Monday, May 6, 2019

From Pastor's Desk | Sunday, May 5th, 2019

I have had many people, over my short time in ministry, ask how I felt and what the bible said about drinking alcohol and wine. I lost an uncle, who I was very close to, due to a person who had decided to drive drunk. I lost a dear friend, who was a recovering alcoholic that relapsed and drowned in a pool due to her severe inebriation. So, personally, I can’t stand the stuff. Yet, I don’t preach or teach from feelings; I preach from truth, inspiration and empowerment from the Holy Spirit, and the word of God. The bible is very clear about judging others and this is not my aim here nor will I ever do that; I am going to simply state facts and truth on this and let you work out your own salvation before the Lord with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12-13) So, what does the word of God have to say about drinking alcohol and wine. Let us take a look. 

The Bible says is strong against being drunk and strong drink. We find that in these verses.
            Old Testament
Leviticus 10:9-11          Proverbs 20:1; 23:25     Isaiah 5:11-12; 29:7

New Testament
1 Thessalonians 3:3      1 Timothy 3:3; 8            2 Timothy 4:5    Titus 1:7
1 Peter 1:15; 4:7

We also find in the Bible those who drank heavily caused sin upon not only themselves but their kin.
-      Noah drank strong drink, got drunk and laid uncovered in a tent. His youngest son thus bringing a curse upon him and his lineage.
-      Lot was given strong drink by his daughters and (I know this is disgusting)through incest with his daughters, two rebellious nations were born. 
-      The nation of Israel got drunk from strong drink and demanded a golden calf to be built. 3,000 men died that day.
As you read, nothing good ever came from those drinking strong drink. There are those who teach and preach that in moderation, alcohol is not bad for you. They use the scriptures where Jesus turned the water into wine & Paul stated, “a little wine is good for the stomach”. They also use the play on such words as “drunkenness” or being “drunk” and how the Bible states it is AGAINST THAT. So, they teach that since the Bible doesn’t say anything against moderation, it is ok. I did a little research from watching a video from Perry Stone and reading some articles from French Arrington and this is what I found. I encourage all of you to do the same. 

The wine in Jesus’ day was mixed like this, 3-parts water to 1-part wine. Harvard and Yale University placed out a study that stated you would have to drink 21 glasses of wine to match the alcohol content of ONE glass of wine in present day. So, the Bible is not against the grape the wine comes from or the wine used for medicine purposes (as Paul stated in 1 Timothy 5:23)but the alcohol, or strong drink, that is in it. 

I want to close with this, though I honestly could fill this entire bulletin with this subject. Most people drink or say they drink to calm their nerves and relieve stress. If that is the case, then those who proclaim to be Christians and drink alcohol to calm nerves are telling the world; Jesus is not enough for you. I know that may seem harsh, but it is truth and reality. So instead of us trying to use the word of God to say our sin or addiction is okay, let’s place it under the blood and let God break that chain of addiction and habit off of your life.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Ever Feel...just BLAH?

Welcome to the first Monday of the New Year. I remember reading Garfield comics growing up and watching the Garfield and Friends cartoon that would air on Saturday mornings. During this time, I never understood why Garfield hated Mondays so much; then I grew up.

Now, I know you maybe thinking to yourself, "You are a Pastor, you should be positive about every day of the week." Well, I would be lying if I didn't say I dread some Mondays. Today is one of those Mondays. You might ask why, I am about to indulge into why.

Today is one of those Mondays where you come out of a great church service on Sunday and you look around at what God did in the church that morning; only to be hit with frustration and disappointment from what seems like every side. So this leads to the title of this you ever feel frustrated? Have you ever felt lonely? Have you ever felt like throwing in the towel? The answer is probably, yes. Guess what, you are not a sinner, backslidden person if you have felt that way. We all feel that way from time to time; and it is ok.

Yet, I learned something this morning before I typed this. I can either choose to stay in frustration and disappointment, OR I can choose to rise above it. While it is okay to feel disappointment, frustration, and loneliness; you must choose to stay there or RISE ABOVE IT. I choose today to rise above it.

I love eagles. They are magnificent birds and a symbol of freedom here in America. I heard an interesting fact from a fellow Pastor that eagles love storms. When a storm comes, eagles use the winds from that storm to fly to heights they normally couldn't reach. They use the winds and drafts to help the rise above the worse of the storm. When storms come in our lives, we can either hunker down and complain about how bad the weather is or we can rise above it. We can use the very thing meant to take us out and press us into unprecedented heights we never thought we could achieve before.

Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that when we wait upon the Lord, our strength will be renewed. We will mount up with wings AS EAGLES. That lets me know, when frustration, disappointment, and loneliness come, I don't need to fret or worry. I can choose to hunker down and complain about everything and everyone; or I can choose to use the very storm meant to take me under and out to rise above it.

I hope this encourages you today as much as it encouraged me to write it.


Dereck J. White

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Lessons Learned : Learn to Quit (Part 2)

Last week, we talked about QUIT COMPLAINING!

This week, I want to talk about another thing that we do WAY TOO OFTEN!! What I am about to say to you is going to make no sense whatsoever when you first begin to read this BUT if you read the entire post, you will understand why I am saying this.

We need to QUIT trying. Yes, you read that right. Quit trying. We are always TRYING to do something. We are always TRYING to impress our boss, neighbor, friend, family member, spouse, teacher, coach, and the list can go on. We are always TRYING to make a difference. We are always TRYING to be something we are not created to be. So, yes you need to QUIT trying.

God's Word tells us that its not by MIGHT nor by POWER but by MY SPIRIT says the Lord. (Zech. 4:6) When we realize that our talents, our abilities, and our personality will only get us so far but God's anointing finished the work; TRULY what a DIFFERENCE we can make. IN OTHER WORDS, we need to GET OUT OF THE WAY, and LET GOD MAKE A WAY where there seems to be NO WAY!!

I read a story last month after Billy Graham's death about a crusade he had in London in 1966. You see prior to that great crusade, some of the London media accredited the success of the 1954 crusade, not to the power of the Gospel but to the emotional draw of the song that the crusades always closed with; "Just As I Am." When the reports reached Rev. Graham, it began to bother him. So through prayer, he consulted the music director to not sing that song after his message and prior to the altar call. The story went on to say that Rev. Graham preached his heart out and you could sense the presence of God in that room and when it came time for the altar call, Billy Graham stated that there would be no music tonight. He continued that if you felt God tugging on your heart and soul to come down and they would pray for you. He then stepped back and folded his hands in prayer. Witnesses state that for 15 seconds (which is a long time in church for some reason) there was complete silence. Then one by one, chairs began to squeak as people came to the altar. Throughout that crusade, 30 nights, they never once played a single note of that song and when it was all said and done, 1 million people attended and over 40,000 people decided to follow Jesus Christ.

You see, Rev. Graham understood that even though he wasn't playing on the emotions of people as he was accused; he still had the faith and confidence that if he stepped out of the way, God would still draw people. When we QUIT trying AND start BELIEVING and knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that God is MORE THAN ABLE (Eph. 3:20), we will see a shift happen in our lives.

Now to clarify to those of you out there that maybe saying that, "Well Pastor said I don't have to do anything, blah blah blah."; God still requires us to go. God still requires us to be active for the kingdom, but instead of trying, start DOING things by faith and by His anointing and you will truly see a difference. You will begin to see favor on that job. You will begin to see your marriage improve.  Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. 2:4, that its not with enticing words but by the DEMONSTRATION and POWER of the Holy Spirit that we need to operate in the church. Lean on God and not on your own abilities and see what God will do in your life.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Lessons Learned: Learn to Quit (part 1)

This is going to be a two part or even three part series in this portion of "Lessons Learned".

You read the title right, "Learn to Quit". If we are ever going to grow, we have to learn to quit. Now I know that goes against everything we have been taught in life. But now that I have your attention let me indulge into this. There are certain things that we need to quit doing in order to grow. There are other things that we need to do MORE EFFECTIVELY in order to grow. And finally there are other, very important things, that we need to keep doing and put at the forefront of our lives in order for us to complete this destiny that God has for us.

But in this next 2 or 3 parts, I want to focus on things we need to stop (quit) doing.

Numero Uno. We need to QUIT complaining. Listen to yourself talk. How many times do we complain during the day? It ranges from us not having enough sleep, the way our body feels, all the way to how people are dressed, how crazy people drive, to how horrible our job is. We have to remember that there is LIFE and DEATH in our tongues. What you speak HAS POWER! So when we quit complaining and began to rejoice, what can/will we accomplish. In Philippians, Paul reminds us to "REJOICE ALWAYS and again I say REJOICE!" (Philippians 4:4) God inhabits the praises of HIS people. So when we turn all of that complaining to PRAISING, what change can that bring. I am reminded of many stories in the Bible where God used the praises of people to confuse and destroy the enemy. That still stands true today. When the enemy is attacking, praise God.

I am reminded of James 1:2-3, "Count it all JOY, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."

I want to close with this. When we look at our circumstance as a stepping stone into a higher and deeper relationship with God; the heat of the fire isn't quite as strong. So I encourage and challenge you this week, QUIT COMPLAINING!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Lessons Learned : Being who GOD created ME to BE

Have you ever imitated someone? Maybe a cartoon character, your favorite movie scene, Forrest Gump and his voice, or maybe a boss or family member? We all at one time in our lives, imitated someone.

What I am afraid that has happened in churches is that we have became cookie cutters. We take a formula that works and we just copy it from church to church to church. But God is not in the copying business, God is a CREATOR!!

I have learned his lesson this past year and it was a tough one. I have to remind myself daily that I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!! There is no one else on this planet like Dereck Jay White. So I can't be like other pastors or ministers, I have to be who God created me to be.

So let me encourage you today, BE who GOD called YOU to BE!!! God made you to reach people that I can't reach, to do things that I can't do, and to accomplish feats that only you can. Don't get discouraged when things aren't happening as fast as it seems it is with others; your time will come. Just hold fast to God's promises and stay in your lane that God has you in. He is never early or never too late; HE IS ALWAYS ON TIME!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Name Change

I saw this a few years back and it humors me...enjoy.

I know this is humorous but let me ask you this one question is all seriousness...

Aren't you glad, God doesn't call you by your past? I am glad that I am no longer a hypocrite, sinner, lost and undone person. I am glad that I am saved and that God calls me His own!! 

Be blessed today!!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Lessons Learned : Giving

I know, I know...all preachers talk about is money. Well, some preachers talk about money to get your money and others talk about it because Jesus talked more about money than He did about heaven or hell. BUT, He (Jesus) never talked about it, in the way it would, get you rich or help you to keep up with the Jones'. When Jesus talked about money, it was to grasp their attention because that is where the people's heart was at when He was talking to them. You don't have proof to back that up, OH YES I DO.

Usually when Jesus talked about money, He talked about not so much keeping the money, but giving it back. 11 out of 39 parables talks on money. He was usually conversing with either the Pharisees, Sadducees or His disciples when He was discussing money. When He turned the tables over in the tabernacle, it was because of 2 things, they had the dove in a cage and selling it for sacrifices (that's for another post) and secondly, they turned the house of prayer into a money making scheme. They were manipulating people when it was time for the burnt sacrifice into purchasing and exchanging animals in the temple INSTEAD of following what God has put into place back in Leviticus. Sound familiar??? We have some that manipulate the scriptures to make money off of the Gospel and that is just plain wrong.

So you might be asking yourself, is this preacher telling me NOT TO GIVE?? NOOOOOO!!! I AM TELLING YOU TO GIVE BUT WITH THE RIGHT INTENTIONS!!

Jesus said in Matthew 22:21, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things of God's." In other words, pay your taxes like you are supposed to and give your tithes like you are supposed to.

Whenever I teach on giving, I teach on the act of obedience. Obedience is BETTER than sacrifice. Let me let you in on something I have learned in my short time, my lesson learned; tithing is obedience and saves you from the curse, BUT your offering is what brings the blessing. Whenever the woman with only 2 mites gave, Jesus said in Luke 21:3, and I am paraphrasing here, this woman gave more than all of these people because they gave from their abundance, in other words they gave what they gave because it honestly didn't hurt them. They had the extra and wouldn't miss it anyways but this woman gave out of poverty and gave all that she had to the Lord. She gave with a heart of gladness and not to be seen. She was giving in the act of obedience.

My wife and I learned a long time ago, that when we give and give with a cheerful heart and not treat our offerings like another bill; God gives us favor in the workplace, in our health, and in our homes. I am not going to sit here and tell that everything was picture perfect and we had money overflowing after we gave, no sir/ma'am. But God always took care of our needs and our necessities.

When we give with the right intentions, and that is out of obedience to the WORD OF GOD and not TO GET ANYTHING IN RETURN; God will take care of you. Giving is not a get rich quick scheme BUT it is a command from God.