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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sunday Thoughts - 10/25/09

Sunday was a pretty heavy day for us as a church because we are very concerned about Deacon Charles Loud's health. He's a long time member, worker, and leader of First Goodwill Church and his presence is missed terribly. We're praying that God's will be done in this challenging moment for him and his wife, Georgia. Please keep this entire family in your prayers.

We resumed our study of Psalms 23:5 - You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. I titled the sermon: "God Favored Me". Decent message, I tried something that I don't normally do, preach without a manuscript. I remembered the outline but failed to make my points clear because I was thinking too hard in the process trying to remember everything rather than just letting it flow like a conversation.

The microphones were messing up and I'm teaching my son, Myles, how to operate the board from the pulpit. It get's frustrating sometimes but I know he's doing his best and he's doing a good job.

I played softball Sunday afternoon and we lose because we didn't have enough ladies to play but the umpire let us play anyway since we were all there.

My Cowboys didn't disappoint me Sunday, thank God!

This week plans to be very interesting, exciting, and busy as we continue our 7th pastoral anniversary service this Wednesday night with:

Pastor Kevin Stafford and Zion Baptist Evangelistic Temple Church
Pastor Nathaniel Haley and United Christian Baptist Church
Pastor Michael Albert and Mt Aaron Christian Church

In addition, we have a special treat, my mother-in-law, Ellen Charles will be in town with us. Tracy has not seen mama Erllen in a couple of years, so as a anniversary gift her mother will be town. Pretty excited about it!

I've been a little laxed in blogging lately, not because I don't have anything to write about. I have a lot to write about. I'm still trying to adjust to being in full-time ministry right now since being laid off from work a month ago. It's a big adjustment for me (at least much bigger than I anticipated). It's going to take some time but I do enjoy thinking about ministry stuff without interruptions from a secular job.

So far God has met all our needs and for that I'm grateful.

Until next time, keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

7 Years of Pastoral Service

Tonite starts the 1st of 4 services, celebrating 7 years of pastoral partnership between pastor and people. Line-up is as follows:

10/21/09 - 7 pm
Pastor George Hurtt and Mt Sinai MBC
Pastor Terry Brown and Liberty Baptist Church
Pastor W Charles Harris and Village Baptist Church

10/28/09 - 7 pm
Pastor Kevin Stafford and Zion Baptist Evangelistic Temple
Pastor Michael Albert and Mt Aaron Christian Church
Pastor Nathaniel Haley and United Christian Baptist Church

11/1/09 - 3 pm
Pastor E.A Jones and Living Gospel Church (Compton Ave)
Pastor Keith Green and Living Gospel Church (Main Street)

11/6/09 - 7 pm
Musical Celebration: One Voice, Jamelle Jones and Freed, Atone and Team Jesus, and many others along with a surprise special guest

11/7/09 - 9 am
Pastors Fellowship Breakfast with Pastor Lance Mann of First New Zion Baptist Church of Newark, NJ

11/8/09 - 10 am
Pastor Lance Mann of First Zion Baptist Church of Newark, NJ

11/8/09 - 3 pm
Pastor Reginald Payne and Full Gospel Baptist Church
Bishop Richard Sanders and Mt Pilgrim Baptist Church
Pastor Barry Severe and Cathedral of Praise Church
Pastor Barry Wilson and New Life Baptist Church
Pastor Eric Woodson and Second Mt Carmel Baptist Church

If you live in the city and don't have a commitment your church or will be visiting the Los Angeles area please join us in any of the above the services at 6900 South Compton Ave * Los Angeles * Ca * 90001.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Some Things You Should Know About Me

1). I love my family! Tracy, Aysia, Myles, Kari, and lil Jimmy. We’ve had our ups and downs as a family but we made it through them all. We have a lot of fun with each other (when I stay awake). There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them and thank them for supporting my endeavors in life. Tracy is a good mom to my children and supports me and them in everything we do. She’s gifted beyond her imagination with creativity. Her finishing LATTC just increased her abilities to be more creativity. Aysia is my beauty queen and every time I look at her I get nervous that I have to fight somebody if they try to hurt her. Myles is a mini-me, a pure clown. He’s smart with a lot of potential to do what he wants. I’m hard on him much of the time because I want him to succeed in life. Kari is a talented artist and a good mom to lil Jimmy. Lil Jimmy and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate to see him come over and love to see go home…lol!

I love my mother, Brenda. I am so proud of her and how she’s handle the passing of “Pop” earlier this year. I love my brothers (Donald, Timothy, and Gib) and my sister (Monique). We’ve been through a lot growing up but none of us are on drugs, in jail, on the streets, in gangs, or anything like that. I love my nieces, nephews, cousins, aunties, uncles, grand-mother, and I miss my “PaPa” dearly.

2). I love God, His church, His people, and ministry work! I enjoy seeing lives changed for Christ. I enjoy preaching and teaching God’s Word. I enjoy church and think it’s a fun place of fellowship. The church has an ugly side because it’s filled with sinful people. But, the church is a beautiful place with beautiful people. I thank God I’m a part of His church!

3). I’m not perfect! I’ve made mistakes and I’ll continue to make mistakes. It’s the lessons I try to learn from making mistakes.

4). I’m a loner! I’ll go and can go to the movies, shopping, park, or whatever by myself with no problems. I’m not really sure why it is. It’s not that I’m not a people person or anything like that. It just doesn’t bother me to be by myself.

5). I give my all! I always try to do the very best I can in everything I do. I love hard, hurt easy, heal quickly, and forgive easy. I’m your friend until the end. I’m not in competition with anybody, I just give it my all.

6). I’m a clown! I love to have fun. It doesn’t take long for me to gain an audience and keep everyone laughing. I thought of being a comedian but got called to preach instead…lol...big switch…ha! I can be very serious at times (sometimes too serious). I try to pick and choose times of laughter and times of being serious. But for the most part let’s have fun.

7). I’m an athlete! I played basketball, baseball, football, and ran track. My primary sport was and still is basketball. I love the game! In Jr High, I played point guard. In high school, I played shooting guard as a freshmen and in my sophomore, Jr, and senior years, I played shooting guard/small forward on varsity. My leaping ability was out of the gym and most big men couldn’t understand my rebounding abilities. In Jr college I played small forward at 5’ 10”. I can’t remember my averages but I did pretty good. If you don’t believe me invite to the…baby Jordan is in affect.

8). I love to dance! I’ve always wondered why the world and church folk don’t like to see a pastor dance. I’m not talking about going to a night club. I’m speaking of weddings or a Valentines dinner with other Christians or family gatherings. I’ll be honest if you come around my family/friends, we’ll break out some oldies in a minute and start grooving. There are some dances that are respectful, clean, and fun. My favorite dances are the electric side, cupid shuffle, Cha-Cha, and Chicago Stepping. Oh yes, yo boy can step better than R. Kelly without the white suit. I want to learn the salsa when I get a chance.

9). I don’t like fake people! I don’t like people who try to be more than what they really are. If you’re broke say you’re broke! If you hurt say it hurts! Don’t give me a movie case without the movie. Be yourself. I don’t judge and I try to treat everybody the same. If you have a problem with me talk to me about it and not anyone else. I may agree and/or may not agree. It is what it is. That’s all on this one.

10). I shutdown when I get mad! When I’m upset I hold it in until my fuse is lit. And then, the bomb explodes. I’m getting better at expressing my feelings of dislike before the fuse is lit.

11). I’m a cry baby! I will cry in a minute if I’m mad, hurt, happy, or whatever. However, don’t think that because I’m a cry baby that I’m weak baby.

12). I think for myself. I’m a genuine and real guy. I’m not a toy, I’m not a yes man, I’m not a do as I say and don’t ask any questions. If I don’t understand, I will ask the questions but expect an answer in return. God gave me brains to think with and I use it, most of the time.

13). I love music and going to concerts (and not just gospel concerts either). I’m a jazz fan to the heart. Big band, smooth jazz, Latin jazz, Fusion it doesn’t matter to me, I love it all. I love gospel but some of the music has lost reverence for God. I have a lot favorites but some people who really inspire me is Thomas Whitfield, Daryl Coley, Milton Brunson, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, The Clark Sisters (then and now), The Winans, and Commission. I listen to R&B. My favorite artists are: Anita Baker, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Kem, Earth, Wind, and Fire, New Edition with and without Bobby Brown, Troop, Miki Howard, Lalah Hathaway, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye, and all oldies. I don’t like rap music.

14). I’m a chef. I love cooking. My signature dishes are BBQ with my special sauce, any thing grilled – I got you covered, gumbo, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, roast, jambalaya, garlic shrimp, smoked turkey soup, and homemade chili. My new signature dish is a crab boil with crab legs, shrimp, corn, potatoes, and smoked sausage. I refer to myself as the black Emeril Lagasse.

15). I’m not a jealous person. As far as I can remember, I’ve never been a jealous person when it comes to relationships. I’ve always maintained the mindset that can’t nobody beat me being me. There’s always going to be someone who looks better, body is better, richer than me, and smarter than me. But you can’t beat me being me. I still got a lot of growing to do but I’m pretty happy with whom I’ve become.

16). I want to attend seminary. I’m praying that one day soon I will be able to receive seminary training. Too many obligations right now.

17). I don’t like being a failure. I work hard to make sure I don’t fail at anything. Unfortunately, sometimes I fail. But, I get up and try again.

18). I don’t like stress. There are some things you can’t control that create stress and there some things we can do for ourselves to minimize our stress level. But when I am stressed, I try not to panic.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sunday Thoughts - 10/11/09

Sunday was a good day of worship as well as good of preaching for me. I was able to relax and read my manuscript Sunday morning before worship service ever started. I had energy, voice, passion, and power. All of which I generally lack when I was working. The Lord really blessed our service from start to finish. The attendance was extremely well and I’m just praying continued consistency.

I resumed our study of Psalms 23, “Trusting God Our Shepherd”. Here is the sermon skeleton:

Topic: I’m Not Afraid to Die
Text: Psalms 23:4

Thesis Statement: God, our Shepherd, protects from dangers (seen and unseen) and death.

He Protects Us from Death – “Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”

He Protects Us from Distractions – “I will fear no evil”

He Protects Us with His Presence – “for You are with me”

I didn’t know how the church would receive the message because many people don’t like talking and/or hearing anything on death. But to my surprise, God really blessed the message. I even had voice to shut it down but I didn’t. Some responded to the ministry of invitation for prayer and I believe the church was encouraged. Praise God!

I made the announcement that our church has office hours now: Tuesday – Friday from 9 am to 3 pm. They were so excited about the church office being open I was surprised. Now, I can really pastor the people God has placed me over with freedom and without many distractions. I’m praying that God will let this be continual without me having to go back to work. But for now, we will give 110% while I have the time and let tomorrow take care of itself.

Yesterday, Tracy and I went to see “Couples Retreat” with a few pastors and their wives. The movie was hilarious, my stomach hurting after watching that movie.

Today, I’m in the office trying to get my office in order. I have papers, trash, and boxes of junk everywhere. Then, I’ll start gathering sermon study material for Sunday.

Please pray for me and my family as this change in our life will be for the better and not make any of us bitter.

Until next time be blessed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Anointing Makes The Difference

Have you heard statements like; “The anointing makes the difference!” “Lord, give me a fresh anointing!”, “I’m anointed”, “Boy, you sure are anointed”, “Touch not thy anointed” “Walk in your anointing!”, “Protect Your anointing”, and “Don’t let people prostitute your anointing”.

Not long ago, I was in a worship service and the move of God was in the place. As I sat in the sound both I felt God manifesting Himself in the room as people poured their heart out to God in worship and in their own uniqueness. I started praying for the entire congregation. My prayer was a two-fold simple request: 1st – Save the sinner and 2nd strengthen the saint. And then it happened, the worship leader gave the microphone to a local pastor and said: “You’re anointed for this moment!” Man, the service took on a totally different element after that. The service moved from being a manifestation of God to becoming the manifestation of man. Why? I believe because of this statement; “You’re anointed for this moment!” It’s dangerous to make statements like this because it will quickly elevate a person to a level that only belongs to God.

I often times wondered why we make statements like these and so many others as it relates to the “anointing”. Why the attention on how much anointing a person possesses? Are we confused about anointing and giftedness? Does one person have more anointing than the other? Can you loose your anointing? What’s important anointing or development in Christ-likeness? Is having the anointing essential to salvation? Is it a gift? Does it come from God or man? What does the bible say about the anointing?

Just some questions I hope to make us think about what we say and practice as it relates to the anointing.

Let’s take a moment to look into scripture to discover what the bible says about the “anointing”.

The Definition of Anointing

When scripture speaks of anointing it speaks in relationship to the pouring, spreading, or rubbing of oil. Anointing can be placed into five (5) descriptions:

- Consecration: The consecration of people (Exodus 29:29; Lev 4:3) or things (Exo 30:26).

- Hospitality (Psalms 23:4, Luke 7:38, Luke 7:46)

- Healing (Isa 1:6; Mar 6:13; James 5:14)

- Burial (Mark 14:8; Luke 23:56)

- Promised Deliverer “Christ – Anointed One” (John 1:41)

When categorizing the definition of anointing, you will notice that the anointing is not the power of God but a sovereign act of God which means God anoints people. People are not anointed because a man placed oil on your forehead or laid hands on you. If God didn’t call you and anoint you it doesn’t matter what others do, you’re not anointed. We are anointed because God anoints us, PERIOD.

You will notice that the anointing is not for your benefit. Hospitality has to do with how we treat our guest when they enter into our homes. Healing is for the benefit of those who are sick to bring restoration to the body. In burial, oil was used to preserve the body which today is practiced through embalming. A lot of what we see today is not the anointing but arrogance. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in services where the “anointed one” came off rude, arrogant, mean, prideful, and super-spiritual. It wasn’t about the person in need of healing, hospitality, and/or embalming. It was about the joker who thought he was Jesus Jr or Mr. Big Stuff. I believe with all my heart that God uses us to be a blessing to others in need. And He does it in practical ways like praying for each other and being nice to each other and you don’t have to be anointed for that.

You will notice as well as that there is only one true “Anointed-One” – Jesus Christ. The bible calls everyone else who claims to be “the anointed one” the anti-Christ. As harsh has this may sound, the bible speaks of latter times where false teachers will rise up and claim to posses powers and abilities that only Jesus, Himself posses. In 1 John 2:18-21 it says: Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. So what we see now from the these so-called anointed ones is miracle spring waters, prayer clothes, and every other gadget to try and prove they’re the anointed one. Hog wash! Jesus Christ is the true anointed one and all others are like fake dollar bills. You can’t reproduce the real thing!

The Display of the Anointing

There were several comments in recent weeks on a Facebook status update about gifted singers and musicians charging outlandish prices to minister. One comment stated (paraphrased), I charge because I bring the anointing. Of course that started a ripple affect of comments, me being the first, saying, the anointing is a gift from God and it doesn’t cost. I failed to further explain that the anointing is a gift from God through the gift of salvation. In other words, the NT teaches: (1) all believers are anointed, (2) there aren’t different levels of anointing, (3) Christians don’t loose their anointing, (4) Christians don’t receive the anointing, and (5) the anointing is standard equipment of salvation that everyone receives when they place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

There is one verse that has been stripped out of context and used as a defense for the anointing: Luke 4:18: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”

Jesus is speaking in this verse and quotes Isaiah 61:1-2. Jesus’ statement declares that Jesus, the Messiah, is the anointed one who came to preach the gospel to the poor, hurting, captive, and sick. Lest I be too long, allow me to get to the point. There are two (2) major themes in this text that are vital for understanding: message – v. 18a and ministry – v. 18b. As a principle, the statement teaches us that there can be no ministry without the message and ministry cannot supersede the message. The message of the gospel and the ministry to those in need leads to one thing, salvation. Jesus doesn’t quote all of Isaiah 61:2 because the end of verse 2 deals with judgment and Jesus’ present day ministry was and still is salvation.

But when we quote this verse we refer to the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for anointing is charisma where we get our English word charismatic. However, this Greek word refers to the knowledge of the truth (1 John 2:20 and John 16:14-15). We focus so much attention on how much Holy Spirit a person has but fail to realize that it’s not about how much Holy Spirit we have but how much of us we yield of ourselves, in total surrender, to the Holy Spirit as the truth of God’s word is revealed to us.

The anointing (if we so choose to use the word in relation to how God uses us) is not for the glory of man. God uses people for His glory, alone. In addition, how he chooses to use us does not determine a level of anointing that would be greater than the other.

Here’s what I think we mean with these kinds of statements:

“Lord, give me a fresh anointing!” – Lord, help me to preach, sing, etc!
“Boy, you sure are anointed” – God really used you today or I was blessed.
“Protect your anointing” – Protect your Christian witness!

There other statements that I have no clue what we mean when we say them:

“Don’t let anyone prostitute your anointing”
“Walk in your anointing”

I think they’re Christian slang sayings that sound good. But, everything that sounds good doesn’t mean it’s good and sound.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Birthday!

Today is bitter/sweet for me. I thank God for allowing me to see 42 years here on earth. However, yesterday ended on a sour note which in turn has placed somewhat of a damper on this day. I was laid off from work right after lunch yesterday (at least I went home on a full stomach) and to be honest I didn’t see it coming. I thought everything was good, I made past a dozen layoffs already and who would have thought I would be a part of this economic disaster.

I’ve worked for Monogram Aerospace Fasteners for seven (7) years. It was a good experience, I met cool people, I made a spiritual impact (I believe), and liked what I was doing. I was comfortable! I teach that sometimes God will interrupt our comfort zones to move us to test our faith move us to the next level.

It’s ironic that I would loose my job in my seventh year as an employee when the church and I will celebrate 7 years of ministry partnership between pastor and people. One ends but the other continues. I really don’t know what to make of it right now and this is not how I wanted to spend my birthday. Stressing about bills being due and I don’t know where the money is coming from. But, I won’t complain (even though really want to)

To my co-workers, thank you for your friendship and I pray that God will continue to bless you richly! I’m so glad we had this time together just to laugh and maybe sing a song. But before you know it it’s time to show it, now it’s time to say so long! Peace and blessing!

What next, Clint?

When Tracy and I talked last night about it, she said: “Clint, would you have left your job any other way?” My response, “Probably not.” She says: “Now, its time for you to focus on the ministry of prayer and the word to grow the church. God’s got everything else”. I’ve been praying for God to open up doors for me to be in full-time but not this kind of a door.

We never know what doors God opens for us to walk through and many times it’s not our choosing. It’s only ours to walk through them.

I will be totally honest with you, I’m scarred to death (not literally). But when I look back over my life all I ever did was step out on faith and my testimony is I’m still here by the grace of God. God didn’t leave me then and He won’t leave me now.

Look out church, pastor has time for prayer and study.

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. – Galatians 6:6