07.26.2019 Final Friday Word FB Live Transcript:
Greetings, I am Rev. Joy, Pastor of Mt. Herman AME Church in Millington, TN. If your schedule allows, please join us at 10:00 a.m. for Sunday morning worship service. We are located at 3492 Quito-Drummonds Road…Google says Millington but on your way you will pass a sign for Dixonville so don’t think you are lost. Today’s topic is “Keep you C.O.R.E. Tight!” I will give the meaning of the acronym C.O.R.E. later.
Last week I attended the 11th Bi-Annual Dance the Word Conference, convened by Rev. Dr. Sarita Wilson. If you were in attendance for any part I don’t have to tell you about it because you know. If you missed it, words are not sufficient to describe. The dynamics of my life have changed so I was not able to attend everything but I was where God wanted me to be when I needed to be there. As I reflect back to two years ago and the 2017 Conference with the theme Draw Near (based James 4:8… “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you”.)
All I can say is that I drew near and God changed my life. I was ordained an Elder at Annual Conference in October 2017 and a week later I was appointed a church and from there it was off to the races. Some days I didn’t think I could handle it but what got me back in balance; what helped me keep my equilibrium was standing on God’s Word. I positioned myself in prayer and worship; I moved in praise going when and where the WayMaker said go; saying and doing what the Good Shepherd said do. Some days (or seasons) I do better than other days in recognizing that God is in TOTAL CONTROL and therefore I should TOTALLY follow God’s instructions. In the midst of the 2019 Dance Conference I was having one of those “not so good” days.
I had been on a spiritual high all month which began with the start of 3 part sermon series based on the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10 – read and study it when you have time. Later in the week after the first sermon in the series, I attended a “Pentecostal Leaders With Dreams & Visions” Revival. After the second sermon in the series I left town to participate in the Clergy Learning Academy in Bowling Green, KY…talk about getting spiritually fed…from the workshop on mental health by Rev. Sonja V. Deloatch, to the teaching AND preaching of Rev. Tony Lee out of Maryland and the evening worship service where Bishop Ronnie E. Brailsford, Sr. charged us with “Don’t Quit, Your Destiny is Waiting!” based on Galatians 6:7-10. After coming back to Memphis FULL, I participated in the opening worship for the Dance the Word: Activate the Power of Dance Conference. Worship was off the chain!!!
All I can say is you had to be there. As mentioned earlier, I was not able to attend entire conference. Subconsciously that may have been part of my frustration on Friday, the fact that I had to be at work and could not attend the conference. I registered for day only for Saturday with every intention of being there all day. I was only able to attend part of the morning meditation (because I was on the parking lot running my mouth) and a class titled “Change” led by Min. Karen Farnum-Wms out of New York.
Min. Karen taught us the importance of maintaining your core physically, not just for dance but for a good healthy life over all. I wasn’t able to take notes because it was a movement class but the key of the class was that your CORE must be intact or you will be out of control. For a liturgical dancer, that means no flinging and flapping of your limbs. Your movements must be controlled from your core.
When you dance the Word, your body must speak. You must proclaim the word with the movements of your body the same way a preacher or a psalmist proclaim the word with sound of their voice. Min. Karen shared the fact that there has only been a 10 pound difference in her weight since being an adult; she is actually 10 pounds lighter now than she used to be it is just proportioned differently. She did sit ups when she was pregnant with her son. She has maintained her core so can keep dancing effectively for God’s glory.
That stuck with me. I need to maintain my core physically as well as spiritually. I thought back on my frustration from last Friday and what caused it. I was the cause. I was out of balance because I was trying to be in control; I was out of control because I was operating in my own strength and not depending on my C.O.R.E. – Christ Jesus, the strength of my life. [Wm Murphy, “You Are My Strength” strength like no other, reaches to me… – The psalmist sang it at revival on 7/10/19 and it blessed my soul. I had to return to my CORE].
As I reflected, the author/writer in me came up with an acronym for C.O.R.E. To keep your C.O.R.E. tight you must be:
• Christ Centered: Maintain Christ as the center of your life by staying in God’s Word (Matthew 6:33); begin your day with prayer and worship. As you look at Luke 10:38-42, realize you need a little Mary AND Martha in your life. Start your day at the feet of Jesus and let him guide you in the work you need to do for the day. Don’t be distracted and worried by the many tasks on YOUR “to do” list. Only one thing is needed – choose the better part and Jesus will guide you in the rest.
• Obedient: It defeats the purpose of sitting at the Savior’s feet and listening to what the Lord would have you to do and then go and do something else. Keep your CORE tight by being obedient to the Word of God and his instructions for your life that you receive through prayer and wise counsel. If the Lord says rest, rest. If the Lord says move, move. If the Lord says serve, serve. If the Lord says give, give. Do whatever the Lord says when, where and how the Lord says it. Colossians 3:17 says, “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus”.
If you stay centered in Christ and stand on his Word you will know his voice and will be clear when he is giving you instructions to obey. It may seem hard but if you keep your CORE tight it will be easier than you think.
• Resilient: It will not be hard to be both centered and obedient when you are resilient. Resilient means to be flexible and strong at the same time. Like a rubber band, you keep bouncing back. You remain persistent and keep the faith. You are not stuck in your ways but are willing to stretch and move out of your comfort zone and try new things. When God speaks, you move in faith trusting that God has your back. Ask God to “create in you a clean heart and renew a right spirit” (Psalm 51:10). With a fresh start it is easier to change and grow.
• Evolve: Change is constant as we journey on this road called life. If you want to receive all the promises that God has for you, you must keep your CORE tight by evolving. To evolve means to grow, progress, advance, develop. It means go forward. It mean MOVE!!!
If you want to receive the promises of God for your life, keep your C.O.R.E. tight. Stay CHRIST-CENTERED (Matthew 6:33), OBEY God’s Word, remain RESILIENT and continue to EVOLVE. That is all I have for you today…keep your C.O.R.E. tight.
If you are not able to join us Sunday for regular worship service at 10:00 a.m., please join us for Men’s Day on Sunday, August 18th @ 3:00 p.m. or Church Anniversary on Sunday, September 8th @ 2:30 p.m. if your schedule allows. Mark your calendars now and save the date. Also, for those listening in NC – I will be preaching at my home church, Shady Hill Baptist, in Roxboro on Sunday, August 4, 2019 @ 11:00 a.m. I would love to see some of the class of ’87. If you cannot attend, please lift me in prayer as I come to celebrate my Mom’s 70th birthday. Yes, God is good – all the time. Until 08.30.2019 be blessed and have a great weekend!!!