Tuesday, November 6, 2018

No more labor...

"Labor" means work...and it doesn't always have to be physical work you know...it could be your mind! I have the tendency to do just that...overwork my mind. Thinking, thinking...trying to resolve things in my mind over and over, trying to think ahead, trying to understand things that are unreasonable, trying to figure out why folks do what they do, thinking, thinking...until sometimes I am pooped! I'm sure I'm not the only one guilty of that...

 My point is this...I am slowly learning that all that over time that we put in does not do us any good. When you do over time on a physical job at least you get extra pay...but when we over work our minds all we end up getting is extra headache, stress, anxiety and even anger. It's not good...at all. 

There are many scriptures about how we are not suppose to be anxious or worry, but one of my favorites is this: "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" (Matthew 6:27 NLT) Now that is TRUTH right there, in fact, worrying, over thinking, stress and anxiety can be a hazard to your health. Dutch author and speaker Corrie ten Boom once said "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength." How true!

 So today if you are over working your mind, thinking about things that you can do absolutely nothing about, or about things that have not happened, or about things that get you upset inside and out...Let...It...GO... Let's stop laboring in our minds and with God's help learn to rest in Him. It may take some time to get into the habit, the thoughts will come, but each time, even if it is hundred times a day, gather them all up and give them to Him. Be at peace my friends.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Stop the Nonsense!

Sad to say...the way I see how some of these "ministries" are going, there is cause for alarm. I usually don't post on subjects like politics and "religion" because I know that it can get some people's goat a'goin' and this forum is not for debating purposes I believe and I don't have the time, so I usually stick to MY experiences...sort of safe that way :-D So consider this post to be about MY experience ok?

 It grieves me deeply to see how some ministries have turned from their Biblical purpose and instead have made it into a Business. They appear to have the same organizational setup as the successful "pyramid" type businesses that are so popular.

 To me...it appears to be all about success being accomplished by the number of attendees, the size of the buildings, and the entertainment atmosphere created during the worship. Some go as far as to have personal stylists for their leaders, thinking they should be fashion conscience and trendy in order to "relate" to the people. God help us! Before I go on, let me make this clear...I am not bitter...I am not writing this with "church hurt". I am healed, I am whole, but I am TICKED at what I see going on in some so called churches and ministries. I just read where one "ministry" was having an event to honor their leader and the leader commented to a "celebrity" attendee that "This event is suppose to be about ME, you're not suppose to be looking better than I do." This may have been said in jest, but has it really gotten that far? When did looks start to matter instead of the example you set for the people?

At this point I believe that it is out of control and will take a mighty move of God on the hearts of man to turn this tom foolery around. But man has to first be WILLING to change. Micah 6:8 says we are to "do justice, love kindness and WALK HUMBLY.." before God. To do what is RIGHT in the sight of God according to His Word, to be KIND instead of just going about the Business of ministry and to be HUMBLE instead of haughty and prideful. THAT is what is good before our God... That is what is good for the people that are desperately searching for the Truth and the Love of God here on the earth.

 I don't consider this a rant, but a cry from my heart for us to get it right. It is time to put away the nonsense, repent from the prideful, deceitful, competitive spirits that are controlling and turn to God the author and finisher of our True faith. He will lead us into ALL Truth, He will show us the error of our ways, He alone is to be worshipped, not man...

Father God, I come to you this morning with a heavy heart for what I see going on in the church world, we have become followers of man instead of followers of You. Help the leaders to see this error and to turn away from allowing the sheep to follow them instead of leading them to You! Expose the evil, reveal the pride and sin, wash us clean so that we can be about YOUR calling and purpose instead of our own personal agendas! Forgive us, cleanse us from unrighteousness and in your mercy give us another opportunity to get this right in Your eyes! Help us to "see" with Your eyes and to feel with Your heart and to put aside our wicked ways...help us before it is too late...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Heavenly birthday...

Every year I say I'm not going to post on my late husband's birthday, October 22nd. I mean folks are probably tired of hearing my tribute...but then I remember that we should "give honor to whom honor is due" and though he has been gone for almost 17 years, his life has had such an impact on me that it seems sometimes that he was just here not that long ago.

 My husband was a quiet, humble man, with a dry sense of humor that always made me laugh out loud when he on occasion made a really funny remark. I think that is what made the remarks so funny, because they came so rarely and it was done with a serious face. 😊

 After receiving Jesus as His Lord and Savior, he became a man that loved God first, me and his family even more with a passion that increased with each day of his life. He was a teacher of men and did it every opportunity he got. He was a "Fisher of men" whether it was taking the men from his job on a deep sea fishing trip or hosting up to 20 men for breakfast and always sharing with them the Good News of salvation.

 When he passed I felt as if it was too soon, that he had so much more to accomplish, but...now when I look at our son, hear his voice with the same deep bass tone...when I hear him speak of his passion to reach people with the love of God, when I hear our son pray with even more fervor for the needs of others, when I see how our son loves his wife and his children...I am reminded of my husband and I say silently and in my heart "You did it honey, with God's help, you accomplished what He had for you here...the legacy goes on."

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday afternoon thoughts...

Afternoon coffee (decaf as always) on the back porch...

 "Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits..." Psalms 103:1-2

 GRATEFUL = A. appreciative of benefits received B : expressing gratitude (Merriam-Webster dictionary)

 I am truly grateful how the Lord has kept me all these years. I would have given up a very long time ago, but He has been so faithful to keep me going forward.

 I remember reading a book by a widow many years ago and the most important thing that she could have written were these simple words "You will not always feel this way." The words leaped off the page and into my heavy heart and I could almost feel it becoming lighter.

 The grieving process is a long journey, but the important thing is that somehow, some way... God gradually exchanges the bruised and broken heart for a newer stronger one.

 You will never be the same after a loss, whether it be through death, divorce, loss of a relationship or even a good job, BUT if you allow God to escort you through the process, you will come out better, wiser, stronger.

 When the wounds of brokenness are fresh, it is so hard to believe that you will feel any other way; but just as it is with a fresh wound on your body, the pain can be unbearable for a time, but gradually the healing comes and one day there is a scab, then the scab falls off. A scar may remain , but it is only a reminder of what was...you remember the pain but it is no longer physically there.

 We will always remember our losses...but the choice is ours...will we allow our losses to keep us from going forward, or will we be GRATEFUL for having come through the pain, the fire, the brokenness in to a new day to celebrate God's faithfulness? The choice is ours.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Breaking up the Fallow Ground...

“Break up your fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns..." Jeremiah 4:3

 Fallow ground, for those "city" folks that may not know much about farming or gardening, is ground that has been left untilled, unplowed or as the dictionary states, dormant or inactive. Such was the case of the little raised garden bed that my son and grandson built over the summer. The project was sincere and exciting, but between the summer heat, and the busy-ness of life, finishing the summer planting got put on the bottom of the list.

 We started off with a bang; had a meeting with an expert home gardener (thanks Geannine) bought the suggested books, resources and materials. We even added extra protection against the moles, voles and groundhogs; but our energy seemed to fizzle as the season went on and the summer planting season was soon over.

 Every time I would look out the back door to the garden with its one Blackberry bush that my son did manage to plant, I knew that I had to get out there, even though the planting season for the vegetables that we wanted to grow was over, I had to breathe some life into what seemed a failed project. But...before I could plant anything, I saw that the ground, that had sat for so long with no activity or use, had to be tilled and raked. The process was a tedious one, making sure the clumps were broken up, the dead leaves and debris were removed and making the soil pliable for planting took time and energy; but was so worth while after seeing the end results.

 While "breaking up the fallow ground" I was reminded of what the prophet Jeremiah said to the nation of Israel. He was conveying a message from God to them that they could always return to Him (God) but they must first put away their abominations and sins. Sins that had become such a part of them that they must deeply search their hearts and repent.

Speaking personally, I have to take inventory time to time, because sometimes it is so easy to become "comfortable" doing and saying things that at one time you knew that it was not pleasing to God. That is when our lives... our hearts have developed "fallow ground." Those sins have been allowed to sit in our hearts for so long that we really have to ask the Holy Spirit to stir us up and search us so that we can become not only aware but repentant. It takes time but the clumps of stubbornness and willfulness must be broken up, the debris of sins must be removed so that God can plant newness in our hearts so that He can use us for His Glory.

 Fallow ground is 1) Unused and 2) Un-usable. The ground becomes fallow because it has been unused , left in its state and if it remains that way, it is un-usable...useless. We can't let that happen to us. Submit to allow God's Holy Spirit to search our hearts and do the work so that we can have a fresh start for a new season of HIS planting into our lives!

Peace, Peace, wonderful Peace...

PEACE...something that everyone is seeking, something that you can not tangibly hold in your hand and yet... many have fought wars, lost lives and some have chosen to give up and have taken their own lives because of its absence.

 Where do we get this precious sought after gift? Certainly not from man... Some of my most loneliest and un-peaceful times can be when I am surrounded by people, good people...and then some of my most peaceful, comforting times have been when I am alone and in the presence of God's Holy Spirit. Having inner peace is not dependent upon the presence of man, but totally on the presence of God.

 King David knew that having peace is a treasured commodity when he wrote this in Psalms 51:10-11 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me." He knew that God's presence brought Peace and he did not want to lose that.

 Have you lost your peace today? Do you feel empty, lost and restless? It's an awful feeling...been there, done that, contributed to the movie AND bought Tee SHIRTS ! We all have those times...BUT we can not stay there!

 Make a determination today, no please do it NOW, that you WILL get things right with God. Confess your sins, your hurts, whatever is troubling you, make it clear, make it plain. God knows it anyway, but I believe it is good to hear yourself say it out loud (works for me); and King David found that it worked for him too. :-)

 Peace, peace wonderful peace is yours for the asking. Don't live a moment longer tormented, but willingly submit to God who IS OUR PEACE

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Older and better!

Love this scripture, it tells me that if I live a godly life, even in old age I will flourish and still
produce fruit! Now living a godly life is not a perfect life, we all fall and make mistakes, even very serious ones; but if we have a heart like King David, who was a man who made many mistakes but he ALWAYS had a repentant attitude, always willing to submit to God, THEN we can be the”material” God can work with to eventually perfect. We will still be able to produce fruit in our old age! Does that mean still have babies? God forbid! At this age I would probably be more harm to a baby than good...an excellent grandma, but a momma not so much. No, producing “fruit “ all around us, wherever and whenever our presence and influence is operative, we can make things happen for the good in our families, work places, social circles and even in this crazy world.

 We may be getting older, takes us longer to get up and going , may hold up a few checkout lines at the store counting your change and reviewing your receipt, may even cause someone to honk their car horn behind you because you’re driving too slow...but while you’re standing in a room trying to remember what you came in there for...think on this...God has promised that if we follow him, We WILL flourish and be productive even at this ripe old age! So ! Enjoy your day and FLOURISH baby! 💃🏽 Oh! If you’re ever looking for your eyeglasses, check your face first, just sayin’ 😂

Friday, September 14, 2018

Comfort the way I have been comforted...

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Happy Friday everyone! Though I do realize that it may not be a Happy Friday for everyone. While some are rejoicing that its the end of a work week and have great plans for the weekend, there are others that are having a not so good day...it may be their health, a family or financial issue or in the case of some precious people that I know, they are in mourning while preparing to celebrate the life of a passing loved one.

 If you find yourself in one of those situations, I just want you to know that in the midst of all the chaos, heart break and even grief, God sees you. I remember the days following my husband's passing, how I felt so alone in my grief. There were others all around me but to me it seemed as if the world was going on its normal, merry little way as if nothing had happened. "Don't they see what I'm going through right now?" was my silent scream. In the cocoon of my grief, the world seemed to ignore my suffering and go on, business as usual.

 It was not until I finally was able to get to myself in a quiet place and pick up my Bible. I honestly did not know what to read, I felt so lost...but out of my childhood memories came Psalms 23 " The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..." and as I turned to it and read all the verses, comfort began to pour into my soul and I no longer felt alone.

 Can I encourage you today? You are NOT alone in your suffering. God. sees. you. In the millions of people on this planet, He can spot you among them all, holding you in His tender, Holy gaze. I pray that you feel that today, His Eyes of love surrounding and enveloping you.

 I can honestly say that there is so much comfort in reading the Bible. Even if you don't have one, you can easily go online and there are so many translations to choose from. God's Word is True and will bless your heart. If you need comfort, start with the Psalms, and I pray that you will be comforted the way that I was and am.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Get Wisdom...

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7

 Yesterday was the perfect day to sit out on the back porch with a cup of Apple Cinnamon Spice tea that I picked up at Big Lots and it is DELICIOUS by the way (commercial) lol The cool pre-Autumn breeze and the softly falling rain made it just the right atmosphere to sit from the busy and take a gander at life. (Does anyone still say "take a gander"? , interpretation: "Take a look") 🤓

 For just a few minutes as I sipped my tea, in a Fall themed cup (Summer lovers don't hate, I'm trying to hold back as best I can but pumpkins and colorful leaves keep leaking out 🍁🍁🍁🍁 SEE whadda I tell ya !) 🤣 Anyway... I thought about what's really important and I came up with "Getting wisdom". King Solomon of the Bible knew this secret, when asked in a dream what did he want, he requested wisdom and understanding in discerning justice, because he knew that if he had those 2 things, they would encompass the totality of answers to life. God was pleased that though Solomon could have asked for anything, he chose Wisdom. (I Kings 3:1-15)

 Some of the words in the dictionary that describe wisdom are "Insight", "Judgement", "Knowledge" and " the ability to discern issues and relationships." Sure sounds like something I want! In fact, can I get a double portion please (hand raised 🙋🏾‍♀️

 So here's the question...why don't we ask God for more wisdom instead of trying to rely on our own abilities? I mean let's face it, we all, well I'll speak for myself...I.sometimes am a "Know it All" and instead of waiting for God to give me the WISE thing to do, I just jump right in and try to take care of it myself! Yep I've done that, when really all it takes is to just take some time, ask God for WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING in the matter; and most times the solution is totally opposite of what I initially intended to do.

 So basically... (those are the words of my then 2 year old granddaughter when she was explaining why she was in trouble, in fact she would draw the words out like this) "Sooooo Baaaasicalllyyyy" ...we need to ask God for more wisdom. Let me make that personal...I need to get more wisdom, in fact we can never have enough. It makes life so much easier. Let's stop trying to always take matters in our own hands while dealing with only a minimal amount of wisdom and understanding. Let's go for the gold and ask like King Solomon did and have God's answers to life.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Being Still...

"...And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14

 Most of you reading this know the story or have at least seen the scene in the movie "The Ten Commandments when Moses and the Hebrew children have fled the slavery of Egypt and are now at the Red Sea, trapped and impossible to go forward with Pharaoh and his army in pursuit. It is here smack in the middle of impossibilities and no hope that God gives Moses the faith and assurance to speak to the people to not be afraid, to not panic, but stand still and see the awesomeness of God!

 He HAD to tell them to "stand still" because , I am sure that being in a position with your front facing the expansion of the Sea and your back to an oncoming ferocious army, the natural human instinct is to run but since there was no where to go, they probably were running into and trampling one another, sounds about right, right? Well isn't that what we do? When faced with a situation that have our front facing an enormous seemingly unsolvable problem and our backs are against the wall, you feel like you want to panic, hyperventilate, anxiety comes, you run around trying to find someone, anyone... even with just a temporary answer, pulling our hair out trying to figure it all out...THAT my friend is the time to STAND STILL and see the salvation of the Lord.

 God has graciously given us the ability to work some things out for ourselves...but some things...well...it ain't happening until you take your hands off, stop running in place, calm down and trust that God will make a way that seems impossible. Impossible to us, but oh so possible to Him; but like the Hebrew people, we will not see our miracle until we stand still and "see" the salvation of the Lord.

 Well... they must of settled down long enough to see Moses raise that staff ( I LOVE this scene) and the Red Sea opened up and they were able to walk through on dry land to escape and to top it all off, their enemies were drowned! So...Calm down, relax, do not fret but believe that in your stillness, He IS working in His power.

 "Be still, and know that I am God II will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalms 46:10


Friday, August 31, 2018

Effectual, fervent prayer...

Prayer...how important is it? Here's the answer...it is VERY important.

I am sure that all of us at one time or the other have doubted if our prayers have accomplished anything, especially when we don't see the results that we had excepted to see in the anticipated time slot, however let me assure you that God hears every prayer. Prayer is powerful and I believe that it can extend over time and generations. I think our problem is that when we submit our petitions to God, we also try to tell Him when and how to answer it. (I'm guilty too, my hand is raised 🙋🏾‍♀️ 

When I think about the prayers that I know my parents prayed for me, they may not have lived to see all the results, but their prayers were answered. How do I know? because as I have matured, there have been so many times that I have said, "Da, Ma, now I see and understand what you meant." 

When I think of my late husband's prayers, I know that they are being answered even though he has been gone over 16 years. My neighbor recently told me that back when my husband was home on disability, she could hear him praying in the morning after I had gone to work. He was indeed a praying man. To this day, when I am feeling forsaken and missing his unfailing support, I can go into his favorite place to read his Bible and pray, the dining room, and sure enough the essence of all those prayers that were prayed there still hover in God's presence and it comforts and encourages me to go forward.

 So here's my point, don't stop praying folks. Don't give up because you haven't seen the results yet, your prayers are not in vain. I can remember an experience I had when many years ago I was praying for someone and I questioned and doubted if God was doing his "job" and was really on the case. Well He spoke gently to my heart "I AM always working" Now you may ask what does that mean; well it means that God is I AM, He ALWAYS will be and He is constantly interacting in the lives of people because He is not willing that any should perish. (II Peter 3:9) He will ALWAYS do His part, in HIS timing, His way...now the question is are we doing our part? Are we trusting, praying and releasing those people and circumstance in His TOTAL care or are we still trying to finagle our 2 cents in the answer.

 I have said many, many times before, some things we may never understand, some answers we may never see in our lifetime, but we must never give up. We must pray, trust, believe and know that God hears, He sees and HIS timing is perfect for the benefit of ALL that are involved. Do don't give up, hold fast and keep on praying. In His timing those prayers WILL accomplish much

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Giving thanks...

" In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thessalonians 5:18

 Want to hear something funny this Tuesday morning? Well it wasn't funny to me while it was happening but...anyway I have been up all night with a sick dog. My 10 pounder had diarrhea...at both ends...don't know how or why but yep...he had it... bad. Needless to say I never got to bed because I had to be on call for his out door runs (no pun intended) and for clean up for the ones he missed. ugh.

 I went on the internet to find out the causes and home remedies and actually it is safe to give dogs Pepto Bismol (as long as you give doses in conjunction with their weight) and also Pedialyte for dehydration. By then it was only about 4:30 AM and the closest store did not open until 6:00AM! So I had to take him and the little one to sit on the back porch with the backdoor partially opened to give him access to outdoors in case of his sudden attacks until the store opened.

 Ok...since I had to be out at 6AM I decided that with all I had been through I was going to at least get a treat out of it, so I swung by a fast food drive thru for a large decaf coffee. I had it all planned, get back home medicate the dog, we all go back upstairs to bed and I sip my luscious, fragrant hot coffee...

 Well after I get upstairs in my bedroom with the dogs, I go to put my coffee on the nightstand and you all know what happened right? I tend to try to carry too many things at once and the very thing that I wanted the most toppled over and spilled every ounce down... down...down on my carpet...it went bye bye in seconds. My treat, that luscious coffee was GONE! I wanted to cry, even started making the ugly face, but figured it would be a waste of energy, which I didn't have anyway from being up all night. So I just went to work cleaning it up. Several minutes later I turned around and saw (see picture) the sick one resting peacefully , apparently feeling better already... and me...even more tired and coffee less.

 Now decision time: do I get frustrated and complain to myself about being up all night and then not getting MY treat? I mean "Come on God! all I wanted was a nice hot cup of coffee that I didn't have to make for myself!" OR do I be thankful that I had the strength to do it all without any sleep AND my pup is already feeling better and hopefully no more poop and throw up clean ups! Easy answer right? I give thanks!

 Some of you have much more serious things to contend with than this, but the answer is really just the same. Even when you don't feel like it...yep...give thanks.