifepath/ .  Here is ‘Lessons from the Streets’ as a sample  of the works contained in this new publication.

The lessons on the street

Can leave you bruised for life.

They can leave some permanent scars.

I’ve seen folks take it like a joke

And then come up lame.

This ain’t no game for kids.

It’s the real thing out here.

Bullets tear flesh

And make holes in domes

It’s a war zone 24-7 out here

With the enemy at every turn

Even when they say they riding with you.

Can’t trust a soul when the game’s like this.

You got to choose your battles

Before someone sets sights on you.

Make a move

Even if it ain’t the first move

But God help you make one.

Whatever you do,

You better make it quick.

That’s all that’s to it

And it’s true.

I saw a man lose his life

Because he didn’t make a move.

He could be here today

But he didn’t make his move.

It’s just another lesson.

Another one to learn.

The lessons in the streets will mess with you

Then get in your head real bad

And leave you so sick

That life will lose its meaning

And even its value.

Learn it one way

Or learn it another,

But the streets will teach you

How to survive or die

Just by being out there.

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“Just as Christ demonstrated God’s love, believers are to demonstrate to the world Christ’s love.” – Andrew Murray

Take a long, hard look at how we love others.  Look at how we love the “world.” Do we show love to others? Do we share our love with others? See if we are offering the love of Christ to people freely and unconditionally.

People learn about Christ from us as believers.  They see our lights shining in the midst of the storm and approach us, seeking safety and security.  What they discover is that we are not the true Light.  The Light is Jesus Christ.  We are merely to serve as reflections of the Light, so that others will come seeking out such a life in the glorious light.

Make today the day where you go forward with love.  Show your love towards others.  Share your love with others.  Let love serve as your purpose for interacting with others today.  You can love someone without expecting anything in return except that they come closer to seeing the Light.

Books for Showing the Greatest Love of All

 

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 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.-Psalm 119:11 (KJV) 

  

 

 

 Denzel Washington has truly been redeemed.  “The Book of Eli” has served as a true artistic redemption for Denzel in the eyes of many who had felt he had lost some of his luster after “Training Day.”   

Denzel had captivated our attention with his stirring portrayal of Malcolm X in Spike Lee’s “X” and wowed us to tears as an endearing father in “John Q.”  He even won us over as the cocky attorney in “Philadelphia” and the unconventional reporter in “The Pelican Brief.”  Denzel had our hearts and keep us going back for more, movie and movie.  And then came “Training Day”. . . 

 Fast forward from “Training Day” to “The Book of Eli.” It’s like night and day.  If you thought Denzel took you to the limits in “Training Day” with his cinematic portrayal of a dirty L.A. cop, then you really can’t categorize the stunning and suspenseful Eli that Denzel depicts in “The Book of Eli.” In case you were done on Denzel after “Training Day,” he will leave you lost for words in ‘The Book of Eli.” 

Why did we not get a lot of reviews and trailers regarding “The Book of Eli?” Hollywood is the answer.  When you consider the way 2004’s ‘The Passion of Christ” and “The Chronicles of Narina” were treated by Hollywood reviewers and film critics.  Think for a moment and recognize that we cannot seek the world’s approval while advancing the Gospel of Christ.  We desire the world to accept Him and His Word, not for us to be accepted by the world.  I praise those who venture out the cinematic norm to share movies with messages that cause us to reflect and return to the Word of God once again.  if you haven’t seen “The Book of Eli,” rent it or borrow it on DVD from someone.  It’s a great flick.  

By the way, let Denzel go on making movies in peace.  Truly, he has been redeemed. 

  

  

 

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 I felt driven to share some of my pieces of poetry as I prepare to publish my fourth book of poetry, Words from the Underground.  I find these to be pieces that will set the tone for my most secular poetry work that I have done to date.  These words are words from my heart based upon what I have seen, heard and even experienced in ministry, service and just plain life.  They open the vast world of the urban streets that remain unknown to many who may never venture into such places otherwise.  May God bless you.

Missing Motivators

 

I counted them on my fingers.

I counted them one by one.

I counted them out loud

Until my counting was done.

I counted them one by one.

I counted them until I was done.

I counted them and counted on them,

But now I find none.

 

The Beauty in the Beast

 

The beauty in the beast

Remains hidden deep within.

The beauty rests inside.

It is a mystery of its beauty

Lives beyond normal sight.

It is the beauty of the beast

That rarely is seen.

To know its beauty is

To know the beast.

Both of these poems will be available in my upcoming summer release, “Words from the Underground.”

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… but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.- 1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV)
Leadership is lonely business. David knew that firsthand. He had personal knowledge of what toll leadership could take on a man. There was an issue at hand, and the situation caused a stir among the camp, leaving David as the King James Version states distressed. David sought the Lord.
You may find yourself in a similar leadership position. The people are up in arms about something. They are doing anything but singing your praises. You wish you could cut your losses and leave them all behind, but that would not demonstrate genuine leadership. You, much like David, will need to encourage yourself in the Lord your God.
You will need to do something. You will need to do something on your own as a leader.
You are going to need to:

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In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.- Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

We talked about the church working from the “inside out.” We consider it the outward working of the church that starts with an internal spark like a combustible engines. You start discipling and developing people. Then, after that, you look at disseminating the Word and demonstrating the Word. All of this is done with a kingdom mindset that is not of this world.

Jesus talked about sharing and showing our light as He calls us the “light of the world” in Matthew 5:14-16. He shares that a lit candle is not lit to be hidden but to shed light on all that is around it. He expressly states that we should let our light shine before men for a two-point purpose:
*Men are to see your good works
*Men will glorify God

Paul shared that we should think and act like Christ as if we had His mind (Philippians 2:5). We have to be careful to not just talk a good game but to be able to walk it as well. We must practice what we preach.

Ministry has the ultimate purpose of glorifying God. Guess what? When you do your good works, you are letting your light shine before men just as Jesus shared for us to do as the light of the world. However, when these men see your good works, they won’t give you the glory. No, they will see your good works and give glory to the One who provided the light. They will give praises to the Lord who caused us to let our lights shine before men in the first place.

Share it and show it.
Let your light shine.

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