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Monthly Archives: May 2012

All the Single Ladies!!!

Good morning!!  Now that the long memorial day weekend is over and you’re recovering from that Cookout Coma…I wanted to write today about an issue that keeps coming up.  Several months ago, I did a Love, Sex, Relationships series and one of the issues that was a hot button topic, was Christian singles and dating….  So in the words of Beyonce…all the single ladies listen up…  Although Beyonce made a smash hit…there’s more to relationships than putting a ring on it if you like it!  🙂

Dating is not a recreational sport, it’s a BIG DEAL and you are way more valuable than you could imagine.  There is no such thing as the perfect guy, but you should consider the following warning signs and probably should not date him if…

#1 – He Uses The Phrase, “The Ball Is Now In Your Court!” – This usually means that he is tired of pursuing you…and so he is going to abdicate his role as the man and actually wants you to pursue him!  DON’T DO IT!!  You are worth the pursuit and if you wind up pursuing him now then he is, most likely, not going to pursue you after you get married. (And GREAT marriages always include pursuit…by the man!)

#2 – He Says He Has “Issues” But They Will Get Better Once You Are Married. – Marriage is a magnifier–period!  If he is addicted to porn now it’s not going to disappear when you get married.  If he has racked up a massive amount of debt on credit cards and is unwilling to address it and make changes then you are headed for a financial train wreck…and unfortunately bankruptcy and divorce LOVE to hang out together!  Pre-marital counseling can help to bring hidden issues to the surface before you walk down that aisle.

#3 – You Have To Tell Him To “Stop” Because He Is Making You Uncomfortable! – He should NEVER put you in that position.  He is not struggling for purity if he isn’t fighting for it!

#4 – The Closer You Get To The Wedding The More Uninterested In You He Seems! – If he is slacking off in his efforts to make you feel special today…it’s not going to get better after the ceremony tomorrow!

#5 – You Only Know Him Through An Online Relationship – Anyone can be anyone online!  You have no idea who that person really is until you have spent an extended amount of time with then.  How do they handle anger?  Hurt?  Disappointment?  DO NOT allow yourself to be swept away by a guy you don’t really know!!!  and if you meet them online….be sure to be slow offline…Learn the person!

#6 – You Have To Talk Yourself Into Being With Him (enough said!)

#7 – You Have To Drag Him To Church (enough said!) Spirituality is a huge factor if you’re not spiritually compatible…again…enough said!

#8 – He Lies To You – Trust is HUGE…and, ONCE AGAIN please understand that it won’t “get better” when you get married!!!  If he does not love and respect you to tell you to truth about him now…then you can’t trust him, period.  And a relationship that is not built on trust will crash!  My wife always says, “When someone lies, they take away their choices and decisions.”

These are just a few warning signs….comment and share this with your other friends who are dating.  What are some other warnings signs you should look for?  I want to hear you!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 

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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Relationships

 

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The Fight is Fixed!

Happy Friday!!  Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” There are times in life that things just get out of hand. We have heard that someone said or did something and we are preparing for the next time we see them. We know what has happened, we know that they are not sorry and we are preparing for the next time we see them. We have started building the speech, the hand gestures, and the body language for the coming encounter to make sure that we win. We have told and retold the event in our heads making sure that we keep the levels of rage and anger at constant boil so that when the opportunity presents itself we will strike and win the battle. The problem is we are often fighting the wrong battle.

In all reality, we must fix the fight to ensure that in essence there is no fight. Many times after a real or perceived offense we are so prepared to redeem ourselves, get revenge and set the record straight that we often miss the big picture. There is little if anything that can be done about what has already happened, the fight we have is for the future. When we have already set ourselves on a trajectory for battle we miss that the other party may have done the same thing. So we now have two entities set on a collision course that will ensure an outcome of destruction. One party, or both parties will be destroyed if the battle that we are preparing for comes to a head. The real battle that we should be fighting is the battle to not have the fight in the first place.  Fix the Fight!

As we head into the weekend, prepare to make sure that we win the fight with ourselves.  The real battle is to stop yourself from starting the fight you are planning. When we come to someone with anger and malice in our hearts it is impossible to find resolution. What we find when we do this is a way to cause anger on both sides to bubble over. If we came with a kind word, it would give the chance for understanding and reconciliation without confrontation. Even if you are both angry an opening, sincere, kind word sets the table for the possibility of getting to truth and harmony as opposed to escalating the conflict from the outset. So today, fight the urge to fight. Win the battle of aggression in your own mind by finding the way to lead with peace, and see the humanity in the other person. By reminding yourself that you are better than lashing out, cussing out, and striking out you give yourself the opportunity to resolve things, not just make them worse.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Give Me Some Advice

Sometimes it seems like everyone has advice for us. No matter who we are, no matter the circumstance, there is always someone willing to tell us exactly what they would do in our situation. They have thought through all of the variables, all the consequences, and all the possible outcomes and know exactly what you should do. Based on their years of expertise, best laid plans and opinions about the world they are the perfect advisor for what you are trying to settle, or are they?

The problem with opinions is that everybody has one. There will never be a shortage of people willing to tell you what they should do, but you have to be careful who you listen to. When people don’t have skin in the game and won’t have to love with the consequences they can sometimes be willing to take greater risks, bigger leaps and become far more reckless since the outcome does not directly effect them, but it will effect you. The question is how do I decide if I should follow the advice that I am getting?

The best way to decide if you should listen to someone’s advice is to consider the source. When you ask someone for their opinion don’t evaluate the decision before you evaluate the person. Someone who is not good with their own finance is not the person to ask for financial advice. Someone who is perpetually in bad relationships is not the person to get dating tips from. Someone who can’t keep a job is not the person to advise you on how to climb the corporate ladder. Many times we ask people for advice because we want someone else to validate a conclusion we have already reached. So we pick someone who will say what we want to hear, so we can do what we want to do with the added comfort of knowing that we aren’t the only person who would make that decision. The best way to get good advice is to ask people who will tell you the truth from their experience not just validate what you want to hear.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Green With Envy

Happy Friday!  Hope you had a great week!

In my personal devotion and prayer time this week, the scripture in Psalms 37:1, “…..and neither be thou ENVIOUS against those who do wrong” kept coming back to me replaying in my head.  It got me to really thinking about ENVY.  Envy is considered to be one of the Seven deadly sins of the Catholic Church. In the Book of Genesis envy is said to be the motivation behind Cain murdering his brother, Abel, as Cain envied Abel because God favored Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s.  Envy can derail your drive, focus, and motivation if you let it.

How many of us have heard the old saying, “Green with envy.”  That saying is so true because although envy can’t change your color, if you let it rule you, it changes the essence of who you are.  Coveting what others have going for them is still alive and well. And we’re all susceptible to it. No one is immune. An interesting thought I had, is that it is rare to hear someone preach or teach about the things in our life that are not readily seen (the invisible sins..as I call it).

Here are a few things that I’ve learned over the years that will eradicate envy:

1. Recognize and accept your own worth before God and embrace the uniqueness of your gifting. Many times we fail to see our own value and worth because we are focused on others who we are just as gifted and talented as no less but can see it.  Note Paul’s words on this:

Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way – the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair? The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.  You are Christ’s body – that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything (1 Corinthians 12:21-27).

2. Remember that you have no idea about the sufferings that the person you’re envying faces behind closed doors. You may want to trade your life for theirs on the surface, but if you knew their problems and sufferings, you’d quickly change your mind and thank God for the life that you have.  We actually could be envying something that would be very painful for us if we were in that person shoes.

3. Reassess what you’re coveting. I hear a lot of young people say things like, “I wish I could preach like he does.” Or, “I wish I could write like she does.” Or, “I wish I had their kind of money.”

By contrast, I’ve heard very few people say things like: “I wish I would witness more like they do” or “Win souls to christ like they do” or “I wish I knew the Lord like he does.” Or, “I want to respond to my enemies with the kind of grace that she does.” Or, “I wish I could consistently return good for evil like they do.”

If you want to envy something, don’t envy a person’s gifts, platform, or possessions. Covet the way they know the Lord and the way they exhibit Him in their treatment of others.  That is how you eradicate envy.

Charles Spurgeon once said
The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear and the desires are more elevated. The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. The fear of God casts out envy of men.”

 

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

PayDay Is Coming!

Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Proverbs 24:27

I grew up in the pentectostal church and, growing up,  I remember the church members during devotion or testimony service sing “Put your time in…PayDay is coming afterwhile.”  It made me think of what that song really meant….We have all seen the results of hard work. We have seen people who have applied themselves to their work and their craft and seen the benefits that hard work yields. Many times seeing the things that have come from hard work can be incredibly inspirational, prompting us to redouble our efforts at our craft. We rightly believe that if we put in the time and the effort we too can reap the same types of rewards. We know that through diligence we can have the large house, the cars, the summer homes and maybe even the boat. So we plug along waiting to see the payoff or that Big Payday at the end of the hard work. The problem is sometimes we confuse the order of how the process works.

Sometimes we run into problems because we miss the process and only see the results. To have the end results others have you have to remember that they only got it at the end, not the beginning or the middle. They had worked, toiled and struggled to become successful before they got the trappings of success. Many times we become discouraged along the way because we are not seeing the results soon enough. Always remember that you can’t compare your beginning or middle to someone else’s end. When they were working to get where they are now, there was a time when they were exactly where you are right now.

Don’t get discouraged on the way to the end of the road. The process is designed for you to get the rewards at the end. We have to work on our craft, study hard, apply elbow grease and then begin to see the payoff. If we got the rewards in the middle we would never finish the process. So as you work, struggle and sacrifice to build something always remember what you are building now, will be how you get the rewards later on. You can rest assured…Payday is Coming!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Missing Piece

“For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8:25
There are times in life when we know we are going to be victorious. We know we have done everything in our power to ensure that we will walk away with the victory. We have studied, prepared, sacrificed and we know that we are on top of our game. We are prepared with a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and a contingency plan with each of those. We are confident, but not cocky, prepared but not over prepared, relaxed and ready for what we know will be the best day of our lives. With all of that we walk in and know in a few hours our goal will be achieved. The stars are aligned and we know how it is going to turn out, and then somehow it doesn’t go our way leaving us to ponder what went wrong.  Have you ever wondered, after all my preparation things still don’t go as I planned!!??

In all of our preparation, planning and plotting we often miss that nothing is ever a done deal until it is a done deal. Many times when we have done all we can we think that there is nothing left to do. No matter how hard we may try, the simple fact is there are things beyond our control. We can and must prepare, work, plan and sacrifice, but the missing ingredient in any true victory is the favor of the Lord. The true difference between victory and defeat in life is the favor of the Lord. We can do all that we are able to do but true victory will always rest in the hands of the Lord. God’s will added to our work is the missing ingredient in success.

On this Tuesday take the time to find the Lord before you find the plan. When you put the Lord first he blesses your labor, your struggle and your sacrifice because you begin to align your work with His will. When your work aligns with His will He gives you the missing piece of His favor. The favor of God is what makes the difference between equal proposals, equal resumes, and equal work. You can do all you can do, but there is alway something that only the Lord can do. So today, find your way to the Lord, and you will the missing piece, His favor.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Accept What God Allows

Good morning, I was reading the 11, 12 & 13th chapters of Job in my devotional time this morning.  I remember thinking to myself…Lord why am I reading this book?” Now if I was not obedient to His Sovereignty over my life I would have missed this blessing I am about to tell you of. It pays to LET GOD LEAD. A daily surrendered heart to the finished work at Calvary keeps God in the leadership position. It also keeps me engaged in a conqueror lifestyle.

Job’s life exemplifies the value of a consistent presence of HOPE. He lost everything -wife, kids, job, home, good health, friends etc. – with no prior warning. It just happened to him, one loss after another. To make matters worse, he had 3 associates coming to him with various ideologies that supposed the idea they knew why Job’s life fell apart. Throughout all of the hardships Job encountered, he maintained an attitude of HOPE and EXPECTANCY.

Now that seems pretty significant to me. I can understand the devastating blows life can hit you with. That can be severe in nature. Job is the prime example of how to ACCEPT WHAT GOD ALLOWS. You see ACCEPTANCE is the answer to all my problems. We have a glaring lesson in the book of Job that supports the thought. All of the loss Job sustained WAS ALLOWED BY GOD. There was a bigger picture available for us to understand. Job’s losses were directly related to a Spiritual lesson between God and the enemy. Job, his wife and children, all of Job’s associates mentioned in the book only had an awareness for what they could see – A LIMITED PERSPECTIVE AT BEST. Yet Job had the willingness to TRUST God in his uncertainty. Why? JOB KNEW GOD IS SOVEREIGN. This is the type of faith in God you must have, because many people will only see you from their perspective or level of experience or exposure for that matter!

There is a knowing that you must have that  stands on the word that the Apostle Paul wrote to the people at Corinth, in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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