“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

“Let Him Put Things Back Together”

“If we really want to change our circumstances and lift our spirit, we’ve got to have that deep respect for the Lord and His commandments.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

. . . and so did Psalm 34:18 (NLT) – The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

“When we feel like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders, the historical acrostic 34th psalm of the Book of Psalms serves as a powerful message from David to remove that weight and enable the joy of the Lord and His blessings. Look, we’ve all faced fear, been threatened, lied to, talked about, or even tried to thrive in hostile environments and it all amounts to the same thing – a crushed spirit! But when it feels like everyone has abandoned us, we’ve got to remember that God is always there. God is as close to us as our next prayer! Psalm 34:18 is a good reminder of how close the Lord really is. Throughout the Book of Psalms, we are reminded that we cannot escape His Spirit and we sure can’t flee from His presence. Now, for some folk who are trying to hide and doubt His presence those might not be welcoming reminders. But, for those of us who love Him, those reminders are a wonderful source of comfort! So let’s remember that God loves His children, we can’t pretend He’s not watching, and we’ve got to surrender to His Will and welcome Him in to fix our brokenness.” – #ToddCPittman

“Fixate on the Right Thing”

Yep, I Said It – “Sometimes when it comes to giving God praise it really is a sacrifice. Don’t get caught up in believing in ‘luck.’ We’ve got to give praise to whom all praise is due.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Hebrews 13:15 (KJV) – “By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”

“This morning I took in scripture from Hebrews, a true letter of encouragement. I was reminded this morning that sometimes we allow the demands on our lives to occupy the time that should be spent praising and worshiping God. I’m not talking about opening up our Bibles on Sunday, turning to online Church services, closing our Bibles until the next Sunday, and then check off a box on our ‘Do Good’ list. No sir, what I’m talking about is offering praise when we don’t feel like it, giving thanks when we’re struggling, and worshiping when we feel like we just can’t go on! I’m talking about KEEPING OUR EYES FIXATED ON GOD AT ALL TIMES! Sometimes we’ve got to take our eyes off our problems, relieve our minds from the mess going on around us, and social distance from social media along with all its political and insensitive commentators. The bottom line is we’ve got to lose focus on anything that is not in accordance with His desires. Please realize that the mess we deal with on a day to day is temporary. No matter the political party in office – there’s term limits. No matter what our financial circumstances – God does not condemn people because they are rich, nor does He justify others because they are poor. And no matter what unfair or prejudicial distinctions our neighbors might harbor – they’ve got to leave that mess at the door if they are going to continue to be our neighbors when our work down here is done! #PonderThat!” – #ToddCPittman

“Overwhelmingly Victorious!”

“We better start thinking about what we’re thinking about! Our mind is God’s most powerful gift and has the creativity to shape our reality and influence our life. The path in life we take is only a thought away.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Romans 8:37 (NLT) – (37) “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

“Romans Chapter 8 was a timely read this morning. Given all that is going on today, the scriptures served as a reminder to me of who loves us and whose we are. As tragic and heartbreaking the events of our times are, nothing that is happening today is new. We’ve battled pandemics as far back as the Antonine Plague in 165AD and racism has lived in the United States since the colonial era. And through it all, nothing has been able to separate God’s love for us. Back in the day, the apostle Paul made a list of terrible things that could happen in our lives. His reminder to the Romans is a reminder to us today that we are not immune to violence, hardships, disease, or even worldly threats. It is also a reminder that through all this mess we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. We all know that to conquer means to be victorious over an adversary. Well, let’s not forget that we are still in the midst of a pandemic in addition to our battle with a segment of our brothers and sisters that – to this day – still wear a false perception of superiority. This morning, COVID-19 and systemic racism are still our adversaries. But let’s hold on tight, not lose focus, think like a victor, don’t think like a victim, and let’s allow the Holy Spirit to renovate our mind. We will not only get through these difficulties and achieve victory, but we will be OVERWHELMINGLY victorious!” – #ToddCPittman

“AS AMERICANS, BEFORE WE CAN CHANGE OUR MINDSET, WE FIRST NEED TO CHANGE WHAT WE ARE WEARING” – #ToddCPittman

“We have a choice to let our anger be KNOWN or let it be SHOWN.” – #ToddCPittman

On May 25, 2020, a man named George Floyd was murdered in front of the world. It seems many of us were wearing different lenses that day and saw things differently. What I saw was something that has been going on long before the existence of anyone who is reading this today. What I saw were individuals who had confidence in their arrogance and ignorance of whose children we all are. What I saw was a segment of our society who continues to wear a false perception of superiority. Let’s ask ourselves what we are wearing today? I’m not talking about the shoes on our feet, the label inside our suit jacket, or not even someone else’s monogram on the pocketbooks we carry. No sir, I’m questioning what are we wearing that as protection for our soul? When I read the posts on Instagram, Facebook, Nextdoor, and other sites it is obvious that many of us are walking in the dark without a thing on, I’m talking butt naked with our souls exposed for the enemy to use at will. Like me right now everyone is angry at something, but like I shared yesterday with two brothers I love down in Louisiana, Chief Murphy Paul and Rick Horton, we all have a choice to let our anger be KNOWN or let it be SHOWN. We can choose to let our anger be KNOWN by using our experiences and intellect to position ourselves to decision making positions within the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. We can let our anger be KNOWN by changing out of our bathrobe and into an academic cap & gown or a judge’s robe. We can let our anger be KNOWN by supporting those institutions and organizations that promote spiritual knowledge building and/or peaceful societal change. We can let our anger be KNOWN by PEACEFULLY convening in protest against systemic discrimination and institutionalized racism. We can let our anger be KNOWN by casting our VOTE! But keep in mind that we live by choice and we also have the choice to let our anger be SHOWN. We can let our anger be SHOWN by destroying our neighborhood parks and schools where our children play and receive an education. We can let our anger be SHOWN by looting from our neighborhood shops where we need to buy food and clothing and so many of our brothers and sisters have invested all they have to fulfill their dream of entrepreneurship. We can let our anger be SHOWN by burning down the only community location where so many depend on obtaining their needed medications and pharmaceutical supplies. I am the proud father and grandfather of three adult daughters, one adult son, and three grandchildren. All intelligent, beautiful, African-Americans who represent America’s finest universities and our military, the United States Marine Corps. And although my wife is a beautiful and brilliant Ph.D. Chemist by profession and I have been directly responsible at federal, state, and local levels for more than $100M of reinvestment into our country’s most overlooked communities, to all those who wear the lenses of inequality the beauty of all of our educational and professional contributions to society will continue to be blurred by the color of our skin until each of us take a deep inside look into what is covering our soul. My family has chosen to let our anger be KNOWN both in the natural and spiritually by using all tools and resources available to us to enable us to adequately stand in our spiritual, mental, and physical battle against the tricks of evil. Our strength to stand strong and love others regardless of unjust or prejudicial treatment of others comes from a war chest comprised of truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. We wear the armor of God! Before we can change our mindset to address the racial discrimination many of us face and the views some of us have, we first need to take a moment to be still and change what we are wearing. Whether we need to put on the armor Shiva, Buddha, Allah, or Yahweh we have to protect our soul to protect our minds. Let’s do what needs to be done to protect our minds against the devil’s pursuit to continue to penetrate our thoughts and actions. Let’s protect our minds against thinking all people are alike. All white people are not racists, I can attest for those that have prayed for and continue to pray for equality – but there are those who need to ask themselves What am I wearing? All police officers are not corrupt and prejudice, I can attest for the members of my family who are in law enforcement – but there are those who need to ask themselves What am I wearing? All black men are not thugs and looters, I can attest . . . FOR I AM ABLACK MAN and I wear the Armor of God! – #ToddCPittman

“Boldness Must Accompany Fearlessness”

“If we were never left in the dark, had 24-hr. security, and lived in Fort Knox – Would we be scared? I thought not.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Psalm 27:1 (NLT) – (1) The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

“Sometimes we’ve got to step up our game in not only believing but speaking boldly about our fearlessness! David was a bold man and knew how to do some back in the day holy boasting when it came to the Lord’s protection. When David asked why should he be afraid and why should he tremble, he wasn’t looking for answers – they were rhetorical questions. He was doing what we need to do. He was expressing his confidence in having no fear! It’s like this – when we walk in the dark without light we fear we might trip and fall. When we are faced with a sudden lack of income and community-wide health disparities we fear the inability to make it day by day and terminal illnesses. And when we feel like our problems are hitting us in every direction we fear vulnerability with no one to turn to. Well here’s the deal, stuff is going to happen! Another storm is going to come! And when it does we can shrink and cower, we can curse folk out, we can send invitations to our pity party, or we can be like David and believe with boldness and without fear that our God will continue to light our path through the storm, fight our battles when we are feeling weak, and remain the impenetrable fortress of protection that always wins in the end!” – #ToddCPittman

“If Our Words Were Our Reflection, What Would We See?”

“Our words are a reflection of our life. Just like an artist takes time to create a masterpiece, we need to be slow to speak. Let’s not let our words paint an ugly picture of our life.” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV) – (18) Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

“Pre-COVID-19 my Sundays were often spent attending two separate services at two different churches. One solo and then I would then join my wife at for a second service. In our current shelter-in-place environment, my wife and I have been able to worship together at both services via live stream and this Sunday was no exception. Yesterday both services delivered similar messages reminding us that our thoughts and words can move mountains or build roadblocks. The scriptures remind us that our words have the power to bless or curse. Let’s remember that we are men and women who are defined more by what comes out of our mouth than what goes in. We’ve all heard the saying “Your gonna eat your words.” Well then, when we look at our words are we living off a diet of gossip? Are we cursing out our future? Will things never come to fruition because our fruit bowl is full of mistruths? We have to be mindful that our words can condemn us and negatively impact our future. We can’t speak in selfishness or with a quick response from anger. Come on now, we’ve got to be slow to speak! Why the heck do you think – if we ever break the law – before they make an arrest they will give a disclaimer that we have the right to SHUT THE HECK UP? And then if we end up in a courtroom we’ll be reminded again we have the right to plead the fifth! It’s because we will eat the fruit of our tongue if we aren’t careful, that’s why! So, let’s please be mindful of the words we speak and humble up and know when to ask God to help us simply be silent.” – #ToddCPittman

“When We’re Poor in the Pockets, Let’s Get Rich in His Word”

“When we feel like we’ll never get out of our financial hole, we’ve got to tap into the fund that never loses its value. We’re never broke as long as we have access to God’s Word!” – #ToddCPittman

Yep, I Said It!

…and so did Luke 6:38 (NLT) – (38) Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

“COVID-19 has taken lives and has also brought on financial hardship to many. These are times when we might not see a way to afford basic necessities, let alone pay non-essential bills. One thing we tend to do when we are in a financial bind is to get angry with folks we’ve loaned money to and they haven’t paid us back. This morning Luke 6:38 is a good reminder that when our finances pin us up against the wall, our thoughts contribute to the outcome of our situation. Even though this scripture is not so much about money but about forgiveness, the reality is that it’s really a good source to make our pockets fatter! It’s a reminder of the teachings of Jesus to the fundamental principals of sowing and reaping! We’ve all heard of forgivable loans right? Well, let’s not take things out on those we’ve loaned money to in the past. Oh well, they didn’t pay us back. Hey, we’ve got to bless those who curse us and pray for those who mistreat us. Let’s remember that forgiveness will be given for those who forgive, just as condemnation will be cast on those who criticize and condemn others. When we are in a financial setback, let’s replenish our stash by filling up with His Word instead of filling up with anger and blame.” – #ToddCPittman