Chasing the Wind


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One simple question has been on my heart lately– greeceatm What if we spent all our time in pursuit of things that suddenly turned out to be just like a vapor?

POOF! Here today, gone tomorrow…

Think about it- those poor folks in Greece were just like us, going about their day, working, traveling, once oblivious to the magnitude of their present economic situation. Imagine looking back at how you spent your time, energies and your money while you were still able to have some say so about how you could spend all your time and money? greece

Imagine wondering if you could have been more mindful, more prudent about making that last purchase before you found yourself in front of an empty ATM machine? Of course, that could never happen to us, right? Maybe, but maybe not…in either case, it seems to me that our time chasing after the latest and greatest in pop culture (what the Kardashians think about Caitlyn or working another overtime shift or the latest movie, TV show, app or video game for the newest Android/Apple product) could be re-evaluated. Test it out to see what it is really made of.

Does it pass the fireproof test?

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 is a pretty sobering passage about how we need to be careful about what we consider worthwhile materials with which we build our service to the Lord. Will you continue to chase the things this world tells us is most important? Not many of us openly admit to wanting the fame and fortunes of this world but be honest – few would turn it down if it was handed to us. It doesn’t take much research to realize under the wrong circumstances, the value of $1 can become so worthless that having a million of those dollars would mean absolutely nothing.

Here today and gone tomorrow–

We look at our celebrities and still we think that the more money and fame we have the more good we can do in the world, right? Somehow we think that logic justifies our desires. More folks have fallen for that one since time began- myself included!  Our ability to do good in this world is not at all connected with how much money and influence we have. In God’s sight, it is more pleasing to Him for you to just be obedient with your little resources (if that is all He has allowed you to have right now) and let Him make what you think is little become much. I bet that poor widow who was obedient and gave her equivalent of a penny as an offering had no idea that she would be recorded in the Bible (Mark 12:41-44) as an example for generations to come.

In Ecclesiastes, it talks a great deal about “chasing or striving after the wind” – King Solomon was gifted with a God-given wisdom to rule as king. He was able to experience more than most men ever will and he still realized that all those pursuits were just a waste after all. The final chapter, Ecclesiastes 12, where he summarizes it all and offers great advice really caused me to pause. He gives us two warnings-

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” before too much time passes and we are no longer able to do anything of our own volition. “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Finally, there can be a temptation to do what Esau did. He was the brother in Genesis 25:29-34 who sold his inheritance and birthright to his brother Jacob for a single bowl of food. He thought his need to satisfy his flesh (hunger can be for food, sex, power, etc) was more important than anything – in that moment. To Esau, all he could think of was how hungry he was – his short-term need and it blinded him to the long-term need to keep his birthright from being taken away. He went as far as to suggest that he might die from hunger and thirst so it was better to “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die”! Once he had filled himself – ate, drank and became merry, it was too late. (Gen 27:33-40) The birthright was gone. He had to admit that a small, measly bowl of food may have satisfied him in that moment but it really turned out to be just like chasing the wind –

here today, gone tomorrow.

Help us, Lord – we need You more than we even know–

Why I’m glad to be a former Real Housewives Fan


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rhoaThe Bible says to “confess your faults so you may be healed”  Well—I have a confession-

It has been a little over a year ago now.  I finally decided to never watch any of the “Real Housewives” TV shows again.  For REAL.

I know they are beautiful to look at, funny to listen to and the drama can scratch that deep down itch for excitement in your life.  They actually are entertaining-that’s how I got hooked.  

But then I started waking up

You know how it is when you have been enjoying a really GOOOOD sleep?  You are hugging the pillow hard – for dear life almost it’s so good.  Then the alarm goes off and you just don’t want to let it go.  At the time, getting up, going to work, starting a fresh new day and enjoying life is the last thing you feel like doing…just give me 5, no- 10 more minutes!!!

That’s how I felt about letting my TV shows go.  When I finally struggled out of my GOOOD sleep, wiped my eyes and saw how late it was (meaning that we are in the latter days, folks)- I realized that I had to get myself in gear.  Rip off that band-aid.  Just delete them ALL from your DVR – TODAY.

Well, I really started out to delete just the Real Housewives.  Then I saw some other similar reality shows, even my “safe” indulgences like “Hell’s Kitchen”.  It’s just a chef competition show, right?  It’s also 50% censored because of the constant cursing, so that was deleted as well.  A year later and I look back now and wonder what was I thinking watching that stuff?

2 Corinthians 14-18 tells us: …how can righteousness be a partner with wickedness?  How can light live with darkness?…what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?  For we are the temple of the living God…therefore come out from among unbelievers and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord…and I will welcome you

A year ago, I could not see the fullness of how wicked my entertainment choices were.  I laughed it off to myself thinking it was all harmless fun, I guess.  The thing about sin – yes, I said the “s” word–is it doesn’t deceive you with a hammer over your head.  It is very patient and willing to wait for your defenses to come down so you can then be subtly seduced into a “sweet” slumber.

As my entertainment choices have changed my time spent being entertained has noticeably changed. Prayer time and Bible study – everyday in the secret, quiet place with God is what’s most important to me now.  I still allow myself to watch TV, don’t get me wrong – God wants us to have a balance of work and rest.  But now I find myself choosing things to watch that I don’t feel guilty about watching or that I know won’t sap my spiritual strength.  The days are getting darker and tougher – so we who follow the Lord have to get stronger, right?

I spend more of my down time with sermons and Bible study teaching now than I have in a long time…and it is not a duty anymore- I really want to seek out time in God’s Word – reviewing and regaining my knowledge so I can grow.  I feel like I’ve been actually growing UP!

If you have time, I encourage you to check out a few great messages by David Wilkerson and Time Square Church.  You might already be on the right path- fully awake to the times we are living in right now- still, I just want to stand before my Lord able to say I did all I could to pass it on…

Learning from Our Past – Lessons from “Young Tom Edison”


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A philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist named George Santayana wrote (in The Life of Reason, 1905) was: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

We may find ourselves in great trouble if we forget THAT quote.

I have been thoroughly enjoying a classic film “Young Tom Edison” starring the late Mickey Rooney.

It is a great gift to our current society to learn from the lessons that our past society struggled with during the time in which Thomas Edison, the great American inventor, grew up.  If it had not been for his mother, a former Canadian schoolteacher, who saw her son’s intellectual potential, we might be without the advantages from so many technological advancements he helped to develop.  True, there are more controversial arguments about what Edison actually accomplished but my point today surrounds the way a uniquely bright child was really misunderstood in his time.  We have actually made greater and greater improvements in our educational system via psychology and medicine so we now know better than to write off a child who is “different” and we try to accommodate for their different way of learning.

Fast-forward to 13:50 minutes into the film “Young Tom Edison” where his teacher visits his home to inform his parents that Tom is no longer wanted at school.  She describes him as constantly “he gazes out the window…, rapping…, …distracting others”, behaviors characteristic of ADHD or in my humble opinion, even Aspergers, a form of autism.  Many of our most influential scholars, scientists and businessmen, etc were very similar to Thomas Edison.  Thank goodness we have learned from the mistakes of short-sighted educators back then.

Excerpt from Thomas Edison website -“At age seven – after spending 12 weeks in a noisy one-room schoolhouse with 38 other students of ll ages – Tom’s overworked and short tempered teacher finally lost his patience with the child’s persistent questioning and seemingly self centered behavior. Noting that Tom’s forehead was unusually broad and his head was considerably larger than average, he made no secret of his belief that the hyperactive youngster’s brains were “addled” or scrambled.

If modern psychology had existed back then, Tom would have probably been deemed a victim of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and proscribed a hefty dose of the “miracle drug” Ritalin. Instead, when his beloved mother – whom he recalled “was the making of me… [because] she was always so true and so sure of me… And always made me feel I had someone to live for and must not disappoint.” – became aware of the situation, she promptly withdrew him from school and began to “home-teach” him. Not surprisingly, she was convinced her son’s slightly unusual demeanor and physical appearance were merely outward signs of his remarkable intelligence.”

I have yet another lesson I learned from watching this film.  We need to value these storages of our history, time capsules, so to speak.  As we go forward in time, there are things we can glean from our past experiences that can help propel us into a safer, stronger and healthier future if we pay attention.  As you watch this film, I do not suggest they are perfect whatsoever – but I hope you are seeing how sincerely families and neighbors treated one another, respect for adults, how they viewed money (e.g. when Tom was offered a monetary reward but he preferred copper wire for his experiments instead), hard work and sense of community.  Hopefully, we don’t forget how simpler, basic and honest living reaped sweeter, smarter and happier families – something we seem to be lacking now despite all our technology gained from Edison.  I am sure he would look at us now and wonder if his inventions have truly helped us…

Remembering back home

Just had to put this back up…it still holds up…


>by Trina Sterling

Back home
My birthplace
Southside of Chicago
Summertime was magical
Wintertime cold
Sometimes unbearable
But mostly a childhood wonderland
I remember getting on the CTA
We called it the big green limosine
Took you to the “L”
Run you along the Dan Ryan
Feels dangerous and serene
Through the tunnels over the lifts
Past the giant red lips
I remember Roseland
Best Hoagies in the world
Sights and smells
Savory, salty, sweet –
All at the same time
Seeing your first cuss words
First sex words
Graffiti billboards
On every other building
Down 51st and King Drive
You pass by
And you learn
You learn to recognize
Beauty and ugliness
Sprouting up in the same place
You learn to appreciate
You learn to fight
Rise above
Your aspirations are too important
I remember
Rainbow Beach
Swimming in the summer sun
Hanging out and basketball

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by Trina Sterlingbabyme

My ancestors sweat and gave everything for
My birthright
To be free
All I was meant to be
But did I squander it?
Day after day, taken to school
Sent to learn and expand my young mind
So when I started talking “proper”
My white friends wanted to mold me
My relatives laughed and shunned me
For talkin “white”
Not so
I really was bright
But longing to be on the inside
I let the streets take over my speech
Did this change my destiny?
I wonder sometimes why
Booty popping, twerking, rump and hip shaking
Flipping your weave means so much more
My Mississippi great-grandma
Taught in the one room school
So I long to know and educate, live beyond the 32 inch screen
Infatuated by celestial bodies from the planet LA and New York
Letting their so called lives become my dreams
No way
The dreams I was given before I even arrived
Way greater
Why did I exchange them?
Popularity? For what and with who?
The ones I seek out are just as lost
We’re all needy, so greedy
Missing the mark
The One who gives us our next breath we take
Second by second
Patiently waits and longs for us
He knows that if I could ever see me
The way He drew me
I would never take another step away
I would run to finish with all I got
And never stop
Only one person in the whole universe can do what I was meant to do
Be who I was meant to be
This is my birthright
I must lavish this with love and respect
Esau gave his away to eat, to party
He made it cheap
Until he realized and then nothing else compared
Lord don’t let me lose sight
Please help me it get right
Show me how to be much more

A World Without Sin


Listen to R C Sproul –the whole thing (if you dare) or fast-forward to the 16 minute mark.

Think about it.  A world without SIN.

Well, does it make you automatically think about a place called heaven, by chance?  I agree.  That is what I thought of as well—until I recently encountered several statements made by some highly influential people in our American society.  Now I understand that piece by piece, they are managing and nearly succeeding in convincing us that we can live or ‘are actually now living’ in a world without sin.  Iyanla Vanzant, New Thought motivational speaker (from the loins of the Oprah Winfrey Show machine), was the first person I literally heard say it in so many words over a year ago.  She essentially instructed the audience to avoid thinking of yourself as doing something wrong or committing a ‘sin’.  She wanted to direct us to believe in our life journey in which we grow, learn and develop as we go along in life.  All our deeds can be stepping stones, not ‘sins’.  Soooo…if we do not really ‘sin’, then why would we ever really need a Savior?  It sort of puts Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to bed and essentially puts Him out of a job if we truly begin to take this stand.

It got me to thinking about the way our society has been going lately, especially in Christian circles.  It seems that sin and holiness are so minimized that you hardly ever hear the words anymore.  The word ‘sin’ is found in the Bible 389 times. Yet, no one wants to hold anyone to any standards for fear of stepping on their toes.  We can’t risk offending anyone.  We might actually hurt their feelings and they won’t talk to us anymore!  Worse, yet–and this is where it meets the core of the matter…if we try to hold others to a standard of holiness, that would mean we are also subject to being held to that same standard.  Our guilt over our own shortcomings render us silent in a world that is growing bolder and bolder, not with living in the resurrection power of Jesus but in the power of our own versions of morality!  We have given up on holiness…all the scandals from popes, priests, pastors, evangelists, politicians and celebrities alike parade before us daily reminding us that none of us can live a truly holy life.  So why bother?  We all get to go to heaven anyway, right?  That’s what we tell our children when someone dies, no matter what lifestyle they chose to live.  It is what we have told ourselves deep down.  I can’t live up to that standard, no one can – but God knows my heart!  Slowly, we sink into a lower and lower perception of what it really means to live a Christian life.  Now, it’s no different than any agnostic or atheist you run into on the street.  I have personally met some people who say they do not believe in God or Christianity and they by all appearances seem to be living highly moral, socially active, environmentally friendly and charitable lifestyles.  They are sometimes much nicer to be around than some Christians I know.  It almost makes me question myself as a Christian at times…until – I remember something that Jesus said (Luke 18:18-19). A certain ruler addressed Jesus as “Good Master”, asking Him, “what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus answers the ruler’s question but check out what Jesus says first –

“Why callest thou me good?”

I can imagine this ruler thinking to himself, “Well…aren’t you…?”

Jesus continues…”none is good”

The ruler might have started getting a puzzled look on his face at that one.

then Jesus finishes by saying, “none is good, save one, that is, God.”


If only God is good, what does that make the rest of us?  If you are not sure, you have about 389 verses to look up…(smile).

Back to my earlier point.  People tend to always want to earn their way towards everything, including heaven.  We somehow love the idea that we can have something so great about ourselves that can make us deserving of good things.  Perfectionists and overachievers, if we had a club, I might not be your president, but I could easily be elected secretary!  I know something about trying to earn my way into God’s good graces.  I also know a lot about failing every time I try.  To believe otherwise is to deceive yourself.  No one, no matter how talented, smart and successful in our eyes can do it.  God alone is good.  All we have to offer are cheap imitations of our own versions of being ‘good’.  Romans 3:10 spells it out pretty well for us “There is none righteous, no not one” and later in verse 23, 24 “all have sinned (there’s that ‘s’ word) and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”.

As for me, I choose to accept this temporary world in which sin does actually exist.  It is the only thing that makes sense of the evils and darkness that surrounds us everyday.  It is also the only way of thinking that gives me any assurance that when I die, despite all my shortcomings, I will be in heaven with my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He made a way.  I accept it.  Will you?

Highly recommended reading – Romans chapter 3 – until it sinks in…


The Content of Our Character…

50th Anniversary of March on Washington    As I review this historic marker that has left such an indelible effect on so many of us,  particularly Americans as a whole, I still marvel.  God just gave Martin Luther King Jr. such a gift as a speaker, scholar and civil rights leader that it still impresses us 50 years later.  I would like to pause though and place a highlight on the famous phrase he used during his “I Have A Dream” speech.  He said that one day he hoped to see his four children judged not by the color of their skin but by the “content of their character“.   Here is my question.  Have we put too much emphasis on the color of our skin instead of developing our character?  Our skin color is automatic, our gift at birth.  Our content of good character comes from working at it day by day.  There are some passages that quickly comes to mind as I think of that –

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV Unknown

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Romans 5:3-5 ESV

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Acts 20:35 ESV

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Romans 12:2 ESV

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Luke 6:31 ESV

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

For the entire list, go to:


Adrian Ramsey’s Heavenly Sounds


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2951316745-1Adrian Ramsey’s Heavenly Sounds

This is a man of God who has walked a true walk of faith!  He has had challenges with his vision since the age of 3 but has managed to live out his love for the Lord and utilize a God-given ear for heavenly music in the form of instrumental jazz.  He is a gifted musical composer and fluent in the voices of trombone, flugelhorn, bass guitar and keyboards to name only a few.  He currently serves on the New City Church worship team in Fairburn, GA.

Seeing Really Is About Believing


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Click here- Boy Who Sees Without Eyes

When I saw this at a recent professional workshop, it was so inspiring. Ben lost his eyes to cancer but he figured out how to use his other senses to live life as well as anyone else around him! His mother encouraged him to believe and I believe that helped God to intervene and help Ben ‘see’! Then, I thought about how powerful his life’s message was. With the blessings he still had, he was able to conquer what was taken away. How many of us have something go wrong, get things or people taken from us and we actually become crippled because we allow our emotions to take over? This boy reminds us of how to pick up and look to God as we count our blessings so we can still be over-comers through Christ who strengthens us!