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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Praise On. Praise Off.: A Lesson in the Power of Praise from "The Karate Kid"

On the closing night of the youth revival at Goodship Missionary Baptist Church, God sent gave a powerful Word through Pastor Graves.  The message was a lesson in "The Power Praise Works in You."  Connecting the battle of Jericho and the original "Karate Kid,"  the message offers explanation, encouragement, and challenges especially for those who wonder when they will receive all the promises they hear about in church.
There is an answer.  There is a Word.  Hear it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Stop the Sin. Don't Stop the Praise.

How does God respond when we do the wrong thing with good intentions? With humor, truth, and poetry centered in the Word of God, Pastor Graves explores this question and connects a conflicted moment in the life of King David to our own everyday struggles.  Listen to this message, delivered for the youth revival at Goodship M.B. Church.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


A single mother had twins, one boy and one girl. As the children approached their teenage years the mother called the girl into her bedroom.

Mama shut the door and said, “Baby girl, I want to talk to you about men. There are some things you need to understand.”

Mama didn’t realize that her son was listening at the door. He could hear them but not always clearly. Nonetheless, the son learned as much from the conversation as the daughter.

To her daughter, Mama said, “Boys are going to try to have sex with you and every other girl they can. That’s all boys want. Girl, they don’t care about you as a person. They just think of you us as something to please them. There’s no point in expecting boys or men to care about you. They only want one thing.”

Through the door, what the son heard Mama say was, “Boys are to try to have sex with every girl they can. That’s all boys should want. Don’t care about a girl as a person. Just think of them as something to please you. They don’t expect you to care about them. Only want one thing.”

Mama continued talking to her daughter, “I know this may be hard for you to accept, but you need to know what it means to be with a man. I don’t want you to have sex, but you’re probably going to be a fast little something. So don’t you come up pregnant, because if you do, the boy’s gonna leave you. You can’t expect a man to stay around and take care of you just because you get pregnant by him.”

What the son heard was, “I know this may be hard for you to accept, but you need to what it means to be a man. I don’t want you to have sex, but all girls are fast little somethings. If one comes up pregnant, you gotta leave her. She won’t expect a man to stay around and take care of her just because she got pregnant by you.”

“And if you have a baby,” continued Mama to her daughter, “I’ll help you. I won’t trust you to take care of my grandbaby, so I’ll handle everything. You just try to enjoy the rest of your youth.”

The son heard, “If you have a baby, the girl’s Mama will handle everything. You just enjoy your youth.”

Mama continued talking to the daughter “And the boy who gets you pregnant, you can put him on child support if you want to, but I don’t want him coming around here sticking his nose in my family’s business.

What the son heard was, daughter “When you get a girl pregnant, if she doesn’t want you to, you won’t even have to pay child support. And nobody wants you to come around to see about the baby. Your child is not your business.”

Mama said, “You don’t need a man to take care of you.”

The son heard, “You don’t need to care of your woman.”

Mama said, “ You don’t need a man to help you raise your baby. “

The son heard, “A man doesn’t need to help raise his baby.”

Mama said, “Men are no good.”

Son heard, “You are no good.”

Mama said, “A woman just needs to find a rich man and get all she can while she can before he leaves her.”

Son heard, “Act like a rich man and get all you can from a woman before you leave her.”

Through the door separating the male from the females, the young man listened. The ladies on the other side didn’t understand how their conversation was being filtered and fed to the young man on the other side.

As they grew up, the daughter remembered this talk, and she lived her life according to the advice she had been given.

The young man did the same.

For generations we have been delivering these messages to our daughters, never thinking that our sons were listening, too.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Revival services at HMCME are next week, but services are not enough.  We want and need something more than just programs to reach the level of ministry to which God has called us as individuals and as a church.  We need genuine revival.  An overview of the major revivals in the Bible, showed me something convicting. 

Biblical revival did not occur because the people of God asked for revival.  Biblical revival occured because the people of God repented and then started living the way they should have been doing all the time.  Using the revival and rebuilding of the city and house of God in the book of Nehemiah as our template, we are praying for genuine revival. 

A Prayer for Revival is a prayer of confession. Rev. Doug Perry and I are at chuch each evening in the week leading to Revival, confessing and praying in the pattern below.

Scripture Prayer (personalized from Nehemiah 1: 5-11):

“I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the [members of Hall Memorial] Your servants, and confess the sins of the [members of Hall Memorial] which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.

We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses [and the apostles].

Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to [this] place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’

Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand.

O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant [us]:

• Cleansing from our sins;

• Deliverance from our conceits and grudges;

• Hunger for Your Word and diligence in the study of Your holy Word;

• The spirit, work, and fruit of evangelism;

• A deepening relationship to Your Holy Spirit;

• A deepening of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit;

• Growth in number and spiritual maturity of this congregation;

• The increase of souls saved;

• The increasing work of effective life and soul changing ministry in the world;

• A revelation of ourselves to ourselves that we will seek to be changed by You for your better service.

In Jesus’ name,