Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Noah Chronicles Part I: Building The Ark

Noah built the Ark.  In fact, Noah's Ark and the global flood depicts the most catastrophic event in world history.  One must remember that Noah building the Ark represented the end of the World as they knew it.  It was the initiation of an apocalypse and a reset for humanity.  Moreover, building of the Ark, the design of the Ark, the reason for the Ark, and the passengers in the Ark were all God’s idea.  Noah was simply a servant who accepted the call to carry out the mission.  Such is also the case with us today.  God uses people to carry out his work on earth.  Our role is to simply obey the will of God and remain faithful to the task at hand as was the case with Noah.
When examining Noah’s effort in building the Ark, the first things that comes to mind is the significant challenge that Noah faced with such a great undertaking.  In fact, in building the Ark, gathering the animals, and preparing for the flood, Noah was called to do something that had never been done before in the world.  There is not even a Biblical account of rain on the earth up until the time of the flood.   Yet Noah overcame this challenge with the help of God.  Even as we face challenges today, we must realize that with God all things are possible to them that believe. (Mark 9:23)  God can help you overcome the most daunting challenges in life regardless of whether you have faced them in times past.  We serve a God who can do anything but fail. 
A Man of Patience

God called Noah to build the Ark when he was in his early 500s.  Yet God sent the flood to destroy the world when Noah was 600 years old.  This means Noah had somewhere between 75 to 100 years to build the Ark, gather the animals and wait on the promise of God for the flood.  (See Genesis 5:32, 7:6)  Noah’s patience in waiting for the promise of rain is a great attribute he possessed and subsequently an important lesson that we learn from Noah's life.  Some things are simply accomplished over time.  Noah's ability to manage the mundane of doing the same job for several decades while maintaining patience for the promise of rain is a great example of his endurance.  Boredom, apathy, and impatience can get the best of us when we don’t see immediate results.  But Noah held strong and believed God.   Even now the Bible encourages us to "be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for your labor is not in vain in the Lord”  (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Measurements of the Ark are Sound according to Scientific Research
It’s also interesting to observe that God gave Noah the measurements of the Ark which are listed as follows: According to the Bible, the length of the Ark was 300 cubits long which is the size of one and half football fields or 150 yards/450 feet long and the width of the Ark was  50 cubits which is 25 yards/75 feet. The height of the Ark was 30 cubits equal to 45 feet which is around the size of a four story office building. (Genesis 6:15)
Not that we need any evidence to validate what we believe to be true according to the Word of God.  However, when put to a test of sea worthiness by graduate physics students at the University of Leicester, their research confirmed that the Ark would not capsize according to the measurements provided in scripture.  (, Helen Thompson, 04/2014)  Their research further confirmed that the Ark would have been buoyant enough fit for purpose (Independent, Adam Withnall, 04/2014). Even outside of the Bible’s account referenced in Genesis, historians have identified over 270 cultures that have a story in the ancient world about a great flood that covered the world involving a man name Noah.  In fact, as recent as 2000, scientists discovered evidence of a great flood in ancient times which is validated by communities buried under water in the Black Sea (The Guardian , Tim Radford, Science Editor, 09/2000).
Indeed one of the biggest challenges Noah endured was having to survive and thrive in the midst of a wicked and corrupt world.  The Bible says that the hearts of man was only on evil continually.  And the whole earth had become corrupt.  No doubt Noah had to watch his back, guard his property, protect his family and not allow the wickedness of the world to influence his lifestyle all while carrying out the will of God for his life in building the Ark.  It is likely that he was mocked and talked about for his efforts in building the Ark.   Even now, the Bible says in Romans 12:2 “and be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  
Noah’s ability to keep himself righteous and not conform to the ways of his environment positioned him to access the favor of God. Noah had to lead and take care of his family in the midst of all his work demands.  Sometimes when doing the Lord’s work, one can easily overlook family responsibilities.  In fact, family is often the first to suffer when it comes to work and ministry demands.  But we cannot overlook or make light of the fact that Noah got his family on the Boat.   So even in the midst of a wicked and corrupt society, Noah and his wife managed to not only train and teach their sons in the ways of God, but to also shield them from the negative and satanic influences of the outward community.   No doubt Noah taught them to love and obey God and to live righteous. 
Finally, what sets Noah apart in this story is his obedience to God.  By adhering to God’s command for how things were to be done in terms of the measurements, rooms, supplies/material, and gathering of the animals, Noah demonstrates an act of faith that will cause him to be remembered throughout humanity.   Very often we fail in life, because we simply refuse to do the little things that God requires of us.  Noah did not make any adjustments or changes based on what God asked. He was careful to do exactly what God required him to do.  Deuteronomy 5:33 says "Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days  in the land that you will possess."   And in John 14:14 Jesus said "If you love me keep my commandments."
Finally, in the midst of all of his challenges and distractions, it's important to note that Noah was laser focused to do exactly what God called him to do.  Because when it's all said and done, one has to be able to accomplish what has been assigned, implement the project at hand, and finish the task that has been given.  When the rubber meets the road, one has to be able to perform and complete what God has committed to one's hands. This is one of the greatest lessons we learn from Noah.  In conclusion,  because of Noah's faith and obedience to God, He was able to accomplished a historic task.  Noah built the Ark.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Preach: Preach the Word.  Tell someone of God’s goodness.  Share your testimony with a friend.  Just preach- the good news of Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified, and how he saves, delivers and sets us free from bondage.  Preach. Tell somebody about what great things God has done in your life. 

Preach, Give someone an encouraging Word or just live a righteous life that will compel people to ask about the God you serve.  Preach, that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life (Rom 6:23). Preach that For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Preach by inviting someone to church.  In fact, one of the easiest ways to share the gospel of Jesus Christ is to extend an invitation to visit your (Bible believing, Spirit filled) church.  Just preach- in the morning, afternoon, and when the sun goes down, preach.  You don’t need a title.   So preach, your family, friends, and neighbors need to know the God that you know in order to receive the blessings that you have. 

So Preach.  Even before I accepted the call into the preaching ministry, I preached in a lot of places just by sharing my faith, giving my testimony and being a witness for Jesus Christ.   I have preached on the subway, bus, airplane, train station, elevator, workplace cafeteria, basketball court, restaurant, grocery store checkout line and numerous other places to name a few.  And so can you.  So Preach.

So whether it’s a 10 second greeting expressing God’s goodness, a 30 second passing encounter giving God the glory, a two minute word of encouragement, a 30 minute testimony while traveling, handing someone a gospel tract, an uplifting post on social media, or a lifetime of  living holy and putting God first in your life, preach.   
We all have the ministry of reconciliation. Preach.  Lend someone a helping hand. Preach.  Give Godly advice to a friend and preach.  People need to be saved, healed and delivered.  Preach, because many of the folks you come across will never step foot in church.  So Preach about Jesus Christ and the message of the Cross.

The non believer is always telling his/her story.  Hence, Born Again Believers need to be vocal and spread the good news of Jesus Christ. So let the redeemed of the Lord say, so whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy (Psalm 107.2) And don’t just talk about it. Be about it. Preach, as illustrated in this poem: 
Preach the Word in song and dance,
Preach the Word by happenstance,
Preach the Word emphatically,
Dogmatically and dramatically.
Preach to friends and family and all of the folks you meet.
Preach to neighbors, strangers and those who are on the street.
Preach.  Set your face like a rock,
Preach consistently like a clock.
So let me close this writing the same way I started by simply saying in my Deacon voice, PREEEEEEAAAACH.

Run to the High Place

 Genesis 19:17 “As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
Allow me to offer some advice derived from words that Angels gave to Lot as he was encouraged to leave Sodom and Gommorah.   First of all, there is a great deal that one can say about the actions that lead to the downfall of Lot.  His first mistake was moving toward Sodom.  His second was when he moved into Sodom.  And finally, even after being taken captive in the Sodom War and later rescued (by Abraham), Lot still returned to Sodom and was later found sitting in the City gate of a place consumed with sin and all sorts of sexual immorality.  

However for the purpose of this writing, it is not my attention to focus on the sin of the city, the judgment of God to rain fire and brimstone, or the fact that Lot lingered when the Angel told him to leave immediately. The main goal of this writing is to provide encouragement by examining the four recommendations that the Angels gave to Lot and his family.

One -Run for your Life: Which means that even though God has set you apart and delivered you, and although God has brought you out of your trouble times, and despite the fact that it was God’s grace and mercy that has held you by the hand and yanked you up out of some situations, you need to keep running.  Running symbolizes drive and determination. It represents a will to go forward in God.  So it’s not enough to not look back.  One must continue to run in order to reach one’s destiny.  Songwriters have a way of making the point crystal clear.  One song writer put it in this fashion:  “Lord I’m running trying to make 100,  99 and a half won’t do.” 

In order to reach your destiny in life, we must continue to run.  Run to overcome obstacles;  run to rise above haters; run to shake the devil off; run to get all that God has for your lifeHebrews 12:1 says “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Two- Don’t look Back:  Don’t look back to bondage, defeat, despair, hopelessness, and sin.  It’s alright to remember where God has brought you from and how He has blessed you over the years.  In fact Psalms 103:2 says   “Bless the Lord Oh my soul and forget not all his benefits.”  However, we should not look back to the things and situations from which God has delivered us. 

I often wonder what caused Lot’s wife to look back. Maybe she missed her old neighborhood, or perhaps she heard the cries and screams of her village and experienced a moment of weakness as she grew weary and simply turned around.  Whatever the reason, it halted the plan of God in her life and caused her to perish by turning into a pillar of salt.  But notice that even as she perished after looking back, the rest of the family kept moving.  

Just because friends and family experience a moment of weakness and go back to a life of sin, don’t you look back.  Keep pressing and moving on.  Do not allow others to make you look back.  In Luke 9:62 Jesus said “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.  Hence let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul who said, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching for those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Don’t look back.

Three: Don’t stop in the Plain  The Hebrew word for plain is mishor which means a level place; Lot and his family could not afford to stop because it would hinder their progress and halt their overall destiny.  It is easy to get comfortable in the plains.  There is safety in the level place.  When you are out of danger, it seems appropriate to rest in the plain.  Perhaps after all of your toil and sacrifice, you may feel as though it is appropriate to stop and enjoy your labor.  

However, my advice is to not stop in the plain.  Sometimes we quit or stop serving for various reasons.  When things are easy and convenient, we are tempted to stop because we feel as though we have arrived when we obtain the new house, marriage, degree or even promotion. And yet on the other hand, sometimes it’s disappointment and heartache that causes us to quit associated with enduring struggle, loss of a loved one or even being wounded in the House of God.   

But even in the midst of all of this.  The Lord wants us to keep running. Keep pushing. Keep pressing forward because now is not the time for quitting.  Don’t stop simply because things have gotten easy.  And don’t stop if things have gotten difficult. Don’t stop praying.  Don’t stop praising God.  Don’t stop believing in the promises of God.  Don’t stop fighting the good fight of faith.  Don’t stop I the plain.  But be steadfast unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord for as much as you know your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58) 

Four: Flee to the High Place (Mountain)   God’s vision for Lot and his family was peace and safety in the High Place. The High Place was a place where righteousness abounds.  The High Place in God is a closer walk with God.  And a place of excellence where God brings out your best. It’s a place where we live above distractions.  At the high place, we walk by faith and not by sight.  God had a blessing waiting on Lot and his family that could only be found at the High Place.  It was as if the Angel was indirectly saying I will meet you at the High Place. The place of Destiny was the Mountain/High Place.  Indeed the High Place in our lives has a special distinction. 

The High Place is-  A Place of Separation- The Bible says “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, says the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

·          A Place that you can’t come down from-  Nehemiah went up to rebuild the walls in Jerusalem.  The enemy did everything he could to get him to come down.  But Nehemiah said, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, while I leave it and come down to you (Nehemiah 6:3)

·         A Place of Refreshing- Jesus said come unto me all those who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)

·         A Place of Vision- We see things from a different perspective from the mountain top.  Things look different when we are in a high place.  The giants that looked so big in the valley don’t seem so tall from the High Place. 

So get to the High Place.  Come up!  That’s where the power is.  That’s where you will experience God’s glory.  We go to the High Place to be filled and refilled by God.  So run to the High Place to go higher in your service, higher in your commitment to God, and higher in your worship.  God has victory that is waiting on us when we go higher.  The prophet Habakkuk recognize this when he said, “The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” (Habakkuk 3:19)  So run to the High Place because at the end of the day, it’s the only place of true safety for your soul. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Through The Roof

Mark 2:3-4  “Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.” 

In this Bible verse, four friends heard that Jesus was ministering in a house in Capernaum so they decided to take their paralyzed friend to see Jesus.  But they obviously arrived a little too late because the place was packed.  So when they could not get in through the door and when they could not get in though the window and seeing that all of the entryways were crowded they went to their last resort:  They went in through the roof.

If you find yourself facing closed doors or barriers to your breakthrough, and if you feel that you have been crowded out of opportunities for your success, allow me to encourage you to go “Through the Roof.”  Usually the phrase through the roof represents a significant increase or rise in a person, place or thing.  For example we may say, “Man when mom comes home and sees how messy this house is she is going to go through the roof.” Or “have you seen his grades this year, they are through the roof.”  Or  “nine years ago, gas prices were through the roof.”

Hence for the sake of this blog, Through the roof suggest an out of the box worship; a crazy praise; and an unyielding form of determination needed to obtain a breakthrough blessing from God.  Go through the roof in your worship and worship the Lord in a spirit of truth and holiness.  God through the roof in your praise and bless the name of the Lord regardless of the circumstance.  Go through the roof in your service to God and “be steadfast unmovable always abounding in the work of Lord for as much as you know your labor is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58). Go through the roof in your witness and go tell somebody about what great things the Lord has done in your life.  Go through the roof in your pursuit of Jesus (If you want to be blessed) and seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Sometimes we are too easy to give up in instances when the Lord has a blessing that can only be obtained by going through the roof.  So the next time you find yourself facing closed doors, blocked entry ways, and fortified barriers in  life - if you want to be successful; if you want to reach your goals, if you want to see the favor of God, there really is no other alternative, so do yourself a favor:  Go Through the Roof. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cana of Galilee- The Wedding

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. (John 2:1-2)  
I was blessed to visit Cana of Galilee and witness five married couples -husbands and wives (with whom I was traveling with) renew their wedding vows at the historic location where Jesus performed an astonishing miracle.  Being at this marriage renewal help me realize that Jesus thought so highly about marriage that he used a wedding ceremony to launch his ministry and perform his first miracle where he turned water into wine. 
In fact Jesus was so intent to making sure that the married couple got off on the right foot that not only did he attend the marriage with his disciples,  but he gave the couple a marvelous upgrade on their wine (thanks to the encouragement of his mother Mary). 
Likewise, we ought to invite Jesus into our marriages.  Husbands and wives ought to invite Jesus in the manner in which they communicate, love, support, and forgive one another. Marriage is a beautiful thing.  The Bible says that What God has joined together, let no man put asunder (Mark 10:9). And that Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4). And Husbands should love their wives even as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25); submitting themselves one to another (Ephesians 5:21). 

Pastor James E. Jordan, Jr. presided over the wedding ceremony at the historic site as each couple recited their vowels and rededicated their love for one another.  The Elder Keith McGlown sang a beautiful rendition of “You are So Beautiful to Me” replacing the me with “Us” at the beginning of the ceremony.  And Sister Linda Clark Greenfield brought the house down when she sang “The Lord’s Prayer” to help close out this beautiful renewal of marriage vowels at at a small chapel placed on the original location where Jesus turned water into wine in Cana of Galilee.  

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sea of Galilee

The absolute coolest place that I have ever preached at was on the Sea of Galilee during my recent pilgrimage to Israel with Pastor James E. Jordan Jr. and 39 other Believers in Jesus Christ.  On a beautiful but chili sunny day with still waters and clear skies, we set sail for what turned out to be an exceptional time of fellowship. 

In Isaiah 9:1, the prophecy is made that Jesus would come to the Sea of Galilee. And some 700 years later, Jesus earthly ministry was centered around this (13 miles long, 7 miles wide, 150 feet deep) lake that is also referred to as the Lake of Gennessaret (Luke 5:1) and the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1).  So while important events occurred in Jerusalem, the Lord spent most of the three years of his ministry along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  In fact, Jesus gave more than half of his parables and performed most of his miracles along the sea shore and at times on the Sea of Galilee.  Hence, the short message that I preached was based on four events that happened on and around this body of water as listed below in the following summary.

1.  Remain Calm in the midst of your storm (Mark 4:35-41)  In this passage, Jesus tells his disciples, let us go over to the other side and while on the boat, a great storm arose yet Jesus was sleep at the bottom of the boat.  The disciples woke up Jesus and said “Master, Carest not that we perish.”  Jesus wakes up and kindly rebukes the storm and says peace be still.  So we need to know that even as Born Again believers with Jesus on board our ship, we too will face storms.  But God is in control.  And he will rebuke the storms in our lives.

2.  Get out the Boat of Do Nothing and Trust God for your miracle (Matthew 14:22-33) When Jesus came to his disciples walking on water, they were afraid and assumed he was a ghost.  But Peter was the only disciple that had the audacity to get out the boat and walk on water to Jesus and experience a supernatural miracle.  The other disciples who stayed in the boat remained bound by their own insecurities and limitations.  So get out of the boat of underachievement and playing it safe, and trust God for your miracle.

3.  God Will Provide (Matthew 17:27) Jesus needed to pay his taxes so he sends Peter on an important task to go fishing for a four-drachma coin.  It matters not what the need is- God will provide.  You may not know how, where, when, or through whom he would use- But God will provide.  The first fish that Peter caught had enough money to pay the Temple tax for two people.  God can use any means to meet your need.  God will provide.

4.  Stay Focused on What God has assigned you to do  (John 21:4-22)  After the resurrection, Jesus once again appeared to his disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and he asked Peter three times, "Do you love me? Feed my sheep."  Peter answered, you know I love you.  Yet after the 3rd time, Peter responded to Jesus and said "What about him?" (pointing to John).  So we must remain focused on what God has assigned and called us to do without worrying about the role of others.  God has a destiny and a purpose for your life, and in order to reach your destiny, we must stay focused on our assignment without worrying about anybody else.

While on the boat, we prayed, worshiped, sang hymns, praised God, danced in the spirit, snapped photographs, and fellowshiped with one another.   And just like the four Bible stories that I shared, it all happened on the Sea of Galilee.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thy Will Be Done- The Garden of Gethsemane

I was blessed to travel to Israel recently with Pastor James E. Jordan Jr. of Refreshing Spring Church (COGIC)  along with 39 other Christians.  One of the highlights of my tour was a visit to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives where I snapped a picture in front of a 3,000 year old tree that is said to be the place where Jesus told the disciples (Peter, James, and John)  to wait while he went to pray.  Wow.  What a great Experience.  While touring the grounds, I was compelled to think about all of the events that followed the prayer of Jesus in the Garden that night. 

Before His resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven; Before conquering death, hell and the grave and taking captivity captive; Before being crucified on the cross and dying for the sins of the world, Before the nails in his hand, and the crown of thorns on his head, before being beaten, spit upon and scourged,  
Before being questioned by Pontius Pilate and falsely accused by the Sanhedrin counsel, before being betrayed by Judas with a kiss, before being arrested by a multitude of soldiers, before healing the ear of the High Priest’s servant who Peter cut off  with a sword – Jesus Prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me;
nevertheless not My will but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) 

And because of this selfless act, we now have access to everlasting life.  So let us live like Jesus and seek the will of God in our lives above all else.  In the midst of challenge and despair, comfort and prosperity, in the good times and the bad, let this be our rallying cry: "Not my will by Yours be done."