The Necessity of Change – Introduction

I woke up on Sunday Morning and my son busted into my room, his little wet body shivering, wrapped in a towel saying, “daddy where are my clothes.” I woke up from my sleep as I heard the door open and half way surprised asked him, “Did you already take a shower?” Both of us were proud as I told him to go back downstairs and find some underwear!

Wow….only six years ago I was changing pampers on him and his twin brother. Most of us do this but when did you last think about how much time changes things? Seasons are in and out seemingly faster as we age, almost as if seconds tic faster on the clock nowadays.

Time isn’t waiting for you is it? Nope, so what are you waiting for. Opportunity is telling you to find it while other opportunities are finding you. Open your eyes and see the chance to do something you haven’t done yet. Change!

For too long, my days became so routine and predictable that I could feel the need to change in my heart, soul, even in my bones. Change is calling you out! When you are feeling that there has to be more, like you have to do better and you sense there is more for me than this. This feeling of unsettling is a call to change.

Why? Because purpose and destiny are on the line! Who you become, who you are becoming depends on the steps you are taking to improve, develop, build, learn and grow. You don’t have time to waste or to procrastinate. The Almighty Phrase “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll start on Monday” is a life snooze that will put your late for you appointment with purpose. Don’t WAIT!

Start the business, ask her to marry you, set up the budget, get your Credit fixed, go to the beach, read the book, take the classes, apply for the grant, build the church, move to the other state, MAKE A POWER MOVE and watch God be faithful when you act in faith!!

Aquila T Carmon

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5 Principles of Progress

There are quite a few principles that drive us in the direction of progress and success in our lives. It’s wise to reflect and see if we are putting those principles in place. Today I’ll share five of those values with you that caused a huge difference in my life and catapulted me from literally a place of depression and distraction to determination and desire for greater achievement. These principles are relevant for spiritual, financial, career and personal growth. Let’s jump into it.

The first one is PRAYER. What is one of the secrets of having great focus? Having direction! Having a really good sense of destination sets our sails on course for an amazing and purposeful journey. Like any journey though, Inevitably,  we get lost or sometimes even lose ourselves. Prayer brings us back to a proper head-space, heart-place.  Prayer keep us grounded and in connection with God. Praying for God’s guidance, strength and peace essentially aligns us with God’s will through our convictions, His grace and gives us clarity even through the clouded and crowded times. Jesus spent hours praying because He understood that not only external but also his internal needs came from a Spiritual source, His Father in Heaven. It is wise to consult with the Lord about where we are headed and what we should accomplish before consulting with men.  God knows the ultimate purpose for our lives and there could be unnecessary frustration when we allow our intentions to supersede God’s divine direction for our life.

The second is PERSPECTIVE.  How do you see where you are? We should see our challenges like a weight lifter sees a weight that is too heavy and consider how we will build up to clearing that weight. Problems can make us better problem solvers, trouble can build patience, tragedy can push us closer to our Source of strength, pain builds our ability to endure greater pains, hurt and broken trust wises us up. You get the idea. Don’t see a wall as a wall, but a teaching objective that will force you to reach, stretch and think more critically or trust God more consistently.  See your problems from the perspective of every problem has a solution. Remember that God will never put more on you than you can bear.

Next is PLANNING. Yes, strategy is vital in this game of life. I hear you….” Things never go as planned” I’ll say that is True and False. The wrong perspective may tell you this, simply because the whole plan didn’t go as planned. Get this. If you create a plan to meet your goals and only 10% of your plan worked out, then the plan is working because the plan was really to make progress.  A plan is a safeguard. It’s like putting the bumper rails up at the bowling alley to keep you from rolling a gutter ball. Planning may not get you a strike, but it should at least help get you some points on the scorecard.

Fourth is PERSEVERANCE. The ability to move forward when you are ready to quit. Perseverance is the internal characteristic that you can train yourself to put in action. Deciding to walk when you cannot run, crawl when you cannot walk and stopping only to catch your breath, to re-strategize, to pray, to reflect on your perspective but never stopping because you quit.

Lastly to Acknowledge and Celebrate PROGRESS. Seeing and realizing that even though this was small progress that this is a BIG moment. If your plan in laid out and you have made progress toward that goal, then you must realize within every goal is the goal of making progress. If your church didn’t grow by 20 members but it grew by five, celebrate the progress. If your business income didn’t grow by $5,000 but it grew by $1,000, celebrate the progress.

Remember that “The race is not given to the swift but to those who endure to the end.” Your life doesn’t need to be in competition with anyone else. So, kill all those comparisons and work towards your goals. Stay focused, stay positive, plan every aspect of your life and Celebrate along the way.

There is Hope,

Aquila T Carmon

The Grace Place

One of the first things that really attracted me to God was the opportunity to bring my life to him while I stood in a state of hopelessness and in a condition that others would not accept me in. It attracted me to him because even though I had sung all my life about amazing grace it isn’t until you really need it and try it that you realize wow, this grace of God’s really is amazing.

When I gave my life to God sixteen years ago, I was broken, hurt, broken-hearted, failed everything I’d tried at life so far. I had just lost my job, my license, car broke down, with drugs parading around in my system and the first three things all happened in one day. I was in a hard place, a place of depression, desperation and decision.

I needed something, someone or both. Honestly, I had no friend that was able to deal with the weight of my heart, thoughts or emotions. Even If they did understand, people don’t really have what you need when your life seems to be a walking tragedy. I’ve always found it to be a true statement that it is difficult to find mercy with people. Whether it be the mercy that will urge giving or the mercy that allow forgiving. Truly, what’s needed when waves are crashing into our ship while sailing in deep waters is God and His grace.

Ah, Grace, unmerited favor, mercy, compassion and acceptance that can be shown but not even noticed. I wonder if you’ve ever missed the opportunity to thank God for grace because you didn’t see it. Many of us think that grace is just for the saints, covering us as we make mistakes. But listen, grace is so much more. God uses grace as a means to influence, lead, change and alter the condition and direction of our hearts. Grace is a heart influencer that chases us down and finds us when we are lost. The Word of God says that grace “bounds towards me.” Yes, it finds us in times of need, justifies us and “through grace we are saved” by faith. Ephesians 2:8

I’ve found during my walk with Christ there are 3 places God’s grace meets us. Not the only 3 places but the ones I’d like to share with you today.

The First place we meet God’s grace is in A Place of Sacrifice. A place where we make it no longer about us but like David in Psalm 51:10 simply desire a clean heart. The sacrifice where we realize our desires may be of flesh and not spirit, so we then seek after God’s righteousness and abandon our own selfish agendas. Oswald chambers wrote “purity in God’s children is not the outcome of obedience to His law but the result of the spiritual work of His grace.” We become righteous by giving God full permission to work in us and work those things out of us that are not like him, without resistance to his leading. We render our whole man to God’s hand

The Second place we meet God’s grace is in A Place of Humility. A place where we recognize we’re willing to go but we must openly admit to God that we are just not brave enough or strong enough. It’s the place in the process where we love God and want to do his will, but we fail at holiness because we cannot obtain the mark without His supernatural strength working inside of us. We openly admit that it is not us but Him and that His Holy Spirit is not only the prerequisite but the absolute necessity to obtain any true level of relevant success in this life. This is where grace doesn’t just cover our sins and cleanse our heart, but grace works as an element of force, as much as we will allow it, to turn our hearts back to God or fully towards Him.

The Third place we meet God’s grace Is in A Place of Victory. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all suffiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” Suffiency literally means a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed. This is not to say you don’t need help but to say that here is the grace and with this grace comes all of the help you need!

In times of need, desperation, loneliness, confusion, despair, brokenness, grace abounding moves mountains, tares down walls, lights up darkness and crushes every enemy just to get to where you are.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. How did it find me in all of this mess? It does not matter what stands between you and God when you have decided to accept Jesus into your life then God sends Grace abounding towards like a train without brakes just to deliver you right where you stand.

Know today that God has a meeting room for you. It is called A Grace Place. And this Grace Place could be your living room, your dorm room or your workplace restroom. It is the place that you make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

There is Hope,God Bless You!
Aquila T Carmon

The Making of Moments

The word moment is defined as a very brief period of time or an opportunity.

Over Sunday Dinner I engaged in a conversation discussing with Father in law and my sister in law’s boyfriend regarding things we remember from our past. Ironically this post refers to how we only remember certain things concerning our yesterdays and needless to say, I can’t remember exactly how the conversation began.  What I do know is that we were in agreement.  We are unable to go back in our minds, press rewind and again see the clips we missed.  Nope, everything’s spotty and we only remember moments. Have you ever tried to go back to your childhood and remember a whole situation play by play.  If you can then I commend you for tapping into a part of your memory muscles that many of us cannot.

For example, I can remember acting out the role of a Lion in a 3rd grade play in the library at Grifton Elementary School. I recall the sun shining through the blinds and my mother showing up to support me.  I had one line the entire play which was “I don’t care” until at the very end something caused me to finally say “I care.” What I can’t remember is other classmate who was in that short play with me. I remember the time while in high school we performed a play for the elementary school kids. I played the lead role as a King who allowed someone to sale him a royal outfit persuading him that it was of the most well-designed and extravagant outfit people would ever lay eyes on. But my friends, the kicker was the outfit was invisible. I remember not one line from that play 20 years ago, but I recall walking out on that wide wooden stage in my loud underwear covered in big yellow smiley faces and watching those kids go wild!! Oh, What an incredible memory.  I played baseball for fifteen years, but I can only remember certain moments of certain games.  I travailed through boot came for thirteen weeks but the moments I can remember are very few and in between. The only vivid recollection is when the Eagle, Globe and Anchor was placed in my hand and in that moment, I had achieved my greatest accomplishment ever.  I wish I could remember more moments with some of the loved one’s I’ve lost or some of the people I grew up, but I can’t.  You see I understand that all of my experiences in some way has helped shape me into who I am today, but they all didn’t make the cut to the memorable moments team.

I think the value of memory is neglected by our own desire to make tomorrow more valuable than yesterday.  I hear some many people say, “the past is in the past” or “you can’t change the past”. True!! All True! But remember that every day we are present, we are creating a past. So, it is vital my friends, to recognize that your future and your past are impacted by your present.

It is in The NOW, where you must make moments for your family that will become positive and powerful memories.  When both of my grandmothers were buried, the moments I recalled during their funerals were full of warmth, love, wisdom and peacefulness. Their homes were a safe-shaven for everyone.  What moments are you leaving for your family to remember you? What moments will your family have to Cherish? Are you teaching those around you to create good moments? Your destiny, your fulfillment of purpose and your legacy is built by the way you manage the moments.

Recollections of great moments remember the emotion and overwhelming love when you held your first child for the first time. It is when you understood the pressure to be an amazing parent when wiping your child’s tears and lifting their head up. It is when you feel purpose fueling when leading a lost soul to salvation. It’s like seeing your father stand again after doctors said he would die. It is the hearing someone tell you simply that you have helped them become better.  These moments keep us grounded. Seeing impossible things become possible are monumental reminders, in the moments we forget that everything really is going to be ok.

Today, Moments are ready to be made. Which means it is important for us to make our decisions count. Whether big or small make them count.  Because when someone stands over our casket it will be good for them to lose us knowing that we gave them the best of who we are.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ~ Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

God Bless you,

Aquila T Carmon

 

My Daughter’s Motivation

How many of us have ever found motivation from frustration? Have you ever been motivated by difficulty in reaching a goal, obtaining a level of achievement or making something happen when it feels like you don’t have much of anything to make it with.  Has failure ever motivated you to the place where you say this will be the last time I find myself in this situation?

My most recent motivation came from my seven year old daughter.  I wish I could say that it came from watching her do something amazing or seeing her not give up. Those are always great moments that motivate me to do and be better.  Unfortunately, not this time.  I was picking her up from after care along with my two five year old sons.  She came running to the car with an amazing amount of excitement and I begin to think, boy she has been in there having fun!! She runs up to the passenger side but today she didn’t reach for the back door to get in. She says, “Daddy, Daddy you have to come inside the school for the Winter festival!!” At that moment I’m thinking, “OH NO, What did I miss?” Knowing that this is about to be a hard conversation I reply, “baby we can’t, I have to go back to work.”

So far there are two dilemmas.  The first, not knowing this winter festival is taking place because I didn’t read through all of the teacher’s communications. The second is that my daughter really wants me to attend this event but I’m on the particular day I am scheduled to work the late shift even though I have been working since 8am to catch up on unfinished assignments and to meet fast approaching deadlines.

So my baby girl who sometimes will make it known she is upset and sad breaks down to cry.  Not an “I am mad” kind of cry.  But a “This is the most disappointing thing ever” kind of cry.  My heart is pierced to the point that if I wasn’t a grown man I would have cried with her.  I immediately become angry that I haven’t “made it” yet.  I become angry because I have been exposed to opportunities that if I had worked and pushed years ago I would be financially free by now.  I become angry because my job, as important as, it is should not be putting my in a position to chose an income over my children. Not in 2018 when people are making six figures in their 20’s. I became so angry that I became motivated. You see she cried until I promised her Chinese food and a bag of takis.

You see, as I begin to promise her some of her favorite things.  I began to promise myself some things too. I promised myself that I would not stop building my own business until it is a business that will provide for them what my kids need.  That it will produce the type of residual income that will afford me options. The Word of God says in Ecclesiastes 10:19 “A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry and money answers all things.” You see money unlocks options.  It provides opportunities and choices for us.  Its the difference of where you get your education, how you spend your time and who you spend it with.  It can determine how you can get out of your normal routine and rest or if you have to work 2-3 jobs to make it.  I’ve pulled countless double shifts, stayed in terrible hotels, hoped for a ride to come and the “friend” never showed up.  My father and mother are the hardest working people I know. But they taught me to get hired on a job, pay the bills, take two weekend trips a year, then rinse and repeat. I have no desire to leave my children with the burden of being routed and steered by society. Neither would I have them facing road blocks, rejected credit and a limitation of resources because I refused to exist outside of the box that I have grown up to know.  I desire to leave them with a way to fund their dreams and a way to finance the cost of their goals. Sometimes we are waiting for a miracle after God has given us a resource to produce right here in our hands and our minds.

My daughter’s tears became another motivator for me to be better and to do better.  My daughter’s tears have motivated me to revisit my dreams and push for them.  They motivate me to build and work more intensely in ministry and for my community for the children who don’t have the parents that say “Baby everything’s going to be alright!”

Be motivated, stay encouraged and know that anything is possible. Nothing worth building is built overnight. It may take all you’ve got to build it but build it none the less. Build your Church, build your marriage, build your business, build relationships. Build yourself until you can look at your life and know you’ve given God and the people he has entrusted you to impact all you were meant to give.

Aquila T Carmon

The One Thing I Can NOT Live Without

As I grew up hearing about eternal or everlasting life these words always seemed to gain a connotation that would relate to the afterlife or life after death. We die then our soul passes to eternal life, in heaven with the Father. While this teaching is partly true in context, isn’t it imperative to grasp the understanding, meaning and necessity of everlasting life as it applies heavily and deeply to our earthly lives. Not only after our soul departs from the body but while warm blood flows in and through our veins. Everlasting life is God’s response when praying, “Lord let your will be done on earth just as it is in heaven.” Everlasting life is not more about the quantity or the length of life as it is about the quality or the depth of life.

The depth of my life is vital to me because my greatest fear is dying without chasing destiny down, satisfying my calling and birthing God given dreams. We should not be comfortable with passing  through this life without grabbing hold of all that God has for us.

Oswald Chambers wrote “Our destiny is to work out what God works in. It is not that our eternal salvation depends upon our doing it, but our value to God does and also our position in the Kingdom of God.”

What is accomplished, where we end up, the significance and impact of our journey depends not necessarily where you are right now but what you have access to. John 3:16 says “God sent His only begotten son so that those who believe in Him will not perish but have Everlasting Life” (PRESENTLY). Everlasting Life is something that dives beneath the surface of man. By nature it must dwell in the most shameful, nontransparent, conflicting places of man with the intent of influencing our nature to duplicate its own. Everlasting life is a continuation of the work Jesus finished on the cross. You see, the surface shows smiles but beneath the smile is loneliness. Surface shows willingness to love but love is limited because in the depths of us stand walls surrounding the heart. Yes, if visible the depths of the heart display resentment, selfishness, and thoughts not quite lined up with all the righteousness we speak about. At times we pray to a mighty God yet fight to maintain unmighty faith. At times searching for promise but down deep past the surface, past the layers wrestling to retain hope forcing belief, not yet fully realizing, that at some point God will faithfully answer prayer. The surface and the depths together may form the person but are very distant in nature . It’s true, we are made with a soul, flesh and spirit but what each one desires, prefers, and needs are not one in the same. The surface of man is flesh but the soul of man lives in the depths. The soul cannot drink a glass of water and no longer thirst. What the soul needs can’t come from multiple sources. Although we try to quench the thirst of the soul with sex, money and drugs we will take the drugs and still wake up broken, have sex and get up still desolate and make the money and still go through life empty. Understand that to have all is nothing without the water Jesus speaks of in John 4:13-14 “Jesus answered and said to her, everyone that drinks of this water will never thirst again but whosoever drinks of the water that I give him shall never thirst again but the wat that I give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life”

Everlasting life is not the inhabitance where we dwell with God, it is the place that God comes to dwell with us in which we become the environment while God exists as the atmosphere. Looking at the context of the word “believe in Him” from its original form translates believes as “into” or “In Him” The soul Our Creator placed in us deals with the perplexities and conflicts of sinful flesh but also is the temple that calls out to God connecting our spirit with His Spirit confirming His existence as a reality as we receive Him and He receives us. Everlasting life is a present, prevailing state of God’s light and life manifesting His glory within us and through us as we live in Him.

John 5: 24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Everlasting life must be present before death in order to pass from death unto life.
John 6:27 “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. It is not the physical thing you must work hard to maintain, rather it’s the life that God has given, the purpose, the soul. The focus should be Lord let me be filled with you because your life is the key to my life.
John 6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” He that is in God has it, You have everlasting life!

What is Everlasting Life? It is the one thing I cannot live without! It is the life of God working through throughout to develop you into who you were born to be. Everlasting life means Endless, perpetual, eternal, timeless, constancy, No matter what changes on the surface, the depths of who you continues to define who you are. It’s the reason the body breaks down and the soul remains whole. Your circumstances change but your faith remains strong. Everything on the surface is chaos but you remain at peace. Everlasting life passes through realms without impact of time in every sense of the word time. It passes from Heaven to Earth and from death to afterlife unstopped and without change of direction. Only with Our Heavenly Father’s instructions to belong to you and connect you with Him. Everlasting means to endure all things meaning it is indestructible incorruptible, and continuing indefinitely. You cannot be broken, you’re in God and God is in you!

Everlasting life awakens your inner man by allowing God’s light in you to illuminate all truths. The good, the bad, the ugly and whatever else that may come with who you are. Causing you to deal with your issues, to deal with your unforgiveness, to deal with what needs to be delivered, to deal with your shortcomings by connecting you with the Power of God’s amazing grace. The power that shows you how God’s real love can know the depths  of your issues and still love you past it. The power that searches your depths and see the part of you that loves sin yet still gift you with a gift and use you to change somebody else’s life. It digs past what people see, what people heard about you, what your resume says, past what you drive and how you dress. Hold on, Let me pause and shout for a moment…!!! Everlasting life can’t be fooled. It knows you look real nice today yet it’s in there digging through the depths or your heart and soul like ghost busters in the sewer filled with pink slime. Digging through pain, addiction, disobedience, fear, hatred, racism and all that type of stuff that offends people like when you let things out of yourself in the car and refuse to roll down a window like it smells good. Digging through it so it can work in you and through you changing you and molding you so your life can add value and glory to God’s Kingdom just the way He intended.

God sent everlasting life to recover the fall of the human spirit.
To restore the hope of a suicidal world
To provide recompense for the sins of men
To reconcile our relationship with The Father
To show us the depth of our life. That life’s deeper than what is visible. To prove that in the depth of your life is where you find the meaning of life.
That its not about getting through the day but living life through the day.

When we dig into our life searching for answers God gives them to us from the depths of who we are. Everlasting life comes as a gift. God hand delivers it to us custom packaged underneath the chest of His only begotten son, released by the dying words of Jesus when he cried “It is finished.” We received this give humble and eager, ready to unwrap the power, passion, purpose and the path of our destiny.

So, its not just about who we love but how we love. Not what I sacrificed but why I sacrificed.
It’s not about who wronged us but how quickly we forgave.

It is my decision to believe in Him because of the benefit of the everlasting life that reaches the depth of who I am and shows me the way.
Leading me through an unperfect marriage. Leading me through the challenges of ministry, leading me through the uncertainties of life but when my soul cries from the depths, everlasting life is already there to attend to the call of my soul.
Psalms 119:143 “Trouble and Anguish have taken hold of me, yet thy commandments are my delight”.

I have a question for you. Have you accepted it? Are you living your life in Him with access to this everlasting life?
Will you risk losing all you think you are to know all of who you are by giving Him your whole life and allowing God to work in the depth of your life, by looking past the surface and becoming brave enough to trust God’s ability to use you and your life for His purpose.

By His Spirit,

Aquila T Carmon

A Father’s Word

The Power of a Father’s Word  *Isaac’s Blessing over Jacob*

Genesis 27:27-29

 So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said,

“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you heaven’s dew
and earth’s richness—
an abundance of grain and new wine.

29 May nations serve you
and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed
and those who bless you be blessed.

 

This story teaches us how a Father must be careful of how his “word” is used and how it is directed.  A father’s word contains the power to speak over his family and totally shift a thing that is out of balance into balance or something that is in balance to become out of balance. In Isaac’s case he shifted the birthright of his sons from the older to the younger without intention.  A father’s word needs to be certain before it is spoken.  A father’s word plays the role of the bow as well as the arrow.  It sets things in place like a bow sets an arrow. Then once the word is released if aimed correctly it can save a life at the exact same time it’s taking one.  A father’s word has the ability to encourage or tare down.  It has the power to lift up or to discourage. A father’s word must be directed with intention.  Its one of the reasons the father should speak the least in the house. His words need to be strategic, thoughtful, and thought provoking.  A father must understand that the power in a father’s word can not be mishandled. There are four things a father’s word has the power to do that I see in this blessing that Isaac spoke of Jacob.

 

 A Father’s Word has the power to:

  1. Confirms his son’s position as blessed

When we speak over the lives of our children we must be able to see what hasn’t been seen yet and through our words guide them to a place of authority, power and blessing. Speak Blessing into the lives of your children.

  1. Declares the presence of overflow

  It doesn’t matter about your background, where you are from, your current title or status.  Too many times a father can judge where their children will be based solely on what they have or have not accomplished. Declare that your children will live their lives in a place of overflow.  Declare they will find favor with God in their finances and well being through connections and resources.

  1. Provides Perspective on who His child is

Father’s must be very careful what we speak and how we speak to our children.  The name we call them by becomes the name they wear.  Even when they make wrong decisions, we must remind our sons and daughters that they are royalty and that their lives are necessary and full of purpose. We must constantly guide the thoughts of our children by speaking positivity and encouragement to them.  Sharing God’s word and wisdom with them daily. 

  1. Speaks into existence spiritual power providing protection and Success

As Father we must always pray for our children.  There is a real enemy that is committed to destroying the life and soul of our children. Faithfulness in prayer and active parental is necessary to cover our children.  We must constantly guide the thoughts of our children by speaking positivity and encouragement to them.  Sharing God’s word and wisdom with them daily. 

 

 

 

About Trust (Part 1)

Simply stating what trust is, it means placing confidence in something that will work well. Trust holds value because it’s a key element in successful relationships. It involves taking an intimate part of yourself to entrust that part of you to someone else. Trusting someone means “letting them in.” The collective understanding of trust equates to unlocking our inner emotions and thoughts to become vulnerable enough to allow another person to handle those intimate parts. Parts of us that should not particularly be handled by people. I believe before confidence is deposited into someone we should complete a checklist that justifies the choice to trust. Before investing love, energy, time, and confidence take the time to evaluate how they invest these same things into themselves or the people around them. Do they truly love themselves? If they don’t then they won’t love you? Do they have respect for themselves, do they try to take care of themselves and their own things? If you dated somebody whose car was always full of trash, that allows no rights to join them in matrimony then argue about how they won’t aid in keeping the house clean. What is the process of deeming a person worthy of trust? When you purchase a vehicle you should get the service records, check the blue book value and have it inspected before you drive off expecting it to be dependable. You must WATCH and OBSERVE before you offer trust.

Trusting and placing your confidence in someone means you become reliant on them, resting your mind on their integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or any other sound characteristic we have witnessed in people. Trusting means leaning on others with hopes that they will not fall. But what is problematic with trust goes back to the opening statement which expresses placing confidence in something that will work well. But in my opinion, humans are more flawed than anything else on this earth so there is never a guarantee in how well a person will “work.”

That’s why Psalms 118:8 says, “it is better to put your trust in the Lord than put your confidence in man.” Psalms 146:3 “Do not put your trust in princes nor the son of man in whom there is no help” Jeremiah 17:5 “cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength” Micah 7:5 “A man’s enemies are the men of his own house”.
Wow! Do we still need to ask how or why we all find ourselves in a place where our trust has been broken? It is dangerous to place an expectation of commitment without an expectation of failure. Let me be clear, man is not like God and man will fail you! Give him enough time. But remember that the way you perceive them failing you is based on the measure of which you trust. You can’t fail me if I don’t trust you. If you make a stupid decision and I don’t trust you then I will not be disappointed. That’s the reason there are people right now that won’t trust anybody. But that’s why we must re-evaluate the purpose of trust.

In relationships trust is necessary because produces something grand. Confidence! I hate it when my wife says to me “you’re supposed to be an Elder!” The last time was exactly a year ago when we tried to save money on a trip and I agreed to one of those ninety minute presentations. Well that turned into three hours and a brother lost his cool. Her translatable version of what I am “supposed to be” is “I am trusting that you can be better than this.” That means she puts her confidence in me and because of that I am now held accountable. This is true for employees, managers, Pastors, church members, marriage and friendships.  For someone to put their confidence in us nudges the pride in us producing encouragement, pushing us and drives us to be better. But on the end of the trustee, emotions should not be attached to the trust. Trust becomes simply a tool used to inject accountability in relationships. The mistake we make too often is trusting others with parts of us that only God should have access to because only He will be perfect to respond to our trust without disappointment and failure.

I guess the take away would be that trust is risky, but John Donne wrote, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a part of a continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were.”  Trust is powerful and because we cannot make it alone we have to learn how to trust seeing that it truly has the ability to make us better.

God Bless you,

Elder Aquila T. Carmon

 

Have Hope

Four Years, four months and three weeks ago my wife gave birth to two of the greatest blessings God could ever give to us. Our twin boys, Zayden weighing in at 6 pounds and 11 ounces. Then Gavriel aka G Baby weighing 5 pounds and 14 ounces. We were excited, well at least I was, my wife was a bit on the nauseous side. It had been quite a journey for her to carry those sluggers for 36 full weeks and then enduring the toils of a C-Section. They showed us little Zay -Zay whom his mother sometimes calls Baby A. Baby B though had to be taken directly to the table and I had to leave my wife’s side to meet him. He was different from Zayden. Although they looked very much alike, Gavriel was born with a birth defect. The defect is called spinal bifida which means a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine. Basically, his spine needed be pushed into place. I will spare the medical details but I will tell you that we knew this would impact much of our son’s functionality. I was 30 years old and I was being told that if my child would walk it would not be without braces and/or physical therapy, nor would he be able to potty train like a “normal” child. As a matter of fact, during the pregnancy I tried reading to prepare myself for it all and with all the information I only found myself walking off the packaging line at my job just to go in the locker room and flood the floor with tears at the thought of feeling hopeless for him.
So, after walking over to meet my little guy he immediately went into his first of three surgeries before he would ever see his new crib. For the next seven weeks, we had to be the hope that he didn’t know existed. Fresh in the world and life begins with pain! Sounds almost like life when God has given us something incredible to birth and as soon as we choose to move forward on the dream we find ourselves under the blade,  cutting through what we thought was perfectly put together. What happens under the blade is a reconstruction of our defect, surgery getting us close as possible to what we were supposed to be. I guess enduring the blade during the initial stages of birth somehow makes us tougher because until now my son has never cried from a shot or having blood drawn from his arm. (In my bragging voice) “That’s my lil soulja” Somehow, we are all born crippled and all of us that choose to be great or exceptional end up on an operating table that hurts us but hurts us for the good.
Let me be honest with you. During those weeks I wrestled with hope. One night I even gave In, sneaking a few beers into the Ronald McDonald house. For those that know me, don’t try to figure out the math, Yes, I was already an ordained minister during the time. Don’t judge me! But I distinctly remember God sending an angel to us one day, as my wife and I, along with my one year old daughter and my other son a few weeks old were heading back to visit with G Baby. A prophetess met us in the elevator offering to pray with us. She prayed saying something that confirmed that this was a moment where hope was essential. She said, “We came to remind him today that he is a man of God.” My eyes of hope opened again in that very moment. The moment that I found myself down. I was reminded that the knowledge owned by man is incomparable to the knowledge that exists within God. This consciousness emanates an incredible ability to place our Hope in a God that has never failed when encountering sickness with the intent to heal. I spoke healing over my son when I gave him his second name, “Josias” which simply means “Yahweh Heals.” It’s no longer about the doctor’s education but God’s power. It’s not about all the resources but it’s about God’s wisdom. It’s no longer about the statistics but God’s promise. It was about God honoring the prayers of the righteous and God did just that!
You see three months prior I wrote on a piece of paper a vision for my sons. I wrote “My sons will walk, my sons will run, my sons will jump, my sons will live and play together” and God honored the vision that I made plain for my sons. My son never needed braces. The other day he took off running through the yard and I had to hold back tears while thanking God for answering my Hopes. Although there are some struggles and conditions he must deal with, God honored my prayers and while there were times of wrestling we can’t lose hope. I want to encourage you to put your Hope in God. Remember that Proverbs 10:24 says “…. the hope of the godly shall be granted.” Believe beyond what you know and see and put your hope in God.

God Bless You,

Elder Aquila  T Carmon

 

The Right Connection

When my wife and I first got married there were actual arguments at bed time regarding even the slightest noise in the room. She claimed she needed completely silence in order to get any sleep. I on the other hand was convinced she just needed to close her eyes and lay there until she fell asleep.  You see, before marriage I’d become accustomed to allowing something optimistic to play as I slept through the night. Amazingly, whatever I listened to often impacted my dreams. I recall a very distinct dream giving me the privilege of sitting on the outside patio of a restaurant with Bishop T.D. Jakes conversing very specifically about my gift making room for me.  Obviously, it can be assumed that I was listening to one of his sermons on repeat entitled; “Your Gift Will Make Room For You”.  I believed that in the early part of my salvation these intimate moments of subconscious invasion helped to shape my thoughts for the next day and the next part of my life.  Listening to song by Shekinah Glory like, “Praise is What I do” and “Yes” encouraged my inner man to give my all in following Christ.

There are two points I want to make here. The first is simple but sometimes difficult. The point is, never allow someone to keep you from what brings you closer to Christ.  Many times we forfeit key elements of our growth to satisfy a person.   A person who does not hold a key to the blessing, purpose and destiny of our lives. This is not to automatically say that the person you are connected to isn’t good for you. Your relationship with God should not be deterred by any object, place or man. I firmly believe that in walking with and trusting God, those that are not “with” us or for us will be revealed and will fall away from our lives. Some with force, pain and hurt but a disconnect will take place. Growth and your determination to change will help reveal those unhealthy relationships.

The second point is to weigh in on the fact that your relationship with Christ has to be personal and steady.   It is much too crucial to who you are and who you are to become. So you have to make decisions that glorify God and God alone. 1 Peter 1:9NLT says “The reward for trusting him will be the salvation sent from God”. Please understand why it is absolutely essential to be connect to The Creator. Connecting with God is the right connection. Your destiny depends on your commitment to His plan for your life. And trust me, There is a plan for your life.  If you feel as if where you are not a part of the plan then maybe reading this today means your are right where you need to be. Here are your instructions.

Romans 10:9 Declare with your lips that Jesus is Lord in your life and Believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead for the sake of your sins. Do this and you are saved this very moment.

Matt 6:33 “Seek First the Kingdom of God and all of His righteousness”. In other words make a determined decision to pray. Ask God for 2 things. 1. To create in you a clean heart while healing your life  2. To help you walk in His ways throughout your days.

Then connect with your local church.  Find a church full of love and faith. Hear God’s word preached as you study His Word for yourself.  This will help you grow.

Amen. Well, as far as my wife and I it was important that I found a resolution. That resolution was as simple as a set of head phones so that she could sleep and The Holy Spirit could minister to me on those nights I needed God’s word to encourage me. If you have given God your heart today then feel free to connect with me. Email me. I’d love to hear from you.

God Bless you!

Aquila T Carmon