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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don’t get mad. Get GLAD.

This morning I thought I would use one of my favorite slogans.  Don't get mad. Get GLAD.  I remember as a young boy watching these commercials. However as I am now older I can see the deeper meaning in this simple slogan.  I believe it is what Paul was getting at in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 when he was giving his final instructions to the church.  He instructed them to rejoice always!  Paul was not saying be happy about terrible things that happen but he was saying Don't Get Mad. Get GLAD.  You ask what is there to Get GLAD about when terrible things are happening? The term rejoice has a deeper meaning it means to have a joyful acknowledgment.  Joyful acknowledgment is the recognition that trouble doesn't last always.  Joyful acknowledgment is the recognition that weeping may endure for a night but JOY comes in the morning. Rejoicing depends not on your circumstances but depends on a joyful acknowledgement of who is in control of your circumstances.

P.S. Grandma said, "Dogs get mad people get angry!"  Don't get mad. Get GLAD!

Scripture Reference: 1 Thess. 5:16

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"The Pause That Refreshes"

In 1929 Coca Cola came out with a wonderful slogan it said, "The pause that refreshes."  This simple yet profound slogan spoke to me this morning.  It is so easy to get caught up with the mundane activities that a day can bring that by noon day you are spent.  For most of us it doesn't even take that long.  We find ourselves in need of a pick me upper. What I like about the God I serve is every time I take a moment to pray I am refreshed!  Every time I take a moment to read His word I am refreshed!  Every time I take a moment to praise His name I am refreshed!  So today if you need a pick me up focus your attention on God. I promise not only is it the pause that refreshes but it is the pause that transforms as well!

Scripture Reference: Psalms 23:3

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Because I'm Worth It

L'OrĂ©al is an international cosmetics empire but they interestingly have a slogan that I feel speaks to the heart of Christians.  Their slogan is "Because I'm Worth It."  If a survey was taken amongst those who profess faith in Jesus Christ you would be appalled at the number of people who don't know their worth.  People who feel that they have nothing to offer or who feel that they are worthless.  You may be a lot of things according to the people of this world and maybe even according to yourself or your family but that's not how God sees you.  RIGHT NOW! I need you to change the way you think!  Ask yourself a few questions.   If I am worthless would Jesus have come down from his position in glory for me?  If I am worthless would Jesus have endured the pain, agony, suffering, and humiliation of the cross for me?  Ultimately if I am worthless would Jesus had commended His Spirit to the Father and die a criminal's/sinner's death for me? The question becomes why would Jesus the Christ do those things for me? Because I'm Worth It!

As the songwriter says sometimes you have to encourage yourself in the Lord!  How do you that?  By speaking the Word over your life!  What God's says about you not what you think about yourself or what people may think about you!  The Bible says I am a joint-heir wit Christ,  the Bible says I am royalty, and the Bible says I am chosen of God and dearly loved. You are valuable in God's sight and you have a valuable contribution to make to this world!  So just know that God chose you and saved BECAUSE YOU ARE WORTH IT.

Scripture Reference: Col. 3:12, 1 Peter 2:9, Gal.4:6-7

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, June 20, 2011

Do More

I know you may be thinking what is our slogan for today?  Well here it is "Do More" this slogan was made famous by American Express. The premise of the claim made by American Express is that with this card you can do more than you expected. Shouldn't that be our mindset as believers? Isn't that what our Christ did?  When the woman was caught in adultery not only did he preserve her life but did he not restore as well?  When the wine ran out at the celebration not only did he provide more wine but did he not provide the best wine that had ever been tasted?  Christ specialized in doing more than what was expected and so should we!  The question becomes how will you take advantage of the opportunities to do more than what is expected of you?  Here are a few subtle ways to do more:

  1. If there is a person who you only casually speak to DO MORE by taking the extra time take interest in how they are REALLY doing.
  2. If you have been volunteering at a place once a month for an hour per visit DO MORE by spending an extra half hour just to show you care.
Remember it is little things like this that makes a big difference in your witness for Christ.  I exhort you today in whatever area you can to DO MORE than is expected!

Scripture Reference: John 2, John 8

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reach Out And Touch Someone

Reach out and touch someone is undoubtedly an infamous phrase.  Some of you may be familiar with because this phrase is the tagline for AT&T.  Many of you may be familiar with the idea because of Diana Ross's infamous song, "Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand."  1 John 3:18 states let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.  For me the writer is simply saying reach out and touch someone.  As believers we have become so accustomed to saying we love everybody but we very seldom show it.  One interesting thing about the Johannine Writings is that almost everywhere you see the word truth you can substitute Christ and the text doesn't lose its meaning.  This is because for this community CHRIST is TRUTH. The question becomes what does it look like to reach out and touch someone?  Here are a few practical examples:

  1. Hold the elevator for someone.  Though seemingly small in a cruel world it doesn't go unnoticed.
  2. Helping someone carry heavy items.  Though seemingly small it demonstrates concern in a world for which concern is lost.
There are countless other seemingly small things we can to reach out and touch individuals.  Ask your spouse or boo and they will tell you it is the little things that count.  Believe it or not that applies to our witness for Christ.  So what will you do to reach out and touch someone today?

Scripture Reference: 1 John 3:18

God Bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

God Made Me

As I woke up this morning I could not get this song out of my Spirit, "God Made Me."  It goes on to say God made me who I am. Psalms 139:14 is the biblical affirmation of this claim the Psalmist declared,  "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."  In a world that often makes us feel that we are inadequate.  Whether it is because we are not a size 4 or whether we have not obtain a certain financial and/or social status we can begin to feel inadequate.  Thusly, we begin to become DISCONTENT with God's creation because we don't look like the world says we should or have the things the world says we should have.  Then there are those little imperfections we have. Whether we may catch onto things a little slower than others, whether we have a speech impediment, or whether we have a heart murmur.  We begin to become DISCONTENT with our various imperfections and ultimately with God's creation.  I don't know the particular source of your DISCONTENTMENT but the question becomes if God made me who I am why am I discontent?  If I am fearfully and wonderfully made why am I DISCONTENT?

The simple answer is this our eyes are not God eyes when we can only see what we are are not, what we don't have, and/or our imperfections we are looking in the NATURAL.  I came by to encourage you this morning that God is a Spirit and in order for you to see yourself as God sees you one must move from NATURAL to the SPIRITUAL.  In order to embrace how God has made you one has to first understand how God sees you.  You see God sees you as the head and not the tail,  God sees you as above and not beneath, God sees you as the apple of His eye, God sees you as royal priesthood, God sees you a priceless jewel, and God sees you His child!  God has made you holy!  God has made you who are so EMBRACE who you are in HIM!  When you do you can say like the Psalmist I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Scripture Reference: 139:14

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We Answer To A Higher Authority

This morning as I was looking at the Advertising Slogan Hall of Fame I came across an interesting slogan "We answer to a higher authority."  I said to myself I do too! Scali, McCabe & Sloves the creators of Hebrew National brand in 1975 promoted this slogan.  Now I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about 1975 other than "Soul Train," afros, and bell bottoms as I was not even born yet.  However I do think that this is still a powerful slogan.  As Christians we do answer to a higher authority but what I like about this our authoritative figure is HE is so WONDERFUL. The question becomes what does it mean that we answer to a higher authority?  Here are a few thoughts:

  1. It means we can't respond the way we want to respond.  When someone upset us we cannot use foul language towards them or cause them bodily harm. Why?  Because we answer to a higher authority! 
  2. It means we can't do everything that everyone else does.  We can't go to certain places because it may cause others to stumble or we can't spend all money on our heart desires. Why? Be we answer to a higher authority!
  3. It means we can't say one thing and do another. Why? Because we answer to a higher authority!
The Bible declares that each of us shall give account of himself to God.  So today I encourage us to live our lives as if we answer to a higher authority!

Scripture Reference: Romans 14:12

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

You Stink! Thank You

I know what you are thinking where is Trell going with this one?  Our subject for today is cow manure!  Yes cow manure!  As Christians we are to give off a fragrance. How we smell depends on our faithfulness in devotion with God and obedience to God's commands.  Sin in our lives causes us to stink!  Though we strive to be sinless we are fallible creatures who often found ourselves falling short of the glory of God.  So the question becomes if we give off a fragrance and sin is stinky yet we often found ourselves in it what are we to do?  Then the Lord said, "Cow Manure,"  I said cow manure?  He said just because it stinks doesn't mean it is not USEFUL or PRODUCTIVE!   You see cow manure add organic matter, which helps soil retain moisture and structure which prevents compaction, and helps prevent nutrients from leaching away.  Even though it stinks it is still USEFUL and PRODUCTIVE! 

This morning I stopped by to encourage you that even though you have some sin in your life and your fragrance may not be Calvin Klein Obsession you are still USEFUL for the purposes of the Kingdom.  You can still be PRODUCTIVE!  Even though Noah was a drunk he was used by God.  Even though Jacob was a trickster he was used by God.   I thank God for using stinky ole me and guess what God can use you too!

Scripture Reference: Ephesians 5:1-2

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sesame: A Crop That's Just Like Me

Sesame is a crop that produces a seed that can be either eaten or crush for oil. I know many of you are more familiar with the mustard seed however the concept is much the same.  The sesame seed is also a very small seed.  The sesame crop is interesting because it is very drought tolerant and can survive some very difficult conditions (RESILIENT).  The sesame crop even though seemingly insignificant by the masses is over $1 billion dollar industry worldwide.  So what are you getting at?  We are like the sesame seed we can either be an instrument of praise or a letter for Christ.  Even though our lives at times can seem insignificant to the masses if we win just one soul for Christ is worth more than $1 billion dollars in fact if is priceless.

The key to the having a successful sesame crop is getting a stand up. Once the stand is up it is almost impossible for the crop not to yield a harvest.  For us as Christians when we equip ourselves with the full armor of God we can then STAND and because we have the armor of God it should be impossible for us not to bear the fruit. 

Are you like sesame?  Are you resilient?  Can you STAND firm in Christ despite adverse conditions that occur in your life?  Will you allow how you are viewed to effect the impact you will make on the world? Or will you be like the sesame crop be a SURVIVOR?

Scripture Reference: Ephesians 6:10-18

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So Close Yet So Far

Aaron Hall formerly of the group, "Guy,"  had a smash hit in the 90's entitled, "I Miss You."  Aaron in this song is pouring out his heart to a woman.  I recently had one of the moments not with a woman but with God.  As a seminary student and a minister of Gospel I always find myself in the Word of God.  However just because you are in the Word of God doesn't mean you are in fellowship with God.  Often my purposes are to write an exegesis paper, write a bible study, or sermon.  It is easy to get so caught with attending to the needs of others that you forsake your own needs.  I had one of those light bulb moments and I said that is it Quintrell you are so close yet so far.  I said to myself, "God I Miss You."  I miss the conversations, I miss the way you make me feel,  I miss the guidance, but most of all I just miss you! 

I submit to you this morning that often times we find ourselves in similar situations to the one I just shared.  So close to getting to the next level in God yet so far because you are not willing to sacrifice your comforts for what you need.  So close to getting the healing you need yet so far because you won't forgive that individual.  So close to getting the financial breakthrough you need yet so far because you have not demonstrated you can be a good steward over what you have.

What are you so close yet so far from ________?  I shared with you what I had been dealing with.  I am happy to report that I am drawing nigh unto Him and according to His Word he will draw nigh unto me!

Scripture Reference: James 4:8

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis