by E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
“The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” – Barack Obama
“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.” – Pat Riley
Forward Thinkers, there are two amazing examples from the bible I want to share with you before we go to the chosen text for this week. First, remember Jesus folded the napkin as he left the grave but he left his clothes lying on the ground; let’s also recall after Jesus called Lazarus from the grave he told him to take off his grave clothes. In the Jewish community, when the head of the family gets up from the table he throws his napkin on the table which is states he is done but if he folds his napkin that states he was not finished but coming back.
Ok, Forward Thinkers I know you are thinking right now! Pastor Deckard cool and you know some Jewish stuff but what does that have to do what us today? Forward Thinkers, I’m so glad you asked because the purpose of me bringing this up is simple. Jesus is the head of our family, faith is coming back but we will not be wearing the defeated clothes of the grave.
Forward Thinkers, the bible says when Jesus returns he will be looking for a church without a spot or wrinkle in other words when Jesus returns you won’t be looking bad, mad, or sad but you’re be coming out in style.
Luke 13:10-13 New International Version (NIV)
10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Forward Thinkers, I want you to notice this woman had major issues in her life and she had been struggling for a long time. This woman had so much going on to where she could have been in Keith Sweat’s video in 1987, “Something, something just ain’t right”, but Forward Thinkers she didn’t let her struggles keep her away from hearing the word of God.
Forward Thinkers let me make this super clear, when you’re going through something or dealing with something you don’t need to run from church, but you need to run to the Green House International Church to receive a word designed to empower you to reach your full potential.
The Woman was Crippled
Forward Thinkers, the woman was unable to function at full capacity and unable to move around with total freedom. The expand definition of crippled is to be emotionally crippled, spiritually crippled, or financially crippled.
Forward Thinkers, today our youth are crippled in a system where the school yard has become a pipeline to the prison yard. Listen to this, not many Pastors will tell you that Aldine ISD 1.114, HISD 3,584, Klein ISD 396, and Spring ISD 543 youth are on probation while still trying to earn their high school diploma.
Did you know there are over 14,000 total youth on probation in our community with a breakdown of Blacks 5,469 and Latino 4,696 that’s over 11,000 of our kids crippled by a combination of bad decisions and a broken criminal system?
Forward Thinkers, we are a generation crippled by the lack of positive male role models in our communities. We are a generation crippled by an education system more concerned with Standardized testing scores and budgets than the total welfare of our children and their futures.
Forward Thinkers, we are a culture crippled by poor money management skills and poor work ethics.
Forward Thinkers, we are a culture crippled with defeated mindsets and selfish motives.
Forward Thinkers, we are a culture crippled by major companies laying off 11,000 workers in one week and sending jobs overseas to a cheap labor force.
Forward Thinkers, we are a country crippled by laws protecting the rich when they are guilty, but killing the poor before they can even prove they are innocent.
Forward Thinkers, we are a country crippled by politicians still mad that a Black man lives in the White House.
Forward Thinkers, there is a constant tug-a-war of spirits battling inside of each and every one of us. The spirit of fear, doubt, jealousy, and envy wants to overcome us; the spirits of drugs and addictions are teaming up to help defeat us. Forward Thinkers, we must remember God did not give us the spirit of fear and God calls us victorious over comers.
Forward Thinkers today, you must decide which spirit you will feed the most and remember a negative attitude easily becomes a crippling spirit.
Forward Thinkers the bible says her condition had been for 18 years which is a long time, but I look at this differently. This means this has not always been her story. There was a time she did not have this issue in her life and I’m releasing my faith today, that the favor of God is getting ready to restore and renew you back to mint condition. Forward Thinkers, as matter of fact I’m releasing enough faith to declare you are better than ever before.
Can you see yourself better than every?
Forward Thinkers, I’ve discovered while I’m waiting on the “favor of God” to turn it in my favor I’ve got to encourage myself at times.
Forward Thinkers, while this woman was bent over she had no vision or power and we know where there is no vision the people perish.
Forward Thinkers the enemy desires to keep you bent over, but today I declare the favor of God is getting ready to straighten you up so you can: Rise Up, Look Up, Speak Up, and Move Up.
In conclusion, forward thinkers, notice some of the people got mad when this woman straighten up, but they could not stop the “favor of God” from showing up and showing out. The FOG “favor of God” is getting ready to shut up your opponents.
A few years ago Marvin Sapp’s song ‘Never Would Have Made It’ became the national anthem for the body of Christ. In the song Marvin Sapp stated he was wiser and stronger after going through all the difficulties in life. Forward Thinkers I’m standing in agreement with you, this will also become your story; you will be better, wiser, and stronger after the favor of God turns things in your favor.
Forward Thinkers, they can lie on you, they can mock you, they can walk out on you, but the “favor of God” won’t let them stop you.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, 16711 Ella Blvd. Houston, Texas, 77090. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or the church website www.ghic.net