Joyful in Hope, Patient in Affliction, Faithful in Prayer

Untitled

-photo credit (Brandon Stanton Humans of New York)

2 weeks ago, I came across this HONY post and a thought raced through my mind; “
what happens when what used to work suddenly doesn’t work anymore? What happens when your concrete philosophy of how to achieve success, suddenly seems porous?

unnamed (1)

James 1:17 reminds us that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” We get consumed with the thought that success is always determined and manifested by our thoughts and actions. While this is certainly crucial and a part of the equation, 1 does not equal 2 by itself! Let’s look at Job as a case study. He did no wrong, as this was affirmed by God himself! Job 1:8 “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” His later trials were simply a result of a wager between God and Satan as to the source of Job’s righteousness.

Job 1:11 “10“Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11“But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.”

Job did no wrong! His affliction wasn’t the result of sin, or his inability to work hard, plan or be strategic! Nothing besides Jobs patience and faithfulness, would remedy his situation.  This brings me back to the crux of the post, all forms of success not deriving from malice, mischievousness, callousness but rather persistence, patience and hard-work are from God!  It may seem like the entire world is obtaining success but you are stuck in Neutral, do not envy your peers and do not be discouraged, rather “Be Joyful in hope, Patient in affliction, and Faithful in Prayer.”  Your turn is coming! And if God has blessed you with success do not forget to count your blessings and give credit to the most high.

– By: Nana Kyermetang

Calling All Sons Rotating Facilitator

Music that speaks to you….

So IT Ends

soitendscover

I’m very picky about the music I listen to, especially Christian Hip Hop. However, S.O. (pronounced S – O) quickly became one of my favorite artists. His music is a mixture of lyrical theology and emotional music for the heart that is very relatable. SO is a native of London with roots that stems from Nigeria (Yes Oh * Nigerian accent*). His new album So It Ends was released on October 16, 2015 and its been on constant rotation ever since. SO tackles issues on suffering and giving God your worries, relationships, family issues, etc. Songs like  “Where Do We Go From Here” and “Give it to God” are tracks I think many people can connect to. as S.O. speaks on his failed engagement and other failed relationships of his. A few songs from the album are posted below. Check them out. S.O. prides himself in presenting the word of God in the best way possible with quality production and artistry.

Desiring God   & SO Collaboration

Only Christ Can Truly Satisfy

A Song For The Discontent

Check out S.O.’s music. You will not be disappointed!

Follow S.O.

Instagram: sothekid

Website: www.soitends.com

Moses Salami

Calling All Sons Program Coordinator

To Retreat You Must first Surrender

To Retreat You Must first Surrender

The military definition of retreat is to withdraw from enemy forces as a result of their superior power or after a defeat. There are many reasons why an army would need to retreat. Here are some valid points below:

• To make time to recover
• To make time to plan
• To evade attack
• To lessen force of an enemy’s blow
• To delay battle to wait for an ALLIE

 

To many, retreat can have a negative connotation of weakness, however retreat can be of vital strategic importance physically, and even more so spiritually. I was bless to have the opportunity to go on the Christ Apostolic Church: 1st in the Americas 2015 Youth Ministry Retreat at Sandy Cove Retreat Center in North East Maryland the this summer. During the retreat I was able to gain so much knowledge in only a matter of three days.

My experience at the retreat this year was amazing. I was truly impressed with way that God working in the lives of the members of this church. This was a retreat for a “youth” ministry, so most the age of the participants range between 14-25 (with most of the youth leaders being in their early to mid thirties). Although young, these brothers and sisters in Christ were on fire for Christ and you could see the fruits spiritually. There were young teenagers speaking tongues, young adults being stirred up by the deep worship, people prophesying on other lives, passionate weeps of release, genuine “real talk” sessions were people could bare their burden with one another, powerful thought-provoking sermons : THE HOLY SPIRIT was moving.

Although most kids the came to the retreat wanting to grow and was expecting for God to show up in a new way in their lives. However there were some kids that came with harden hearts, only present because there Mom/Dad/Siblings/family members had paid for them. Their efforts were lack luster in regards to praise and worship, they were falling asleep during sermons and their overall participation was poor.
I truly believe that the reason why these Guys were INACTIVE was not because they were did not believe that God is real, or they thought they were to cool to pray and worship.  The real reason was the fear of the unknown. God was taking some these youth to new levels that people can only image spiritually and the lack luster retreaters were frighten that God could possibly take them to same place or even higher.
The one of main pastors said something very insightful that really stuck with me. He said “God wont give you the spirit if you are not going to be obedient to it.” So those that were chilling on the side had no opportunity for God to use them because of their lack of obedience, and the lack of obedience is the result of FEAR! Fear of the unknown, fear to change, fear of lack of control, and most of all fear to surrender!
Although it seem that I’m coming down hard on these inactive retreaters, I actually sympathize with some of these youths. Reason being, I think there are many times were I personally and many other Christians fall to our thoughts of fear. Sometimes you can just get frozen by an imagery perception of fear. There was actually a point in the retreat I found my self in this actual place. As I mentioned before the Holy Spirit was definitely present our entire time at this retreat. In just seconds, the vibe of retreat could have change from a chill out session to a deep discussion of the word, somber worshipping or  fervent tongue spoken prayer. Because of this unpredictability, during the retreat I was on edge, thinking “what happens if I lose control and I start speaking in tongues and start seeing visions…how am going to feel. Because of this unknown, I started to have thoughts fear and this influenced my praise and worship and prayer time significantly in a negative way. Because I did not surrender my false perception of control, I wasnt able to seek God fully. But the truth is, I was never in control. As a Christian, I know that God is the master and ruler of all things, thus He is in “control” of all things in heaven and on earth. So me holding back because of the fear of what the holy spirt will do is just foolish. My fear was just slowing up a process that I was so desperately looking for: to feel God presence in my life and to get connected to what’s real. But one thing about the present of God is that I have learned is that, although omnipresent and all powerful, the Holy Spirit is a gentleman; he only goes where he is invited!

The bible lets us know that Jesus left us the Holy Spirit a helper.Romans 8:9 tells us that if a person does not possess the Holy Spirit, he or she does not belong to Christ: “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Ephesians 1:13-14 teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for all those who believe: “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

Timi Ogunfowra

Calling All Sons Lead Facilitator