Together…

Amos 3:3- Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Together… Together as one body, one nation, and in heart. Together as a unit or a carefully placed cog in a wheel. Together… A picture that is reminiscent of our country watching the U.S. play in the World Cup. A picture that is reminiscent of our country standing up against social injustice and domestic abuse. A picture reminiscent of a united front to push back the terror that is ISIS. Together is the only way a decision can be made. Together is the catalyst for change, to which the impossible becomes possible. For if together becomes only, our country, our church, and our personhood will be derailed, thwarting our mission, only to see it fall deep within the mire of selfishness. Thus, the time is now to stand as one within the confines the world uses to restrict us. For alone we are feeble, but together we stand formidable. So from hand to hand pass that key and watch as God looses us free. 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.

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.

Is God Poking You?

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

A whisper. Gentle nudge.  Poke. Stirring. Glimpses.  Kick. All-consuming gut on fire. Through the years I’ve become more attuned to God’s voice in my life, how He shepherds me in a particular direction. It begins with a whisper, a gentle nudge—perhaps followed by a thought that will make me say, “Hmm.” He’ll then allow me a bit more time to meditate on the thought. Shortly thereafter, I receive glimpses in my spirit. Then instinctively things and situations seem to “click,” signaling me to the next turn even without the luxury of a map to guide me.  With more prayer and quiet time, the direction sharpens and then as if someone rips the gears, I move from 1st to 5th, fueled by an all-consuming-gut-on-fire sense of “need to move now.” I’ve experienced this on several occasions and this time is no different. When God urges my next moves, it is based on my hunger to do more for His Kingdom. That’s what motivates me. My dear friend Hakim Hazim recently reminded me of this verse from Matthew 5:6 which speaks to my situation: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” (New International Version)

All In by Mark Batterson

I recently came into possession of a book that is “on time.” All In, by National Community Church Pastor Mark Batterson of Washington, D.C., suggests an “all or nothing” lifestyle Christians should pursue for God. The glimpses and stirring within increase as I absorb the message page by page. I expect the kick and then the all-consuming-gut-on-fire as God directs my next steps. We’re not to be tepid. We’re either hot or cold in how we use our talents. You may be at a point (like me) where God is preparing you for something but details are still forming. In these moments we may question our ability to rise to the occasion, as it is our desire to represent Him in excellence wherever we go. Then I remind myself, that it’s not about me, it’s about Him. If He brings me to it, then He’s prepared me for it.

A section from Chapter 7 of All In reaffirmed my confidence: “No one can spot potential like Jesus. And that’s because He’s the one who gave it to us in the first place. Potential is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift back to God.”

How is God speaking to you about your next move? Are you silencing the whispers or gentle nudge so you can stay comfortable? Are you using your potential to the fullest? Or have you buried your talent in the ground, playing it safe, like the man in this parable? Are doubts and fears hindering you from boldly moving forward? Remember, entering new territory requires us to stretch and experience some discomfort—though we must move beyond the initial discomfort. We must put our faith in action. Why put gas in the car if you’re not going to drive it? Trust that if He’s directing you, He’s already prepared you for the journey. Pray for clarity as He moves you forward. Your talents unlock someone else’s blessings.