“Afraid of a Head Scarf…”


I recently experienced a troubling incidence. It reminded me of something that occurred about two years ago. What happened, you might ask? Well, two years ago, I needed to hastily go to the grocery store to grab a few items. Not really thinking about it, I threw on a headscarf, because it was a bad hair day and drove over to the grocery store that was only a few miles away. Note this is the same grocery store that I have been shopping at for over 10 years.

When I parked the car and got out a group of men in the parking lot began to follow me. Now, that did not concern me because it was broad daylight. But, what did trouble me is when they followed me into the grocery store and began murmuring slurs under their breaths. So, I just picked up my goods, paid for them, and went back to my car. I didn’t think it was the best idea to directly confront the men or make a scene. I just wanted to get into my car and leave as quickly as possible.

I had never had that type of reaction. So, I wondered what was different before realizing it was the fact that I had on a headscarf, something I generally never wore outside of my house. I am a Christian, but I believe the headscarf made the men following me think I was a Muslim or of some Middle Eastern descent. I pondered are we living in an atmosphere wherein a headscarf is something to be feared. If so, we are to be pitied.

God assured me and I was very thankful that although my headscarf served a purpose on a bad hair day; more importantly my covering of “The Armor of God” made all the difference of safety and security for me. 

Theme: “Afraid of a Head Scarf…” 

Read Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV

The Armor of God

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

 Well, have things changed after the incidence that occurred about two years ago? The answer is “No!”

I wore a headscarf again recently, but not to the grocery store. I was in another public place and had the company of another person. I noticed everyone was staring at me, but I didn’t think the person I was with had noticed it. But, hours later the person said, “Did you notice how everyone was staring at you?” I said, “Yes, but I thought it was just my imagination that I was being stared at earlier.” The person indicated I should lose the headscarf. It was attracting attention because people thought I was Muslim. Once again, I thought, we are to be pitied as a society when a headscarf is something to be feared.

Let us pray “that a person would not be judged by their appearance, but be accepted in love. Colossians 3:12-14 tells us:

“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”



“Is God Good?”


The question sometimes arises “Is God Good?” This question arises when there is an occurrence of what we have come to call “Natural Disasters”. These disasters include: Hurricanes, Tornados, Earthquakes, and Wildfires (to name a few). Events such as these that bring destruction and loss of life. These events bring to question, for some people, the goodness of God.

To answer the question, “Is God Good?” a few Biblical witnesses have come forward to give their testimonies. Let’s hear a few testimonies from these trustworthy men and women:

  • The Fathers of Faith
  • The Martyrs of Faith
  • The Disciples of Jesus Christ
  • The Women of Faith
  • The “Diakonos of the Faith”
  • The Encouragers of the Faith


Theme: “Is God Good?”


Psalm 145:9  

The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.

Psalm 106:1  

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 100:5  

For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.



Calling the First Witnesses to the stand to Testify:

The Fathers of Faith witness is: Athanasius

Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296 – 373), an archdeacon and secretary to the bishop Alexander (d. 328) rose to acclaim by rigorously defending the full divinity of Jesus Christ and Jesus’ co-equality with God the Father. Described as a very dark-skinned man of short stature, a hooked nose, and a reddish beard, Athanasius was known for his unrelenting convictions, especially his conviction that the eternal Son of God became human, famously penned in his most influential work “On the Incarnation”. Quote of Athanasius of Alexandria: “For God is good – or rather, of all goodness He is the Fountainhead.”


The Martyrs of Faith witness is: Perpetua and Felicity

A Christian martyr is a person who is killed because of their faith in and testimony for Jesus. The actual prison diary of the young mother and martyr Perpetua records her testimony as she was 22 years old at the time of her death, and a mother of an infant she was nursing. Felicity, a slave imprisoned (with Perpetua) was pregnant at the time she was martyred. Felicity was in the eighth month of her pregnancy at the time she was imprisoned. She gave birth to a daughter two days before her execution, and the baby was adopted by a Christian woman. The sentence was passed that Perpetua and Felicity were to be torn to pieces by wild beasts for their faith in Christ. Both women were put to death along with others at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. They were completely willing to give their lives for the sake of their faith. Perpetua’s father continually tried to get her to apostatize, to abandon her Christian faith to save her life. But Perpetua continued to refuse. Eye witnesses of their deaths stated that their breasts dripped with mother’s milk as they were being readied to be torn to pieces by wild animals. Perpetua and Felicity’s actions were their testimony of God’s goodness.


The Disciples of Jesus Christ witness is: Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul, is most likely the most well-known, of those giving testimony of God’s goodness. In his own words, the Apostle Paul simply said, “But whatever was an asset to me, I count as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God on the basis of faith… Philippians 3:7-9


The Women of Faith witness is: The Woman with the Alabaster Jar

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor. Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her. The “Woman with the Alabaster Jar” of perfume gave her resources for the sake of honoring the goodness of Jesus and her testimony lives forever. Matthew 26:6-13


The “Diakonos of the Faith” witnesses are: Stephen

When the members of the Sanhedrin (assembly of Jewish leaders) heard the testimony of God’s goodness by Deacon Stephen they became angry. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Stephen said, “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man (Jesus) standing at the right hand of God.” At hearing this the Sanhedrin covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at Stephen, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, Stephen died. The testimony of Stephen regarding God’s goodness was so compelling that it convicted others of their unrighteousness. (From Acts 7)


The Encouragers of the Faith witness is: You and Me

Share your testimony daily of God’s goodness. It will be counted as righteousness unto you and as a testimony of God’s goodness in all life’s circumstances.



Many prophetic voices are saying we are in the “last of the last days”. It makes us ponder if we are now living out the Revelations of the Apostle John, the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ.

Let’s see what the Bible says? The book of Revelations gives us some insight. We can view the book of Revelations literally, figuratively, and symbolically.

Literally: we accept the writing of the book of Revelations as exactly what it says.

Figuratively: we accept the writing of the book of Revelations as it appeals to our sensory system (touch, taste, sound, smell, sight…)

Symbolically: we accept the writing of the book of Revelations as words that offer a different meaning other than their literal meaning.

Does/Is the book of Revelations sounding the alarm, since it contains the seven trumpets and trumpets give a blasting sound of a warning; the announcement of a coming event; a celebration; or prophetically a person(s). Let’s examine the “Seven (7) Trumpets”.

Theme: “Seven (7) Trumpets”

Read in its entirety Scripture: Revelations 8


#1: Hail and Fire mixed with Blood – 1/3 trees burned up and all green grass

#2: Burning Mountain plunges into the Sea – 1/3 all sea life and ships destroyed; 1/3 of oceans become blood

#3: Great Star called “Wormwood” falls to Earth – 1/3 plants and freshwater poisoned

#4: Light from the Sun, Moon, and Stars become dark – 1/3 day is complete darkness

#5: Star falls from Heaven – Smoke and Pestilence plagues mankind

#6: Mankind Stricken by Plague – 1/3 of mankind stricken

#7: Christ Proclaimed as Ruler forever – Thunder, Earthquake, and Hailstorms occur

Does the description of the seven trumpets destruction sound familiar? Perhaps like the effects of Nuclear War?


  • Dense smoke from a nuclear war would block sunlight and plunge the entire world into darkness
  • Without warmth and sunlight for photosynthesis, plant life would die triggering mass starvation up the food chain
  • The extreme heat of thermal radiation burns everything in its path, including animals, trees, buildings and people
  • The nuclear radiation penetrates the body and many of those who didn’t die from radiation or burns, later develop cancers from the radiation
  • Radioactive particles travel and contaminate bodies of water, including aquatic life like fish
  • Temperature at the core of the nuclear explosion is between 50 and 150 million degrees Fahrenheit, destroying everything in its path.

Remember to stay alert for:

“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7


“A Height Requirement”


The summer months bring thoughts of fun and sun. There are activities that are part of the summer fun. One of those activities is Amusement Park fun. The anticipation of going to an amusement park brings about thoughts of specific noises, smells, and sites. The noises include the swish of a roller coaster and the accompanying screams; and the musical chime and melody of a merry-go-round. The smells include the sweet aroma of candy-coated apples; carnival hotdogs-on-a-stick or corn dogs; and french fries, fried dough, caramel popcorn, and cotton candy. The sites include games of chance; and games of skill and strength.

Some people go to amusement parks to just walk, look, and eat. Others go to amusement parks to ride the adrenalin-rides such as the roller coaster. The roller coaster generally has a height requirement. The height requirement is a safety regulation to protect riders. If you are not a certain height the ride operator will tell you, “You are not tall enough to ride this ride – there is a height requirement”.

There is also a “height requirement” for ministry positions. Those requirements are meant to protect a person from a dangerous pursuit that may end in disaster or death for that person or others. Let’s take a look at “A Height Requirement”

Theme: “A Height Requirement”

Read Scripture: Luke 14:11 says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

In ministry there are some activities and positions that look exciting and many are drawn to them. But, before determining that you will engage in the activity or take the position, you must consider if there is a height requirement. That statement may lead some people to think and quote the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me”. Yes! That is correct. But, the Bible also counsels and warns about engaging in activities or positions in which God has not “Called” you.

Jesus’ disciple Peter was impetuous and a thrill seeker. So, Jesus warned Peter about rushing into things and making statements based on feelings of excitement. In Matthew 26:33-36, “Peter said to Him [Jesus], “Even if all fall away on account of You, I never will.” [Jesus declared to Peter] “Truly I tell you, this very night before the rooster crows, you will deny Me [Jesus] three times.”…

In modern day vernacular Jesus was telling Peter, “You are not tall enough to ride this ride; there is a height requirement”. The height requirement Jesus spoke of included a calling, preparation, and God’s Plan. The calling Jesus spoke about was giving ones’ life for the sins of others. The preparation was a living faith that believed in Christ’s resurrection and gift of eternal life. God’s Plan was a lifting up on the Cross of Crucifixion. So, in Matthew 26:33, Peter had not experienced enough in his own ministry or in Christ’s ministry to make such bold statements.

In practical terms, those in ministry should not attempt to obtain a calling, position, or experiences that God has not yet prepared them. Ministry is a long distance run, not a sprint. So, take the time to experience the plateaus (progressively high points at each level of a mountain) of the ministry journey and not just immediately seek the summit (highest point of a mountain). In other words, Luke 14:11 says, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” So, take heed that you are responsible for humbling yourself and God is responsible for exalting you.


“The Call to Preach the Good News”


I was recently asked the question, “How did you know you were being called to preach the Good News?” This thought was triggered by a discussion of what is a calling or more specifically what is a Call to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Most certainly to be called to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ is a great honor. Isaiah 52 verse 7 states, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” This verse describes Jesus, the Messiah, who gives peace and salvation. It is also further extended to those who in Jesus Name preach the Good News inviting others to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and enjoy the peace of living a life in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10: 14-15 expands on the Isaiah 52:7 verse by stating in Romans 10, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

So, from the Romans 10 verse a question arises, “who is sending or extending the call to preach the Good News?” And, “how can you know you are being called to preach the Good News?”

Let’s take a look at “The Call to Preach the Good News?”

Theme: “The Call to Preach the Good News”

Read Scriptures:

Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:14 – 15

Well, from the scripture readings, it is evident that God calls people into the preaching ministry.

You cannot call yourself into the preaching ministry. Also, the Call is not something that you can “franchise” or pass from one person to another. The Call is not passed down from one family member to another. The Call is personally and individually sent and received from God. The experience is a little different for each person, but the general characteristics or commonalities of the Call are consistent. It is divine, personal, clear, and powerful.

Just in humor to answer the question about who is called to preach the Good News, we can’t take a literal interpretation of Romans 10: 15, the person who is called has nothing to do with the physical appearance of their feet. Trinity College professor, Paul Fritz, describes those with ‘beautiful feet’ as:

  • The gospel givers because they take on the identity of Jesus Christ.
  • The gospel givers because they bring a message of peace, hope and eternal life.
  • The gospel preachers because of the nature of the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ because the gospel sets people free from sin, destruction and eternal judgment.

If we examine God’s Call in the Bible, we notice that while the Call is unique there are some commonalities as God calls a person to the preaching ministry and equips that person. The commonalities are that the Call has:

  • A supernatural aspect. (Acts 9:1-9 and Exodus 3:1-5)
  • A compelling desire/motivation to serve Christ by sharing the Good News. (1 Corinthians 9:16 and Romans 1:15-16)
  • The witness of wise counsel of other believers such as a Pastor. (Acts 9:10-18)
  • Evidence of accepting opportunities to learn more about God. (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • An acceptance that it is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:25)
  • A questioning affirmation of a body of believers such as a Church congregation or denomination. (Acts 9:19 – 22)

Some Biblical examples of the Call and its commonalities are:

  • A supernatural aspect: Moses sees the burning bush that was not consumed. Also, Paul on the road to Damascus sees a bright light and hears the voice of God the Son, Jesus. (Exodus 3:1-5 and Acts 9:1-9).
  • A compelling desire/motivation to serve Christ by sharing the Good News: Jeremiah says, “God’s Word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9).
  • The witness of wise counsel of other believers such as a Pastor: Jesus calls the disciples. (Matthew 4:18-22). Samuel with Eli as God calls Samuel. (1 Samuel 3:1-21). Also, Isaiah hearing the call and saying, “Here am I Lord, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8).
  • Evidence of accepting opportunities to learn more about God: Timothy accepting instruction from Paul. (2 Timothy 2:15).
  • Respecting those God has given charge over you:  A Call is validated by honor. The person that is called honors the authority that God has provided to guide and nurture them. They trust the person God has given to direct them. (Romans 13:1).
  • Counting the Costs of Discipleship: There is a cost to following Jesus Christ and the decision to follow Him in the preaching and teaching ministry should be considered carefully. (James 3: 1 and Luke 14:28)
  • Accepting that it is more blessed to give than to receive: Abraham giving a tenth of all he had to the high priest, Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:2)
  • A questioning affirmation of a body of believers such as a Church congregation or denomination: Priests were confirmed by lay on of hands. (Numbers 8:10).





Now for what a Call is Not:

  • A Call is not a FRANCHISE to be passed from person to person or amongst family members.
  • It is not a REACTION TO GUILT. In other words, some people believe they will/are accepting a Call because God has delivered them from some tragedy or horrendous sin. So, guilt leads them to say they are called to the preaching ministry.
  • It is not for someone that does not have a desire to attend every opportunity to hear, study, or LEARN GOD’S WORD first in the vineyard to which they are assigned. In other words making a priority to learn or study at opportunities of the church in which you are a member.
  •  It is not for someone that won’t HONOR THE AUTHORITY of their Pastor that God has used to direct their Christian journey of the Call.
  •  It is not for someone that refuses to TITHE THEIR FINANCIAL RESOURCES. That person is not willing to invest their finances in the building of God’s people and edifices of worship. That person does not believe God will provide for them.
  •  It is not for someone that is LOOKING FOR A SHORTCUT TO PREPARATION for ministry. That person does not want to invest in God’s timing and preparation for the people they will serve and Good News they will share.
  •  It is not for someone who believes the Call is an opportunity TO BE HELD IN HIGH ESTEEM BY OTHERS. That person has wrong motives for ministry. Proverbs 16:2 states, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.”

I hope this God the Holy Spirit inspired writing will help you know/recognize the Call to Preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and not mistake it for selfish personal motives, ambitions or misunderstandings about a life event or circumstance.

“Insensitivity to Vulnerability”


Compassion is a virtue that seems to be in short supply in today’s society. But, perhaps it has always been in short supply because of unbridled ambition and a desire to obtain worldly success. With Mother’s Day recently passed, I was drawn to the story of Salome and her two sons, James and John. Their interaction and conversation with Jesus demonstrates that “compassion”, as well as, its counterpart “insensitivity” are only a circumstance apart.

Insensitivity is the neglect of compassion when a circumstance calls for it. Insensitivity preys on vulnerabilities or areas in which danger is a strong possibility and weakness in the circumstance creeps in. We can see this occurring in Matthew 20 when Jesus predicts His death a third time and the reaction to Jesus’ announcement rather than compassion among His disciples is an insensitive request for power and position. The request came from Jesus’ disciples, brothers James and John, and their mother, Salome.

Let’s take a look at “Insensitivity to Vulnerability” as demonstrated in the reading of Matthew 20 versus 17 – 23.

Theme: “Insensitivity to Vulnerability”

Read Scriptures:

Matthew 20:17 – 23

17 Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve [disciples] aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man [Jesus and/or the name for the Messiah] will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law [Sanhedrin]. They will condemn him to death 19 and will hand him over to the Gentiles [Roman government and soldiers] to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he [Jesus] will be raised to life!”

20 Then the mother [Salome] of Zebedee’s sons [James and John] came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21 “What is it you want?” he [Jesus] asked. She [Salome] said, “Grant that one of these two sons [James and John] of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup [cup of suffering] I am going to drink?” “We [James and John] can,” they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup [cup of suffering], but to sit at my right or left [positions of great honor] is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father [God].

NOTE: [ ] added for explanation and clarity

From the Matthew 20 scriptures we learn that at a time when Jesus was telling the disciples that He would undergo a terrible death and he was at a most vulnerable physical and emotional state, his disciples, James and John, and their mother, Salome, requested a favor from Jesus. The favor demonstrated an enormous insensitivity concerning Jesus’ impending circumstance. Jesus would be killed, but the thoughts on the mind of James, John, and Salome were selfish and shallow. They wanted power and position in Jesus’ kingdom. Their request demonstrated a lack of compassion and a lack of understanding. It also demonstrated that grown men, James and John, were still relying on their mother to speak for them.

It would be similar to telling a good friend or family member that you were dying from a terrible disease, and the friend/family member saying, “When you die can I have your clothes and car?” Such a statement indicates only an interest in appearance, comfort, mobility, and wanting something for free at someone else’s expense, rather than care and compassion.

In summary, anyone at any time can let ambition and selfishness over-rule compassion. So, listen intently and let a caring heart be your first reaction to other’s circumstances rather than “how will I be affected?” by the message you are receiving. But, as Jesus stated in Matthew 20, James and John would have their own time of vulnerability [cup of suffering] and also Salome who painfully accompanied Mary (mother of Jesus) to Jesus’ horrific crucifixion and sorrowful preparation for burial. So, let wisdom be your guide, keeping in mind that as you extend compassion to others, there will be a time when you likewise will desire to be the recipient of compassion.


“Fatherless Nation”


“A Fatherless Nation”

In the Christian faith community an important Bible scripture is Matthew 6:9 which says, “”This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”. An interpretation of this scripture is that a request is being made for instruction on how to pray, wherein prayer is talking to God. Also, the Matthew 6:9 scripture says that prayer to God should begin by acknowledging God’s identity as being above us (heavenly Father) and as being hallowed or holy.

It is this same “Father” being named as “God” that is mentioned in many of the government documents and inscriptions. The United States currency began to include the motto, “In God We Trust” initially in 1873 and over many years this inscription has appeared and been removed from many United States currency denominations.

The Pledge of Allegiance’s 1954 rendition states, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

These are just two examples of the commitment and trust our nation has historically placed in God. But, today our nation has been referred to as a “Fatherless Nation” by clergy and some activists. This reference acknowledges that we are lacking the presence and oversight of a father; a Father, God.

Statistics differ but trend towards the literal number of fatherless homes has increased. But, also figuratively as our nation moves away from any acknowledgement or recognition of “our Father, God, in heaven”, we are described as and have become a “Fatherless Nation”.

So, if our country’s history of acknowledging and trusting in God can repeat itself in a positive way and outcome; then may our nation pray that we begin again to trust in God and pray to Him that our nation would be united and work to ensure liberty and justice for all.