Category Archives: SHALLOW CHRISTIANITY

UNDER THE INFLUENCE

UNDER THE INFLUENCE 2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to god must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’ Hebrews 11:6

 

The other day I heard someone say something that I thought was quite profound, at least thought provoking. It was said that “we are swirling towards eternity at the speed of life!” History is being written every day. Memories are being made, every day. Lessons are being taught and learned, every day. Attitudes are being formed and developed, every day.

As I began to think about this, several questions flooded my mind. First, does God’s Presence influence your life? If so, then howWhat impact has God’s Presence in you made in your circle of influence?

We love to sing the song, “Jesus You’re the center of my joy, all that’s good and perfect comes from You; You’re the Heart of my contentment, Hope for all I do….” But when the music stops and your feet hit the ground, how’s your walk? In other words, does your video authenticate your audio? #ijs!!!

The Bible does not merely ask us to have faith to believe that God does exist. Lucifer and his hord of demons believe that God exists, however they don’t follow Him! As bona fide, Blood-washed, Born-Again Children of The Most High God, our lifestyle should attest to fact that not only do we believe that He exits, but we  also believe that God is who He says He is, that God is with us, that God is for us and that God will perform every promise that He’s sworn by GOD-self towards us! (Ref. Hebrew 11:6)  Hence, if we desire to please The Lord we must walk out our lives under the influence of His Presence, adhering to HIS instructions and exemplifying our beliefs throughout the course of daily living! #Didjaheardat? #SERIOUSLY!!!

Does your character reflect the Presence of God in your life? Does the influence of God’sPresence affect the choices that you make? Does your life style reflect the influence of God’s Presence? Who’s chances of ending up in Heaven have increased because of the impact that you’ve made upon their life? Who’s chances of ending up in Hell increased because you are in their life? Now, since our response and our responsbility carry eternal consequences, may I suggest that you carefully and consciencously ponder the depth of your soul before answering the aforementioned questions? 

We are living epistles (letters) and folk are reading our mail, every day! How is the Presence of God in you influencing your readers? Just a thought! #ijs (Ref. 2 Corinthians 3:1-3)

The Bible says, we are the salt of the earth. I believe that means that we ought to make someone who doesn’t know God, thirsty for a drink of The Living Waters(Ref. Matthew 5:13-14)

As Christians, our greatest desire should be to allow the influence of God’s Presence to be reflected on those around us so much so that it provokes them to envy  and thirst for The God that we worship and  ultimately seek to claim Him as their personal Savior and Lord! 

Looking back, perhaps there where many times when we almost, and unfortunately, even more times where we flat-out missed opportunities to Glorify God! Thanks Be To God!  IT MATTERS NOT WHERE WE START, BUT HOW WE END!  The ground around The Cross of Calvary is level to all!  With each new day, GOD SO GRACIOUSLY GIVES US ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO BEGIN, AGAIN! #WOW! 

As this year slips into eternity past, instead of lingering in the land of pouting and doubting remember that BUT…by God’s Grace!  KEEP IT MOVIN’! SPEND TODAY WISELY! LIVE EACH DAY UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF GOD’S PRESENCE! 

BELOVED, MAY YOU EMBRACE A PRODUCTIVE AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

SELAH! 

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

NON-NEGOTIABLE

NON-NEGOTIABLE2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

 

Who nu? Dictionary.com would have so many different definitions of the word ‘DEBATE’!

So, I’ve decided to add my compilation synopsis to the list. Here goes:

“To engage in formal/informal discussion, argumentation or disputation with another person or group, to deliberate upon, to consider and/or to contend for or over opposing viewpoints, in which the affirmative and negatives side of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers”

Now, ain’t that a mouth-full? No wonder there’s seems to be no end to the perplexity of issues up for debate, huh?

The ancient Grecians were famous for their fascination with prolific debating practices. There’s still open-ending discussions regarding whether the art of Grecian debate played a significant role in developing today’s American society… or not. Apparently, while many antiquities of social traditions are extinct, the debate goes on and on!

One might ascertain that Humanity’s Inalienable Right to freely express his/her own opinions and to make choices regarding issues they presume relevant, sets us above all other creation, or not!

This concept of “either /or” has existed since the Garden of Eden. God allowed Adam to exercise his freedom of choice giving him access to a garden variety of luscious fruit to select from, with the exception of one particular tree; The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Ref. Genesis 2:17) And we all know how that worked out! Huh?

Temptation makes it extremely difficult to resist engaging in some form of debate. Does chocolate taste better than vanilla? Are Marines better equipped than The Navy Seals? Is marriage better than remaining single? Creation vs. Evolution?

Logic leads us to this conclusion. Even though we do have the freedom and power to choose our actions, when it comes to the consequences of our decisions, it’s completely out of our hands. God’s Sovereignty over His Creation is NOT UP FOR DEBATE! Hence, there are some decisions that command intentional consciencous reflection, consultation and evaluation because the aftermath of an erroneous selection is irrevocable!

Unfortunately, this often doesn’t sit well with some. Many a disillusioned soul has taken issue to this kind of ‘authoritative manipulation’ resulting in habitual sinful rebellion. But! God looks down from His Throne and laughs at this foolish obstinacy! (Ref. Psalm 2:4)

The Great Debate continues to infiltrate various sects of society. Hence, Absolutes vs. No Absolutes! Either you are male or female, saved or lost, spiritual or religious, Calvinism vs. Arminianism? Does God exist or not? Is there One God or many? Is Jesus Lord of all or not at all? Apparently, there will always be those who disagree with with our preferences, yet there’s no denying that these tough issues warrant careful deliberation! 

Amazingly,  the Graciousness of a Holy God still allows man the power of choice to either bow now or bow later! #ijs

Beloved, may I submit for your consideration, BEFORE YOU RESPOND, TAKE A MOMENT TO PAUSE AND PONDER! AFTER ALL, THE CONSEQUENCES ARE ETERNAL! IT’S EITHER HEAVEN OR HELL! BELIEVE it or NOTultimately, The Word of God is NON-NEGOTIABLE!  #WOW #Didjaheardat?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

NOT THERE YET!

NOT THERE YET!

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward. Deuteronomy 2:3

 

It’s been a few years ago that Holy Spirit pricked my heart prompting me to ask this question, ‘ARE WE THER YET?’ I’m sure that it caused you to reminisce about the 2005 film starring Nick Persons (Ice Cube) Nia Long and Aleisha Allen!

Sadly, once again many of my fellow kinsmen in Christ find ourselves trapped in this dilemma (whether we’re willing to acknowledge it publicly or even privately)! What am I talking about, NOW? While it gladdens our hearts to acknowledge the tremendous strides that we, as a nation, have taken as it relates to establishing ethnic, gender and social equality in the land of the free, on the other hand, we’re yet haunted by the insidious pink elephant in the room, chanting “We ain’t where we used to be, but we sho ain’t where we ought to be!” Don’ lost half my church, again, huh?

Granted, it’s been the custom of many of our leaders to ascribe to the notion of ‘separation of state and church’, yet, there has been a subtle reformation amongst a few to sneak preach their opposition to those who have, in no uncertain terms, expressed their earnest and impassioned desires to repeal and replace the furtherance of political, legislative, economic, social and religious progressions of the more contemporized inclusive mind-sets of 21st Century millenniums with the more partisan-palatable-self-engrandising traditions of their ancestral culture. Oooh NO SHE DIDN’T! #uknowidid!

Quite honestly, the recent events of the past year and a half,  plainly affirm the vociferous premise, “We ain’t there yet”!  Down thru the years, those of us who have witnessed numerous infractions of the civil and domestic rights, defined by The U.S. Constitution, of every citizen of this nation, have been stupefied, shocked and yes terrified by the attitude and inexpiable restraint of those who consistently choose to ignore the obvious and supplant distractions in an effort to excuse the inexcusable activity that’s been perpetuated upon us DAILY, in live and in living HD coverage!

I must confess, personally,  it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the saved and sane, who sincerely endeavor to obediently follow after the heart of God, to fake stupid and go along just to get along! Some of us actually believed our Grandma and Maya Angelo, “If someone repeatedly shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM!” #IJS!!!

Life has a way of teaching us two of the greatest deterrents to successfully reaching our goals: contentment and indulgence!  Again, I’m not trying to negate the credibility of The Apostle Paul’s revelation “Not that I speak in respect to want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Philippians 4:11) However, I AM simply reverberating the apparent, if we linger here too long, our contentment becomes a comfort zone that potentially diminishes our hope, dreams and drive for reaching better…there! GOD FORBID!

God promised to bring His Chosen people into their good land, flowing with milk and honey! But when they got so comfortable going around Mount Horeb that they were willing to settle for a piece of God’s Promise, this became unacceptable! When do we grow-up into a level of spiritual maturity that exemplifies God’s perspective of righteousness? Not only is partial obedience disobedience, but it also robs Him of the opportunity to fully express His Glory!

Beloved, it’s time out for pointing our fingers at them Israelites and not looking at our own lives to recognize how many times we’ve settled for less than God was offering! Yes, we are not called out to fight as the world, nevertheless, the weapons of our warfare are still mighty thru God! (Ref. 2 Chronicles 7:14) BUT! When we get thru praying that effectual fervent prayer of the righteous that availeth much, we get up and vote, show up at the city council, town hall, school board, PTA and home-owners association meetings!

I dare U shout on dat?

Please hear my heart, Precious One, God said, “It’s time to head northward! Shake the dust of compromise off your feet and getta steppin—FORWARD”!

Let’s lift up our heads! Remember, “…the race is not given to the swift neither to the strong, But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”Matthew 24:13!

Nawh, we might not be there yet, BUT…GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN US THAN HE THAT’S IN THIS WORLD! Let the Spirit of Caleb rise up in you, exhale the spirit of doubt and fear and trust GOD 2 PREVAIL THRU UR FAITH AND FEET!

ARE YOU ‘THERE’ YET? SERIOUSLY?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

This is Ann Caffee and I pledge my allegiance to The Gospel!

 

CHAINED OR CHANGED???

chained-or-changed-2

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded, “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment? It’s your life that must change, not your skin. And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as ‘father.’ Being a child of Abraham is neither here nor there—children of Abraham are a dime a dozen. God can make children from stones if he wants. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire. Luke 3:7-9

 

Ever asked someone, “Are you saved?” to which they responded, ‘matter-of-factly’,“uuuhhh…Mama told me I been baptized!” or “I belong to First Bed-Rock of The Divine Pentecostal Kingdom Fellowship” Don’t shout me down, now yall….jus wondering?

Seems to be a lot of that going around, huh? We’re living in a world where pretty much everybody’s ‘saved’! I mean, just look at the explosion of ‘Mega Ministries’, that have popped up in this country alone, right? Kinda makes you wonder why Jesus hasn’t returned! Well, may I submit for your consideration, while church attendance is a critical component of our spiritual development,church membership doesn’t make you a Christian any more than living in a garage makes you a car!

I understand how one might be confused, given the ‘mob mentality’ of the more contemporary theological persuasions of The New Millennium Era, that more means better. This is nothing new! According to our scripture text, it’s been going on since the days of John The Baptist! One might wonder, given the number of churches and folk who pour into the buildings any Sunday morning, why we don’t see much change as individuals, in our families, communities,even as a nation?

Simply put, too many folk try to cut across the field, by-pass the cross and creep into the Kingdom through an imaginary backdoor!

That’s why some imposters casually enter the church house,‘carrying their chains, tuck them quietly under the plush pews, sanng, shout, dance up and down the aisle, sit like a bump on a log while the sermon is presented, Hi-5 your neighbor 10x, turn around 7x, repeat the benediction, greet your neighbor, pick up your chains and get back out there and do what u gotta do’!

Beloved! Jesus came not to set up another system of legalistic religious rituals, but to restore the personal intimate relationship, severed by our First Parents, Adam and Eve’s rebellion against the righteous commands of The True and Living God! And when He ascended back to The Throne Room on High, Father God sent The Holy Spirit to live inside of anyone who makes a conscious decision to humble themselves, repent and put their personal faith in The Only Saving Grace of Jesus Christ! The indwelling Presence of The Spirit of Jesus, empowers us to live a holy, separated, consecrated life of triumphant deliverance in the midst of this dark and depraved world! Didjaheardat?

“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose,” Philippians 2:13

Sadly, despite the finished work of the Cross, Satan has yet been able to keep too many of God’s precious ones, illegally chained to stuff that Jesus has already secured their glorious freedom from!But that’s why we’re here, right? To shine out for God by spreading the Good News,“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

CHAINED? OR CHANGED? #WOW

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

THE GOD IN ME!

THE GOD IN ME

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know Him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17

 

Looking back through the lenses of 21st Century influence, we see that since the birth of The New Testament Church it has been plagued with  external and  interal controversy!  While most Biblical scholars agree that the Church was born on The Day of Pentecost, generally that’s where the consensus begins and ends.

According to The Scriptures, The Risen Savior showed Himself to His disciples, who were still reeling from the horrific events that had just taken place, and instructed them “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit”. Acts 1:4-5

God knew how much the disciples had come to rely upon Jesus’s Presence during the past 3 ½ years He’d walked with them, teaching, guiding and protecting them but now at Christ’s Ascension, would fall victim to their fears, confusion and discouragement!  Although, Jesus had on numerous occasions assured them that He would not leave them without Divine Assistance, but promised to send them another Comforter in the person of Holy Spirit to empower them to complete their assignment to spread The Message of Christ throughout the whole world–this revelation seems to have escaped them in the ensuing threat of impending persecution!

What is this PROMISE?  The Holy Spirit is known as the third person of The Triune God! While The Holy Spirit functions differently from God The Father and God The Son, He is reverenced as equal in Holiness in The God-Head!

Beloved, as a believer in The Saving Grace of Lord Jesus, God has given us the very same Promise. The moment we make a sincere profession of faith, The Holy Spirit moves into our hearts and fills us with hope, conviction and confidence that we are now a part of God’s Family, a Royal-Priesthood, a Holy Nation! (Ref. 1 Peter 2:9)

However, this is only the beginning! Along with this regeneration (the new birth) comes a challenge and a charge! As a born-again-blood-washed Child of The Kingdom, we are called to be ambassadors of our King to a lost and dying world! Therefore, we also need to be filled and empowered with the enabling Grace and Authority of the indwelling Spirit of Jesus in order to do The Father’s Will and glorify Him in the earth!

Just as the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples in the Upper Room, God wants each of us to experience this same anointing! (Ref. 2:1-4) Unfortunately, NOT EVERYONE accepts this spectacular gift that God promised to as many who would receive Him! Yet, this does not preclude any one from partaking of the fullfilment of The Promise! (Ref. Mark 7:13)

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…” Acts 2:17 

While it’s not my intention to persuade any away from their affirmation, as Martin Luther, “I cannot in good consciousience deny my own personal experience!” Therefore, I can stand firmly fixed in humily with adoration proclaiming, ‘There is absolutely no doubt in my heart nor mind, that any good that I do, any wisdom that I have, any knowledge that I’ve gained, any challenge that I’ve overcome over these past 30 years of walking in Christ, is a direct result of ‘The God in me’!

There is no way for mere man to live the HOLY abundant life as prescribed in The Word without the counsel, guidance, and help  of the indwelling navigation of Holy Spirit! And isn’t that what God expects of all of us? Revolutionary, huh?

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Colossians 1:27)

WOW!  IF YOU SUPPLY THE SACRIFICE, HE SUPPLIES THE FIRE! GOD IN US!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

U AIN’T RIGHT!

U  AIN'T RIGHT 2

 

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteous that the Lord your God is giving you this good land, for you are a stiff-necked people. Deuteronomy 9:6

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Philippians 3:9-10
 

Are you proud of yourself! Come on now; how many of us have, consciously or unconsciously, given ourselves a slight pat on the back or an inward nod because we did something better or knew more about something  that no one else in our sphere of influence knew?  Exactly!  Of course I’m not suggesting that we venture off to the other end of the spectrum and fall into self-debasement or self-loathing.  I’m simply noting how easily the line between arrogance and self esteem can become blurred!
 
Taking pride in our successful accomplishments has its place in our lives.  However when we over-compensate ourselves for what we’ve managed to attain to the point that we levitate through life as if our ‘performance’ gives us an edge above everyone else,  WATCHOUT! You’re  headed down a slippery ledge to destruction! (Ref. Proverb 16:18)  
 
Sometimes even Christians find themselves ominously near the vicinity of Pharisee Blvd and Straight Street, when it comes to Righteousness. (Ref. Matthew 5:20)  When our righteousness is based on our performance, we’ve missed it by miles! If we’re relying upon our good works to qualify us for a automatic ticket to Heaven, boy are we ever deceiving ourselves! When we equate our holiness according to the world’s standards, we’re sho nuff trippin’!  So what hope do we have of reaching the lofty Pentacle of Acceptability to GOD?
 
Have I got some good news for you! There is a way to receive God’s Righteousness and it doesn’t involve anything that YOU can do on your own.  It’s called Grace! Grace is God’s free Gift to us, something that we could never earn or merit—a right-standing with a Holy God!
 
God’s Righteousness is based solely upon personal acceptance, through faith in the finished works of Christ Jesus!  The scripture says, ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
 
There is a well-spring of exhilarating freedom in just taking God at His Word; knowing that you ain’t right, BUT…JESUS IS! 
 
SELAH!
 
Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!
 
Ann Caffee
 

DEEP WELLS

DEEP WELLS

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” John 4:13-14

“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” John 4:23-24

 

As you study the WORD OF GOD, throughout Jesus’ public ministry, you’ll discover that most of his criticism came not from the heathens, but from religious folk! Can I tell ya something, Jesus hates religion!

Now that might shock some of you, because all your life, you’ve been lead to believe that that’s what church is all about. But Jesus never came to start a new religion! in fact there’s too much of that going on now and it makes God puke! Didjaknowdat?

According to the scriptures, religious folk claim to be close to God, but their rebellious lifestyle of disobedience proves otherwise. They’re simply going thru the motions and their religion boils down to just a shallow  practice of routine rituals. God looks into their hearts and seeing that there’s is nothing real about their worship because there is no real love for Him nor sincere thankfulness to HIM for all of Lovingkindness towards them! Because there’s nothing personal about their relationship, they’re simply empty pots making a whole lot of noise—but ain’t saying nothing to touch His Heart!

The Prophet Isaiah says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men –who turn my words upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Can the pot say of the potter, HE KNOWS NOTHING!” (Isaiah 29:13-14)

In other words, God’s not impressed with our performance, for God is SPIRIT! So those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth! Hence, God longs to have intimate fellowship/communtion with our spirits. He wants us to meet Him Spirit-to-spirit. That’s what the scriptures means when it says, deep unto deep. He wants us to approach Him humbly, transparently, honestly, witholding nothing. Recognizing Who He is and realizing who we are in His Presence!

Saints, what separates christianity not  just apart, but above every other religion, is when we invite Christ into our hearts, immediately we shift from one Kingdom to another Kingdom! That’s what salvation thru Jesus Christ is all about! Yes, The Heavenly Father welcomes all to come as you are, but once you come into The Body of Christ, you don’t just stay where you are! It’s a rite of passage, to taking a quantrum leap from religious rituals to personal relationship! Once you taste of The Goodness of Jesus, you can’t resist the Holy Spirit’s promptings and urgency to change. YOUR WELL GETS DEEPER! #4REAL!

Could this be why carnal folk don’t understand why you go to church on a Tuesday nite, pay the whole 10% of tithes, and give an offering every time you come to church?  #interesting, huh?  However, you can’t get mad at them, because spiritual things cannot be carnally discerned. Some folk are just content to be CME …CHRISTMAS, MOTHER’S DAY AND EASTER WORSHIPERS! They’re just speaking out of their shallow well! #ijs

Nonetheless, some of us can testify, “Since I met Jesus, my well is continuously getting deeper. I no longer need my environment to consent that I need to praise God. I don’t have to have my circumstances to be perfect to determine whether or not GOD IS WORTHY 2 B PRAISED! BUT I WILL BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES, GOOD, BAD AND INDIFFERENT…MOUNTAIN TOP OR VALLEY…I WILL LIFT UP MY VOICE AND MAGNIFY HIS NAME…FOR IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE LORD ON MY SIDE, I WOULD NOT EVEN BE HERE TODAY!”

C’mon now! HOW DEEP IS UR WELL? WOW!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee