Seeking First: God or Mammon?

Last night, Paul Ockmond responded to a post I made several days ago. Actually, it was a picture of the registration of a business established by Winston and Ockmond; Wheel and Deals, the former location of Dirt Cheap. Ockmond came to the defense of his busiess partner, Ben Winston by saying "what Ben does with Wheel and Deal is none of my business." On the contrary Paul, if Winston is using his business while trying to defraud the city, it is my business. As you know, Winston is grasping for straws; trying to change regulations to suit his needs. For example, he's trying to file a HubZone application, knowing they are designated for small businesses, not municipalities. Adlerwoman at Large, Cora Rogers pointed out this fact at the last board meeting, but Winston said "we have a city attorney and he would tell me if the application is wrong." Well, anyone that regularly attends the board meetings know Lindsey Carter rarely instruct the mayor and board on violations of the law and Winston is counting on his continued silence. Winston has also brought in John Shavers to process a 1033 grant applicaton and that grant is supposed to be processed either by the Chief of Police or a Sheriff. The fact that Winston is waiting to get correction from the city attorney seems to be one of those little foxes that destroys the vine. As long as the city attorney remain sient, Winston has deniability. As Isaid time and time again, ignorance of the law is not a defense. The guidelines for these programs are clearly outlined on the internet and anyone with any ability to comprehend what they read can see that the HubZone and 1033 grants that Winston is trying to push through are not getting process properly. There are those that have come to the defense of Winston, saying I'm too harsh or too negative. The things I post may be harsh but a far from negative. What I'm posting is the truth and as a minister, Winston should know that God don't need us to lie to get a blessing. Contrary to what some believe, I want this city to grow and prosper but I don't want our city to seek relief based on a foundation of lies. When Ockmond reponded to the post, he said he and Winston did not own the Dirt Cheap buidling prior to its closure. He said he purchased the building after Dirt Cheap closed and was using it for an auction site. After six months, he said he sold the building to Ben Winston; but the paperwork shows that he and Winston were both business partners when the business was established. After his response, I asked Ockmond why would he purchase a building and use it for 6 months? The owners were looking to lease the building for 6 months. Why didn't you lease the building instead of purchasing it? Ockmond responded, but not to the questions I posed. Ockmond then went on a tirade saying that Ben was more important than me because he paid more taxes. As a matter of fact, Ockmond said he paid $7,000 in taxes this year and "Ben will pay more in taxes this year than you made in a lifetime." Really Paul? I seriously doubt that but I guess he's drinking the Kool-aid too and trying to imply that I don't work. However, what he did was confirm what many of us already knew, Winston has purchased a lot of the land in the City of Lumberton and there's no doubt that he's paying a lot of taxes but that's because of his greed. Someone posted on my facebook page last night that Ben helped a lot of people and that's he's a good man. I said that very well may be true but the fact that you think Ben is a good man does not mean he's good for this city or county.

During the tirade, Ockmond alluded that I was jealous of Ben. Negative. At this point, Ockmond started defending Winston again, or at least he was attempting to defend Winston. Ockmond said "Ben was a bastard child raised by his grandmother, worked his way through school, joined the navey (I think he meant Navy) and had done good for himself. I know for a fact that Ben has loaned money and helped people and has never been repaid. What have you done? I know that Ben has made mistakes and I am sorry he is not as perfect or as smart as you are." He then went on to say that I needed to "stop worrying about working at city hall" because he owns several commercial properties, houses, land and a mini storage and he would give me a commission if I get him a buyer. Seriously Paul! I must say, Ockmond is not totally ignorant. He said that he could not sell the properties "because of your mess (I guess he meant the blog) and the problem with the city without fund (I gues he's talking about the fact that the city is broke.)" Let me clear up this cloud that Winston and Ockmond continues to create. This blog is not preventing any reputable businesses from coming to Lumberton; it may cause crooks to think twice about coming here, but no reputable busiess or business person will withold investment because they might get mentioned in a blog. Now a business may step back from a city because of a lack of police protection, the fact that the mayor is on televison, YouTube, Facebook looking/souding like Miss Celie after Nettie taught her to read. C-A-T. Cat. But to blame the problems of the city on a blog and not the persons making the decisons to keep Lumberton stagnant is ludicrious. I find it amazing that Ockmond is blaming the blog but for years, he ran me down, gave me gifts and laid on the charm just to get me to post certain stories in this very blog. Instersting.

Another point that was raised during our exchange was the mayor's failure to raise taxes. Ockmond said "Ben can't stop taxes from being raised; that power comes from the board. Also, it is not wise to raise taxes when you are trying to get investors to come to Lumbeton." Okay, you have been to the seminary, I think, but let me drop some knowledge on you Paul. Winston allowed a man by the name of Richard Rose to come into this city, have unrestricted access to pertinent/confidential information in order to calculate a budget for the city clerk. The hiring of Rose was never placed on the agenda and for months, Merlene gave the date when Rose was hired. Eventually, she could no longer support the lie and confessed that she did not have anything to do with that process. At the meeting, it was revealed that Rose was allowed to poll the board to get approved to work for the City of Lumberton. Keep in mind, none of this is recorded in the minutes and Rose was paid $1,200 for his services. The board accepted the budget presented and voted on the matter. Now we all know that this is a code charter municipality and since Winston has three aldermen "in his pocket" so to speak, he can get anything he wants passed or rejected. For some reason, a tax increase was never put on the agenda. Not surprisingly, just the other week, Alderwoman Rogers said she was given one agenda and arrived at the meeting and there was a new agenda. Who's changing the agenda? Who follows the directive of the mayor? It's easy for the mayor to get items removed from the agenda; it's not within the scope of the laws goverening a code charter municipality, but it happens. You said that raising taxes keep investors away. Why are you two still buying land/buildings/propety? Do you think you can hoard all the land and then jack up the price? Scratch a lie find a thief. What's running away investors is the lack of a police protection and a board that is not willing to make the tough decisions. For the record, the last time taxes was raised in Lumberton was 8 or more years ago. If raising taxes prevent investors from investing, why didn't the investors that were already in Lumberton stay? During those 8 years of no new taxes, Cooper Industries closed, Land O'Lakes closed, Custom Pre-cast closed, Dirt Cheap closed, Entex left the city and State Farm moved to Purvis, where the taxes are higher. So, if low taxes was such a draw, why didn't it keep the businesses that were keeping Lumberton viable in Lumberton? It takes a special kind of idiot to believe that Lumberton can sustain serivces with one grocery store, two dollar stores, two gas stations, three resturants and a doughnut shop. If it wasn't for our school system, we probably wouldn't have a bank. Paul didn't respond after my last post, as a matter of fact, he deleted his respones but I saved them via screenshot. However, he did end his comment with the scripture Hebrews 10:30.

"For we know him that hath said, Vegence belongeth to mme, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people."
I responded and advised Paul that he should read Matthew 7:22-23.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
In the words of Kenya Moore, don't come for me unless I send for you. You two say that you are men of God but who is your true love, God or mammon?

These familiar words of Jesus speak of two entirely different patterns for living. Jesus contrasts, "serving GOD," over and against, "serving MAMMON." He says, "You must do one or the other!" He contrasts, "seeking first all these things," with, "seeking first God." Jesus is really telling us the difference between living in the kingdom of God – living in a relationship with God Himself -- and living as one in this world.

If you read His words, you easily come to see that Jesus is NOT talking to unbelievers. He does mention unbelievers as, "the Gentiles." But his message is not addressed to them. His entire message is for Christians – for those who are able to address God as, "heavenly Father." Thus, we dare not assume that if we are saved that we are automatically serving God. No. It is entirely possible to be saved, but to seek first, not God, or His kingdom, but to seek first the things of this world. You can indeed be a Christian, and yet, be serving MAMMON.

Jesus is talking here about the REASON for which we are living. Are we living for the eternal, or for the temporal. What we DO will, of course, follow suit, but what is the inner drive that motivates us? Is it God – His will and His kingdom – Christ in us? Or do we say we are a Christian, yet live exactly like someone who isn’t?

Comments

  1. Well, That is great I don't know who died and appointed you judge. You quick to put down someone faith but I don't see Jesus in you. You put down my size and said other things about me was that necessary to prove a point. The last time I looked at you I didn't see anybody that was tall in fact you are as wide as you are tall. Someone once told me something that helped me at lot and maybe it will help you, "you are not responsible for what other people do God will judge you by what you do." When you ran for office how many votes did you get? You have a lot of people that read your blog because they like gossip but when it comes down to voting for you that is a other question. You do have a great talent but you are not using it for what God had in mind. Like you I would like to see better days for the city. I thank you for any hell you can give me in selling my property. No, I don't buy cheap and sell high. I do want to make a profit is there anything wrong in that. Like I said I will sell below market value so for I can't find anyone to invest in Lumberton.

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  2. Jesus died that I might have life and have it more abundantly. I don't judge, I'm a fruit inspector. Maybe you don't recognize the Jesus in me because they're traits you're not familiar with. I don't need to judge because we all must go before the Throne of God. I find it amusing that you would infer that I'm a heathen but ask for my assistance in getting rid of your property. There's nothing wrong with making a profit. It's the American way. You claim to be a Godly man but based on your comment, you're speaking like any Joe in the streets. I will never hang my head or feel shame for not getting elected. At least I had the courage to enter the race. I didn't get your vote but I got your attention. I guess I should take solace in knowing that you're scraping for things to say since you made a reference about my weight. Apparently we both suffer from greed but I can adjust my appetite, can you?

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  3. You are right I should not stoop as low as you and make fun of people and talk about your physical shape. I ask forgiveness for that. I didn't ask for your assistance until you volunteered your service. I just wanted to prove a point to you that it is hard to sell property in Lumberton. No body in his right mind would want to come to a city that is so divided. No, I am not trying to speak like Joe on the street if I was you wouldn't be writing about me. Praise God! He has giving me a new life without revenge in it. I don't know why you are fighting a battle that you can win. All doing is giving people another reason to stay away from Lumberton. Wait till next election and see if people change there mind about you. You have the knowledge but you are not using it for your best interest. If all you say is half right you should have no trouble convincing people you should be the next mayor. I am 72 year old I know what I am and I don't have to prove to you who I am the only one I have to accountable is God. Greed may be your but that not mind I never want to be a millionaire and yes, God has blessed me to bless other. If everbody was broke who would give to missions, the poor, the church, ect. Having money made in a honest way is not a sin it when you make money your God that's when it becomes a sin. I have never put money before God or people. I will pray that someday just because we disagree on some things that we can still be friends. Me blaming you and you blaming me for the city problems won't get us no where. Until God's people who are called by His name have unity nothing will happen in Lumberton. It is out of man's hands it will take a miracle from God. As a favor to me, after you think you got enough mileage out of the pictures of myself and Ben's please take them off your blog and face book. I have watched and read some good news you have publish you have the gift to be a good reporter or what every you want to be. Don't waste all your time printing trash. You are a better person than that. The only thing that concerns me is the way Lumberton keeps on going in the wrong direction. If you feel in your heart that you are doing the right thing and that your blog will bring people together and investors to come to Lumberton than I will support you in everything you do but first make sure what you doing is bringing people together. My God doesn't want people divided. How about your God?

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  4. OMG, Is Paul really a man of God. Lord I don't understand these Men of God. Paul is crazy. What the World.
    Do these people really read and listen to the videos. You are not making up this stuff up. Lumberton Informer please run for something. People will vote for you this time around. We are so tried of the BS!!!! The complete City Hall need to be cleaned out. We need a new begining. Put out the old and start with the new. It's some great people here in Lumberton but we elected the worst of the worst. NO fire department, no police department, no planing and zoning, no garbage truck, no city workers, and can't read water meters. I really think they are tring to run the city off the water bills, that's the reason people water bills are so high and they know this. All of this took place with the new board. So City of Lumberton think about this.

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  5. Paul please go back and have someone read this blog to you because I don't think you know what the Hell is going on or check and see if you have Alzheimer Disease because something is wrong with you. NO MAN OF GOD SHOULD SOUND LIKE THIS!!!!!!

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  6. Mrs. Ockmond please get your husband check, something is wrong with him.

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  7. We are in the third grade Lumberton Informer, Paul is name calling. I guess he need some time out. LOL

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  8. Paul said all of this and what??? He need help.

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  9. Wonder if Paul think the LORD GOD is pleased with him.

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  10. Now who is Paul Ockmond serving?????

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  11. Paul is not the best looking man and he had the nerves to take about someone. One step from crazy.

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  12. Lumberton Informer watch your back for black, white, male, female and children. I will be praying for you because crazy is on the loose. The devil is angry.

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  13. Lumberton Informer I think you mess up a business deal for Paul Ockmond????

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  14. Informer I guess you stepped on some toes or business deal.

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  15. I think Paul is ok he came back with a better post. God help him

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  16. I didn't start reminding Mr. Griffith about his physical shape until he wrote about my physical shape and that I was like a little dog. When I say something I do hide behind "anonymous". You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know there are things wrong with our city government. This is the last time I will say this you can't get people out of office unless a felony offence is committed. Before the people from the label "Anonymous" start to bash me read all I said on the blog and in facebook. I don't wish Mr. Griffith any harm in fact I praise his gift as a reporter but I think (and that is my opinion) that some of the things he write on the blog helping the city image. Mr. Griffith He wrote a beautiful article about Pastor Peters that was very positive and that's what we need more of. I have no business deals working all I want to do is sell all my investment properties and retire for good this time. I don't agree with one of the anonymous who said that the devil is angry. No, He is alive and well happy that so my people are divided and talk about one another instead of praying for them. If I am wrong pray for me and I will pray for you if you are wrong. someone said I am crazy and that may be so for trying to give my opinion on a blog or facebook that is one way.

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  17. At least Paul was man enough to post how he felt. Ben, Kent and Jay always have bad things to say about Jonathan and the blog but they never say how they feel bc they're cowards. People may not like what Paul said and it makes one wonder what type of minister he is but he stood by his feelings. I'm sure Paul is not the only minister to have harsh words about the Informer. I'm sure Bishop Burns felt the same way at one point. Birds of a feather. Keep saying what you want to Paul. I wouldn't want you as my pastor but I'm sure Al Young is very proud of you for putting that wide so and so in his place even if for just a moment. Remember get angry but sin not.

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  18. Paul was wrong and no need to crawfish now. The best thing done by the Informer was the inclusion of videos from the meetings. These people are acting like he's making up this stuff. It's happening every month. If you think the videos are fake then go to the meetings. I hate how this is turning out. We want to blame the messenger and not the message. If any minister is supporting Ben and Paul, it's because they're getting money from them. I'm praying for John John and I pray that the people of a Lumberton open their eyes.

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  19. Paul you all over the place (lukewarm). That's not a good place to be give me hot or cold

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  20. I am not trying to crawfish by say this, I thank you John for not blocking what I said I had enough of debating with him and his fan club. It open my eyes to new world. I pray that someday, somehow we can see Lumberton put back together again as God would want it to be. until than all we have is hope for a future which only God knows.This will be my last comment on the subject on who knows what is best.

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  21. Check and see if Paul Ockman came by his fortune by himself.I heard otherwise.

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  22. It's amazing how the City of Lumberton's Ministers are Mr. Winston, Mr. Ockman and Bishop Burns feel about a person. Do they call each other on the phone or do they have a meeting place and what other Ministers are in this. Kent, Jay and Tommie are part of the problem and Mrs. Rogers doesn't have a clue. What a City! Churches on every corner. Now I see why.

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  23. I'm not sure why Bishop Burns is getting mentioned in the responses. I don't censor the comments, unless they're totally off base. However, I would appreciate it if readers refrained from lumping him in a group with Winston and Ockmond. I once attended his church and he is far from political but he always prayed for the city and all levels of government. I can see a response about Winton because he chose politics over pastoralship. Paul responded because I posted a copy of paperwork from his business venture. You may know something I don't but unless he respond or is mentioned in the post, I don't think Burns should be lumped into the same category as Winston and Ockmond. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

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  24. I would like Paul to clarify what he meant when he said "if I were you I wouldn't blog about me." Was that a threat? Preachers love to use the scripture touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm. The fact that Jonathan is not honored in his town, one can say he fits the profile of a prophet. I really hope Paul will clarify his statement.

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