The Guilt of Success

Genesis 24:42-“So today when I came to the spring, I prayed this prayer: ‘O Lord God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission’.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Success, a.k.a. the accomplishment of one’s goals, is a feature of life we all have prayed about. However, when we pray for success, why is the residue of guilt prevalent within our minds? For Eliezer, servant of Abraham wanted to make his master proud by carrying out his wishes to find a wife for Isaac, (Abraham’s son.) Therefore, he solicited the help of God to complete the mission. What have we learned? Well, we see that Eliezer’s motives were kind. We see that his motives were rooted in faith. We see that his want of success was not purely for gain, but for the happiness of others. Thus, what goals do you have for your life? Is it spiritually driven, or is it fueled by the gas of selfishness to keep the motor running? Hence, reach high toward your aspirations and God will bless them when the motives align with His will.

#Godsway

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. 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.
Advertisements

Blueprints for Success

Proverbs 16:3- Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

In life there are many challenges. Each challenge is a reflection of a God-ordained lesson that will derive an experience for your life. These challenges will be the calling card to test your spirit and faith as you proceed through life’s journey. Therefore, when the smooth road turns into unpaved gravel don’t seek to turn around, but continue the path that is in front of you. For those experiences will build your character to stay the course as life throws their abandoned cars, tires, and debris your way to deter you from God’s vision. Thus, we are human. We make mistakes and become discouraged. We seek pity, while groveling in the solitude of our own denial. We revert back to our instincts to seek out a way we believe is correct. We fail, for our vision had more holes than Swiss cheese. It was here that we decided to commit ourselves to God’s will and it was there that we located the keys for success. (#Godsway)

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.

God’s Will For You Is On-Point

Good Day! Be grateful that God doesn’t want to leave you or me the same as we came into this world! What He has planned is better than we could imagine for ourselves. We simply need to be obedient to His will and His way. Sharing with you this devotional from Minister Dracy Jenkins, our brother-in-Christ who writes for web-based Christian think tank, Freedom Squared.  His devotional and their team member writings can be found on FreedomSquared.org.  -Nicole

“Rejoice in knowing that you belong to God and that He is conforming you to the image of His Son. See every event of this day as part of that process. Yield to the Spirit’s prompting, and take heart that God will accomplish His will.” — John MacArthur

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Romans 12:2 NLT Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Point 1:  We are to rejoice because God’s Will for us is good, pleasing and perfect!  Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Point 2: We are to be joyful and thankful in and through all things, because that is His Will for us.

Hebrews 10:10 NLT  For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Point 3: We are to live differently than what the world says is acceptable and politically correct.  Because of Christ, we have been made holy and provided the righteousness of Christ. Which also is God’s Will for us. It is in and through the power of Christ that we’ll no longer have to conform and fit into the world’s decaying morals and values.  We can remain above it because we have been called and empowered to. Hallelujah!

Hebrews 10:36 NLT 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Point 4: Because it is God’s Will to deliver to us everything He promised in His Word, we are to patiently wait and endure the test and trials that come our way.  Our reward for following Christ and surrendering all is already reserved for us.  Its ours and cannot be taken away.  We simply need to remain focused on Christ and all that His life and sacrifice on the cross has made available for us.

Father, we thank you that your Will be done.  Nothing can stop it; nothing can change it.  We are yours and you are ours.  We praise your Holy name today and give thanks for Your Son and Your ever-present Spirit.  Thank you for loving us so.  It’s in Jesus name we pray and praise you, Amen.

-Minister Dracy Jenkins
After God’s Own Heart Ministries, and
FreedomSquared

 

Christ is More Than Enough

Contentment is not by addition but by subtraction: seeking to add a thing will not bring contentment. Instead, subtracting from your desires until you are satisfied only with Christ brings contentment.Jeremiah Burroughs 

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.- Job 36:11 (New Living Translation)

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Minister Dracy Jenkins, Devotional Writer

Isn’t it interesting that all the things we pursue in life don’t seem to totally satisfy us as when we fully seek the Lord’s Will for our lives? We can fill our homes, garages, and lives with a lot of stuff. We can work our days and nights away to increase our bank accounts. However, we usually find ourselves, looking to get the newest or latest things or the bank account just doesn’t seem to have that right amount that will make us feel secure.

We can work daily to physically and mentally make ourselves stronger and better, only to have that doctor’s report steal our comfort, peace and joy.

Having material things, wealth and knowledge aren’t bad pursuits. The problem is when we believe achieving those things will fill the void in our souls that only Christ can.

Only in Christ will life have true meaning. Only in Christ will we have peace and contentment. Only in Christ will our lives have purpose.

We can continue to live life our way or we can surrender and enjoy life, God’s way.

Thank you Heavenly Father that your way for us is the best way. Help us to see this every day and be content in knowing that your plans for us and what you provide for us is exactly what we need. So we praise you and thank you for right now. For in this moment, we are right where you want us and planned for us.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Minister Dracy

After God’s Own Heart Ministries

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

 

Brunch and Strip Clubs

Romans 12:2- “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”  (New Living Translation)

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

While I don’t like it, I’ve come to accept that some people wish I would leave Jesus at home, stored away in a box. Don’t bring Jesus to work, to the dinner conversation, our weekend plans, or other. His name can present a conflict of interest to the world’s ideas, if you know what I mean.

Recently, some of my colleagues were planning an outing that would serve to unite us in fun outside of work projects. They asked ideas for the outing. One colleague suggested a dance club/strip club for our outing. I wondered if I was the only one in the room adverse to the idea of going to a strip club. I’ve never been to a strip club and am not about to start now.  Besides, my dollars spent at the strip club would diminish the fact that these persons on the pole are also “created in the image and likeness of God” (Genesis 1:26), “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and that Jesus died on the cross to free them from the pole.

Interestingly, some of the others supported the idea and one other person would stand with me on the side of values. Steering the conversation’s trajectory, I suggested the idea of going to brunch. While some nodded their heads at my suggestion, you could tell it was like telling a child to write their book report instead of egging the neighbor’s car.   🙂

Why do people want me to change who I am? My character? I’m not a shapeshifter who has one foot in the world when it suits me and others, and then one foot in Christ only when it is appropriate and going to be well-received. The following image (borrowed from Firestarter Ablaze) conveys my thoughts exactly:

Image for Brunch and Strip Club post borrowed by FireStarter Ablaze

 

Enough said. If anyone wants to join me for orange juice, eggs and all the trimmings of brunch, please do!

A Prayer to Stay Strong

Jeremiah 26:14- “As for me, I am in your hands—do with me as you think best.” (New Living Translation)
Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Herbert G. Bowen, VATG Guest Blogger

Father God today we come with open hearts and hands to be led by your purpose. We pray that we seek your will before that of the world. We ask that you equip us with the mental fortitude to stand against the evils that seek to derail us from the path you so illuminated before us. Father, we know right from wrong, clean from unclean, and are made aware of how to live according to your purpose (Romans 8:28). May we realize our limitations and boast all the more proudly about our weaknesses, for it is your power that enables us to complete our everyday tasks (1 Corinthians 12:9). God there is none like you. Thus, may we close with my grandfather’s favorite epithets, which describes God as the lily of the valley, Jehovah Shalom, which means Lord of Peace. In Christ’s name we pray. 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.  At his current age of 24, 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.