Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Originally written: November 13th, 2008
Min. R. Thomas
|Roline preaching licensing sermon|
As my preaching date approached I reflected on the Little Rock 9. Back in 1957, nine courageous youth attended Central High School as the first and only black students willing to integrate. They were met with much opposition. Because of their perseverance, they became the catalyst of educational equality for all races in school. The Little Rock 9 didn’t realize the magnitude of what they were doing. They didn’t set out to make history, but indeed they did.
I and the other eight female ministers who were licensed on last night did not begin our journey setting out to make history. I then tagged my own personal name to our group of nine—we are the “St. Mark 9″. We were selected by God to be the history makers for such a time as this. And as history is continually being written each day, we have yet to realize the magnitude of what we have done. But as I look at my fellow female ministers, some who were previously licensed by other churches/organizations, I also celebrated that we all shared in this historical moment, this glorious day of change and shifting.
The St. Mark 9 with Pastor Thomas
And so you may think preaching is easy. My night to preach was truly amazing, yet challenging. I had been ignoring an illness for quite some time. As soon as I got up to preach, my condition reached the point where it caused me great difficulty to stand. I began to preach and was greatly distracted by what afflicted me. I wanted to stop the message to sit down but, I pressed on. I’ve preached many times, and never have this happened to me. WHY NOW! Although it was paining me, I pressed on. God was gracious.
One of the congregants sent me an email which read:
You were off the chain..You truly blessed my heart Sis Roline last night, and about your sister-”I just ain’t feeling it..” and especially about the Jonah and the fish spewing him out while in the sea and placing him on solid ground to redirect him to where he should have been all the time…Thank you so much for inspiring me to be a woman of god, thanks for being a Titus 2 woman in my life..setting an example for those women in your area of influence. I know we don’t get to talk alot but I love and respect you dearly, you are so open, entreatable and for being real..and lady–FUNNY!! You are a true gem-truly..If you ever need anything, holla….. be blessed my sista and that you are..gone’ with your bad self.
While I was preaching, my condition weakened me and distracted me. However, only one lady, a person who I mentor, said she thought something may have been wrong. She said she could tell by the way I had moved my legs at one point, something was happening to me. However, she said by the way I preached, you would have never thought that I was going through what I was going through.
I was somewhat down after I finished preaching, because I know I didn’t preach it like I “could” have. However, after getting a flood of calls and emails which carried the same sentiments as the one I shared, all I can say is God is good!! The Word did what it do!
I did make an appointment with a doctor for next Tuesday. Maybe that’s why God allowed me to be distracted by this illness while I was standing. I don’t think I would have made the appointment without having been afflicted on last night.
My topic last night was “It Doesn’t Look Good, but I’m Coming Out”. I preached about Jonah who God placed in a dark, messy, nasty fish because he “wasn’t feelin’ “ God’s command. Jonah’s fish experience was his own fault because he “wasn’t feelin’ it”. But even though Jonah did it to himself, and his situation didn’t look good, Jonah came out of the fish.
I have neglected going to the doctor because I “wasn’t feelin’ it”. As a result, I got swallowed up by my own God prepared fish. Last night was my fish experience. In terms of my condition, it doesn’t look good but I’m coming out!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Matthew 5:6 - Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled
You know how it is when you got to have a certain food. You want it so bad that you do whatever it takes to get it. In the movie “Life” with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, the character Claude Banks is serving a life sentence in a Mississippi prison. When Claude first arrives, the head officer tells the inmates they will be shot if they ever cross over the “gun line”, which is the boundary of the prison. In a scene, Claude is standing at the gun line, craving a fresh baked pie that is cooling on the window ledge of the warden’s house located several yards beyond the prison boundary. Claude has a strong desire for the pie and risks his life and looking ridiculous to get what he craves.
When you come to a place of desperation nothing or no one will stop you from getting what you need. The Christian must be desperate for righteousness and willing to take risks to get what is needed; risk being ridiculed, risk being ostracized, risk being persecuted. Jesus understands these risks because He went through all of the same for you.
The word “hunger” in this passage is not speaking of a desire for just anything. When you settle for anything, you take in the toxins and filth of this world. “Hunger” speaks of a focused hunger. Anything just won’t do. A spiritual hunger is focused on what God has to dish out. A spiritual hunger craves to sit at the table of Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness.
What are you consuming? Are you the picture of a healthy Christian or a malnourished Christian? Glorifying God, having healthy relationships, living right, talking right and walking right can only come from a healthy spiritual diet. Reading and studying God’s Word, praying to God, listening to God, and living according to God’s Word are all a part of a healthy spiritual diet plan. Make sure you feed yourself daily. Just as force feeding and rush eating can be detrimental to one’s physical life, the same can be detrimental to one’s spiritual life. It’s not always the diet that cause you to starve, it’s how you digest.
O, taste and see that the Lord is good! Pull up to the table of the Most High God.
Nobody can satisfy you like God can. Matthew 5: 6 in the Message Bible reads “You are blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” What do you have a taste for?
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I started thinking about all the people who like me will begin praying for this great man on the regular. And then I thought about our current president. Did we ever stop and pray for him—you know, on the regular? Why are we making a big deal out of praying for Barak Obama when praying for the president should have been routine?
1 Timothy 2:1-3 says “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.”
After mulling over 2 Chronicles 7:14 and I Timothy 2:1-3, I wondered, what shape would this country be in today if Christians would have prayed for Bush and his predecessors regularly. Instead of just talking about what a bad job Bush was doing, and solely blaming him for the state of the economy maybe we should have humbled ourselves and sought the Lord. I wonder….if Christians had done their part would the land be healed? Would this country be in better shape?
The current president, George Bush, has 3 months left in office. He is still the President of the U.S.A. Don’t wait for “our man” to take office, start praying now for those in authority.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Although I have been preaching for the last 9 years, a month ago I officially received my license to preach the Gospel. Although for seven years, I fled from the call, my lifestyle and walk has reflected the call for well over a decade.
Rewind back 7 months–In May 2007, twelve women were selected by my Pastor to begin a special training course for women called to preach. For the next 10 months, we would meet weekly and be trained in our area of ministry through classes where we were not only instructed by also given homework assignments. Then, in March 2008, the nine of us that remained were presented to the church and from that day forward we sat with the other ministers in the designated area and were allowed to serve just as the other male ministers of the church.
Since March, I have sat with the ministers, and sometimes I would sit where I always sat prior to my “coming out”—in the pew designated for Associate Pastors Wives. After all, I’m still Pastor Thomas’ wife.
On a Sunday after receiving my license, I went to sit in the area reserved for the Associate Pastors wives. When I got to my seat, a member said to me “I was surprised that you came here to sit.” She was making reference to the fact that I am now a minister, and from her tone, she led me to believe that I had changed. My response to the woman was “I may be a minister but I’m still Pastor Thomas’ wife!”
Years ago, when I began walking in my call, I inwardly changed. The licensing certified publicly what had already taken place privately. The woman’s comment made me ponder two self-evaluating question, “What has changed between now and my acknowledgement of the call?” and “What has not changed between now and my acknowledgement of my call?”
The latter of the two was easier to answer. What HAS NOT changed:
I’m still Roline ThomasI’m still married to Pastor Thomas.
I’m still a mother.
I’m still a grandmother.
I’m still a friend.
I still love the Lord.
I still love to preach.
I still love serving others.
I’m still actively involved in several ministry of my church.
I still love gumbo.
So, what HAS changed? That’s tough, because the license came years after the call. Has my attitude change? Has my relationships changed? Certainly each day my relationship with God has changed—I’m closer to Him today than I was yesterday. But really what has changed? Perhaps those closest to me can help me with that answer. Ahhhh, the lightbulb goes off—-It’s not me that has changed it’s the people around me that has change. Why?—their perception of me has changed. The way others view me has changed. With the call becomes change—perhaps a change in you, but watch out for the change in others. They are the ones who begin to look at you differently and treat you differently. Be careful that their changed view of you doesn’t change you.
Monday, July 26, 2010
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. —Psalms 13:13-14 (NIV)
Recently, I was watching the television broadcast of a popular evangelist. During the delivery of his message, the man of God commented and poked fun at the physical looks of two well known entertainers. Focusing attention to their facial looks, the evangelist casted a plethora of adjectives describing the entertainers in a very unfavorable manner. At first, I thought the lesson was for me as a preacher— never make fun of people while preaching. You’ll never know who is listening and who you will offend. That was a pretty good visual lesson for me as a preacher, but then I realize there was a deeper lesson that the Holy Spirit would teach me.
I don’t know if the mentioned entertainers are saved, but as a casual observer, I view their lifestyles as worldly. Excessive drinking, fornicating, drugs, foul language has been publically displayed by both. However, as I watched the insensitive preacher and his audience burst out in laughter I was convicted of my own wrong doings. I have made fun of the very same individuals. In casual conversation with friends, I have poked fun of their looks. Regardless of how they live and regardless of how they look, these entertainers were created by God.
I began to ponder as I watched the preacher on television. I wondered how would the entertainers feel if they were watching the show— were they encouraged or offended? I wondered if seeing the man of God making a mockery of their outer beauty would influence them to want to serve the loving God he was preaching about. Then, I wondered how was God feeling about the preacher making fun of His creative work. Finally, I wondered how does God feel when I label some his creative work as “ugly”.
An old proverb states, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Unfortunately man defines beauty by the world’s superficial standards. If we are to view God’s creative work as beautiful, we must realize that “Beauty is in the eye of the Creator.” God as Creator set the standard for beauty. When it comes to critiquing a person’s physical unique features, remember it is God’s creative work and He does all things well. Every individual is a work of art— fearfully and wonderfully made. So what is ugly?— The act of speaking ill of God’s handiwork.
Monday, July 19, 2010
By: James Whiite
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
While ministering in Nairobi, Kenya mission team had the opportunity to rest and relax at a resort in Naivasha, Kenya. From the brochure, the resort looked very inviting. The ad boasted of horseback riding, restaurants, computer, shops, and other activities. The rooms would be an upgrade from the Nairobi facility which we were residing.
The drive to Naivasha started out pleasant, but, as we neared the resort the road to the resort became horrible. Our van’s driver maneuvered through giant rocks, dirt, bumps, and potholes which covered 15 to 20 miles of the route leading to the resort’s entrance. As we traveled onward, the dust and dirt from the road crept into the slightly cracked windows of our van. When we arrived at the resort, staff members were kind enough to supply each of us with moist towels to wash off the layers of dirt that settled on our faces, and arms.
Eleven of us shared a nice five bedroom, five bathroom unit. Only one of the showers produced hot water. For a greater part of a day, we were without electricity and water.
My husband and I walked to the resort’s clubhouse only to discover that it was nearly deserted. The shops were closed. The restaurant was closed. The pool was closed. There were no other guests on the grounds. The computer was down and WHERE’S the HORSEBACK RIDING?! Unfulfilled promises! I was feeling like a castaway on a beautifully landscaped deserted island. I remember returning to our room, looking again at the advertising brochure, and becoming overwhelmed with a great sense of disappointment. I wanted to go back to our living quarters in Nairobi. I was better off in Nairobi.
Like the prodigal son, many of us have been lured by the advertising of the far country. I’ve journeyed to the far country. The Trickster advertised it as easy living. My days consisted of drinking, clubbing, making a dishonest living, and doing much of what I would later regret. When I came to myself, I discovered that I’d been living like a filthy pig. I was homesick and couldn’t believe I left Kingdom living for this!
The world says “Have It Your Way” and “Just Do It”. No matter how good the other side looks, it’s better to stay in the father’s house than to go out into the world. You’ll end up losing so much more than money. You’ll lose your joy, peace, dignity, moral values and possibly your good reputation. The grass may look greener on the other side but when you get there you’ll discover it is artificial turf. The world can only offer a cheap worthless imitation of abundant living. As with the resort’s brochure, the world issues misleading advertisements resulting in unfulfilled promises. What the world has is not real.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Are you guilty of studying…
1) to prepare for what’s next (your next assignment)?
2) in case you get called on in a Bible Study class?
3) to meet the requirements of a class/group (Seminary, Master’s Life, Ministry School)?
In a class a teacher said, "The first casualty in a busy preacher’s life is his devotional time."
A look at the preacher:For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. —Ezra 7:10
Ezra…1) Studied the Word so he could……2) Live the Word which qualified him to….3) Teach the Word.
As preachers we must pray to God and study God's Word so that we can live according to His Word. We can't stand before the people to effectively proclaim his Word if we don't spend regular consistent time with God.
Look at Matthew 17:14-21 (also see Mark 9:14-29). Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Why could not we cast him out?” In this passage the disciples failed. They could not cast out a spirit which Jesus gave them authority over. In Luke 9 Jesus gives the disciples authority and power to heal diseases and cast out demons. Yet, in the passage, the disciples were powerless.You can have authority but no power
- Power is not self-manufactured but divinely imparted through the Word of God.
- The Holy Spirit is with you imparting power into you. This comes from studying the Word of God.
- So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. —Romans 10:17
Develop a time of personal devotion:
1) Set a time - and be consistent. Clear your calendar & turn off the cell phone.
2) Decide on a place - atmosphere is important. Don't set yourself up in a dark, depressing setting.
3) Have a plan - decide what you will read.
Pray to God so that He will hear you. Read His Word so that you will hear from him.
1. If you are a person who moves a lot when speaking, make sure you grab hold of the mic when first standing to preach. The congregation cannot hear you if you step away from the mic. Don’t ever assume that you speak loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. Most of the time, people in the rear can’t hear.
2. When preaching, only ask rhetorical questions. When teaching, you can solicit answers to questions, but not when preaching.
3. Be careful of giving too much information and very little revelation. Your audience needs to hear application.
4. Be specific when using application. People can relate better when you are specific. For example:
- Good: There was a time when I did not depend on God. I tried to do things on my own without Him.
- More Impactful: There was a time that I depended on the money I made instead of God. I had a good job making great pay and thought I was secure because I had extra money in the bank.
5. Preach for results, not reaction. Don’t be discourage because people aren’t shouting and/or “talking back” (encouraging) you. The results of the Word proclaimed manifests in transforms lives. Anyone can produce a reaction (shouts, “amens”, etc.).
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Right Now, I'm into me. - The Dangers of being a lukewarm Christian.
· This is my Church home so why do I feel homeless?
· Wilderness Mentality
· Why Am I Here? Complacency
· Don't Take It Personal - Keeping Your Emotions in Check while serving God
· Are We in Church? Or is this a Fortune 500 Corporation?
· Finances - Chasing that Paper! Be Careful Not to Sell Your Soul!
Can't You See I'm Hurting!!!!! - Help me, I can't hold on much longer!
· The Mask - Different Styles and Sizes (Hiding Behind the Pain)
· How could God allow this to happen to me.
· Don't Pray for Me, I need an answer NOW!!!!
Strongholds, Giants Do Die. - Satan's Fortress (Barriers) Can Be Torn Down
· Letting Go of the Past - Guilt/Burdens/Wrong Choices-Decisions/Carrying Baggage(and you're not even traveling, but you are tripping, going nowhere) FAST!
For more info email WEW, Inc.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
In John 8:1-11, we find the story of the woman caught in adultery. She was used as a pawn in the religious leaders, who hated Jesus, attempt to discredit Jesus’ ministry.
The nameless woman was caught in the very act of adultery. While Jesus was teaching to a large crowd in the temple, a group of men, scribes and Pharisees, pushed their way through the crowd and sat the woman in the midst of the people. The men did not desire to bring justice upon this woman, but to accuse Jesus. Their plan failed, and Jesus extended grace and mercy to the woman.
Here’s the irony; the enemies of Jesus were the ones who brought the woman to where she needed to be. This woman needed to be in the presence of the One who could deliver her. She needed to be in the presence of the One who could heal her. She needed to be in the presence of the One who could save her. It was the haters who carried the woman to where she needed to be!
Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you”. If it wasn’t for your enemies, maybe you would not have turned to God. If it wasn’t for opposition, maybe you wouldn’t pray to God. Your enemies have a way of running you to God. Enemies have a way of pushing you towards God.
God makes our enemies our footstool (Psalm 110:1). Footstools helps us to reach high places. Footstools helps us to obtain things that were out of our reach. Footstools takes us up. Footstools are under our feet! Footstools are useful. Enemies are useful!
It was the enemies that got the woman off her back and placed her on her feet. It was the enemies who pushed the woman through the crowd to the Blessor. The enemies were up to no good by pretending to do good, but ended up doing a good deed for this woman. The woman who felt worthless discovered her worth. The woman who felt guilty is now counted as not guilty.
Don’t hate your haters. They are working for your good. Instead of hating them, send them a thank you card appreciating their effortless work of getting you closer to God.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.—Romans 12:1
I enjoyed watching the 80”s sitcom, “The Cosby Show.” My all time favorite episode is “With This Ring.” In this episode, the patriarch of the family, Dr. Cliff Huxtable, was just told by his daughter that the boyfriend she just brought home was really her fiancé. He was disappointed in the way the news was broken. Dr. Huxtable goes to great lengths to describe a mouth-watering steak dinner with the trimmings. He raises the thought, “and I give it to you on a garbage can lid……not to appetizing is it?” This analogy brings home the reason why the fiancé is not readily liked by the family. Dr. Huxtable concludes, “It’s in the presentation, that’s the way she brought you here, on a garbage can lid.”
Presenting your bodies a living sacrifice is placing our own selves on the altar. God desires that we give ourselves completely to Him so that we can be used by Him. Worship is about our lifestyle. The way we live each day is our presentation to God. The way we speak to others, the way we help or don’t help others, the way we give is all a presentation to God. Everything we do must be done for the glory of God.
God is not impressed with fancy prayers, acrobatic singing, or eloquent speaking. He’s not moved by your shouting, tongue speaking, or your saying “glory to God” within each statement you make. God wants you totally. He wants you mind, body and soul. God said, “Be holy for I am holy.” Our lifestyle and inward man must measure up to our outward expressions of worship. To give God anything less than the best is to give God a presentation that is unattractive and disgusting. Remember, it’s all in the presentation. Are you bringing yourself to God on a garbage can lid?
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Teach Me to Pray - Min. Ken Martin (Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer) Do you know how to pray when life gets you down? Are you ready to take your prayer life from the ordinary to the supernatural? This class will give you the how, when and where to pray for every situation you may face.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Five months into my daughter’s lengthy illness, I had to make a telephone call to my parents who lived in another state. It was difficult to tell them that their precious granddaughter’s surgery did not go well, and she was about to have a third surgery, all within one month’s time. Hearing the urgency and uncertainty in my voice, they immediately traveled to visit her. It was late in the evening when they arrived at my home, and upon their insistence, I loaded them up in my car, carefully leading my mother, who is blind. We were off to the hospital.
My parents waited in the hospital’s lobby while I parked the car. Once I entered the hospital I grabbed my mother by the hand to lead her to the elevator. Immediately, my dad grabbed my mom and said it was his job to lead her. So, we got into the elevator headed to my daughter’s floor. While riding in the elevator, I began to warn my parent’s of my daughter’s appearance. Her body was very weak and she had lost a great deal of weight. The news was very unsettling for my father and caused him to become even more anxious to see his granddaughter.
When the elevator door opened, I exited followed by my father. As I turned to remind my father to get my mother, the elevator doors began to close. In the excitement, my dad had forgotten about leading my mom. We did manage to retrieve my mom, who was a little shaken up by the whole ordeal. After all, she was in an unfamiliar place. My mom trusted my Dad to lead her safely to her destination. My mom failed to realize that Daddy could not lead her in a place that he had never been, and his emotional state made him even more unreliable.
Faith in God requires dependency on the One who has seen your destination. Only God can guide you to a place you’ve never been. Whether it’s a new business venture, teaching a Bible Study, or purchasing a new home, God wants you to trust in and depend on Him. God wants you to become his dependent child. In other words, don’t place your faith in man’s leading (as in mom’s case, who would leave you alone in an elevator), but totally lean to God for direction. God is a reliable guide. Sometimes we may not understand the route God is taking us on, but remember, we must walk by faith and not by sight. In other words, we are blind and can’t see the pathway to our destination, but, with God as our reliable guide, He will lead us if we allow him to order our every step.