Protect Your Dreams….

As we move into 2011, I know many of us are making plans to go after our dreams. That being said I wanted to post an inspirational video to get you feeling inspired and positive about tackling your goals in the year ahead. The video is an excerpt from the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness” starring, Will Smith. It is a rousing, true-life story of a single dad who went from living on the streets to owning his own brokerage firm. Set in San Francisco in the early 80’s, the film charts the hard times and eventual comeback of Chris Gardner, a salesman who has custody of his son, but finds providing for the two of them challenging in a increasingly unstable economic climate. He struggles to work his way from an unpaid intern at Dean Witter to something more substantial, even as life continues to offer him setbacks. If you’ve seen the movie, then you already know the entire movie is inspirational, however, this small clip reminds us why we should always protect our dreams, and never believe the naysayers. Whatever you want in life, go after it without hesitation, and don’t let anyone stop you.

The video clip speaks to the power of endurance. While playing basketball, Chris Gardner tells his son to forget basketball and do something useful.  Realizing the mistake of what he said, Chris tells his son, “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me.”  He wants his son to know that a persistent pursuit of your own dreams is the best way to bring a sense of happiness to your life.

In order to achieve your dreams you must have endurance. Endurance is the ability to keep going when things get difficult.  It is the ability to ‘bounce back’ when faced with life’s storms.   People with endurance persist when others pack it in.  It is a key skill that leads to success. You differentiate yourself when you’re tough and committed to whatever you set out to accomplish. In order to maintain endurance you must always examine the people you have in your inner circle. You must recognize the type of people who are in your life. In other words, you need to check your company.

There are four kinds of people: Adders, Subtractors, Multipliers and Dividers. What are you? What about the people you spend time with? What category do your spouse, parents, sisters, brothers or friends belong to? Do they encourage and challenge you or do they drain you? Do they make you a better person, or further damage you? Once you learn who is in your inner circle you must learn to manage them. A happy, healthy relationship is one in which both people are growing. One of the most basic needs in life is relationships, and virtually all blessings come through these relationships. But unfortunately our world also includes Subtractors and Dividers. They are not necessarily enemies or strangers. Often times they are the people who love us. They just don’t realize they fit the mold.  Fortunately in the clip Chris Gardner realized he was a Subtractor. He obviously loves his son and was trying to protect him from heartache and pain, but in actuality his words teaches him to give up on his dreams.

Just as in the video clip, every one of us has been told by someone  that our dreams were unattainable, inappropriate, or just plain silly. Some of us believed those people and gave up on our dreams.  Gardner’s advice to his son is something we all ought to remember, “You got a dream, you got to protect it.  People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you that you can’t do it.  You want something?  Go get it. Period.”

So as you plan for your dreams in 2011 remember to do these three things:

  1. Protect your dreams from those who say you cannot do it (even yourself)
  2. Be prepared for the resistance that will come as you pursue them
  3. Go get it with all your heart and all you have to give

The most important thing that you can take away from this is that nobody has the power to take away your dreams unless you give it to them.  So stop giving your power and your dreams away.  Making your dreams reality is one of the most precious gifts that we are blessed with.  Hold on tight and never let them go…EVER… no matter what it takes. It is the steadfast pursuit of a meaningful dream that sets the table for those moments of great “happy-ness” when they arrive.  A resilient approach to life is something everyone can do.  It just takes a deeper need to succeed. Believing in something is the first step towards making something good happen. It’s the belief that causes you to take the subsequent steps that lead you to become the person you want to be, and realize the success that you’ve always dreamed of!

Have an awesome 2011.  Be inspired!

Click on Image to view Video

Four Kinds Of People: Which One Are You?

Adders:

  • Adders bring positive influence into your life with no strings attached.
  • They are interested in helping you become a well-rounded well-balanced person.
  • Adders always try to help you grow and mature; they always try to help you increase your determination.
  • Adders don’t break their way into your life; you have to let them in.  They come in to add to what is already there.
  • Adders help you to venture outside of your comfort zone.

Subtractors:

  • Subtractors will always take away from you.
  • They leave your life lacking and fragmented; they will suck life out of you.
  • Subtractors work to strip you of your confidence, resources, joy, peace of mind, self-esteem and all God has given you positively.
  • Subtractors can be subtle; they may subtract from you little by little. 

Dividers:

*Most manipulative, deceptive and dangerous 

  • The mission of a Divider is to dismantle your goals, visions and dreams through distractions and false purposes.
  • They will come in and get you off track and onto something else that has nothing to do with what God has called you to do. They will separate you from people who can help you achieve your purpose.
  • Dividers are insecure people who prey on others to make themselves feel better; they are intimated by your competence.
  • They will work overtime to keep the adders and multipliers from getting into your life; Dividers will try to keep you from everybody that can help you.

Multipliers:

  • Multipliers are people who will help you break through when the ceiling gets too hard.
  • They multiply into your life; they increase, double, add to and amplify you.
  • Multipliers are caring and sincere; they have a gift of discovering people’s potential and purpose and work with them to help them to fulfill it; they coach you to success.
  • Multipliers know how to deliver a hard word when necessary.  
  • They tend to stay away from people who seem to have all the answers, an argument for everything and people who always talk about themselves.
  • Multipliers wrap their arms around you when everything looks bleak and black in your life. 
  • They challenge you to see success outside of your comfort zone but also supports you along the way.
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Discover Your Acres of Diamonds: Greatness Is In You!

We have less than three weeks before the New Year. It’s the time of year when you may be thinking about setting goals for 2011. Many people want significant change in their lives. They are tired of doing things the same way and getting the same results, so they’re setting big goals. But during the goal setting exercise many people sell themselves short. They don’t recognize the greatness around them. They look at themselves as ordinary. I will contend that there is greatness in the ordinary, especially at Greater Mount Zion.

I believe God is shifting our church to a new level. He is helping us discover that Greater Mount Zion is full of Acres of Diamonds. He knows our full untapped capabilities as a church. Many people sell themselves short by setting low standards. This causes people to under value what they know. But once people set high standards and are made aware of their value, they go on to be more successful. Once people wake-up to the possibilities of finding opportunities, they start to see them everywhere. So it is incumbent upon us to shift our minds so we can receive what God has for our church. We must learn to open our eyes to the opportunities that are all around us! There is so much greatness that exists inside of us. We just have to discover what diamonds look like in the rough. Our greatest opportunities lie under our own feet. They lie in our intellect, talents and abilities, our education and experience. The challenge is that in the rough, a diamond does not look like a diamond that we are familiar with. It looks like a black, rough piece of rock and must be cut, shaped and polished repeatedly before it glistens like the valuable stone that it is.

To help illuminate the point of this blog post I have included a story called “Acres of Diamonds.”  The central idea of the story is that you don’t have to look elsewhere for opportunity, achievement, or fortune—the resources to achieve all good things are present in one’s own community, in our case in our own church.  Sometimes you have to “dig in your own back-yard to find the greatness that’s buried there!” I hope the story points us as a church body in the right direction to find our “Acres of Diamonds.” One of the valuable lessons taught by this incredible story is one of perspective. How do we see ourselves? The gem stones are the attitudes we develop over time as a result of seeing our world more clearly. When we see ourselves more clearly, we see ourselves as people who are valuable and have limitless potential. There are many opportunities for success today but they are found first and foremost in one’s own conscience.

“Acres of Diamonds”

 The story — a true one — is told of an African farmer who heard tales about other farmers who had made millions by discovering diamond mines. These tales so excited the farmer that he could hardly wait to sell his farm and go prospecting for diamonds himself. He sold the farm and spent the rest of his life wandering the African continent searching unsuccessfully for the gleaming gems that brought such high prices on the markets of the world. Finally, worn out and in a fit of despondency, he threw himself into a river and drowned.

Meanwhile, the man who had bought his farm happened to be crossing the small stream on the property one day, when suddenly there was a bright flash of blue and red light from the stream bottom. He bent down and picked up a stone. It was a good-sized stone, and admiring it, he brought it home and put it on his fireplace mantel as an interesting curiosity.

Several weeks later a visitor picked up the stone, looked closely at it, hefted it in his hand, and nearly fainted. He asked the farmer if he knew what he’d found. When the farmer said, no, that he thought it was a piece of crystal, the visitor told him he had found one of the largest diamonds ever discovered. The farmer had trouble believing that. He told the man that his creek was full of such stones, not all as large as the one on the mantel, but sprinkled generously throughout the creek bottom.

The farm the first farmer had sold, so that he might find a diamond mine, turned out to be one of the most productive diamond mines on the entire African continent. The first farmer had owned free and clear … acres of diamonds. But he had sold them for practically nothing, in order to look for them elsewhere. The moral is clear: If the first farmer had only taken the time to study and prepare himself to learn what diamonds looked like in their rough state, and to thoroughly explore the property he had before looking elsewhere, all of his wildest dreams would have come true.

The thing about this story that has so profoundly affected millions of people is the idea that each of us at this very moment, is standing in the middle of our own acres of diamonds. If we only had the wisdom and patience to intelligently and effectively explore the work in which we’re now engaged, to explore ourselves, we would most likely find the riches we seek, whether they be financial or intangible or both.

DIAMOND MINING

To prospect your own acres of diamonds and unearth the opportunities that exist in your life right now, regularly challenge yourself with some key questions:

  1. How good am I at what I’m presently doing?
  2. Can I call myself a first-class professional at my work, at church, in the community?
  3. Have I established a standard of excellence for myself and for the people who follow me?
  4. How would my work stand up against the work of others with a standard of excellence?
  5. Do I know all I can about what I’m engage in or committed to?
  6. How can I increase my service?
  7. There are rare and very marketable diamonds lurking all around me. Have I been looking for them?
  8. There are better ways to do what I’m presently doing. What are they?
  9. Am I resistant to change? Am I performing my work to same as I have for the past 5 years? How will my work be performed 5 years from now?
  10. Everything in the world is in a state of evolution and improvement. How can I do now what will eventually be done anyway?
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Prop Us Up On Every Leaning Side

I come ta you dis moanin. Lack ma granpa used ta say – AS A EMPTY PITCHER BEEFO A FULL FOUNTAIN – Lawd it is me one of thy faithful servants – has committed ta bow down on bended knee – Lawd wit dis prayer every knee is bowed – Every eye is closed – Mr. Neal would say – PROP US UP, ON EVERY LEANING SIDE. Dis is our prayer we pray. In the blessed name of Jesus. In the blessed name of Jesus, Amen, Amen and Amen. 

The poem “OH LAWD” by the Late: L.G. Thomas

 The phrase “Prop Us Up On Every Leaning Side” is said to have originated in an old southern church. When I researched the story, I found that an old deacon first spoke it during prayer. The old deacon’s response when asked why he always prayed that prayer, was, “Well, sir, you see, it’s like this…I got an old barn out back. It’s been there a long time; it’s withstood a lot of weather; it’s gone through a lot of storms, and it has stood for many years. It is still standing, but one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit, so I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn’t fall.  Then I got to thinking about that and how much I was like that old barn…I’ve been around a long time. I’ve withstood a lot of hard times, and I’m still standing too, but I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop us up on our leaning side, cause I figure a lot of us get to leaning at times.”

The old Deacon’s story speaks directly to the power of prayer. This scene is not uncommon in many churches every Sunday and in many homes every day.  We bow our heads or fall on our knees to ask the “Lawd” for healing, for blessings, for the ability to do His will. We send up prayers for hope, for wisdom, for God’s favor and for the strength to make it through the storms that life sends our way. For a lot of us, many storms have come and gone but because of His grace and mercy, like the old barn, we are still standing. Isn’t it amazing how God kept us through every one? Prayer positions us for deliverance from the storms; it positions us for our successes in life. While there are those who think prayers are sometimes really only to make us feel some sense of control over otherwise sad and hopeless situations, there are others that believe these heartfelt words have the power to, “Prop Us Up On Every Leaning Side.”

Take for example the famous study done by Dr. Randolph Byrd in 1986. Working as a cardiologist in a San Francisco hospital, he divided 400 coronary patients into two groups. Over a period of ten months, group one received daily prayers by a team of people from across the United States. The other group, group two did not receive daily prayers. Each prayer team member was given the first name of a patient they were to pray for. Here are the amazing results of that study.

Compared to group one, group two results were dramatically worst. Group two used five times more antibiotics, 12 patients were place on respirators (group one did not have any); pulmonary edema occurred three times more often.

Dr. Byrd concluded that prayer affected the recovery of group one positively. As Christians, we don’t need a study to show us the power of prayer. All we have to do is rely on the Word of Jesus when He said, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

So as we walk out into the world and face the challenges that life brings, the death of a love one, a tragic accident, high unemployment, foreclosure, recession or depression, we must remember the power of prayer. The scripture in James 4:2 says, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.”  A message from God is contained in those seven short words. Those seven words contain the secret to poverty, the secret to depression and despair, the secret to prosperity in your life. Those seven short words are asking us to pray. 

The Word of God is full of accounts describing the power of prayer in various situations. The power of prayer has overcome enemies (Psalm 6:9-10), conquered death (2 Kings 4:3-36), brought healing (James 5:14-15), and defeated demons (Mark 9:29). God, through prayer, opens eyes, changes hearts and transforms lives. God can “Prop Us Up On Every Leaning Side.”

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“Black” To School: Stepping Up Our Game

 

“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” Hosea 4:6

Tomorrow is the first day of school for our children in Lenoir County. It is the commencement of a new year and a chance for us to forget the mistakes of the past and place our faith in our plans for the future.

A lot of experts use this occasion to speak to our children about goals, the importance of education, the importance of hard work or to remind them of the negative statistics that show how black children are behind other races when it comes to educational success. Sometimes those are necessary conversations, but that‘s not my intention here. My intention is not to send a message to our children, but to ask parents to examine themselves.

In 1933, the great educator and founder of Black History Month, Dr. Carter G. Woodson stated, “If you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions.” Our Pastor, John Flowers Jr. is currently preaching a series on Identity Thief. The series clearly illuminates Dr. Woodson’s point. Pastor Flowers teaches if we allow the enemy to steal our mind then we can’t be the people God wants us to be. We can’t fulfill the purpose God has given us. Pastor Flowers also teaches that we are all responsible for controlling our own mind. The famous reggae singer Bob Marley said it this way when he sang, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.”

Even though Dr. Woodson made his statement over 75 years ago, the issue raised then is just as relevant today not only for African American youth but also for those who strive to teach them, parents.

Pastor Flowers teaches us that we have the power over the enemy; we have the power to tell him to take his hands off our children. The enemy is always attempting to strip our children of their individual identities and for many, a chance to fulfill a burning desire or dream, a dream that can lie dormant because the enemy will not allow them to realize it.

I recently heard a speaker talking about the power of dreams in our lives. He said, on the way to the lecture hall, he passed one of the richest places in the world. He went on to say that the cemetery he passed on the way to the lecture hall was the richest place in the world because of the unfulfilled dreams that are buried there. He said if all of the dreams of the people in the cemetery had been met, then the world would be a much better and richer place.

As I mentioned before, people use the first day of school as an opportunity to speak to our children about many different things, but I would like to take this opportunity to speak to parents. Because it’s not the first grade teacher or high school principal’s primary responsibility to teach our children to trust in the Lord and to free their mind from the enemy. It’s not the first grade teacher or high school principal’s responsibility to teach our children how to live out their dreams. That being said, I must say we should be very appreciative of teachers because they teach our children many different things that some would consider out of their job description. Preventing the enemy from stealing our children’s success is not the job of teachers; it’s the job of parents. As parents we must remember the enemy can manifest himself in many different forms, such as peer pressure, procrastination and TV shows when there is homework to complete. As parents these things are in our job description.

It’s time for a change; it’s time for us to step up our game. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying we are not there for our children, as some statistics would have you to believe. There are many God fearing, loving parents that are there to love, to teach, to discipline and to sacrifice for their children. What I’m saying is no matter where we are; we can always do better. Let’s not become complacent or satisfied. If your child is part of the negative statistic I have good news, tomorrow is a new day.  Tomorrow is a chance to lean on God’s Word for the wisdom to prepare them for success.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

We must recognize that God placed the responsibility of teaching children on parents. As parents we must teach our children first and foremost to live for God. We must teach them the importance of gaining knowledge. We must also teach them how to close any gaps in the knowledge they already have. Some of our children have simply turned away from education. We have allowed a good education to be portrayed as “un-cool.”  As parents we have to defeat this untrue perception. We have to step up our game and get back to basics in the black community.

Getting back to basics by teaching our children that the doctrine of possibility always trumps the doctrine of impossibility.

Getting back to basics by instilling in our children a positive self-image and a greater awareness of the super powers they possess within, but seldom activate.

Getting back to basics by teaching our children that they are more likely to be paid millions for their mind than their muscles.

One of the most important things we have to do as parents is bring our children back to the church. If you look at any cultural icon within the African American community they are directly connected to the church. The church has been the perennial stalwart that’s shaped many of our black leaders. If you look at Aretha Franklin, before she could sing “Respect” she was singing “Precious Lord Take My Hand” in her Daddy’s church. The church is where Maya Angelou that great poet found her poetic muse so she could write poetry to those who discriminated against her. Before Beyonce could sing “Single Ladies” she started singing in her church choir. Denzel Washington was raised in the church. His father was a minister for 60 years. Denzel has been a member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ for about 27 years. It was the church where W.E. B. Dubois found the Holy Spirit so that he could write about the “Souls of Black Folk.” It was also the church where Martin Luther King Jr. found that prophetic vision, to be able to transform the social landscape of America.

So as parents let’s step up our game, let’s get back to basics and bring our children to church. Let’s teach our children to never let anyone stop them. We must teach them that even if the haters can’t see it, they have to see success for themselves. We have to teach them to shake off the negative comments, shake off the defeating spirit. We have to let them know that they have the authority to name and claim their victory. We have to teach them that success manifest itself on the inside long before it is ever visible on the outside. The Bible says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” So let’s teach our children that when the peaks and valleys of life come at them and they are faced with adversity, everything is going to be all right.  They just need to remember the words of that old gospel song my Grand Momma use to sing, “I don’t feel no ways tired. I’ve come to far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy, but I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me.” If we teach our children that God will never leave them or forsake them, then everything is going to be all right. Our children must know, no matter what they are going through, they can’t let the haters prevent them from achieving success in school.

I know I said I wasn’t going to quote statistic but I do have one statistic that is very important for our children. Did you know that a person with an advance degree will earn approximately 5 times more in their lifetime then a person with a high school diploma?  I think it is safe to say we all want the best for our children and grandchildren. So let’s start tomorrow positioning our children for success. Let’s instill in them the importance of knowledge.

I would like to end by paraphrasing one of my favorite authors, Zora Neale Hurston, who wrote the book “There Eyes Were Watching God.” She gave one of the most beautiful images where her main characters Janie and Teacake were lying on the ground looking into the darkness.

The narrator says, “It seems as if they were looking into the darkness, but their eyes were watching God, after the hurricane in the Everglades.”

I submit to you, that some of our children have seen a hurricane, not only a hurricane in the physical sense but an internal hurricane in their spirit, in their family and in their community. I believe it is incumbent upon us as parents to communicate to our children in such a way that they can look into their dark days but their eyes can watch God. By watching God, they can see something greater than themselves.  See the possibility of their lives being transformed. See the seeds of brilliance that God has given them. See the greatness that lies dormant within. If their eyes can look into the darkness, and although the haters cannot see, our children can get a glimpse of their tomorrow even though it is today. That is the power of our role as parents. We have the ability to successfully communicate to our children how to succeed despite the dark days they may experience. We should vow to live our lives to make the next generation better.

What legacy, what history are we leaving our children, our children’s children? When our lives have ended and our children try to learn from us, will we have something worthwhile to pass on? Will we be in the words of John Coltrane, “A Force for Real Good?”

So we all stand in an extremely critical moment. The question is what are we going to do with this great moment? Tomorrow is the first day of school for our children. When God wakes us in the morning, how are we going to step up our game and position our children for success?

Brother Kelvin Williams

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You Can Stand Under My Umbrella

Psalms 121

1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

Recently my wife and I visited my son in Austin, Texas. While on our long grueling drive to Austin, I thought about the goodness of God and how he has watched over my family, my church family and me.

As we all know, when traveling long distances you are constantly looking for the right radio station. While searching for a Gospel radio station, God allowed me to understand his goodness in the words of an R&B song called “Umbrella” by Rihanna. Let me premise my comments by saying by no means am I advocating that we as Christians listen to R&B, but we all know that God can use anything to provide a Word to his people.

God not only speaks to us in Sunday morning worship or Wednesday night bible study. God speaks to us in everyday events. If you don’t believe me just read about Moses. Moses was minding his own business when God spoke to him in a burning bush. In the Old Testament God walked and talked with Adam in Eden. We read that God spoke from the clouds as well as the Ark. He even spoke through a donkey to Balaam. As believers, we must learn to recognize His voice, even in an R&B song. That being said, the purpose of this blog is to help believers recognize and understand God’s voice, for He really does speak to us in many forms daily.

In 1Corinthians 1:21 the scripture says that God uses the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  There is also an axiom that says “The teacher arrives when the student is ready.” If you are ready for a word from God, you will find it, even in the lyrics of an R&B song.  That’s because God can do what he wants, when he wants, wherever he wants. The old saints would say, “He is God all by Himself.” His Word is living, it is a rhema.  So I hope we can agree that God can use the foolishness of R&B to reach the person in need of a Word.  

So getting back to my story, as I was scanning the radio stations for Gospel music, God sent me a Word through the following lyrics by Rihanna:

When the sun shines, we’ll shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be a friend
Took an oath, I’ma stick it out till the end

Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella

In those lyrics I heard God telling me “No matter what…..I got you.”  He is saying, where you are in life is not because of your education, it’s not because of the way you were raised, it’s not because of your job or family.  You are where you are because you are living under my umbrella. You are experiencing the benefits of a Christian life. To put it another way, I have been experiencing God’s favor. Favor means to assist, to be given special advantages and to receive special treatment.  God provides His protection and peace. But let me be clear, protection doesn’t mean that troubles won’t occur. God’s umbrella prevents the storms of life from getting you wet, but it does not prevent the storms. You see brothers and sisters; God wants to make your lives easier. God wants to assist you, to promote you, to give you advantages, to be your umbrella.

 Has somebody been mistreating you recently? Rather than getting angry or trying to pay them back, start saying, “Father, I thank you that your favor is going to cause these people to start treating me well.” I’M UNDER YOUR UMBRELLA.”

If you are struggling financially, say something such as, “Father, I thank you that you’re causing me to be at the right place at the right time. You are bringing wonderful financial opportunities my way.” I’M UNDER YOUR UMBRELLA.”

If you will live with that sort of attitude, before long God’s favor is going to show up and that difficult situation will turn around to your benefit.

 When you are in fear of anything, always remember that God will protect those who love Him and call upon Him.  God is saying to you,

 “You can stand under my umbrella”
“You can stand under my umbrella”

 Kelvin Williams

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Making Relationships Work…God’s Way

To all that missed the marriage seminar on Saturday, August 14th you missed a true blessing from God. It was an incredible opportunity to learn what God’s Word says about marriage. We learned the differences between the way men and women think, what it means to be in a covenant relationship and of course, we learned new ways to kindle the love for our significant other. To top it off, it was great fun with plenty of laughter (Moses Jones was in the house.) 

The presenters, Dr. Sara Stevenson and Rev. Donald Stevenson were excellent. It was obvious they knew what they were talking about but after 40 years of marriage and living for God, I wouldn’t expect anything else. Proverbs 4:7 says,  “wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” I must tell you the presenters imparted wisdom on how to make your marriage work but one of the most beneficial things they shared is how to understand your spouse.

It was a great opportunity for our church and the community to come together to celebrate their places in the framework of the body of Christ. Godly marriages are an inspiration to those who desire to be married, just beginning their marriage journey or have been married for many years.  It is Godly marriages of the church that will be able to teach both natural and spiritual children about the importance of an “until death do us part,” covenant relationship.

Pastor Flowers announced that he will bring the Stevenson’s back to put on this dynamic seminar one more time. We are also planning to bring them to GMZ to speak to our Singles. All I have to say is “don’t miss your blessing.”

The starting point for a successful Christian life should be the home. Couples with children should recognize the impact their relationship has on their children. Those who do not yet have children should learn now how their marriage will either make or break the spiritual life of the children who are yet to come. In order to achieve this seemingly big task, it should begin with the foundation: building a strong marriage God’s Way.

We were informed in the seminar, divorce is at an all-time high. We can take this opportunity to step in and begin the process of building Godly marriages within the church. Strong marriages within the church mean the beginning of strong marriages within neighborhoods, communities, and cities. Godly husbands and wives who take their roles and mission seriously can begin to teach what they have learned and those taught can begin to teach it to others and so it goes.

So when you hear Greater Mount Zion is bringing Dr. Sara Stevenson and Rev. Donald Stevenson to facilitate a marriage or singles seminar, all I have to say is, don’t miss the opportunity to hear how your life can be blessed. Whether you are single or married, by attending, you will position yourself to receive God’s favor.

Brother Kelvin Williams

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Help Wanted

Yesterday Pastor Flowers preached a powerful message about personal responsibility He used scripture from Matthew 7:13-27 to illuminate his message. Help Wanted: God Is Looking for a Manager” is all about managing your life. It’s about building your character in order to reap the benefits that God has in store for you.

Pastor Flowers wasted no time in setting the table and serving the meat of this hard hitting message.  He brought to life the scripture about the wise man who built his house on a rock and the foolish man who built his house on sand. He explained how the wise man chose a proper foundation (doing the will of God) and built an enduring house. The foolish man labored to build a house upon sand (disobedient to God’s word) and his house and labor were lost.

The message is about how your behavior and character defines you as a person, in good times and in bad times. Pastor Flowers explains how you build character and integrity by absorbing yourself into the Word of God.  Sometimes we all have that evil little voice whispering in our ear, “It’ll be OK, just this one time.” But once we cross that line, the next little thing will come along, and then another. Many people have become like the man who build his house on the sand and have come to a place where they accept their limitations rather than grow in God. They have either found excuses for their condition, or become an unwitting contributor to the lameness of someone else. From time to time, everyone needs to be challenged to change. This is the Word that Pastor Flowers delivered. It will take you from the brink of breakdown into what God has for you.

Listen to the full sermon by clicking here: Help Wanted: God is looking for a Manager

Brother Kelvin Williams

 

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How Strong Is God’s Power?

How Strong Is God’s Power?

Praise the Lord from whom all our blessings flow.
On Monday July 26th, something happened that our church family will never forget. Our brother and sister, Donald and Deborah Mills were in a horrific car accident on the corner of Blount Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Both had to be air lifted by East Care to Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. The GMZ members that saw the damage to their vehicle all said, “How could anyone survive?”   

Never doubt God’s Grace & Mercy.
I am proud to report that Donald and Deborah are both fine. They are still in the hospital in Greenville recovering. God is so faithful for it is by His Grace that our brother and sister are alive. They are miracles of the Most High God!  What more can we say…All we have to say is thank you Lord, and may the Lord’s protection continue to be with them.

 Donald and Deborah, your church family loves you and will continue to have you in our prayers. We pray that you will continue to keep your hands in the Master’s hands and that His favor will shine on you, keep you and protect you.

“God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Rom 8:28

Brother Kelvin Williams

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Hello world!

Greater Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church is now online. Please join us at: www.gmzbaptistchurch.net

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