Accountability

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There will always be those who will tell you what you want to hear. Webster’s definition of accountability refers to “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Everyone needs to be accountable to someone, even when it comes to spiritual matters.

Yes, we are responsible for our own actions and must give an account to God for our deeds. But God has also placed ministry leaders in the church in part for this purpose.  Pastors have a responsible to teach the truth to the people God has given them to shepherd. Not to lord over the people but to be an example. (1 Peter 5:2-3 NIV) “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” A true shepherd will nurture, lead, and protect God’s people.

It is important to have someone in your life who will tell you the truth.  Everyone needs someone in their life who will be honest and not feed the ego. It maybe necessary to give people permission to speak truth into our lives. Scripture teaches in Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Just as the shepherd has a responsibility to the people, the people have a responsibility to submit to God’s designated authority. (Hebrews 13:17 NIV) “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Christians are to obey their leaders and submit to them, and the leader is accountable to God for how they care for God’s people.

It is important that we stay humble at the feet of Jesus. Correction may come through your spiritual leader, or a trusted friend depending on the situation you maybe dealing with. If someone really loves you they are willing to speak the truth in love even if it hurts. Correction given in love is better than insincere acts of affection.

Has anyone ever corrected you in love and it proved beneficial to you?

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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Enjoy the Journey

 

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Part III  Kingdom Assignment Series

As you go through life, learn to use your experiences as a teaching tool. Don’t look at them as wasted time rather consider them a time of information gathering.  While you are waiting get busy with Kingdom work. Don’t sit around waiting for the glamour and the lights. Some of your most effective Kingdom work will be done away from the eyes of the public.

As you go about functioning in your daily life, God will use you. The obstacles you encounter along the way will bring you to the place God is taking you. There are valuable lessons to be learned in the process. Learn to use every experience good or bad to proclaim the message of the Gospel.

Our experiences can sometimes be our best teachings, not only for us but for those we share them with. You are called to fulfill His purpose in the earth. We are called to a place of service in His Kingdom. God sees you as who He has destiny you to be. You’re not just an anything; you are the righteousness of God, called to be holy. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) Our sins were placed on the One who knew no sin. In return the righteousness of God is credited to all who receive Him.

The road that leads to fulfilling our purposes maybe different but the end result is the same.  Our assignment is to fulfill His purpose in the earth. Each of us have been uniquely crafted by God to impact the lives of others.

Whether you find yourself in the place of a stay at home mom, do it to the glory of God. If you can train your children to love Jesus you have accomplished something that is eternal. If you are head of a corporation, lead as unto the Lord. The focus of our calling is to God first and everything else follows. Seek God in prayer, asking Him how He can best use you to fulfill your Kingdom Assignment?

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor Ph.D.

 

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Kingdom Assignment

 

 

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What has God called you to do? Where is your place in God’s Kingdom? If your house is anything like mines, everything has a place but it’s not always in its place. The problem with that is when you  look for something and it’s not where it should be then you don’t know where it is.

When I can’t find the item or items I am looking for, I become frustrated and upset. In the Body of Christ, we each have a place in which we are to function.  God has called each of us and He has a plan and purpose for each of us. When we are operating outside of our purpose, it can lead to frustration. We may be doing good works but something feels off, it just doesn’t fit right. Frustrated believers will sometimes do what they see other doing, or do  what they think someone else wants them to do. This is a recipe for frustration and discouragement.

When we speak of calling as in “what has God called you to do?” Often we think of  the ministry gifts that Paul writes about in Ephesians 4: 11-12 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” These gifts are what is often referred to as the five- fold ministry.

These are gifts (a favor one receives without any merit of his own) that God gives. These gifted people are to use their gifts to edify or equip the Body of Christ. As believers begin to function in the things of God, there will be times of disappointment and we will need someone to encourage, restore, and mend the brokenness of our spirit.  That is why it is important that every believer be a part of a local assembly. You will need a gifted leader who can pour in encouragement and help you to stay strong to fulfill your Kingdom Assignment.

Each of us have been called by God. Jesus says in Matthew 22:14 “For many are called but few are chosen.”  The word called in the original language speaks of an invitation. In the context of this Scripture many had been invited to a wedding feast, but not all attended. Some made excuses. The invitation to salvation has gone out to all and some will make excuses and not accept. For everyone who accepts the called, God wants to use you to fulfill His purpose.

Over the next several weeks, I will be continuing this topic of How to fulfill your Kingdom Assignment.

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor Ph.D.

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Interruptions

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What do you do when the best-laid plans do not turn out the way you thought? I had an experience recently that I would like to share with you. We took The auto train from Florida to the Women of Promise  International Ministries conference in Maryland. I had so many things to transport for the conference: packets, bags, books, T-shirts, folders and notebooks, etc. The auto train appeared to be an excellent way to travel. We could pack the car, get on the train, and sleep as we took the 17 hour train ride to Maryland.

We had an uneventful trip, a very nice assistant on the train and things went really well. We had a great conference, and we were scheduled to return home on Monday September 11, but hurricane Irma came through the state of Florida. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not we should evacuate for Irma because we were already out of town attending the conference. Unfortunately, the storm rendered the train tracks impassable and our Monday’s return trip was canceled and rescheduled for Thursday.

Well, that didn’t seem like such a bad thing because I had promised myself that the next time I was in the area on a Sunday morning that I could visit Greater Mt Calvary Holy Church.  I also wanted to tour the African-American Museum in Washington DC and visit a friend in West Virginia. Now, with the train delay I would fulfill all three of those desires.  As a special bonus, I was able to minister the Word on Wednesday night in West Virginia. What a great experience.

Our Thursday train ended up being cancelled as well because of the residual from the storm.  We were told that the tracks were still under water in some of the areas of our route back to Florida.The next available seat they had for us on the train, not a sleeper but a business class seat would be on September 21.

My friend was very kind and offered for us to stay as long as we liked to but we realized we really needed to get home. With a goal in mind, we set out driving with me as the only driver. I figured no matter how long it took we would surely arrive before September 21.

My GPS showed our destination as nearly 1000 miles.  I certainly was not looking forward to that as I had made a decision not to do long-distance driving after experiencing horrible sciatica pain after my last road trip a year prior.

We were looking at nearly 15 hours of driving. After praying we started our journey. I stopped frequently and after eight hours in the car we checked into a hotel for the night. We had been warned about gas not being available on some exits. We were told that the traffic would be heavily congested with people returning to Florida after having to evacuate and that some hotels would be closed.

God granted us favor as we spent the first night and headed out again the next morning. The second night we stopped after seven hours in the car to rest deciding to do the final leg of the trip home on the third day. We ran into minor traffic congestion a few times. Gasoline was readily available and the hotel we chose on our final night had just opened the day before after being closed for a week.

So what do you do when life gives you an interruption?  Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” When interruptions come, I stand on what I know to be true about God. He is faithful and He does not lie. I am confident that this interruption was somehow working for my good. There might have been something that God wanted me to learn, or something He wanted to show me, but nevertheless I must always keep moving forward.

Let me encourage you my friend, because I know life has a way of giving us all kinds of interruptions whether it be a long-term illnesses, loss of job, loss of home, a hurricane, or death of a loved one.  There are all kinds of things that interrupt our lives, but even in that we give thanks.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

It is in those moments of interruption that we must resist the temptation to complain. The key to  maintaining our joy is to not complain when things do not go according to our plans. In the midst of interruptions I have learned to offer God praise.

I had an awesome opportunity to minister to some lovely woman. God provided for our needs as we traveled and when we arrived home there was no damage to our home from the hurricane.

Interruptions are just an opportunity to offer a praise of thanksgiving to an awesome God.  What started as a 6 day voyage turned into a 10 day trip, but at the conclusion of it all, we ended up right where we needed to be.

HOME!

 

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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Ride-or-Die

 

 

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To maintain a godly character it is important to have someone in your life who will tell you the truth.  Not someone who criticizes but someone who will be honest enough to help you to grow. Everyone needs someone in their life who will  not feed the ego. We have enough back patting friends. In our current society we find that the more a person advances in life the less truth tellers they have around them.  Many will want to connect with you simply because of what you have and who you are.

The Scripture teaches in Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” I believe everyone needs someone  to speak truth to them. From the greatest to the least among us, this is a must have. While we do not desire to be or do the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of another, it is important to be able to offer constructive advice. The Holy Spirit brings conviction, but confidantes can bring good old fashion truth to your situation.

I have a ride-or-die friend who never ceases to tell me the truth. Sometimes I want to hear it and sometimes I don’t. Needless to say, she doesn’t really care if I want to hear it are not, she feels compelled to share. Everyone needs a friend like mines. In in effort to maintain our godly character, it is important that we are willing to be held accountable. Godly character doesn’t mean that we will be perfect in all our ways. It simply means that we strive to be people of integrity.

When we mess up, and we will. Ask God to forgive you and keep moving in the right direction. Proverbs 24:16 “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” Aren’t you happy about the grace of God in your life? I know I am. When we see the error of our ways, we can repent and He will restore us.

Evelyn

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Who Am I

2017-07-09-07-45-35-900x596.jpgI teach a course titled Christian Character at Grace and Truth Christian University. Each time I teach this course, it is a time of re-evaluation for me. Character speaks of the emotional and ethical qualities characteristic that make up each individual.  Character is not what you do or what you have but who you are.

My desire always is to live in a way that represents Christ. I am painfully aware that I don’t always accomplish my goals in that area. To be honest, some days I just want to be left alone.

I believe every believer should take inventory of their character often. To see who it represents most. Those things that we call small and often overlook speak volumes to who we are. As believers our character is all we really have. Names, riches, and other material things will fade but who we are in the core of our being will remain. People will remember how you treated them long after you are gone.

When we look at our character as believers, what are our non-negotiable? Lines that we will not cross? If I say, I don’t steal, will I steal if I’m hungry? If I say I support you, will I support you as long as it doesn’t interfere with my dreams? I pray for grace to do what I cannot do on my own. So on those days when I would rather be left alone, His grace helps me to represent who I am as a believer.

For more information about the class on Christian Character click the link above. Online class and or distance learning is also available.

 

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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One Bite at a time

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Have you ever come to the end of a week and all you could say is thank God it’s Saturday? Well, I have had one of those weeks. A week packed with Demands, projects, deadlines, and responsibilities. Each day when I open my eyes I thank God for another day. More time to work on projects and to complain about deadlines.

Seriously, I am so grateful for the opportunities God has granted me this week to show forth His love in all that I do. I led a Facebook discussion this week, and participated in an online Bible study. I also conducted a conference planning meeting, finalized our agreement with the conference venue, and reached out to several vendors/businesses regarding conference sponsorship. In additional to the above I prayed and assisted the sick and bereaved, worked on two speaking contracts with Christian Speakers Services, took my car in for service, met my husband new home care health nurse, physical and occupational therapist, ordered and shipped books. All while I have continued my regular weekly responsibilities.

It sounds like a lot and it is, but I am so thankful that God has strengthened me for the task. So how do you accomplish everything that comes at you day after day? I adhere to the One Bite at a time philosophy. It makes perfect sense to take one step at a time. If we are to achieve what is needed, we must start moving toward the end game.

So while I thank God it’s Saturday. I also thank Him for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Evelyn Johnson Taylor

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