So Glad You Were Not Aborted

     There is much discussion today about abortion. Some are crying that women have the right to kill their unborn children while others declare the unborn have every right to live. And, while I stand with the latter mindset I think it important to point out the fact that the unborn child is indeed human. Moreover, God made it clear that He knew His children even before conception. And, while this verse is specific to Jeremiah it lends to the idea of the all-knowing God knowing His children even before the parents know them. Hence, Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

     I have no intention of exegeting this passage in this paper except to point out the absolute value of those God formed in the womb. With that, God formed you in that He created you for such a time as this because you are needed for specific work and purpose. And, I am so glad you were not aborted. God ordained you to pour into me and without you, I would not be. Yes, you are precious and fearfully and wonderfully made. Yes, God knew you would pour into me and many others. So, He created you and I am so glad you were not aborted.

     Let me explain. Many people (I don’t know how many) have poured into me and have caused me to be who I am today. I will start with my parents Robert and Thelma Carter (and there are many more before them) God used them as tools to create me. Without these two I would not be here arguing for life. Both of my parents poured into me and the residue of them remains in me and cannot be removed. Yes, I am grateful they were not aborted. Then, I cannot overlook my grandparents, all of them. One of them, in particular, is my maternal grandfather, the late Rev. William James Smith. Yes, I was named after this pastour. Who knew that I would, too, be a pastour. God did.

     I cannot possibly enumerate all that have poured into me. I am just so glad that none of you were aborted. This includes my siblings. I have four from my mother and others from my father, well; fathered. Suffice it to say we still “fight” each other. It is what we do. We love each other and I am grateful they were not aborted. No, they were not and each of them has poured into me in ways I cannot expound upon here. Nonetheless, I am so glad they were not aborted. Yet, family and friends are not the only ones for which I am so glad were not aborted. There are many others. Consider the doctors and nurses at the time of my birth. How about the many professionals I have encountered since. Teachers – there were many teachers.

    Miss Kidd was my first-grade teacher about fifty-five years ago. Yes, she poured into me and gave me the love of reading. Mr. Williams (sixth grade) furthered that love. My junior high band teacher and English teacher also poured into me. And then there was high school. So many unaborted people poured into me and I am so very glad none of these precious people were aborted.

     The Marine Corps. There were many in the Corps who poured into me. My drill instructors stand out. I am so glad they were not aborted. And then my instructors in admin school. My goodness; the list is way too long for me to begin to scratch the surface. However, I can’t ignore MGSgt. Thomas James Witt. He went out of his way to pour into me. He is now receiving his reward. I am so glad he was not aborted. I am also grateful for my college professors. I can’t even call all their names so I won’t even start to try. And, if you consider the idea of about fourteen years of college you will begin to understand the magnitude of people who have poured into which includes many who might be considered peripheral. I am so glad none of them were aborted.

     My children. My goodness, my children. They may not realize the impact they have had on my life. Yet, it is absolutely certain each of my four children has and continues to pour into my life. I am so glad they were not aborted. Again, I cannot enumerate the fullness of all this. Still, I would be remiss if I ignored the most significant person in my life; Christ Jesus.

     The fact Jesus, before becoming incarnate, looked down through the annals of time and saw I would be in need of redemption. So, He took off His robe of glory and cloaked himself in the flesh of man. He suffered, died, and rose from the dead just to make sure I have the chance of honouring the Father with my life so that I could have eternal life. I am so glad He was not aborted and am so glad you were not aborted.

The Thing About Masks

     Over the past year and a half, mask-wearing has become very cultic. You see people wearing masks everywhere. They are in their cars alone. They are walking down the street alone. In the parks and on sidewalks people are wearing masks as though their lives depend on them. And, I suspect it is their choice but that the reasoning is way off. This is to say, most will say the ineffective mask-wearing is because they don’t want to take any chance of getting a virus that is much smaller than the pores in the masks. But that does not matter. The lies and fear must be perpetuated at every cost. So the wearing of ineffective mask-wearing must continue.[1]

     With this in mind, one must wonder why this push for the general populace to wear ineffective masks. To answer this one must reasonably understand the purpose of forced mask-wearing. You see, masks pull from individual identity. When individuality is removed individuals are forced into lockstep at the behest of those seeking to control them. For instance, some cultures force some of their people to wear face-coverings.  It is said the reasoning is for modesty. However, the identities of those forced to wear masks are removed and they are consequently “slaves” to those ordering the wearing of masks. Still, there are culturally and historically many reasons for wearing masks[2] yet the medical reasons do not stand where the general populace is concerned.

     No matter the many reasons for mask-wearing one thing is clear; masks hide identity. Those wearing masks are difficult, if not impossible, to identify which is why criminals use face coverings as they carry on their dirty deeds. The intentional hiding of identity falls in line with hypocrisy. The idea of a hypocrite stems from the Greek “hupŏkritēs” which has been likened to the wearing of a mask. More specifically the hypocrite is one who puts on a show pretending to be somebody or something he is not.

     This is important because many hanging around the Church are not Christians. They have all the moves and say the right words. They know when to say “amen” and have perfected the dance and when to raise their hands. Yet, lives are far from Christian. It might be more prudent to call these “Sunday saints.” This is because they live the perfect Christian life Sunday morning but that the rest of the week one would have a hard time seeing the Christian. The reason for the trouble is because these are no Christians but that they have infiltrated the Church. They have a form of godliness even while denying the power of godliness. The Sunday “worship” is nothing more than showtime at the Apollo.

     The thing about masks is that they cover and conceal. They hide and disguise. Masks allow for the continuation of misdeeds if those deeds are by the oppressor or the one choosing to put on a show. In either case, it is time to remove the masks. It is time to come clean. Masks are uncomfortable and must be removed from time to time for relief thereby revealing the real person behind the mask. This is the reason Jesus repudiates hypocrites in Mathew 7:5. He does this because hypocrites often hold a double standard. They look for the minute problems of others whilst the overwhelming issues they have are ignored.

Yes, it is time to remove the masks. The continual wearing of masks has no benefits and serves only to create divides while propagating ill health. The thing about masks is that they hide and shield while the mask wearers infiltrated and destroy. It is time; it is past time to remove the masks.  



The Storm in the Delta

This past weekend I had the pleasure of being in Greenwood, MS where I was asked to present the matter of racism in the Church. Unbeknownst to me, the racism in the Church in the Mississippi Delta is more severe than I thought. Still, as if it makes a difference, this Black preacher was invited by a White preacher to face the storm in the Delta.

The problem is this storm of vitriol is not only raging in the Delta. It has gripped and blown apart many lives across this nation. It has pitted brother against brother for no other reason except to further divide a people already broken and in need of healing and reconciliation, Moreover, the vitriol stems from immutable qualities man has no ability to decide and had no say so as to his immutable qualities.

Let me go a bit further. While I was in the Delta an older Bishop (probably in his 80s) shared an experience that was not a good one. He shared how he was planning a tent revival and received permits from the landowners to have the event. Then, came the winds of the storm.  The rains fell heavy and hard. The storm was vicious and angry and came because the Bishop sought to have an event that included all people. The good Bishop was forced to cancel that meeting because the storm of racism in the Delta is vicious and seeks to leave no victims sanding.   

And, there was another incident shared with me by the Bishop who invited me to speak. He shared with me how that he was invited to oversee a local body in Mississippi. For a while, he did not see the bylaws. Once seeing them the Bishop learned this body had set the intention practice of keeping that body segregated. He did the right thing and left that assembly quick, fast, and in a hurry. The storm in that body blew out the love of God while ushering in the unfeigned hatred of people of differing ethnicities.

We need to make something very clear. This discussion is not emblematic of everyone in the Delta nor the country at large. Still, storms have a way of destroying everything in their paths. As such, many have been blown down and soaked in the storms which have done nothing but destroy and divide the Church. Well, I have had enough. I have had enough of ridiculous characterizations of people over conditions over which they have no control. Moreover, I believe I read that God’s people (remember context) are fearfully and wonderfully made. With that being the case, it is time to face this storm headstrong.

Well, I am storming mad. Not just because of the Delta but also what is going on across the country. While I was in Greenwood I started a storm. It is past time we blew out racist vitriol. It is time we soak hate-filled segregation with love. Christ died for the entirety of mankind and when He did that another storm was started that storm affected the healing and reconciliation of a people, no of all people. I will not relent. I will not give up. I am going to keep on fighting the false narratives of racism and attack racism where it sits.

Look here, if you need or want me to come to help you fight, let me know. We can work out the details. I am determined to bring healing and reconciliation to the Church. I have an outline for church leaders I will be glad to present as well as lessons geared toward the people at large. Where I have started a new storm in the Delta (well, with the help of others) I am willing to reasonably travel to quiet the storms of racism and division whilst taking the love of Christ and replacing unjust and unqualified hatred with the unbending love of Christ.

May be an image of one or more people, people standing and indoor
Dealing with Racism in the Church in the Delta

When We Turn Our Backs

     If you have ever had anyone turn his back on you, you know how it makes you feel. It is disrespectful at best. When this happens there is no doubt certain feelings begin to rise. There often comes a desire to put the person in check. However, it may not be prudent to render disrespect for disrespect. That does little to pull from the utter feelings of disrespect and hurt caused by the back turning.   

     Even so, many in this country are turning their backs on truths. Up has become down, east has become west and right has become wrong. Many walk securely in lies even in the face of the ever-present truth. They have turned their backs on the truth. Little do they know there will come a time when the price must be paid. That price will be severe as the truth will not be lessened because of turned backs.

     Backs are being turned everywhere under the guises of supposed offenses and equality. For instance, there is a new sexual revolution going on in our country. We (and I speak broadly) have turned our backs on the truth of God’s Word. We have welcomed all fornication as though there is no consequence. Fornication is the general term for any sex outside of God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. Fornication continues in spite of the fact that God’s Word has not changed. I Corinthians 6:18, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.  

     One might ask how sexual sins directly affect the body. Well, there are sexually transmitted diseases but that we can’t talk about that because some might count that as being offensive. So, we will talk about the mutilation of one’s body to change from one gender to another. Wait, we have to turn our backs on that truth, too. We will move on to the identity crises and taught self-hate when we change the gender of young children. And, abortion; when we turn our backs on the murder of the unborn those bodies are hurt. Lest we forget, women’s sports are being eradicated by reason of transgenderism. Oh, we have to turn our backs to these truths as well.

     Perhaps safer ground would be dealing with the matter of lies. We all know that lies have been counted as acceptable and normal. This is especially true as it pertains to “white” lies. Or maybe we can turn our back to truth in favour of lies? There is no doubt Scripture teaches the fact that all liars will have their place in the lake that burns with fire (Revelation 21:18). But, this too is offensive so we might as well turn our backs on the truth of Scripture. There will be a price and I might suggest the price is one most will not want to pay.

     Case and point: recently a congressman publically stated that God effectively had no place in Congress. This congressman has turned his back on God. I might further suggest that such language stems from a reprobate mind. You see, when we turn our backs on God we will receive our just rewards. Romans 1:28 shows the result of such turning with these words, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”

     When we turn our backs on God He will turn His back on us. Consider II Chronicles 7:19-22. God will not be mocked. He is sovereign. He is truth. It is time we turned back; turn back to the truths of the Word of God. We must turn back to righteousness. We must return as warned by Jeremiah; “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.”

     When we turn our backs on unrighteousness we face righteousness. When we turn our backs on lies we walk in truth. When we turn our backs on the unholy we stand in holiness. When we turn our backs on backsliding God begins the healing process. He will heal the individual and heal the land. When we turn our backs on offending God Jesus will turn back to us. It is time we turned back.

Careful About Those Tables

     There are some words we never forget. Parental warnings are among those words we hold on to for dear life. One such warning was against eating from everyone’s table. This is because we often don’t know how the food is prepared. We don’t know if animals have been sniffing around the food. Perhaps the preparer’s hands were dirty and good hygiene was no part of the equation. No matter the reasoning the warning stands against eating from everyone’s table. It could cost you your life.

     The same is true of the Bride of Christ. The Bride can ill afford to eat from the table of the enemy. The Bride must eat from the table of the Groom. Eating from His table serves to bring about healing and reconciliation. This is the very point made by Tamika N. Mathis in her book Come Back Church: The Resuscitation of the Bride of Christ. Mrs. Mathis uses her pen to beckon the Bride of Christ away from tables of destruction to the table of healing. She beckons away from the tables of division and points to the table of unity.

     With that, pour a cup of coffee and get your Bible. Come sit at the table and walk with Mrs. Mathis as she unpacks deceptions accepted in the Church. Get your pen and pad and take notes as the covers are pulled off tables and harmful foods are exposed. Come with your eyes opened and ears poised to receive what is set before you as the nutrition from the groom’s table breathes into you and revives your spirit. Come back, Church, to standards of the Groom.

A Call to Civility

This year, 2020, has been one tumultuous year. Brother has been turned against brother. Vitriol has been created by the media and lies have become the order of the day. Our cities have been looted and burned over partial and inaccurate information. Now, there are threats of violence if the wrong person wins the election.

With this, I must issue a rare admonishment. No matter who wins this election violence will not change the results. It is time we returned to civility. The name-calling because of different points of view has gotten way out of hand. Threats of harm have risen to levels I have never seen in my life. All this is unnecessary, sophomoric, and does little to promote healing and reconciliation.

It is not my role to tell anyone how to vote and I will not come close to doing that. Each person should, however, lay aside personal subjective feelings and examine the facts. Vote in accordance with the Constitution. Vote for the one who will support and defend the Constitution. Look at the facts objectively without regard to feelings and innuendo.

Moreover, this is a country founded on the premise of freedom and is highlighted in our founding documents. Use that freedom to vote. Use the freedom to properly redress the government. Use that freedom to lift each other rather than giving way to repugnant vitriolic rhetoric which serves only to increase division. If your candidate wins it would do well to shake the hand of your opponent. If your candidate loses it would do well to shake the hand of your opponent. More importantly, we would all do well to be thankful to the Almighty who has allowed us to live in a land where we can openly adore Him. Let us keep it that way.

Day-Spring Youth Programs

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