Category Archives: Christian Leaders

Faith or Fear: What Will It Be During Covid-19?

But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, You are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 41:8-14 NIV

As the year 2020 is about to come to a close, I have been astonished by the level of fear and the billions of dollars spent to maintain the fear. COVID-19 came in like a whirlwind around the world and cascaded like a domino effect causing the loss of life for many. We have not seen this level of devastation in our lifetime. Though I am not a conspiracy theorist, I am one who enjoys researching issues and world challenges to look at both sides. There are questions that I have about COVID-19. 

 The bulk of the information that many Americans have received regarding COVID-19 has been through mass media. Though at times helpful for protection and survival, much has been presented with sensationalism and fear that have gripped the world in ways that we have never seen. Our hearts go out to families around the world who lost loved ones in this world pandemic.  

One of the enemies in the last days that has been a part of history since the beginning of times that we will have to contend with is chemical and biological warfare. Even now, the church has been silent on this issue. We have no think tanks in place with persons who are researching and compiling information to help leadership structures to understand these weapons and teach the church how to prepare as much as possible. Even during the times of Moses, God alerted him and gave him a plan and specific instructions for the confession, consecration, isolation and deliverance of His people until an ancient pandemic would pass over. (Exodus 12) 

I have been listening and watching, and there has been no real clear response or directives of the mind and heart of God from spiritual leadership about how God wants to prepare his people during this time. It is interesting that much of our directives as a church has come from the government and local municipalities, regurgitated in booklets and pamphlets put out by the church; but, the church as a whole has been silent and passive on articulating how to prepare God’s people during COVID-19, and how to prepare during chemical and biological warfare in general that has and is going to hit the earth.  

He or she who has an ear to hear, understand this: there is no cure-all for viruses. There will be other viruses. The nature of viruses is that they mutate and become more sophisticated once they enter a host. Viruses cannot reproduce outside of a host because they do not have the powerful cellular makeup of a host. Viruses need bodies, animal and human, to spread their deadly force.  

Now that a COVID-19 vaccine that has so few human testings is rolling out in America, many are glaring with excitement as if it is going to be a cure-all for viruses with no definitive data to prove the outcome of success. Will a vaccine be created every time a COVID mutates and becomes more deadly than the original strand? What if the viruses that are being developed for biological warfare to wipe out communities and people groups are used, and the creators of the virus have the wisdom to stop the spread, but fail to use it until the enemy’s goals are met?  Just questions that I hope will get the church to start thinking deeper than what is being presented in mass media. Chemical and biological warfare is here. It is an evil tactic of governments and nations to rule the world. Yet, the church as a whole has no prepared plan to grapple with these issues and come to the table of discussion and at least have the dialogue. 

The nation of Israel had to deal with enemies of many nations who used similar tactics for many generations. Nothing is new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:4-11) At times, those enemies were used as a tool of God’s judgment against immorality, inhumanity against mankind, earth violence, and disobedience to God’s commandments. However, when the nation of Israel would go through a time of confession, repentance, consecration and rededication, God would always restore them back into His presence. It was then that they were able to stand strong against any enemy and prosper in their endeavors amid great challenges and warfare. God has never been one who failed to keep His promises to His people. When God makes a covenant, that covenant will never be broken from generation to generation. (Exodus 6: 5, Leviticus 26: 45, Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 105:8-11) 

As people of God, we must allow the Word of God to inform us regarding world crisis. As we seek God in prayer, God will give us His mind and heart, and show us how to bring clarity, revelation and direction to His people in critical times in the Universe. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are the children of Abraham, who was a friend of God; and, God will never forget the friendship that he had with Abraham, and the promise to cover and protect his children. (2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23)  (Genesis 12:1-4, Genesis 22:17-19)  God will intervene with anyone or anything that would come against the children of Abraham; God will protect when all around us is great turmoil and crisis. Listen to one of God’s promises through the prophet Isaiah:  

 “Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all.” Isaiah 41:12 NIV 

The prophet Isaiah encouraged them to walk in faith and not fear because God was going to be with them. These words are powerful in light of the viral enemy of COVID-19 that we are facing right now that is wreaking havoc on the bodies of many people across the world.  But I want to ask the community of faith, “How will we stand? Will it be faith or fear?”  As followers of the ways of Jesus, we are Abrahams’s children; then, and now, we serve a God who is covering and protecting us. Have no fear; only believe the Word! God is our help, and a very present help in this time of trouble as we close the year 2020. (Psalm 46:1) 

 What will it be, fear or faith? We must choose!!!  

 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV 

Ideas for the church to consider to discuss historical pandemics, chemical and biological warfare and give a biopsychosocial and biblical response during pandemics: 

  • Create think tanks in our religious systems to include allopathic doctors, nurses, biologists, virologists, sociologists, chemists, herbalists, metaphysicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, pharmacists and prophets to explore the crisis and science of the age, while exploring the Word of God to give the best physical and spiritual plan for educating and preparing the church during world crisis and pandemics.
  • Develop wellness ministries in every church or denomination. 
  • Invest in viral and immune system training for every church. 
  • We must think, think, think about “new normals” when it comes to how we manage our being during these times. We have to live in a constant state of awareness about our surroundings — how we engage in simple things such as planning meals, where we eat, where we travel, what we bring into our homes, how we wash our bodies, faces and hands, what we put on our bodies, and safety and survival preparedness for our homes.
  • Encourage more training and degree programs in natural medicine in colleges and institutions of higher learning, since natural medicine is the original medicine of the Creator of the Universe and is still relevant today and always will be during world crisis. (Genesis 1: 11-13, Genesis 1: 29-31)

Reference for Further Study:

Boyle, Francis. (2005) Biowarfare and Terrorism. Clarity Press, Inc

Harper, Matthew. ( 2020, November 9). Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech is strongly effective, early data from large trial indicate. Retrieved on December 16, 2020, from https://www.statnews.com/2020/11/09/covid-19-vaccine-from-pfizer-and-biontech-is-strongly-effective-early-data-from-large-trial-indicate/

Mertens, Gaetan, Gerritsen, L., Duijndam, S., Salemink, E., Engerlhard, I.  ( 2020, March).  Fear of the coronavirus (COVID-19): Predictors in an online study conducted in March 2020. Retrieved on December 17, 2020, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0887618520300724

Miller Judith. (1998, September 19). Biological Weapons, Literally Older Than Methuselah Retrieved on December 16, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/19/arts/biological-weapons-literally-older-than-methuselah.html

O,Reilly, Lara. (2020, November 4). How the world’s biggest advertisers are spending (or not) as industries adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. Retrieved on December 16, 2020, from https://digiday.com/marketing/how-the-worlds-biggest-advertisers-are-spending-or-not-as-industries-adapt-to-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Porter, Jon. ( 2020, March 30).  Facebook invests $100M in journalism as COVID-19 makes it more vital than ever. Retrieved on December 17, 2020, from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2020/3/30/21199358/facebook-investment-journalism-grants-100-million-dollars-advertising-spend

Vidyasagar, Aparna. What Are Viruses? ( 2016, January 6). Retrieved on December 16, 2020, from https://www.livescience.com/53272-what-is-a-virus.html

The Call for Conscious Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 NKJV

For those of us here who remember the height of the Civil Rights Movement, often we can recall the struggles that we endured as Black people to gain equal liberties. Our movement hit the national stage, and everyone could see the tactics employed by the Jim Crow system and the violence that was inflicted upon a people who wanted to be recognized and acknowledged as human beings who deserved equal rights in this great country called “America.”

There are numerous accounts of the stories told about how the early civil rights workers and protesters had to learn to practice conscious peaceful resistance tactics that would help them to overcome evil with good when they were traveling in dangerous territory. As we have been able to look back on some of these scenes when we see the clips of our historical past, they are riveting and heart wrenching to watch; but, we see the benefits and the victories of what can be accomplished when we are willing to live and practice a lifestyle of conscious peacemaking. 

Often our ancestors would sing songs such as “We Shall Overcome” and “This Little Light of Mine.” They had internalized Jesus’s message and were walking as Jesus did when he faced the cross of Calvary. Many in our community knew that they were bearing a cross for another generation. Many of our ancestors knew that they would not make it into the promised land of victory, but they stood in the face of violence and hatred as peacemakers. 

Jesus has been our model of peace. He lived his life on the earth in calmness and quiet contentment about the mission that was set before him. When we read the scriptures, we cannot miss his examples of overcoming evil with good and sleeping calmly in the midst of storms. 

Even in this Twenty-first Century amid a Covid-19 ladened world, God is calling us to a lifestyle of peacemaking. Not only are we being called to peacemaking, we are called to pursue peace with everything within us; and, as much as it is in our power, we are encouraged to live at peace with everyone.

Peacemaking is creating a world that recognizes all human beings as equals and deserving of mutual respect that we each want for ourselves. It is giving the same treatment that we want. To be a peacemaker means to be at rest, quiet, silent, serene, and content within ourselves and our situation, without resorting to violence or rage to solve our problems and disagreements. It is an agreement to end hostilities and to live free from quarrels and unrest.

However, we are living in a world where violence and rage have become the norm for handling disputes and disagreements to the point that when we become so uncomfortable with someone else’s choices, decisions or position of authority, we act out in violence with our thoughts, words, attitudes, and our actions. When we live out of a life filled with internal insecurity personally and corporately, we want to control everything and everyone around us in order to feel secure. It is possible to live in a world that is peaceful, if and when we make the decision to become a peacemaking individual, family, school, business, organization, city, church or nation.

God has called us to go into the world and be peacemakers, but not pursuing the temporary peace that the world has to offer. The world’s message says, “As long as everything is going well and it is going the way that we want, we will have peace. As long as we get entitlements that we feel that we deserve based on our ethnicity, class, status, and income, we have peace.” However, as soon as these things are threatened, we engage in internal and physical war.

Even if we don’t get peacemaking right every day, we have to keep trying to walk in peace until we find ourselves not being rattled by every situation or the things that people say or do. To be a real peacemaker, it will be imperative for us to go within and examine ourselves to make the changes necessary to bring ourselves under the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit and end the war within.

Now let’s set the record straight: Being a conscious peacemaker does not mean that we do not speak out against injustice and inhumanity. It does not mean that we become doormats for everyone to step on. On the contrary, it means that we speak out with love, assertiveness, and conviction in our hearts that every human being has been placed on this planet to enjoy certain benefits and rights without the use of war, violence, intimidation, bullying, oppression, force or control. It means that we do not destroy lives because we cannot get our way, or by forcing others into conditions and behaviors that will break the human spirit. 

Peacemakers are careful how we think, speak and act. Daily we make a conscious decision to practice peacemaking, privately and publicly. We cannot hide the ugliness of the internal war in our souls, and the planning and plotting of human demise, and it not radiate in the physical realm. The energy of hatred and violence can never be hidden. Today, we are being called to be conscious peacemakers!

  • To be conscious peacemakers, we have to watch our frame of mind when we are faced with situations and challenges that are beyond our control.
  • Stop and think before we speak.
  • Listen for what our body and mind are telling us. It will alert us when we are in internal war.
  • Don’t fret over things that we cannot control. God never meant for human beings to control each other.
  • Get rid of any sin or failure through confession and prayer.
  • Settle disputes and misunderstandings calmly. 
  • Watch our tone of voice.
  • Take the time to speak the truth in love.
  • Look for opportunities to be a peacemaker in our homes, work environments, schools, communities, governments, cities and world.

    For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5 NKJV)

Disrupters of Peacemaking

  • Misalignment and harmony with God
  • Unhealthy need to oppress and control people and situations
  • Unhealthy pride and arrogance
  • Broken expectations
  • Disagreements that become disagreeable
  • Continuous trials and test
  • Overworking
  • Sin
  • Failure
  • Fear
  • Hearing the word “no”

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Search our hearts for war and give us the willingness to bring a ceasefire to the internal wars that are destroying the fabric of our world. Give us the mind and heart of a peacemaker. In Jesus mighty name~Amen 

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27 NKJV).

A Criminal Mind In A Spiritual House

“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Genesis 4:6-12 NIV

I have never committed a crime in community a day in my life, but I have always had this affinity towards people who needed a second chance to get it right. I have worked in the criminal justice system, and in acute mental health care with persons with mild to severe mental illness as a clinical therapist. At one point in my career, I was providing treatment service specifically to men who were reentering the community from jails, prisons, or mental health institutions. They had committed crimes, some of which I will not mention in this writing. Let’s just say, they went really low.

No matter what crime they had committed, I would always refer to them as “Mr. _______” when addressing them. It was my desire to model dignity and respect, and to let them know that I honored them. There was an approach that I would take at the beginning of every new group session; I would say, “Listen up gentlemen. It is my pleasure to walk with you on this journey of change, and I am looking forward to your success. In my hand I hold a legal document. It is the document that a judge expects from me every month, and you are going to write your own report for me. I will only put on it what you decide that I need to write.” These men would look at me like, “Say what?” “Yes,” I would say again. “You are going to decide for me what you want on the report.” 

“So, if you are not going to participate in treatment, you are going to write that down. If you test positive for any illegal substance, you are going to write that down. If you go out and commit another crime, you are going to write that down. Now, if you have made a decision to give your life a second chance, and work your butt off to do something different with your life now that you have this opportunity, you are going to write that down with commendation, celebration, and graduation for a job well done. There is one stipulation: you can write down lies, but I will not turn the report in. You must only write down the truth. So think real carefully every week and month about what you want written down before I hand over your written document to the judge.” 

“This document is your story of a new life or the same old criminal mind. You have a choice. In me, you will have example, support and cheers. I can not teach you how to be a man, but I can teach you new skills to manage your mind, body and spirit, and how to model the characteristics of a human being: kindness, love, respect, dignity, pride, and a spiritual way of being that can translate any where you go, even in your own family. As you think about putting on a new life, remember, a criminal mind will not work in a new spiritual house.”

Demon spirits are real.(Mark 1:21-28) The only way that they are legal to operate in the earth is that they need an open human vessel — a vessel that has opened his or her mind for demons to live out their desires. As spiritual beings living in a body, even the Holy Spirit would be illegal to live within a human heart and mind without an open invitation. (Revelations 3:20) From the point of salvation, through the name of Jesus, as the Father reveals revelation and discernment, I have come to know His heart and mind, and I have a desire to know Him more daily, and to make His heart known to others in order to distinguish His heart from the heart and mind of satan and demon spirits that work within the soul. 

Every soul, before coming to the way of Jesus, committed some type of spiritual crime against their own soul, and even some committed crimes by breaking laws in the community. (Ephesians 2:3, Ephesians 4:28) What I so love about the Father is that he is merciful and compassionate in His dealings with humanity. (Psalm 145:8-9) He will take out an old criminal mind, and replace it with a new spiritual mind that is set on righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 2:16) He will open humans to the second and third heavens to give insight into the cosmic spiritual war for the souls of humanity in the earth. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) As human beings come into this awareness of the cosmic war, there should never be an apology made for exposing and casting out demons whose mission is to kill, steal and destroy. (Luke 10:17, John 10:10, I Peter 5:8, Revelation 12:10)

The assignment and mission of the church is to expose demons and cast them out; however, the church (not all of them) is now in agreement with demons (1 Timothy 4:1), giving them permission and alignment to commit crimes against Abba Father. There is no regard for the damage that these entities will go through to lead a soul to get what they want.

Let’s take a brief look at Cain. A curse came on his family line because his parents (Adam and Eve) aborted the will, way and presence of the Father. (Genesis 3) They had a solid spiritual relationship and understood the Father’s heart and mind.(Genesis 3:8) However, another voice convinced them that the Father was holding out on them, and they needed more, and that the only way to get more was to compete against the Father. This voice that spoke to their mind was subtle and crafty. This is the way that it moves. No matter what body it operates through, it will be crafty. It operates in the dark, but can appear as light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) Cain, I believe, still had a foundation laid in his heart that knew right from wrong. Remember, his parents spent time in the presence of glory daily with the Father. They just walked away from the glory, but they knew the glory. Cains parents taught him lessons, I am sure. They may even have shared how they fell away from the presence of the Father, and how they had to get back in fellowship again.

Cain had a premeditated criminal thought that came to his mind while coming from and living in a spiritual household. The demon spirit of murder was on his mind against his own brother along with some other demon spirits, anger, envy and jealousy that rose up in his heart against his own flesh and blood. Look at what the Father of heaven did. He had a therapy session with Cain to let him know that he could see clearly what was in his heart. He said, “the criminal act that you are about to commit is standing at the door of your heart desiring to take you down. Do what is right and you will be accepted, but if you don’t do what is right you will not be accepted. The demon of premeditated murder is at your door. You, Cain have the power of rule over it and cast it out.” (paraphrased). Cain did not heed the intervention session lead by the Father of the Universe. He continued to nurse his crime within until it was manifested in the murder of his brother Abel.

The Father is always standing at the door of the heart of every human being to provide the therapy that leads to righteousness and truth. There never has to be a need to give into another voice that goes against His counsel. When the Father steps in He will bring a new destiny, a second chance to get it right, and give human beings a house that is full of His Holy presence so that humans become the spiritual power house that they were created to be. (1 Corinthians 6:19, Acts 1:8) The Father does admonish that a criminal mind cannot live in a new spiritual house, the mind must be changed. (Romans 12:1-2) I believe that as a human being, I get the opportunity to write my own legal document that demonstrates my progress in treatment, and when it has to been presented to the highest judge of the Universe. (Revelations 3:5) I want to be able to here that judge say, “ Well done, well done.” How about you? ( Matthew 25:23) 

Remember, a criminal mind cannot live in a new spiritual house without contaminating it. You and I have the power to rule over anything that tries to enter the heart and make it right!   

I offer some ideas for implanting change and awareness of the reality of demon spirits in the earth, and how to cast them out to keep the heart pure and clean.

  1. You have to gain knowledge of how demon spirit operate in the mind, by starting with your own. You have the power to cast then out of yourself, and then you are going to see clearly how to recognize, and cast them out of others who want to be free. Not everyone wants to get rid of demons because they benefit from their activity in their lives.
  2. Spend some time reading carefully the Gospels of Jesus.
  3. Get support for the broken places in you soul ( Issues: family, relationships, appetites and needs)
  4. Every 90 days, engage in heart examinations to see what is operating in your life and be willing to release it.
  5. Seek out professional support when necessary for issues that are difficult to overcome.
  6. Develop the habit of reading books that will enlighten you by authors who have experienced knowledge regarding demonic spiritual warfare.
  7. Ask God to break the spirit of fear over your life, and connect you with ethical  teachers and preachers who are engaging in deliverance ministry without compromise.

References for Further Study and Reflection:
Maldonado, Guillermo. Inner Healing and Deliverance
Ramirez, John. Destroying Fear