Sunday, October 30, 2011

Food 4 Thought: Sun., Oct. 30, 2011

A beautiful passage of Scripture to 
get your Sunday started in the right direction:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8
New International Version (NIV)


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chapter 4: God Was Not First

A Special Shout Out and Thank You to 
Deacon Musgrove for his kind words
about our ongoing story. I pray that the Holy
Spirit lead me to finish the story in a manner
that is well pleasing and that will Glorify HIm. 

May everyone have a blessed and a Spirit-filled Sunday
at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Washington, DC,
where the Dr. Lucius M. Dalton is our creative, Spirit-filled Man of God. 

-Join us for worship: 7:45 am and 10:45am (Ministry Recruit Day after this service, please join us promptly at 10:45am

Have a blessed day and a Sunday, filled with power, glory and the outpouring of the Spirit. At Mt Moriah we say: "Love God. Love People" and we Love You, Just as the Father Does.
Live Twitter Novel: 

The Substance of Things Hoped For

Chapter 4: God Was Not First
The church just had no joy. They had
spent so many years building the church,
watching it grow. Just the fight to survive
on that block with all the differerent changes
in the neighborhood.

And they finally reached a point where they
thought they were stable, but there was just
NO JOY IN THIS CHURCH, he thought.

They had become a business. They had
become corporate. They had no recourse,
at least they thought they didn't.

The major problem, as he sat thinking in his
study, was that they did not put God first. Simply
put. That's it. God was not first. They began
to do things on their own.

When they would hold meetings, they would pray, initially
at the outset, but over time, prayer was relegated
to the end of church meetings. And even then, the prayers
were meaningless. Just something they were in
the habit of doing at the end of a meeting. Just another
agenda item. In fact, they would actually put "Closing
Prayer" on the printed agenda so that no one would
forget--because folks did in fact forget.

The church was basically without guidance. Without
direction from the Lord.

They were doing everything themselves, or at least
trying. They had forgotten whom they served.

As he sat in his study, and thought about the sermon
he tried to prepare for several days, he felt his approach should be different.

He felt, that through prayer, the Holy Spirit was directing
him not to fall back on his years of training and teaching
and how he normally preached. This time, this sermon would
be different. He would have a conversation, albeit a one-way
conversation with the church, this coming Sunday.

What came to mind were several passages of Scripture.
He was too tired to look it up in his actual Bible, so he took
to the computer.

The Holy Spirt was wearing him out. He was so tired.

He looked up "The Day of Pentecost," which took him to Acts,
followed by a Web site with a spoken word version of the Bible.

"The Holy Spirit must really be behind all this," he thought, " 'cause I don't normally rely on someone else to read the Bible
to me. I prefer to read it for myself."

He was surprised by the quality of the recording. The man's voice was dramatic and his intonation and pacing brought passages alive.

"This is what I need to do," said Pastor Jones aloud. "I'm going to
read the Scripture as I would to my kids when they were young. With drama and meaning and emphasis.
--To Be Continued...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our Story Will Continue...2morrow

Howdy all,

Our ongoing story, The Substance of Things Hoped For, was pouring out of me so fast that I had to just video record myself instead of attempting to type as fast as I received it. I'll transcribe the recording and post it tomorrow on Twitter and this blog.

You can read the chapters I've posted thus far, but clicking on the titles to your left, on this screen, under "LIVE TWITTER NOVEL."

To see the original, live Tweets, go to:

I thank everyone for their prayers and kind words of support today. You really helped me along the way.

Have a blessed evening.

Esteban K.

Chapter 3: The First Day of Kindergarten

Live Twitter Novel: 
The Substance of Things Hoped For

Chapter 3: The First Day of Kindergarten
-Our story continues: "Pastor Jones woke up angry." If he was writing this, Jones would probably self censor and say, "Pastor Jones woke up a bit annoyed." But the truth of the matter was that Pastor Jones woke up angry. Angry at himself and angry with his congregation.

He certainly wasn't angry with God--well, at least not this time. Pastor Jones was angry and jealous. These feelings had been bubbling to the surface for quite some time. He was jealous of the early church depicted in the Book of Acts. Acts had become one of his favorite books of the Bible after he spent over a year covering it in Bible study. Acts appealed to his boyhood sense of adventure, his love of God and provided a new found understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit.

This morning, Pastor Jones was determined to do something about his anger. As he sat down in his study, this very morning, to work on his sermon, he glanced out the apartment window. The blinds were slightly askew and he could see people walking by and they could look up, and with a little effort, see him. 

Last night, he placed a Japanese style screen in front of the blinds as he was unable to close them tight. A few days ago, the plastic rod thingy, which turned the blinds, broke off in his hand. He was determined to fix it, but for a thing which appeared to be so simple in design, it was becoming far too time consuming for him to fool with. 

He made several attempts to put the turning rod back in place, but the doggone thing wouldn't work. Jones was all set to call apt. management and have them send someone up to fix it, but Jones lost the thing last night. 

So, he glanced out the window and thought, "Well, perhaps the Lord wants those blinds to stay open a bit so that you can look out while writing." Writing was something he was doing a lot of these days. 

The Holy Spirit was unlocking doors in his mind. It was like using an iPad, although Jones didn't have one, he understood how it worked and as a visual thinker, the notion of moving pages and things with one's finger was an apt metaphor for how his mind worked. 

Pastor Jones saw things three dimensionally in his mind. He first realized this ability on the first day of Kindergarten, some 40 odd years ago. He recalled that his mom said she would pick him up after school. 

Well, Jones, waiting--after what seemed like enough time, in his little Kindergarten mind--decided to walk home. It wasn't difficult at all. He could visualize the path home as if he were looking down from above. 

As a adult, he would use big words and phrases to describe this ability as, "I see things topographically. As if I were looking at Google Maps or Street View." 

That first day of Kindergarten, in Cleveland, Ohio, Jones walked home and sat on the porch waiting for his mom. 

She finally arrived and he vaguely remembered her crying. 

She would tell him years later that she feared the worse that day. She was just a little late and couldn't find him and drove around and around in tears until she came back home, just two blocks from the school, to find him waiting for her. 

They both could laugh at the incident now, but Pastor Jones had kids of his own and could only imagine how terrified his mother must have been to arrive at school to pick up your child and he's nowhere to be found! On the first day of school! 

Nowadays, whenever Jones learned of a missing child on the news, he would stop to pray for them. Jones made it a habit to pray for folks facing terrible circumstances whenever he encountered a sad new story. 

This practice was beginning to get to him and he often refrained from watching the local evening news, or just turned away from sad stories after praying for folks. 

Pastor Jones felt much better as he sat in silence in front of his new computer. Jones didn't want to spend any money on a new computer, but the old family laptop constantly crashed or was taken over by some stupid virus. 

He didn't want to go into debt, but prayed about it and bought his first Macintosh computer of the modern era. He had two Macs sitting next to his desk, from the late 1990s. He kept telling himself that when he had time, he would continue to transfer early digital pictures of the kids, as toddlers from the old Macs, onto floppy disk, the to the PC. 

It was just too time consuming at present, but he knew it had to be done at some point before even those Macs no longer worked. 

Pastor Jones was feeling a lot better after breakfast and a very hot bath. He thought, once again, that he was sleepy and was preparing to take a morning nap, but the Holy Spirit told him, "Just get something to eat and sit down to write."

 Jones was tired, but was trusting the Lord with great confidence that he would indeed take a nap, or get rest when needed. 

This morning, Jones was tired, and needed his glasses to read his main study Bible--despite the fact that it was a large print, Charles Stanley edition of the New King James. 

Author's note: Takin' a break. Our story will continue in a moment (I'm imagining the voice of the old Hallmark Hall of Fame announcer when those Hallmark sponsored and produced TV movies would come on around Thanksgiving time. 

The announcer's voice would be as warm as the turkey stuffing we would eat that night. 

Man, I'm getting hungry, yet I'm still full from breakfast. Better start planning that Turkey Day menu soon. I'll try to add one new item to the menu we haven't had before, just to keep things interesting each year. 

Okay, now I'm going to get off the path to memory lane and take a long break. Me eyes are tired and watery, mon. Nap time, Lord? Huh, please, Lord, pretty please? : )

Morning Nap Break

Author's Note:
Okay, time for a nap.

I've been up since 4:30am and will continue the story as the Lord leads me.

Have a great, blessed day, everybody!

Esteban K.

2) Sleep Deprivation

Live Twitter Novel: 
The Substance of Things Hoped For

Chapter 2: Sleep Deprivation
The choking didn't last very long this time. As Pastor Jones turned on the light in the bathroom, he recalled that he didn't.
take his last dose of prescribed steroids before going to bed last night. 

To be quite frank, Jones didn't feel like getting out of bed last night. After he found a comfortable position in bed, Pastor Jones just wanted to rest. 

He wasn't getting much sleep the past three days and asked the Lord, "If you don't want me to sleep much, I understand and trust you to provide rest when I need it." 

Jones was confident that if God wanted him to continue without much sleep, God, who made all things possible, could certainly transform his puny human body to deal with the severe sleep deprivation and function without being too cranky, or have a loss of productivity.

An Open Letter to My Church, Mt. Moriah

Below you will find the text from an email sent to fellow believers of my favorite church in the whole wide world, this morning.

It is the church I happily attend with my family, whenever my health permits-- Mt. Moriah Baptist of Washington, D.C., where we are led by a true Man of God, an excellent pastor, preacher and teacher, Dr. Lucius M. Dalton, Senior Pastor.
To the Believers of the church called Mt. Moriah,
I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with a fervent good morning! :  )
Hello MMBC family,
I just wanted to quickly share with all of you first, before sharing my testimony outside the church, some wonderful, amazing things that have happened since I’ve changed the way I wake up each morning.
For the past week, or so, I make the effort to say, “Thank you Lord for blessing me by waking me up. Please use me today, Holy Spirit, to be a blessing to others so that they may have a better relationship with you. Please bring to my remembrance those things you want me to say to others. In Jesus’ name I pray, ‘Amen.’ “
I usually say this prayer prior to getting out of bed, while stretching my legs, before I stand and attempt to walk.
Later in the day, I try to have what I like to refer to as Holy Ghost Hot Tub Time (HGHTT). I turn off the lights in the bathroom and surround myself in the tub with water as hot as I can stand. I lower myself into the tub, with just my shoulders on up above the water line. It is during my HGHTT that I ask the Holy Spirit to open my mind to the things He wants me to see and things He wants me to do.
During these sessions a number of amazing visions, thoughts, and ideas have swirled in my head. In recent days it is happening so rapidly that I cannot write them down fast enough, so I now video tape anything the Holy Spirit pours out of me.
The phrase, “pour out of me,” is the best way I can describe what is going on with me right now. Ideas for stories, that I’ve long since had to abandon, due to chronic illness have returned, only this time, the Lord has provided, in a flash, full storylines, images of characters, plots, solutions to plot problems, etc. Things are connecting in ways I could never have imagined and never have even come close to doing myself, so I must give it up to God, for only He is doing this.
Okay, let me get to point of this long email, which I originally wanted to be a short paragraph or two, but these days, I’m following what it says in Habakkuk 2:2 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.’” (NLT)
The idea of writing a short story, about spiritual warfare, live, in real-time with Twitter, came to me last night. I wanted to do it on the evening of Monday, Oct. 31. The first sentence came to mind over and over, so much so, that I woke up choking at 4:34 a.m. with the thought this morning (I actually woke up choking and had to bite into the corner of my pillow to stop it.)

That sentence is, “Pastor Jones woke up angry.”  This morning I decided to start typing the story as it pours out of me on Twitter.
The Holy Spirit has literally been wearing me out the past couple of days, but He has answered another prayer and allowed me to get the rest I need, when I need it. 
If you want to follow the story throughout the day, live, you can join me on Twitter at:
I’m also trying the place the story in chrono order on my blog at:
I’ll keep writing the story until the Holy Spirit tells me to stop. 
The story is called, “The Substance of Things Hope For,” and it follows what happens when the pastor of a dying church asks the Holy Spirit to fall upon the congregation in dramatic fashion, like the Day of Pentecost. Well, his prayers are answered in ways that are glorious, triumphant and frightening for some, as several disciples of the church receive spiritual gifts, which are unlocked during a Spirit-filled worship service. 
When Pastor Jones, our lead character, opens his eyes from the pulpit after praying, he surveys the congregation and can see people “lit up,” and “glowing” from their spiritual gifts. Pastor Jones can also “see” for the first time, dark, spiritual beings surrounding certain disciples and these spiritual beings now know Pastor Jones can see them as well for the first time.
Ephesians 6:12 is now being played out in this little church and our story will follow them as they battle, “...against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” NIV
So, I hope you’ll join me on this spiritual journey as I receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and share whatever God has for all of us.
Have a blessed day!
Bro. Steve Kendall

Chapter 1: Pastor Jones Woke Up Angry

Live Twitter Novel: 

The Substance of Things Hoped For

Chapter 1: Pastor Jones Woke Up Angry
4:34am: Jones was startled, suddenly awake and realized he was biting down on the corner of his pillow--an involuntary response to choking in his sleep.
The last time this happened, it was quite scary as he choked for several minutes. He also woke up his wife, which wasn't she often slept through thunderstorms and all manner of natural disasters. He would joke with her and remark, "If I only had your superpower--an ability to fall asleep in seconds and sleep through every noise around you."
The Jones' had a running joke, that was based in reality. One morning, a few months ago, he asked, "Did you hear those helicopters last night? She would have smiled if she wasn't so sleepy, but just looked at him, which meant, "No, honey, I didn't hear them. There were helicopters out there last night?"
He was beginning to look forward to asking her the next day about any manner of noise or event that kept him awake, yet never stirred her.
She recently took to saying, "I just feel so secure with you, honey, that I sleep right through anything."
She said it with both a humorous, but sincere and loving tone and he appreciated the feeling she was trying to convey.
-For those of you reading this, I'm Tweeting in real time, a story the Holy Spirit is pouring out of me. 

If you want to follow the story throughout the day, live, you can join me on Twitter at:

I'll post the story in progress on this blog.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Praise God for The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth

Praying today for the family and loved ones of a great Civil Right Saint, The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth
"The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, 89, one of the bravest and most dynamic leaders of the civil rights movement, who survived bombings, beatings and dozens of arrests in his efforts to end segregation in Birmingham, Ala., and throughout the South, died Oct. 5 at a Birmingham hospital."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Charles Stanley sermon on a Discerning Spirit

I'm getting caught up on recent sermons by some of my favorite preachers.

Charles Stanley recently delivered a message that I learned a lot from entitled,
"The Power of A Discerning Spirit."

You can watch it online at:

Dr. Stanley also has excellent sermon notes/outlines available on his

The Sermons of Dr. Lucius M. Dalton, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church

I'm getting caught up on recent sermons by some of my favorite preachers, including my pastor, Dr. Lucius M. Dalton, Senior Pastor, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.

You can listen to Pastor Dalton's excellent sermons at:

Locate the "Bible Study/Sermons" link at the top of the page.