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WSSN Stories

“You Can Fool some of the People some of the Time….BUT!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Consider the text God’s warning to anyone who’s “Playing Church!’ I ought to just finish right there with that one statement, for the text says it all. You can fool man, but you can’t fool God! Man is easy to fool because man’s assessment and evaluation of people is based on what man sees “outwardly,” but there is an “unseen eye” that sees all we do and an “unseen ear” that hears all we say. That unseen eye and that unseen ear belong to God, and God sees stuff and knows stuff about you that nobody else knows.

Tares are going to be found among the wheat. Goats will be found among the sheep, but the day will come when the Lord distinguishes between the wheat and tares, the goats and the sheep. In that day there will be no more hiding and masquerading as Christians. The question you must ask yourself is, “What will that day expose about me?” Are you playing Church?

People of God we need to “Stop Playing Church” and “Be the Church.” So many today put on their Sunday best, go to Sunday morning meetings, but have nothing; they are void inside of Christ. They are “Playing Church,” but “Aren’t the Church.” They look like good Church folks; they carry a Bible; they wear a cross, and sometimes they have on a robe, but they are not the real deal. It’s time that we realize that this is not a game, we must take Christ seriously. “Stop Playing Church!” Stop pretending to be living in obedience to God. Stop pretending to truly love God. “Stop Playing Church” the way little children play “house” or “doctor.” Stop Playing with God!

We have to wake up from our slumber and be about our Father’s business. {Galatians 6:7} “Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked) by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.” “For whatever a man sows, that shall he reap.” {1 Peter 4:17-18} For the time has arrived for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news, The Gospel of God?

I believe that Jesus is calling “His Church” to stand up, share the truth, and be a catalyst of change.  God made us for greatness, not pettiness.  God gave us the best and greatest gift of all, His son Jesus.  It’s time to “Stop Playing Church and Be the Church.”  It’s time to get serious about this thing because time is winding up. I don’t know when He’s coming, but this one thing I am sure of, it’s just a matter of time. “Stop Playing Church and Be the Church.”

Warnings are an act of grace. The clearer the warning, the more abounding in the grace of God. God acts graciously when he gives warnings, for by such warnings there is given the opportunity to repent and seek the grace of forgiveness and eternal life in the infinite loving act of God in giving His Only Son to be the propitiation for our sins. We need to take this to heart. If we do not listen and turn from our evil ways, and so suffer awful judgment, then it is not the grace and love of God that is lacking, but the fault of our unrepentant hearts which refuse to heed the revelation of God, and spurn His love. Let us believe God. Let us not deny the truth, but warn people to flee from the wrath to come. Let us make sure that we ourselves have repented and hidden ourselves in Christ alone, so availing ourselves of the one and only escape from God’s wrath, faith in Christ.

Toyota’s James Colon Received Honorary Doctorate Degree From Grambling State University

James ColonTORRANCE, CA – Grambling State University (GSU) awarded James Colon, vice president of African American Business Strategy at Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., an honorary doctorate degree at its 2014 Spring Commencement ceremony, Friday, May 9.  It is the most prestigious degree the historically black university offers.

Grambling recognized Colon for his commitment to diversity in the automobile industry and long-term support of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and the academic achievement of young African Americans. At Toyota, Colon is responsible for engaging Hispanic and African American businesses and media, and optimizing relationships with important external Hispanic and African American groups. Under his leadership, the automaker implemented the Toyota Green Initiative designed to educate and encourage students on HBCUs to live environmentally conscious lifestyles. Nearly 5,000 people have made the Promise Pledge to live green, and 28 HBCUs have participated in the Green Campus Contest.

“I am honored to have received this degree from one of the most respected and distinguished historically black colleges and universities in the nation,” Colon said.  “When an institution of higher education confers an honorary degree, it believes that the recipient reinforces its values, its mission. Grambling’s vision is to be a distinguished institution that produces accomplished graduates who go on to compete and succeed in a global market.  In short, Grambling believes in being the best and producing the best — to help the world be the best it can be.  I, along with Toyota, share in that mission every day and will continue to do so.”

Colon joins an elite group of African-American influencers and history makers who have received honorary doctorate degrees from Grambling, including: the late singer Whitney Houston; scholar/author Dr. Cornel West; and, Democratic political strategist and pundit Donna Brazile.

In addition to his responsibilities at Toyota, Colon serves on the boards of his alma mater, Manchester University in Indiana and Clark Atlanta University. He is a member of The United Negro College Fund Los Angeles Leadership Council.  He was also appointed to the board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation two years ago, where he supports the organization’s mission by contributing to developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public.

“Woe Unto You!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

“Why don’t you practice what you preach?” Have you ever said those words? Maybe someone has said them to you. Hypocrites are people who pretend to be something they are not. They may say one thing and then do the opposite. They may act one way in a certain setting and then act another way in a different setting. It is very important that as Christians, we follow the example of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter where we are or who we are with. The words we speak and the things we do should always reflect our faith. Sometimes we are good at telling other people what they should do and how they should live, but we fail to follow our own instructions. We need to, as the saying goes, “walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Listen carefully to Jesus’ feelings that are boiling and roiling against the Pharisees in Matthew 23. They preach but they do not practice.  They lay burdens on others shoulders but they do not lift a finger to help.  They do all their deeds to be seen by men.  They love the places of honor at feasts and greetings in the market places and being called rabbi.

Then the gospel text switches from “they” to “you.” (Note that in both English and Greek, there is emphasis on the “you” in each of these statements.) Talk about being in your face. Talk about calling a spade a spade. Talk about boiling and roiling. A person can hear the “you” that drip with sarcastic indictment.  “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees for you shut the kingdom of heaven. You do not enter the kingdom and you prevent others from entering it. Woe to you Pharisees, you blind guides, you blind men.  Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you tithe on the trivia but you neglect the weightier issues of law, justice, mercy and faith. Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for outwardly you appear beautiful but inwardly you are full of dead men’s bones.  You are the sons of those who have murdered the prophets. You serpents and brood of vipers how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” 

If anyone was a religious fake, it was the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They pretended to be genuinely religious but it was all a sham, a charade. It was a deceit, a deception. Like any good actor, they were all “make believe.” Jesus was deeply offended by the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a bunch of phonies who did not do what they preached. So it is with many people of faith: on the outside and the showy parts of their lives, they give a good performance of being a Christian, but it is all “a front.” Inside, their hearts are far from the love of God/Jesus and neighbor.  They talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk.

Why is it important to practice what we preach? The most basic reason is the integrity of our faith; we are the body of Christ for the world. We are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. People should be attracted by the light of the way we live and the words we speak. Whether we like it or not, people are watching us and seeing how we respond to the ups and downs of everyday life. Children watch adults and then imitate what they see and repeat what they hear. Are our words and actions something we want repeated by our children? Our friends, neighbors, coworkers, family members, and classmates are watching us. What evidence do we offer of our profession of faith? Are our responses any different from those of persons who don’t profess to know Christ? Not only are nonbelievers watching us, but so are other Christians. Do our words and actions encourage and build up other Christians?

How do we practice what we preach? One way is to be careful about the words we speak. You can tell a lot about a person by the words they use. You can tell even more by the words they use when they are distressed, angry, or threatened. James tells us the tongue is very dangerous. It can set a great forest ablaze. We can tame all kinds of animals, but we cannot tame the tongue (James 3:3-6). People are listening to the words we speak. Do our words build people up or cut them down? Do our words bring peace and calm to a situation or do they add fuel to the fire? The words we speak should match the person we claim to be. If we profess that we are followers of Christ, then our words should be a reflection of that relationship.

We practice what we preach when we live our lives as reflections of the life of Christ. The way we act at work should be the same way we act at home, at church, around other Christians, in the supermarket, or waiting for a bus. When people see us, they should see a reflection of Christ. Can I tell you that, Jesus is pulling the masks off the hypocrites.  It is His job!   {Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, that thou mightiest be justified in thy sayings, and mightiest overcome when thou art judged.} And can I just add that if you are sincere in your walk with Jesus, don’t let hypocrites keep you from being the real thing.

As Christians, all glory, honor, and praise belong to Christ. We must check ourselves because pride sneaks up when we least expect it to wag its ugly head in our lives. We are but His servants sent into the world as salt and light, and as ambassadors of His kingdom. May He find us to be faithful, humble servants.   Greatness is not found in being served, but in serving others. Walk the talk!