“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
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
“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
“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
“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
“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 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
“Don’t rush! We’ve got to be careful who we get with, who we welcome in our circle, our homes, and our hearts. Let’s not fall for those who might cause us to fall.” – #ToddCPittman
Yep, I Said It!
…and so did 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NLT) – (14) “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?”
“This morning my day started listening to one of my favorite gospel songs, “Shake the Devil Off” from the wonderful Sister Dorothy Norwood out of the ATL. Man, that tune was timely as I took in some good stuff from 2 Corinthians this morning. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to shake a few folks off over the years and the scriptures this morning are a good reminder that we’ve got to remember that everyone we meet is not going to line up with the plan and purpose God has for our life. We can’t rush into relationships just because we’re tired of being single and we can’t keep folks around us who don’t put equal value in family, spirituality, and professionalism. Let’s choose carefully those we open up our home to, our hearts to, and those we choose to fellowship with. Think of it like this – What happens when we try to bring together light with darkness? What happens is the darkness picks up and is nowhere to be found because they’re not compatible! And some people are the same way. We’ve got to be careful spending too much of our life around people who don’t share our same values. It’s just like Sister Norwood sings about the devil, “Don’t let him ride, he might want to drive!” – #ToddCPittman
“When things get dark and unstable we need inextinguishable light that will illuminate our path and keep us on stable ground.” – #ToddCPittman
Yep, I Said It!
…and so did Psalm 119:105 (NLT) – (105) Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
“While listening to my music this morning I sang to the lyrics of ‘There’s a storm out, on the ocean and it’s moving this old way. If your soul’s not anchored in Jesus you will surely drift away.’ While reading the scriptures this morning, those powerful words resonated with me and served as a reminder of the solution to whenever life’s troubles have us saying, ‘I’m confused.’ It’s like this – When we can’t see clearly we need a source of light that leads us to what we’re supposed to do and reveals what our expectations are. We need a source of light that isn’t only shining on our good side, but also shows us our imperfections and disobedience. I’m talking about a source that keeps the direction of our destiny walk lit. For me, the best source that brings light to truth and falsehoods, morality and immortality, and lets us see any stumbling blocks in our path is God’s Word! So if we are saying we’re confused and don’t know what to do, we better get to studying God’s Word. And if we are studying and still don’t know what to do we need to step up our exercises called trust and faith. The bottom line is yes, God’s Word is truly the light we need, but it is only good for those whose eyes are opened to Him. Think about it, what good is a flashlight to those who have on a blindfold?” – #ToddCPittman
“We’re blessed with purpose and to fulfill that purpose we’ve got to discover a place of belonging so we don’t grow weak in our faith.” – #ToddCPittman
Yep, I Said It!
…and so did Ephesians 2:22 AMP – (22) In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
“I am sure there have been times when we all have felt that we are falling short of our purpose in life or even if we feel we are fulfilling our purpose we might be in need of new opportunities to strengthen our faith. Whether we are looking to build better circumstances in our life or we are simply looking to build the next steps in our spiritual journey, the scriptures remind us that we can’t build it alone. Let’s not forget that just as salvation is owed to the grace of God, our success in building new circumstances and steps to strengthen our faith is owed entirely to the power of God through the Holy Spirit! Don’t get it? Ok, it’s like this, we have to put on our extrovert hat and accept that we need fellowship and work together to get our house in order and help put us in check when we start heading down a path we know we ain’t got no business going – Yep, I Said it! We need to find a place – a church, a dwelling place – where we can be active. I’m talking about worship, fellowship, community outreach, and opportunities for us all to grow as leaders in His Kingdom. And that can’t be done alone because the church is us, God’s people! As we get closer to quarantines being lifted across the globe, look at it like this . . . Where we choose to dwell is where we are going to discover God’s purpose for our life. With that said, you can dwell with Netflix and the couch if you want to, but I’m out.” – #ToddCPittman