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One Step at a Time with Marvin James

An ongoing series of informational entries...

Who's Hands Are You In?

October 15, 2015

It All Depends on Whose Hands It’s In

A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.

A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is worth about $33 million.

It depends on whose hands it’s in…

A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.

A baseball in Mark McGuire’s hands is worth $19 million.

It depends on whose hands it’s in…

A tennis racket is useless in my hands.

A tennis racket in Pete Sampras’ hands is a Wimbledon Championship.

It depends on whose hands it’s in…

A rod in my hands will keep away a wild animal.

A rod in Moses’ hands will part the mighty sea.

It depends on whose hands it’s in…

A sling shot in my hands is a kid’s toy.

A sling shot in David’s hand is a mighty weapon.

It depends on whose hands it’s in…

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.

Two fish and 5 loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousands.

It depends on whose hands they’re in…

Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse.

Nails in Christ Jesus’ hands will produce salvation for the entire world.

It depends on whose hands they’re in…

As you see now it depends whose hands it’s in.

So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families and your relationships in God’s Hands.

Because, it depends on whose hands they’re in.

—Paul Ciniraj (a missionary in India)

A Little Faith Can Go a Long Way

July 6, 2015

There is a lot of talk regarding Faith; and to be honest, some people make Faith sound so mystical, when in fact; everyone uses it on a daily basis. I set my alarm for 5am, and that took Faith. I believe and trust that I will continue to sleep unless the alarm goes off. I drive to my job and perform my duties for an entire week, trusting that I will receive a monetary compensation for my work; that is Faith. I usually will come home very hungry and trust that my wife has prepared a meal; that is Faith. Recently I purchased plane tickets to visit my family in Indiana and that took faith because I’m trusting that I will be alive in order to get on that plane next month.

Even criminals utilize Faith because even though their plan is illegal, they have enough trust in the plan, to act upon it, hoping to get the intended results. It takes Faith in order to be a successful prostitute because one has to spend the time getting ready to stand on a street corner, trusting that their clientele will be ready for some action. It takes Faith in order to be a sinner because you have to believe that you will not reap from what you have sown.

How can you tell if you’re applying Faith to your goal? That’s easy; if your current actions are guiding you towards your goal, that is Faith. If your goal is to lose weight but you’re constantly eating fast food, your actions are betraying your goal.

As James said, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it does not prove itself with actions, is dead” James 2:17

The Antidote for Having A Bad Day

June 2, 2015

Since most of what I post comes from the heart; what I go through in my personal life, will frequently spill over into what I write. For the last month, I have experienced what some call, “Writer’s Block”. I would like to think of it as, Stressed Out! Writing is what I use when my world appears to be closing; it’s the one sure thing that I can use as a sounding board. And the sounds that come from it are anger, fear, injustice, spirituality, love and family. So if I’m not able to write, I know that I’m in a bad spot. So what do you do when you’re in this spot? You do what I did; you fixate, ruminate, exaggerate, and rehearse all the negative situations in your life and pick at the scabs of past regrets, until you’re left with open, emotional wounds all to yourself. And that is where I was UNTIL;

I learned a new phrase that sounded kinda sassy; allowing me to put some attitude behind it. That phrase was, Hallelujah Anyhow ! You probably want to know how I used that phrase; well it goes like this;

I didn’t get the raise or the promotion but Hallelujah Anyhow!

I got stuck in the middle of rush hour traffic but Hallelujah Anyhow!

I haven’t spent time reading God’s Word but Hallelujah Anyhow!

I still got issues with getting upset with people but Hallelujah Anyhow!

I feel like I’m all alone, since I’m not married but Hallelujah Anyhow!

My kids seem to busy to call me for my birthday but Hallelujah Anyhow!

Are you starting to get the picture? You see, when we decide to offer praise in spite of our circumstances, the enemy understands that it’s useless to attack you because you have a Hallelujah Anyhow Spirit. Serve notice to the devil, letting him know that since he didn’t make you, he can’t break you!

Hallelujah Anyhow!

Is God Talking To You?

March 22, 2015

Throughout your entire life, you will only have 3 types of needs. I know I got your attention now because some of you are saying, “Well that’s a lie because I have more than 3 needs right now!” Please allow me a few minutes to break it down. As I break these 3 needs down, I will put them in their own category.

CLASS "C" Need- Is nothing more than a “Want”, that we fixate on for so long, it feels like a need. One might say, “I need a brand new ride”, but in actuality what you need is reliable transportation.

CLASS "B" Need- This is a legitimate need that you will have for your entire life. But the good part about a CLASS B Need, is that you can manipulate these needs. An example of a CLASS B Need would be a gas bill, electric bill, mortgage payment or car payment. As you may have found out, you can bargain and negotiate the payments, pay a portion of the payment or ask for an extension. A CLASS B Need does not require your immediate attention.

CLASS "A" Need- This is a need that requires your immediate and full attention. This need will come to you without an announcement and gangster your entire day planner, laugh at your agenda and send a cold arctic breeze down your spine, signifying that the things you think are important, can be gone in an instant! An Example of a CLASS A Need would be a death, loss of employment, serious illness or major relationship problems.

As I’ve been given the luxury of experiencing all 3 needs, I must confess that the first two needs didn’t point me in the direction of God. But the last need, the CLASS A, was the tour guide that navigated me to God. Every once in a while, God will allow a CLASS A need to arise in our life, in order for our hearts to become receptive, our ears open and our minds focused on what really matters in this life. If the truth be told, some of us don’t even acknowledge that God exist, until we get an unexpected visit from a CLASS A Need.

If you’re experiencing a need in your life, instead of complaining, maybe God is using the need as a telephone; in order to have a conversation with you.

Gettin' Your Humble On

February 8, 2015

A young minister landed a position at a thriving church, as the Associate Pastor. For three years, the young minister never once was given an opportunity to preach. Well the Senior Pastor was not feeling well after the morning service, so he informed the young associate pastor that he would need to preach for the evening service. The young minister was excited as ever and didn't mind that he was given short notice. The only thought that ran through that young minister’s mind was, “Wait until I get behind that pulpit and bring the word”. “Them alters are going to be full!”

As the evening service began, the Senior Pastor welcomed the young minister to the pulpit and he would have 45 minutes in which to work. The young minister had his head up high as he walked to the pulpit. He had a mean swagger going for him. Around 8 minutes into the sermon, the young minister could not gather his thoughts together because he couldn’t read his own notes. Everyone knew something was wrong, so the Senior Pastor signaled for the young minister to come down from the pulpit and sit next to him. As he approached the Senior Pastor, his head was down and all of his swag was gone. The Senior Pastor told the young minister this, “Son, if you would have walked up there like you came down; you would have come down, like you walked up there”.

Stay Humble

Who Are You Serving Right Now?

January 29, 2015

I share this post with you, in hopes that you will quickly identify who you are serving. It can Only be 3 types of people throughout your life that you will serve.

YOU WILL SERVE A “Laban” As you serve for Laban, you will often feel unappreciative, unvalued, and like the low-man on the totem pole. You may feel overlooked, overworked, unapplauded, being played, pimped, hustled; and even bamboozled. Fact is: Your not there to be blessed but to serve and learn Humility. While serving Laban, you will learn how to be generally unconcerned about yourself, not being worried about what people think about you and learning to not care who gets the Glory, because you work unto the Lord and not for men. READ GENESIS 29

YOU WILL SERVE A “Greasy Prophet”. When you’re serving the “Greasy Prophet”, you will receive motivation to serve thru manipulation. You will be told, “Thus saith the Lord”, even though the Lord didn’t say anything. You will receive a prophecy that always seems to agree with what you want. This is done mainly to keep you working. When you’re dealing with the Greasy Prophet, your struggles will be swept under the rug and will not be addressed until you disagree with his agenda; then all hell breaks loose. READ Isaiah 30

FINALLY, YOU WILL SERVE A “BARNABAS” As you serve Barnabas, it will be nothing like what you’re used to. You see, Barnabas will lay his credibility on the line for you to be embraced by individuals who you never would have been introduced to otherwise. Barnabas is there for the LONG HAUL, he will ride with you until you’re capable of doing your own thing. READ ACTS 9

Here’s the dilemma we all are in; we must be able to properly identify which person we are serving; if not, we will complain, murmur and scream, “God this isn’t fair!” Even worse, we will run our Barnabas off or mismanage the time that we are allotted with him. Bottom line is KNOW WHO YOU SERVE!

Follow the Manual

December 16, 2014

I must admit that I am kind of an "Old School" type of fellow. I don’t like change to often; which would explain why I was very reluctant to purchase a smart phone. After seeing our 8yr old son navigates on a smart phone, I thought, "If this 8 yr old can use a smart phone, I need to get with the program". So I went down to the T-Mobile store and simply stated that I wanted to purchase a smart phone. I could see the Sales Representative lick his chops; knowing that I didn't know anything about a smart phone at all. Me being a man, I made sure that I chimed in on every comment the Sales Representative made, regarding the features on an LG smart phone. I wasn't going to let this Sales Representative know that I was completely ignorant when it came to using a smart phone. After the sales representative went over the features on the LG about 4 times, I felt confident enough that I purchased the smart phone. Well for the first month that I had my smart phone, I didn't once think of looking through the manual that came with the phone. Let me tell you, I couldn't tell what the difference was from my old phone and this high priced smart phone. I mean, I was able to text message, and had caller ID; which were the same features I had on my old phone. It wasn’t until I took the time to read the manual that I learned what my smart phone could really do! Remarkable, I could tweet, email, make videos and download my favorite songs. I couldn’t believe what this phone could do; and just think, my eyes were opened by simply reading the manual.

What an incredible analogy; some people live their life, barely getting by. Knowing that there is more to this life than what they're currently experiencing; but have done the same thing for so long that the mindset of, “I’m just trying to live”, has become the goal. In order for you to live the life you were created for, you will need to read the manual. We were created by God at the right time, in the right place and in the right family. There is so much potential inside of you, that there is a good chance that you and I will take some of it to the grave with us. I don’t know about you, but I want to live and live more abundantly. The only way I can experience the life God purposed me for, is to read the Manual. The Word of God, the bible, gives us clear instructions on how we are to live and reinforces God’s love for you and me (John 3:16). Why run around, living on 20% of your capability, when there’s a manual to instruct us on how to function at our maximum? READ THE MANUAL!

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