Back to Basics

If you were to look up the word Basic in the dictionary, you will more than likely find these defenitions:

 

basic (ˈbeɪsɪk)

adj

1.

of, relating to, or forming a base or basis; fundamental; underlying

2.

elementary or simple: a few basic facts

8.

( usually plural ) a fundamental principle, fact, etc

 

 

When we look at the book of Joshua, we see that God is ready to give His people the Promised Land that He had promised them when Moses led them out of the land of bondage, known to us as Egypt.   Moses is now dead and He has now entrusted Joshua himself to lead the children of Israel into the land that was promised.

In Chapter 1:  We see a survey of the history from Israel’s time in Egypt up to their time in Canaan

In Chapter 2:   Joshua sends his spies to go and survey the land of Canaan

In Chapter 6:  The children of Israel take the city of Jericho by marching around the city with the blast of the trumpets as God had instructed them to do.

 

NOW, TROUBLE IS ON THE HORIZON!!!

 

In Chapter 7:  We now see that Israel has started to sin against God and have become disobedient to His will.

In the rest of the chapters, Israel continues to be blessed by God and is eventually able to conquer the lands that He had promised them.  Now, we fast forward to chapeter 24.  Joshua, in his old age, recounts God’s marvelous works on Israel’s behalf.  In chapter 24 verses 1-14 we see this:

 

1And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

2And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

3And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

4And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

5I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.

6And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.

7And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.

8And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

9Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:

10But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.

11And you went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.

12And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.

13And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

 

Now, we’ve come to the part when the lesson needs to be applied.  Joshua is telling the leaders:

 

14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 

There are a few points that we can take from this text that we are sharing in regards to going back to basics.  This first thing we need to do is look where we’ve come from.  Joshua was telling the people that God had brought them from and carried them through a whole lot of stuff.  Even going back to the time when they were in bondage and even going back to their time when they were being pursued by Pharaoh and his army, and even though they knew they were dead wrong for building a golden calf to worship it while Moses was getting the Law straight from god himself, even when they were even more dead wrong for being disobedient to the point where they were wandering aimlessly and needlessly in the wilderness; even through all of that, God was STILL THERE!!  When we look at our lives, from day to day, in good times and bad, through ups and downs, through ins and outs, through triumphs and defeats, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, from our first love to last heartbreak, God has been and always will be there.  Like the songwriter said:

As I look back over my life
And I think things over I can truly say that I’ve been blessed
I’ve got a testimony

Sometimes I couldn’t see my way through
But the Lord He brought me out
Right now I’m free
I’ve got the victory
I’ve got a testimony

In other words, when we think about it, God wants us to get back to basics.

 

God wants is to always remember where and how far we’ve come.  But, when it comes to getting back to basics, God also wants to realize that there is so much more in store for us.  The first part of verse 14 says :

14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth:

That’s pretty simple and pretty basic.  All we have to do is SERVE GOD with sincerity and with truth.  If you look up truth, it simply means “The state or character of being true…”.  In other words, when we get back to basics, we have to fear God in sincerity and truth just because of who God really is.  Jesus said, “I am the way the TRUTH and the life.  No man cometh unto the Father but my ME.  God has a lot in store for us but we’ve got to be in a position to serve Him in sincerity as well as TRUTH!

Getting back to basics means that we have look where God has brought us from.  Getting back to basics also means that we have to be ready to serve God in sincerity and in truth.  However, when we remember how God has brought has brought us through, and when we position ourselves to serve Him and Him alone, we have to be prepared to make this decision even if we have to stand alone.  Verse 15 says it very plainly:

15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

All I’m simply trying to say here is that you can go on and act like you’re all that and a pot of grits.  You can sit there all you want and act like everything you got, you got by yourself.  You can even sit back and not even acknowledge that God is working in your life right now but, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  There are going to be times when you are going up against a whole mess of things.  Things that may or may not seem like they are in your favor and when you look around you see everybody doing their own thing or acting like whatever they have they got on their own and then they look at you like, “why are you so happy?” That’s’ when you tell them, “you can do what you wanna do, and live how you wanna live but, as for me and MY house, we’re going to serve the Lord.”

Single Parents, I know times are tough and I know sometimes your child wants to do what the “in” kids are doing at school.  Don’t worry about what kind of attitude you get from them, all you have to say is, “child I don’t care what is going on outside but, as for me and my house…”  That’s getting back to bacis!

When you’re on your job and all kinds of folks are coming at you with all kinds of foolishness, you don’t have to sit there are let that mess fester in your spirit, you can just tell them, “you can talk about talk all you want about who shot John but, as for me and my house…”  That’s getting back to basics

Young people times are tougher than they ever were.  You have all kinds of temptation around you at every turn.  You don’t have to succumb to the ways of the world and you don’t have to let peer pressure dictate your life, so when your homeboys or your homegirls want to get into something that they know they really shouldn’t be getting themselves into, and they’re looking at you funny because you aren’t joining in, or when your boyfriend or your girlfriend is trying to take whatever it is that you have together to a level that you DEFINITELY are not ready for, go ahead and tell them, “that may be what you want to do right now but, as for me and my house…”  That’s getting back to basics.

One Friday, my Jesus was on the cross, one thief was only thinking of just getting off the cross while the other thief was trying to get to Heaven.  One thief wanted Jesus to save his life while, the other thief wanted Jesus to save his soul.  One thief wanted to be remembered here on earth while, the other thief, wanted Jesus to remember him when He when into his Kingdom.  One thief wanted to get back to the life he had while, the other thief, wanted to get back to basics.  Jesus came down 42 generations, preached for 3 ½ years, died on the cross, and got up on Easter Sunday morning with all power in His hands.  He did this so that we could get back to basics.  All we have to do is trust Him, believe in Him, love Him, worship Him, serve Him, and let the world know about Him.  That’s getting back to basics!

 

Amen

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Hoodie-less

Image

Good day readers;

I trust and pray that you are all in good spirits.  I have to go out on a limb here so, I am asking for your indulgence for a few moments.

Unless you have been living under a rock, there has been loads of news coverage regarding the shooting of Trayvon Martin by Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman.  Once again, there has been an uproar of complaints of injustice and calling for the arrest of Zimmerman in order to face prosecution and there are even folks that are calling for the head of Zimmerman himself in a show of street justice that is akin to those westerns we used to see on TV or one a myriad of Fred Williams, Jim Brown, or Pam Grier movies from the 70s.  Not only that, there was a mass protest down in Sanford, Florida where the shooting took place.  Naturally, the parents of Trayvon were in attendance, family, church leaders, friends of the family, and even the Rev. Al Sharpton (like he would miss this), was there to make yet another speech for the injustices of Black People in the United States.  Personally (and paraphrasing Dr. King), injustice anywhere is a serious threat to justice everywhere, no matter what race.  However, I am concerned with the race to whom I belong but, make no mistake, I sincerely agree with Dr. Kings quote but, I digress.

Here is my issue with what has transpired.  We have a black boy who was shot by a white man while said black boy was on his cell phone and the only thing he had on his person, aside from the phone, was a bag of Skittles and a can of Tea.  The white man, who is part of a neighborhood watch program (not necessarily a sworn or deputized servant) is carrying a gun.  These are the so-called facts to this horrible tragedy.  Now we have everyone from city to city, state to state, from sea to shining sea, flooding the social medium with profile pictures, avatars, and status updates with themselves donning a hoodie, which was was Trayvon was wearing the day he was killed, or pictures of bags of Skittles and Tea or both them and the Skittles and the tea.  While I admire the tenacity and the relenting spirit of the protesters and, while I wish that there will be some type of justice to the fullest extent (Hey, go big or go home) of the law, the thing I am most excited about is the protesting we are doing when we see Black on Black crime or the marches we do in support of stopping the random shootings of single mothers by their sons in order to join a gang and the facebook postings about the violence Black people against one another.  Wait, you’ve never heard of any of these?  Well, neither have I.

See the problem I have with this whole tragic situation is that there is never publicized coverage, short of the local news, about a protest that is AGAINST Black People killing other Black People.  We may see that covered nationally, when it happens but, what about when and IF there is a protest?  Here in Florida there are 2 young Black men on trial.  One for killing a St. Pete police officer that was due to retire from years of service this year and another that allegedly shot two tourists.  Where are the protesters?  Where are the Activists, Preachers, Skittle eaters and tea drinkers now?  Who is out there protesting that these boys should be brought to justice for their crimes that they committed?  I don’t want a race card pulled from any of you!  I don’t want to hear that foolishness!  You don’t have a legitimate answer do you?  The fact of the matter is that we don’t have any excuses whatsoever regarding NOT doing anything…period.  Trust me, I am praying for Trayvon’s family…and Zimmerman’s family…and the family of the the tourists…and the family of the dead officer.  There is more to it than just wearing a hoodie on your facebook page.  There is more to it than just having a picture of Trayvon on your facebook page.  There is more to it than buying Skittles.  Let me leave you with this:

A boy is shot by a man.  The boy wasn’t doing anything wrong, just happened to be at the wrong place and the wrong time.  Since he was killed his parents was justice.  Pretty soon the entire town is in an uproar about it so the decide to protest against this unspeakable crime.  They gather at the town where the crime took place.  Some folks came from other towns in for support.  All you see at the protest were people in hood(ies) asking for justice to be served.

Sound familiar…

The ball is in your court

Good Day Readers;

How are things in your world on this Tuesday? I’m good over here. Things at work are going at a steady pace and, I must say, that the job is really great.

Joshua 24:15 says, in part, “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Have you ever read that passage? Honestly, I have heard it many times but never ever really sat down to read what it said. the entire verse reads like this:

15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.


That was a pretty bold statement back then and it still is today. The writer is telling us that even though they may be serving the gods of those around him (i.e when in Rome), he is making it perfectly clear that HE is serving God. To make it even more clear, he is also telling us that not only he but, his entire house will serve the Lord. In other words, he doesn’t care what you say or do. You can continue to serve whatever god you want, do whatever it is that will make you happy but, as far as me and my family is concerned, we are serving the true and living God. No questions asked. This isn’t even up for discussion. When it comes to us doing the will of God, there should be no discussion, especially when we know what He is doing in our lives and how far He has brought us. Who would not want to serve a God like that?

 

Until next time…