Archive for January, 2012

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” ..~.I.Thessalonians 4:16-17

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed —in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” ~ I Corinthians 15:51-52

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” ~.Luke.21:36


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“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  ~ Romans 12:2


This verse was written by the Apostle Paul to Christians living in Rome in the 1st century A.D.  This was a very pagan society during that time.  There was every manner of godless acts and deeds going on which the people were accustomed to doing – much as it is today.  However, as Christians, they were expected to cease from their former ways of doing things – as are we.

The first part of Romans 12:2 tells us, “And be not conformed to this world.”

The word “conform” by definition means:  1) to be similar or identical; also : to be in agreement or harmony; 2) a : to be obedient or compliant; b : to act in accordance with prevailing standards or customs.  So, Paul was telling Christians to not be like the society around them.  For us today, we are not to be like the worldly people around us, either.  We are not to act like them, nor talk like them, nor dress like them, nor behave like them, when doing so goes against the morals and ethics mandated in the word of God.  People should be able to tell that there’s something different about us – because there is.  We have the Spirit of the living God dwelling in us and we should act accordingly.

He also tells Christians, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

When something is transformed, it changes either in composition or structure, in outward form or appearance, or in character or condition.   I’m quite sure Paul doesn’t expect Christians to change their physical composition or structure – at least not at this time.  That will come later. (I Corinthians 15:51-52)  And even though our outward form and appearance can be an indication that a transformation has taken place on the inside, I believe the meaning that’s trying to be conveyed here goes much deeper than that.  Paul is telling us that we are to undergo a change in our character or condition.  This would indicate a deep inner change — not just a superficial one.  But how do we go about doing that?  The passage answers that question clearly — by the renewing of our minds.

There are many dictionary definitions for the word “renew,” so I’ll only list the first few.  These will suffice in letting us know what is meant by this word in the above passage of scripture.  Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “renew” as:  1) to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection; 2) to make new spiritually; 3) a : to restore to existence; b : to make extensive changes in.

I believe the second definition is the most logical choice considering the context.  This passage is discussing how to be transformed inwardly so that we behave outwardly in a way that is acceptable to a Holy God.  So, it is reasonable that Paul is telling us to make our minds new “spiritually.”

The easiest way to do this is to read and study the Bible, which is the most spiritual book ever written.  Just as physical food feeds our body, the Bible feeds our spirit, which in turn feeds our soul – which is where our mind resides.  If we read in the Bible, “thou shall not steal,” and we see an unlocked car with the keys in the ignition with no one around … if our minds have been renewed spiritually, then we will know enough to keep on walking and not try to steal the car.  Now a person whose mind has not been renewed by the word of God may just do the opposite because he’s still got his old way of thinking and is still “conformed to this world.”  And people who are conformed to this world do not care about doing the will of God.  They only want to do what feels right to them.

This brings us to the last part of this passage of scripture, which says, “that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

It is God’s perfect will that we be obedient to all that He has to say in His word, the Bible.  But how can we know what He has to say unless we read it?  Others can tell us what it says, but we need to read it for ourselves just to make sure they’re not mistaken or deliberately trying to deceive us.  This is why cults are so successful — because people don’t take the time to prove things for themselves.  Even certain Christians to whom the Apostle Paul preached didn’t even take his words at face value.  They “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”   (Acts 17:11)

So to summarize, if we read the Bible – not just once in a while but study it continuously – our minds will be made new spiritually (renewed) and we will undergo a change in our character and/or condition (transformed).  We will know that it’s not God’s “good, and acceptable, and perfect will” for us to steal, cheat, lie, etc., and we will have the understanding that even though the world says certain things are okay to do – or even legal – if God has a problem with it, then we should not do it (nonconformity).

I hope this article has been as edifying to those of you reading it as it was to me while writing it.  May we all follow “the nonconformity principle” of Romans 12:2.  These are great words to live by that will help us all to stay on track!


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1Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

2Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

3My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

4For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

5The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

6Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

7But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

8Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

9For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.

10Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

11But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

12For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

                                                                              ~ Psalm 5

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Stacey Nicole English disappeared from her Atlanta condo the day after Christmas.  It’s now been 10 days since family and friends have seen her.  Please watch the following newscast about ongoing efforts to find her.  If you have any information on her whereabouts, or that of her car (which is shown in the video), please contact the Atlanta Police Department.  Thank you very much.

Family Pleading for Missing Woman’s Safe Return

(Click on Words Above to View Video)

*This is personal for me as Stacey is also my second cousin.  Please pray for her safe return and also for our family.  Thank you.


1/25/12  UPDATE:  I’m very sad to announce that my cousin Stacey’s body was found two days ago not far from where her car was abandoned.

The Bible says that when we, as Christians, are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord  (2 Corinithians 5:8) — so I know Stacey is in VERY good hands right now.

Thanks to all of you who prayed and gave your support during this difficult time.  Your continued prayers for our family would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely, Meshawn

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Retrospection:  the act or process or an instance of surveying the past


When we think about this past year, what will we remember the most about it?  Will it be our successes or failures?  Will it be the things that we did right… or our mistakes?  For some of us, it may be the loss of a loved one, a job, or good health.  Whatever those memories are, they were our experiences and there are things to be learned that hopefully will make our lives much better.

The writer of Philippians gives us a great example to follow.  He says, “… but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Those of us who are Christians should continue walking on the path God has laid out for us, no matter how hard it may be.  We must keep our connection to God open with consistent Bible study and prayer.  And we must ask ourselves “What would Jesus do?” in every situation that tests or tempts us, and then choose accordingly.

For those reading this who are not Christians, may I suggest beginning this new year learning a little about Christianity? You can start with my very first post on this blog entitled, “None of Us are Promised Tomorrow.”  It will give you a brief overview of what Christianity is all about; albeit a very brief one.  But it’s a start.

Thank God for the new year!  May our retrospection of the past year be a learning experience – and may we have great hope and expectation for the year at hand.  May we all strive to live better and wiser – not repeating the same mistakes over.  And when things happen that are out of our control, may we have the realization that God will give us the strength to go through whatever it is.  (I Corinthians 10:13)

May the year 2012 be a year of peace and blessings for all who read this!

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