January 31

One of our biggest problems in today’s society is we don’t respect any form of authority. Last night as the President of the United States made his way into the Senate Chambers, members of the opposite party remained seated in protest. It’s not the first time this has happened, it happened occasionally with our former president. I don’t care if your a Republican or Democrat, when the President walks into the room, whether you like him or not, whether you agree with him or not, you stand in respect of the office. What our Law Makers are telling us by their actions is, it’s okay to act like a child when you don’t get your way.

But why are we surprised as such actions. We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t respect anyone. If you don’t believe me, just go into any school and listen to how students talk and act towards their teachers. They behave in this manner because they know their parents will take their side. “You just don’t know little Johnny, he’s just a little high strung.” No, little Johnny is a spoiled brat that thinks the world revolves around him. He’s never been taught any respect for authority.

Just listen to how children talk to their parents. It’s hard to distinguish who’s the adult in our homes today. Young people don’t think twice about talking back and belittling their own parents. Why? Because those kids haven’t been taught to obey and respect their own parents. All you have to do is read the 10 commandments and you’ll see the Divine order in the home. And we wonder why our sons and daughters continue to struggle in school and society.

I don’t mean to whine, but this same attitude bleeds over into the church. We’re firing pastors today at an alarming rate in our churches. One reason, no respect for the position nor authority that goes with that office.

We all need to echo the words of Aretha Franklin: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” Let’s treat each other, black or white, male or female with a little respect. If we did that, we’d look more like a society than a nursery. Godspeed.



January 30

I saw a press conference yesterday from a college basketball coach following his team’s 20 point win against their arch rival on the road. His team is currently undefeated and ranked second in the nation, but to hear him talk, you’d think they hadn’t won a game. He said: “If we think we’re going to win a conference championship, we’re kidding ourselves. We’re not tough enough mentally. We have to get some things settled among ourselves if we’re going to be successful.” You see, the great ones are never satisfied with just winning, it’s about getting better every day. Talent will only take you so far.

I wonder what kind of presser God would hold and discuss our performances? It might sound something like this: “I know our kids are showing up for worship and Bible study. They’re even making an effort to give financially to the Kingdom. But I’m worried about their hearts. They have too many distractions in their lives on a daily basis that they’re neglecting the little things. Their prayer life and personal Bible study is lacking. I can’t remember the last time they shared their faith with anyone. Even when they are  at church, their minds are somewhere else. They worry about little things in life and fail to realize how blessed they really are. I wish they’d give a better effort each day. If they think the world is going to get better without their help, they’re kidding themselves. If only they’d humble themselves and pray, and seek me. Then I’d hear their prayers and heal their land.”

Maybe we need to look at our own lives and how well we’re measuring up. I just can’t believe He’s real pleased with what He’s seeing. The Great One never is. Godspeed my friends.

 

January 29

I can’t remember a flu season like we’ve experienced this year. According to health experts, this is the worst outbreak of influenza in the 13 years it has been tracked. Over 12,000 individuals have been hospitalized and tragically it has claimed the lives of over 30 children. Because it’s so widespread, all you have to do is come in contact with one who’s infected and there’s a good chance you’ll end up sick. Please, by all means do your best to take the necessary precautions to stay healthy.

 

However, there’s another disease out there today that’s just as widespread and just as dangerous. It may not claim your life but it can change your disposition and color your soul back. It’s the disease of negativity, and it’s widespread in our schools, homes, and churches. All you have to do in come in contact with one who’s infected and before you know it, it starts changing you. Our society is full of individuals who can tell you everything that’s wrong with our world, nation, city, and even our churches. They are the experts in fault finding and judgement. As you hang around and associate with them, they start infecting you. The reality is, they gripe a lot, but rarely offer any solutions to our problems.

 

Be careful of the company you keep because your actions will soon mirror the people around you. I can stand to be around a negative person for about 30 seconds. Any longer and there’s got to be an escape plan. Don’t fall victim to this disease. With proper treatment, the flu can be conquered in a few days. Negativity can last years and rob one of the joy in life. Too bad there’s no vaccine for that disease. I’ve known folks who could stand a double dose. Today, I choose joy and happiness. Hopefully you will too. Don’t let the Scrooges of life infect your heart. Life’s too short to be miserable every day. Godspeed.


January 28

How much time do you spend with God? I’m not asking you how often you go to church because you can sit in a pew and still not spend time with Him. Are you thinking about it? You can’t be close to God if you’re not spending quality time with Him on a daily basis.

 

What many of us need to realize is, our connection with God is a relationship. Too many of us have reduced it to a job, award, or a duty. But it’s none of the aforementioned. A lot of us are at a place in our spiritual journey where we don’t feel very close to our Creator. We’ve allowed the worries and pleasures of the world to distract us from the most important relationship of all. You see, if you want to damage a relationship, you don’t have to be overtly evil or wicked, just ignore it.

 

So how do we live with a close relationship with God? It’s simple. We think about Him, spend time Him, learn about Him, and do things for Him. It’s no different than any other relationship in our lives. But listen closely....Your relationship with God will have an effect on every relationship in your life. Get right with Him and the rest will fall in line. Godspeed.

 

January 27

 

If you didn’t know Herbert Junkin, you missed experiencing a true man of God. If you did know him, consider yourself blessed. In all my years of ministry, I’ve never known anyone like him. You’ve heard the expression: “They broke the mold when they made him.” Well I can tell you this, God didn’t use a mold when He created Herbert because he was one of a kind. There will never be another like him.

 

To the children of the church he was known as the “Candy Man”. Every Sunday he’d fill his pockets will all sorts of sweet delights and every week the kids flocked to him. There’s no telling what his candy bill was each month. After each service, he’d give me a small bite size Snickers bar and tell me I did a good job.

 

To the members of our church he was simply, “Brother Herbert”. A title usually reserved for the pastor was bestowed upon him. Why? Because if you were in the hospital, he would visit you. If you were a shut in, he would bring you food. If you were in the midst of a crisis, he would be the first to pray for you. He was the patriarch of our church and everyone knew it. And when he no longer able to attend church, we missed him. He was the embodiment of what a deacon and Christian should be. I would often tell our young deacons: “Just watch him and do as he does.”

 

To me, he was a pastor’s best friend. While preaching he’d encourage you with his responses of “Amen!” He’d about Amen you under the pulpit. In his absence, I’ve missed those words of encouragement. In the six years I’ve served as his Pastor, he’s never said one negative word to me. Not one. He would always greet me with these words: “Hey Bro!” When he prayed out loud, he always prayed for me. He was never afraid to let me know he loved me. He told me that every week.

 

Yesterday I sat by his bedside and held his hand as he crossed over Jordan. Before he left us, his beautiful wife kissed him and spoke words of love to him. After that, I leaned over and whispered to him: “Hey Bro, it’s time to go.” Herbert walked with God and was not for God took him home. For those of us who knew him, we’ll never be the same. His love made us better people. That is a fact which can’t be debated nor soon forgotten. Godspeed my friend, I’ll see you soon Bro!

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