Q & A with a Pastor

Back by popular demand is Q & A With a Pastor! There was so much wonderful feedback on the previous one and now we have another. If you didn’t read it, go check it out! This time the same questions appear, but with a slight twist! So sit back, relax, and read this very thorough interview with my featured guests:

Pastor Manuel Washington III and Lady Cassandra Washington

[HOAPK/ME]: How did you know your purpose? Not just as a pastor starting out, but as a Christian.

[Pastor Manuel/PM]: My purpose was always spoken to me, growing up. My grandfather was a pastor. My grandfather pastored over 40 years in Beaumont, Texas. He would always tell me, “Boy, you’re gonna preach one day. Boy, you’re gonna preach one day.” So, at an early age, I knew that one day I would preach the gospel. I guess he planted the seed from what God showed him in the Spirit. And that seed in my life just guided me, now that I really think about it, it guided a lot of decisions I made, things that I did, and the way that I thought about myself.

Growing up, through junior high, is when I really became conscious of what he was saying. Through high school, college, even after we got married, we went right into ministry.

My purpose was a seed planted in my heart from my grandfather.

[ME]: Since you said it was a seed planted in your heart, how far back was that, like about what age?

[PM]: I would have to say as far back as 8 or 9.

[ME]: Wow, that early?

[PM]: Yes. It was like I was born for what I was doing. The Bible says that, 2 Timothy 1:12, my favorite scripture, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,“. He enabled me before I got here, because he counted me faithful. He knew that I would be faithful to the purpose and the call that he had placed inside me. He anointed me and I was anointed and full of the Holy Ghost as a little kid. I had no idea!

[ME]: Wow! Well since it started from you being a little kid all the way until now, what would you say was the toughest part about being saved at first?

[PM]: The toughest part for me was the Spirit of God was raising me up too fast. That’s something you probably won’t hear a lot of people say. The Bible opened up to me so clearly and so easily that I became arrogant. I got puffed up.

I had a guy tell me I’ll never forget. In 1986, I was working at Compaq Computer and I was just sharing with this guy about some things that the Lord was sharing with me. I got saved in January of ’86, and I met this guy 3 months later. And he said, “Man, I’ve never met anybody who could break down the scripture as well as you can at such a young spiritual age.” Which is when I realized, hey, I’ve got something here.

But God just opened his word up to me and because of that I began to take it for granted. I took for granted the wisdom and the revelation that God was pouring into me. I felt like I could step out and still stay saved. Step outside of the parameters of how God instructed us to live because I’m cool, because I know. When I got out there, my latter end was worse than my former. I backslid in all October of that same year. From that episode in my life, I had a 2 year drug addiction.

I went into that speaking in tongues, Holy Ghost filled, baptised with fire, full the Word of God. But because of the fact that God was raising me up so fast, I became arrogant and puffed up and I slid right back into a worse state than I was before I even accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Can I tell my testimony?

[ME]: Yeah!

[PM]: I knew and I would tell her, because we were dating at the time, that you’re looking at a miracle and then would leave her and run and do drugs. But I would tell her, “You’re looking at a miracle” because God’s going to bring me off of this. It was during the crack era, when crack had first hit the scene. I would watch people, I went to Lakewood Church and my pastor at that time was John Osteen, come up and talk about how God had delivered them and set them free. They were on heroin, they were on different hard drugs, and I was like “God I ain’t on nothing, or shooting up, why don’t you deliver me like you’re delivering them?” Because I would cry out daily for deliverance, and God never answered my prayer. I could not understand why He would not deliver me.

Years later, mid-’90s, after I had gotten my life together, we had been married, and I was driving down the street. I’ll never forget it, I heard a Helen Baylor song, and in that song she was telling her testimony about her drug addiction. She hit the wall, slid down the wall, she was done. She said in that moment, God delivered her, she was completely set free from drugs. I’m listening to this song, and he answered my prayer in that moment. He [God] said, “Son, you know why I didn’t deliver you instantly?” I’m driving in the car and it seems like I’m experiencing it now. And I said, no Father, I don’t know why you did it. He said,” Because with you, I had time. Helen was behind my schedule, so when I had finally an opportunity to arrest her life, I had to deliver her right away because she was behind schedule.”

But He said, “With you, you weren’t. So I used the opportunity to teach you how to stand on my word and trust me. And by faith, step-by-step, day-by-day walk out of that addiction.” And that’s exactly what I did. I am so grateful to God that I was not delivered instantly. Because I can deal with some things that many people can’t deal with. God taught me how to stand on the Word, trust Him, and walk out of any situation. Amen.

[ME]: *Laughing and wiping tears away* Amen to that!

[PM]: That may be too much for the blog. *chuckles*

[HOAPK/ME]: No, that might be just what somebody needs. But besides your amazing testimony. I like to ask people, what is the easiest part about being saved?

[PM]: For me? The easiest part was living the faith life. That’s so easy. I don’t struggle with my faith. I don’t struggle to trust God and believe God. God has brought us out of some very hard places and it didn’t shake me. The easiest thing for us both is to trust God through any situation.

Another testimony!

We got in some financial trouble years ago and our house was in foreclosure. They sent me a letter and said we’re going to foreclose on your house in 30 days. I held that letter to her, and I said, “You see this letter? We’ve got to hold on to this because nobody is going to believe that God did what he did in this timeframe.” And we stood on the word of God, we prayed, we heard from the Holy Ghost who gave us the plan of action. We followed it out and walked out the plan of action the Spirit of God gave us. In 30 days, God brought us out of a $30,000 deficit. Turned it around with no money. AND THEN gave us a check for $25,000.

[ME]: WHAT?!

[PM]: So, trust in God! That’s the easiest thing for me in my Christian walk. I’ve seen Him do too many things for me. Nobody can tell me any different.

[Lady Cassandra/LC]: That’s the same for me. During that time when we were going through, he came to me with the letter and he was like, ” Baby, you with me?” And I said, “Yeah, I’m with you.” He said, “Even if we have to go live under the Pierce Elevated?” I said, “Yeah! And we’ll still be praising God, we’ll still be tithing, and we’ll still love God. ” So he was like, “Okay, let’s do this!”

I think we even prepared. We started getting boxes to say “okay, if He don’t do it, we still love Him, but we need to prepare to go somewhere else.” But we were still trusting Him to stay in our home. That’s what we wanted, but we were using wisdom, you know. God turned it around.

[PM]: We were even looking for rent houses. The Pierce Elevated here in Houston is a place where all the homeless people gather. It’s downtown on Pierce Street. Highway 45 is elevated above Pierce Street. All the homeless people live right under there, right next to the Greyhound bus station.

So I said, “Hey, if we have to live under the Pierce Elevated, we’re going to keep tithing, we’re going to keep trusting God, believing God, nothing is going to change. Are you with me?” And she said, “Yeah, let’s do it!” And I thank God for this woman because she said, “Yes, I’m with you! If we have to live under there, nobody will know we’re under there. We won’t go to no man for anything. We’re going to trust God.

[LC]: And I trust the God in him. God sees us through.

[ME]: For people who are struggling in faith right now, specifically a dry season, like a wall in faith, how do they rekindle that? What do you do first, then what should others do?

[PM]: When you hit a wall of resistance, the first thing I will fall on is the Spirit of God, praying in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said I’m going away but I’m sending you another comforter, a helper (John 14:17, 16:7). So the job of Holy Spirit is to help us.

I believe in baptism of Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. With that said, I live with the reliance of Holy Spirit, but I put a heavier reliance when I hit a hard place and I pray in the Spirit. That testimony we just shared was a hard place.

But that’s not what you’re asking, you’re asking what do I do when my faith is not working and I feel like I want to give up. You have to do like David and the Bible says, “He encouraged himself” (1 Samuel 30:6). Because a lot of times when you hit that place, nobody knows you hit it. Nobody sees you or the hurt you’re really experiencing. So in those moments, you have to rely on the God that you know. Man… not the God you heard other people tell you about.

A lot of times, the God you know is different from the God people tell you about. People will tell you about the God that they have experienced. So, when you hit a hard place, you have to rely on the God that YOU know.

With that said, steps to come out, because I’m that kind of guy:

  • Praying in the Holy Spirit.
  • Youtube is our best friend in our day and age. Find ministers on Youtube who are preaching faith or preaching on the subject that you are dealing with and plug yourself with the word of God. Anybody dealing with any situation can find somebody on Youtube that is preaching about that situation. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word” (Romans 10:17). You need to hear the word as it relates to that specific situation.

Back in my day, we didn’t have that privilege or avenue. If we didn’t have it on the cassette or already have access to it, you had to get on your knees and open your Bible. No smart nothing! You had to find the concordance, go through the Bible, and you write out those scriptures and stand on the word of God.

[LC]: And surround yourself with like precious faith.

[PM]: Amen! Who you hang around is extremely important.

[LC]: And don’t isolate yourself. The devil will try to destroy you in isolation.

[ME]: So, since you said to be with people of like faith. Who do you normally turn to?

[PM & LC]: Each other! *laughs*

[PM]: I have pastor friends who I turn to, but mostly it’s just us.

[ME]: So that’s why it’s important to marry somebody who’s of like faith.

[PM & LC]: Yes!

[PM]: That’s why the Bible tells you, “Be not unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14). Because when I’m down, I’ve got someone that can pull me up. Who believes what I believe, who stands for God the way I stand for God. That’s very important.

They can be as cute and fine as they want to be. That’s gravy, but that’s not the meat of what you need in a relationship. You know what I mean?

First Lady just got blessed!

[ME]: *laughs* So, just to wrap it up, since this is the end. If you could, both of you, give just one snippet of wisdom to a younger Christian, not in age but faith.

[PM]: The one snippet of wisdom I would give is to read the book of John, three times. The entire gospel of John, three times. That’s the first thing I tell everyone when they get saved. All 4 Gospels are similar except the gospel of John because John had a different relationship with Jesus than all the other disciples. He had a more intimate love connection with Jesus that the other ones did not have.

When you are newly born again, you need to connect to the heart of God. The book of John connects you to the heart of God in the way that none of the other epistles or gospels does. John calls himself the one that Jesus loves. How are you going to say that? But that’s how he felt. That’s the heart, with just getting saved, that you need to adopt to fall in love with God and to hold on to that love. God is love, and you need to connect to the love and heart of God.

[LC]: That’s pretty much what I would say.

[PM]: And stay in the Word. Devour the word.


Pastor Manuel Washington III and Lady Cassandra Washington are the pastors at Rhema Word of Life Church. They are located at 16730 Hedgecroft Dr #306, Houston, TX 77060 and you can visit their website at https://www.1rhemaword.org/ .

The Eyes

When I think about Sunday service now, there are many words I associate it with: virtual, Facebook, drive thru, zoom meetings, etc. Definitely not the same way I would describe Sunday service about 2 months ago, but this is our reality.

However, that’s not what I’m getting at here.

As my family held service in our home, I recall hearing the dream my dad (who’s a pastor) had. He had a dream of entering a hotel he had no access to at first, then seeing Christians partying and drinking in disguise from the rest of the world. Now I really pondered this thing.

Why would our fellow brothers and sisters go down a path knowing that the end only breeds destruction?

Then I thought about the dream I had:

It started out as with my cousins and I being on a road next to a church that I knew. I saw many of my family members headed down this long wide road. We asked what was going, but they said they would see what was going on. Instead of entering the church, we walked down the road and eventually we came to an impasse where the road met water.

We stood back to watch how others were navigating this route to go down. They would stick one foot into the muddy, rushing water. A huge step into the muddy water would cause them to fully submerge, then pop back up to rush down where the others were. They coaxed me to do the same, but I claimed, “I don’t want to get my feet to get dirty.” The road had now become flooded with muddy water. I turned away and began to head back to the church.

I felt anxious about the water coming up to my leg until I looked up for strength to run. I ran past other family members headed the same way until I bumped into a familiar man. He was not kin to me, but I embraced him from the side like I would my dad. Then I cried. The man said nothing to me as I sobbed, he only embraced me, to comfort me.

As I finally entered the church, I came in to see one of my aunts smiling and fanning, like she was dancing. I asked her had my cousins I came with made it; she answered and told me to find a seat. Going through the crowd, I noticed the other half of the church (where my aunt wasn’t) was weeping. They were mourning for people, but I didn’t know who. In contrast, my aunt and eventually my cousins were sitting with high energy waiting for a concert to come forth.

Dream only last two seconds, but this felt like an hour. I was so confused about what it all meant, so I looked up what certain images mean using Understanding the Dreams You Dream by Ira and Judy Milligan. After I searched, I still needed more explanation for what it meant. Then God spoke.

His explanation: Think of your family as the church. Some of you will go down the wide road of evil/destruction because of the unwillingness to change. Even now, after falling deep and popping back up in faith, they will still choose the same destructive path. Others of you will turn back and follow me. That’s why the church split emotionally. You will mourn for those who have fell to the ways of the wicked, but you will rejoice in worship of the coming of Jesus.

Although I had this dream March 29th, it made little sense to me until I came across Romans 11, specifically verse 7-8:

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

I know Paul was talking about the Jewish nation here, but I couldn’t help but wonder how true this is for us now. This crisis right now feels like a wake up call, but I am concerned for those who have not yet answered. Like my dad’s dream, I pray that none of us are trying to hide behind the facade of a pandemic to live in sin.

But we serve a gracious God who has forgiven us of our sins if we only choose salvation and to serve him. In Romans 11:23 :

23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

So I urge you, anyone who is reading, to not fall into the spiral of sin, but to follow Christ this day. While you yet have breath in your lungs, thank God for saving power and His grace on your life. Turn your life fully over to him and choose the path of righteousness.


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Healing: A Centurion’s Faith

Back again with a new addition to the Healing Series, we are going to dive into the faith of the centurion.

Let’s look at Matthew 8:5-13 (NKJV).

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

Whew! Let’s unpack this.

Looking at the centurion, he is considered a high-ranking army official in the Roman army. Mind you, the centurion is a Gentile, someone who is not a descendent of the Jews. However, this did not stop him in asking Jesus to heal one of his servants.

It’s important to note that Jesus was willing to go with the centurion to heal the servant. During that time, it was like fraternizing with an enemy. However, in God’s book everyone has grace and can be redeemed.

Knowing this, the centurion said to Jesus to “only speak a word, and my servant will be healed” (verse 8). The faith that the centurion had in this conversation was so great that even Jesus marvelled at it! The centurion trusted in not a laying of hands from the Lord, but just the words that he spoke!

Jesus honored his faith. In verse 13, Jesus healed his servant at the same hour because of the man’s faith.

I don’t know about you, but it convicted me. How much faith do we have just in the words of God? Everything is written out for us: healing, deliverance, love, peace. The word of God is tried and true, all we have to do is speak it, just as Christ did for the centurion.

At the end of the day:

Have Faith and Speak the Word!

Weekly Soap

At the beginning of this month, my family and I chose a book of the Bible to read and share with each other. I wanted to read either Psalms or Romans, but I struggled a bit to choose. Then I realized it would be impeccably hard to read all of Psalms in a month! Can you imagine?

With choosing Romans, I am enjoying the teachings of Paul and I wanted to share!

So here we go with the Weekly Soap!

ROMANS 7

Scripture:

22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Observation: Paul recognizes that as a believer, our inner man delights in the Lord and His laws. However, it is constantly at war with our flesh, the opposing force. Paul labeled this interaction as frustrating! Only deliverance through Christ Jesus would be his saving grace from the turmoil. He then concludes that in his mind, he will serve the Lord. He chooses the Lord even though his instinct or fleshly body wants to sin.

Application: This entire passage resonated with me. If you read further up at about verse 15 (honestly read the entire chapter), Paul’s writing played through my thoughts of how we can want to do right through Christ, but our flesh gets the best of it. His writing depicts this back-and-forth monologue that I have often had in my mind: whether or not to sin?

How often have we known what is right through God’s law, but have turned at the last minute to sin? Although we were “born and shaped in iniquity”, our only saving grace is from God, our father, through Christ Jesus.

Once we are saved, sanctified, and Holy Ghost filled, it is Christ who keeps us. Romans 8:10 says, “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”  

Prayer: Lord, thank you for saving me from my sin. Although I know that I am made of flesh and that my nature is to sin, I know that by your grace and the gift of Holy Spirit, I am a free from the ongoing battle. Lord, I pray to no longer be carnally minded because it leads to death, but I pray to be spiritually minded because it leads to life and peace. Thank you, Lord, for easing my frustrations and helping me to always choose life. Continue to kill this flesh daily as you elevate the Spirit man inside of me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Song of the Week

Hello Good Folks! I hope your Palm Sunday was amazing in the celebration of the King!

I’m so excited about the upcoming days in celebration of both Passover and Easter. To know that Jesus took on our sin, died on the cross, then rose again with all power… it overjoys my soul!

When I think of the goodness of Jesus, and all that He’s done for me! My soul shouts…

To refocus, when I think about the love of Christ, it washes over me like a flood. To know that God sent his only Son, just for us, to die so we may live again, is a love that surpasses anything I could ever imagine. I am so grateful to the Lord for it!

And what do I do when I feel strong emotions? We match it with music! But I know that in Romans 5:5 (NIV),

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

This week, we have a song from gospel royalty, the Clark Sisters. In the hit, “His Love”, they expound upon the love of Jesus and how it’s everlasting. Partnered up with Snoop Dogg, the composition flows together mixing the old with the new. So take a listen below and remember:

HIS LOVE LASTS FOREVER!


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Healing: The Woman with the Issue of Blood

It’s a brand new month and I am so excited about what God is doing our lives! I posted on our Facebook page about how I was hearing the songs “Healing Rain” by Michael W. Smith and “There is a Cloud” by Elevation Worship.

I just believe God is doing healing in the Earth. Not just for infirmities, but of the mind, the body, the soul. Not too long ago, in Bible study with my parents at home, my dad led us to scriptures of healing.

18 “I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners.” (Isaiah 57:18)

I was so comforted by this that it drove me to talk about the many healings of Jesus. I wanted to start with the woman with the issue of blood.

Starting in Matthew 9:20-22:

20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:

21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

From those verses alone, it makes me want to shout!

credit from tenor.com

This woman had this illness for 12 long years, bleeding! I can’t even imagine what that is like, but she believed. She believed that after those years if she could reach Jesus that it would leave her.

There’s a couple of things I want to point out:

  • Her faith in Jesus.
  • That she not only sought healing, but to be made whole.
  • When she touched the hem, she was healed instantly.

When we look at faith, Jesus said,

For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of a mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place: and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20)

So even before the woman got to Jesus, she believed in what seemed to be impossible. She believed in a cure for what seemed incurable. However, it just wasn’t about her healing. It was about her soul.

Jesus brings total healing to those who seek him out. In the beginning of Matthew 9, Jesus knew that scribes the people after him would chalk someone being healed to some other source, but to forgive man of their sins was a different level (Matthew 9:5-6). He had to be sent from God, undeniably so.

But the last part of her story baffles me every time. Her healing was instantaneous. Right then, she would never deal with the issue every again.

In all this, this taught me the importance of faith. Although we may endure long-term hardships or tribulation, God delivers us out. We are whole through deliverance and we will never return to the things that caused us this pain.

We now have peace.

The Hands

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, or Good Evening wherever you are! As you know, today’s blog is a PKE or Preacher’s Kid Experience. This time, it is fairly recent. Specifically, this yesterday or Sunday if you live in the US.

Typically, I have some trepidation about sharing, but that’s not what PKE is about. It’s about being vulnerable with y’all as Christians and revealing the inside of my life.

Moving on, at the beginning of this month, my pastor reached out to me with a question I haven’t heard him ask in about a year. He said to me…

Do you mind preaching the 4th Sunday of this month?

Now, my first human instinct was to say, “Oh no no no!”. But, before I could voice my no to his question, I said “yes, I will”.

Why would I do this?! Who knows! However, God was clearly about to use me to give a word prepared for His people.

I will say I am a procrastinator at heart (God is still working on me with this), but when we’re on God’s timing, He reveals the word whenever he sees fit. I was just unaware. As Friday rolled around, God got me in a quiet place away from all distractions to show me what needed to be said.

He led me to Haggai 1:1-13 and 2:1-9.

*insert long pause here so you can go read those verses*

Haggai 1:1-13 highlighted many things for me:

  1. Where are the priorities of the people?
  2. God will purposefully do things to get our attention.
  3. After the Word of the Lord goes forth, we must decide to either obey or suffer more consequences.
  4. Fear God and know that He is with you.

When I applied this to life now, I was speechless. Sometimes we get so caught up in our fleshly self of beautification or distractions around us, we ignore the spirit man dying inside of us. That in verse 5 & 7, there was a reiteration of serious thinking about where our priorities lie. With the revelation of us neglecting our spiritual man, God gives us instruction on what to do and after that we should obey.

However, how often has God tried to get your attention, given you clear instructions, then you ignored what you should do? Where does that often lead us? Still in the same spot.

So, once we obey and rebuild our temple, then what?

In Haggai 2:3-4, the people still felt that the temple being built paled compared to that of the one Solomon built. Now, I thought, “well God, isn’t that like us sometimes.”

We dive deep into our faith, establishing a deeper relationship with God, then suddenly we compare ourselves to others. Asking ourselves, “well why can’t I do that yet?” or “they are closer to God than I am.” But that is not something we should do. Everyone of us has an individual walk with God, and different relationship, and different gifts from Him. As I told the church on Sunday, “you can’t compare someone’s chapter 35 to your chapter 1”. So don’t get discouraged. God reassured the leaders and all the people of the land in verse 4 to “Yet now be strongand work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts;”. That means to persist in building up what you have. Stay committed. Do the work.

So what Haggai 2:1-9 highlighted for me:

  1. Don’t compare your walk with others. Your rebuilding won’t be the same as someone else’s.
  2. Be Strong. Stay persistent and committed to your walk of faith.
  3. God will shake heaven and earth to carry out what needs to be done. That’s God’s sovereignty.
  4. When we commit to rebuilding what we have, it can only become greater than what was previously.
  5. God brings peace.

So at the end of reading this, I feel like now this is a call to action. Not just for myself, but everyone. That we need to “strengthen the things which remain,” and rekindle our relationship with God (Revelations 3:2). That starts with a heart of repentance. In asking for forgiveness, we also must change our behavior or perish (Luke 13:3,5). In Romans 10:13 KJV, it says, “For whosover shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And that means anyone.

So I encourage you all, as you sit at home, practicing social distancing or if you are one of the few warriors out there still working, to also be reminded of the spirit man inside of you. To strengthen your faith in this time of turmoil. Whether it be fasting, praying, seeking God’s face, whatever it may be, just…

DO THE WORK.

Song of the Week

Morning, Afternoon, or Evening wherever you are! How are y’all feeling out there? I know with all the pandemonium around; I wanted to remind you that God is still in control!

Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One. (Philippians 4:6-7 The Voice (VOICE))

Moving on, we’re still focusing on living above and beyond just existing.

So how are you living? Are your actions matching up with your faith?

Well, just like in February, we had a heart check. In March, we’re checking for the fruits of the Spirit!

The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22 KJV):

  1. Love
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Longsuffering
  5. Gentleness
  6. Goodness
  7. Faith
  8. Meekness
  9. Temperance

The Fruit of the Spirit aren’t just listed for fun. These are to teach us how to conduct ourselves. There are nine of them and I encourage you to study more, but the Song of the Week helps with learning them.

Kevon Carter’s “Check Their Fruit” is an easy-listening, message-giving song about the Fruit of the Spirit. The song highlights that the actions we do are more telling of our character than our outward appearance. “We should identify people by the things that they do.”

I hope this song encourages you to: Check. Their. Fruit. (And yours too.)


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Q&A with a Pastor!

I wanted to do something different this week outside of the typical. From the title, this blog is Q&A with a pastor! However, I didn’t ask questions about their position specifically, but their highs and lows as a Christian.

For this post, the featured pastor is:

Pastor Annie Green!

[HOAPK/Me]: Thank you again for doing this interview. I appreciate it. I know in my blog it’s usually geared towards removing the stigma from PK’s and younger people but mostly finding purpose. So, how did you know your purpose in Christ? Not just as a pastor, but as a Christian?

[Pastor Annie Green/AG]: First started out, I was a PK kid. We had to go to church no matter what. As I was going, I got some understanding of what it was all about. Then I didn’t know my purpose still because at the time I was 15 when I really got saved. My purpose as a Christian was that I knew that I had a gift, yet I didn’t understand what it was all about. I knew I could see things, hear things, and dreams and visions. Therefore, later in life, that my purpose was a prophetess.

As a pastor, I grew into being a leader when my mother passed away. She was our head pastor. When she passed, my husband and I took the mantle. From there we had to learn some things like how to be a leader, how to conduct yourself, how to love and embrace people despite anything that they were going through. We had to embrace and love. That was the first part of being a pastor.

From there, I just followed along with my husband. Beside him, the things he can’t see, I see. The things he can’t hear, I hear. So it made a difference to walk beside him and help with what we needed. Pastoring became not something that I chose, but what God chose for me.

[Me]: And that is a recurring thing that I hear from pastors all the time. “I didn’t want to choose this myself, but I can’t ignore the call.” Even with running from it, did you ever find yourself running from your call?

[AG]: At first I did, because I felt like I wasn’t ready. It’s not what we think, it’s what God thinks. He will prepare us for the position, if it is for us to have it. That is pretty much what he did for me. He prepared me as a little child. I didn’t know what gift I had, but as I grew up, prophecy is nothing but preaching. You just have a gift that goes along with it. Different things that go along with it. So it made it easier. I began to understand that I can’t run.

No matter what I did, I was turned back to that in my spirit. Even when I was raised in church, turned 15, and moved from there to Bryan, everything was a different story. I decided to just… I’m done. I walked away, yet God still had his hand on me. I couldn’t do some things, I couldn’t just say anything, I couldn’t hang around the crowd I wanted to hang with. Therefore, He finally just turned me back.

[Me]: That feeds into our next question.

I know that sometimes I have that mental block when it comes to things outside of the church. Like “I don’t want to do that” or “I don’t find joy in that”.

What was the toughest part about being saved at first?

[AG]: When I first came into holiness, they told us we couldn’t go to moves, we couldn’t go to parties, we couldn’t wear makeup, we couldn’t wear pants, etc. I thought that was… okay. That’ s part of my life, what are you doing. You’re taking away part of my life. As I lived on, I understood things to where God opened it up better. It’s not what you wear, or the place you go.

Like if you go to a dinner party for someone, you don’t have to interact if there is drinking or something like that. With makeup back in the day, they said that was what set you apart. But that’s a part of a woman for me. The makeup. I never felt condemned for that or pants. It’s about how you do it. You don’t want pants like skin on us. You want to dress nice and modest; covered. There is nothing wrong with it.

It is the spirit that’s on the inside. It is your soul God is worried about. This ole body is not going back when we go back. It’s the soul. It was different for me when I first started out, but now I understand better.

[Me]: Well, besides the toughest part. But what is the easiest part about being saved?

[AG]: The easiest part about being saved is just knowing that Jesus is your head. Knowing that he can conduct and lead you, he is a healer; you know. He’s all these different things. If I say he’s a healer, I know what im talking about. I’m not just saying. He healed my body many of times. I was stricken with lupus in 1986.

It was devastating to me. I was in a lot of pain. I lived in the hospital. They knew me by my name. Once I began to start thanking God for healing me, even though it wasn’t there yet, I thanked him. “God thank you for healing my body. God thank you for healing my body”.

In ’07, He did it. He healed my body. I haven’t dealt with lupus since then. NO medication for it. The doctors are amazed. My platelets are staying in place. Im good. Thank God for that.

[Me]: *I’m in shock at this point* Wow. Just wow. Well, God is a healer.

[AG]: It’s a simple thing to know that He is real. It helps you to just stay in line.

[Me]: Wow. Alot of times I know for younger people, and some older people, sometimes we are around others who are still not yet saved. Sometimes they’ll offer you things and say “you can just take a little” or “you can just do some of it”. What happens when you give in? What do you do when you feel yourself going back? How do you come back to the faith?

[AG]: By experience, when i first got saved, that following Monday my family was gone to work and school. I remember I had some weed under my couch. The enemy said, “Well, you know, that’ll be the last you have. Nobody is here but you. It would be fanned out by the time anyone gets home.” That’s what I was hearing in my spirit!

And I thought, not today, devil! I decided to turn my life over to Jesus, and with that I’m not turning back. But yes, the temptations come. When they come, we’ve got to recognize who is doing the temptation.

The devil will never give you anything good. He is not going to tell you nothing good. Therefore, we have to recognize and weigh it out. Do I want to fall into this and I know I can repent, but how many times do we think God is going to continue to forgive us when we know what we’re doing? We have to weigh that out. Do want to continue to keep doing wrong, thinking “well God knows my heart”? Yes, He knows your heart. He also knows that you want to continue to do this. So, you have a decision to make: do you want to stay in or stay out?

Sin is always around. We have to live in this world, and it’s here. But it’s up to us.

[Me]: Yeah, even so people will say, “This is my last party” or “This is my last drink”. But is it really your last party or drink? What happens if that last party is your very last? What if that’s the last drink–

[AG]: On the way home. You get in an accident, you’re gone. It’s a choice you make. Set yourself apart. If somebody offers, you can always say no. You don’t have to go into your history of being saved. You can just say no, thank you. We have to work around people who are unsaved all the time, but we have to maintain ourselves. We know who we are.

[Me]: Amen. Once you understand temptation, sin, and become fully devoted to God, what happens when you lose that momentum you had when you first became saved? The dry season? How do you get out of it?

[AG]: The dry season faith… it comes and goes. You’re saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, but we have some days where we feel like “God, where are you?” “Have you left me?”

Sometimes we can’t pray. Being in that position, it is so much on you that weighs you down, you may not know how or what to pray. Your spirit is in the ground. Therefore, our leaders/heads, they are who we can always go to.

If we feel like you and I, where it’s our parents, we can always get somebody else that we know is living for the Lord. Because we don’t want to feel like our parents will say “oh, it’s going to be alright”. You know what I’m saying. We don’t want to be embraced that way. We want to be told the truth, for real. Sometimes, it may take us to go talk to someone else and just lay out. Open up. Saying, “Hey, this is what is going on with me. I feel like I can talk to you because you’re going to open up to me the way I need it”.

So, the dry seasons can make us feel like we don’t know which way to go. We know that Jesus is our head. We know to have faith, but sometimes it isn’t there the way it needs to be. You know. It seems like it is never coming, or it’s never happened. And God, I need this right now, but it’s not showing. Yet Jesus is still there. We can always talk to him like we talk to each other. Just to tell him the way we are feeling, which He already knows. Sometimes, he wants us to open up too.

Not saying our parents won’t tell us the truth! Mine especially would tell me! Some things I felt like I couldn’t tell her. I couldn’t talk to her about it because I didn’t feel comfortable, but I could go somewhere else and just open up.

[Me]: So, who was usually that someone else for you?

[AG]: My godmother in Amarillo, Texas. Yes, my godmother. I met her when I was 15. When I got saved, we were in their church. We didnt know them when we first moved up there, but somehow or another, God led them to us. They began to be close to us. Her kids and our kids…we just all came together. If we were in need of anything, they were there for us. Even today, I still go back and forth to Amarillo to see about them.

She was a strict one. She was the no makeup, and still that way. But I can open up to her and talk to her about anything.

[Me]: That’s extremely important. To have someone that holds you accountable. Now, after all this, you know what you’ve been through and experienced since you have been in ministry a while. What is one snippet of wisdom that you would give to somebody who is a younger Christian? Not saying in age, but someone who is just starting in the faith?

[AG]: Grab hold and hold on. Mhm.

It is not a simple thing to deal with everyday because life is different. You never know what life is going to throw at you. Being saved, some people will say, “I can’t do it” and they back up. You have to go forward. Look at what Jesus did for us.

When He went on that cross, and they nailed him, and he never said a mumbling word. He did that for us. Because He did that, I can look back and think well Lord you did this. So, I need to do what I need to do. Sometimes that means dealing with people, but you have to get in it and go.

You experience things when you are over a lot of people. Everybody is not going to have the same attitude. Therefore, you can’t love everybody the same. Love them at their level. So, if anything, just grab hold and hold on. Get in and stay in. For the long haul.


Pastor Annie Green is a co-pastor at The Way, The Truth, and The Life Ministries Inc. Her husband, Pastor/Bishop Oritz Green is the senior pastor. Their church is located at 1104 East Martin Luther King, Bryan, TX 77803.

Weekly Soap

Hey Y’all! It’s already week 2 in March and for some (me) it’s also spring break! Although it is my vacation, the work doesn’t stop.

In the previous blog, I mentioned going above and beyond just existing in this world and in church. But what does that look like?

All last week, God impressed upon me to fast from Monday to Friday. Now my first thought was “Now Lord hold up! You know it’s around the first and I like to take myself on a date?”. My second thought, “Lord, I am content with things in life right now. Why do I need to fast for more?”.

Little did I realize that I had much to learn this week as a Christian.

First rule of God calling a fast: It doesn’t matter when or what. Just do it. We all know obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).

Second rule of God calling a fast: It is normal. It should be a regular part of your lifestyle. It allows you not only to turn down unhealthy food, but it draws you closer to God. Not only closer, but it allows us to see what more God has in store for us. God’s vision goes far beyond man’s (Isaiah 55:8-9).

From Monday to Friday, God dropped gems in my lap that I never even asked for, but I needed. He blessed me with so much clarity and focus that entire week that it left me speechless. And not just in days, but minutes. I heard God speak clearly about my lifestyle choices, my purpose, the Bible, and much more.

I just want to encourage you to fast as part of your daily walk with God. Whether it be for 5, 10, 21 or 40 days, fasting is so necessary for growth in God.

Scripture: 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18 NIV)

Observation: Fasting was originally an outward expression to the public by the tearing of clothes and smeared ashes to show repentance to the Lord. However, in this context, Jesus was talking about those who did it not genuinely. Now, those who fast should go about it normally. Dress normal. Look normal in fasting. Even though your fasting is between you and God in secret, there will be a reward, openly. It is not done in vain.

Application: Fasting is a normal duty in our Christian walk. We should not go around saddened or make others aware of what we’re doing. God sees us, and our actions in drawing near to him. Fasting is an act of humbling ourselves so that God can step in and take over our lives. Notice in verse 17, that Jesus said to his disciples when they fast, so it is expected. Our relationship becomes stronger, we dig deeper in Christ, and we are rewarded publicly.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for not only the responsibility of prayer and petition but also for pray. Lord, I understand that as I fast, it is an action of humbling, consecration and bonding that draws me closer to you. Forgive me for not fasting as regularly as I should. God, don’t let my fast be in vain, but let it be in your perfect will. I understand that what I do in secret will be rewarded, openly. I thank you for the many blessings you are sending my way through this duty. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.