by Pastor E.A. Deckard
Special to the NNPA from the Houston Forward Times
Forward Thinkers, before I began this week’s Forward Thinking article, I would like to pause and pray for the families of Valerie and Dwayne Jackson along with their six children Nathaniel (13), Honesty (11), Dwayne Jr. (10), Caleb (9), Trinity (7), and Jonah (6) who were all murdered last Saturday in their home. The city of Houston honored their lives on Monday, August 17 at the Fall Brook Church and I would personally like to thank Allen Dave Funeral Home and Bruce Johnson for their act of kindness towards this family and the city of Houston.
“When the world is in the midst of change, when adversity and opportunity are almost indistinguishable, this is the time for visionary leadership and when leaders need to look beyond the survival needs of those they’re serving.” – Chip Conley
“The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.” – Malcolm Gladwell
Forward Thinkers, without vision the people perish. Vision connects people to their God ordained purpose, power, and potential. Forward Thinkers, living without vision is like breaking from a football huddle without calling a play because the whole team would be running around without any directions.
Forward Thinkers, every God ordained vision starts with a visionary: a person or a small group of people God calls out to fulfill a certain purpose or assignment in the world.
Whenever God sees a void or a need He then establishes vision to fill the void. God is not coming down from heaven to meet our needs but He places vision in people to accomplish His plans and purpose.
Forward Thinkers, the bible states I know the plans the Lord has for me, plans to prosper me and not harm me. I believe the avenue God uses to prosper us which is connecting us to a vision clear enough to take us from poverty to prosperity.
Forward Thinkers have you checked your vision lately?
Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Forward Thinkers, look at your hands even; if you have an identical twin, there is nobody in the world with your finger prints. I believe God gave us all different hands because we all have something to do. Can God trust you to put your hands to work on the vision? Better question can God trust you to use your hands to bless others.
Forward Thinkers, the desires of your heart should match the works of your hands. Vision is the bridge that connects your heart, mind, and mouth with the works of your hand. Vision is birthed from the true desires of your heart, vision will expose the real thoughts in your mind, and vision should line up with words coming out of your mouth.
Forward Thinkers, eight years ago I heard the Lord say I need someone I can send. Not someone trying to fit in or just do church but I need someone bold enough to trust me to walk by faith every step of the way. Forward Thinkers before I could start telling God not me God reminded me to check out his track record of who He had sent in the past.
Forward Thinkers, Moses had a past and a speech problem but God sent him and gave him vision to lead his people out of bondage. Abraham came out of a heathen family yet God sent him and gave him vision to become the Father of faith. Peter was straight gangster on the fishing docks but God sent him to walk with his son Jesus and gave him vision to continue the work of Jesus.
Sisters don’t think you have to take a back seat, God desires to send you out with vision also. Leah had issues but she gave birth to both Levi and Judah. Levi means priesthood so out of Leah the messengers of God were birthed and Judah means praise so out of Leah praise was also birthed. Rahab yes the prostitute was given vision to guide the spies of God to safety.
Forward Thinkers the Lord can use you in spite of your past, your family, or your short comings.
Forward Thinkers, the vision here at the Green House International Church is, “the place you go to grow to reach your full potential” and we have been sent to connect broken, wounded, blind, crippled, and lost people to this vision which is strong enough to empower them.
Proverbs 31:8-9 The Message (MSG)
8-9 “Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!”
Forward Thinkers, I could not have written a better vision statement than Proverbs 31:8-9 in the message bible:
“Speak up for the people who have no voice” This could be an entire article by itself because God has called us and given us vision to be the voice of the voice-less.
Forward Thinkers, I understand both Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X lost their lives speaking up for those without a voice but I refuse to shut up. Sandy Bland can no longer speak in Waller County, Jordan Baker can no longer speak in Acres Homes, many in the hood feel their voice no longer matters, therefore; I believe we must keep speaking and now we must speak even louder.
Forward Thinkers, this might mess some church folk up but I believe Easy E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre started “NWA” with the vision to be a voice for those without a voice. I’m convinced if the Lord brought you straight out of Compton, 5th Ward, Acres Home, 3rd Ward, Trinity Gardens, or any other so called hood, you have a responsibility to speak up for those who feel they don’t have a voice. Forward Thinkers Pookie and Shanana need a mouthpiece also.
Jesus came straight out of Nazareth and became the voice of the voiceless. Today we must commit to be more like Jesus.
Rights of all the down and outers: our vision is to push against a system that does not protect all people. Agree or disagree with your choices, I’ll fight for your rights to make those choices. Jesus died for whosoever would believe therefore we must protect the rights of all people.
Romans 10:12 for there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.
Speak out for justice: vision to proclaim justice for all Blacks, Hispanics, and poor Whites. The system in place should be the same for all people if the scales of justice are to be fair. America’s majority population is the minority population in prison, unemployment, and murders Forward Thinkers that does not equal justice for all. Forward Thinkers Jesus didn’t die for others to be mistreated but so all could have a just chance in life.
Stand up for the poor and destitute: vision is to preach the gospel of Jesus and empower people until the Declaration Of Independence becomes our reality: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Forward Thinkers, it’s time today to get your life back. Today it’s time be set free in your mind, body, and soul. Today it’s time to get your happy back.
Forward Thinkers, Jesus came with the vision of providing us all with life and life to the full and today I’m offering you an opportunity to connect with a God sent vision designed to push you into your full potential.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church now located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or the church website www.ghic.net.