... To church just the way you like it!

This is the GetLifeRightNow!® Ministries pulpit!
Grab a warm beverage; pull up a comfy chair; bask in the presance of God, & be filled by His holy Word!

Warmth, Comfort, Love & Understanding...
...church - the way it ought to be!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

Message Topic: Purpose

Purpose: Jeremiah 29:11
Pointless: Proverbs 16:9

Ever since high school – maybe even as far back as the 4th grade, I suppose, I have had a desire to be special. Well, more specifically, to be thought of as special. I have wanted to be chosen for the team, picked for the solo, recognized for an accomplishment and desired as a friend.

And the reason I felt it necessary to clarify that it wasn’t just a matter of wanting to be special, but instead to be singled-out as special, is because all the while I did have attributes that were worthy, desirable, unique and even special, but not always quite good enough. All my encouragement and support seemed to be always followed by a “but…”

Maybe my personality was too loud, brash and crass but no one knew how to tell me. Maybe I was too selfish, too know-it-all, or too bossy but no one got a chance to tell me. Maybe I couldn’t really sing, couldn’t really dance or didn’t really have “it” and no one had the heart to tell me. Or maybe someone tried and I never really listened, never really heard or never actually believed it was true.

I confess all of this painfully and with much introspection for a purpose: all these circumstances and desires carried into my adult life; my job search; my career plans; and my self-esteem, and manifested as a complete lack of life purpose. Oh yeah, and the symptom of that lack of purpose was a deep, almost obsessive desire to be thought of or recognized as special.

Up until April of 2008 I was still searching for purpose. I hadn’t even completed my son’s baby book from the start of 2005 because I was stuck on “mother’s occupation.” Then I had a vision of that answer – and while I knew it was from God I didn’t know what the answer was. I made up my own mind and went in pursuit of what I thought it was – feeling like this finally might be the answer.

Along the way, while in pursuit of what I thought my purpose might be (or at least a fairly comfortable facsimile or substitution), God was faithful to reveal the truth to me: we all have a purpose. It is one designed by God and for His glory. He has given us talents, skills, trials, lessons and direction all throughout our lives that steer us toward that purpose, train us for it, prepare us for it and mold us for it. And in His season, in His time and according to His grace, He will bless us with gifts to be used specifically for that purpose as well.

Psalms 139:13-17 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knows right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in they book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”

God created us each individually. He created us before the world began. He fashioned our parts and how they would grow all the days of our lives, even before he made us. And He continually thinks about each individual He has created.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peach, and not evil, to give you an expected end.”

Those precious thoughts the Lord is thinking of unto us – those great sum of thoughts – are thoughts of peace, not evil. He wants nothing but good for our lives and those thoughts have an expected end – one God will give: we have a God given purpose.

We have purpose because God has intended it for us. But purpose is not destiny. We have a destiny – we have a divine destination. How could we have no destination even though God promises to be our guide? Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart devises his way: but the Lord directs his steps. How pointless would it be for God to direct our steps towards nowhere? There is a destination planned for us and it is up to us to follow it. There is no one, not even God who can keep us from our destiny except ourselves.

Remember when I said it was a vision that led me to my purpose? That purpose was realized on August 23rd when I received my license as a Minister of the Gospel. But the vision that started me on this path was a vision of my destiny. As God tries to lead me down the correct path I have already been swayed off-course by my own motivation, distraction, anxiety, doubt and desire to be special. Believe it or not, however, it has only been since August 23rd that I have realized and come to accept that I am extremely special, held in high-regard, blessed and highly favored by God Almighty and that it is sufficient – His grace upon my life is sufficient.

You see, I have minister friends and associates who say they have “run” from their calling. I continuously hear of Pastors who have “run” from their calling and in fact, didn’t even want a job as minister, pastor or even in the ministry at all. It has even been said of me that I was running from my calling as well. But the truth is I was running from one thing to the next, desperately in search of what my calling was.

I cannot and will not shy away from my calling or avoid it due to the trials and tribulations – even persecutions that are sure to come. I have been in search of a purpose for far too long to deny it or shy from it now. I have withstood far too many nasty trials and tribulations in search of this purpose to shrink away from it in awe of what will surely come. No matter how difficult and trying or even painful my new journey may be, I am thoroughly excited about my purpose, simply because I finally have one! It may be weird, or different or unusual for a Minister to feel this way but it doesn’t much matter. It’s just one more thing added to the list of what makes me special!

What about you? You don’t have to be called into the ministry, or even called to some career society deems as worthwhile to be considered special. Parent, student, counselor, teacher, receptionist, soldier, CEO, Trustee, analyst, executive, coach, cook, Pastor, PTA member, community leader, politician, activist, clerk, nurse, doctor or athlete; working, fired or retired – God designed you for a reason and for a purpose; either where you are, elsewhere or both.

It’s up to you to trust that God wants and has the very best in store for you. Believe that He IS and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him – and then seek Him according to Matthew 6:33. Ask for what you have not – including Wisdom and understanding and commit all your ways unto Him (Proverbs 16:3).

God knows you are special and I think so too. Do you?

Power, Love & Peace ya'll!
~Min. Dez

Friday, August 14, 2009


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

Message Topic: Pay

Get robbed: Malachi 3:8
Get paid: Malachi 3:11

Lately the subject of “tithes” has been heavy in my study, my teaching at church and my Bishop’s teaching as well. It seems that this economy is dredging up some deeply heartfelt issues we Christians (and some non-Christians) have regarding tithing and it is exposing some ugly truths about the matter as well.

Now I cannot say this has only happened to me at my church, but it truly has happened to me at every church I have been to or even visited in which the sermon topic was “tithing” - and that's guilt. Usually when I hear a sermon on tithing I feel guilty as if I am guilty of doing something wrong – even though I have been a fairly consistent tither through the majority of my Christian walk.

It seems as if preachers and pastors sense there is a problem with the parishioners but their choice of resolution is to continue beating us over the head with Malachi 3:8. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings.” Malachi 3:9 goes on to say “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.”

Yes, the bible is plain – when we withhold our tithes and offerings we rob God. And when we rob God we are cursed with a curse – plain and simple. It is the ugly, guilt-ridden truth. And when I’ve been guilty, I have been guilty no doubt about it. But does calling a liar a liar stop him from lying? And if you call someone a liar who is telling the truth does that make them a liar after all? No – and that’s why Malachi 3:10 goes on with the promises so many of us are familiar with but still can’t seem to consistently get it together.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of host, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Now admittedly, even when I tithe regularly, there still seems to be times when this promise eludes me and I wonder if I’m doing something “wrong.” I have even (recently) felt so seriously that the enemy must have wormed his way into my checking account and stolen away my money that I closed down the account altogether.

That was when God began to dispel some myths and some curses for me as well. I want to do the same for you, but it comes with a warning: (in the alleged words of Maya Angelou) “When you know better, you do better.” And when you know better you are accountable for what you know. God has indeed blessed me through my tithes when I didn’t have a clue that I was robbing Him and thought I was a faithful and cheerful tither, but once I was convicted of a deeper understanding I was held responsible for the actions associated with that deeper understanding. So, if you want a deeper understanding of tithes, keep reading. But if you stop here – that doesn’t necessarily mean you can keep on keeping on and keep thinking you’ll be blessed!

We’ll start with “bring ye all the tithes.” Many, many teachers and preachers teach that a “tithe” is 1 (one) tenth of your income or increase. Actually tithe is the FIRST tenth of your increase. Go back to Malachi 3:4 “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” In “former years,” and even when Abraham paid tithes of all he had to the High Priest Malchezidek in recognition of the Covenant Promise given to him and all his seed (us), a tithe was the “Firstfruit.”

God made all first things holy: First born sons, first born lambs, the first of all harvest and the first of all increase. And if the part is holy, the whole lump is holy. Our first fruit is a holy, devoted and consecrated thing. It is set apart by God as being His and being Holy unto Him. That first tenth sanctifies the rest and makes the rest Holy – or redeems that which it has been redeemed unto. Did I lose you?

Ok, when you get your check you either deposit it or have it direct deposited into your account. And, usually when you get cash it goes into your wallet for spending. Some of us take that cash and put aside our tithes right away. I would calculate my tenth in my mind and “designate” that amount to give in church but I wouldn’t necessarily set it aside physically.

Here’s what happens: when it comes time to pay the bills there are two kinds of tithers. One will pay all the bills and pay tithe on the balance. The other will calculate the tithe amount and pay all the bills with the rest. Then when Sunday comes they write a check to the church for their designated tithe amount. (That was me.)

All of us are robbing God when we pay our tithes like this. Because, if we pay AT&T first, or the housekeeper or DWP or bought groceries, we have just consecrated the first fruits of our increase to the phone, Merry Maids, the electricity or Albertson’s. And unfortunately because none of those entities died for our sins, our money which is no longer redeemed towards our Covenant Promise, cannot unlock the promises of God in our lives. Now are you with me? I hope so, but I’m going to take it one step further, so hang in there…

Jesus died for our sins, right? And we believe in Him by faith, right? Through that faith we are the seed of Abraham - Galatians 3:7: Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And Abraham and all his seed was given the Covenant Promise. Now then, Jesus is the lamb of God, right? He is The First Fruit – the Lamb with out blemish that died to redeem us from our sins. When we consecrate our first fruits unto God, it redeems the rest just as Christ redeemed us. When we pay our tithes into the storehouse of God that there might be meat in His house, it redeems the rest of our money that there might be meat in our house. Are you back with me now? Great, then we’re moving on…

Now let’s look up “will a man rob God.” I looked up the word “rob” in the bible concordance because all the preachers and deacons say “You are stealing from God!” But the bible defines stealing as thievery. It is to take in secret, to closet away and hide in private something that doesn’t belong to you.

Robbing, however, is defined as a mugging. It involves bodily harm and is includes the concept of being “held up.” We are holding up God, tying up His hands and locking up His ability to open up the windows of heaven and release our blessings when we do not tithe or tithe accurately. And the only individuals we are stealing from is ourselves.

The California state lottery has a saying: “You’ve got to be in it to win it.” Well, regarding the promises of God, I say: you’ve got to pay, to play! Pay your tithes, yes! But set aside the first of what you make – consecrate it as holy and the rest will be made holy. I challenge you to create a new system in which you pay your tithes first no matter how or when you get paid.

God put it best this way when He said, “prove Me” or test Me. He is telling us to challenge Him according to His promises. And if we do, He goes on to promise that the curse we are cursed with will be removed when He – God himself – will rebuke the devourer (Malachi 3:11).

Oh, yes, there it is – I was right about my bank account all along! When we tithe “as in the days of old,” it is so pleasing to the Lord that He will rebuke the enemy so that he (the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy) “will not destroy the fruits of our ground; neither shall our vine cast her fruit before their time and all nations shall call us blessed.”

The enemy ain’t playin’ but I am! I will pay to play with all my tithes and offerings!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

Message Topic: Procrastination

Slothful: Proverbs 18:9
Diligent: Proverbs 12:24

Have you ever been low on gas – really low – and figured you could make it to a cheaper station, only to run out blocks before you got there? No, huh?

Have you ever had a bill to pay and put it aside until more money came in so you could pay it, only to forget about until after the late penalties had been assessed? Not you?

Have you ever had a fix-it ticket that was minor and fixable, that you put off getting signed off until you were conveniently in the area, only to find it had turned into a warrant by the time you got to the DMV? Never happened to you?

And did you ever delay responding to an email (or call), waiting until you had more time to write (or talk) at length, only to find out they had received their answer from someone else once you got back to them? No, not that either?

It can’t only be me! And if it’s not just me, then listen up – either we are, or we are related to someone who is a big waste of time, effort and money! Well… kind of. Throughout these and similar situations we have wasted money, wasted time and wasted opportunities to be a blessing to someone’s life because of our procrastination.

Proverbs 18:9 says, “He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.” When we are lazy about the things we must do, we end up wasting a great deal such as: the extra time to walk the few blocks to the gas station and back; the extra money to buy a gas can or pay late fees or an extra word here and there to build a relationship and be an example of Christ in our lives.

It is a strain and a tedious effort upon our lives when we are always living on the back end of procrastination. The situations in need of rectifying are always worse than if we’d handled the matter right away. The extra effort is a burden. Or you could say we are “taxed” by the efforts. Proverbs 12:24 explains it this way: “The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.”

Now the opposite is said to be true for those who get it done, don’t waste time and manage their duties efficiently. Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of the sluggard desires and has nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”

The soul of this sluggard is covetous. We always think of covetousness as desiring something someone else has. But when you obsessively desire what you don’t have – a better life; a better job; a better spouse (or one at all); a better house; better behaved kids; better relationships, or whatever – you are wasting the time to acquire those things by desiring them. And that kind of desire or wanting is covetous.

Usually my procrastination is due to waiting for or wanting something better: I’m looking for a better price; a better time; or a better opportunity. But when I’m waiting on “better” I’m only waiting on “the late show.” And when you constantly live at “the late show” your blessings will consistently be a “no show.” But the life of the diligent is full, happy, content and blessed – overflowing and in need, or want of nothing.

You’ve got a life to live TODAY! Don’t put it off any longer. It’s time to stop wasting what you don’t have and start getting what you want. So stop reading this study and get to it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

JULY Theme: Freedom

Bondage: John 8:32-36
Freedom: Proverbs 3:5

Again last month, I missed the last lesson in the series on Fathers. I had been diligently working on my book and on that Friday it was finally completed and had the printer’s final approval for publication. My proof copy had been ordered, the book was made available on Amazon.com, and I was ecstatic! I felt so free from that months-long project that I absolutely forgot about the Friday bible study.

Then as the next week as the 4th of July began to approach I knew I wanted to begin a series on “freedom”. How appropriate I thought the messages would be not only for this time of year, but also for this exciting new time in my life. But by Friday, no words or thoughts would come.

And it is truly not as if I procrastinated or purposely delayed the writing of the message because nothing was coming to me, but instead I was truly busy. You see, the writing of my book was not the end of the project I have been working on. In fact, it is truly the beginning. It is to be the start of a series of speaking presentations and the first on is scheduled this coming Friday, the 10th in Sacramento, CA. Once I completed the book I really didn’t have the time to rest and rejoice as if the project was over, because there was so much more to do.

But in my heart, that was just an excuse. Physically, my time and all my activities in life are a slave to the production of this event on the 10th. I am in bondage to the successful completion of this awesome task before me. However, spiritually, I am also a slave and in bondage to the Lord, whom I believe has given me this ultimate task. And as of late, I have been in such turmoil that indeed, writing about “freedom” seems nearly impossible. Generally I feel I can only teach that which I have learned.

John 8:32 – “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” But a person cannot be “made” free if they are already free. Only those in bondage can be freed. And in fact, that was the very next question the disciples asked of Jesus when he made this statement in verse 32. They said, “We are descendants of Abraham! We have never been in bondage to any man! How can you say you will set us free?”

His disciples had been living their whole lives as if they were free and never once knew that they were in bondage; slaves and not actually free. I was in bondage to the completion of that book and for a moment, when it was done, I forgot that I was not actually free.

And in my salvation, in this walk with God, I have had many, many experiences when I have felt such freedom, that it has not been until this project that I realized, I am not yet entirely free indeed. In John 8:36, Jesus completes the answer to the disciples question about being bondage with this statement: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Of course, I felt freedom from my sins when I first came to Christ. And along the way as I have grown and grown closer to God I have felt more and more free.

Only through Christ does the idea of “surrender” bring freedom. In war when an opposing enemy surrenders, they become voluntary prisoners. There is no physical freedom until the war is over. But through Christ, to surrender to Him means a complete abandonment of that which you are surrendering and the freedom in that is intoxicating! Most of the time…

It seems the hardest thing I have yet to abandon to God is not my life; my sin; my money; my family or even my soul – it is my understanding. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” I have an understanding that God has directed me to write this book and do these presentations. I have had a fundamental understanding as to how to accomplish those goals. In the end, my understanding of how to write and publish a book, had very little to do with the writing and publishing of that book.

Any reasonable human being would surmise that the same would apply to the events. In other words, God wanted me to write a book; He made it possible for me to write the book and the book was written. There was freedom in abandoning that process to God and the reward was freedom indeed. Ask me if I’ll write another book and I’ll eagerly respond in the affirmative.

These events currently are a different matter. It seems that I cannot release myself to God’s understanding. My turmoil is that my understanding of the matter makes the successful completion of them (and Sacramento in particular) an absolute impossibility. As I look at the matter by sight and not by faith, it is frightening to lean not unto my own understanding. It would mean a complete abandonment of all that is reasonable, logical and possible according to my own understanding.

And so, until such a time as the Son makes me free, I am indeed still in bondage.

Yesterday was Independence Day. Many of us hung out with friends, ate BBQ, played in the sunshine, swam in pools and enjoyed extraordinary fireworks. We may have heard patriotic songs like the National Anthem, God Bless America and America the Beautiful. We may have even seen or participated in a memorial for our veterans and the current soldiers still away at war. But I wonder how few of the majority actually took time to fiercely consider and acknowledge our freedoms – nationally, individually and especially spiritually.

I didn’t. I am still in bondage. And when the Son sets me free, I will then be free indeed. To be continued…

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's Here!!

Finally, it is finished!

My first full-length, Christian Life Coaching book is finished!

And I have to give all credit and glory to the Lord, my Father in Heaven who wanted this book written in the first place! Without the power of the Holy Ghost I'm sure I'd be crying in my closet somewhere!

To order this title, check out my publisher supported EStore
To order other titles by my publisher, Destination Publications check out my temporary page
"Soon" the official Destination Publications web site will be available. I'll give you the link now, so you can keep checking back.
ALL (100%) of the proceeds from Father, Brother, Lover, Friend: Finding "The One" remain with Destination Publications and the parent non-profit company Destination Christian Services, Inc. to cover our "A.I.M. 4 Kenya" Missionary project which sends personal care items, customized study booklets and purchases bibles for refugee women and teens in Nairobi, Kenya through the Angaza International Ministries and Pastor Isaac Andeche.
Currently we are trying to ship two 35lb boxes of supplies over for $200 each. If you would like to donate please see our charitable giving site: Hip2Give
Finally, the book is the primary subject matter for the "Relationship of Love" tour - coming to a city in a state near you throughout 2009 & 2010. To find a tour near you, purchase tickets, buy the book or find out about prizes and gifts check out my personal ministry site: GetLifeRightNow!
The first date is July 10, 2009 at the Sacramento Convention Center!!
Please pray for me...
Power, love & peace -
~Min. Dez


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

JUNE Theme: Fathers

Old Fathers: Ephesians 6:4
New Fathers: Luke 3:22

I don’t ordinarily do this, but today I am attempting to plagiarize someone else’s Father’s Day message.

On the radio Friday morning, while on the way to downtown Los Angeles, I was reminded that I’d forgotten to do the bible study that morning by an insightful and thought provoking Father’s Day message that I had tuned into. I happen to come in at the tail end of the message and so the truth is I do not know what the program was, or the name of that particular message, and I believe the speaker was “Pastor Jeffery” – with Jeffery being his last name.

I apologize in advance for this being the only recognition I can give him for such a powerful message. So powerful in fact, that I cannot resist sharing it. And I share it again to you all (as I did on Mother’s Day), not just to those who are Fathers, but especially to all of us who have or have had a Father.

Pastor Jeffery’s own father, apparently was a very well known and beloved Theologian – who just so happened was gruff, critical and had difficulty expressing any affection to his son. All the praise and kind words Pastor Jeffery got from his father came from his father’s students and peers who would often say, “Your father is so proud of you – he speaks highly of you and he talks about you all the time.” To which, of course, Pastor Jeffery would respond, “I wish he’d tell me that himself.”

As his father got older and Pastor Jeffery attempted to become closer to his Dad – and even, he said, to “teach him how to hug,” his Dad only made little progress in the area of praise and affection. So much so that while on his death bed, elder Jeffery told his son he loved him, and Pastor Jeffery’s first thought was, “Please God, don’t let him take it back and negate it like he has done every other time, and then die.” Pastor Jeffery was rewarded – his father never did retract or negate that statement before he died the very next morning.

From years of ministry in relation to his own experiences Pastor Jeffery has come to the conclusion that, while he knew without a doubt that his father loved him dearly, there seems to be a generational issue wherein men of his father’s age bracket and older all seem to “suffer” from the same malady in regards to their children – not just sons. He has determined in his heart and in the lives of his own children that he will (and has I might say) break the cycle.

His example, unfortunately, comes from no other male figure. His plan of action is not even born of a desire to provide what he had been missing – that is only his motivation. Pastor Jeffery’s example comes from God Himself. Ephesians 6:4 says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Pastor Jeffery says, that fathers need to be aware that there is that possibility that they might push too hard.

Yes, the admonition is on us as children that we must honor our mothers and fathers. “Children obey they parents in the Lord.” Yes, we get it. But the admonition of Ephesians 6:4 says nothing in regard to the wrath a child might experience – it does not say, children do not become wrathful, but instead it speaks to the fathers. Careful – be careful that you do not push your children into anger and wrath. But instead, nurture and admonish them.

Many dads have the “admonishment” part down easy – somehow that comes naturally to them. And, it could very well be because of the example they had. However they come by it, all who have had the problem of provoking their children have done so because “nurturing” has been seemingly left out of the equation.

”Nurturing” is often associated with motherhood. It is rare – even today – for men to be considered nurturing. And Ephesians does not state that children should be brought up in “nurturing admonition” but instead, the word of God separates the two: the nurture AND admonition of the Lord.

And so, we have all experienced the admonition of the Lord. We have been chastised in Him, corrected and directed with a firm and reproving Godly hand. Still, many of us still equate God’s blessings as a sign of God’s approval. This statement is from me: God’s abundance of blessings in our lives is not a sign of how much He loves us, but instead they are a sign of how much we love God.

According to Pastor Jeffery, God showed the example of how to nurture a child through Luke 3:22 “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” Even Jesus needed love and recognition from His Father. And it was public and it was verbal and it was accompanied by a physical touch. The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove, upon him. The dove has long since been a symbol of love, peace and hope, and every touch we as parents give our children must be representative of love, peace and hope as well.

Pastor Jeffery made a commitment that the buck stopped with him. His decision was this: no matter how you were raised, no matter what your father was or was not capable of we are responsible for our own reactions. And, no matter how we’ve been in the past, it is never too late to start. He was given a gift upon his father’s passing. It was the kind and loving words of praise that now could last him for a lifetime. And even though he waited until he was an adult to hear them, it was still just as meaningful and necessary in his life. It is never too late to start.

And if by chance it is too late for you to receive this kind of approval from your father, be comforted as Pastor Jeffery was. You see, long before his father finally told him that he was loved, Pastor Jeffery had made peace with his dad.

Pastor Jeffery tallied up all the things he’d learned from his dad and in spite of his dad and the sum of them made up the man he had grown to be and he recognized fatherly love in that truth. Some of it was his earthly father’s love and some of it was his heavenly Father’s love that thought enough of a man to nurture him and even admonish him when his own father couldn’t.

God has our very best at heart and some of it is administered directly through our dads and some of it is given in spite of our dads, but we honor them and love them just the same. Children love your dads today. Dads, love your children today. No matter where they are, no matter what the past has been, today is never too late to love.

Power, love & peace, ya'll -
~Min. Dez

Monday, June 15, 2009


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

JUNE Theme: Fathers

E. Father: Matthew 5:48
H. Father: Matthew 7:11

So often though, we treat God either the way we think He will treat us, or in the way we think our earthly fathers treat us. We are reluctant to pray, and reluctant to ask for anything because we’ve already assumed the answer. If we are used to a harsh father who never freely gives us anything, we may automatically expect our Heavenly Father to react the same. If we’re used to a father who requires we work for everything, we’ll feel we have to work for our blessings from God. And if we feel undeserving of anything from our earthly father, we may not even ask of anything from our Heavenly Father.

But God’s love towards us is far beyond how our own fathers might treat us. In fact, it is more like (and actually far surpasses) the way in which we would (or think we would, or would want to) treat our own child. In fact, Matthew 5:48: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect,” is an example of how to be the kind of parent God wants us to be – and not to be the kind of parent we think He is to us.

But for many of us, our acceptance of God or our relationship with God is based upon our relationship with our father. Again, we relate to God through the filter of how we relate to our earthly relationships. And when we are given the concept of our Father in heaven, we have no choice but to consciously or subconsciously compare that to what we know about earthly fathers in general or our own father specifically.

And it most certainly is not that God treats us in the same manner that our own fathers do that we misunderstand what he is to be to us, but instead it is because we treat God as if He will treat us the way we expect our earthly fathers to.
Some fathers try to buy their children’s love. Some children grow up thinking God is a magical genie – the end all be all and ultimate giver of heavenly blessings and material gifts. They go to God always wanting, always expecting always asking… for things. And when God doesn’t deliver, it is an instant sign that God doesn’t love them, or God doesn’t exist.

Of course, some fathers are absent, disconnected or negligent. And some children grow up to be adults who are sure there is no God. And if there is – that God is not thinking about them as an individual. They are sure they will have no prayers answered and quite possibly that God won’t even hear them. Somehow they are unworthy of forgiveness, unworthy of a relationship with a heavenly Father and unworthy or undeserving of His love.

Some fathers are only good for play time. They are practical jokers, good buddies and fair weather friends. And some children grow into adulthood and cannot take the concept of a heavenly father seriously. Come on – you must be kidding. There is no God that is going to listen to my problems, share in my grief and sorrow, wipe my tears away and care for my burdens that I cast upon Him. Instead, God is an ever present spirit – a light and ethereal being and creator of wonderful things like sunshine and puppies who is no more potent, powerful or real than a fairy in a nursery rhyme.

Some fathers are strict disciplinarians who cannot show love but only show correction and even disappointment or dissatisfaction. They rule with an iron fist and can barely crack a smile. Some children grow up to be adults who treat God as if He’s only comparing them to a heavenly list of “rights and wrongs”. They feel as if they’ll never measure up to what God expects of them. The concept of a loving, affectionate father in heaven is foreign, even impossible to conceive of, let alone accept. They feel unworthy, inept, dirty and too shameful to come to God. And unfortunately most Christians don’t help. Far too often it is easier to point out the sin of a sinner instead of just loving a person in spite of their sins and our own.
No one can come to a God whom they think is only going to condemn them to hell. And so they will not come at all – they will not ask for anything, they will not trust in a heavenly father and quite possibly out of rebellion they will not submit to a heavenly father.

And still other fathers are kind and caring, affectionate and giving – they discipline with love and love very nearly unconditionally. And some children grow up to be adults who are not afraid to go to God with their problems and they can trust a God that promises to see them through. They can take their chastisement for their growth and their unconditional love with gratitude, thanksgiving and praise.

No matter what kind of Earthly father we’ve had, this is the kind of Heavenly Father we have and should get to know. He wants us to know Him for who he really is and not who we think He is or make Him out to be – according to what is comfortable for us. God is love and therefore God’s love is perfect.

Matthew 7:11: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

Whatever we are seeking in a Heavenly Father, God will not let us down – in fact, He will surpass our every desire. But He cannot do that so long as we assume His character, motivations and determine the quality of the gifts He gives. And the only way to keep from making those assumptions is to get to know the Father for yourself.

That means study, prayer and meditation. Studying the word of God let’s us know who God is and what kind of relationship He wants to have with us, but our relationship is not with the book or the pages therein. Our relationship must be built the same as any other Earthly relationship – through communication and time.

Most everyone who has had a good relationship with their Earthly fathers will say they did because of the quality time they spent together, the things their fathers taught them and the conversations they shared. The relationship was mutually beneficial and enjoyable. So should be our relationship with God the Father. And prayer is our only form of communicating with Him. It is the way we talk to Him.

Unfortunately, many of us do not bother to find out if He is listening. I know I didn’t. For the longest time I thought meditation was some Eastern religious practice and taboo for Christians. Joshua1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” In other words, we can’t just talk about what God will do for us and the promises of His word, we must meditate on the Word, and when we do, God will speak to us. That is how we build a tow-way communication with God. That is how we build a mutually beneficial and enjoyable relationship with our Heavenly Father.

As Father’s Day approaches, consider spending time to build and strengthen the relationship with your Earthly Father and your Heavenly Father too.

Note: Portions of this study were taken from my book: Father, Brother, Lover, Friend: Finding “The One” to be released June 15, 2009 (God willing!)

Wishing you all power, love & peace! (2 Timothy 1:7)
~"Min. Dez"

Sunday, June 7, 2009


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

JUNE Theme: Fathers

Our Family: Matthew 12:46-50
His Family: Matthew 19:29

Last month our theme was Mothers. And I missed the last week of the month. This month our theme will be fathers. And so I think a good segue between these separate three weeks of lessons about mothers and fathers, is “family.”

Jesus had a family just like us. He was the first born amongst His siblings – brothers and sisters. He had a mother and a father who cared about him (Luke 2:48b); raised him up in the ways of the family; and had certain disciplinary expectations of him. (Luke 2:41-49). And by the time He was a teenager he too had parents who didn’t understand him! (Luke 2:50)

Jesus, just like us had to do things for his mother that he didn’t want to do (John 2:1-10); He had to work in His father’s business even though He had a different vocation (Matthew 13:55 & Mark 6:3a) and was at odds with his family from time to time (Mark 6:3b). But when push came to shove, they loved Him and supported Him none-the-less. (Acts 1:14)

Jesus understood the importance of family, but He recognized both the physical family and the spiritual family.

When Jesus was on the cross in the midst of His “passion” – the crucifixion, He took the time to acknowledge the importance of family. There He noticed the woman who had been blessed to be His earthly mother, and also His Aunt, both standing by the cross. I am sure Mary had to have been weeping and lamenting the fate of her son. There also was the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (John 19:25-27) standing by and when Jesus saw them both He told them – “woman here is your son; behold here is your mother,” And from that same hour the disciple took Mary as his own mother and cared for her.

It’s easy not to think much about Jesus’ family – but when you do, you could imagine they were close. But whether they were or not, there is that closeness of family that God wants with us through Jesus.

At one time, Jesus went up to a mountain to pray. Afterward he called to himself His many, many disciples and chose the twelve who would be His Apostles: “And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.” (Mark 3:16-19)

Now when the multitudes heard He was there they pressed in on Him for healing and to hear His teaching so much that Jesus and the twelve disciples could not even eat. Soon someone told Jesus that His mother and His brothers were outside seeking to speak with Him. “And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” Mark 3:33-35
Jesus wants us to recognize that once we are adopted as sons and daughters into the family of God, that we have a new family that we must love and care for.

The commandment to honor our mothers and fathers never comes to an end even though our relationship with them must change. We are to honor mother and father that our days may be long upon this earth – and if those days are long – then we must continue to give our parents honor through out all of those days.

But no matter how long our days become upon this Earth, once we come to Christ, we must come to him honoring Him even more than the family we’ve been commanded to give honor to. Luke 14:26 says, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

Let me tell you a true story – my husband and I needed to go pick up my car that was in the shop and for some reason, we couldn’t take our 4 year old son along with us. So, we asked our neighbor to watch him for about 20 minutes. Now, our neighbor John is a 50-something bachelor, divorced with two grown children and no grandchildren. He has a pool table and an arcade golf game in his rec room so we figured both he and our son would be cool for this short amount of time.

Well, from nowhere, John produced a basket of wooden building blocks and we left them facing off over the family room ottoman, getting ready to build – they were fine. My husband and I did what we had to do, came back, got our kid and it all worked out.

Weeks later John told me that once we were gone and they were quietly focused on building a tall tower, my son stopped and asked John, “who is more important, your family or God?” And John, being shocked by the question and not wanting to risk accidentally trampling on what we might be teaching him decided to give him what he called a “politically correct” answer and replied, “Well, I figure since I love God and I love my family and God gave me my family that I love them pretty much about the same.”

My son apparently was not satisfied with that answer and said, “No, who do you love more?” John stammered, now a little more uncomfortable and said, “Well, I guess I’m not sure really sure how to explain it to you.” And my son, still not satisfied, could only let John off the hook a little and answered, “But, you do know what the right answer is, don’t you?”

John said He struggled to respond because, indeed he had been wrestling with this very same question in his heart just recently and he was so amazed that God had spoken to him through our little son.

The truth is God does want us to love Him more than we love our families. He wants us to trust Him more than we trust our families. And in doing so we entrust our care and concern for our families over to Him.

There is a woman I know who looks like she is the best example on Earth as to how to love the Lord our God "with all your heart and all your soul and all your might" – Deuteronomy 6:5. For the time that I have known her, it has been obvious that she fears no thing except God. She is a shining example of the Proverbs 31 “virtuous woman,” and her husband is a strong man of God.

And this dear woman is ill. My pastor’s wife mentioned that this was the example of living for Christ that was void of being afraid to die. But the truth is that this dear woman’s heart is indeed fearful about leaving her wonderful family. She is clinging to the promises of God and her knowledge of the word with the hope of remaining on this Earth longer, for her family.
But if she would release that desire unto the Lord, ready and willing to let them go and be with the Lord, then would her days be prolonged upon this Earth.*

Abraham in his old age was promised a son – and he was promised a son who’s generations would be greater than the stars in the sky or the sand by the seas. Isaac was that son of promise. And when Isaac was a boy, God told Abraham to take his son and offer him as a sacrifice. Abraham was supposed to kill his son, the son whom he loved, before that promise was fulfilled. And though distraught, I’m sure; Abraham was willing to be obedient and faithful in doing it. The knife was raised over his son lying on the altar, and an angel of the Lord had to shout Abraham’s name twice because he was about to plunge that knife into his son.

Sometimes we have to give up family, to receive family. Job gave up all his family – wife, children and all he had including his own health – but he never cursed God. He was rewarded with a double portion of blessings and family restored to him.

Family matters – and the love we give them matters. But the love we have for God matters more. John 3:16 is such a common verse: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.”

God loved us enough to give His only begotten Son so that we could have life. It is the love that makes a difference in regards to life – the life we live now and the life we will live for eternity. And so what family are we willing to give in order to have life? It is the willingness – the loving, trusting willingness to trust God that completely, and that if we do, God will honor us with life everlasting and life more abundantly for all our generations.

Power, love & peace - ya'll!
~Min. Dez

(*) For clarification, drop note in the comments.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


© 2008 Deidre Campbell-Jones
May Theme: Mothers

Nylons: Matthew 20:20
Support Hose: John 19:25

You may not be old enough to have had a mother who wore “support hose” – or maybe now that your mother is old enough, she still doesn’t. I remember my mom talking about support hose, but I don’t remember her ever wearing a pair. I can imagine though, through all I’ve put her through, she would probably wish she’d had a pair of support hose that she could have put on in order give her the support she needed just to try and support me through all the failures I’ve had in life

Society seems to place so much pressure on moms and dads in this regard. If a person does not do well, society looks to how they were raised. And if a person does do well and is highly successful, again it is looked at how they were raised and the lessons of their upbringing.

But mothers however, get a tougher rap. Thanks to “Freud” mothers are the first to be considered whenever someone suffers from mental illness. Somehow the source always starts from childhood and never from the event that got the person sitting before the psychotherapist in the first place! And yet, mothers may also get the most (and most deserving) glory as well. Whenever a pro-ball player gets in front of the camera, the first thing he says is, “Hi Mom,” even if it is Dad who has suffered with him for hours and hours helping to train that boy to get where he is. And Mother’s Day is still the biggest day of each year for card sales and restaurant reservations – even above Valentine’s Day.

Mothers have a lot riding on their shoulders and those shoulders must bear the weight of the world and the brunt of all that we as children place there. In that regard, all mothers need support hose – but not to smooth out the unsightly bulges and blips of an aging body, but instead to smooth out the anguish and the worries that come from loving, encouraging and trying to support their children.

Every good mother wants the best for her children – she just can’t help it. Matthew 20:20 describes a woman who wanted nothing but the absolute best for her sons. “Then came to Him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.” She wanted the highest place of prestige for her boys – that one would sit on Christ’s right hand and the other would sit at His left in the reign of His Kingdom. She dared to ask of the best for her sons and was willing to bear the full brunt of the weight of support for them.

Hey, but let’s admit it – supporting James and John, the two sons of Zebedee was probably an easy and beneficial thing for a mother to do. Her boys were famous – in fact, they’d already been of good report because of their father. Zebedee was obviously a man worthy of mentioning and his sons became known as the “sons of thunder” – as Zebedee means “thunder.” And now these two boys were Disciples of Christ; the Messiah, and the King of the Jews. Surely they were at the peak of their careers and purpose in life. Their mother may not have known the risk she took in asking Jesus such a question, but her support hose were easy to wear that day. It is easy for a mother to support a child when that child is doing well in her eyes.

But not all mothers have it so good. Some mothers have children who are lazy, have not finished school, cannot get a job and won’t leave home. Some mothers have children who are troubled and troublesome. They spend time in jail, in and out of marriages and relationships and are not good and supportive parents to their own children. What kind of support hose does this mother need to wear?

John 19:25 describes the ultimate act of support to me. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.” Mary, Jesus’ mother stood by His cross while he was being crucified. Now remember from last week’s lesson, Jesus’ mother and his siblings did not necessarily show themselves as supportive of his ministry until after he was crucified and risen. It seems on the surface that they had been the last hold-outs, waiting for the ultimate proof that their family member – son and brother that they had known all his life – was really the one true, and only begotten son of God. Sure, I’ll believe it when he’s risen!

But in truth, Mary shows true support of her son even if she did not yet show true belief in him as The Son. You see, Jesus had been reviled, and was being crucified for the most heinous crime in Jewish law: blasphemy – worse even than murder as was proven by the fact that the Jews chose Barabas over Jesus when Pontius Pilate gave them a choice of who to release.

Mary had a son that was despised and abused; given the harshest sentence and was treated that much more harshly because of it. At the time that she stood by His cross, most all of his disciples had run into hiding for fear that they would be next. And yet there stood his mother, staring into the unrecognizably beaten face of her son, supporting him and loving him no matter what they said he’d done.

And Jesus, even in His greatest hour; the time of His purpose and the height of His passion, suffering and dying on the cross remembered and rewarded His mother for her loving and unwavering support of Him.

A mother’s genuine support can make or break the world in they eyes of a child. The sons of Zebedee hid behind their mother’s support and the other disciples were moved to indignation against them – not their mother. James and John were puffed up by their own self-importance because of their mother’s support of them. And like I said, it is easy for a mother to be supportive of her children who are doing well in her eyes.

But a mother who can support through love even when her child is at his lowest point, even when all looks lost and even when the truth of what she sees does not match what her heart knows is true – that is a mother whose support is worthy of the Lord. That is a support that will bring her glory, honor, recognition and reward.

A mother’s love is the warmth that comforts and soothes, but a mother’s support can lift the world and suffer the course even unto death. Now those are some mighty hefty support hose!

Power, love & peace -
~Min. Dez

Sunday, May 10, 2009


© 2008 Deidre Campbell-Jones
May Theme: Mothers

Deuteronomy 5:16
2 Corinthians 1:4

Last week I began the lesson by saying, “Happy May Day,” without entirely knowing what May Day is. This week I begin by wishing you a heartfelt, “Happy Mother’s Day”. And I do so with full knowledge of what Mother’s Day is about and that’s why I’m wishing you the happy Mother’s Day whether you are a mother or not, and if you are a guy and even if your mother is no longer with us.

Deuteronomy 5:16 says: “Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

It is said that this is the first commandment with promise. However, when I first began reading and learning the bible I misunderstood and thought the promise was for the parents. And when getting in trouble I would think, “Don’t make me accidentally dishonor you if you want God to let you stick around a good long time!”

Instead, we know this promise is for us. Simply by honoring our mothers and fathers we can not only add days to the length of our lives and we can be assured that things will go well for us. And so isn’t it wonderful, at least from that perspective, that in our society we have one day set up where we can specifically honor our mothers and fathers? That’s at least two days each year that you can add on to the length of your days!

And the good news is, that since that promise is given to those who would follow the commandment, there are no qualifiers placed that requires our mothers be living, worthy or even aware of that honor. Although, if your Mother’s are living and you want the second part of that promise to apply to you: that it may go well with you, I suggest you make sure your mother is aware of the honor you show her especially (if not only) on Mother’s Day!

If our mother’s have passed away I’m sure there is hardly a reminder needed in order to honor her. But mother’s day is a good day to do it. For many, the memory of a mother’s passing is painful. But even if you set aside one day a year to purge that pain and honor your mother in memory of the her and her gift of life to you and the life she lived with you (no matter who long or short), I believe it will, be well with you. The good news about honoring our mothers is that no one else necessarily needs to be aware of it either. Your honor you show for a mother who has gone on can be shared between you and God alone.

Some of us however, have had mothers that make it difficult to even alone, let alone in public. How can one honor a mother a mother that doesn’t live honorably or is not seemingly worthy to be honored? Well, as I’ve said, that honor is not specified as honor that is given on display and the first place to start honoring a dishonorable mother is right there in the bosom of forgiveness that can only come from God.

Years ago I took a young thirteen year old girl under my wing – I gave her a place to hang out, a little female advice and helped her with her homework after school. She was a gorgeous girl and as puberty set in she began to suffer the standard teenaged angst over life, but hers seemed to be magnified and more painful because of her past. This girl, Michelle, was of mixed race – black and white and she was being raised by her white and quite elderly grandparents. Once Michelle had become a teenager, they suddenly did not understand her, because of such a wide generational gap, and became extra hard on her out of fear that she would become like her mother – since their trouble had started with Michelle’s mother when she became a teenager.

Michelle’s mother had been young when she had her. She had been on drugs and was a prostitute. In fact, even Michelle at the age of thirteen knew that her father was her mother’s pimp. She also had known that the pimp had repeatedly beat her mother, trying to make her miscarry (Michelle), upon learning about the pregnancy.

By the time I met Michelle, her mother had already passed away from a drug overdose and in her curiosity about God, she could not reconcile why He would have given her such a horrible woman for a mother. And why even after her death she still had to live a “horrible” life simply because she’d been born. She, in fact, had frequently lamented to me that she wished the pimp had succeeded the night he’d beat up her mother trying to get rid of her.

Here is what I told Michelle: God doesn’t make mistakes, people do. And no matter what mistakes a person makes, it is only God that creates life. Michelle’s pimp of a father and whore of a mother did not create the life that became that thirteen year old Michelle. The made the mistakes in their lives that, while the enemy meant it for evil, He meant it for good.

The proof is that her pimp of a father did not succeed in aborting Michelle. God had intended for her to survive, to be a survivor and to know the life He had given her. And that God thought enough about her and loved her enough to give her a life at all and that; of course through Him and not through her parents or grandparents she could have that life and have it more abundantly.

So what’s my point? Sometimes the lessons we learn are specifically good and are directly what we should do. Sometimes the lessons in life are specifically bad experiences and are given indirectly as an expressed example of what NOT to do. When Michelle turned 16 she became pregnant and had a little boy. You might think that Michelle was following in her mother’s footsteps, but in fact, just the opposite. Yes, she had low on self esteem and looking for love and attention in all the wrong places. But once her son was born, Michelle was determined to be the best mother she could be. She got her GED and became a health technician right away. And she made sure the baby’s young father helped her by keeping their son while she was in school. Buy the time she was 18 years old; she was living in and paying for her own apartment for her and her son.

We can learn how to be a good parent from good parents and we can also learn to be good parents from bad parents. The lessons may be more painful, but once learned can have a double blessing. You see, God doesn’t teach us lessons we have no need to learn. We are told to comfort others with the same comfort we have been comforted with. 2 Corinthians 1:4: “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

I know that Michelle has turned into a good example for her son and for others. I also hope there is one dream she never gave up on. She had dreams of being a country and western singer! And often she would put the pain of her life into the lyrics of a song. If Michelle continued with the gift God gave her, then she will have been a comfort and an example for all kinds of girls in similar circumstances.

God knit us together in our mother’s wombs and it is no accident the things we love, the things we’re good at and the destiny we’re meant to live. Good or bad we can count it all for joy. Praise God our mother’s wombs nurtured us for 9 months while God fashioned us just exactly the way He intended.

Praise God that we have sustained or survived life with our mother’s because all things work for the greater good for they that love the Lord. There are simple reasons and complicated reasons, but ever reason is a good one to honor our mothers on this mother’s day. Honor them that God thought enough of us to give us the mothers we’ve had, for however long we’ve had them, so that we could learn the lessons we have learned and so that we can comfort others in the same manner in which we have been comforted.

On this day, I honor not only my own mother, but your mothers too – because without them, I would not have the honor of knowing each of you. In honor of your mother, I wish you a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day!

Power, love & peace
~Min. Dez

Sunday, May 3, 2009


© 2008 Deidre Campbell-Jones
May Theme: Mothers

1st Mothers: Titus 2:4
2n Mothers: 1 Corinthians 13

It is May! Happy May Day! I do not know what “May Day” is, but it’s good to have a reason to wish you a happy day. The month of May however does not make me think of May Day, nor is my first thought about Mother’s Day. No, when spring is ushered in by the first day of May, my first thought is the little rhyme: “April showers bring May flowers.” And something about saying the words “may flowers” makes me think not of the birds and the beauty of God’s colorful splendor – but crazy enough, I think of the Mayflower – you know, one of the first ships Columbus sailed across the ocean blue to “discover” America…

Well even more odd is that, this morning, knowing I was going to begin a study on Mothers I still went through my little rhyme with thoughts that led to the Mayflower, and then those thoughts led me to the thought of it being one of the first ships to America and somehow I thought of first mothers and second mothers. Titus 2:1-4 says, “But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,”

No mother wants to be called “aged” especially not around mother’s day! So, 1st Mothers – you all have a big responsibility in teaching us 2nd Mothers and I know it’s huge because technically, in this day and age, I too am a 1st Mother when it comes to all the younger women I meet who have children my son’s age. You see, I am in a very unique position of being more of a “Middle Mother”. I am new enough into motherhood to still need to be taught, and I am mature enough in age that I have a responsibility to teach.

But the most significant thing about these verses in Titus is what we are mandated to teach!

The men are told to teach the younger ones to be sober, grave, temperate, in sound faith, charity and patience. Then it seams the women get a much harsher list that includes holiness, drunkedness, lying, loving our husbands and loving our kids. First let me say, that we are told “likewise” – meaning not only, but also. First Mothers are also supposed to teach Second Mothers how to be sober, grave, temperate, sound in our faith, in charity and in patience. And let me tell you, it is important that we do so! I am 43 and have found myself teaching to, ministering to and even being frustrated by the need in other women to be taught this information! The unfortunate part is that the women I’ve had the opportunity to speak to, and the women I’ve really, really wanted to speak to, were not all necessarily women who were younger than me! Why is that? It is because their First Mothers no longer have this as their own personal doctrine. They were not taught and so they cannot teach.

It has been disturbing to me to feel compelled to give a word to women older than I am or with children much older than mine about their standards for raising their children, their behavior and examples as women of God and even how they love their husbands. I can only surmise that this is because I have had a far better example than they have had. Thanks, Mom!

So let’s start with being sober – men, listen up, these first all are for you too. Not only have you been given (and given first, I might add) the mandate to also be all these things, but whereas the woman must be taught to love her husband and love her children; they are your children too and you are or might be that husband.

Serious, solemn, or sedate; not bright, garish or flashy; quiet or plain, exaggerated or distorted as in “the sober truth.” This is also characterized by sanity, being sensible or reasonable, having self-control and emotional balance. These are the definitions of “sober”. Let’s also consider “grave” at the same time, because I assumed they were same, however they are indeed only similar: important, weighty, not light or trifling or trivial in consequence; grievous and seriously contrary to what is right; evil enough to cause spiritual death.

To be temperate is to be mindful of ones temper; moderate and not self-indulgent; moderate in actions and speech; self-restrained or restrained. And then of course we are told to be sound in our faith, in charity and in patience. Faith, charity and patience we think we know – but as a reminder: Faith is not "belief" it is the ACTION based upon our belief; Charity is not just love it is the ACTION of giving out of love and Patience is not just tolerance it is the ACTION that results from tolerance. Think of this way – you can’t just act patiently, you have to BE patient. Now then, can any of us actually remember having been taught patience? If so, we are taught by example.

So then, think for a moment of the examples of faith, charity and patience your mother showed you. Add also to that list her examples of gravity and sobriety as I have described them above. Most of our mothers have passed on these examples of instruction affectively.

But now as I write this lesson, I realize there is a gap somewhere. Suddenly I can remember so many times I may have kept a younger woman from jumping all over a waitress prematurely, or gently corrected a woman about her views on race and ethnicity, and especially all the casual conversations that turned into me teaching a one-on-one mini-sermon about God’s word on faith! Not all mothers were able to teach these principles to their daughters and not all fathers were able to show these examples to their sons.

Most frustrating to me have been the times where I have been compelled to instruct a mother on how to raise her child – younger, same age or even older than mine! What seems like common sense to me has not even been thought of by so many women. The things I would never expose my child to are common place and even encouraged as “cute” in other homes. And the very things I’m trying to discipline my child for, his peers are not only getting away with but are being allowed to set the standard. I want to take those parents and shake them, lecture them, spank them and give them a big time out – 1 minute for every year of their age!

But that’s only my frustration about raising children. Then there is the mandate about loving our husbands. Granted I am in my second marriage, so obviously things were terribly wrong with the first, but still – it seems things that were common sense not to do even in that first marriage are common place in everyone else’s marriages.

Here is what is missing: love. I was blown away when I really paid attention to Titus 2:4. Younger women are meant to learn how to love their husbands and learn how to love their children. Learning how to love a husband makes perfect sense – especially if you have to learn to love a husband who is unlovable and doesn’t even love himself or others. I happen to think it is far easier to love a husband who is doing right and treating you right, but apparently that is not the case for most people. The only reason I can see must come from Titus – because women have not been taught how to love a husband.

But do we really need to be taught how to love our children? Don’t mothers automatically love and know how to love their children? How can we really when we aren't really taught just exactly what love is in the first place?

In February I did a bible study on love that covered more than just the standard list in 1 Corinthians 13. It covered the 7 principles of God – our God who is love. Those aspects of God are the aspects of love: faith; trust; giving; forgiving; truth; goodness and fruitfulness. If we have been loved with faith in who we are and that God created us to be who we are; and loved with trust and forgiveness; if we were loved by good and giving parents, and if that love bore the fruit of more love in our lives, then indeed – we were taught a loving and Godly example of how to love our own children. It is this example that we must continue to live whether we are a 1st Mother, 2nd Mother, Middle Mother; no mother at all, or even a father…

And so in this month that leads up to Mother’s Day, let’s begin to honor our mothers by honoring them for the examples of love they did provide. Sure, it may not always have been all aspects at all times – and of course, we as children probably instigated that! But God gave us our mothers for that purpose – no matter how long or how short we may have had them.

In honor of the true love they have shown us, let’s make the effort to be that love for others as well.

Power, love & peace -
~Min. Dez

Friday, May 1, 2009


© 2008 Deidre Campbell-Jones
April Theme: Life

My Life: Romans 3:23
His Life: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Religious excuses, spiritual excuses, church excuses, Jesus excuses – they are all the different types of excuses given for rejecting the Gospel of Christ.

Now, I’m not talking about science excuses, probability excuses, evolution excuses or dinosaur excuses that discount the existence of God. I’m talking about people who will concede there is a higher power, who will admit there is a creative being that created the heavens and the Earth and probably all that is in it. I’m talking about people who will allow for the “Big Man in charge”, the “Man up there,” the “Big Guy” or a kind-of sentient “Universe” that gives power to the words we “put out there.”

These are the people I’ve been discussing who are “spiritual,” who are not “religious,” who will even say they believe in God, but… and that “but” is generally followed with a religious-based excuse or a spiritually-based excuse, a Jesus-based excuse and most popular, the church-based excuse.

At my 2nd church home, here in LA, years ago – the Pastor made a statement that I have plagiarized and used time and time again. “If you’re looking for the perfect church and you find it, once you get there it won’t be perfect any more.”

All too often – and I mean that literally – people blame the reason they don’t want to get to know Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, on the people who go to church. They say they are hypocrites – guess what, so does the bible – so did Jesus! They say they are fake, unloving, judgmental and condemning – and so does the bible! The definition of “Christian” is not some perfect individual who is like Christ in every way. Instead a Christian should be trying to be a perfect individual who is like Christ in every way. But the bible says ALL (except Christ) have sinned and come short of the glory of the Lord – Romans 3:23

We as Christians are not perfect and cannot be perfect although we are told to strive for perfection. We are called the sick, the lost, the brokenhearted and we are to gather together for healing, to find one another and to fellowship in love – the Love of Christ. It is when we who are called out according to the love of Christ, are gathered together in fellowship – that is when we become the ecclesia – the called out body of believers.

You see, when Paul began establishing churches he was establishing churches in various cities, but he didn’t go with a million dollar building fund and meet with Architects to draw up designs for an even bigger cathedral style building than the one built in the last city over.

No, instead Paul taught the Word of God. And as the people came together to listen and to learn, they began to fellowship with one another, and help one another and be healed of their physical, emotional and spiritual brokenheartedness together. And when people are sick, they need a physician. If you are spiritually sick or emotionally sick, you need a professional in those areas too. The early churches were believers who healed and helped one another as professionals in spiritual and emotional illnesses. The church is still supposed to be that very same thing.

If you go to a “church” building and everyone is healthy emotionally and spiritually then either that church is a really good church and you should stay and get some more of that, or there is no need for that church any longer. Those church members should disband and go out and join other churches where there are still emotional and spiritually sick believers and unbelievers and do the miraculous work there that they did at their old church.

You see, the church is not a building filled with hypocrites and judgmental spiritual bullies… well it’s not supposed to be. The church is not a building at all – it is not the huge, welcoming front door, the stained glass windows, the seats no one is supposed to sit in except the church leaders, or the untouchable altar. If you want those things, go to Temple – that is where God ordained them to be. The church was ordained to be people. I am the church. I am livin’ The Life!

I am a Christian – I am of Christ. I am a disciple of Christ – I am a follower of His ways. I am the church – I have been called out by my belief in Christ to fellowship with and help other believers in Christ. So, when you talk about the church you are right, but you are not right about every church. It is exactly the same as talking about a race of people or a group of people – you may be right, but you won’t be right about everyone.

And so, it is my job as a Christian not to be one that you would be right about. I want to carry my big, impressive welcome door around in my smile. I want my beautiful stained glass windows to show in my eyes. I want every seat to be reserved especially for you whenever I have a conversation with you – I invite you to the altar of my heart and listen to the sermon of my life.

I believe in Jesus. I didn’t always. I wasn’t even sure I believed in God, but just in case He did exist, I wouldn’t entirely deny Him completely. I thought religion was a crutch for people who needed a way to handle their problems. I didn’t consider it a bad way – just their way. But I was also lonely – I didn’t have a lot of friends – close trusting friends – no matter how much anyone said I was funny, fun, friendly or any other thing.

And I was searching for myself – I was sure I had some kind of a purpose and didn’t understand why I couldn’t accomplish it no matter how much anyone said I was talented, gifted or capable of doing anything. My life didn’t match what people said about me, and it didn’t match what I felt inside.

Then one day there was some serious mess going down in my life. I was backed into a corner and I was desperate for some kind of crutch that would help me handle my problem. And before the problem was over, the knucklehead who was ‘causing me this problem asked me “Do you believe in Jesus?” Through the midst of my tears, I said “yes”. “Do you believe he was born of a virgin?” I said “yes” again.” Do you believe He died on the cross for your sins?” I cried even harder and answered “yes” again. “Do you believe He rose again on the third day so that you can have everlasting life?” I sobbed – yes – yes, I really did. I hung up on that boy and I got on my knees by my bed and I prayed for the first time really.

And I told God I didn’t understand what was happening to me. But that if He would get me out of that mess, I promised that I would find out what had just happened to me and I would never turn away from Him and flake out like I seemed to do in every other thing in my life.

And God seemed to like that deal and He accepted my bargain, He accepted me and He sent His Spirit to live within me. I could feel it – I can still feel it. The Holy Spirit is a living, spiritual being and He lives in me. I am a new creation. “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation; all things are passed away, behold all is become brand new” 2 Corinthians 5:17. I am brand new. I am the church of the living Lord. I am living the Life!

Sometimes I don’t always pay the light bill in my church, but it is my job to let my light shine. Sometimes my church is in need of a paint job, but it is my job to let men see my good works. Sometimes I don’t always welcome my visitors, but it is my job to love my neighbor as I love myself. Sometimes I am harsh and judgmental of my fellow believers and non-believers, but it is my job to comfort with the same comfort I have been comforted with. And sometimes newcomers can’t feel the Holy Spirit at my church, but it is still my job to love the Lord my God with all my heart, and all my soul and all my might – Deuteronomy 6:5

I am the church and it is my mandate to “go ye therefore into all the world” preaching, teaching, making disciples and baptizing in the name of Jesus Christ.

I am the church and I welcome you to fellowship with me. Here is my church doctrine: Jesus IS the only begotten Son of God. He was born of a virgin and died on the cross for the remission of our sins. He rose from the dead on the 3rd day so that we could have life everlasting. He has gone to prepare a place for us because for those of us who believe, this is not our home. And one day the Lord Jesus will return and He will catch up those who believe and carry us away to the place in which He has prepared – on that day we will be in Paradise with the Lord.

I hope and pray to see you there.

Power, love & peace -
~Min. Dez

Sunday, April 19, 2009


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

April Theme: Life

Old Life: Romans 7:15 & 19
New Life: 2 Corinthians 5:17

So, tell me about your life? What kind of life are you living? I’ll tell you about my life – the life I’m living on the inside of me, is different from the life I’m living on the outside of me, is different from the life that everyone else can see. Make sense?

On the inside, I’m living a wonderfully righteous, God-led, God-filled life. On the outside, I’m desperately trying to live a live that matches the one on the inside – it's a constant battle. And the life that everyone sees, I fear is largely like the one they used to see all the time in me – either it’s not much different, or they’re waiting to see when this phase will pass and the old me prevail. Sometimes I wonder myself.

There is a war going on within me and on the inside I’ve already won, but on the outside I periodically lose a few battles. The inside only sees (or wants to see) the battles I’ve won because those bring the outside me one step closer to the complete me on the inside. But I feel the eyes of scrutiny from those on the outside of me as if the battles I’m losing are the only ones they see and they are waiting for this war to be over so I can go back to the way I used to be.

The Apostle Paul describes it like this in Romans 7:15 & 19 “That which I do, I allow not: but what I hate, that do I. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Paul is talking about the war between his spirit and his flesh – his inward man and outward man – the old Paul and the new Paul.

Remember last week's lesson on life and death? At the end of his tirade on "self", Paul goes on to say this: Romans 7:24: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

This past Monday I attended the funeral for a classmate of mine and I went back home for the services. The week prior there had been a flurry of emails – a daily trail of decisions, commiseration, speculation and reliving old memories. It was so interesting to me how each of us handled the tragedy differently and those various aspects of my friends’ personalities was very evident. On the inside I reacted with compassion and understanding. And on the outside, I felt I had won one small battle by not capitulating to the tension that was slowly brewing in the undertones of the emails.

Then at the services I had the opportunity to meet with a few classmates and have a soda for a little while. Of the five of us, there was only one other friend present who had been on that flurry of emails. The atmosphere was pleasant, the visit was really good, and it was really good to spend some time with that group – a mix of individuals that never would have hung out together like that (and enjoyed it!) during high school.

So why then, did the old me crop up? I felt ornery, loud, and a little bossy like I was hogging the conversation. And it’s like the inner me recognized it and said a prayer for the outer me – that was promptly ignored the moment I opened my mouth again.

I don’t think my friends noticed. I’m sure I wasn’t obnoxious (at least I hope not!) and perhaps they may have even thought – wow, Deidre hasn’t changed a bit. Well, if they didn’t say it, I sure did!

When I came to Christ in 1985 I came to Christ in the midst of my sin – “smack-dab” in the middle of it – by the very person who was in sin with me. The one scripture that made a life changing difference to me each day of my new life was: 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation; behold old things are passed away and all is become new.”

It was such a comfort to me to know that all my old crap, the old me and my old life would just pass away and everything about me would become new again! And when I realized it hadn’t really worked out exactly like that, I found Romans 12:2 to comfort me and encourage me to continue trying to be new again: “And be not conformed to the ways of the world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

Well, when I got back from my trip, and jumped back into the last trailing flurry of emails that I’d so lovingly participated in before going home, I suddenly could no longer prove what was that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God. I acted straight out of my flesh, acknowledged it and honestly didn’t care. That was the old me, my old life cropping up again.

You see, God knows us and loves us just the way we are. He knows we are going to struggle. He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross to help us with that struggle. Christ died on the cross for you and me whether you or I ever believe that He did or not. Christ died on the cross while we were still dead in our sins and dead in sin because He loves us in spite of our sins. Our sin, the sins in our life, the things we do or do not do, the bad we have done and even the good we try to do have no baring on how much God loves us or on whether or not we can be forgiven of our sin and our sins and live a new life through Christ. That forgiveness is freely and wholly given to us – it’s already been given. We are already forgiven, even if we are still classified as a “sinner”, or an unbeliever, or a “backslider” or just a really “two-faced” Christian. I was forgiven for my behavior on Tuesday back when Christ died on the cross, and I was forgiven of my sin and all my sins – not in 1985, but 2000 years ago, when God sent his Son to die on the cross for the world that He loved so much. You were forgiven on that very same day as well. We are – 2000 years later - a part of that world Christ died for. You have already been forgiven. It’s just a matter of whether or not you believe it and accept it.

Ok so, I believe it and I accept it – I’m even trying to live it – so what’s the deal with this struggle between some “old me” and this so-called “new me?” It seems like such a bother and a burden, why didn’t I just stay the way I was – happy and ignorant in my sin and sinful behavior? It is because Christ came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly.
John 3:16 again: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son so that whosoever should believe would not perish but have everlasting life.” Christ’s death gives us life. But we have the choice whether or not to accept it and live it.

Before accepting Christ’s death on the cross for me, I lived a life that was loving and compassionate, fired up and feisty. I was searching for purpose and meaning and would try nearly anything once. I also cursed and drank and partied at the clubs dancing all night. I was a fighter, loud and obnoxious and didn’t give a flip what anyone thought. I would tell it like it “T-I-is!” My sins: lying, drunkenness and fornication. Not a pretty list. My sin: I was separated from God – just like everyone else out there living it up with me in my sins.

Now that I have accepted Christ’s death on the cross for me, I live a life that is loving and compassionate, fired up and feisty. I am following my purpose, understanding its meaning and I’m still trying and learning new things - within reason. I no longer curse or drink excessively, but sometimes I party in the church all night and still enjoy a good dance. I am still a fighter, I still get loud, I still get obnoxious and yet not only do I care what others think of me – more importantly, I care what God thinks of me. And yes, I still can and sometimes do, tell it like it “T-I-is!” My sins: forgiven and tossed into the sea of forgetfulness! My sin: has been saved by Grace – which is God’s time. He gave me the time I needed to come out of my separation, to come to Him and to turn around and tell everyone else who was out there living it up with me in my sins about the new life I have with Christ.

So what’s the difference? How do I reconcile the old me that still looks (and acts) a whole lot like the “new me?” The difference is that all those things – the good and the bad of my old life only worked towards death. I had one place to go through it all and one place to get to at the end of it all: death. I was living a flat, empty, lost and searching life of death. And without Christ I would have died in that life and stayed dead: eternally dead and separated from God. I was living a life that was often times just straight hell and it is a wonder I didn’t actually die and go straight to hell. If I had died in the midst of my sin that is exactly where I would have ended up – and it would have been my own choice because it was my choice to live that life and it was my choice to accept Christ or not to. You only get condemned to hell (not by God but by your own choice) when you are presented with the choice of Christ and choose not to believe.

I praise God I chose to believe! Because now, even though I may still sometimes seem like the old me on the outside – all the things about me – the good and the bad of it, all work toward life! God can take the very same behaviors I am not proud of and instead of me adding them unto my death, He counts them all for joy! How does that work? “All things work towards the greater good for they that love the Lord.” That word “all” includes the good and the bad.

You see, just like Christ’s death offered me forgiveness even when I was deep in sin, so has His resurrection offered me the blessing of a new life in Him. I am already blessed! I was blessed while I was still a sinner – and you were too. You were blessed the same day I was blessed - the day Christ rose from the dead.

Our blessings are stored up in Heaven – waiting for us to unlock them so that God can open the floodgates of heaven and poor them out upon us. God wants us to receive our blessings! I am standing under the shower of my blessings.

What this means is, when I live through the tragedy of a friend’s death – I receive a blessing from it. When I step outside of my inward me with some behavior I am not proud of, I am blessed when I learn a lesson on compassion, tolerance and forgiveness. When I tell it like it “T-I-is” in Christ I am blessed immeasurably when friends and family see me – the new me, the inside me - and recognize I am walking in my purpose.

I am blessed with life when I open my eyes in the morning and I will be blessed when I close my eyes to sleep in eternal life with Christ. All things are working for my greater good because I love the Lord. And all He asked of me in exchange for these blessings, and for a blessed and abundant life, and for everlasting and eternal life, is just to believe in Him.

Your life begins with belief. There are no list of rights and wrongs – just simple belief. Do you believe that Jesus is the only begotten son of God? Do you believe that He was born of a virgin? Do you believe that He died on the cross for the transgression of our sins? Do you believe that He was raised again on the third day so that we could have life everlasting? Do you believe in Life?

p.s. Do you want to know why Jesus is called the “only begotten son of God” if He was God? Email me and ask… I’ll tell you why.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


© 2008 by Deidre Campbell-Jones

April Theme: Life

Life: Romans 6:23
Death: Romans 6:23

I wrote this on Good Friday. For most that meant they got holiday during the week before Easter. You know, sometimes there’s a holiday that always falls on a weekend, and so you get a day off in the work week to commemorate it. But commemorating or celebrating Good Friday rarely means more than a chance to sleep in and perhaps catch up on some things you can’t ordinarily do during the week.

Today - Sunday is "Easter". The Easter bunny comes and brings brightly colored eggs, chocolate and jelly beans. And a lot of people, who don’t ordinarily go to church, will dress up in pretty pastel clothes and sit through an Easter program, then, have an Easter egg hunt and a wonderful dinner. Now that is the life! Truly, it is a wonderful life for anyone to live. But of course, it is not the only life we are meant to live.

One Friday morning, Jesus told two of his disciples to go to a certain place of which he would tell them. There they would find a young donkey colt – one that had never been ridden before. He told them to untie the colt and bring it to him. And if the owners asked why they were untying it – to tell them, their master had need of it.

Now on that particular Friday when he rode that donkey into town, the people all cheered for him. This was the Lord who had done so many miracles amongst them – he had brought healing, forgiveness and new life. He had fed them physically and spiritually and had raised some from the dead – both physically and spiritually as well.

The following Thursday evening at sundown was the feast of Passover Seder – Jesus had been sharing Passover with the disciples. Mind you, they were most all Jewish and they celebrated the Jewish feasts together. Well, Judas excused himself and Jesus told him, “what you must do, do quickly.” Judas went to speak with the Chief Priests and the Captains to determine how he should betray Jesus. While he was gone, Jesus took three of His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with Him for what He knew was about to take place. Jesus knew it was nearly time for Him to die. This is what He had been born to do. This was His only and one true test of obedience and Jesus did not want to do it. He did not go eagerly into death. He even asked our Father, His Father – Abba – take this cup from me, but nevertheless, not my will, but yours.

Death before Christ died was a very different matter than we know it today. There was a pain to death – a sting; the bible calls it, during the separation of life from the body. Death was definitely a thing to be avoided, a thing to be feared. And, this is my own personal speculation, but I also believe that before Christ’s death on the cross there was a living death of the soul that all mankind experienced everyday and with no relief from the time of the fall of man and the entering of sin in the Garden of Eden, until just after the prayers of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane when He was crucified for the sins of all mankind. It wasn’t until after Christ’s death that life became significant. That is because, Jesus did not stay dead and buried in that tomb! He went down to hell, snatched the keys of death from satan and rose up again on the third day! The enemy of life had controlled death and he thought he had won for all eternity by crucifying Christ. But what satan meant for evil, God meant for good – our eternal good.

Christ’s resurrection from death unto life, is the very reason why we too, can die to our sin and be resurrected into new life through Christ. "Easter" Sunday is for the Easter bunny, but this Sunday is Resurrection Sunday – the day we as believers celebrate the resurrected life of Christ and all that means for us.

You see before I became “born again” in 1985 and accepted Christ into my life as my Lord and Savior, I lived a flat, angst-ridden, confused, death of a life. I had no connection to life. I felt like an alien on this planet searching for something familiar, something to call my own, someone to love, someone to be and something to do. I was searching for me. I was empty inside and I tried all kinds of different things to fill it. And I searched for all kinds of different people to fill it. Inherently it seems, I knew that emptiness was supposed to be filled through a loving, intimate relationship, and I just couldn’t find the person to fill that void. I was basically dead to the world but I didn’t know it.

It wasn’t until I became “saved” that I experienced this new life and realized the difference between my old life. There was life inside me – living and breathing and experiencing the life outside me. There was life within my soul that I never knew wasn’t there in the first place. Now mind you, I know this separation from God was a death to my soul because there were times after having accepted Christ into my life that I pulled away and experienced that death again.

There was the time during my first marriage when it had gotten so bad and I was so depressed that there was no joy, no life and no Christ within me. I had backslidden in my depression because I blamed God for the state of that marriage. I pulled away from God in my anger and the void was palpable. They noticed it on my job; friends noticed it and I described it as a black hole in space sucking in my very soul into nothingness. I was a walking zombie – the living dead.

Later, when I got divorced, I experienced this soul death again, out of guilt for leaving that marriage. Christians don’t divorce, the believer is not supposed to leave and so surely I was outside of God’s will and I separated myself from Him out of guilt. Once again, I became the same un-dead, living that flat, listless, search-filled, meaningless, struggling life I had even before accepting Christ. There was one other time I died to Christ and that was after going on disability and being let go from AT&T. The depression that time was so deep – not out of anger, and not out of guilt but out of pure un-worthiness. I felt inept, incapable, unworthy and hopeless. My separation was long, ugly and daily I wished I could just be put in the ground and saved from the misery. I am sure this death-filled kind of life was a matter of everyday existence for all mankind before Christ came.

Jesus said "I have come so that you would have live, and have it more abundantly." Oh, death – where is thy sting?

You see, Christ’s death was for all of us. His death on the cross was not just for those who would one day believe. His death was so that all mankind would have life and have a death with no sting. It is the acceptance of Christ’s death and the belief in Him that gives us life. And it is through living that life with Him and in Him that we experience that life more abundantly each day that we become closer to Him.

Christ’s death is significant even for those who do not believe. Non-believers reap the rewards of Christ’s death and God’s love just the same as believers do. For God so loved the world… not just those who would believe. Christ’s death on the cross was His gift to ALL mankind. The life we choose to live after being presented with the truth of that death is what determines how abundantly we will live within God’s gift.

In the Old Testament it says that we walk between the valleys of life and death. Choose life. You see, before Christ died for us – we had no choice but to die – we were already dead. We lived in death, we died a painful death and death was eternal. The wages of sin is death. Then Jesus came and he told the Pharisees that they were white-washed sepulchers. They were the ones who were supposed to be knowledgeable about God and the laws of man. They were the High Priests but they were dead inside like a tomb that was made to look good on the outside. That is how we live as non-believers. We try to clean it all up on the outside, be kind, don’t lie, don’t steal don’t cheat, and maybe we even came close to following the 10 Commandments. Those were the laws God gave man, because they had no Life on the inside. And without Christ, we still have no life on the inside.

"I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father accept by me” For many it is a hard scripture to hear – they feel condemned, separated, excluded and left out. They rebel and deny that the only way to experience God is through Christ. But that is because they do not know that they don’t have life. Yes, the first part of Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death.” But the second part says, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

Just this past Tuesday, the Bishop of my church reminded us that a person can have life and not be alive. A patient in the hospital that is on life-support has a heart that beats, and lungs that breath all with assistance – but there is no life in that body that is alive. God’s grace to us while we are unbelievers is His life-support system. We are alive with no live, we are walking comas, zombies of the heart searching for a way to live. Christ is the way, and that’s the truth.
Sin means “separation from God.” The sins we commit are the actions of life that keep us separated from God. When God separated a part of Himself as flesh, that flesh became sin. That flesh is Jesus and Jesus became sin for us – He knew no sin, He committed no sins – He became sin: the perfect sacrifice.

And when He made that sacrifice of death, He did it for all of us, whether we would believe in Him or not. Christ died for us while we were yet sinners - while we were still separated from Him - and He still died for us even if we remain sinners even unto our deaths.

Once I wrote a song that said, “Life is a gift, not a choice – yet many a choice has been made, to take that life away.” It was a song pertaining to the pro-choice, pro-life debate. It was written shortly after I first came to Christ and I feel, in one regard, it is inaccurate according to the truths I now know about life.

The conception of life in the physical is a gift. The life we receive through Christ’s death and resurrection is also a gift. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever should believe shall not perish but would have everlasting life.” John 3:16. But accepting that gift and accepting that life is a choice. We can choose everlasting life or we can choose to stay dead in our sin.

Making that choice begins with belief. There are no list of rights and wrongs – just simple belief. Do you believe that Jesus is the only begotten son of God? Do you believe that He was born of a virgin? Do you believe that He died on the cross for the transgression of our sins? Do you believe that He was raised again on the third day so that we could have life everlasting? Do you believe in Life?

p.s. Do you want to know why Jesus is called the “only begotten son of God” if He was God? Email me and ask… I’ll tell you why.