The Devil didn’t make you do it … and neither did God!

I’m a mom.  Not just of my own children, but of their friends; of young people that I meet; of the children of my friends; of believers who are younger in the faith then I.  Being a mom means that I get to see people make lots of mistakes or fall into sin. God has blessed me with a great ability to make people feel at ease confessing and then helping them find their way back to the right path.  It is disturbing to me, however, when people imply that God allowed them to fall into their particular sin – whatever it may be.

When I recall my own life – the days before I was fully committed to The Lord; what I can say on no uncertain terms is that what I got caught up in were the things that felt good to me; or that were interesting or appealing to me.  My flesh had desires that were outside of God’s will for me and when I had an opportunity, I sometimes got wrapped up in something that I should not have been in.  The enemy did not have to push me into it and God didn’t have to open me up to temptation; I did what I did because I wanted to! AND, my friend, so do you.

He is a GOOD FATHER.  He wouldn’t allow the enemy to walk into our lives to make us fall – No!  But like any father, he will allow us to experience temptation (like allowing us to drive alone for the first time; or go out on a first date) so that we can learn to make good moral choices.  When we take a situation and make it a sin – it is our own sinful desires that overtake us.

How do we escape?  Call on Him to help us.  He is able and willing to help each of us be victorious over temptations.  According to the His Word, He can allow us to be tempted – but He doesn’t tempt us. He can’t make us fall to evil because He cannot move positively toward sin/evil.  Being His children we have the beautiful benefit of calling on Him – Our Father – to stand with us, and to stand within us, and keep us from falling.  He delights in helping us to stand!

Get Somewhere and Sit Down!

Those words … Get Somewhere and Sit Down!! My mother said this to me quite a bit … but do you understand why!?!?

Today, we feel that we are of more value when people see us doing something that is considered … valuable. We feel that we are considered to be kinder people when we take the time to listen to everything that others say without criticism or correction.  Well, truthfully, neither of these two things make us healthier or wiser! The truth is that when we fill our days with activity after activity, there is little time left to reflect on what is most important — whatever it is that God wants us to be doing.  

I was talking to a colleague recently during a time of waiting; I asked him to pray for my patience with myself because I kept finding my mind wondering what I could be doing instead of waiting.  My colleague asked me the question, “So you want me to pray for you to wait on Yahweh?”  That question knocked the wind out of me!  He asked the question my heart needed to ponder — what was so awful about being still for a while, as my God worked out in me what needed to be worked out.

In that same vein, moving to get advice from MANY, at times that we don’t know what to do next, can be appealing to us for some reason. Do you know what I mean? I know there are many who will go and ask one person for prayer or guidance, and then go to others for, what they say, is confirmation. Well, I don’t have that problem, but I know many that do. Now hear what I’m saying: Because we don’t know the answer; when we don’t know our next step; when we’re not sure of the desired action … we keep laying out to people around us what we’re wrestling with hoping that one of them will surely give us the answer we want to hear. Notice, I didn’t say the right answer – I said the answer we want to hear!

My friends, I want to encourage you when you are in a time of waiting, just wait!  It may be that you become ill; that you are unemployed;  that a relationship gets in a funky spot; financial need … many issues – but when you don’t have answers to your next move – be quiet and listen!  Do not ever give yourself over to your own personal desires and visions – you talking about it too much will put ideas in your head that should not be there and will invite counsel from people who, quite frankly, cannot even manage their own affairs.

Truthfully, when I was in this waiting period, I just knew what needed to happen to get the ball rolling! LOL! Y’all I just knew it because of what I thought was right … not what God was leading me to see or do … just what I felt needed to happen to get the ball rolling. My colleague’s words were powerful and my mama told me to just “get somewhere and sit down” until I had all the answers I needed – the answers from The One.  I will testify to you that she was right!

A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool. Ecclesiastes 5:3

Eliza Davis George. Liberia. 1913 – 1917

Eliza Davis George served in Liberia, 1913 to 1972.

Eliza Davis George was born in 1879.  In December 1913 she left Texas for New York; and on December 12, 1913, she sailed from New York to Liberia as a National Baptist missionary.

Eliza and another missionary opened a school for children in the interior of Liberia, where there were few missionaries or churches. They called the school Bible Industrial Academy, and their aim was to teach children to read the Bible and show them helpful life skills. Within the first two years they had fifty children attending the academy and saw more than 1,000 people accept the Lord in the nearby villages.

Eliza served as an evangelist, teacher, and church planter throughout Sinoe County, Liberia. Wherever she established ministries, she trained Liberian young people and sent them as missionaries to take the Word of God to their own people and to provide education for their children.

Five years after arriving in Liberia, Eliza’s mission board disbanded. Lacking financial support, she was approached by a British missionary doctor who urged her to marry him so that she would be able to remain in Africa. After much prayer, she concluded that God was permitting her to marry, and in 1919, Eliza became the wife of Dr. Charles George. Together they adopted three children: Maude, Cecelia, and Cerella.

Even when married, Eliza continued to live meagerly, trusting in the Lord’s provision and going to extraordinary lengths to secure support for the ministry Jesus had called her to. Her prayer life reflected her dependence on God:

“O heavenly Father, thou hast taught us to pray for our daily bread. Lord, thou dost know that I do not have one penny to buy food and pay the workers here at the mission. Father, send us something to meet our needs as thou hast promised. Help me to keep trusting Thee so that the children will know Thou art caring for them.”

In 1939, her husband passed away – yet she continued in the work for 33 more years.  By the 1960s The Eliza Davis George Baptist Association had twenty-seven churches in Liberia.

Eliza returned to the USA in 1972 at the age of 93 due to fragile health.  She passed away in Tyler, TX in March 1980.

Marilyn Lewis. USA research/education. 1994 – 2000.

Marilyn Lewis was a woman whose desire was for African Americans to understand they had a place in God’s global mission.

Marilyn was a volunteer at the United States Center for World Mission – and helped lay the groundwork for their African American Mobilization Division. She was also founder and director of the Pasadena Institute of the Bible, which was designed for the training of lay workers in the African-American community. She funded this institute with her teaching salary from John Muir High School in Pasadena, CA. She earned her Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary and was working on her doctoral Thesis for Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission when she died suddenly in 2000 at the age of 48.

Her doctoral thesis was titled “The African American in Christian Missionary Movement”. Just prior to her unexpected death, Marilyn had written a call-to-action article where you will find these words:

“Just look at an African-American church today and you can see testimony to our new era: richly decorated, air conditioned sanctuaries with carpeted floors are now quite common. Many drive to church in the latest model cars. Today, instead of working the tables at restaurants, many African Americans own them. God has blessed us. Now it is time for the African American to bless the world in evangelization efforts. In the past many African Americans cried because they could not become involved in missionary work. But now the doors are wide open and we are without excuse.”

Marilyn Lewis

I do not have  a picture of Marilyn – if anyone reading this has one I would appreciate it.

Click Here to Find Out How to Serve for a Lifetime!

John Marrant – Nova Scotia, Massachusetts and London; served from 1769 to 1791

John Marrant, was born June 15, 1755 in New York City. He converted to Christianity at 13 and his family did not agree with his new religion, so he left home – wandering to find a place and was rescued by a Native American hunter. The tribe sentenced him to die, but his prayers and sermons reached their hearts and they spared his life. He lived among the Native Americans many converted. He was only 14 years old when he began this ministry.

In 1782 Marrant started training as a Methodist minister, and was ordained in 1785. He was sent to Nova Scotia to minister to African-Americans who fled to the north. Marrant started a church in the free black town of Birch Town (which Native Americans also attended) with the purpose of igniting a fire among Blacks to walk in their divine destiny and authority. Marrant preached this message consistently during his three years in Nova Scotia.  When Marrant left Nova Scotia he moved to Boston and became chaplain of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons (African Masonic Lodge), one of the first institutions in Massachusetts to call for the abolition of slavery. Due to this group’s work, Boston abolished the slave trade in 1788.

In 1789 while in Boston, Marrant preached one of his few sermons that has been preserved on the equality of all men before God. His stay in Boston and his preaching on the dignity of all men infuriated some people and Marrant lived amidst death threats and mobs.  He travel to London in 1790 and died in 1791 at the age of only thirty-six.

Marrant authored three books. They were often transcribed by white writers and resold with no financial benefit to Marrant.

  1. A Narrative of the Lord’s Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant, A Black, 1785. (a popular biographical memoir that printed 17 editions)
  2. A Sermon Preached on the 24th Day of June 1789…at the Request of the Right Worshipful the Grand Master Prince Hall, and the Rest of the Brethren of the African Lodge of the Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons in Boston, 1789. (noting the equality of men before God)
  3. A Journal of the Rev. John Marrant, from August the 18th, 1785, to the 16th of March, 1790.

He died April 15, 1791 in London.

“So we see here the greatest enemies of Christ’s church frequently make a great profession, and have a name or an office in the church, when at the same time are destitute of the vital power of true godliness; they live by a name themselves, and they want a great many names to be set down in their society books to make a fair shew; but they care nothing about real religion; from such religion as this, good Lord deliver us.” John Marrant

Click Here to Find Out how to Serve for a Lifetime!