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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

God's Mission Series: It's Not About You

I have been struggling with a burden on my heart for a while now.  Its seems that the body of Christ has lost its sense of direction so to speak.  Many believe that Jesus Christ died just for them and to some degree that is true.  However God's mission is not about you.  You just happened to be a part of the plan.  In this series I will seek to convey to you what I sense God's mission is in consultation with prayer, the biblical narrative, and others who have commented on the subject.

So let's begin with the Garden of Eden.  The story is well worn so I won't go through it here but here are some reflections through the lens of God's mission.

1.      God desires relationship and fellowship with man. This existed before the fall of Adam and Eve. Notice God created Adam in other words he reached out to him.
2.      God cares about all of creation as God gave Adam instructions on how to govern over creation.
3.      God has been in the process of redeeming all of creation back to God's self since the fall of Adam and Eve.
I'll stop there for now as I don't want to bombard you.  We have seen however that God is already at work in the world and we are called to participate in that work. Not the other way around.  We don't come up with an agenda and ask God to participate in it we ask God how we can participate in God's agenda in our context.  So ask yourself what is God doing in my context and how can I be apart?  Then and only then can you be in true relationship with God.   Amos asked how can to walk together unless they are agreed?

Scripture Reference: Genesis 2 & 3

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Nerve of Some Folk

You ever had one of those moments when it made you think the nerve of some folks.  I am pretty sure that is what David had to be thinking in 2 Samuel 15 when he learns that Absalom is leading a rebellion against him.  Just one chapter earlier he extended the grace card to Absalom when he didn't deserve it only for Absalom to respond by trying to overthrow his kingdom. 

Surely we all have some people like Absalom in our life.  Where it seems no matter what we do they still have it out for us but it is important to remember that God is the judge.  So how do you respond to the Absalom in your life?

  1. With much prayer.
  2. With loving kindness.
  3. With humility.

So the next time you have one of those moments that make you think the nerve of some folk remember how God would have you respond.

Scripture Reference: 2 Samuel 15

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Don't Be So Quick To Judge

In 2 Samuel 12 David teaches you and I an important lesson about being quick to judge.  Nathan the prophet comes to David to confront him about David killing Uriah and taking Uriah's wife Bathsheba to be his own wife.  Nathan the wordsmith that he is gives us an Old Testament parable about a rich man, a poor man, and an ewe.  Once David hears this parable he quickly jumps to judgment of the rich man in the parable only to discover that he was the rich man.   Immediately upon hearing Yahweh's judgment David seeks out the mercy of God.  David teaches you and I:

· If we expect to receive mercy we first have to grant mercy.
· To be careful about placing judgment on others unless we are ready to receive that same judgment.
I wonder what the world would look like if we weren't so quick to judge one another.  I wonder what the Church would look like if we weren't so quick to judge one another.  I love it when an Old Testament parable speaks to a New Testament principle after all it was Jesus who said judge not less you be judged. 

Scripture Reference: 2 Samuel  12

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ain't No Shame In My Game

Growing up a country boy we often used the phrase, "Ain't No Shame in My Game,"  when we did something that would typically be embarrassing to other people.  That is the response that David gives Michal his wife when she questions his praise.  The ark of the covenant was returned to Jerusalem and as result there was a great worship celebration that transpired led by David.  David praised and worshipped God so hard that he became exposed in a honor and shame society this was considered dishonorable but David continued to worship.   David teaches you and I a few principles here:

  • It's often the people closest to us that try to hinder our worship.
  • There is something about being in the presence of the Lord that brings about praise and worship.
  • When it comes to praising God there is no such thing as it don't take all of that!
David teaches you and I that when it comes to expressing our gratitude to God that we don't have to be ashamed to lift up the name of the LORD.  So next time you breakout into praise mode whether in car with your spouse, friends, etc tell them ain't no shame in my game.  So the next time you breakout in to praise mode at your cubicle or office tell them ain't no shame in my game.  Wherever you feel so inspired lift up the name of the Lord.

Scripture Reference: 2 Samuel 6

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Have you ever been so desperate you didn't know what to do?   That's where David is in 1 Samuel 27 he is afraid for his life and he doesn't know what to do.  He becomes so desperate that he decides to go to land of the Philistines. The Philistines are the hated enemies of the Israelites. You heard the adage with friends like these you don't need enemies.  David felt if Saul was his friend he didn't need any enemies.  Think about how desperate David had to be to go a dwell in the land of the Philistines but it was the one place he knew Saul wouldn't pursue.  David teaches you and I that desperate times truly call for desperate measures.  David begins to raid his own countrymen in order to find favor with the King of Gath.  So what can we learn from David:

  1. Sometimes your so-called enemies can be more friendly than your so-called friends.
  2. When the favor of God is on your life God will allow your enemies to bless you.
Remember David was desperate but God never left his side.  The same is true for you and I.  Though life may make us feel as if we have nowhere else to turn.  God is with us granting us provisions in the strangest of places and from the strangest of sources.

Scripture Reference:  1 Samuel 27

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Power That God Approves

In this society many suffer from what I call the need to be in control also known as the desire to have the power.  In fact some have suggested that money, power, and respect is what we need in life.  However, 1 Samuel 26 gives us the prescription of the kind of power God approves.  David is presented with his second opportunity to kill Saul who has been hunting him to kill him for a while now, and yet David refused to do the Lord's anointed any harm.  Who said lightning doesn't strike twice?  David teaches us a few principles:

  1. Just because opportunity presents itself doesn't mean we take justice in our own hands.
  2. It takes more strength to allow God to demonstrate his power than taking matter in our own hands.
So the next time you have the opportunity to give someone what they had coming to them remember this lesson from our friend David and allow God to be the judge. Perhaps this why God considered him a man after his own heart because David didn't give Saul what he deserved.  In fact the Bible says that David repaid evil with goodness.   Let us go and do likewise.

Scripture Reference:  1 Samuel 26

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Choosing God Over Family.

If you are like me you have been taught to side with family whether they are wrong or right.  Even though this is good family kinship it is not always right in the sight of God. 1 Samuel 20 lays down for us a time where Jonathan has to make a choice to side with family or do what was right in the eye sight of God.  He serves as a model for you and I that God requires us to do what's right even if it means breaking the family code.   Saul desired to kill David however David had done nothing worthy of being killed and Jonathan did what was right in the sight of God by helping David escape the wrath of Saul.   This reveals for you and I that even though it may be painful and difficult we may be put in situations where we are force to choose God over family.

I want to leave you with some words of comfort from Jesus himself where he gives us insight to who he considered his family to be.  When told that his mother and brothers wanted him Jesus asked who is my mother and my brothers?  Then Jesus answers whosever does the will of my Father who is in heaven is my brother, sister, and mother.

Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 20

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Music Therapy

I often get asked the question do I listen to rap music?  The answer is yes however I must admit that I tend to listen to this music when I am experiencing certain emotions namely frustration and anger.  Whether we want to admitted or not music carries a spirit. 1 Samuel 16 describes how Yahweh selects the next king of Israel.  The Bible says that after Samuel anointed David the Son of Jesse the Bethlehemite that the Spirit of the Lord rush upon David and that the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul.  It then goes on that Yahweh sent an evil spirit to torment Saul.  The only thing that could comfort Saul when bothered by this evil spirit was David's playing of his stringed instrument (lyre).  This suggests that the music you listen to can affect your spiritual health.  So the:

  • Next time someone makes you upset turn on a little gospel music and watch the atmosphere change.
  • Next time you want cussed someone out turn on a little gospel music and watch the atmosphere change.
The Bible says when David played for Saul it brought Saul relief.  How many know like Rance Allen and Kirk Franklin that," There Is Something About The Name Jesus," that brings comfort to a downtrodden spirit.

Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 16

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Danger of Overvaluing Stuff

In a world and sadly a church full of materialism we seem to overvalue material possessions.  So much so that many people believe that material possessions are a sign of divine favor. 1 Samuel 15 warns us of the danger of overvaluing stuff.  Yahweh had given King Saul specific instructions concerning the Amalekites.  Yahweh instructed Saul to destroy everything men, women, children, cattle, etc.  However Saul decided to spare the best of sheep and the cattle this suggests that Saul assign value to material possessions.  So much so that it caused him to disobey the voice of Yahweh.  Friends we have to be careful not to make the same mistake Saul did.

  • Is that desire for that new outfit/shoes causing you to disobey the voice of God when God says give to your brother in need?
  • Is that desire for that new car causing you to disobey the voice of God when God says give to support missions?
  • Is that desire for that new house/condo/loft/apartment causing you to disobey the voice of God when God says bring all your tithes to the store house that it might be meat in my house?
Brother Saul teaches you and I a very valuable lesson and that is this that obeying the voice of God is worth more than anything else this world can offer.  For it is in this very chapter that we get the infamous revelation that God values obedience over any sacrifice.

Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 15

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Danger Of Taking Things Into Your Own Hands

Have you ever decided that you would just take matters into your own hands?  I mean if you want something done right you better do it yourself right?  Isn't this what society or our culture teaches us to do?  1 Samuel 13 gives you and I insight about the danger of taking matters in our own hands.  Saul was given instruction to wait for seven days for Samuel to arrive which is referred to as the appointed time.  Samuel was a bit delayed for whatever reason. Saul was under pressure and decided that he would take matters into his own hands.  Just as he is taking matters into his own hands Samuel arrives.   Samuel instructs him that because he didn't wait the blessings that God had in store for him would now be given to another.  Samuel said if you had just waited God would have established your kingship forever.  This teaches us some important truths:

  • It is always best to wait on the Lord.
  • Obedience is always the proper response.
  • It is never a good idea to take matters into our own hands.
Let us learn this lesson from our brother Saul and say like the song writer who said, " I don't mind waiting on the Lord."  Get that into your spirit and God will be able to use you.  Wait I tell you wait on the Lord!  I don't know about you but I don't mind waiting on the Lord!!

Scripture Reference:  1 Samuel 13

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Danger Of Being Like Other Folks

First Samuel chapter 8 gives us insight about the dangers of trying to be like other folks.  First Samuel chapter 8 lays down a time in the history of the children of Israel where they had no King but they operated via THEOCRACY.  Theocracy simply means God served as their king, but they were not content with having GOD as their king they wanted to be like other nations and have an earthly king.  Think for a moment they had the ALL-powerful, ALL-resourceful, and ALL- sustaining God as their king and it wasn't enough for them.  Isn't that just like us:

· God blesses you with transportation but you go get into debt behind a car because you want to be like someone else.
· God blesses you with shelter but you go get into debt behind a house because you want to be like someone else.
The moment we take our affections off of God and focus them somewhere else is the moment we enter the danger zone.  If you keep reading you will discover that God granted them what they asked for.  However, they would soon discover that being like the other nations wasn't all they thought it would be.  Let us learn this lesson and be content with who God has made us to be and the provision that God has granted us.

Scripture Reference: 1st Samuel 8

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Gospel Of The Traffic Light

As I continue to journey through this thing called life I am starting to realize that life is like a traffic light.  Here's what I mean:

·         Sometimes in life you have to stop!  That is the red light which is God saying be still and know that I am GOD (Psalms 46:10).
·         Sometimes in life you have to slow down.  That is the yellow light which is God saying for six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD (Exodus 35:2).
·         Sometimes in life you have to go!  That is the green light which is God saying be strong and courageous (Deuteronomy 31:6).

So the next time you are at a traffic light pause and reflect about what God is saying to you in that moment.  God is always speaking we just have to pay attention.

Scripture Reference: Psalms 46:10, Exodus 35:2, Deuteronomy 31:6

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, August 13, 2012

Don't Hate Participate!

You have heard what has become an African American proverb if you will, "Don't Hate Participate."  This statement occurs when an individual feels that another individual is trying to discredit them or hate on them.  As believers in Jesus Christ we have no reason to hate on anyone else.  Why you ask?  It's simple God has promise to give you whatever you ask for as long as it is according to his will. 

So the next time you find yourself about to hate on an individual ask yourself, “did I ask God if this thing is in His will for my life,” and ask yourself, "Did I asked with the right motive."  The Word of God gives us the prescription to rid hate out of our lives.

So the next time you are hated on you can literally say don't hate participate.  Just quote John 14:13 it says,  "and I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father." 

Remember it has to be according to the will of God and to bring glory to God I would never promote hocus pocus theology!

Scripture Reference John 14:13

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Lord, I Thank You For My Haters

When was the last time you stop and gave God thanks for your haters?  It has probably been a second huh?  The Bible teaches us in 1 Peter chapter 4 beginning in about the 12th verse the proper attitude we are to have towards our haters.  In fact, the Bible suggests that we are not to be surprised that we have haters but that we should expect to have them.  Think about it any time you are doing something to the glory of God then the enemy by his nature is designed to hate on it.

The trick for you and I is to ensure that we are being hated for Christ name sake.  Could it be that you can't thank God for your haters because you give them a legitimate reason to hate you?  The writer of 1 Peter makes it very clear that you will have haters in this life.

What I like about the writer of 1 Peter is that he lets us know the benefit of these haters.   Peter lets us know that the haters are confirmation that the presence of God is being manifested in your life!!  Stop!  "Praise Break."  We can thank God for the confirmation that our haters bring!!

Lord, I thank you for my haters and for the witness they give to me about the sanctification process at work within in me.  In Jesus Name I pray.  Amen.

Scripture Reference: 1 Peter 4

God Bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, July 30, 2012

Your Not Fully Clean Until Your Zest Fully Clean

Many of you remember the commercial you’re not fully clean until you are zest fully clean.  Although catchy and entertaining I would like to suggest to you this morning that is not exactly true.  Yes, Zest is soap and if used it will clean your physical body.  However in order for someone to be fully clean they have to be clean physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Sorry Zest, only the blood can do that via faith in the revealed Word of God. 

Thusly, I would like to suggest to you this morning that you are not fully clean until you apply the S.O.A.P. method each day.  What's S.O.A.P. you ask?
·         Scripture
·         Observation
·         Application
·         Prayer

The testimony of Enoch was that he walked with God.  If you apply S.O.A.P. to your daily like you can share in the testimony of Enoch.

Scripture Reference:  Genesis 5:24

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You Loved Me Through My Good and My Bad

J-Moss recently came out with the single, "You Loved Me Through My Good and My Bad."  This simple song illustrates a deep theological truth.  God loves you despite you!  The biblical narrative is full of examples of God loving individuals through their good and their bad:

· Abraham is the father of faith (good) but also lied repeatedly to save his own butt (bad).
· Noah was faithful and obedient to build the ark (good) but also was a drunk (bad).
· Paul planted many of churches across Asia Minor (good) but also persecuted many who followed Christ (bad).
So the next time you feel like a disappointment to yourself, your family, your community, and your God remember God loves you through your good and your bad.

Scripture Reference:  Book of Genesis

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, June 11, 2012

Living Life in Triangles

Living in Triangles
A triangle is a term that is familiar to those who are familiar with systems theory.  Triangles are neutral within themselves that is to say they are neither good nor bad.  This is also true for many things in life.  Triangles occur when anxiety exists between two individuals and they incorporate a third party to release the anxiety.  Triangles can take the form of:
·         An affair whether emotional or sexual
·         Gossiping
·         Or even a prayer request
·         Mediating conflict between two individuals (conflict resolution)
Triangles are unavoidable most times so the key is to recognize them show you can navigate through them effectively.  So how does one know if a triangle is good?  So glad you asked:
·         If the triangle has to be hidden then it is not a beneficial triangle
·         If the triangle doesn’t lead to the edifying of the kingdom then it is not a beneficial triangle
·         If the triangle causes more harm than good then it is not a beneficial triangle
Here is a triangle that is always beneficial.  You + Anxiety + God = a successful triangle.  Why because God is the only one who is truly able to do something about your anxiety any way.  So try to avoid negative triangles and seek God’s wisdom for those you can’t avoid.
Scripture Reference:  1 Thess. 5:11
God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, May 21, 2012

When Silence Is Golden.

Everyone has heard the adage silence is golden or you should think before you speak.  Everyone has undoubtedly had times where they regretted saying something.  The question becomes when is silence truly golden?  Here are a few suggestion:

  • When what you say will discourage someone from following their dreams.  Silence is golden. Nothing is worse than a dream-killer.
  • When you are upset and emotional and are about to respond to a situation.  Silence is golden.  An emotional/ angry response is often an ungodly response.
  • When you are telling others the same thing over and over again about what they should be doing. Silence is golden.  You can't change people only God can.
  • When you telling others about all the things you have done, and are doing.  Silence is golden.  Your actions will speak louder than any words ever could.
The tongue is the most dangerous weapon that we have and we have to be careful to use it for good and not evil.  The bible says, " With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness."  Ultimately silence is golden when it has positive effects on the kingdom of God and to be honest that is determined on a case by case basis.

Scripture Reference: James 3

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, April 30, 2012

There Ain't Nothing He Can't Do

James Fortune and FIYA made the song, "There Aint Nothing He Can't Do," famous recently.  Of course the He is Jesus the Christ.  The idea behind the song is that there is nothing that God is not able do.  This morning I wanted to pause to investigate this claim. Some have suggested that if God can't do it then it can't be done, but the question becomes how do I make this claim a reality in my life Trell?  Here are a few suggestions:

1.      You have to but fear aside and step out on faith that God can show God self faithfully.
2.      You have to realize that there is a difference between what God can't do and what God won't do.  God never promise to accomplish your purposes but God did promise to accomplish God's purposes.
Once you do these things I believe like the songwriter God will reveal to you that there ain't nothing HE can't do.  The writer of Ephesians prayed like this:  Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you could ever ask or think. The key word in the prayer is ABLE but I like how the writer of Luke says Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."   I am here to testify that there ain’t nothing HE can’t do!

Scripture Reference:  Luke 18:27

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Follow The Leader: The Spirit Says

One of the earliest games we ever learn in life is follow the leader.  In this game in order to participate you have to follow the actions of the leader.  In order to be successful at this game you have to WAIT until you the Leader initiates the actions.  Patience is something that we as believers often struggle with.  What's interesting is how earlier in life that this virtue as some consider it is attempted to be developed in our lives.  Whether it's "Simon Says" or "Follow The Leader," patience is required. 

As believers we know that patience is a gift from God. In order to be successful at the game of life you have to follow the leader!!  Who is this leader we are to follow?  The Holy Spirit whose role is to GUIDE us in all the ways of righteousness and truth.  It requires patience to WAIT and hear what the Spirit has to say!  Often times we act before we think with our actions suggesting we know what's best.   We often lose at the simple game of  "The Spirit Says."  I believe this what the writer had in mind when he said that you have to have childlike faith to enter to the Kingdom.  So let's not be so quick to act but remember that little game we use to play as children and WAIT to follow the leader!

Scripture Reference:  John 16:13

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, April 16, 2012

Faulty Expectations

One of the most damaging self-inflicted wounds that many of us struggle with is faulty expectations. By faulty expectations I mean expectations we place on others.  I am not suggesting that you don't expect good/great things for the Bible declares as a man thinketh so is he.  However,  I am suggesting that much of the constant pain that you experience is a result of self-inflicted faulty expectations.  For example:

  • When you expected someone to care about something just because it was important to you.
  • When you expected someone to be there for you just because you had been there for them.
  • When you expected someone to love you just because you had loved them.
The aforementioned things I described hurt but often time they are result of us placing faulty expectations on individuals who never asked for those expectations.  Sadly, I must report we often do God the same way.  Expecting God to do things that God never promise God would do.  This faulty expectation is never found in the Word of God but in a dream, vision, or an insight the person claims to have received. 

So you ask Trell, "What is the cure?"   I suggest that you align your expectations with the Word of God because God watches over God's Word and is careful to perform it!

Scripture Reference:  Jeremiah 1:12

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, April 9, 2012

Walking In Victory: I Want It All Back (Power)

One of the enemy's favorite tricks is to keep you stagnated. In order to do this the enemy attempts to make you feel powerless when in actuality you are powerful. In fact the Bible says greater is he that is within you than he who is within the world. What does this look like in a practical sense? The enemy will use your haters to keep you from doing what God has place in your heart to do! For example, you ever wanted to do something but as soon as you get the courage to do it the words of a hater come to the forefront of your mind? Then what do you do? Convince yourself that the hater was right and remain stagnated.

Here is the transformative truth that will bless your life. The enemy and the enemy's agents only have the power over you that you allow them to have! Not only will God grant you the strength to move forward with God's plans for your life but God will also give you the power to do so also! Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think according to the HIS POWER that works within us!

So walk in victory today because you have the RISEN VICTOR who lives within you!

Scripture Reference: 1 John 4:4

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lies Of The Enemy: Just A Little Bit

Curtis Jackson better known by his alias 50 Cent made the song "Just A Little Bit" famous on his diamond selling album, "Get Rich or Die Trying."  His premise was all he needed from the young lady was a little bit.  Isn't that how the enemy works?  So crafty, so cunning, and so convincing isn't that how Eve was tempted?  Come on Eve eat of the fruit just a little bit and like Eve many of us fall for the lie of a little bit.  So what does the lie of a little bit look like today?

  • Gone ahead hit that all you need is a little bit.
  • Gone ahead and taste that illegal substance all you need is a little bit.
  • All you need is a little bit of prayer.
  • You only need to read your Bible a little bit.
  • You only need to go to church a little bit.
  • You only need to serve in ministry a little bit.
Remember the enemy ultimately does not mind if you profess Jesus the enemy is concern with you not exhibiting Jesus.  The enemy doesn't care if you pray as long as you don't pray until something happens. The enemy doesn't care if you read your Bible as long as you don't get any nourishment.  The enemy doesn't care if you go to church as long as you don't experience God in the worship experience.  The enemy doesn't care if you serve in ministry as long as the ministry is not effective.   How does the enemy accomplish this?  By making you content with just a little bit!!  Will you believe the lie?

Scripture Reference: 3:1-6

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lies Of Enemy: Because You Can You Should

One of the biggest lies the enemy tells believers in my opinion is because you can you should.  Contrary to popular opinion the enemy often chooses to work in subtle ways opposed to more open or overt ways. So Trell what does this lie look like?  So glad you asked!!  For example, just because you have a few extra bucks doesn't mean you have to go shopping! Why not give to someone in need? Or donate to a mission effort? The enemy wants you to focus on doing things that are not necessarily sinful but  things that are not constructive or beneficial!!  However, it is sinful to have the ability to help your brother and then willful choose not to do so. Same is true when it comes to how we spend our time! Just because you have the day off doesn't mean you have to lay around and do nothing!  Why not volunteer that time at a local school, soup kitchen, or visit someone in the hospital or nursing home?  Once again there is nothing sinful about laying around and doing nothing on your day off but just because you can doesn't mean you should!  However, it is sinful not respond to those in need when you have the ability to meet the need.

The Bible declares in 1 Corinthians 10:23 that  "everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive.  In others words the writer is suggesting to us just because you can doesn't mean you should!  

Scripture Reference: 1 Cornithians10:23

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Weight Of Sin

Everywhere you turn there is a billboard, pop up, magazine ad, newspaper ad, or commercial about losing weight!  I would like to suggest to you that weight is like sin.  Easy to add on but hard to get rid of.  Truth is it's easy to find yourself indulge in sin but it is hard to alleviate that sin from your life. In fact, your sin might be gluttony (overeating).  Let's consider a few similarities between weight and sin:

  • Both are hazardous to your health.  Sin is hazardous to your spiritual health while being overweight is hazardous to your physical health.
  • Both have quick fixes.  You can take weight loss pills and shed a few pounds. Likewise you can hear a good Word, get convicted of your sins, confess your sins, and ask forgiveness of your sins.  However these things are only temporary fixes.
  • Both require a lifestyle change.  You can do 30 pounds in 30 days but if you don't make a lifestyle change the pounds will come back.  Likewise you can feel convicted,  pray, and ask forgiveness all day long but if you don't repent and guard your heart the sin will come back.
  • Both can lead to low self-worth.  Many people eat because they have low self-esteem and eating provides them comfort. Likewise many people sin because they have low self-esteem and want to be accepted.
As you can see weight and sin  have a lot in common.  Weight can be sin and sin can be a heavy weight to carry if left unresolved.  God is concerned with the your holistic being: body, soul, and spirit.  If you are going to get rid of the weight of sin it is going to require a lifestyle change emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Scripture Reference: 1 Timothy 4:8  

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Morgan Freeman in his portrayal of Principal Joe Clark in the inspirational movie “Lean On Me” tells the story of a high school community in the inner city that does not have many resources where the students have no one to lean on.  As result the students has become discouraged and have no hope.  Then comes along Joe Clark who instills in them hope and provides for the students someone they can lean on.  This is the same message Paul communicates to us in Galatians 6:2 where he tells the church at Galatia that they must bear each other burdens.
Thesis:  If you are going to march on past your hardships you are going to have to find someone you can lean on!
Many of you may feel like the students of Eastside High life has beaten you up and knock you down time after time.  Everyone has seemed to have written you off and left you for dead.  Seems like there nowhere or no one you can turn to.   However right when you are ready to throw in the towel God provides someone for you to lean.   Kirk Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Sting, and others in their gospel remake said I am here you don’t have to worry.   Bill Withers said lean on me when you are not strong and Ill be your strength Ill helped you carry own cause in won’t be longed  I am going to need somebody to lean on.
You see Moses leaned on Jethro when he was experienced leadership hardships.
You see David leaned on Jonathan when he was experiencing persecution hardships.
You see Paul leaned on Barnabas when he was experiencing transitional hardships.
You see Joshua leaned on Caleb when he was experiencing courage hardships.
I suggest to you that if you are going to overcome your hardships in this life you are going to have find somebody you can lean on.  Perhaps for you it is that mother that always knows just the right word to say to lift your spirit.  Perhaps for you it is a father who is always there to get you that extra push you need.  Perhaps for you it is that brother or sister who always there to support you even when you in the wrong.   Perhaps for you it is that church member who extends themselves to you when you least expect it.  Perhaps for you it is a co-worker who comes to your aid that you thought didn’t like you. 
Paul knew from experience that this life would be full of hardships and that if you don’t have people in your life to help ease some of the burden that life would take you out.  For Paul he had Timothy, Luke, Titus, and John Mark amongst others to lean on when he was experiencing hardships.
Question becomes who do you lean on when you are experiencing hardships?   I here you saying well brother preacher I don’t have a Jethro, Jonathan, Barnabas, or Caleb in my life!  I don’t have any of those type people you describe earlier.  There is always Jesus who promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you! That’s literally what Christ does for us He picks up are burdens and carries them for you!  Next time you are experiencing hardships in your life you should have a little talk with Jesus because how many know that having a little talk with Jesus makes everything alright.  Another song writer said what a friend we have a Jesus all sins and griefs to bear what a privilege we have to take everything to the Lord in prayer.
Scripture reference:  Gal. 6:2

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Quit Playing Games With My Heart

Okay I admit every now and then I will YouTube some old Backstreet Boys.  Don't act like you didn't like them too!  Anyway one of my favorite songs was,” Quit Playing Games With My Heart."  In this song the guy appeals to the girl to quit playing games with his heart.  Either you want to take a chance at love or you don't but however you feel don't play games with my heart.

I begin to think about that in the context of our relationship with God.  What if God feels like the songwriter?  What if God said, "I want to be in relationship and fellowship with you but if you aren't serious about it don't play games with my heart.  You may be thinking how does one play games with God's heart? 

  • When you make a vow but have no real intentions of keeping you are playing games with God's heart.
  • When you know what's right but you continually choose to do wrong you are playing games with God's heart.
God desires to be in fellowship with each of us but sin separates of from God. Either you want to be in fellowship with God or you don't.  Remember fellowship comes at cost.  What's the cost?  An obedient life!!

Scripture Reference:  Isaiah 59:2

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Less Equals More

What happens when less equals more?  When we sin less it yields more fellowship with God.  When we spend less on ourselves it yields more opportunities to give to others in need.  When we complain less it yields more opportunities speak life.  When we worry less it gives us more opportunities to experience the peace of God.  When we spend less time in our comfort zone it yields more opportunities to step out on faith.

Ultimately the less you look like yourself the more opportunities you have to look more like Christ.  Jesus the Christ often turned common logic upside down.  For instance, Jesus said:
  • Love your enemies
  • Pray for those who persecute you
  • Blessed those who hate you
You see when you look at life through the lens of Christ less equals more makes perfect sense.  In this Lenten season what are you willing to do, have, or give less of in order to look more like a disciple of Jesus the Christ?

Scripture Reference Matthew 5 (Sermon on the Mount)

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, February 13, 2012

Theology of Worship: Principle #5 Worship is a necessity.

I believe that worship is a necessity.   All of God’s creations were designed for one purpose and that is to worship the Creator.  Thusly, there is a lack in each of God’s creation that can only be fulfilled by worshiping the Creator.   Worship is what our soul longs for.  Worship completes us.  Without adequate worship our lives are mundane and unfulfilled.   We have an unexplainable desire for God in our DNA that is fulfilled, suppressed, or denied.   No matter how one decides to respond to this desire the need for it is undeniable.  Worship is as essential as breathing.  You can either breathe effectively and efficiently or you can struggle for breath.  Worship is the lifeblood of the believer.  Thusly, I conclude that worship is a necessity.
Scripture Reference:  Psalms 42:1
God Bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Theology of Worship: Principle #4 Worship Is Obedience To GOD.

I believe that worship is obedience to God.  Amos chapter five lets us know that it is not ritual acts but obedience that is at the heart of worship.   It is not how loud we are or what we say but the heart of worship is what our actions say about the God we serve.  Obedience is better than sacrifice is how the writer of Samuel lays it down.  Worship is not a song or a hymn that talks about the attributes of God.  Worship is a life surrendered to God that lives out the attributes of God in a world that is desperately in need of a God.  Worship is to obedience as illumination is to revelation.  You cannot have authentic worship without obedience to God.   Worship is a matter of the heart and it is what we believe in our heart that determines our actions.  If God is center place in our hearts then our actions are sure to reflect that.  Thusly, I conclude that worship is obedience to God because God cares more about your obedience than mere words.
Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 15:22
God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Principle #3 Worship Is Our Proper Response To God.

I believe that worship is how we as believers are to respond to God.  In light of the redemptive work of Jesus the Christ the only adequate response is to present our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God which is our form of spiritual worship.   I agree with the thinking that suggests worship is not just a Sunday morning activity but worship is what we do in light of what God has done, is doing, and will do.  Thusly, I suggest that proper worship includes the entire being of an individual!  Proper worship is inclusive of one’s mind, body, and soul it is with our entire being we worship God!

Scripture Reference: Romans 12:1-2

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Theology of Worship: Principle #2 Worship Is Intentional

I believe that one has to purpose to worship.  Though it is not our natural response to focus on anything else other than ourselves worship has to be intentional.  Worship requires an intentional awareness that God is worthy of adoration.  Worship is intentionally being conscious or aware that God is deserving of our affection.  Worship does not happen on accident it has to be intentional and desired by the person who seeks to offer it.  Psalms 105 suggest that we should always seek His (God) face.  That is to always seek God’s presence.  Seek denotes that you are intentionally looking for something.  Thus, I conclude that worship is intentional.

Scripture Reference: Psalm 105

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, February 6, 2012

Theology Of Worship: Principle #1 Worship Requires Relationship

Over the next few days I would like to share with you some aspects that form my theology of worship.  It is my heartfelt belief that worship requires a relationship.  My basis is the Johannine scripture that states,” God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."  How can one truly worship God without God’s spirit within them?  I believe that it is the Spirit of God within us that gives us the access to heavenly.  For who can discern the mind of God except the Spirit of God?  Who are those who have the Spirit of God?  Those who confess hope and trust in Jesus the Christ and enter into relationship with him.  Thusly, I conclude that worship requires relationship!

Scripture Reference: John 4:24

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself

President Franklin D. Roosevelt made famous the phrase, " The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself."  This prophetic statement is never more true than in the life of the believer in Jesus The Christ.  What are you afraid of?  One of the most common fears is the fear of the unknown.   That fear that comes from not knowing how a certain situation in your life is going to play out.  That fear that comes from not knowing what's next in your life.  That fear that comes from not knowing who you can trust.  That fear that comes from doing something that you have never done before. Does any of this sound familiar?

Let me ask you a few questions.  If we are to trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding then why fear not knowing?  If a good man steps is ordered by the Lord then why fear what's next?  If God is not a man that he should lie or repent then why are we fearful about who we can trust?  If God is with us then why be fearful about something just because you never done it before? 

So what are you getting at Trell?  When we are fearful it indicates a lack of love for God!  You see perfect love casts out fear!  The more you become aware of God's love for you the less fearful you become about what life throws at you.

Scripture Reference: 1 John 4:18

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Day Another Dollar

Another day another dollar is a mindset that is prevalent in many working communities.  It suggests that this is just another day and that my goal is just to make it through the day and earn my daily wages.  Even those who are currently unemployed or disabled have a similar mindset and suggest things like this is just another day I am trying to make it through.  I like many of you have been guilty of saying this.

Here is the troubling part this lethargic mindset often translates over to how we view God.  Like the job we become complacent with God.  Like the job we become ungrateful towards God.  Like the job we feel like we deserve more from God.  Like the job we feel unfulfilled in the kingdom of God.

What happened to being grateful for a job in a society that has experienced record inflation and unemployment.  What happened to being grateful to the God who supplied the job. What happened to thanking the God who kept God's word when God promised to supply all of your needs whether it be through a job, disability, etc. 

Every day is a day thanksgiving!  Every day is opportunity to be fellowship with True and Living God!  Every day is an opportunity to live better than the previous day!  The Psalmist declared that better is one day in your (LORD GOD ALMIGHTY) courts than a thousand elsewhere! 

I don't about you but I resolved to be grateful for every day and excited about the opportunity that each day can bring!  With God every day is the best day of your life!!  For truly this is the day that the Lord has made and I shall rejoice and be glad in it!

Scripture Reference: Psalms 84:10

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Take Extra Time Now So You Don't Have To Later

Have you ever like me done something so fast that you ended up having to go back and make some sort of adjustment later?  Can you imagine how different the world would look if people took a little extra time now?  Would there be so much crime if parents would take a little extra time now during the child’s formative years instead of trying to discipline the child after the child begins to go astray?  Would families be so dysfunctional if they took a little extra time now to bond instead of trying to expedite the process because of the death of a love one?  Would our communities be so desolated if we took a little extra time now to show we care instead of trying to show we care when a crisis occurs or those special holidays?

Jesus understood this concept that's why he invested so much time in his disciples in the beginning of his ministry. So that when it came time for him to ascend back to heaven he wouldn't be scrambling to try to teach them all things He wanted them to know.  We would be wise to follow Jesus example!  Should we be taking a little extra time now in our relationship with God so we don't have to attempt to establish one later when trouble arises?  Take a little extra time now to lend a helping hand because if you don't you will surely have to lend a helping hand later whether it be with a neighbor, family member, or a stranger. 

Challenge:  What in your life should you be investing a little more time in now so that you don't have to attempt to do later?  What are you going to do about it?

Scripture Reference: Philippians 2:4

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, January 23, 2012

Coloring Oustide The Lines: David Goatley Tribute

Growing up as a child I remember coloring in coloring books and every so often I would color outside the lines.  To color outside of the lines has always had a negative implication ever since I was a child and this perhaps is true for most of us. Consequently, it is so natural for many of us to accept the boundaries life gives us since coloring outside of lines has always been a bad thing.

Life is full of boundaries that the world has set.  There are social boundaries that suggest we only interact with people we enjoy dealing with.  There are racial boundaries that suggest we only interact with people who look like us.  There are intellectual boundaries that suggest we only interact with people who think the same way we think.  What sub-conscious boundaries exist in your life?

Boundaries promote isolation, elitism, and glorified segregation!  If we are going to fulfill our God-ordained purposes we have to be willing to color outside of the lines.  Jesus did it!  He spoke to women in public in a culture where women were consider property and such an activity was forbidden.  He dined with sinners and touch people who were considered unclean further upsetting the cultural norms of his day.  Jesus redefined the boundaries of his day!

What will you do?  Will you embrace those people no one else wants to deal with?  Will you interact with people of all ethnic orientations?  Will you interact with people you do not consider your intellectual equivalent?  Will you allow society to dictate your actions or will you redefine society? 

Jesus was able to do great things because he was willing to color outside the lines!  Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."  Are you willing to color outside the lines?

Scripture Reference: John 14:12

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

911- Xhale Tribute

My senior year college roommate has recently came out with a single entitled, "911."  As we approach the "How To Love Conference & After Party,"  I thought it would befitting to talk about this song as a way to illustrate how to love.  In the song the young man is so dishearten because the woman he loves has decided to leave. As he reflects upon their relationships he thinks of all the good times and all of the bad times that they have shared.  The lyrics of the song go you better call 911 because I can't stop thinking about you there something about you it’s got me going crazy!  The young man is suicidal about this relationship!  The guy doesn't believe he can live without this girl and would rather die than live without her!  The truth is there is a large number of people who have felt/are feeling this way about an individual.

The problem with this is obvious when an individual reaches this point they have made this individual a god.  No one is more important than Jesus Christ! Nothing is more important than fulfilling your God ordained purpose!  What if we felt that way about Jesus Christ?  What if we couldn't live without Christ?  What would are lives look like?  Would we pray more (stay in constant communication with Jesus Christ),  would we read our bible more (spending time in devotion getting to know Jesus more intimately) or would we do good works (showing the love of Christ through acts of compassion and humility)? 

True love starts vertically (unto God) and spreads horizontally (unto God's images).  Psalm 51 is an illustration of a true 911 situation when David pleads with God and says do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  I know don't about you but the only 911 situation in the life of the believer is if God takes his hand off you!  I don't know about you but I have a Lamar Campbell testimony, I love you Jesus just want to tell you that I love you more than anything!

Scripture Reference: Psalm 51:11

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Redeemed By The Blood: Roll Tide Tribute

As many of you may know I grew up approximately 50 minutes from Bryant-Denny Stadium. On November 5, 2011 Alabama lost to LSU in a dog fight.  I make no excuses but the eye test suggested that Alabama lost the game more so than LSU won the game.  Nevertheless on January 9, 2012 Alabama got and opportunity for redemption and they took full advantage by being the first team in the history of the BCS National Championship Game to record a shutout.

You say so what Trell? Here is the thing many people did not feel that Alabama deserved a second chance to play for the BCS National Championship.  It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. They were hated on, mocked, and ridiculed!  I got to thinking isn't that our story as Christians.  We didn't deserve a second chance but were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!  People we know hated on us, mocked us, and ridiculed us because of the things we did in our past!  They didn't/don't feel like we deserve/deserved a second chance!

The question becomes what will you do with your second chance?  Will you take full advantage like Alabama?  Will you let your light shine so before mean that they see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven? 

I don't know about you but going to do follow the example of Alabama and take advantage!  Last time I checked His blood was crimson!  I bleed crimson!  ROLL TIDE!!

Scripture Reference: Matthew 5:16

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Monday, January 9, 2012

Laugh At My Pain: The Hidden Sickness In All Of Us

Kevin Hart recently came out with a hilarious stand-up comedy entitled, "Laugh At My Pain."  Admittedly I could not wait to see it and once viewing it I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the question becomes what does that say about me and others who enjoyed it?  Let's just look at the title, "Laugh At My Pain," what about that should be appealing to us?  I mean what is it about when someone falls and bumps their butt that is so hilarious to us?

I hear you saying Trell is it really that serious?  Maybe it is maybe it is not however whether you want to admit it or not it is not a Christ centered response.  What if Jesus had laughed at the man in the graveyard like area who was cutting himself and yelling uncontrollably no doubt that would be funny if portrayed on camera.  However how did Christ respond? With compassion, love, and understanding.

Truth be told we all take some pleasure in things such as people falling, and others struggles whatever the case maybe but we often don't take the time to do is ask the question of what does such a response say about us?

Only God can judge but we can bring things to one another's attention.  Live, Learn, and Grow.  Living Life in 3-D (doctrine, duty, and discipleship) I trust this not the kind of Christian you want to be.

Scripture Mark 5:1-9

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What About Me: The Least Favorite Fruit

Most people like peaches.  Most people like oranges.  Most people like apples.  However most people don't like tomatoes at least those for which I encounter. I know you thought that a tomato was a vegetable though it is used as a vegetable it is technically a fruit by definition. Kind of like how we are technically not good for anything but God uses us for his purposes.

What about spiritually?  Most people like joy because it makes them feel good.  Most people like peace because it makes them feel good. Most people like love because it makes them feel good.  However most people don't like self-control at least those for which I encounter.  I know you thought since Paul said in Romans that for the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want that you had biblical justification not to exhibit self-control.  Self-control requires us to refrain from things that we like to do and that is why I submit to you that it is the least favorite fruit.  

Here is the thing though the more we refrain from things we like to do though those things don't glorify the kingdom the closer we become to experiencing the kingdom of God.  So this new year let's eat more tomatoes and self-control!

Scripture Reference: Romans 7:19

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis