Your Heart: Can You Find It?

Matthew 6:21-Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. 

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

If my heart was buried 10,000 leagues under the sea, could a diver find it? If my heart was covered by the multiple layers of an avalanche, could the snow patrol find it? If my heart became shipwrecked on a desert island, only to be washed over by the tide, could excavators find it? For if they cannot locate the origin of my heart’s whereabouts, so shall it be lost forever.

 

Hence, where is your heart? Is it lost beneath the rubble this world seeks to heap on your body? Is it too unbearable to deal with the cravings of your inhibitions? Is the glint and glimmer of the watch, car, or diamonds robbing your sensibility? Thus, may we look to store our treasure within a place that is eternal, to which no man/woman could steal from nor could rust or deterioration destroy. For if my treasures are stored within heaven, then my eyes are focused on HIM and there the desires of my heart shall be. Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.

Winfrey and Angelou: Exchanging Truth for a Lie

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

A poet who might not have known it: there is only ONE way to God.  Unrealistic? Implausible? Yet true.

Today, like many people, I viewed the cable-televised memorial service held for the late author, poet, orator and multi-talented, Dr. Maya Angelou. Her nearly three-hour service held at Wake Forest University’s Wait Chapel, aired in part on CNN and uninterrupted on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Interesting speeches were given, and songs sung. Following the service, OWN aired a Super Soul Sunday “Soul to Soul” interview Oprah had previously with Dr. Angelou. While I admire the writings and exquisite delivery of words whether written or spoken by Dr. Angelou, it was in this interview clip where a heaviness weighed in my gut. The heaviness drove the writing for today’s necessary late-day posting. This post is not to disparage Dr. Angelou or her memory, but to dispel a deception widely accepted and believed, and leading many astray.

During the interview, Oprah asked intently of her longtime mentor and “mother,” “Dr. Angelou, what is your definition of God?” Dr. Angelou replied, “All.” She said, “God is ‘all’ in one word.” (Actually, He’s the Great I AM).  Then Oprah asked, “Is there many ways to get to him?” Dr. Angelou said, “Yes, all roads lead to God.” Oprah then followed up with more conversation that lead her to say,”There’s not just one gate. There are as many gates to God as there are people.”

At Voices Against the Grain, our mission and objective is to provide clarity where there is confusion; to dispel deception by presenting truth, and to instruct truth in love. We would not be thorough in our ministry/service to you by not presenting God’s truth on the topic. The author and perfecter of our faith said it many times, many ways while some have chosen to twist it to appease those intent on finding any other way there but through Christ Jesus. Here it is again for everyone’s review:

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

“Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” (1 John 2:23)

Given the gravitas and high regard earned by Dr. Angelou, it’s no surprise how one could support her perspective. We live in a big and diversified world.  Yes—God can meet us in different places. Yet, God’s Word tells us how we get to Him.

God is not a joke or a play thing.  He is GOD Almighty. In a world that would rather exchange the truth of God for a lie, I pray that He lovingly and mercifully remove the veil from blinded eyes and move hearts to draw near to Him. Only in relationship with Christ Jesus will truth be revealed and clarity restored.

“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” (Colossians 2:8, New Living Translation)

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19)

 

 

Day and Night

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command-be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:6-9 (New Living Translation)

This passage of scripture reminds us of a time in the past where the nation of Israel should have been afraid. For their leader, a godly man named Moses, just passed away. Now who would lead the people into the Promised Land? The Lord gave that special charge to Joshua and God assured Joshua that just as he was with Moses so he would be with him. –Joshua 1:2-5. Yet, this was a conditional promise. For Joshua had to study the book of instruction, meditate on it day and night, and obey what was written in it. Only then would he and the Israelites prosper and succeed in everything they did. At that time, their book of instruction is what our Bible is today.  Although, the Bible was written thousands of years ago, its content is still applicable to us today and was written for us.

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” –2 Timothy 3:16-17. The Word of God (Bible) teaches us His will and purpose for our lives. It is the very mind of God on paper that was imparted to us and for our benefit. He speaks to us through it. Not only can the word give us direction but it also encourages us and gives us courage to face a world and its many contradictory belief systems on how to truly live a successful godly life. The psalmist knew this very well when he said, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”-Psalm 119:105

Truth is, although it may look like many people have the appearance of success and seem to get along without reading and absorbing the Bible, whatever one acquires outside of God’s will eventually turns to ashes. “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”-James 1:22. If you are reading this today and forget everything tomorrow, remember this, OBEDIENCE ALWAYS BRINGS BLESSINGS.

Friend, I encourage you today to stay in the Word of God each day and each night. But don’t do it because God commanded it although we should. Do it because he loves you and you love him. For Jesus said “if you love me, obey my commandments”-John 14:15. God wants the BEST for you friend and he wants to show you all that he has for you. Yes! He is faithful and will keep his promises. I am a witness. Just as he was with those who came before us so he will be with us. Indeed, “No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced.” –Psalm 25:3

-Jason M. Alexandre

About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born on November 29, 1989 in Brooklyn, New York. However, at two years old he and his family moved to Philadelphia, PA. Later, Jason moved to Limerick, PA where he now resides. Jason is currently working toward obtaining his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the great commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the gospel to be spread from nation to nation. On a yearly basis, Jason primarily goes to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year Haiti Christianity visits different cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothes, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly evangelization takes place. Jason is currently their public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to be spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively.

Don’t Exchange a Forever God for Fleeting Fame

Job 8:13-The same happens to all who forget God. The hopes of the godless evaporate. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

When we began we had nothing. When we began we marinated ourselves in hope. A hope that gave way to an attainable dream we deemed to hard to grasp. When the dream fell into our possession we held onto it tightly. We thanked God for the success, but our grip grew stronger. In fact, we placed indents in the dream, due to the fear of it slipping through our fingers. Our God who we praised was now a shadow amongst the limelights. Our friends who believed in us when we had nothing, were now spectators placed on the sidelines. Where did the time go? When did our commitment to truth and humility take a backseat to overall gain? For the transitory life of glitz and glamour lasts only but a while, but the endeavors of the godly last forever. Thus, if we have forgotten this creed, here is our wake up call because “only what we do for CHRIST SHALL LAST.” (Thanks Grandma) Amen

About Herbert G. Bowen, Jr.

Born in King of Prussia, Pa., Herbert G. Bowen Jr., accepted the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of 5. An active member of the Central Church of God in Charlotte, N.C. where he resides, Herbert serves as a youth/discussion group leader, where he has preached and taught Sunday school, as well  as Wednesday night service. In addition, he has preached at Second Baptist Church in Pottstown, Pa., Destiny City Church in Salisbury, N.C.  Herbert is the youngest board member on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Leadership Council, where he serves to lessen the costs of tuition for African American students. Moreover, Herbert serves on the pureHOPE advisory board, where his commitment to “wait until marriage” fits perfectly with PureHope’s mission to bring a Christian solution to an immoral culture.Finally, Herbert through the will of God writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. His devotionals go out to 2,000+ people and continues to grow under the Lord’s watchful eye.  He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He provides business expertise to help others start their businesses.