Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday Stuff

Yesterday was a wonderful day to be alive and in worship. I was very excited about getting to the pulpit to offer to God my attempt at worship through the preaching of the Gospel.

Jamal led us through worship in song with that wonderful song of the church, I Just Can't Give Up Now and he really ushered in the presence of the Lord.

Last week I was fortunate to preach for my good friend Rev. Frantz Whitfield, pastor of the Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Waterloo, IA for their Family & Friends Day. Pastor Whitfield and the Mount Carmel Church were both gracious and kind to this Pastor and I am forever grateful for another opportunity to share my convictions about Jesus Christ. Please pray for both Pastor and people as they attempt to win Waterloo for Jesus.

I am presently in between preaching series as I will begin a new series on this coming Lord's Day if God says so, and I wrestled with a couple of different texts until the Lord allowed me to land on a wonderful passage that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus chapter 5:18-21 which I labeled the message A Fresh Anointing.

Paul attempts to admonish this church to live and walk in unity and provides for them another way to accomplish this by not relying on the things of this world and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

This word filled in the Greek means to be controlled by something. Paul makes a contrast of people who are drunk with people who are filled with the Spirit. Alcohol is a substance that depresses while the Spirit is something that lifts. God commands us to allow ourselves to be controlled by the Spirit and not by the world.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Stuff

Today was a weird day in worship. Things just didn't seem to click all morning long, from the time I woke up late this morning, to the fact that although I was on time to church, the church just sauntered in little by little today and I really have been having a real tough time getting a grasp on it.

Jamal really did another wonderful job leading the church during our worship in song period. He led us in a powerful song entitled, I Don't Mind Waiting on the Lord and he nailed it!

We had a couple of visitors today that was refreshing to see and they appeared to have a wonderful time in worship and fellowship.

I concluded our series on Commitment with an exposition on I Kings 18:17-21 which I labeled When Standing Up Means Standing Alone. Here Elijah is told by the Lord to tell Ahab that the famine and drought was now over and Ahab calls Elijah a troublemaker. Elijah engages Ahab in a powerful debate as to who's God is more powerful, Jehovah or Baal, and he tells Ahab to gather the children of Israel, 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah and meet him on Mount Carmel.

Elijah says to them in verse 21, how long must you linger between two different opinions? If the Lord is God follow him, but if Baal then follow him, and the people did not answer him a word. God wants to know if we are willing to stand for him even if we have to stand alone. It is easy to stand when your friends are standing, but God is looking for soldiers who are willing to stand even if they must stand all by themselves.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sunday Stuff

We had another outstanding time in worship this past Lord's Day. I am always amazed whenever the Lord shows up in any place that his people are gathered.

Jamaal really blessed us again in our Praise & Worship period. Kadeem and Dashawn were on point as usual on the keys and drums, and the congregation brought a high spirit of praise with them. To God be the glory!!!

I had to preach at the 8:30 AM worship for the Abundant Joy Community Church of Jersey City, NJ, where Dr. Williard Ashley serves as Pastor. I received this invite from my long time friend and brother, Trayce Evans who is the Minister of Music at the church and the worship was high from start to finish. Please pray for the Abundant Joy Church, as they attempt to win Jersey City Heights for Jesus Christ.

We continued our series on commitment with the conclusion of I Kings 17 with an exposition of verses 17-24 which I entitled The Purpose of Our Service. Elijah is faced with a precarious predicament. He has just witnessed the Lord ensure that this widow would never run out of flour or oil and now he witnesses the death of her only son. He could have walked away but instead he chose to minister to the needs of this woman. God has called each of us not to serve ourselves, but rather we are to minister to the needs of those who are in need of being ministered to.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Penny S. Mann

Today we celebrate the birth of my wonderful and beautiful wife and partner in ministry, Penny! I am forever grateful to the Lord for him sending me a praying woman of God who knows how to get the attention of God on behalf of her family and her church.

She is growing by leaps and bounds into a modern-day first lady that is not limited by the tradition of previous first ladies, but one who is shaping her own legacy as a help-meet to her Pastor-husband.

Keep on worshipping, serving and loving the Lord, Baby! Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither has it entered the heart of men and women, what you shall be.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday Stuff

The weather yesterday on the East Coast bordered on torrential! It rained cats and small dogs out here which as you can expect, severely affected attendance at the First Mt Zion Church. I was not at all upset because we have a lot of older saints who would have a lot of trouble driving in those conditions, so it was better for them to stay at home.

Once again, Jamaal led us in praise and worship, and totally allowed the Lord to use him in a mighty way. His ability to effectively minister through songs of Zion and lift up the name of Christ through exhortation, is refreshing for a young man all of 19 years old. I am grateful to God for sending one with those gifts to our church.

We also had a guest psalmist, Tasha Booker from Brooklyn, NY, who used to sing for us a couple of years ago with her singing family, The Bookers, and she flat out killed Blessed Assurance yesterday with a real heavy heart. I have come to be amazed at the power of the anointing when it really shows up in worship. God bless you Tasha!!!

I continued our series on commitment entitled Commitment is Not An Option, with the second message out of I Kings 17, verses 8-16 which I labeled Serving God in Uncertain Times. This is the continuation of the initial service duty of Elijah, as he sojourns from a dry brook named Cherith to a depleted barrel that belongs to a widowed woman in Zarephath.

Elijah asks this woman for a drink of water and a morsel of bread. She replies to him that all she has is enough flour and oil to make a cake for herself and her son so that they could eat and die. Yet she acquiesces to the Prophets request even though she has no idea how the story is going to end up, and Elijah tells her that if she is obedient to the Lord, he will make sure that she would never lack for anything. The Lord is trying to teach us that he wants us to obey him in the empty moments of life so that he could bless us with an abundant existence.

Today is my son Marquis' 16th birthday! Wow has time flew! I am certain that God has a plan for his life. Please pray for all 4 of my sons!