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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog

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TOUGH LOVE: Moving From Lenten Reflection to Resurrection Action

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 5:35 AM Comments comments (0)
TOUGH LOVE: 
Moving from Lenten Reflection to Resurrection Action


Scripture: Matthew 5:43-44
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’    But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,    that you may be children of your Father in heaven."











 
Greetings!

BlogFam, On today, I would like to share with yo a reflection that I wrote almost two weeks ago.  This blog post was written as a closing reflection on the season of Lent that has just finished, looking toward the changes that should have come as a result of your Lenten sacrifice.  I hope you enjoy!  Most of all, I hope that YOU are different!


Lent.What is Lent?  Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.  The word Lent itself is derived from the words lencten, meaning "Spring," and lenctentid, which literally means not only "Springtide" but also was the word for "March," the month in which the majority of Lent falls.


Lent is a six week period, 40 days, not including Sundays and while the explicit practice of Lent is not in the Bible, all of the spiritual disciplines most often associated with Lent are...fasting, repentance, moderation, prayer, and meditation.  Although the practices associated with Lent may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.


I have personally always found Lent to be a time to repent for the ways I have fallen short of God's glory, to remember God's great Love for me, and to revive my faith in God.  And so I usually keep a prayer journal and commit to writing everyday for 40 days.  I have done several types of fasts - giving up TV, or my Favorite Foods, Daniel Fast, Total Fast.  I have also incorporated certain healthy practices or other spiritual disciplines into my routine... early morning corporate prayer once a week or reading a daily Lenten Devotional or other kind of book on Spiritual Renewal/Leadership/Self-Awareness or Empowerment.


Lent is a very special time.  A sacred time on the Christian calendar.  During Lent, we pray, fast, meditate, quiet ourselves, sacrifice... AND there are so many changes that happen during Lent. There are wardrobe changes... [at least in our part of the country, we put up our winter coats and wear light jackets] color changes...  nature changes... the season changes... time changes.  So much changes around us during Lent before we celebrate Resurrection Sunday.  
But what about us...you...me?


As we look toward celebrating the resurrection of our Savior in about one week or so, what has changed about you?  How have you changed during this season of Lent?  Or was it simply another annual ritual?  


Now, please hear me.  I did not ask did you lose weight or whether losing an hour of sleep when we changed our clocks caught you off guard?  NO!  As we move from Lenten reflection and look toward the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, has there been ANY change in you, in your heart?


For I hope you did not practice Lent just so you could "fit in" with the rest of your congregation.  I hope that you did not practice Lent just because the pastor said do it and you do not want to feel guilty for not doing it.  I hope the prayers and fasting, the meditation and the sacrifice meant more to you than some self glorifying, self rewarding, self aggrandizing effort to pat yourself on the back.  Surely, Lent has meant more than ALL of that!
BlogFam, I want to believe it did.


So, as we move from Lenten reflection and look toward the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, has there been ANY change in you...in your heart?


Let's take a deeper look at our Scripture.


First of all, I know that this might seem like such an odd passage of Scripture for our sharing.  For after all, in the Gospel of Matthew, these verses are part of the infamous Sermon on the Mount. Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount at the early part of His ministry as recorded by Matthew.  Jesus was born in chapter 1 and visited by the Wise men in chapter 2.  By chapter 3, Jesus is a grown man who gets baptized by his cousin John the Baptist who has been on the scene preparing the way for the Lord.  Immediately after his baptism, he goes into the wilderness for a 40 day period of fasting in chapter 4.  Then  he preaches a sermon of repentance and selects the disciples to COME and follow Him because He would make them fishers of men.


Chapter 4 concludes...  Matthew 4:23-25 NIV
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.


So by Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus has a multitude of men and women who have gathered to hear him speak... and a few of those words are contained in our verses for today...And I know that this might seem like such an odd passage of Scripture for our sharing but I think that it truly speaks to the transformation that should take place in our heart after Lent or after ANY period of prayer and fasting.


You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’    But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,    that you may be children of your Father in heaven


This is TOUGH LOVE.  For the most part, when we hear the term TOUGH LOVE, we are most often referring to those whom we love who need to be taught a lesson or need to experience some sort of discipline as a consequence for their previous actions.  And we teach those lessons or initiate discipline or certain restrictions out of our love for our family and sometimes, in our circles beyond our families or immediate household.


Showing someone TOUGH LOVE is not always easy and it does not necessarily feel good but then again, at our core, because we love them, we do so and pray to God we have made the right choices.


However, on today, I want to push us a little bit on our idea of TOUGH LOVE.  Because the text for today is really about TOUGH LOVE.  It is about Loving people who are TOUGH to LOVE...loving our enemies and praying for people who put us down or try to trip us up, or push us out of the way.  This is TOUGH LOVE!


Jesus says to the multitude: You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 


NOW this is what we want to hear.  This is where we want to stop.  Love those who love you back and Hate those who hate you back.  We basically do not have a problem with that. That just seems to make good sense.


You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
 We can handle that BUT Jesus keeps talking...And I love what it says in the MESSAGE BIBLE...


Matthew 5:44 MSG
But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you....... 


This is TOUGH LOVE.  This is the kind of Resurrection Actions that should come after our time of Lenten Reflection.  This is the kind of change of heart that comes when we connect with God.  This is the kind of response that calls for us to love people who are TOUGH to love.


It is the kind of Love that Jesus displayed and physically embodied on the cross at Calvary when he died for you and for me...when he died for men and women, boys and girls who would treat Him as if he was their enemy, curse Him as if he was their worst nightmare, hate on Him as if He had no good bone in His body, and persecute Him without a second thought.


Jesus loves people who are TOUGH to love.
Jesus LOVES you and Jesus LOVES me.


And I do not completely understand it and I cannot say that it is the easiest thing I have ever been told to do....BUT when I think about God's AMAZING love for me, I cannot help but want to at least try one day, one person at a time.


One 18th Century songwriter, Charles Wesley, put it this way... 

1. Love divine, all loves excelling,  joy of heaven, to earth come down;  fix in us thy humble dwelling;  all thy faithful mercies crown!  Jesus thou art all compassion,  pure, unbounded love thou art;  visit us with thy salvation;  enter every trembling heart. 

2. Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit  into every troubled breast!  Let us all in thee inherit;  let us find that second rest.  Take away our bent to sinning;  Alpha and Omega be;  end of faith, as its beginning,  set our hearts at liberty. 

3. Come, Almighty to deliver,  let us all thy life receive;  suddenly return and never,  nevermore thy temples leave.  Thee we would be always blessing,  serve thee as thy hosts above,  pray and praise thee without ceasing,  glory in thy perfect love. 

4. Finish, then, thy new creation;  pure and spotless let us be.  Let us see thy great salvation  perfectly restored in thee;  changed from glory into glory,  till in heaven we take our place,  till we cast our crowns before thee,  lost in wonder, love, and praise



Or simply... I don't know why Jesus loves me.  I don't know why he cares.  i don't know why He sacrificed His life.  OH but I'm glad!  I'm so glad that he did!

Again, I know that this might seem like such an odd passage of Scripture for our sharing but I think that it truly speaks to the transformation that should take place in our heart after Lenten reflection.


You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’    But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,    that you may be children of your Father in heaven


So, My Friends, Will we love God, love ourselves, love our neighbor better after Lent?  Will we be more consistent in our prayer life after Lent?  Will we rise from the death of bad habits and harsh attitudes?  Will we love people who are TOUGH to love?


BlogFam, it is time to move beyond our Lenten Reflections towards Resurrection Actions and ONE of the most profound ways we can do so is to LOVE those who love us back and LOVE,  BLESS, DO GOOD, & PRAY FOR those who hate us back.  That is what Jesus would do, has done, is doing, and will continue to do...starting with you and me.


After all of this fasting and praying, I think you can handle it!!! 

God Loves You and I Do Too!!!
Delesslyn
FOLLOW on Twitter @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

Tell Your Own Truth FIRST! Matthew 5:29-30

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 12:22 PM Comments comments (0)
TELL YOUR OWN TRUTH!
Matthew 5:29-30



Matthew 5:29-30 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.And if thy right hand offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.


Greetings!

BlogFam, There are times when we must choose to have difficult conversations or make really tough decisions in order for us to keep moving forward. The truth is this: As you go and grow in the things of the Spirit and as you become more in tune with the divine answers to the questions - who, what, when, where, why, and how - about the seasons of your own life, you realize that for the sake of the Kingdom, you must let some things and people go. But you already knew this. You already are familiar with the necessity to lay aside the weights of certain people, places, or things in order for you to have your mountaintop experience. You are aware that BY FAITH, you must let IT or THEM go so that you can be all that God has called you to be.


And for most of us, when the going gets rough and we are pushed into a corner of fear versus faith, I pray that we would lean toward the side of faith so that we can truly LET GO and LET GOD!


Yet, on today, I do recognize that some of us will also avoid those difficult conversations and delay making those really tough decisions in order to move forward because at the very basic level, we have not done the same with ourselves. And I know you may be thinking: Are you asking me to talk to myself? Should I be talking to myself? And my answer to you is YES! YES!


One of the most difficult conversations you will ever have are the conversations when you look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you need to get yourself together! One of the toughest decisions you will ever have to make is the decision to get your own self together because you know exactly what it would really mean for you to do so and how long it might take and what you might lose.


Even the Good Lord knew that when it comes to SELF-EVALUATION, and I mean really HONEST self-evaluation, we might more readily choose to cut off the external factors that we see as hindrances - those people, places, and things outside of ourselves - BEFORE we deal with the common denominator in each of those situations...our own selves. And so Jesus pushes us to SELF-EXAMINATION...


Matthew 5:29-30 And if YOUR right eye offend YOU, pluck it out, and cast it from YOU: for it is profitable for YOU that one of YOUR members should perish, and not that YOUR whole body should be cast into hell.And if YOUR right hand offend YOU, cut if off, and cast it from YOU: for it is profitable for YOU that one of YOUR members should perish, and not that YOUR whole body should be cast into hell.


Jesus says, LOOK IN THE MIRROR! What do YOU see about YOU that would be offensive to the work of God''s Kingdom and a hindrance to God's purpose for YOUR own life? Jesus says, LOOK IN THE MIRROR! TELL YOUR OWN TRUTH! And RESPOND ACCORDINGLY!


BlogFam, Are YOU Willing to Tell Your Own Truth? Can you handle your own truth? Will you have the difficult conversations with yourself and make the really tough decisions about yourself so that YOU can move forward?


Perhaps, before we are so quick to cut off the people, places, and things that we might see as blockers to our destiny, we might FIRST need to LOOK IN THE MIRROR to see what we see about ourselves that might need to be cut off or cut out so that we can begin to have a clearer perspective about people, places, and things that may or may not need to be cut off AFTER we have told ourselves the truth about ourselves, with the help of the Lord.


BlogFam, TELL YOUR OWN TRUTH FIRST for it is profitable for YOU!!!

God Loves You and I Do Too!!!
Delesslyn
FOLLOW Me @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

I Didn't Do It, I Just Thought About It...

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)
I Didn't Do It, I just Thought About It...
Matthew 5:27-28





Matthew 5:27-28 NIV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’    But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."






Greetings!

BlogFam,


Let me just jump right in to say that Jesus really is taking things to another level with our verses for today! 


Think about it.  Haven't we always been taught that thinking and doing are two totally different things?  I know that I have heard that and expressed that exact sentiment....that just because I am thinking about what I want to do or say, my thought does not equate to my actually following through on such action.  In other words, I can think about IT all day and never use one ounce of effort to bring my thoughts into action.  


But Jesus is taking our thoughts to another level!
In other words, these verses, Jesus words, seem to equate thought and action.


You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’    But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." 


Friends, many years ago the United Negro College Fund publicized a slogan that I think is helpful for us on today.  THE MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE!  And with this thought in our minds, perhaps, for the purposes of this blog on this day and in light of our Scripture reference, we can re-phrase the UNCF slogan and declare... THE HEART IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE!


For isn't the heart what Jesus really is concerned with?  If your heart is full of righteousness so will your thoughts and then so will your actions.  This is probably why Jesus takes our thoughts to another level.  Jesus wants us to understand that the proverb  is true: AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART, SO IS HE.  In other words, you are who you are in your heart.


YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE IN YOUR HEART. 


And it is only God who can see what is in each of our hearts.  We might can fool and fake around with each other by masking our heart's desires/wants/dreams/lusts with "Holy" looks, clothes, actions, words, music, etc.  BUT God knows the true intentions and motivations of our heart.


YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE IN YOUR HEART.


And so the illustration is not limited to whether someone has created a sexual drama in their mind about another person; but the core of Jesus message to us in these two verses calls for an examination of our own hearts because it is only there where we can find our TRUE selves.  And if anyone has a strong or passionate craving, uncontrolled or illicit desire, an intense or overmastering desire for anything UN-righteous, Jesus is saying that IT - whatever your IT is - has already been committed in his or her heart.


BlogFam, YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE IN YOUR HEART.
And YES, it does matter what YOU think, even if you do/did not do it.
So, I Didn't Do It, I Just Thought About It...is NO excuse!

GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Delesslyn

Follow @AudraSunshine, @SpiritedConcept

GO and COME Again! - Matthew 5:23-24

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)
GO and COME Again!
Matthew 5:23-24






Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift."









Greetings!


BlogFam, 


Have you ever received a gift that you just did not like?  


Have you ever received a gift from someone and thought - "What in the world made them think I would like something like this?"  


Now, before you get all holier than thou, the truth of the matter is that even as gracious as we may try to be in the moment, those questions fill our minds and we begin to think about ways we can creatively incorporate or trash this inappropriate,  unappreciated, ugly or useless "GIFT."   I will admit that I know that I have felt this way and asked those same questions.  Pray for a sista!


BlogFam, we are just talking.  You do not have to go repent at this moment as you reflect on the Christmas or Birthday or Anniversary gifts you received over the last year that fit these categories!  For the truth is that NONE of us like to receive "BAD" gifts and NONE of us wants to be the one who picks the wrong gift or gives the wrong gift on any occasion.   We all appreciate and value and brag about "GOOD" gifts.  Gifts that we like.  Gifts that we really want.  Gifts we know that others wish that they had received.  And almost, if not more important than the actual gift itself, is the presentation of the gift - how it is wrapped, the attitude with which it is given, the care with which it was selected, and the timing of the gift.


We want "GOOD" gifts and without saying we EXPECT that the gifts we receive will be given to us thoughtfully and graciously.
Our verses for today call into question not the gifts that we give to or receive from others, but the gifts that we give to God, and the WAY we give those gifts to the Giver of all GOOD and PERFECT gifts.


"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift."


My Friends, it is time for some of us to GO ad COME AGAIN!  The same way in which we do not appreciate certain ways in which gifts are presented us, the same principle applies to the gifts we offer to God  For as we offer God our time, our talent, and our treasure, and our temple, we must offer the very best that we can!!!


 So, if there is anything in your heart that is not pleasing to God as you offer God what you have, then it is time for you to GO and COME AGAIN!  if you remember that there is something that is not right between you and anyone, then GO and COME AGAIN!  If you have thoughts of jealousy or hatred towards anyone, GO and COME AGAIN!  If you thought you were over "IT" but "IT" still makes you feel some kind of way, then GO and COME AGAIN!


#1 - GO and be RECONCILED!
In other words, "leave" that holy moment and get your gift together!  We cannot be satisfied with offering God anything less than our best.  Therefore, whatever we need to do to make sure our hearts are right with God, must be done quickly and sincerely!  

God has not given up on your gifts!  We have the clearest instruction for us to be able to come correct in the presence of the Most High!  We must be proactive in the reconciliation of all of our relationships so that we can be servants of integrity and truly offer God our best gifts!  So, GO and be RECONCILED!


To be RECONCILED means: To win over to friendliness... To cause to become amicable... To settle a quarrel or dispute.. To ring into agreement or harmony.. To make compatible or... To reconsecrate... To restore
Friends, GO and be RECONCILED!


AND #2- COME Right on Back to God!  
The relationship we have with God, the way that we are able to present our gifts to God is directly impacted by the way we treat others.  YES, the way you treat people outside of worship really does matter and in order to present the BEST of our gifts of TIME, TALENT, TREASURE, and our TEMPLES, we must be at peace with our friends, families, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, etc.


I hope that you will NOT leave this nugget on the mountain....  I pray that you will take it with you and always strive to present your BEST gift to the Lord who is the Giver of ALL GOOD and PERFECT Gifts!  AND if you need to GO and COME AGAIN... then GO and COME AGAIN!  


GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Delesslyn
Follow @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept

Give Them Something to TALK About!

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:34 PM Comments comments (0)
Give Them Something to TALK About!!!
Matthew 5:14-16




Greetings!


BlogFam, People Talk.  People Talk Alot.  People talk about what they know and what they do not know about.  People talk all day long.  All day long people have something to say about everything and everybody.  Everywhere we go people are talking.  Some people talk loud.  Some people talk soft.  Some people talk fast.  Some people talk slow.  People are talking and they will keep on talking until...


 And YOU are not exempt.  You talk too!  You may not talk as much or as little but you talk too.  You may not talk in public but privately, you lack restraint.  You may not talk about this or that but you talk that and this.  And Let us all just be straight up today!   You talk about people and people talk about you.   WE are the "PEOPLE" that TALK!  


Since this is where we find ourselves, we might as well give the people something to talk about and talk about something ourselves!   


Thus, we should be striving to talk about enlightening topics.  We ought to be the ones who spark conversations that can generate and propel ideas that change the world and save lives.  We ought to be the ones to spark conversations that encourage hearts and lift up bowed down heads.  We ought to be the ones who boldly speak life and liberty, joy and justice, respect and righteousness into the atmosphere.  And because we all act like we have something to talk about, we might as well make our words and our lives...or should I say, OUR LIGHT, count!  


Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.    Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.    In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."


So, just in case you have no clue or needed to be reminded of some KEY topics of conversation, let me help you out:

TALK ABOUT THE LIGHT!!


Now, before, your words get twisted and your tongue gets tied, YOU have light and your light shines because of our Creator who gave you the light in the first place!  So, any talk that proceeds from your mouth regarding LIGHT, it must be understood that LIGHT began with God and is now shared with us  And it is the Light of God as seen in Christ Jesus that brightens the whole world.  


The light we carry is NOT to be hidden or inappropriately placed.  The light we carry is NOT anything we should be ashamed of or afraid to share.  The light that we carry will transform our lives and the lives with whom we have contact...IF we only let it shine.  My friends, this light is so worth talking about.  And since you are going to be talking about something anyway, you might as well be talking about the LIGHT!


People talk.  You talk.  I talk.  We talk.  So let us all make it our business to talk about the LIGHT!


Now, some of us might find this  challenging because for so long we have dismissed the LIGHT, dimmed the LIGHT, and dodged the LIGHT! We have acted in ways and spoken words that gave no indication that the LIGHT was within us at all.  And now that we are highlighting a text about LIGHT we may feel as though we do not know how we might can reignite the LIGHT of Christ within our hearts.   But THANKS be to God, all hope is NOT lost.  Because the LIGHT did not start with us and is not dependent upon us for energy or opportunity because the LIGHT knows no restraint, we can reconnect and be reignited by the grace ad power of God.


So, during this Holy season of fasting and reflection, I pray that your talk will not be cheapened by your procrastination or refusal to carry the LIGHT in your life and conversations.  But I pray that YOU will choose to allow the LIGHT of Christ to be reignited in your heart so that you can give those people something to talk about and you can talk about some good things yourself!  I pray that the LIGHT of Christ will shine so bright as you talk that others will hear of your good deeds and give ALL glory to the LIGHT!  And I pray that you would boldly BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD and brightly LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!!!


GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Delesslyn
FOLLOW @AudraSunshine & @SpiritedConcept

It's OK to BE SALTY!!! - Matthew 5:13

Posted on February 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM Comments comments (0)

It's OK To Be SALTY!
Matthew 5:13 NIV


“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."



Greetings!


BlogFam, Now I am pretty sure that a few of you looked at this title and thought, "Finally, I get some support from somewhere about holding on to this grudge, to justify my attitude, and to affirm my side-eye perspective."


NOT!  This is NOT that kind of blog and this is not that blog post!  But I am clear that all kinds of people read the Salvation and Stilettos Blog so we invite everyone who is reading to reflect with us on today about what it means to BE SALTY in Jesus Name!


The word salty has many negative connotations in our culture.  Two major connotations relates to food and attitude.  I think that it is OK to add table salt to food in moderation.  But have you ever tasted something that was just way too salty?  Did your face get all twisted because of the taste that was in your mouth?  Did you reach for the closest glass of water or punch to wash that taste out of your mouth, to let your tastebuds know that everything is alright?  Overly salted food does not taste good and it really is not good for you.  There are so many health warnings from medical professionals warning us about our salt intake. So, anything that is too salty as it relates to food just does not seem to be something to celebrate.


And neither is a salty attitude!  


BlogFam, there is nothing like being in conversation or should I say, having a confrontation with someone with a salty attitude!  A salty attitude leaves a bad taste in your spirit just like that salty food did in your mouth.  A salty attitude is an oversaturated ego that has been rubbed the wrong way and feels like it is OK to light into anyone who crosses their path.  A salty attitude is usually the result of a bad experience, the memory of which has been lingering in the minds of the carrier and effects the way that they see you and everybody else.  A salty attitude is not pleasant and it is often an irresponsible way to throw a tantrum regardless of your age.


Salty food and salty attitudes BITE - SUCK - are SO NOT GOOD!


YET in our verse for today, Jesus redeems the salt.  Jesus offers an illustration using something that can seem so wrong but in the spirit can be so right.  Jesus tells us to BE SALTY!


“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."


My Friends, this verse leads me to believe or at least to want to reconsider the properties of salt.  Perhaps, there are some redemptive qualities about salt that Jesus would like for us to focus on instead of the negative things we have already mentioned.  Two qualities of salt that just might be helpful to those who choose to follow Jesus include: Salt enhances and salt preserves.


Salt enhances and salt preserves.


BlogFam, as much as too much salt is unwelcomed in food, too little salt makes food taste bland.  And so salt is often used in the process of cooking in order to enhance the natural flavors of the food to which it is added.  When we surrender our lives to the Lord, we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  And the Holy Spirit enhances our life as nothing and no one can or will.  The Holy Spirit ehances our lives by filling us with the godly qualities that mae us better people and better witness on behalf of the Most High.  The salt of the Holy Spirit enhances our life by filling us with love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  All of these qualities are positive enhancements to our lives individually and to the lives of others.  When we are filled with this kind of Holy Salt, we can enhance the lives of those around us.  We can be an encouragement and an inspiration to those who are hurt, discouraged, lonely, confused, restless, worried, and living without a sense of the Peace of God.  


Salt enhances.


And Salt preserves.


The chemical composition of salt is such that it is able to extend the "life" of certain foods so that they can remain edible for a longer period of time.  So, adding salt extends the viability and vitality of things that can nourish us.  The Holy Spirit preserves our life.  We are preserved at the deepest parts of ourselves, our souls are preserved for the glory and pleasure of our God.  We are preserved in our mind, body, and spirit. We are preserved from dangers seen and unseen, evil carnate and incarnate, and sins of omission and commission.  We are preserved, kept, saved, sealed, and protected until the day of Jesus Christ, when he shall come again and we will live with Him forever!


BlogFam, BE SALTY...In Jesus Name!  Allow the Holy Spirit to enhance your life in rich and meaningful ways so that you can enhance the lives of others in this world.  Allow the Holy Spirit to preserve your life such that you are covered with the divine extension of life everlasting.  This is my prayer for you on today...that YOU would just BE SALTY...In JESUS Name!!! :-)


GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
Delesslyn 
Follow @AudraSunshine & @SpiritedConcept






The First Word... - Matthew 5:1-3a

Posted on February 15, 2013 at 11:43 AM Comments comments (0)
THE FIRST WORD
Matthew 5:1-3a



Matthew 5:1-3a [NIV] - Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:  “Blessed..."



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Things We Left On The Mountain - INTRODUCTION

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)
Things We Left On the Mountain: INTRODUCTION – 
Matthew 5:1; Matthew 8:1 

 5:1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. 

 8:1 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 



Greetings! 
 BlogFam – This week we will begin a new series entitled: 
Things We Left On the Mountain… 


All of us, at one point or another, have had a mountain top experience.  An experience where we have had an extraordinary moment of passion, felt a supernatural zest for life, saw things more clearly than we ever have, and looked forward to conquering the world!  We have all had mountain top experiences that left us speechless and fearless, empowered and enthralled by the euphoria of what had been revealed to us.  We have all had that moment where we said out loud, AHA!  I get IT now!  



 For obvious reasons, I do not think that mountain top experiences only happen on the top of mountains.  I think these types of experiences can happen at home in the kitchen or in the shower, at church in the sanctuary or in the parking lot, at school in the classroom or on the playground, at work in your office/cubicle or at the water cooler.  There is no set place and there is definitely not a set time.  Your mountain top experience can happen ANYtime – morning, noon, evening or midnight. And no one is exempt.  ALL of us have had these kinds of experiences but there is something that separates us from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Juniors of our generation and it is this: 

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU COME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN? 



 As we begin this new blog series during the Lenten season, I am praying that we would all have a 40 day mountain top experience.  But most importantly, I am praying that when we come down from the mountain of fasting and learning and reflecting and worshiping, I pray that we would FOLLOW Jesus and allow Him to transform our lives in magnificent ways.  For the next few weeks, we will walk through Matthew Chapters 5 - Chapter 8:1.  And BlogFam, you know that we will take our time and we may or may not cover every verse, but we will do our very best to be inspired and to write as we feel led.  



 Crowds of people had a mountain top experience with Jesus where he taught profound lessons that were and still are able to change lives but hearing a lesson and applying it are two different things.  Crowds were there but Matthew 8:1 is clear that everybody did NOT follow him when they came down from the mountain.  In my mind, a large crowd does not mean everybody who was on the mountain.  
  • Perhaps some were hungry or tired or felt overwhelmed and just did not feel like going on or further than they already were.  
  • Perhaps others had some personal business that they had to attend to or they were simply bored and more satisfied with things as they were. 
  • Perhaps there were those who just did not think that it took all of that to be a good person and so they went home or continued to play games and refused to follow Jesus.  


 BUT there were a few, who were apart of the large crowds, fewer than the multitudes, who said, AHA!  I get IT now!  And when they came down from the mountain, they had surrendered to the transforming power of Jesus and FOLLOWED Him. 



 Over the next few weeks, we will explore some of the lessons that Jesus taught and we will also, together, anticipate that these lessons will change our lives and give us all a deeper sense of commitment to the words, the will, and ways of Jesus, our Master and our Teacher.  I pray that we will all choose to be a part of the large crowds who FOLLOW Jesus when we come down from the mountain. 



 So, BlogFam, I pray that you will join me as we hear the Words of Jesus on the mountain and I pray that we will not leave them there!

Let's go UP to the Mountain!!!
Blessings,
Delesslyn



Follow @AudraSunshine or @SpiritedConcept


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