I’ll Take Your Shoes (Be Grateful, part 2)

All Hail to the Christ Within!

Challenges and tragedies have visited all of us. Our challenges don’t have to define us. Our tragedies don’t have to destroy us. We have to take a stand and decide to be successful.

One of the first steps to achieving success is knowing that you have a purpose. God has a great purpose for us all. No one is a mistake. No one is a waste. Of course, there are millions of people who have wasted their lives and died in defeat. But that fact doesn’t change the reality that they did have a divine purpose.

I wanted to follow up my Be Grateful: A Writing Assignment post challenge with another challenge of sorts. While you’re working on your detailed list of things to be grateful for, consider that someone would love to be in your shoes. Joe South beautifully sang these words many years ago: “Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes. Yeah, before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes.” While the song is addressed to others, I do believe it can be directed inwardly.

Too many of us hate on—or outright hate—ourselves. This lack of self-love is a major source of ungratefulness. Why be grateful when life is so glum, gloomy, and dreary? Why be grateful when my shoes—my life—is so much worse than so many others? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? You are not alone! I have too.

Thank God we are all walking in great shoes. The Spirit is carrying me to Exodus 3, where Moses encountered God through the burning bush. God said, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:5b) Moses was in a dark place. He was living out the rest of his years in seclusion. But God had great things for him to do. For sure, Moses was surprised by this instruction. How can this be holy ground? The way I look? The way I feel? This place can’t be holy? Can it?

The place where you stand is holy ground. Despite how you may feel about your life—someone would look at your life and say, “I’ll take your shoes.” Be grateful for where you are right now. If you see that you have a long way to go then be grateful for that. Be grateful that you are aware that you need to grow and work harder. Be grateful that you have a mind to think. If you can think clearly and walk by faith, you are next in line for a miracle. Be grateful. Things are looking up!

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Rev. George H. Latimer-Knight
Written December 1, 2016

Be Grateful: A Writing Assignment

 

All Hail to the Christ Within!

Praise God for another day and opportunity to experience the goodness of life.

I want to impress upon your mind, at this time, the importance of being grateful. Does anyone like an ungrateful person? Does anyone like it when they’ve helped a friend to only have that friend turn on them in a negative way? If we don’t like ungratefulness, then imagine how God views ungratefulness. We are so blessed that it is easy to slip into an ungrateful mindset.

The Spirit of God is constantly opening doors for us. It’s time that we be grateful. This subject reminds me of the Hawkins Family song, Be Grateful. Listen to it sometimes. It beautifully reminds us of the goodness of God. The song has several verses that are counterintuitive but are backed up by scripture.

God feels our pain. In times of trouble, we tend to feel isolated. We feel like no one understands what we’re going through, not even God. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) That Christ Spirit inhabited the body of Jesus, yet was unmoved. That same Spirit of Christ inhabited the body of Father Hurley and many other great leaders for that matter. When we pray, God knows how we feel because God dwells within each of us. God eyes through our eyes, hears through our ears, and feels through our emotions. Rest assured, when we cry out to God, God feels our pain.

God will never forsake you. That’s right, no matter what you are going through, God will deliver you. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5) The deliverance may not come in the form you desire but it will come. In fact, your deliverance could have come and gone. Did you possibly reject it because it didn’t come the way you wanted?

This is why gratefulness is so important. We have to be grateful for every door of opportunity. I truly believe we are all more blessed than we can possibly imagine. But because most of us tend to focus on what we lack, we fail to see what we have. And by failing to focus on what we have, by extension, we fail to focus on what we have to work with. We all have something to work with. God gave us a mind to think. If we keep our minds in a positive and spiritually-inclined frame, we can overcome anything.

Steve Harvey often suggests something that I will give a try. He says to really become grateful, write a list of everything you have to be grateful for. Make the list as detailed as possible. For example, “I am thankful that I can bathe and dress myself.” Another example, “I am thankful for my steady income.” Again, we tend to be so ungrateful, caught up in our lack, that we overlook all the good that’s happening around us.

Take the time this week, to start writing your list. For those that can, save your list on your computer, iPad, cell phone, or other device. However you save it, do as Steve Harvey suggests and read it three times a day. It won’t be long before your mindset will change.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Rev. George H. Latimer-Knight
Written November 22, 2016

What 35 Means to Me

All Hail to the Christ Within,

God bless each and every one. You, you, and especially you are all important to me. Thank you to everyone who took the time to extend birthday wishes my way. Praise God for 35 years of life.

Before my birthday, the concept of a mid-life crisis was heavily on my mind. Popular wisdom says that at 50 years old, men generally have a mid-life crisis: the male equivalent of menopause. There is even some scientific evidence that men do have a sort of physiological menopause. By age 50, men realize that they don’t likely have another 50 years to live. And too many men try to recapture their youth by dating younger women, buying a sports car, dressing in the latest fashions for young men, and other outwardly youthful activities. Ultimately, few men feel any better after going through these changes. They find out that quite reflection—and taking a new direction in life—are much more effective. Some men, unfortunately, have even ruined their lives by engaging in reckless mid-life crisis activities.

Considering that the average life expectancy in America is about 78 years, 35 is the better time to have a mid-life reflection. Steve Harvey made a statement that’s applicable here. Most people spend their thirties making up for their twenties and their forties making up for their thirties. For me, 35 is the perfect time to hit the faith gas pedal and zoom strong toward the 40 year mark.

Father Hurley, in the Ethiopian Context Bible, discussed the 7-year life cycles at length. Here’s a brief chart, in case you’ve never heard of the concept:

1st cycle: Birth to 7 years
2nd cycle: 7 to 14 years
3rd cycle: 14 to 21 years
4th cycle: 21 to 28 years
5th cycle: 28 to 35 years
6th cycle: 35 to 42 years
7th cycle: 42 to 49 years
8th cycle: 49 to 56 years
9th cycle: 56 to 63 years
10th cycle: 63 to 70 years
Etc.

According to this, I’m at the beginning of my 6th cycle of life, which carries through to the early forties.

There’s never a wrong time to start living by faith. There’s never a wrong time to increase your commitment to finding, and subsequently living out, God’s will for your life. How ever old you are, now is the time. The time is now to pursue your dreams. The time is now to obey God. As Charles Stanley teaches, “Obey God and leave the consequences to him.” You were born for a reason—a great and divine reason. There is a purpose for you being on this earth, at this time. You were born for this day, week, month, year, and generation. God has placed something unique within you that the world needs. While you may never become famous, you are famous in your world. Who do you influence? Who looks up to you? You are important.

I find myself more in-tune with the Holy Spirit than ever before. I’ve become dissatisfied with good enough. I’ve grown tired of waiting for some special moment to reach my full potential. The time is now for me.

The time is now for you. It’s your day. What can you do today to get closer to your dreams? Maybe reading a few chapters in a success book is what you need. Maybe a study of the scriptures will do you good. Maybe you should attend a session concerning the business opportunity you’ve been eyeing. Maybe you can start drawing up your vision board. There is something you can do—TODAY—to get closer to your goals. Not clear on what your goals are—well, writing down a draft of your goals would be a great start for today.

Mentally and spiritually, I feel more motivated. Thank God for this mid-life reflection the Spirit has been carrying me through this past month. Come and join in. It’s not just my time, nor is it just your time, it’s OUR TIME.

May God richly bless you one and all.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Rev. George H. Latimer-Knight
Written November 12, 2016

A Time to Reflect, De-Stress, and Overcome

All Hail to the Christ Within!

In light of the recent unrest in our nation, we need to all take a step back, take a deep breath, and do something positive. De-stress. Decompress. Do something fun. Laugh. Enjoy your family. Everything will be alright. Have faith that there are practical solutions to all of our issues.

Here are some words of encouragement from the scriptures:

Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God (Mother Hurley’s Favorite Psalm) (Psalm 91 NKJV)

1. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

3. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4. He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6. Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

7. A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8. Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

9. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10. No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11. For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12. In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16. With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Father Hurley’s Favorite Psalm (Psalm 37:1-6 NIV)

1. Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2. for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3. Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4. Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5. Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6. He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

“Seek Wisdom Above Violence and Retaliation” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6. in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

“Seek Love” (Leviticus 19:18 NIV; Zechariah 8:17 NKJV; Luke 10:27 NIV; Romans 13:8-10 NKJV)

18. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

17. Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the Lord.

27. He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

8. [ Love Your Neighbor ] Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

9. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

10. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Regardless of the evil in the world, IT’S STILL THE YEAR OF CELEBRATION!!! Rejoice. I say, Rejoice.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Rev. George H. Latimer-Knight

The Many Sacrifices of Mother Hurley

Let us take a few moments to pause and mark that 56 years ago today, the Reverend Mother Cassie Bell Hurley made her transition. We mark this solemn occasion with joy. There is joy in knowing that the life of a child of God is never in vain. The Spirit lives on.

Rev. Ruby Mitchell of Michigan summed up Mother Hurley well when she said, “Mother Hurley did it all.” Indeed, let us think on that today. Mother Hurley did do it all. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, humanitarian, philanthropist, pastor, instructor, and leader. Mother Hurley was married to a strong-willed man. When Father Hurley set his mind to a task, he pursued it with laser focus. Sometimes he unintentionally, and sometimes intentionally, pressed forward without even considering his wife’s feelings. Though Mother Hurley was reserved and quite, she spoke her mind when necessary. She would let Father Hurley know when he needed to slow down and reconsider his actions.

Here is a little known fact. Father Hurley loved his time in India. He felt free from the racism that plagued him in the remnants of the antebellum south. Father Hurley sent a letter to Mother Hurley instructing her to pack their things. He was going to send for her and the children. Yes, Father Hurley wanted to permanently relocate to India. In response, Mother Hurley said no, no, and no! In her wisdom she wrote to her husband, “Why don’t you take what you’ve learned there and teach it here.” The Holy Spirit, through Mother Hurley, planted the seed of the Universal Hagar’s Spiritual Church.

Mother Hurley carried her burdens with grace. She had many critics during Father Hurley’s life, after he passed, and even now, long after her passing. Not many women could’ve stayed married to a man as strong as Father Hurley. And she not only stayed married, but thrived in that marriage. Mother Hurley was also great in her own right. The Hagar movement progressed forward under her leadership. Mother Hurley was known throughout the country, not just in Hagar circles, but in the wider communities for her community service.

Let us memorialize Mother Hurley by finding our own path. For in finding our own path, we will be better able to relate to those around us. Mother Hurley mastered self and was in tune with the God within. If we do the same, we will be great also.

I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
Rev. George H. Latimer-Knight
Written June 28, 2016 at age 34

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