Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Staying on TRACK!

When I was younger I used to love Hot Wheels Cars. Whenever I entered a store I would immediately look for the Hot Wheels collection. Thanks to my parents I was able to become an avid Hot Wheels collector. I collected the ones that crash, the ones that changed color and the ones that you could race by inserting a key to start them. I remember how my cousins and I would spend hours racing our cars on the bright orange Hot Wheels tracks. I also remember how only about 1 out every 15-20 races were actually finished because cars would not go far, or jump and flip off the track. The races would always start with so much promise and anticipation, but before you knew it a car was off the track.

As I look back on how time and time again I had to stop the races to put cars back on track, I heard today's scripture in my head. I realized that many Christians are like my Hot Wheels cars, they start off coming to the church with so much promise and anticipation but before the race is finished they fall off of the track. Family today God reminds us to stay steadfast, to keep the course, to stay on our Christian Journey, to stay on track! Paul reminds us that we can make it, we can stay on God's track. Many won't but our calling is to indeed finish the race...

Colossians 1:18-29 (NRSV)

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him--

provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Love never fails.

-1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV)

Is it real, if it you be the judge!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Everyone Has The Opportunity,

Everyone has the opportunity to choose being in a forgiving, loving relationship with God. Today is National HIV & Aids testing day. People around the world are supporting being tested for HIV and Aids. As I began to prepare for my test today, I began to think about what this day means for many; I began to think about how the CHURCH has traditionally responded to the issues surrounding HIV & Aids.

The Church has been hesitant to witness in a loving and invitational way to those effected by HIV & Aids. The CHURCH has been more like Jonah as it pertains to his opinion of the Ninevehites, wanting to accuse them of sinful behavior and write them off as being punished for their actions. But we have much to learn about God's amazing grace in the text today. Despite Jonah's/The Church's hesitancy- God say's everyone has the opportunity to accept God's love and grace, the Ninevehites along as those effected by HIV & Aids all are welcome to experience God's love, redemption and acceptance in the body of Christ. Our job is like that of Jonah to go tell the people about God's offer to come and join the body of Christ. Let's look at the text!

Jonah 3

Jonah Goes to Nineveh
1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Paul wrote, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."

-1 Corinthians 11:1 (NRSV)

One of our dear brothers Mr. Hudson joined the CHURCH Victorious, and the funeral was this morning at the church. A few minutes ago one of my youngest members Farrah Jones ran into my office and asked me how did the services go? I said they went well and before I could finish she asked her second question, "How did Mr. Hudson look"? Without hesitation I automatically responded he looked great!, and he did. But after a few seconds the real meaning of Farrah's question sunk in. Wow what a profound question from a 10 year old. On the surface I know that she was asking about his suit and how the body was prepared. But God was speaking to me through Farrah asking me beyond the suit, casket and makeup how did Mr. Hudson really look? How did he live his life, how did people view him? In the short text for reflection today Paul is challenging the church to look great, like Jesus did. To be the mirror image of the greatness of God! one simple question puts our lives and deaths into clear perspective ! How did Mr. Hudson look? He looked GREAT! Now the question is how do you look, and when it's your time to lay in-front of the church how will you look? I pray that we all will look GREAT as CHRIST is GREAT! Amen!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To Give or not to Give!

Luke 6:27-36 (NRSV)

"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Today our text invites us to wrestle with the age old question to give or not to give to the person at the freeway intersection, in-front of the Walgreen's or asking to pump our gas and clean our window. To give or not to give, and to turn the other cheek and forgive? What could have Jesus been thinking, asking us to give up our hard earned money, giving others our designer clothes and even allowing persons to muff us and still live to talk about it? What must Jesus mind have been on?

Probably heavenly things, Jesus did not look at or see the world as we do. Jesus saw the world with heavenly eyes, while we see with material and egotistical eyes. I believe that Jesus was trying to make the point if something does not hurt or effect you then why not help instead of reacting negatively, sow a positive seed. Therefore why not give up the change that you were going to loose in the couch anyway to sow a positive seed regardless of what will be done with it if you give it in love. So what someone got in your face and called you a name what did that cost or hurt, dismiss it with positive energy and move on. Why not let someone needy have the blouse that you have worn fifteen times and said just yesterday was out of season? In the text Jesus is asking me the great WHY NOT?

Therefore I have decided to help and serve persons in these particular situations unless it causes me personal harm. Jesus calls me to love, however I know Jesus would not ask me to place myself in any danger- not physical, emotional, financial or otherwise. Will you join me in my effort to see the world through HEAVENLY EYES? I pray that you will.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

God is: Loving, Forgiving & Merciful

Lamentations 3:22-24 (NRSV)
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."

Some ministers and church leaders would argue that the Old Testament God portrayed in the Hebrew scriptures is vengeful, judgmental and wrathful. Today's text reminds us that The Old Testament and New Testament God are one in the same loving, forgiving, and merciful God. Preachers, ministers, or church leaders who proclaim hatred, wrath, or vengeance are not preaching the complete Gospel message. The message that God is love. In our worship on Sunday, God was definitely trying to uplift the heavy hearts of many- my purpose was to bring home the point that God wants a relationship with each one of us. "We need to come home" Like the prodigal son and not leave the garden like Adam & Eve. This was indeed a message of LOVE and not condemnation, if you felt in any way that this message was judgmental then seek God first and speak to me second. Sometimes the guilt of our own lives becomes overwhelming, when this occurs remember that JESUS dropped the CHARGES- You are not guilty but innocent because of Christ blood.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The invitation has been sent, and the door is open?

Luke 15:4-10 (NRSV)

"Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

"Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

God is always calling the churched as well as the un-churched to come to God's self, where there is salvation and peace. The door is open and the invitation sent but many won't take advantage. On this Saturday will you take steps bringing you closer to God in relationship and living out your faith?- Just a simple Saturday question.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Patience is truly a virtue! (Good thing)

I meet many people as a pastor day in and day out I shake thousands of hands, and give out hundreds of hugs in any given week. People of all backgrounds, races, social standing and professional fields ask the same questions. One of the most asked questions is "pastor where is God in my life because I have been going through _______for so many years and I can't see God?" Family our patience is truly a great thing. God is real and active always. However when we are going through and dealing with many issues it's hard to recognize God. During these times we must keep our faith, during these times we must remain patient giving God time to WOW and AWE us through miraculous works. My question of many new members to the Church is are you willing to be faithful long enough to allow God to work? Many times people have an issue and try the church just long enough to get frustrated then leave without their blessing and miracle. Sometimes our patience is a great way to show devotion to our God while we watch God work. Today's scripture for reflection speaks to holding on to God as well.

Hebrews 6:10-19 (NRSV)

For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, "I will surely bless you and multiply you." And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to Please God for Dummies!

Church Folk, you know the people that carry a bible all the time and never read it, they can tell you what God want's and never live it. Good old fashioned church folk, not Christ centered Christians. These church folk are always asking me how to please God. Therefore today;s reflection answers the question of how to please God in the straight and simple format, like everything from Windows, to Dog training- "How to please God fir Dummies" Pleasing God is simple. There is no magic word, or secret combination, or even special offering on a certain day at a scared place. Micah reminds us to just do the simple things showing our love for God and our love for our neighbors. We do this by living lives of merciful exertion and forgiveness. Holding no grudges, seeking no revenge or vengeance. Being promoters of justice, not judging ourselves but speaking up for the rights of ALL. Finally Micah reminds us to be humble and to toot our own horns or think to highly of ourselves. See how simple that is... Well maybe the prophet can say it better than I, let's look!

Micah 6:6-8 "With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

For me, Micah reminds me to do all things in love, not taking advantage of anyone, and remembering that I make mistakes so give others a break for theirs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stay the Course!

Luke 10:38-42 (NRSV)
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."

Day in and night out there is always much to be done. Indeed everywhere I look it always seems that there is so much to do and so little time to do it in. Earlier this morning I eagerly found myself cleaning the Church kitchen counter-tops and dishes. Someone had spilled something sticky and just let it soak into the counter as well as leaving behind a couple of dirty dishes. As soon as I noticed the mess I began thinking of the guest that would be using the church this evening and began cleaning. After about ten minutes I heard Jesus calling me Martha and asking if this was the best use of my time even though I had many other things to do. Then I asked reminded myself that this is not my job, but a job that many others could do. While God has called me to task today for which only I can do. Martha in our text was doing good work, but in doing so was distracted from the great work Jesus called her to do. Family I pray that our good works do not distract us from our great work that God has called us to ! Today Stay focused, stay the course, do works for that which you are called. Amen!