Reveals he monitors membersâ€™ Facebook
By Chinta Strausberg
Asking his members to turn to Psalms 23rd and to repeatÂ â€œI got a shepherd,â€ Father Michael L. Pfleger said one of the great â€œblessed assurancesâ€ of being a child of God is to know what ever â€œhell is going on in your life, God takes care of his babiesâ€ regardless of the storms in your life but he also warned of goats and sheep that are in the church.
â€œYou have a covering over you,â€ he said. â€œGodâ€™s covering unlike manâ€™s or womanâ€™s covering is unwavering. Iâ€™m glad that God doesnâ€™t have mood changesâ€¦. God takes care of his children.â€ God, he said, â€œonce againâ€ will take care of you and that He is so faithful. There is so much invested in us by God.
â€œWhen God created us, he put all of this talent, and his gift and potential inside of us and then when we were reborn again, we became a walking, living, breathing tabernacle. We became an ark of the covenant because Godâ€™s presence lives inside of us and because God has so much invested in us, he refuses to let the enemies plots, plans or schemes take me out,â€ he said.
â€œYou got to know no matter what the devil tries, no matter how hard he tries, no matter or high he comes at you, he cannot take you out because there is a covering around you,â€ said Pfleger. He had the church to repeat,Â â€œI am in a protective custody and the devil canâ€™t take me out. Heâ€™s keeping me.â€
Referring to Psalms 23rd and how David was running for his life because Saul is trying to kill him, Pfleger said, â€œJealousy makes people do crazy stuff,â€ said Pfleger. â€œDonâ€™t try to play yourself small. Nelson Mandela said one of the worse things you can do is to play ourselves small or insignificant. God made you like this.â€
â€œWhen you are running in situations and circumstances in your life, one of the things you have to hold on to get you through the hell and the high waters of your life is the understanding while you are I the midst of a trial, in the midst of a situation, people may be trying to kill me, destroy me, the devil may be trying to take me out, but you got to understand that you are still in a relationshipâ€ with God. â€œGod is my shepherd and I am His sheepâ€¦.â€
Pfleger cites the beginning of Psalms 23rd where it says, â€œIâ€™m the Lord.â€ â€œHeâ€™s the Lord and if you understand that you are in a relationship with the Lord, He will take care of you.â€ â€œI know you may have Allstate but heâ€™s the real good hands because God takes care of his sheep.â€
â€œWhen you begin to understand that I am the beneficiary of the Lord, when you begin to understand that you are under the care and relationship with the Lord, that will make you shout all by yourself. You can wake up in the morning and something say â€˜the Lordâ€™ and get happy all by yourself in your room,â€ he stated.
â€œAs you grow and mature in life, you go through enough stuff. As a child, you hear about the Lordâ€ from different family members but when you grow up and have your own personal experiences, you thank those who taught you about God and he becomes personal.
â€œThe Lord is now my shepherd, my strength, my joy, my hope. Itâ€™s very personal with me.â€ â€œThe Lord is my shepherd.â€ â€œHeâ€™s everything I need.â€ â€œThe Lord is my shepherd. I shall not. I do not. I will not want. Iâ€™ve got everything I need.â€ â€œYou can take everything else away from me, but you cannot take my relationship awayâ€¦and as long as the Lord is my shepherd if the shepherd is the one who gave it to me the first time, if you take it, he can give it back better than the first timeâ€¦.
â€œWhen everything is intact in your life, thatâ€™s easy to say, but Iâ€™m talking about when youâ€™re in foreclosure. Iâ€™m talking about when the doctor says you are sick. Iâ€™m talking about when you lose your car and you are standing on a bus stop when you can then in the middle of the night scream out â€˜the Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.
â€œThat is when you loosen the faith and let God say â€˜now show yourself strong. Show the good shepherd you are, show what you can do. Iâ€™m declaring it when everything is falling apart. He is still my shepherd.â€
Sheep are different from goats,â€ said Pfleger. â€œGoats will eat whateverâ€¦any old thing. Sheep like to graze on green pastures.
â€œThere are two kinds of people in church. There are sheep and there are goats. Goats have an appetite for anything; in fact, goats have an appetite for mess. They go looking for mess. Donâ€™t blow your cover. Look straight ahead,â€ he told the church.
â€œA gossiper can join the church and within five-weeks find another gossiper to hook up with.â€ He said the same thing is true for liar. â€œThey have an appetite for mess.
â€œGoats hang around trash, eat trash, talk trash, love trash,â€ said Pfleger.Â To the youth, he said, â€œYou can go to somebodyâ€™s Facebook page and find out if they are a goat or a sheep. Adults, you can go to somebodyâ€™s Facebook pageâ€ and do he same.
Pfleger said every week he looks at three or four of his members Facebook page. â€œBoy, have I seen some stuff. I said oh, no, that couldnâ€™t be my member. Theyâ€™re in YAMâ€™s (The Youth Ministry). They are in Future Leaders. They are in the choir. They are in the Spirit of Davidâ€™sâ€¦. Donâ€™t blow your cover. Look straight ahead,â€ Pfleger said to the church moaning and singing â€œLord, I love the Lord. He heard my cry.â€
â€œI found that in Facebook you can really find out what people are up to,â€ Pfleger said. There are two kinds of people in church, goats and sheep, which areâ€¦,â€ he said stopping short of asking which one are you.
â€œIâ€™m here because Iâ€™m looking for some green pastures. God has a strategy for our success. Thatâ€™s why it doesnâ€™t make sense for you to try and figure out your own life. Youâ€™re jacked up enoughâ€¦. God says, â€œI know that if my sheep donâ€™t eat the right stuff and if they donâ€™t lie down and digest it, they wonâ€™t be able to produce the wool that makes them valuable.
â€œThis is the year about the fig tree and producing fruit. Itâ€™s time for the church to become productive. Itâ€™s time for the church to stop being parasites in the world and start being productive. Weâ€™ve got to produce and God knows what we eat and the digestion of it allows us to produce the best of ourselves.
â€œOur production is in direct relationship to what we eat and how much we digest and meditate on it day and night,: said Pfleger. You have to be careful what you eat.
â€œStop eating negativity. Stop eating doubt. Stop eating people around you who are saying stuff you are eating and digesting and planting seeds in you. Watch what you eat. Then when you eat, you have to meditate on the wordâ€¦. God says you have to sit down and chill out sometimesâ€¦.
â€œSometimes you need to chill out, sit down, shut up and listen. Sit down and mediate on it so it gets in you instead of just coming out like the seed is planted on the shallow ground. I need to get this seed planted and rooted so it will produce something inside of you.â€
â€œSometimes in your life, God will sit you down,â€ said Pfleger. â€œYou may not want to, but he knows how to sit you down. Sometimes God will sit you down to let you get to the maturity of understanding. He really knows what he is doing. Sometimes we start to second-guess and question God but God likes to pull us aside and say, â€˜Hold on. Iâ€™ve been God for a long time. Iâ€™ve been God longer than youâ€™re crazy and Iâ€™m good at this thing.â€™
â€œGod says he is being good at being God. Sometimes God will sit you down to let you know that I am God and Iâ€™m good at it. I know what Iâ€™m doing. God has a strategy for your life and for your success. Just chill out and get the strategyâ€¦.â€
Referring to Psalms 23rd when it says â€œHe leads me by still waters.â€ Pfleger said, â€œGod knows that Sheep wonâ€™t drink from running water because sheep are afraid of water. Sheep have a fear of water because they recognize they have not been design to swim. Sheep have short legs and a whole lot of wool and if that wool gets wet, the sheep can flip upside down and drown. Sheep were not made to swim; so they are afraid of running water and running streams; so he said Iâ€™ll make you by still waters.â€
Pfleger made it clear. â€œGod knows the limitations and liabilities of his sheep. God knows what you can handle and what you cannot handle. God know what will make you and what will break you. You have to understand that God knows you. Stop being afraid. Heâ€™s allowed you to go through something so come out of there. God knows youâ€¦your limitations and what you can handle. Trust him,â€ bellowed Pfleger. â€œGodâ€™s got you. Chill out. Godâ€™s got you.â€
Going back to Psalms 23rd, Pfleger said, â€œEven though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.â€ â€œIt gets rough here. We donâ€™t like that. Nobody shouts about a valley and I get thatâ€¦. Is there another way around itâ€? â€œSometimes God will say there is not another way around this. You got to go through the valley because sometimes the valley is necessary for your destinyâ€¦to get you to the place of your destiny.â€
Pfleger said at times the valley is difficult, painful and full of enemies but â€œthere is a reason to get you to the valley.â€ He said the best grass and the purest water is located in the valley. â€œGod says I got get you to go through the pure water and I got to get you to the best grass because around the corner there is something else waiting on you. I got to get the kind of stuff into you that will strengthen and fortify you and make you strong so when the thing ahead of you comes at you, you wonâ€™t be afraid because you got what you needed in the valley in order to handle whatâ€™s ahead of you,â€ he said.
Pfleger said for those who say they donâ€™t know how to pray, â€œwhen youâ€™re down and out and laying out on the ground, you will learn how to pray, how to lift your hands. You will say, â€˜Oh, Jesus, help me please.â€™ Some of us here learned how to pray in the valleyâ€ rather than in the church, he said.
â€œThere are a lot of people in church I call saucer people. The saucer is what catches the overflow from the cup. They donâ€™t want to set an atmosphere for worship. They just want to sit there and get the overflow of the person next to them. So, you go on and pray. Iâ€™ll just be your saucer and catch your overflowâ€¦.â€ â€œYou better not be a saucer. You better learn how to be your own cup.â€
Pfleger said he wants them to be built up strong. â€œThe world in which we live in today ainâ€™t no joke. The devil ainâ€™t playing around with you. The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. The devil has never been more aggressive. The devil has never been more strong. The devil has never had a bigger army out here. The devil has been recruiting and has a huge army out there. He sends his army around you at your jobs, in your homeâ€¦. We canâ€™t play right now.
â€œWe have to have the kind of fight that can walk up in hell and say, â€˜Iâ€™m not afraid of you.â€™ Iâ€™ve been built up by the grass. Iâ€™ve been eating the right Wordâ€¦ Heâ€™s quenched my thirst. Iâ€™m not playing with you. Understand, Iâ€™ve got something in me so strong that you canâ€™t touch me. You canâ€™t hold me. You canâ€™t find me. You canâ€™t control me,â€ he bellowed.
â€œThe army weâ€™re in right now has no time for weak links,â€ Pfleger warned.
To every ministry in his church, Pfleger said, â€œThere is no time for weak links. The devil has set up folk in stuff to destroy stuff, and if you are not connectedâ€¦.â€ He said you have to be strong and say, â€œGet behind me devil. Weâ€™re too strong. Ministries, you ought to be praying a covering over your ministryâ€¦that somebody canâ€™t come in planted by the enemy.â€ He said they must pray to prevent the devil from infiltrating the ministries. He reminded them that they â€œare the body of Christ.â€
Â Like the police who have new helmets in preparation for the G8 meeting, Pfleger said, â€œItâ€™s time for the church to get a new helmet of salvation. Itâ€™s time for the church to tighten the belt of truth. Just like theyâ€™re told that they are going to tear up the city, theyâ€™re going to attack the church because if theyâ€ need to be covered by the spiritual covering of the wordâ€¦. Itâ€™s time for the church to start eating the right grass, drinking the right water.
â€œIâ€™m going to be built up so strong that I donâ€™t have to be afraid anywhere, anyplace, anytime. I build myself up. Iâ€™m ready for this fight. You got to be so prayed up and strengthen up you have to be ready for this fight.
â€œI donâ€™t mind going through the valley,â€ Pfleger said saying the valley teaches you. Going back to Psalms 23rd where it says â€œI will take you through the shadow of death, â€œPfleger said, â€œA shadow of a dog has never bitten nobody. A shadow of a snake has never stung nobodyâ€¦.
â€œA shadow ainâ€™t nothing but a shadow. The devil wants to make you think things are real that ainâ€™t realâ€¦and you get scared, intimidate by a shadow. You have to learn how to stand up on the boardroom of your life and say, â€˜this ainâ€™t nothing but a shadowâ€¦â€ and to tell the devil â€œheâ€™s a loser.â€™ â€œStop being afraid of shadows,â€ he bellowed.
Referring to Psalms 23rd when it says â€œI ainâ€™t afraid because heâ€™s with me with his rod and his staff.Â A rod is both for the sheep and for the wolves because sometimes you may know some sheep that get a little bit beside themselvesâ€¦some say start to smell themselvesâ€¦. You know some sheep you say, â€˜Iâ€™m good. Iâ€™m smart. Iâ€™m degreed. I got a job. They start to get a little beside themselves.
â€œAnybody ever been some sheep who got beside themselvesâ€?
Pfleger called Rickey Harris and used him as an example. Pfleger nudged him with his rod. He asked if they received the word â€œand got spanked by the word. Has the word ever convicted you, made you repentâ€¦. The rod is for the sheep when they get a little off track, a little nudge. The rod is also for the devil and the wolves.â€
â€œWhen the enemies come to close,â€ Pfleger said the rod is used to protect the sheep. He also has a staff with a hook. â€œSometimes sheep just lose their minds and go off. When the sheep go off and do crazy stuffâ€¦getting highâ€¦getting so drunk they donâ€™t now who they are. Iâ€™m talking about sheep out there with friends with benefits. You want me to go closer? I can call names. Iâ€™m talking about when youâ€™re tipping and dipping and sipping and trippingâ€¦.â€
Pfleger said, “The shepherd would put oil on the head of the sheep so as to identify them as being from that sheep foulâ€¦. The sheep would understand I canâ€™t buck heads with you. Weâ€™re in the same sheepfold. Oil was for identification and irritation.
The Sheep were tremendously bothered by flies forcing them to leave the house at times. Pfleger said, â€œThat is why you have to stay walking in your anointing. Donâ€™t step out because as long as you are in your purposes, as long as you are in your destinyâ€¦in your anointing, the flies can come around you but they canâ€™t get at you because youâ€™re protected by the oil.â€
â€œSome of us are tired out from dealing with flies. You have no energy left for your destiny because youâ€™re worn out by he flies.â€
Going back to Psalms 23rd, it says â€˜surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.â€ Pfleger said, â€œGoodness is running after you.â€ He knows that because he had good things happened to him that didnâ€™t make sense. â€œIt was goodness running after meâ€¦keep on blessing me.â€
â€œMercy stepped in and covered youâ€¦running after you when you were running crazy.â€ He asked them to repeat: â€œIâ€™m here only because of mercyâ€¦.
The reason the devil canâ€™t take you out, take me out is because I have two stalkers. One is called goodness and the other is mercy. No matter where I go, theyâ€™re following meâ€¦.. Thank you God for my stalkers.
â€œAnd I will dwell in the house of the Lord for the rest of my days,â€ Pfleger read from Psalm 23rd.
Pfleger said he recently went to a funeral of John Travisâ€™ father who was 92 years old. â€œMy dad was 96. Whitney Houston was 48. My son was 17. It makes no difference if youâ€™re 92 or if you are 48. It makes no difference if you are world-known like Whitney or an unknown like my dad. It makes no difference what you achieve or what you claim in your life.
â€œAt the end of our days, we will all stand before the Almighty Godâ€¦before the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, that is why it was so good that they went to he church yesterday to remind us no matter what you have done in the world, sooner or later youâ€™ve got to come back to Jesus and stand before Jesus,â€ he bellowed. â€œBecause he is my shepherd, one day I will walk the streets of goldâ€¦. One day I will sit at the table prepared for me before the beginning of time.
â€œMy daddy canâ€™t come back to me, but one day I can go back to him and be with my daddy, my mother, my sister and my son. One day I will be with the 24 elders bowing down and taking their crowns and sitting them down. One day, I will join with the angels who are singing holy, holyâ€¦. One day because heâ€™s my shepherd. We shall behold himâ€¦. He is my shepherd, one day I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever and ever.â€
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.