The Eviction From the Nest

As a result of a conversation with my INCREDIBLE wife, Mrs. Patricia K Butler, in June, I sensed an undeniable URGING FROM THE LORD. Subsequently, I made a radical decision that was a gargantuan leap of faith. I followed that decision up with a radical action in July, tendering my 30-days resignation to the job I held at the time. I was essentially walking away from a stable source of income and other benefits. But I had no idea how my emotional allegiance to the monetary stability of that job was wreaking havoc in my life AND interfering WITH PURPOSE AND DESTINY. (I will write about purpose and destiny later) So in August I left. Since I left, I have been experiencing an inexpressible season of peace and progress that is just a sovereignly ordained move of God in my life. I had no idea how the URGING was an eviction notice from what I had allowed to become an inner cohabitation with the convenience of compromise. But the URGING was my being kicked out of the nest. Where I used to think I would SINK, I am starting to SOAR. Where I thought I would FLUTTER, I am FLYING. Now I realize through what was UNCOMFORTABLE AND INCONVENIENT, that I was BUILT AND DESTINED to FLY and FLY HIGH. You’ll never WALK on the top of the vast depths of the ocean, as long as you are compromisingly content to WADE in the shallow waters near the shores of the sea. Accept God’s eviction notice out of that nest. He’s waiting to show you, how He made you TO FLY AND FLY HIGH!

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A Special Father’s Day Tribute, 2019 – In Loving Memory of My Fathr, the Late Rev. George E. Butler, I

Dad&IatTheGospelChurchGrandOpening.jpgA Special Father’s Day Tribute – In Loving Memory of My Father, the Late Rev. George E. Butler, I

This Father’s Day, Sunday – June 16, 2019, I would like to honor my Dad, the Late Rev. George E Butler I, with a special memory tribute. This is going to be somewhat transparent but I need to get this out. It is one of the most pleasant memories I have of my father. Although it happened sometime ago, it still blesses me to this day. I was privileged to deliver my Dad’s eulogy at his homegoing, Jan. 5, 2005 – he went to be with the Lord on Dec. 31, 2004. The eulogy was entitled, “The Things Only A Father Can Fix”. This tribute is going to show you one of those ways. In spite of his transition having happened almost 14 years ago, I still miss him immensely. But, he blessed me with a legacy that makes his absence tolerable. The Heavenly Father’s love, grace and care makes it bearable. And every now and then, instances like these makes it comfortingly palpable. Walk with me for a few minutes as I share this memory with you of my Dad…

It was the month of July, 1994. I was 31 years old. My wife, Patricia K Butler, had given birth to our third daughter, Kimm Butler, who was just three months old. The older two daughters were Qiana BKey and Adara Sherron; Darren Butler Jr. was not in the picture yet. I went to work (It was a Tuesday) at my job as a Field Sales Representative for a family-owned business that provided and serviced personal pagers (beepers). As I was winding down the day, the Sales Director called me into the office and solemnly informed me she had unfortunate news. The industry was shifting (mobile phones were beginning to revolutionize the personal communications industry and pagers were quickly becoming obsolete) and the owner could no longer carry my position profitably. He instructed her to inform me my services would no longer be needed, effective THAT DAY. She tried to intervene, exclaiming to him that he couldn’t do that just like that because I had a family at home, including a new born. His response was, “well make it effective TOMORROW.” She called me in and delivered the news to me apologetically and with extreme discomfort, apologizing for the owner’s behavior. I responded I understood and thanked her for being great and wished her well walking out of the office and the building. I maintained a very good exterior but inwardly I was going to pieces. I had so many questions about what I was going to do. How was I going to take care of my family? What would be my next move? One of the most pressing dilemmas was an obligation the following month. My oldest brother Kevin (Carmen Butler) was getting married in Lake Tahoe, California and I had consented to be his best man. My father and I were scheduled to fly to California together for the wedding. I was now greatly bewildered because I deemed it impossible to get to California the following month under these circumstances. I did not want to disappoint my brother, and I did not want to face the embarrassment of calling my father and telling him I couldn’t come. So dejectedly, I asked God, ‘what am I going to do?” Rather pointedly He said, ‘you’re going to call your father and tell him exactly what happened.” (There’s a message for us in there – CALL THE FATHER IN HEAVEN AND TELL HIM EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED!) With skeptical and defeated resolve, I did exactly what God told me to do. I called my father and told him what happened and that it would make it impossible for me to go to California. My father’s response was just astonishing. To this day, I still try to wrap my head around it. He simply said, “Son, can you get to the airport next month?” I was shocked and dumbfounded wondering did he hear what I said. I somewhat stumbled but managed to say yes, not even knowing how I was going to do that. He said, “Ok meet me at the airport – I’ll take care of everything. (Each time I retell this, it bring tears to my eyes, especially now that he’s not here) I got to the airport not knowing what to expect. You see we had only repaired our relationship 3 years prior. So I had no reference point of this aspect of him as a father. My father did exactly what he said he was going to do – HE. TOOK. CARE. OF. EVERYTHING. The flight was paid for. We roomed together. I ate whatever I wanted. He even made me get some souvenirs for myself at gift shops. He paid for the tuxedo rental. HE. TOOK. CARE. OF. EVERYTHING. My brother got married to his wonderful bride, my sister-in-love. The trip was great. My father and I had the chance to do some serious bonding. I found out that some skin challenges I was having were hereditary because he had them too. The trip was wonderful. I forgot about the trouble I left behind. (THAT’S WHAT BEING IN THE HEAVENLY FATHER’S PRESENCE DOES – YOU FORGET ABOUT YOUR TROUBLES!) I had a great time with my brother. But, all things must come to an end. The wedding was over, they left for their honeymoon, and we made preparations to go back to New York. The flight home was great. Then we landed, I began to remember where I had left off with my job trouble. Before it could really settle in, we got our bags and prepared to go our separate ways. I prepared to bid my father farewell. As I did so, he looked at me and said “Son, don’t worry about anything, everything is going to be alright.” As he did so he extended his hand and placed a wad of bills in my hands. He then said, “Now go home and take care of your family.” I was so surprised but I thanked him and promised him I would. When I got into my transportation to come home (I can’t remember how I got home or who took me there), I pulled the money out of my pocket and it was a sizable sum. I will never forget what my father did as long as I live. He erased the sting and the fear of the situation. I did what he said. I’m still trying to do what he said. I don’t even remember how long it took to get another job. I just know my father’s words and actions to the whole thing was incredibly pivotal to helping me navigate that experience to the point where now I simply remember coming out of it. I remember him saying throughout the trip, ‘just lean on your father.’. (THERE’S ANOTHER MESSAGE IN THERE – FOR THOSE OF US GOING THROUGH DIFFICULT SEASONS AND TRANSITIONS, JUST LEAN ON THE HEAVENLY FATHER!). Now almost 25 years removed from the experience, I still remember it vividly and it blesses me immensely.

To those of us who are fathers, we must remember OUR CHILDREN WILL ALWAYS NEED US. We have to do everything we can to be there for them, even when they are at stages and phases of life, especially as adults, where ‘WE ARE NOT FEELIN’ THEM.’ Thank you Pop so much. That was one of the critical fixes I got from you that still ministers to me to this day. I pray I can be half as good to my children. I salute you this Father’s Day – 2019!

With Much Love,
Darren Ellis

You’re Disqualified From Leading If You Can’t Be Led…

This revelation came from one of the most startling conversations I ever had with God. It was over 17 years ago and I had been pastoring for over a year. I went through a very difficult transition and subsequently became disillusioned with the principle of accountability-covering. Here is the conversation….

Me: God, I don’t need none of these (slang term inserted here) over me. (I am real and transparent)
God: Ok, that’s fine. But remember this; the day you cannot be led is the day you are disqualified from leading.
*****CRICKETS*****

God knows how to get you together REAL QUICK and be so short and sweet about, Lol.
He went on to tell me that human frailty and fallibility does not negate His principles. If He (God) set it into motion, then it will always work when it’s being correctly worked. Let me encourage you today as a leader. Do not abort your leadership destiny because people fail. God is still on His throne. Move on to the next place and the next person(s) He has as your provision so that you are in complete alignment with Him. I asked Him to provide covering and accountability to me. AND HE DID. Pastor Joshua and Min. Latricia Kelly came along and scooped me up and have been watching over me ever since. God has someone out there for you that you can trust, IF YOU’LL TRUST HIM.
Pastor Darren E Butler Sr

From Bitterness To Bitterless…

“Don’t be bitter; bitterness ties God’s hands.” – Mother Bernice Butler

My Mom used to say this to us all the time while she was raising us. I found her admonishment to be rather strange in light of the circumstances surrounding her raising us and the many challenges that came along with it. But she repeated it frequently.

As I got older and cultivated a relationship with the Lord FOR MYSELF, I began to slowly understand her admonishment. Here I am now years removed from my childhood and those words still ring true. Things will happen to us in life as long as we live that will bring us to the intersection of choice. One of your options will be to make the choice between BITTERNESS and BITTERLESS (this is not a word, I’m coining it to express a point). I have discovered that Mom was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT – BITTERNESS TIES GOD’S HANDS. I would think, like me, you want God to work in your life; you don’t want His hands tied, because that means, He is unable to work in your life. His inability to work in your life is not due to a deficiency on His part. Rather, your BITTERNESS DISPLACES YOU from being in the PLACE where you can receive the benefit of being in the jurisdiction WHERE HE IS AT WORK.

So, how do I go from BITTERNESS TO BITTERLESS? We discover the taste of a thing through the taste buds God has blessed us with. We are able to distinguish BITTER from SWEET through the function of our taste buds. Well you and I have “spiritual” taste buds. And at times they have to be ‘reprogrammed’. If I could use the words of one of my mentors, Kirk Lyons, from 30 years ago, “IT’S AN ACQUIRED TASTE.” (I’ll have to tell that story another time). You and I ‘reprogram’ our spiritual taste buds through Psalm 34:8 – “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him!”, NLT. We go from BITTERNESS to BITTERLESS by counteracting the BITTER taste of life’s unfortunate experiences with the SWEET taste of God’s GOODNESS that we willfully and consistently expose ourselves to AND TRUST IN. So we ACQUIRE BITTERLESS through the cultivation of our relationship with the Lord, thereby neutralizing, minimizing, and in some instances pulverizing BITTERNESS altogether.

DON’T BE BITTER, JUST KEEP ACQUIRING THE TASTE OF WHAT THE SWEET LIFE IS FOR THOSE WHO TRUST IN HIM. Make the jump from BITTERNESS TO BITTERLESS. – Pastor Darren E Butler, Sr

Have the Faith To Wait

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Have you ever received a promise from God about something He was going to do in your life, and then you go on a LONG WAIT, WAITING FOR IT TO HAPPEN? The WAIT seemingly becomes so long that you begin to question whether or not you heard Him correctly.

The WAIT becomes so long that you feel as if you missed something. The WAIT becomes so long that you begin to look at yourself and feel as if the physical realities of your being able to experience and enjoy the manifestation of it are declining so that it won’t matter when it happens.

I have found myself in this place as of late, with my soul being terrorized by my limited understanding of the timeliness of God’s promises, instead of allowing my spirit to be treated with knowing He is undertaking fulfilling His promises from an eternal perspective.

Today, God dropped the thought of the picture with this post in my heart, comforting me with the revelation that HE HAS ALL THE TIME I NEED! Then He reminded me of Abraham and Sarah – that He did do what He said. But they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) WAIT, TAKING MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS. Subsequently, they received the blessing of His promise, but it was weighted down with the baggage of some problems that you and I are still dealing with. The first lesson about WAITING on His promise IS TO NOT TAKE MATTERS IN YOUR OWN HANDS.

Then He reminded me of Caleb who had to WAIT 45 years until everything (and EVERYONE FOR THAT MATTER) that was not authorized to coexist with the manifestation of his promise was eliminated. But when that happened, CALEB HAD THE PHYSICAL REALITIES NECESSARY TO EXPERIENCE AND ENJOY THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD’S PROMISE TO HIM. The second lesson is twofold; a) you have some attachments that God is taking His time to Divinely detach so that they don’t corrupt the manifestation of His promise to you and b) He will PRESERVE, PROTECT AND PROVIDE FOR YOU, so that you will be COMPLETELY WHOLE AND WELL to EXPERIENCE AND ENJOY WHAT HE’S PROMISE.

Have the FAITH to WAIT and KEEP ON WAITING!
Pastor Darren E Butler Sr

 

Our Witness Is On the Line (Feb. 8, 2016)

Our Witness Is On the Line – 1 Cor. 6:6

We had a great 16th Anniversary Celebration Encounter yesterday with Evang. John Ramirez. If you don’t know who he is, look him up on YouTube. God delivered him from satan worship and he has an incredibly amazing testimony and ministry. He was really a blessing to our fellowship yesterday and those who came to be our guests to partake of his ministry. Please keep him in your prayers.

But there is a delicate matter that happened yesterday that I am compelled to write about. Let me make a few disclaimers first. One, I am not interested in shaming, embarrassing or appearing to negatively disparage anyone. Rather, my aim is to give those of us who are in the Body of Christ an admonishment. Secondly, since this is not about casting anyone in a negative light, I must be somewhat cryptic, although for those of you who are familiar with our church’s current circumstances, somethings will become readily apparent to you. Here it is…

In the Body of Christ, WE MUST BE EXTREMELY MINDFUL AND CAREFUL OF HOW WE TREAT EACH OTHER – THE WORLD IS WATCHING. Our church rents space from a local VFW Hall in Hicksville every week. It’s a great arrangement (FOR NOW, NOT FOREVER!) as we continue journeying towards our Canaan. There is another ministry that rents the facility at the same time. Our hosts – the management of the VFW – have been INCREDIBLY good to us (it’s undeniably God’s favor). With each passing week, they demonstrate to us just how much they really love our church. They make accommodations and concessions to us that they are not obligated to do and often without any solicitation from us whatsoever. I am grateful to God for that because it is undeniably Him, especially in light of the fact that our hosts do not make a claim or profession to faith. However, they honor ours. I have a sneaking suspicion as to why, but that’s another post. When our hosts began to conceive and grasp the enormity of our day yesterday, they instantly swung into action, making observations and suggestions as to some things we should consider to make the event even more of a success. And then, they took it upon themselves to make some other adjustments as well without our asking. The adjustments they made were harmless, temporary and not disruptive to our ‘neighbors’. Unfortunately though, our ‘neighbors’ lodged a complaint. Our hosts were extremely perplexed and disturbed by their behavior and expressed two evaluations about it that were frankly – truthful, shameful, embarrassing, and negative reflections upon the Body of Christ. Now let me be clear; they were not disappointed with us. Just extremely disappointed with our ‘neighbors’. However, we have to get back to understanding and accepting in the Body of Christ the reality that we all win and lose together. A large part of our problem is the “us against them” mentality. So to not understand and embrace that our hosts’ assessment about our ‘neighbors’ affects us too, (because again, we’re all on the same team) is just as bad as the behavior of our ‘neighbors’. It was so bad that I could not even defend, justify or cover their actions. THEIR ACTIONS WERE NOT A PLUS FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST, PERIOD.

Here are my takeaways from this incident. First, if you have an issue with your Brother or Sister in Christ, PRAY! Sometimes we make nothing into something because of some ridiculously petty misconception and misperception within us. If we would pray first, God is able to show us that the issue is within and not without. For instance, if the truth be told, a lot of us are envious and jealous, and spiritually immature to see that when one of us succeeds we all succeed.

Second, be man and woman enough, and GODLY enough to go to your Brother or Sister directly. Often, we have issues with people and they genuinely, sincerely have no idea that there is an issue. One of the reasons this is so is that often our OFFENSE and its reasons thereof are, although real to us, just…well…really…NOT THAT SERIOUS, and furthermore an indication of something wrong in me not them. God will often allow things to happen, not for you to go off on a tangent about someone else, but to show you He has somethings IN YOU HE WANTS AND NEEDS TO DEAL WITH.

Third, IF AFTER HAVING PRAYED, you believe you are to take action, PRAY AGAIN, asking God to give you HIS WISDOM of THE WAY AND THE WHEN of how to deal with the situation. Sometimes, HIS WISDOM IS THAT YOU DO NOTHING. Why, because He wants to work it out Himself. Or you MAY NOT BE READY TO CONDUCT YOURSELF PROPERLY. Or the other individual IS NOT READY TO DEAL CORRECTLY WITH THE SITUATION. Timing is critical. All premature births have decreased chances of uneventful delivery and full-term survival. This is a life principle not mutually exclusive to the natural event of childbirth.

Fourth, be observant. If the incident plays itself out in an arena where unbelievers are involved, REMEMBER OUR WITNESS IS INVOLVED – THEY ARE WATCHING. Jesus, said it so clearly; “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:35, NLT. How we conduct ourselves with each other before unbelievers is a CRITICALLY ESSENTIAL component to the effectiveness of our witness. And invariably it adds to or subtracts from our ability to bring them to Jesus. The world expects (and rightfully so) us to demonstrate the power of God so evident among us that we are able to resolve conflicts among us in a way that supersedes their conflict resolution methods. NOTICE, they do not expect that we will not have conflict; they just expect that we will handle conflict DIFFERENTLY with incredibly better results. Even if that means we agree to disagree. Before the world, that should be done peacefully, admirably, respectfully and lovingly.

Let’s make a determination this year in the Body of Christ that we are going to do better by each other. After all, we market to the world that we have the answers. Let’s not be guilty of false advertisement. Let’s be who we say we are and do what we are called to do. The world is dying, taking an express train to Hell. We don’t have time to fight each other. We only have time to win the battles assigned to us in this war against the enemy. LET’S DO THIS.

Humbly’
Darren E Butler Sr

Be A House of Prayer….

On June 17, 2016 during our church’s Teleconference Prayer Encounter, the Spirit of God dropped an interesting revelation (well at least, I thought it was interesting). He said we often come to our dedicated places and times of prayer, make our request, petition, question and etc., of God and then after we’re done we move on. When we move on, there are times we treat the prayer time as a perfunctory task, not giving any further thought to what transpired between us and God during that time. This is due to a lot of reasons. However, one of them is when God doesn’t respond to us within the context of that particular prayer time. But the revelation that the Spirit of God dropped was “to be prepared for when the conversation continues..”!

Prayer will become more of a rewarding relational reality when we prepare ourselves to maintain an attitude and disposition of expectancy to hear from God beyond our dedicated, specific places and times of prayer. God wants to talk, and at times He does, beyond our “prayer closets”. But we have to condition (and in some instances recondition) ourselves to build a “prayer house” and not just a “prayer closet”. Just like we live in every area of our houses and not just the closet, so it is with how we live with God. You and I don’t ‘live’ in our closets, we live in our houses. The conversation of life extends to the entirety of the house, not just the closet. So it is with prayer and conversing with God. Prepare your heart for the continuing of the conversation beyond your prayer closet. Expect God to speak to you in some of the other ‘rooms’, places and locations of the ‘house’ of your life. Build a house of prayer AND BE a house of prayer. The conversation continues…