Archive for December, 2011


As we embark upon this ethereal journey of upward mobility, it is of prodigious relevance to understand that greater than “action” is “process of thought”. The only way to move upward is to think upward. There has to be a change in our thought processes. I will venture to reveal to you in detail the magnitude of proper thinking. You may not be aware of this, your world is based on your thinking. Yes, I said it; your world, not your environment; not your circumstances, but your world. Your world as I present it is your spectrum that encompasses your existence. You control your world. You don’t always control your environment, nor do you have constant control over your circumstance; however, you always have control of how you perceive and subsequently engage your environment and circumstance; this creates your world. If you have ever been exposed to basic psychology or philosophy for that matter, you have heard that perception is reality. Whether you agree with this concept at this time, you better become well acquainted with it.

To clarify, the concepts states that perception is reality, not perception is truth (based on factual or empirical evidence). In other words, what the mind perceives to be real does not have to actually be accurate and true to bring about real and true consequences. There are many that have killed based erroneous perceptions. Why is this important? You psychological response to what your mind perceives to be real is to form actions that correspond with that perception. What this means is that in order to maintain a psychological balance (what is generally known as sanity) the human psyche will perpetuate actions that will correspond with what the mind perceives as real. This is why it is of the utmost importance to control what you allow to filter into your mind. What you hear on the radio, what you see on television, what you read, what you converse about; anything that enters your perceptive gates (eyes and ears) carries an immeasurable impact on the world in which you exist.

Although God’s omniscience has allowed him to know every thought we will ever think (Heb.4:13), he allows us the freedom of choice, However, God holds each of us responsible for what we choose to think. It is amazing that God wired us so that our minds have the power to manifest whatever it perceives to be real. Remember this; it is a reoccurring theme.

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 4:23)

You may be judged by you overt behavior, but make no mistake about it, your mental attitude determines, motivates and influences your actions. I am presenting this fact to you right now: Your thinking, your accepted paradigms, your norms and standards (human conscience), are all direct manifestations of your thought processes. What you have taken to be real and true has an infinite impact on who you are today as well as where you are headed. If you change your thinking, you will change your world despite of your environment or your circumstances. Once you change your world through proper thinking, you will find that you will also be able to positively impact your environment and circumstances.

The Bible relates the thought pattern or process to the right lobe of the soul. In the Bible, the right lobe of the soul is designated in Greek by the word καρδία.

kardia

kar-dee’-ah

Prolonged from a primary κάρ kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle: – (+ broken-) heart (-ed).

In Hebrew the heart is designated by the word lêb

labe

A form of H3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything: –  + care for, comfortably, consent, X considered, courag [-eous], friend [-ly], ([broken-], [hard-], [merry-], [stiff-], [stout-], double) heart ([-ed]), X heed, X I, kindly, midst, mind (-ed), X regard ([-ed)], X themselves, X unawares, understanding, X well, willingly, wisdom.

 

In contrast, the left or perceptive lobe of the soul in designated by the Greek word νοῦς

nous

nooce

Probably from the base of G1097; the intellect, that is, mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication meaning: – mind, understanding. Compare G5590.

 

So that I am clear, I am teaching from a believers point of view. I will speak concerning the receiving and processing of biblical doctrine through the thought processes, but understand the same principles apply to the taking in of negative and erroneous information as well.

When doctrinal knowledge enters the left lobe of the soul it is called (gnosis) or ‘academic knowledge” and once this knowledge is believed and received as truth it is transferred to the right lobe of the soul and becomes (epignosis) or “full knowledge”, This is where knowledge becomes powerful. The mind is the perceptive lobe, it determines what is real and what is not. Whatever the mind perceives to be real immediately has life impact. Once this knowledge is transferred to the right lobe of the soul (kardia [heart]) is enters your frame of reference and memory center.  This is the initial staging area for all knowledge that is perceived to be real.

From the initial staging area it flows into the vocabulary storage compartment which develops the ability to think divine viewpoint (it works the same way for worldview thinking as well). Next, the doctrine or knowledge flows into the categorical storage compartment where concepts and ideas are formed, organized, and accumulated. From these organized thoughts, norms and standards are formed forming the boundaries of your conscience. As you continue to feed this particular line of thinking you began to gain momentum as you move in a certain direction.

 

I hope that I have not been too technical in this explanation, but I wanted to give you a basic foundation on which you can rest your hat as we move forward.  You will find that all the pressing in the world has no power without proper thinking; upward mobility requires upward thinking. Take at look at the following scriptural passages:

 

8 “For My thoughts are not (X)your thoughts,
Nor are (Y)your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “For (Z)as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the (AA)rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing (AB)seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My (AC)word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will (AD)not return to Me empty,
Without (AE)accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isa. 55:8-11 NASB)

 

3For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.

4For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,

5[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

In Isaiah, we see God’s declaration that his ways and thoughts are higher than ours. This is a declaration of transcendence and will have great meaning as we move forward in progression towards our higher calling. God’s declaration also is a call for us to think as he thinks; this is done by thinking Bible doctrine.

For (AE)WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But (AF)we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16)

(I)Have this attitude [e]in yourselves which was also in(J)Christ Jesus, (Phil. 2:5)

When our way of thinking is placed juxtaposed to scripture our thoughts must be in line with the Word of God.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 10 Paul tells us that though we live in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh. Then he lays out the fact that our weapons are not carnal, but mighty in God. What are these weapons? The primary weapon is introduced, but frequently missed by casual Bible Study. “[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) [Verse 5]. As we cast down and refute arguments, philosophies that move against the true knowledge of God we progress in this spiritual warfare. So, the weapon is our thinking. Not some mystic utterance, but controlling our thinking. How do we control our thinking? We control our thinking by casting down any thought that comes upon us that is diametrically opposed to the Word of God.

In summation, we cannot come out of the pits we are in until we change our thinking. We cannot escape our responsibility to man our thoughts. The Bible incessantly points to thinking as being designatory of our fate. If you want an answer to why you are where you are now, you simply need to look at your thinking. Many of you will not receive this, at least not initially. This is because the paradigms that have impacted your way of thinking you have perceived as real and anything that challenges that way of thinking will not be readily received. It is a natural psychological response to resist ideas that challenge your current way of thinking; however, appropriating proper thinking into your life is chief in importance and impact.

When you change your thinking, your thinking will change your attitude and actions, and your revised attitude and actions will result in a change in your life position.

As we move forward you will begin to see your need to change your thinking and you will also come to understand the only true source of proper thinking, the Bible.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trouble Don’t Last Always!.

1 Therefore (A)I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to(B)present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,[a]acceptable to God, which is your[b]spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not (C)be conformed to(D)this [c]world, but be transformed by the (E)renewing of your mind, so that you may [d](F)prove what the will of God is, that which is good and[e]acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:1-2 NASB)

In my previous writings I pointed to the need of the Christian believer to rise up and live in the greatness of their design. There are too many Christians that are walking around defeated and devastated by life’s circumstances. There are too many Christians that are walking around perplexed by the vicissitudes of life.. There is, without question, a need for Christians to walk in their elevated purposes.

As I stated in my previous contribution, I will be presenting some covenantal truths to you over the next 52+ plus weeks. These truths are biblically founded and point to the power of God and the veracity of his words. These truths have the power to elevate and establish those that are willing to receive them as truth and to walk in them inexorably. We will see as we move forward that God honors his Word and He has established a covenant with His people to provide for them, to protect them, to prosper them, to work mighty works through them; however, there is something that has to take place in order for the Word of God and the work of God to function optimally in the life of the believer; there must be a renewing of the mind.

I want you to pay very close attention to what you will read from this point because it will be the difference between your success in escaping all that has oppressed you. As we move on, those that are willing to change their thinking will see remarkable progress, while those that continue to think in the same old ways will find themselves repeating another year of the “barelies”, The “barelies” are a series of positions one finds themselves in due to erroneous concepts manifested through poor thought processes: barely getting by (financially), barely holding it together (emotionally), barely functional (in kingdom work), barely living (in every aspect).

What you will find is that some of you have excelled in some areas, but have struggled mightily in others. The ones that will be most difficult to reach in this process of growth will be the ones that are experiencing some level of success. You will think that you have arrived when you haven’t come close; however your perceived success will act as a barrier to true growth and prosperity in every area of your life. Some of you are unaware that you are in need of help because you have convinced yourself that your deficiencies are just a part of being human. Actually your deficiencies are a result of decision making.

I will be calling for you to move away from non-Christian worldviews. I will be touching on modern worldviews over the next several weeks. I will be showing you some of the ways secular paradigms are diametrically opposed to biblical doctrine.

In Romans 12:1-2 Paul appeals to the Roman believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice that is Holy and acceptable to God. He concluded by iterating that this was there reasonable service. This was not something that was beyond reasonable expectation. With all that God had done in the way of grace, this was the minimal action that should be expected from the redeemed. What I want you to focus on is the second verse. Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world…”  The word translated “conformed” is the Greek word “suschematizo”- meaning conform to the example of another. So Paul was saying that believers are not to conform to the examples of the world. If fact, careful study of scripture reveals that believers are to set the example, and when we do we reap the benefits of the seeds we have sown.

Paul continues by showing the Roman believers how to get out of the rut they were in by following worldly examples: “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” The word translated “transformed” here is the Greek word “metamarphoo” – it is where we get our English word metamorphosis, and it means to transform or change. So Paul says that the way we change ourselves is to first of all change our thinking. The bible is replete with scripture that points to the immense impact our thinking has on our life and our being.

“and that you be (BE)renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and(BF)put on the(BG)new [q]self, which [r](BH)in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Eph. 4:23 NASB)

7For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7)

“You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the[p]superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34 AMP)

Don’t let Matthew 12:34 or Proverbs 4:23 throw you off with the use of the word heart; heart and mind are often used synonymously (or interchangeably) in the Bible. Actually the mind and the heart function in conjunction with one another as the perceptional functional faculties of the soul. I will cover this in detail in the upcoming weeks so that you may have at least a basic understanding of why it so important to think Bible doctrine.

It is paramount that you understand that a change in thinking is absolutely necessary to insure that you are able to truly walk in your design. Remember you were not designed for mediocrity. Despite what so many are being taught today, Christ did not make the magnanimous sacrifice he made so that we could live in the pit of poverty nor meander through the maze of mediocrity. We are not to elevate ourselves above what we are, but we are not to walk below it either.

I promise you, once you free up your mind to think biblically, you will free up your finances. Once you break your mind free, you break free of depression. Once you break your mind free, you will break free of sight walking. Once you break your mind free, you will break free of relational dysfunctionality. Once you break your mind free, you will break free of mediocrity. When you renew your mind, your spirit will be renewed and the transformation will take place.

Don’t allow the enemy to convince you that your thinking is perfect. Over the weeks to come I will reveal to you some erroneous concepts that have filtered into the Church that are 100% secular worldview, yet they are being taught by the pulpit. The concepts and beliefs has crippled the power of the Church and given the enemy an upper hand.

If you enter into this process of change and advancement with an open mind and a willingness to change, there is no limit to what the Holy Spirit will do in developing you. It is time to step outside of the boundaries of limited advancement and view the opportunities of limitless possibilities.

For those of you that are ready to make 2012 their year of coming out, I simply say be prepared to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Tell yourself right now, “Self, I am coming out of this with a new way of thinking. I am walking into abundance, I am walking into my designed purpose, and I am walking into all that God has prepared for me.”

 

I look forward to traveling this journey with you.

 

May God bless and keep each of you!

 

Sincerely,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

 

 

 

As I survey the social landscape of America today, I see something very different than what could be seen 40 years ago. I see something diametrically opposed to the views of only a couple decades ago. When the question is posed: Has the force of secular worldviews begin to dominate a society that was once reflected the unwavering values of the Christian faith? The answer must be: Unequivocally yes!

The massive impact of these worldviews can be felt in every aspect of our lives. We can see it in the unraveling of the moral fiber of this country. We can see in the economic stability that has confounded even the most astute economic strategist. It can be observed in the family nucleus; one of the great biblical institutions ordained by God for the building and sustaining of the kingdom has folded under the pernicious attack of Satan’s worldview system.

Secular paradigms have infiltrated and impacted the thinking of believers in a way that has left those of the faith defeated and ineffective as Christian soldiers. The power of God is an outward working force that flows from the indwelling Holy Spirit through the life of the believer out into the world. This power source has been stifled because we have both grieved (Eph. 4:30) and quenched (1 Thess. 5:19) the Holy Spirit. We have begun to move contrary to the will of God, and in doing so we have rendered the power of the Holy Spirit ineffective in our lives.

If we can agree that secular worldviews have began to dominate the thinking of believers in this contemporary culture, then we will began to understand and grasp the necessity to change our thinking.

”And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the (E)renewing of your mind, so that you may [d](F)prove what the will of God is, that which is good and[e]acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2 NASB)

If we are to move away from thinking worldview, what do we move toward? What type of thinking can be considered polarizing in relation to secular worldviews? What type of thinking has the power to create a paradigmatic shift in American culture? The answer is doctrinal thinking from a biblical perspective. We are called over and over in the Bible to use scripture as our guiding post; to allow it to set the standards by which we measure ourselves. Biblical doctrine is to be the single standard by which we live our lives. We are promised that when we allow the Word of God to settle within our hearts, when we speak the Word of God continuously, when we allow it to dominate our thoughts, it produces success and prosperity and fulfills its purpose in our lives. When we allow the Word of God to fulfill its purpose in our lives, we began to fulfill our purpose in the plan of God.

 

1AFTER THE death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ minister,(A)

2Moses My servant is dead. So now arise [take his place], go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, the Israelites.

3Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses.

4From the wilderness and this Lebanon to the great river Euphrates–all the land of the[a]Hittites [Canaan]–and to the Great [Mediterranean] Sea on the west shall be your territory.

5No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.

6Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

7Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

8This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good[b]success.

9Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Josh. 1:1-9 AMP)

 

God emphasizes the powerful impact of His Word on the life of those that are committed to the knowledge, understanding, and perpetuation of His Word. Allowing the Word of God to be the absolute influence in your life produces undeniable results.

20My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.

21Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.

22For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.

23Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. (Prov. 4:20-23)

Once again, we see written in no uncertain terms that Gods Word, when properly assimilated into the life of the believer carries an immensity of power to impact the life of that believer.

Lately, I have been giving serious consideration to all of the issues that seem to be plaguing the lives of believers. Things that careful study of the Word of God reveals are not the product of true Christian living. When I say Christian living, I am not speaking of the self-righteous holier-than-thou antics that is witnessed by so much of the world today. I am speaking of a lifestyle that is reflective of that we say we represent. From a biblical perspective, the life of a believer is not one of defeat and helplessness. The life of a true believer is not one of lack and hopelessness. The Bible does not, in any way, reveal that faith produces the lifestyles that we see the average believer living today. Its sort of ironic that the aforementioned statement uses the word “average” to identify the believer when the believer by very definition cannot be average.

If the believer, by relation, is great, why are there so many Christians meandering through the maze of mediocrity? Why are there so many believers that pondering at the pool of poverty? Why are there so many proclaimed believers that are hindered by dwarfed dreams and impotent visions? There is one scripture that can shed light on the ponderings of these questions and more:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. (Hosea 4:6 AMP)

There is no greater responsibility for the believer than the constant, daily, intake, absorption, digestion, and metabolism of bible doctrine. All other responsibilities are met by the proper execution of the first. When you are derelict in this responsibility it is reflected in every aspect of your life.

Ignorance, the lack of knowledge, is the most destructive force in the life of a believer because this ignorance is the orifice through which the enemy will enter in and bring about destruction. We are defeated because we are unaware of our position in Christ and our birth right of victorious living. We are weak because we are ignorant of the power that resides within us. We are poor because the enemy has capitalized on our ignorance of our inheritance. We are lost and indecisive because we lack the knowledge of spiritual enlightenment.

I sat down some weeks ago to examine what the Bible had to say about some of the enigmatic issues that are devastating the life of believers in this modern culture. I have often said that the answer is always within the Word of God. One issue that seemed most prevalent at that moment was the issue of poverty. The Church seems to be so divided as to where they stand on this that I wanted to revisit what God has to say on the matter. Is poverty a prerequisite of Christian living? Does the acquisition of wealth inhibit spiritual growth? Does the promise of material wealth in the Old Testament translate into the Church age (New Testament)?

I have delved into this topic on numerous occasions, but I wanted to look at it yet again. How does the promise of prosperity in the bible (especially in the Old Testament) impact the life of the Church age believer? Are these problems simply dispensational promises that apply to the nation of Israel only, or do they parlay into the life of the Christian? Although I was sure I had the answer, I needed to reconfirm my position. What I found was that it is not always what you know, but how you view it. Scripture without an understanding of how that scripture directly impacts your life has very little to offer in the way of advancement.

Almost immediately after beginning my study, something hit me like a ton of bricks. The thought came upon me and seized me in a manner that bolted me to the chair. The thought was simple: “Knowing what the scriptures promise carries no power without understanding how the promises are administered.” In other words, simply knowing the Bible without understanding the dynamics profits very little. This thought set in motion an entire process of thoughts that shook me to the very core; thoughts that I will share with you over the coming weeks. These thoughts, if you allow them, will liberate, empower, and direct you. These thoughts will present scripture to you in the manner it was meant to be received.

The answer to the question of why Christians lived a life of defeat and despair was simple. Their understanding of the Bible was lacking. I’m not speaking concerning theological intricacies or in-depth conceptual hypotheses. I’m not speaking of the anatomization of exegetical matter or the probing meticulousness of contextual criticism. I’m simply speaking of understanding how the teaching of Bible doctrine was meant to be administered and received.

The Bible is a compilation of 66 different books written by over forty different authors over the course of about 1500 years. Yet, with its divergence in the way of authorship and chronology, the Bible manages to be completely coherent and precise in its message and content. The theme of the Bible is central; it focuses on the Kingdom of God which introduces its King (Jesus Christ) in many ways throughout the history of man leading up to the incarnation and culminating in the second advent where Jesus will execute his millennial reign. In revealing His Kingdom, God reveals the essence of His existence (absolute perfect love). Everything that God would do for mankind would originate in His love for his creation.

The key here is not to simply understanding the theme, but to understand the dynamic through which God would interact with man. How God would express His love to His creation would be the sustaining force of God’s relationship with man.

The answer is by covenant. Everything that God will ever do for, to, or through man will be based on covenant. God’s relationship with man is through covenant. From Adam, Moses, Noah, Abraham, David and beyond, God’s relationship with man has been based on covenant. The covenant can be broken down into 5 principal parts:

Transcendence: God is transcendent; not in distance but in distinction. God is truly distinct and different than His creation. In the Old Testament, when God would deal with his prophets, he would begin his interaction with the statement, “I am the Lord” (the word translated Lord is the tetragrammaton, properly translated Yahweh or Jehovah). The Jews revered the name of God so much they would not even speak it. They in turn would say Adonai, translated “Lord”). In whatever way choose to use it, the word Lord established preeminence and distinction between the Creator and his creation. It is important to understand that contrary to pantheism, God is completely distinct from his creation while maintaining his immanence within his creation. Though God is distinct and transcendent to his creation, he does not leave his creation to fend for itself. God is 100% involved in the workings of His creation.

Hierarchy: Based on representation, God gave man dominion over the creation based on the terms of the covenant. The terms of the covenant set forth the guidelines by which man maintains the dominion which has been entrusted to him. The covenant also sets forth the manner in which dominion can be reclaimed when it has been relinquished by failure to adhere to the oath (discussed later)

Ethics: The terms of the covenant were given. Revealing what must be done to maintain the covenant as well as revealing the blessings for adherence and the sanctions for failure to adhere to the terms of the covenant.

Oath: A system of blessings and sanctions were implemented based on an oath. In a covenant an oath is a self-maledictory promise. Basically the one speaking the oath speaks a curse on himself should he fail to honor his portion of the covenant.

Succession: The (biblical) covenant implies and expresses continuity in something other than blood relationship. In other words it did not give credence to family status. It was available to all who were willing to commit to the terms set forth within it. The poor man has the rights to the same blessings and opportunity as the aristocrat. This covenantal revelation unveils a great truth: The oppression of any race or class from its God given right to financial, social, spiritual liberty is a manifestation of evil and is the predecessor to economic, social, and moral collapse.

As I delved deeper to into the power this immense truth has to impact the life of the believer it became apparent that I had a responsibility to impress this upon the people of God. What does this covenant thing mean to those who are struggling with their finances? How can an understanding of covenant bring hope in the valley of despair? What is it about this covenant that will cause a people to rise up and reassume its place as the distinctive and called people of God? How can something as seemingly simple as covenant agreement inspire, encourage, insure, and empower a people to live in victory.

This is how: God deals with His people through covenant. From the beginning of human history God has dealt with man through covenant. His relationship with Adam in the Garden of Eden was based on a covenant. His relationship with Noah was based on a Covenant. His relationship with Abraham was based on a covenant. Let’s take a look at Abraham for a quick moment.

1 After these things (A)the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying,

(B)Do not fear, Abram,
I am (C)a shield to you;
[a]Your (D)reward shall be very great.”

2 Abram said, “O Lord [b]GOD, what will You give me, since I [c]am childless, and the [d]heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “[e]Since You have given no [f]offspring to me, [g]one(E)born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; (F)but one who will come forth from your own[h]body, he shall be your heir.” 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and(G)count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “(H)So shall your [i]descendants be.” 6 (I)Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. 7 And He said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of (J)Ur of the Chaldeans, to (K)give you this land to[j]possess it.” 8 He said, “O Lord[k]GOD, (L)how may I know that I will [l]possess it?” 9 So He said to him, “[m]Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”10 Then he [n]brought all these to Him and (M)cut them [o]in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he (N)did not cut the birds. 11The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.

12 Now when the sun was going down, (O)a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, [p]terror and great darkness fell upon him. 13God said to Abram, “Know for certain that (P)your [q]descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, [r]where (Q)they will be enslaved and oppressed (R)four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out (S)with [s]many possessions. 15As for you, (T)you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. 16 Then in (U)the fourth generation they will return here, for (V)the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”

17 It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which(W)passed between these pieces. 18On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying,

(X)To your [t]descendants I have given this land,
From (Y)the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:

19 (Z)the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite 20 and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim 21 and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.” (Gen. 15:1-21)

Here we are witness to a conversation between God and Abraham by which God assures Abraham (Abram at the time; God would change his name to Abraham [father of a multitude] to reiterate is promise and to acclimate Abram to his covenantal inheritance) that he will produce an heir through his own body through which the covenantal promise of a spiritual race would fulfilled.

Notice that in verse 7 God declares his transcendence; 7 And He said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of (J)Ur of the Chaldeans, to (K)give you this land to[j]possess it.”  God was guaranteeing his oath based on his existence as the only transcendent being. What is interesting is that Abram asked him for something to assure him that he would indeed receive the promise. Now we know this was not a request based on a lack of faith on Abram’s part because verse 6 tells us that Abram believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. What this means is that God judiciously imputed His righteousness to Abram based on his faith, not actions. At the moment of faith in God, God declared Abram righteous (justified). So if Abram believed why was he asking for something to give him assurance?

It was common in that time in history for men to supply an emblem of the covenant they were entering into. This emblem represented their oath to fulfill their portion of the covenant. Basically someone would make a promise and then give the recipient of the promise some physical representation of that promise. A wedding ring is the emblem of the marriage covenant. Whenever the recipient of the promise needed reassuring they would simply look at the emblem. On the other hand, if the person who made the promise needed reminding of their commitment, the recipient of the promise would simply show them the emblem and remind them. So staying with contemporary tradition, Abram asked for an emblem. God’s response was to solidify the covenant with a blood sacrifice which became the emblem. The emblem of any covenant with God will be the blood sacrifice which was a semantic symbolism of the only way to get out of a covenant; death. The breaking of the covenantal oath meant death.

This symbol of death was significant. God does not take any covenants lightly. Both parties involved in a covenant must be committed to the point of death. Remember now that covenants are successive; meaning that it does not stop with the one making the covenant but is passed down through generations. Why is knowledge of this important? It’s important for a number of reasons. One very important reason is that the covenant is to death. One must be committed to the point of death, but this is not limited to the one making the covenant. Here is your example. To test Abram’s commitment, God asked him to sacrifice the son it took him forever to sire (Isaac). Once Abram proved he was willing to make that sacrifice God spared Isaac’s life. The awesome part about this is that Abram was not the only party involved in this covenant; it takes two. God, centuries later would be called to prove his commitment in fulfilling the covenant, only this time there would not be a stay of execution. God would offer up His Son so that the covenant could be fulfilled.

Now here is the greatest part concerning this awesome revelation of covenants; in fulfilling his covenants in the Old Testament (which is also translated Old Covenant) God also administered a new and better covenant for his new spiritual race (the Church 1 Pet. 1:9). The very act that fulfilled the Old Covenant ushered in a new and better covenant (Heb. 8:6-13). Now remember Abram asked God for an emblem of the covenant to provide assurance in moments of uncertainty. So what is the Christian’s emblem? The emblem for the Christian is the Cross (God’s greatest sacrifice). When you need assurance that you have a guaranteed place in the Kingdom, look at the cross. When you need to be assured of your inheritance, look at the cross. When you need to be assured of your dominion, look at the cross. When the dark clouds of desperation are hovering over your head, look at the cross.

One more thing I would like to point out before we move to a close is found in the interaction between Abram and God in Genesis chapter 15. After Abram cut the sacrificial animals in half he had to wait on God to act. Obviously this took some time. Remember, we are never to become convinced that God functions on our timetable. Verse 11 tells us that while Abram waited, the birds of prey (vultures) came upon the carcasses and Abram drove them away. This will happen to you as you wait for your answer and ultimate deliverance. The vultures will come down and attempt to rob you of your vision and hope. You know what I’m talking about; the ones that will come to you and tell you that your dream of entrepreneurship is too lofty. You know the ones; those that come to you and tell you that your expectations are unrealistic. Then there are those that will come in and tell you that your position of defeat and hopelessness is where you belong, it adds to your spirituality. In each case, just as Abram, it is your responsibility to drive away the vultures.

As we move forward over the next 52 weeks I will be revealing a number spiritual truths to you, but it will not stop there. I will also present practical responses to the enigmatic issues that you face on a daily basis. God has promised us much in His covenant with us, but we must not lose sight of the fact that the covenant also calls for us to do our part. This is not a let God do it while I reap the benefits type of relationship. We have a responsibility to do our part. I will provide you with answers to the issues that are before you. For those dealing with family issues, there will be resources provided. For those that are facing financial difficulties there will be opportunities provided to rise up above the difficulty of the moment. For those that seem to lack fulfillment we will engage the Word of God to find the pathway to spiritual progression and ultimate fulfillment, which is the fulfillment of your design and the obtainment of your destiny.

I look forward to the year to come as we move forward.

 

Blessings to all,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

I invite you to visit my new facebook page Life Solutions 21 and my new blog www.rickwallace21.wordpress.com .

“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)

Allow me to pose a rhetorical question: Where does the trouble, pain and the trials of our life come from?  If you were to survey believers and non-believers alike each would have their own theories.  Some would tell you that suffering is the victims fault.  They will reason that the suffering person must have done something that displeased God.  Believers will confidently point to the just nature of God, which, in their minds, supports their rationale.

Others will insist that pain, trials, and all suffering simply happen by chance.  Their postulation is based on the ostensible sporadic dispersion of pain and suffering.  There are no common denominators, both sinners and the saved, the rich and the poor, white and black, all suffer.  Though all suffering has purpose, nothing is without purpose in God’s divine plan,  I have become convinced that no amount of research will deduce an irrefutable conclusion to discovering the where’s and why’s of suffering .

What we do have, however, is pragmatic and empirical evidence that how we receive and respond to the trials and vicissitudes of life have a direct bearing on our ability to endure.  One of the most influential truths in confronting one’s struggles is that your trials are temporary.  They are impermanent situations that will produce permanent advancement in this ethereal journey called Christianity.  In essence, trouble don’t last always.  The latter statement may not be grammatically adequate to the eyes of some of my academician readers, but I’m giving it to you the same way my mother gave it to me, so I humbly request your tolerance in the matter.

Physiologically, we are all the same, irregardless to race, religion, or economic background.  Yet, there are some who crumble under the pressure of life’s struggles and then there are those who, despite the difficulty of the moment, face their trials head on and overcome them triumphantly.  There is, however, a common denominator in both instances:  For the person who succumbs to the pressure of their struggles, the common thread is despair, the belief that there is no way out.  The person who perseveres has that one thing the latter person does not have -hope!

What is hope?  Merriam-Webster defines hope as thus: to desire with expectation of fulfillment, trust, reliance; desire accompanied by expectation; one that gives promise for the future.  Therefore, hope travels beyond the boundaries of wishful thinking.  Hope, according to Merriam-Webster, is desire conjoined with expectation; the word of focus being expectation.  One may desire what he wills, howbeit, expectation, by its very definition requires prospection, the foundation of that which we desire.  There must be something considered that influences hope.  Thus, hope is never empty desire, but desire married to reasonable expectation.  For the Christian warrior, this reasonable expectation, or faith as we call it, materializes within the fertile soil of trust, trust in God.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  (Heb. 11:1)

So, the very essence or nature of hope is faith.  Faith is not only the quintessence of hope, it is the sustainer.  We know that faith comes through the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  This means we are to engage the struggles of this life with the promises of God in mind.  We are to always have hope.

To some, hope is that illusive jewel that evades capture at all cost.  There are some who find hope to be an alien concept.  To them, hope is unattainable.  They live each day in the darkness of perpetual despair.  In the absence of hope, one is forced to turn to other coping mechanisms; illicit drug use, sexual deviancy, violent paroxysms and other destructive behaviors.  The absence of hope is despair, and despair chokes the life out of its victims.

I mentioned that hope can be quite illusive to some, for the spirit filled believer, this should not be the case.  Since we walk by faith, the very substance of hope (Heb. 11:1), we should be able to count it all joy as commanded by James (James 1:2), and glory in tribulations (Romans 5:3) as exhorted by Paul.

We are able to count it all joy because we trust and lean on Jesus and not our finite perspicacity of His ultimate plan (Prov. 3:5).  We are able to glory in our tribulations because God has promised to work all things for the good (Rom. 8:28).

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight in glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17)

Paul says that our afflictions are momentary, not only that, they are also working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  What you are going through is temporary.  The heartache and pain you feel will pass.  That vehement sense of sorrow and that immobilizing sense of loneliness will be replaced with joy unspeakable.  This, in itself, should produce a double investment of hope; the hope resting in the knowledge that my afflictions produce eternal blessings and reward, as well as the hope that comes in knowing that “Trouble Don’t Last Always”.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The Word of God guarantees that there will be struggles, adversity, and disappointments.  This insures us that problems will arise in the life of every believer.  The direct source of this pain and difficulty becomes irrelevant in the scope of its reality.  Knowing its origin will not eradicate its existence.  We must not become so engrossed in the task of locating the place of blame that we fail to properly respond to the situation itself. So many of us spend enormous amounts of time and energy placing blame, hoping it will release us of the burden of the moment.  The primary focus must be on how we respond to these hardships.  As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to face the difficulty with an inexorable faith in our God to bring us through.

One quick warning; in our understanding of temporary struggles we must not be guilty of “my time thinking”.  Our hope must not exist solely in the belief of immediate extraction by God from the problem.  We operate by God’s time table and should never postulate that he has to respond by ours.  If we only hope for an instantaneous resolution, our faith may be shaken by delay.  We can, however, take solace that in His own time, God will deliver. -”Trouble Don’t Last Always.”

We must also focus our hope on that eternal reward for our faithfulness.

I was once told that the strongest qualities of a Christian shine brightest in the fierce winds of adversity.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  (1 Peter 1:6,7)

You will never realize what’s inside until you are tested.  Testing, through struggles, unveils the genuineness of your faith.  Testing brings the mature Christian to a point of focus; on God and purpose.  The most indestructible mineral and the hardest surface known to man is a diamond.  A diamond is created when a lump of coal is placed under immense pressure.  In the same way, the pressures of life’s many struggles and vicissitudes develops character, integrity, and fortitude, that jewel we know as the Christian soldier.  The question then arises: Can we prosper in the midst of adversity?  The answer is: We must!

Adversity is the fertile soil in which the seed of prosperity must be planted and cultivated.  Satan would have you believe that your trials are meant to destroy you.  He will tell you that God has forgotten about you.  God has promised, however, never to leave nor forsake you.  Psalms 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous,  but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”  Proverbs 24:16 informs us that the righteous man can fall and rise again, meaning that even when our storm is of our own doing, we can still rise and recover.

The promises of God’s Word should produce a transcending peace that consumes all anxiety, stress, and fear.

We should be able to walk in the strength of knowledge that our trials are temporary -Trouble Don’t Last Always!

We must process a non-oscillating faith in God to deliver.  Satan will use our wavering faith as an orifice to come in and totally dismantle our hope.  So, when the lone winds of suffering creep into your paradise -count it all joy.  Put on the whole armor of God and prepare to take a stand.  Rev. 2:10 says -”Do not fear any of those things you are about to suffer.  Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into the prison, that you may be tested and you will have tribulation ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.”  Let us fist take notice of the word “indeed”; indeed implies without question that trials will come.  Secondly, the term “ten days”; which should not be interpreted literally, but is symbolic of a relatively short period -Trouble Don’t Last Always!  We are to be faithful, even until death.  This sounds like a directive of no surrender; no retreat.  We are to focus our hope on that crown of life and press toward the mark.

The story of Job is brought to remembrance.  There are not too many that have suffered to the extent of my man Job.  I’m sure that while he tarried under the pernicious attacks of Satan, he wondered when or if it would ever end, but through an unrelenting and unwavering faith, he found that, trouble don’t last always!

I can envision David, surrounded and outnumbered, crying out to God, don’t hide your face from me.  Though the odds are stacked against him, he stands in faith, knowing, trouble don’t last always!

As I take mental flight, I can see Mary and Martha weeping because of the untimely death of their brother, Lazarus.  I can imagine the overwhelming grief and vehement sense of helplessness. However, I see Jesus standing at the opening of the tomb and speaking the words: Lazarus, come forth!  At their darkest hour, Mary and Martha learned trouble don’t last always!

I can even see Joseph, traded into slavery by his brothers, living as a slave and then as a prisoner, but Joseph remained steadfast, a bedrock of faith.  In time, he was promoted to the second highest post in all the land of Egypt.  After the death of his father, Jacob, he addressed his brothers with courage and forgiveness.  He said to them, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”  He was ultimately saying, I’ve been through the storm and rain, but I made it.  You see, trouble don’t last always!

Understand this; the aforementioned faith warriors understood something about this faith walk.  They had an experiential and erudite understanding that in order to obtain the prize, you must travel through the storm.  In apprehension of the prize, they experienced the reality that trouble don’t last always!

From this very thing we extract hope.  A hope that assures us that weeping endures for a night (temporary) but joy comes in the morning. -Trouble Don’t Last Always!

We rest in a hope that is anchored in the fact that our light and momentary afflictions are weighing for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  It is an domitable hope that is sustained and substantiated in the fact that God works all things for the good.

So, as each of you face the vicissitudes and struggles of this life, anchor yourself in the same hope as the faith warriors of times past.  Focus on the outstretch hands of God.  Tell yourself that this trial is just a testing of my faith.  You look at yourself in the mirror and say, trouble don’t last always!

Feeling lonely?  Trouble don’t last always!

Feeling overwhelmed?  Trouble don’t last always!

Facing an uphill struggle?  Trouble don’t last always!

God’s grace is sufficient for you.  Trust and believe.  Live each day to the fullest.  Live a life grounded in hope and the efficacious power of passionate and effectual prayer.  Fulfill your destiny!

God bless

Bishop Rick Wallace

Author: The Invisible Father

Mamma Don’t Cry!

 

 

The writing of The Invisible Father could not be considered complete if I did not devote at least one chapter to the plight of our women as it pertains to the affect that IFS has had on them. One does not have to navigate too deeply into the labyrinthine corridors of our social infrastructure to observe the cataclysmic effect of IFS on our women. We can see it in a cascade of social issues; issues such as teen pregnancy and STD contractions, the profound affect of IFS. We can see it in the elevated high school dropout rate. It can be observed in the highly dysfunctional relationships that seem to be the norm in contemporary culture. Most of all it can be discovered in the epidemic of women with dwindling self-worth.  Let me be clear, this article is not an attack on our women, it is written to encourage and inspire them to overcome all that they are dealing with as a result of IFS. With that in mind we must examine the current state of our women in this country.

 

Teenage Pregnancy

Although I am a stat junkie I will not force my love for numerical facts upon you in abundance, but I would like to share a few things with you concerning teen pregnancy. Many studies are showing that since 1990 there has been a decline in the number of teenage pregnancies in the United States. However, here are the current numbers which are quite disparaging to say the least.

 

Every year around 750,000 teenagers will get pregnant.

 

Depending on the state, teenage birth rates are incredibly different. Nevada has the highest rate:   113 per 1000 and North Dakota the lowest 42 per 1000.

 

Unmarried teenagers having children account for 24 percent of all unmarried expectant mothers.

 

More than 2/3 of all teenagers who have a baby will not graduate from high school, hence the correlation with teenage pregnancy and education. 

 

Billions of dollars are spent taking care of teenage mothers and their children and they are more likely to be in the poverty bracket. On the flip side, millions of dollars are spent in prevention programs.

 

As you can see, although the rate has dropped over the last 20 years with the highest teenage pregnancy rate being in 1988, mostly due to awareness programs, we are still dealing with an alarming number of teens that are having children when they are ill equipped to handle the responsibility. There are a number of experts that have weighed in on the matter as to why there seems to be such a high number, as well as why the concentration seems to be in the southern states.  I have read everything from the failing economy to higher learning as having an impact on this social enigma.

 

It is my belief that we can trace the majority of these pregnancies back to one particular area: The role that the father played in the life of the young lady that is now pregnant. Clearly this book deals with the devastating force of IFS (absentee fatherhood), however, we must grasp with a level of certainty that presence alone does constitute fatherhood in the manner that it was designed to be. The manner in which a father engages his children in the home is just as important as him being there. There are actually some fathers that are in the home and are more absent than the fathers that are not in the home. In fact, there are fathers that are not physically in the home, but are very present in the lives of their children and I definitely want to recognize those men who have made the best out of an extremely difficult situation.  We still must acknowledge the fact that there are many fathers in the home that have abandoned their responsibilities as fathers without ever setting a foot outside the door.

 

Self-Worth

I have worked with several church youth groups over the past year and I have literally seen situations where kids with both parents in the home are coming to programs looking for the support they should be getting at home. The thing that stands out to me the most is that the parents in almost every case were heavily involved in the church. Talking about having your priorities out of order; the church is designed for the family not the family for the church. One should never sidestep their responsibilities in the home in lieu of fulfilling responsibilities in the church.

 

When a father is not present in the home or fails to function in his ordain role in the home, it carries a lasting effect on his children. It has a particularly unique effect on the female child. The father is the parent that provides identity and self-worth for his daughter. When I speak of self-worth, I mean that from birth the father should be building value in his daughter. He does this by the things he says and especially by the things he does. A father should be constantly confirming and affirming who his daughter is with his words. We know that from the Bible that our words have an unbelievable impact on our lives.

 

 But I tell you, on the Day of Judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.

 For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving…It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. ” (Eph. 5:3-4, 12 NIV)

“And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.” (Col. 3:17 AMP)

“This you know, my beloved brethren But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;

“…for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19-20 NASB)

 

“NOT MANY [of you] should become teachers (self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation].

For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.

If we set bits in the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about.

Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze!

And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature).

But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison.

With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness!

Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so.

Does a fountain send forth [simultaneously] from the same opening fresh water and bitter?

Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can a salt spring furnish fresh water. (James 3:1-12)

 

These are just a few scriptures that speak of the influence and lasting effects of spoken words. Some of the things that fathers say to their children are totally baffling. Most of these men don’t even realize the negative impact that their words have on these young lives they have been entrusted with. We have to understand that as primary label givers (those that have the greatest influence on a child’s self-image); we must be deliberate in the manner we engage our children.

 

Unspoken Hurt

 

In dealing with the issue of absentee fathers we seem eager to delve into the issues of the children and the failures of the men, but unfortunately there is a major issue that we either fail to see or just plain refuse to deal with. In all of this madness that has been brought on by irresponsible men, we have lost sight of the women that have been left behind to manage the mess that we have made.

For every home in which a man has fathered a child and left, there is a woman who is left to pick up the pieces. Who is this woman that is left holding the proverbial bag? Let’s take a quick snapshot to see who she is:

 

She is a Mother:

Approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers, and

16% of custodial parents are fathers

She is Divorced or Separated:

Of the mothers who are custodial parents:

45% are currently divorced or separated

34.2% have never been married

19% are married (In most cases, these numbers represent women who have remarried.)

1.7% are widows

 

We can see from the above information that there are some other spiritual issues at work here. The large majority of these single parent situations are because the parents split in either, divorce, separation, or they were never married in the first place. As much as I would like to, I will not address this matter in detail; it would take me to far off course. I do address it in great detail in my book “When Your House is Not a Home”. There was a time that the greatest cause for a single parent household would be the death of one of the parents. As you can see here, that is the least of all contributors.

 

What else do we know about this woman who seems to be carrying a disproportionate part of the burden?

 

She is Employed:

79.5% of custodial single mothers are gainfully employed

49.8% work full time, year round
29.7% work part-time or part-year

90% of custodial single fathers are gainfully employed

71.7% work full time, year round
18.4% work part-time or part-year

She and Her Children Do Not Live in Poverty:

27% of custodial single mothers and their children live in poverty

12.9% of custodial single fathers and their children live in poverty

She Does Not Receive Public Assistance:

Among custodial single mothers:

22% receive Medicaid

23.5% receive food stamps

12% receive some form of public housing or rent subsidy

5% receive receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

She is 40 Years Old or Older:

39.1% of custodial single mothers are 40 years old or older

 

She is Raising One Child:

54% of custodial mothers are raising one child from the absent parent

46% have two or more children living with them

 

References:

United States. Census Department. Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007. By Timothy S. Grall. Census, 2009. 26 Feb. 2010 [http://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/p60-237.pdf].

 

First, let me take my hat off to this woman, because despite the odds being stacked against her, she has fared quite well, at least from a secular perspective. She has persevered and progressed and she has remained faithful to her children. As far as she is concerned, I have great respect for her determination and resolve.

I remember a situation as a youth in which I was at a friend’s house and his mother was crying profusely because his father had left her for another woman. This was not an uncommon thing I am sad to say, so no one that I grew up with will know who I am speaking of. What stood out about this situation was my friend, who was no more than 10 or 11 years old at the time, attempting to console his mother. The words “Mama Don’t Cry” continue to sound off in my mind some 30 years later. A young boy who is not yet a man attempting to rectify a situation he did not create and just by the gravity & force of the situation would almost certainly perpetrate the very same crime on another woman.

When I look at the situation from a mature and educated mindset, I see the inner workings of the enemy. I can see Satan emoting because there is one more home destroyed and rendered dysfunctional. I can see the selfishness that was the source of the negative action perpetrated at that time. More importantly I understand the gravity and the long term implication of such inexcusable behavior. Lives were eternally altered. Society was impacted as yet one more dysfunctional and crippled home was added to the lot.

Here she is, this woman of fortitude and determination. She took the best shot that the enemy could throw at her and she pressed forward. At first glance one might say that the woman simply adapted to her new environment and has totally acclimated to her new role. I do not concur. The woman has accomplished much in the way of advancement and success; however, just as the man has left a void for her to fill, her moving into that void left a void yet still.

The problem is when a woman takes on the responsibility that the man was intended to carry it creates an imbalance socially, spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. There is a particular design in God’s plan for mankind. God designed male and female.

“So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Gen 1:27 AMP)

When God designed and created male and female, each were designed with a particular purpose in mind. Physically, emotionally, and psychologically men and women differ. Their uniqueness and distinction from one another are not without precise purpose. Men were created to protect and provide and women to nurture. Each has a particular function in which they are naturally equipped to perform. When a woman is forced out of what is natural for her the system through which we are to function becomes imbalanced and that imbalance slowly creates a shift in direction and productivity. Whenever you take anything and use it contrary to its design, two things happen: First, it does not function optimally in that function it was not designed to do. It may very well get the job done, but nowhere as efficiently as the tool that was designed for that specific task. Second, it no longer functions optimally in what it was designed to do, because it has been altered by misuse.

The single mother has done an outstanding job in attempting to hold things together; the problem is that her apparent success has come at a price. In so many cases the women has become bitter and callused toward men and many times life in general. Because she has had to be the nurturer and the disciplinarian, her ability to nurture has dissipated. Her areas of strength are no longer prevalent because she has not the time to master them. She is spread too thin on too many fronts.

She has also become extremely career minded. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way saying that a woman can’t have a career, but I am saying that when a career affects her biblical role and her children and society as a whole suffers from it, it has become a problem.

One the greatest problems that has risen from the pits of this horrible mess I have dubbed IFS is the “I Don’t Need A Man Syndrome”. This is a phenomenon that is growing almost exponentially. Women have become disenfranchised with men and they have decided that they can do this thing all by themselves. I’m not talking about women living single in the traditional sense. I’m talking about women who have decided to purposely create single family homes with no intention of being with the father. In some cases they are using sperm banks and have no idea who the father is. Because secular philosophies and paradigms run rampant through the corridors of Christianity, it is easy to see how even Christian women find this to be an acceptable practice. The problem is that it does not fit the Biblical model for family life and it does not take into consideration the fact that there are certain functions that the woman was simply not designed to perform.

We are witnessing the unraveling of the moral fiber of this country at a rate that is mind boggling. Some will say that I am simply left behind in time. For those that feel that way, I would like to remind you that cultural metamorphosis and progression does not in any way negate or transcend God’s design and plan for mankind. The family is the nucleus of the nation and when its true design is spurned by enough people you will find anarchy, moral decay, and pure antinomianism. The family has to be restored to its true design and purpose. This begins with men reclaiming what they have to this point abdicated, their God ordained roles as leader, providers and coverers. We as men have gone so long out of position that this will not be an easy task. We have walked in the arena of irresponsibility with virtually no accountability so long that some will literally have to be dragged back kicking and screaming.

With the same emphasis, women will have to relinquish some of the territory they have claimed over this period of anarchy. They will have to assume their God ordained roles as well. This will not be easy especially; reason being that there is no trust. When men vacated their roles and positions they left scarred, hurt and disappointed women in their wake. These women have experienced nothing but excuses and total disregard for so long that trust will have to be earned. Men will have to slowly work back into their roles. The tendency will be to power their way back in, but that will not prove effective. This can only be accomplished through the workings of the Holy Spirit. When the Christian nucleus of the nation begins to walk in complete surrender to the Holy Spirit we will see awesome results. We will begin to see the mending of broken hearts and the restoration of the family as God intended. There is no other way.

 

Restoration

The question now is: Where do we go from here. We have established the fact that we have made quite a mess of things. We have faltered in an assignment and placed ourselves out of the will of God. Subsequently, we have suffered the repercussion of our waywardness. We find ourselves in a situation where it seems that all hope is lost. As we glance into the heart of the matter all we see is destruction, hurt, distrust, and bitterness. We see a world that has lost its way and doesn’t seem to have a clue of how to right the ship. Yet, I am here to tell you that there is hope. We belong to a God that is capable and faithful. He is not only able to reverse this mess we have placed ourselves in, but he is willing.

Failure among God’s people is not a new concept. David failed, Elijah failed, Moses failed, All twelve of the disciples failed, Jonah failed and I could go on. The evidence of the failure of God’s people is overwhelming; however, just as equally overwhelming is the evidence that God is in the restoration business. As we progress through the Word of God, we see that even when God’s people are disobedient and find themselves in the product of their disobedience, God hears their cries of repentance and performs the unquestionable act of restoration. Yet in seeking this restoration we must gain a true understanding of what restoration is and what it requires.

“Restoration is more than mending broken hearts and bringing closure to sad chapters in life; it is refusing to surrender any of heaven’s own to hell’s work; it is redeploying wounded soldiers (restored) into constructive service for the glory of GOD. While certain area’s of service may be forfeited, depending upon the nature of the sin committed, we should remember that GOD controls the future and even HIS second best is usually pretty good.”Author Unknown

Restoration is not simply letting go and getting back that which was lost. It is a process that calls for sacrifice and commitment. We as soldiers cannot be satisfied with even one casualty. We cannot be content to sit idly by while the war rages before us. Restoration includes recovering from your wounds and getting back on the battlefield where you are needed. Restoration is assuming the task you were designed for no matter how late it the game.

Restoration begins with a veracious assessment of where we are in our walk and an acknowledgement of where we have failed; a searching out of God in all that we are and do. There is no greater example of that than David’s prayer to God after his sin with Beersheba which leads to him having her husband Uriah killed. Listen to what David says.

 

HAVE MERCY upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions.

2Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin!

3For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me.

4Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment.

5Behold, I was brought forth in [a state of] iniquity; my mother w

as sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful].

6Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.

7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean [ceremonially]; wash me, and I shall [in reality] be whiter than snow.

8Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

9Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my guilt and iniquities.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.

11Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.

12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13Then will I teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted and return to You.

14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness (Your rightness and Your justice).

15O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

16For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering.

17My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.

18Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

19Then will You delight in the sacrifices of righteousness, justice, and right, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then bullocks will be offered upon Your altar. (Psalm 51:1-19 AMP)

 

David acknowledges his sin. He does not make excuses for it. He does not attempt to rationalize it away. He does not use the wayward movement of others as justification. He simply mans up and says Lord I blew it; please forgive me and wash away the guilt so that I can continue on in this fight.  This is what we have to do. We have to acknowledge that we have missed the mark and fell short of our purpose. We must stand before God and give an account and trust that in His grace he will fix what we can’t.

Then we must repent. This means turn away from the sinful behavior to walk in the manner we have been called to walk. To expect God to provide complete restoration while we are still displaying behavior that will only bring more destruction is simply foolish. There has to be a changing of our actions which begins with the transforming of our minds (Roman 12:1-2).

There must be restitution. Whenever it is possible we must make amends for the damage we have done. This does not mean that we place ourselves on the hook with an unforgiving person that has only the intentions of vengeance. We are never called to mortgage our future in order to pay for our past. Christ covered that for us on Calvary. We are, however, to make an honest attempt to make amends.

Lastly, we should begin to walk in the spirit of restoration. We should live our lives as if we have already been restored. This calls for preemptive praise. This is praise that takes place before the manifestation and keeps the enemy at bay while we wait on the Lord to perform his marvelous work.

For every woman out there that is raising a child on your own, to every woman that is bearing the scars of an abusive relationship (emotionally or physically), to every woman that has been cheated out of their innocence, I personally stand in the gap for the man that caused you your heartache and declare at this moment: this is your year of restoration. This is your year of fulfillment and joy. This is your year of coming out. You are coming out of the darkness of abandonment. You are coming out of the pit of loneliness. You are coming out of the valley of despair. Yes this is your year. Let go of the pain and bitterness so that you can receive what God has prepared for you. I have one last thing to say to each you as you read this:

 

MAMA DON’T CRY!

Bishop Rick Wallace

The Invisible Father: Reversing the Curse of a Fatherless Generation

 

 

 

Where Can I Go Without Your Presence

 

1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham,Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’

2“I will send an angel before you and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite.

3“Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are an obstinate people, and (I)I might destroy you on the way….12Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘(R)Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know (S) whom You will send with me (T) Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’

13“Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, (U)let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight (V)Consider too, that this nation is Your people.”

14And He said, “(W) My presence shall go with you, and (X) I will give you rest.”

15Then he said to Him, “(Y) If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.

16“For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that (Z) we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” (Ex. 33:1-3, 13-16 NASB)

Here we find a very powerful message hidden within the self-induced turmoil of the Nation of Israel; The necessity and significance of the presence of God. The Apostle Paul, in painting images of the Holy-Spirit as God’s presence in the post resurrection era, points to Old Testament shadows and types in which the temple was the dwelling place of God. In several separate instances, Paul points to the believer as the temple of God. First, the believers collectively (the church as a whole is referred to in (1 Cor. 316; 2 Cor. 6:16), and then the individual believer as being the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). What Paul is pointing to is the eternal presence of God in the dealings of His creation.

In one particular instance, we see God giving Moses explicit directions for the building of the tabernacle in which He would dwell amongst His people (Exodus 25-31). Then there was the debacle in the desert where the Israelites decided they would worship a calf instead of God (Exodus 32). Because of their contrary and obstinate ways, God tells Moses that he will not go with them, but send an angel instead, because if He went their disobedient ways would cause Him to destroy them on the way (Exodus 33).

What I would like to focus on here is Moses’ response to the proclamation of God. Moses detects the inadequacy in God’s absence. You would think Moses would be satisfied with having a guardian angel, but Moses has an immense and acute perspicacity of what is at stake and immediately addresses the issue. Moses basically says to God, “You have declared us your people; you have proclaimed that you are pleased with me, but how will anyone know that you are pleased with me or that we are your people, unless you go with us. How will your people and myself be distinguished from all other people unless you go with us (Ex. 33:15-16 paraphrased). In other words, Moses was saying that the very identity marker of God’s people is God’s presence. Unless God be present in the midst of His people there can be no indication that they are His people. We all know that God honored Moses’ supplication, the Tabernacle was built, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (which later became the temple in Jerusalem).

It is of great relevance to understand that God’s presence in our circumstances and daily dealings carries an immeasurable impact in us fulfilling our destiny. His presence is the only way we can combat the enemy with success. Today we are the temple and the Glory that fills the temple is God the Holy Spirit. Though he eternally indwells the believer, we flee from his presence by quenching (1Thess. 5:19) and grieving (Eph. 4:30) Him. We ignore His promptings and disregard His revelations. As Moses did in the book of Exodus, we must come to the knowledge that we cannot successfully navigate the dark labyrinthine corridors of this perverse world without the presence of God to guide us. We cannot master the maze of mediocrity and move into the greatness of our designed destiny without His presence. We cannot sustain our gait without His presence to strengthen us. We cannot move past the monuments of malevolence laid at our feet daily by the enemy.

So many of us have set out on this journey with little or no regard to the proximity of God in relation to our walk; we have deemed it within our rights to walk alone. However, the design does not make an allowance for deviation from the plan. So much of our pain and frustration can be retraced to our unwillingness to walk with God and to submit to his will. For some of us, the presence of God interferes with our plans and desires, so we consistently tuck Him away until that convenient moment at which we decide we need Him.

 

Let us come to a place of understanding. Let us see with spiritual eyes that without the presence of God, we are dead in the water. Join me in inviting God in to establish our path and luminously reveal us as His Chosen.

 

May you be richly blessed,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Founder & President

Rick Wallace Ministries

100 Men of Purpose

Author: The Invisible Father: Reversing the Curse of a Fatherless Generation

 

 

 

 




WhereCan I Go Without Your Presence

1Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Depart, goup from here, you and the people whom you have brought up from the land ofEgypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will giveit.’
 2“Iwill send an angel before you and I will drive out the Canaanite, theAmorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite.
 3“Goup to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in yourmidst, because you are an obstinate people, and (I)I might destroy you on the way….12Then Mosessaid to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘(R)Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know (S) whom You will send with me (T) Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you havealso found favor in My sight.’
 13“Nowtherefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, (U)let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may findfavor in Your sight (V)Consider too, that this nation is Your people.”
 14AndHe said, “(W) My presence shall go with you, and (X) I will give you rest.”
 15Thenhe said to Him, “(Y) If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up fromhere.
 16“Forhow then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Yourpeople? Is it not by Your going with us, so that (Z) we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the otherpeople who are upon the face of the earth?” (Ex. 33:1-3, 13-16 NASB)
Here we find a verypowerful message hidden within the self-induced turmoil of the Nation ofIsrael; The necessity and significance of the presence of God. The ApostlePaul, in painting images of the Holy-Spirit as God’s presence in the postresurrection era, points to Old Testament shadows and types in which the templewas the dwelling place of God. In several separate instances, Paul points tothe believer as the temple of God. First, the believers collectively (thechurch as a whole is referred to in (1 Cor. 316; 2 Cor. 6:16), and then theindividual believer as being the temple of God (1 Cor. 6:19). What Paul ispointing to is the eternal presence of God in the dealings of His creation.
In one particularinstance, we see God giving Moses explicit directions for the building of the tabernaclein which He would dwell amongst His people (Exodus 25-31). Then there was thedebacle in the desert where the Israelites decided they would worship a calfinstead of God (Exodus 32). Because of their contrary and obstinate ways, Godtells Moses that he will not go with them, but send an angel instead, becauseif He went their disobedient ways would cause Him to destroy them on the way(Exodus 33). 
What I would like tofocus on here is Moses’ response to the proclamation of God. Moses detects theinadequacy in God’s absence. You would think Moses would be satisfied withhaving a guardian angel, but Moses has an immense and acute perspicacity ofwhat is at stake and immediately addresses the issue. Moses basically says toGod, “You have declared us your people; you have proclaimed that you arepleased with me, but how will anyone know that you are pleased with me or thatwe are your people, unless you go with us. How will your people and myself bedistinguished from all other people unless you go with us (Ex. 33:15-16paraphrased). In other words, Moses was saying that the very identity marker ofGod’s people is God’s presence. Unless God be present in the midst of Hispeople there can be no indication that they are His people. We all know thatGod honored Moses’ supplication, the Tabernacle was built, and the glory of theLord filled the tabernacle (which later became the temple in Jerusalem).
It is of great relevance to understand that God’spresence in our circumstances and daily dealings carries an immeasurable impactin us fulfilling our destiny. His presence is the only way we can combat theenemy with success. Today we are the temple and the Glory that fills the templeis God the Holy Spirit. Though he eternally indwells the believer, we flee fromhis presence by quenching (1Thess. 5:19) and grieving (Eph. 4:30) Him. Weignore His promptings and disregard His revelations. As Moses did in the bookof Exodus, we must come to the knowledge that we cannot successfully navigatethe dark labyrinthine corridors of this perverse world without the presence ofGod to guide us. We cannot master the maze of mediocrity and move into thegreatness of our designed destiny without His presence. We cannot sustain ourgait without His presence to strengthen us. We cannot move past the monumentsof malevolence laid at our feet daily by the enemy.
So many of us have set out on this journey withlittle or no regard to the proximity of God in relation to our walk; we havedeemed it within our rights to walk alone. However, the design does not make anallowance for deviation from the plan. So much of our pain and frustration canbe retraced to our unwillingness to walk with God and to submit to his will.For some of us, the presence of God interferes with our plans and desires, sowe consistently tuck Him away until that convenient moment at which we decidewe need Him.

Let us come to a place of understanding. Let us seewith spiritual eyes that without the presence of God, we are dead in the water.Join me in inviting God in to establish our path and luminously reveal us asHis Chosen.

May you be richly blessed,

BishopRick Wallace
Founder& President
RickWallace Ministries
100Men of Purpose



Faith Above All.

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