Sitting On the Edge of My Seat

Psalms 96:3(NKJV) “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”

As I watched the playoff games over the weekend I noticed how we as sports fans reacted to the ups and downs, highs and lows of the game.  The hysteria and elation as the appearance of winning and losing for the favored team ebbed and flowed. The passion and excitement was so strong and intense.  Those cheering for the same team shared and bonded around their team.

It’s amazing how football brings so many people together from different walks of life. As we all sit on the edge of our seats we share food and an array of emotional outburst. Our team has us unified, beaming and letting everyone know who we support and stand for!

That night before I laid down God truly spoke me. He asked me, “What if you sat on the edge of your seat for me?” I thought to myself what am I doing that God questioned if I would sit on the edge of my seat for Him.

I then asked myself, how about the hours you spend watching your favorite TV shows? Will you begin to spend that amount of time studying the word and being in prayer and meditation? How could I show my passion and dedication to God? Would I begin to share my testimonies and scream about the blessings I have received?

I decided that I must share the good news of my Lord and Savior. God told me that His children should hear and be reminded to come together because of Him. Jesus paid it all.

 

Dear God,

 Thank you for making me stop and think about how I am showing up for you. Lord thank you for the grace and mercy you give me each day. As I start this week help me as I share the goodness of my God. Let me sing your praises and remember that I am on the winning team, as I live out my purpose here on this earth.

 Amen

Strength

Philippians 4:13(NKJV): 13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.

Strength and being strong is something that most of us work towards. We seek strength in a number of ways. Most develop their strength by working out. Others will seek to strengthen their mental mindset to get through life.

As a young girl, and even today, I look at my mother with admiration for her strength and how strong she is. She raised 3 children and helped raise some of her grandchildren while being a single parent. I know at times life is hard for her and we as children don’t always make it easy on her with some of our life choices. I have really have not seen my mother cry more than a handful of times. And, I have never heard her complain about what life was throwing at her. 

When I was young I would ask myself, “Where does Mom get her strength from?” I would also wonder if being a strong woman meant we shouldn’t cry or show emotion when something or someone hurts us. That thinking didn’t come from my mother, she stands in her strength. This feeling about being a strong woman came from society. In turn that made me resent the words “you are a strong woman.” 

I would cringe when someone would tell me I was a strong woman, as if I should be wearing a badge. It wasn’t until I started to re-frame how that statement made me feel and change my response to it that I could receive it more positively.

In my need to understand, I turned to God. I began to really seek Him and talk with Him. He began to show me what strength and being strong really meant. I realized my mother’s strength came from the Lord and her commitment to Him made her strong. My walk with my God has allowed me to face each victory knowing there would be more challenges ahead. And yes, I am strong with Him!

 

Dear God,

Thank you for Your continuous grace and mercy.  You have made me and my family strong.  When this week gets tough please let me be reminded where my strength comes from. I owe You all the praise and glory.

Amen

Resolution with God

 

Psalm 51: 10 – 11(KJV): 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

New Year’s resolutions are something that I usually break within the first 3 days of making them. This year I am going to change the narrative of that story. But before I start, I have to figure out what happened in past years that caused me to break goals I set for myself.  Is it that most of my goals are superficial? Maybe the goals I make aren’t realistic for me to achieve?

As I have this personal pity party the answer becomes clear to me. I have been making resolutions about me and what I will do.  This has been done in isolation without speaking to God and asking Him for His guidance for the year.  So, this year as I embark on a new resolution in partnership with God I will have to really be open to change, be fearless, and really put all my trust in Him. I will have to make sure that I will not make things my will, but His.

So let me be vulnerable for a second. I have been writing this blog because I had truly been led by God to do so.  Then I decided to stop blogging and start writing a book.  That’s when everything got messed up. I derailed from what God wanted me to do to focus on my own personal goal. When I tell you I had writer’s block it was like to the 10th degree. I was praying and asking God what happened to our line. He asked me as clear as day, “Who told you to write a book? I told you to start a blog and allow Me to use you to reach people.” So to start 2018 off right I have to totally and completely surrender to God.

Dear God,

Thank you for the many blessings you gave me in 2017. You are truly an amazing and powerful God.  Lord, as I start this week I ask that you be with me every step of the way and guide my path.  As I reflect on last year I  ask that you help me be obedient to Your will for 2018. 

Amen

 

 

It Gets Better

better-2

1 John 4:4  – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Have you ever thought back on your life and wondered how you got through it all.  Especially thinking about life as you were growing up.  From kindergarten on, life was at times filled with difficult things. 

I remember as a child I thought life is just not fair on so many occasions.  At times I was happier than I could ever imagine and there were those times when I was hurt, sad, angry and in despair.

As a mother I often see myself in my children.  I can relate to some of the issues they face. Things like being teased, trying to fit in, or just simply not understanding some of life’s many challenges.  When they come to me with sadness, anger, hurt and tears – I see a reflection of me.  I always stop, take the time and listen to them.  Their sorrow is real.

After listening, I tell them if I could go back in time I would tell my younger self – life gets better. As you take each issue that life throws your way you get stronger and wiser. My son asked, “what would you tell yourself now mommy.”  I responded with. “I would tell myself  don’t lose sight of your true passion.”  I let them know that even as a child and as they grow up,”with God all things are possible.”

Dear God,

Thank you for always seeing me through life’s many challenges. I  ask that I will not lose sight of the reason I am here on this earth. Also please give me the words to say when encouraging my children and others.

Amen

Breaking the Addiction

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV):  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Addiction…the sound of it makes you conjure up images, people, things you have seen, believed.  When you think of addiction what is the first thing you think of? Do you have an image of another person, yourself…  Most people may have thoughts of drugs or alcohol. But there are so many other types of addictions.

It’s easy to think of what seems to be most prevalent or should I say most talked about.  How about sex, shopping, food, smoking, TV, cars, sports, gaming, video/electronics and lately even an addiction to Facebook.  One of the things I and others do is pass judgement or point the finger.  I know you don’t do that, but every now and then I run into folks who harshly judge those who suffer from addiction.

We tend to look at them and with a less than compassionate tone think or say “what’s wrong with him or her.”  Instead we should be asking the question “what happened to him or her to get them to that point?”  We all have things that might haunt us and show up in our lives. Sometimes it is those “things” that make us look for solace, peace or satisfaction.  You might think how do I know about any of this.  Well, I used to be one of the people who had an addiction to shopping.

Yes, I would shop with money and sometimes without a dime.  I had a card.  I had a problem is what I had.  I dealt with life challenges by spending money.  I shopped in and out of season.  I shopped until I got tired or until the stores closed.  I would buy things for myself.  It was always the sale that would put me in a position to not have to spend full price later.   It was always the thing that didn’t cost so much for one of my children, a family member or a friend.  It was a beautiful thing as long as I was out and about shopping.

When I got home and sat still long enough to think the day over.  I realized I walked into my house and the same issue that hung over me when I left was still there.  Unfortunately it was not by itself, I had spent so much money that I got double for my troubles. I would ask myself, “why did you spend all of that money?”

I found that no item of clothing was going to take away the issue. I might look good in the outfit, but I was hurting on the inside. It took a while but I began to pray.  I needed something inside to be healed.  I needed an answer.  When I began to walk and talk with God my burdens my addiction began to be broken. It seemed that one day I was in the valley and before long I got off my knees from praying and I truly was set free.  I felt free from worrying about the issues of my life.  I knew that everything would be alright in God’s time not mine.  I knew that I was wonderfully made for something greater than what I had become.  I wanted to live, walk and talk in the purpose that God had for me.

I know that other people might struggle with other addictions and it is easier said than done. But this one thing I know for sure – if God be for you who can be against you?

 

Dear God,

I just want to say thank You for saving me. I just want to pray for those who might be struggling with breaking an addiction. That You will wrap Your loving arms around them and lead them to support and resources to help break their addiction.

Amen

Praise Him

praise

Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

Praise is what they do…that’s what I thought about adults in the church as a child.  Growing up I would hear women and men talk about the goodness of God and what he’s done for them. I thought now why are they talking so much and who needs to know.  They called it testifying.

As I heard those testimonials people would weep, cry out loud and sometimes do a little dance.  At times I would even see people run around the church screaming about what God has brought them through or how good God is.  The reality is – it wasn’t just at church. I would see my mother, grandparents, and other family members having the same reaction at home. Just think people at home praising God. It would happen based on a conversation at the dinner table, listening to a song or singing (which we always did a lot of) as a family.

Now, praise is what I do!  As I’ve grown older I find myself doing the same things.  Now my children are looking at me saying “Mom what’s going on? Why are you shouting and crying?  Who did something to you?”  But when you see the goodness of God work in your life and other people’s lives all you can do sometimes is scream Hallelujah!  Too, I might even break out into my dance to praise and worship Him.

I often tell them if you can shout and go crazy when your team makes a touch down, makes the basket or scores the point passing the goalie that is good. It shows that your team has had an opportunity to take the lead or catch up. In the end they may even have a victory of winning the game. But realize it is a game.  One of many you will have in life.

As I speak to them, I want them to know there is nothing in this life that comes even close to the victories you can have in Christ Jesus. I want them to know that every breath that they take, step that they make, wiggle in their wobble is all because of Him.  As they mature and grow they see me, their grandmother, aunts and uncles continue to shout and praise God at what may be the weirdest times.  As they experience God in their lives I pray that they have that same reaction for God.  As they think and see what God will have brought them through and what he’s done in their life I am sure they will praise Him in their own special way.

What am I saying, just like you don’t care when people look at you weird when you’re shouting at a game, you shouldn’t care when the Holy Spirit consumes you and you just feel like dancing. Praise is what we are required to do and it is what I do.  The word of God says in Psalms 35:28 And my tongue shall speak of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.  To God be the glory for He is worthy of all praise and worship!

 

Dear God,
Thank you for waking me up today and giving me the spirit of celebration. I truly feel blessed and am shouting hallelujah for the things that You have brought me through. I know You didn’t have to, but You did. My prayer is that I will continue to praise you and that my praise will be infectious to others. That I will never be ashamed of my testimony and that I will share about the goodness of You all my life.
Amen

 

 

You Never Know

helping-hands

Matthew 25:35 KJV – “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:”

I had an experience as a young child that has had a lasting impact and I will never forget it.  Years ago I fed people who were hungry in the park with my mother and sister on Sunday’s. We would go to church and then quickly leave to prepare for service in the park. We would have a church service.
 
On Saturday my mom would plan and prepare food for those she knew would be coming to the park on Sunday.  It was important to her for the food to be nutritious and good.   You could see that for many they needed a hot Sunday meal. That was always the best part of Sunday for me.  I could see the smiles on people’s faces and the relationships that were built in Christ.  It was powerful to see people Sunday after Sunday giving their life to Christ. It’s an image permanently placed on my memory wall.   
 
I was always told to treat people the way you want to be treated, because you never know where you could end up. I’m only saying that because just like I saw people in the park, some of whom, didn’t have a home I found myself in the very same place in my life. My mother had gotten blacklisted and couldn’t get a job and we lost everything that I knew of or thought mattered. We were only homeless for a couple of months but it felt like a lifetime to me.  During that time it was just me and my mother.  We had each other.
 
Our relationship with Christ grew stronger and our relationship as mother and daughter grew even stronger. There were moments when I wanted to cry but I didn’t want to feel that in front of my mom. I wanted to be strong and be a support to my mother. I had seen her sacrifice so much for me and my siblings.  Struggling to make ends meet as a single mom and make it in a city where being single is not always that easy. 
 
She put God first and then family. She always told me to pray my way through stuff and that’s what we did. People never knew what the smile on my face really hid.  I had a secret.  They didn’t know my story.  They didn’t know how hard it was and what I was going through.  But, God knew. I had my Lord and Savior right there comforting me. 
 
When I no longer had my home, my room, my bed, I had my God.  So when you are out helping people that you view as less fortunate remember this please; do it from a humble place, a gracious place, a loving place.  A place where they see God through you. And know, that they will not always be in that situation. And be mindful, that things could change and you could be in there very shoes.

Dear God,
Thank you for the grace and mercy You continue to show me each and every day. As I go through this day please allow me to show your love and kindness through my actions towards others. I pray that I will step out of  my comfort zone and help someone in need. 
Amen