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“Order & Accountability Are Prerequisites for Peace”

“We’ll never live in peace as long as disorder, disobedience, and lack of accountability take up valuable real estate in our lives.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did 2 Chronicles 19:5-10 – (5) He appointed judges throughout the nation in all the fortified towns, (6) and he said to them, “Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment. Remember that you do not judge to please people but to please the Lord. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. (7) Fear the Lord and judge with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.” (8) In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests and clan leaders in Israel to serve as judges for cases involving the Lord’s regulations and for civil disputes. (9) These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart. (10) Whenever a case comes to you from fellow citizens in an outlying town, whether a murder case or some other violation of God’s laws, commands, decrees, or regulations, you must warn them not to sin against the Lord, so that he will not be angry with you and them. Do this and you will not be guilty.

“For us to rest with inner peace, we’ve got to keep things in order and hold ourselves accountable for the decisions we make. Saturday I engaged in a powerful Men’s Fellowship, led by Minister Kemal Robinson, who focused on ‘order’ with an emphasis on 1 Corinthians 14:33. That powerful dialog continued to resonate into this morning leading me to 2 Corinthians 19:5-10 and confirming that accountability and order are prerequisites to living in peace. Just as Jehoshaphat returned to his house in peace and established order and accountability, we need to return and/or sustain peace in our lives! Today let’s follow the model of order and accountability to regain or sustain peace in our lives. Let’s send disorder an eviction notice. Let’s quit playing the blame game and start making ourselves accountable for our decisions. We’ve got to control what’s under our control and we control the priority of things in lives and our accountability for the decisions we make and the actions we take. I believe that when we prioritize to serve God first with our whole heart and own up to our decisions and to our actions we’ll experience not only prosperity in our soul but an increase in our joy and peace.” – #ToddCPittman

“Alcohol Is a Creepy Controller”

“Whether its too much to eat, drink, or smoke we’ve got to control what’s under our control before we lose control.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did Proverbs 20:1 – (20) Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.

“Whenever we need a dose of straight to the point knowledge, all we have to do is turn to the metonymical wisdom in Proverbs 20, starting with the first verse. Now I know most of us have gotten our drink on before – you know what I’m talking about – that substance of choice when we need to take the edge off. Back in the day, my substance of choice was Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, but let’s remind each other not to let our substance of choice blind us from the substance in Proverbs 20:1. Look, whether we eat too much, drink too much, or we’re consumed by greed its all the sin of gluttony. So let’s not let those sins creep up and take control. We prevent the sin from controlling by PRACTICING control. We regain control from the sin by TAKING control. Either way, the key is to relate the sin to our relationship with God. Understand that whatever the sin – be it overindulgence of alcohol, food, drugs, whatever – we’ve got to know that it’s not just about our will power, but about how we view God and His work in our lives. Believe me, when we exercise gratefulness, gratitude covers many sins.” – #ToddCPittman

“More Gets Done Through Fellowship”

“There is no doubt working together in fellowship lightens the load.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did Exodus 18:13-26

“This morning I was so glad I listened to those Angels encouraging me to open my Bibles instead of the devil’s soldiers screaming at me this morning to leave them in my bag, stick to the growing demands of my J-O-B, and open up my laptop. You see, we’ve got to be careful to not get caught up in putting our earthly work before our spirtual studies. The scriptures in Exodus 18:13-26 was a good reminder this morning that we need to be careful not to take on too much. When Moses was trying to cater to as many people of Isreal as he could, his father-in-law Jethro stepped in and gave him some good advice to avoid burnout. In fact, he gave him a job description which communicated to build a team, teach that team, and lead by example. We too can start to lighten our day to day pressures if we begin to strengthen the bond between our family and the people around us, share our wisdom and experience with those who can benefit from our testimony, and most importantly set an example of walking our path that can serve as a model for others on their own destiny walk. To get this job here on earth done, let’s work with in harmony not discord.” – #ToddCPittman

“Is it Tough Love or Godly Guidance?”

“The key to difficulties and discipline is how we receive and react in the follow-up.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did Deuteronomy 8:5 (NLT) – (5) Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good.

“For those of us who are parents we have been both the recipient and provider of tough love. When I read from Deuteronomy 8 this morning it was in 8:5 that had me thinking if the discipline to our children back in the day was tough love or Godly guidance. But when I read Webster’s definition of tough love and studied the biblical direction Moses gave his people before letting them move on, I found biblical confirmation that we can’t get soft on keeping our children on the right path, and I don’t care how old they are. Yep, I Said It! All of the discipline and restrictions we direct to our children are not done out of rage or fury, but in love! But hold on now, yes, these are times of Godly guidance but just as we expect our children to patiently endure times of discipline, WE TOO must patiently endure those times when our Father chastises us for our own good. Let’s remember that any difficulty that comes our way is appointed, sent, directed, and overruled by God for his own glory and our good!” – #ToddCPittman

“When It Comes to Our Beautiful Youth, It’s Never Too Late”

“We’ve got to believe, value, practice perseverance, and hold onto hope when it comes to your youth.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did 1 Kings 18:12 (NLT) – (12) But as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you away to who knows where. When Ahab comes and cannot find you, he will kill me. Yet I have been a true servant of the Lord all my life.

“This morning when I read from 1 Kings it was in the scriptures in 1 Kings 18 that I thought about my youngest daughter’s continued journey in worship. I was reminded of something that was not so present in my youth, but as my wife and I were discussing yesterday – it’s about us today ensuring our generation of tomorrow learn more and have a greater increase than us. It is important for us to distill in our youth the importance of worshiping God. Youthful temptations are ever so present – and man did I fail the test plenty of times back in the day! But the key is to set our youth up with armor that guards them against the many temptations and provides strength to avoid transgressions. In other words, our youth need to have a good start. Yes, I am sure we have all done our fair share of dirt, but let’s be sure to equip the next generation with the guidance, tools, and resources that will enable them to quickly get back on course when they have lost direction. We can’t let our youth be tricked into believing it is ever too early to follow God’s direction because before you know it they will say to themselves, it’s now too late. Our youth should know how amazing God’s grace is when we turn to Him for forgiveness. Let’s share with them there is no time nor situation when it is too late to lean on the Lord with the assurance that He will abundantly pardon.” – #ToddCPittman

“False Accusations Might Rise, but They Always Fall”

“We’ve got to keep living and doing what’s right, regardless of any nonsense the enemy uses as a roadblock.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did Zechariah 3:1-2 – (3) Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. (2) And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.”

“We’ve all been falsely accused of something in our lives. The root of those accusations could have been from someone not knowing the whole story or even a purposeful campaign to cause chaos, destroy our marriage, wreck our friendships, or even lose our jobs. If you are like me things might be peaceful today, but there have been folks in our past that have been the root of serious chaos in our lives. Regardless of the root, we need to remember that we can’t waste valuable time or lose goal setting focus batteling a defense that will eventually come to light. This morning when I was reading from The Book of Zechariah it’s in verses 3:1-2 that serves as a reminder to us that there will always be folks that seek to bring havoc in our lives and when we are working to keep in the presence of the Lord the devil and his soldiers work overtime. But we should know that God will allow them to cause problems that might arise for a minute but we’ve got to remember He is in control. We fight FROM a place of victory and not FOR victory, so let’s not let false accusations or defiant actions from folks have us doubting our skillsets, infiltrate our relationships, or even put us in defense mode. Instead, let’s just remember that we serve an omniscient God who knows the devil’s games and since He is always present in our times of trouble, know that regardless of our past all tribulations will fall for we have been plucked from the fire from our greatest advocate of all!” – #ToddCPittman

“We Have a Moral Responsibility”

“Justice, humanity, and sound policy. We better work on repairing our foundation before it can’t be put back together!” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did Exodus 22:21 (NLT) – You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

“Man oh man, we’ve got to get it together. As individuals, we collectively make up a family called God’s children. I could be wrong but I believe the Father of our family has an expectation of us to care for each other. I mean, after all, there are two great commandments that the others are founded on and that is to love God with all our heart and love others as we love ourself. But there’s no doubt in my mind it seems we’ve slipped off that foundation. Here it is 2020 and in this beautiful nation called the United States of America, we are still not embracing the reality that if we live here we live in a country that was built up over time by foreigners, slaves, immigrants, refugees, and other strangers to a land that was once solely occupied by indigenous Americans. Man, we’ve got to strengthen our foundation because the oppression, the mistreatment, and the lack of humanity for those not born in the United States is beyond living with a lack of focus, it is now living lost in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Let’s think back to the biblical command that foreigners were not only to be tolerated but to be received with full protection. Now think about all the folk suffering right now and don’t know where their next meal is coming from and today we start to consider a proposal – the HEALS Act – that will decrease the support of families in need by 67% but turn around and allocate $1.75 Billion – BILLION – to build a new FBI building. That my family is an example of an eroding foundation when it comes to the prioritization of our moral responsibilities.” – #ToddCPittman

“How Deep Are Our Roots?”

“We’re either well-grounded – I’m talking about deeply rooted – or we’re hanging on to life’s day-to-day rollercoaster and hoping we don’t lose grip.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Proverbs 12:3 Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.

“When everyday things get to me I have to check myself because that means the soil is getting thin, the water is drying up, and my roots need some spiritual nourishment! And when it comes to a guide of practical tips for everyday living, what better source to tap into than the Book of Proverbs and the pen of King Solomon. We have to be mindful that little things can rain down on us until we are so saturated that we don’t have enough strength to hold our ground. But, My God! – it is when we are spiritually grounded and when our lives are deeply rooted in God’s Word that keeps us standing strong. We need to ask ourselves: Are we deeply rooted in His Word to weather the storm or will the storm weaken us because we are only strapped to the outside surface of the natural? We’ve got to build the wisdom to weather the storm. Whether it is an accumulation of little things that keep coming at us and saturating our foundation or it’s those bigger things like bad news from Doc, the job loss, the infidelity . . . it doesn’t matter it’s all a storm! But how deep our roots are impacts how upset we act, how offended we are, and how discouraged we get. Look, the wind is gonna blow mess our way and we’ve got to strengthen our roots daily so that no matter how strong the winds are, at the end of the day we’ll still be standing. Let’s keep our roots of faith deep in the Lord, ask Him to continue to work on us, and give thanks that it is through God’s might that WE WILL weather the storm!” – #ToddCPittman

“Are We Worshiping the Creator or the Creations?”

“Today there is more energy spent on protecting and removing creations than there is on strengthening our relationship with the Creator.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Deuteronomy 6:4 (NLT) – “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.”

“I don’t know about you, but sometimes reminders can be irritating. But the wise person will rationalize and overlook that irritation to receive those reminders as a blessing that helps us to stay on path. My, my, my – I can’t even count how many times I had to prove how foolish I was before that rationalization kicked in! Sometimes we all need to receive reminders so as not to get caught up in the nonsense of the natural. Too many of us spend too much time rebelling against each other in defense of what is the opposite of worship, trust, and being a servant to the Lord. I know I should – and I hope others will join me too – focus less on what is created through divisive news feeds and subtle words, social media posts, and speeches of hate. This weekend I heard and read that segments of our population in the U.S. need to learn our history so it’s not repeated. How about this . . . We all need to remind each other of the biblical history and laws that are rebelled today by so many and is, in part, one of the reasons why our society is in the state it is. Here it is 2020 and we need the same reminder that Moses provided to the Israelites almost 3,500 years ago! You see, back in the day all of the folks that were handed down God’s laws on Mount Sinai had gone home so 40 years later Moses needed to remind a new generation of folk about the history of rebellion against the Lord and His laws. Even after the judgments in Eden, an overwhelming flood, and the Tower of Babel some of us are still comfortable following those who want to keep us living in division, corruption, and a system of racism along with a one-way ticket to the island of rebellion. Let’s remind each other that in this life there is not only one language that is spoken, melanin does not produce only one skin color, and there is no one genetic make-up that is superior over others. BUT, let’s not forget to also remind each other that whether White, Black, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic or whether you prefer Abba, the Most High, El-Shaddai, Yahweh, Jehovah, or Elohim – it all comes back ONE thing and that is we are ONE family of children under ONE God, ONE Lord so let us stop acting like we are without a Father who loves us.” – #ToddCPittman

“The Term ‘Stay Woke’ Is Nothing New”

“The Apostle Peter was on point. When being persecuted, as children of God, we have to remain clear-minded and look for our enemy the devil who seeks to destroy us. We resist evilness by focusing on God and staying firm in our faith with trust and belief in His promises.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did 1 Peter 5:9 (NLT) – “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.”

“This morning I kept coming back to 1 Peter 5:9. This scripture is preceded by one of my favorite scriptures, 1 Peter 5:8. You see for me, 5:8 is a part of an everyday strategy to win internal and external battles. In today’s environment, we frequently hear that we have to “stay woke.” This concept – this term – is nothing new. Most folks will date this African-American vernacular back to the 1940s when J. Saunders Redding used the term in the first volume of the Negro Digest in his article about labor unions. Others might associate the term with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution” commencement address in 1965. Regardless, the reality is that the message to stay woke has been communicated since approximately AD 65 when the Apostle Peter urged folks to be sober-minded and stay alert because the enemy was on the prowl. Associated with Peter’s message to stay woke was also the message to fight back. Surprisingly, Peter’s message to fight back contradicted his repeated messages to submit to those in authority and to those in control. But you see when it came to dealing with the devil, Peter commanded the opposite. Peter’s communication was not to submit, but to fight! This same message that applied as the early church was growing and the Roman Empire began persecuting Christians, applies to those that are being persecuted today. We can’t let the chaos of the world undermine our trust in the God of heaven. We’ve got to be accountable to each other through the reminder that no authority that seeks to divide, no disease that seeks to kill, nor any misperception of superiority will weaken our dependence on the Father who is strong to meet our need and who loves us. So, if we want to know how to ‘stay woke’ the answer is simple – We stand strong in our faith!” – #ToddCPittman