A Drink of Water Can Change the Game

In John 4, Jesus makes a statement to the Samaritan woman at the well, that, to some, may seem a little flippant if taken out of context. He says to her, in essence, you (and your people, the Samaritans) worship you know not what. From an historical context, Jesus spoke correctly. After all, He is the truth, surely His statement was accurate. Read here to learn all the basic nuances. The Samaritans were removed from the fundamental religious precepts, welcoming other ideas and adaptations to the Jewish principles and foundations that had already been laid.

This distance in beliefs separated the Jewish people from the Samaritans to the point that the woman at the well, though she desperately needed help from this (God)man who asked her for a drink of water, was actually surprised that Jesus had even addressed her in this social context. Forget church, she was surprised He even asked her for water!

This same idea is true today. As has been stated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 11:00 a.m. hour is the most segregated hour in our country each Sunday – has been for years. We often look at a different culture of people and of their religious expression and message, we say, “you worship you know not what.”

But beyond worship, we are often separated in our philanthropy. Who we will give a drink of water has everything to do with who we are related to – or who we relate to! I would assert that Americans are more likely to give to a commercial philanthropic effort (national or internationally known outreaches) to India and Africa than to the local inner city or nearest-by area in need.

The conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well ended with Jesus reading her entire mail! Lol, he told her “herstory” (her extemporaneous relationships and current “situation”) but also gave her solutions to her issues. She dropped her mundane chores and went – she ran actually – back home to report that she met a (God)man who changed the game for her – and thus He, through her, changed her city. His gracious engagement of her on a personal and social level was entree into a life-changing spiritual encounter that changed an entire group of people.

Statistics that churches are still mostly segregated in our nation persist. One of the only other constants in statistics about American religion is that every religion has a marked, marginal revolving door. This is another conversation in itself, but does have its place here.

What are you saying, KenMos? My points are simple:

People leave one religion looking for hope and comfort in another for a whole lot of reasons. Not the least of which is that they haven’t found the love and grace that Jesus offered the woman at the well. This is the same reason we tend to remain racially divided every Sunday.

This statement is a game changer: God is a spirit, and they that worship him must do so in SPIRIT & in TRUTH.

Until our worship style bows to the display for the unadulterated SPIRIT & TRUTH of God through messages of pure love and grace, with signs and wonders following – AND complete with the sign of true religion: caring for the less fortunate such as widows and orphans, we won’t see an end to segregation in our churches.

We must come to a place where we can relate to each other on the most basic level, something as simple as a drink of water.

We have to acknowledge that the message of God’s unadulterated grace was dispensed through an uncircumcised man through whom all nations of the earth, both Jews and Gentiles, are blessed before we can worship together.

Until we can say: “WATER, I need it and so do you. GRACE: I need it and you do, too. JESUS: I’ve met him, have you?”, we will never say to anyone, “come see a (God)man.”

So Long, Old Friend

For the first time in my entire adult life, just a moment ago, I felt thankful for an experience with someone who I thought ruined my life (with my help). After feeling manipulated, threatened, and left emotionally bankrupt, it took me years to get passed the fallout of the situation (one that led to another and one after another)..over a decade to not feel the sting of certain memories, and for the first time that I can remember, I feel thankful for the presence they all brought to my life – not because it was pleasurable – but because I learned that while pleasure can sustain you for a time, only it, only pain can help you grow.I’ve never heard of growing pleasure, only growing pains.

The feeling that the floor has fallen out from under you while the roof is caving in is unmistakeable. It is helpless and hopeless. And when you are left without the comforts and confines of life as you know it, you are forced to use just one thing: the personal inner strength and fortitude required for survival. And once you learn how to survive; when you learn that life is one big ball of a comedy of errors somehow divinely used to better the world around you, you can begin to make something magical and auspicious of the life you’ve been given.

I’ve learned to thrive off of my own steam, my own fuel. Not everyone will ever see my personal vision or dream. They were never meant to – lest they say I owe it all to them. I know that now, and am learning so more and more with each passing day.

I would not have learned that, had I not been left to see what I was really made of when my only remaining, constant friend was my pain.

I’ll never forget what you taught me, dear friend, pain, and you and your cousins may no doubt make visits to my house from time to time. And don’t worry, though our lasting friendship is certainly now come to a close, know that I’m finally thankful for your presence in my life. You taught me well. You prepared me for a life full of pleasure. Thank you.

WHO GOT NEXT?

For years, we’ve said, “if it were me, I would…” about the folks in leadership and the spotlight. For my generation, if you’re still waiting for someone to pass you the baton, you’ve missed the whole movie. It is now our time…to make a difference in whatever way possible, in your sphere of influence, in your space and time.

Speak to It #1

Some of you may have read my first book, Be Fruitful & Multiply. In this book, I discuss God’s first instructions to mankind when He created us. These words were preceded by some very strong examples of the God-kind of communication. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis – in its first verses – we will find some very examples as to how speech is an important tool for shaping our world. In those first verses, we learn that in the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, there was nothing:

NO LABEL REQUIRED

Many relationships fail because when we enter into any kind of relationship or partnership, we see the aspect of the individual that we desire to unite with. When we marry someone, though me are marrying our wife or husband, they are not simply, a wife or a husband. They may also be an athlete, CEO, teacher, father, friend and son or daughter.
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