Giving all honor to God, who is the Head of my life…when I allow Him to be!
The truth is that God is sovereign and is the head of all things. God is the creator, The Great I AM and nothing was created except by Him and nothing can be sustained without God. In those truths; God has created life. God has allowed life. And in that life, we are afforded many opportunities, victories, successes, trials and hardships. In that life, we are allowed suffering and happiness.
It causes me wonderment at the amazing life experiences that God affords us. I think if only we could see what He sees. If only we could know what He knows, I’m sure we would be different and I’m sure we would behave differently. I’m even sure we would think different as we see only partial revelation, yet we continue learning, embracing, growing glowing.
I decided to take a few minutes out of this ordinary day and search for life lessons that I would probably pass up if I didn’t take the time to think intentionally about seeing them.
A few life lessons that God is showing me. I invite you to take a few intentional moments and ask, “God what are you showing me right now in my life?” “What life lessons are before me that I’ve been too busy to notice?” Write them down for yourself and email them to me if you'd like to share them. Chances are, I will benefit from your life lessons too! God is good like that.
As always, God loves you and has an awesome plan for your life! That's life lesson worth learning :D
"I Don't Care"
A phrase we've said and heard countless times before. Lately I have heard the response, “I don’t care” repeatedly. Each time, I’m invited to become a bit “miffed” at the person who is saying it. I think, why don’t you care? But I read online earlier, that when I attempt to take nothing personal, I will be in a better place. So, I didn’t RSVP to the invitation to be “miffed”. SN: miffed means irritated or upset. So, I started thinking about why the “I don’t care” answer and attitude. In my opinion, there are some common intentions or attitudes related to the response of “I don’t care.”
I don’t care because I’m impartial and indifferent. I’m willing to accept whatever because it doesn’t matter to me. I have no vested interest in the situation or circumstance, so whatever happens is irrelevant. This attitude carries a detached motive of nothing vested and nothing gained, NEXT, I’m over it. This breeds a life of aloofness.
I don’t care because I have given up hope. The hope I once had has disappointed me and leaves me feeling defeated, maybe forgotten or rejected. This carries a heavy negative connotation of defeat and depression. And can affect one’s well-being. Maybe it’s rooted in fear, fear of being disappointed again and so the person can’t and won’t take the gamble to find out. So instead, they abandon their life to an attitude of whatever in a defeated and a victim.
I don’t care because I trust God. In every situation and circumstance, this person has disciplined themselves to surrender and submit to the Lord because He is sovereign, and they know that He wants what is best for them. So, they can say I don’t care with full assurance that whatever God desires it will happen and they willingly are accepting and ok with that. In this situation, I don’t care means I am living in a place of surrender. My vested interest is in God and God alone. Amen, this is a peaceful way to live.
I don’t care because I’m too lazy to decide. LOL, this could be my motive for my I don’t care. However, due to our humanness, when we answer from the comfort place of laziness, it’s short lived and it turns out that we really do care. That’s proven from our complaining about what happened after we were too lazy to give input or share our desires. This attitude leaves one with regrets and should have’s.
About number 4: I’m discovering that when I don’t offer my opinion or preference, it could be that I’m just being lazy or tired, but it could also be that I don’t value myself enough to think that my opinion or input matters. Or it could be a little bit of both. Nevertheless, I do matter and so do you, and so does our input and opinions. Can I remind you to be confident and fully convinced that you matter. God has his signature on you and that’s why you matter. Psalm 139 in the Bible is my go-to when I’m feeling anything less than lovely about myself.
Psalm 139 (NLT)
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night--
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
When I asked the person why they didn’t care, they responded, “I wanted to know you cared when I didn’t.” WOW, I’ve added a 5.
I don’t care are words from a weary soul that needs to know you care about them. So, tell them that you care about them. Reaffirm them that they matter and that you’re right there with them in the “I don’t care” season they are in. Be a friend. Be kind. Be reliable. Be a listening ear. Be the helper. Be the one who cares.
"I care about you."
As I board a short flight this morning on an airline that has open seating, I’m in the second to last boarding order toward the end of the list, I’m looking at the many people who are boarding before me wondering if I will have to sit in the middle which is my least favorite place to sit during a flight. My first choice is aisle. Typically I would start to be a little anxious and play different scenarios in my mind about things. Today I was like naw, “Jesus will you please save a seat for me?”
As I walk though the plane aisle I see a middle seat in row 2 and think hmmmm that’s doable since it’s toward the front. But, I decide to keep walking. At row 15 I see only middle seats availabile, but I decide to keep walking. I reach row 21 and bam there’s an open aisle seat!
I comfortably take it and greet the woman sitting in the same row next to the window. "Thank you Jesus for saving a seat for me."
In my seat waiting to take off I am reminded of the ongoing life quest to trust the Lord with all the details and things in life. From the smallest, like being able to sit in a preferred seat on the plane to grand events, earth shattering events, like death of a loved one or a wayward friend or child. Big decisions that involve my entire existence like health, money, ministry and relationships.
It may seem silly to use this scenario as an example of a way to trust God. But honestly it’s a love reminder of how much God is with me, and how He knows everything and cares about me, just like He tenderly loves and cares about you. In life, where I sat on today's flight doesn’t matter to any great significance other than being comfortable. Did I get the seat I wanted, yes, on this flight I did. But when I, or you don't get the seat or result that we wanted, we take peaceful assurance that Jesus knows exactly what seat we need and when we need it.
As I’m writing this, the captain made an announcement that there’s a maintenance issue with a door and that we will be delayed, he tells the passengers to sit back in our seats and be comfortable while we wait. Lol! Yes, my seat was saved for me so that even in the delay, I can be reassured that I can trust the Lord with the delay, that He will allow me to arrive where I need to be at the right time. Amen!
May I remind you that Jesus will always save a seat for you. Regardless if it’s a physical seat or metaphorical seat, your seat is secure in Him. Thank You, Jesus that we can trust that You are always mindful of us individually and collectively.
The maintenance problem has been resolved…wheels up!
“Don’t worry, your time is coming…keep praying, keep preparing, keep planning.” These words stood out to me as I half-heartingly scrolled through the plethora of emails in my inbox. I read the words a few times, hoping they would be infused into my spirit and mind, as there seems to be a continual raging war between those two things within me as of late.
When the season is daunting and you want to give up, or in my case, want to ignore the vision that lacks recent confirmation. God allows something as simple as a few words to show up in my inbox to penetrate the dormancy of the vision as a reminder to keep going, and a nudge to keep hope alive. My faith challenges me to believe it’s a love tap from the Lord that lets me know He’s not finished yet, so I shouldn’t be either.
Keep praying. The Bible has a lot to say about prayer. So, with confidence, you can be assured that praying is the preferred method of the Lord for us to reach Him. Prayer is the means that enlightens us to understand His ways and His Word. With that, I want to focus on prayers that were answered in the Bible. From the beginning of creation prayer has been in existence. Imagine, the vastness of God that He hears the prayers of His people. WOW! We can reach the Father’s ear and He is kind enough to reply to our words or tears. Yes, tears are wordless prayers.
In the Bible, we read of testimonies of answered prayers. In 2 Kings 20:1-6, Hezekiah was very sick, and the prophet Isaiah came to tell him, “Dude, with all due respect, you’re not gonna make it out of this sickness.” The King prayed by turning his face to the wall and reminding God of their relationship and how he was with him from the time of his youth. He asked God for additional life. God answered his prayer and gave Hezekiah another 15 years of life.
1 Samuel 1 gives us another answered prayer testimony. This time, it was Hannah who was in despair and needed hope. She was childless and her “sister wife” wasn’t. Apparently, the other wife seemed to find great pleasure in rubbing Hannah’s empty womb in her face. Yet, Hannah continued to be faithful to the Lord be going up to the house of the Lord yearly. Fast forward, God heard her tears and answered her prayers to have a child. God is a prayer answering God! Always keep praying.
If you’re vision isn’t happening, it appears your prayers aren’t being answered, and your faith is wobbly, keep praying. I'd like to share with you that I think praying puts you in a position for God to answer your needs, desires, dreams and so much more. So keep praying.
Back to the original email that sparked this blog. It read keep praying and keep preparing. I take this to encourage and instruct me in the middle of the nothingness, I’m not to get lazy and do nothing. In the “it’s not happening” of the vision, that’s when you prepare even more than if something was happening. Think about it, when things do start happening, you won’t have time to prepare, and you’ll be unprepared. So, thank God for the time to prepare. It’s difficult and counterculture to prepare for something when nothing is happening. But that’s faith in action!
It's in the no movement that you’ll need to be creative and innovative in your preparing to stay motivated in your preparing. But preparing yourself will benefit you when it’s time! Being prepared allows you to fully engage in the arrival and ride of the wave when it happens.
The third directive listed in the email to keep your vision and passion alive is to keep planning. Planning is different from preparing. Preparing is conditioning so that you are ready. Planning is action. What you will do when it happens, what’s next, step by step. Your preparation will impact your plan and vice versa. While these two things are distantly related, they are unique in their impact.
This last directive is one that I added to help myself. Keep pressing! Pressing is left up to one’s own interpretation and one’s own capacity. My most committed pressing might be mild in your scope of pressing or vice versa. So, figure out how you press and to what capacity in your own life.
Pressing denotes consistent work and effort. Press on! Keep going! Keep the work moving. In Luke 8 and in Mark 5, we read of the woman who kept pressing. She had a debilitating condition and she heard about Dr Jesus! Due to the culture of that time, her condition hindered her from having a normal life. Despite, she pressed! She pressed through the crowd to get to Jesus. Not even to see Jesus’ face but to get close to his feet, specifically the hem of his clothing. Her pressing involved groundwork. She pressed until she got behind Jesus in the crowd confident that her contact with Him would be all she needed. Jesus answered her prayer. Her pressing paid off. Interestingly, I don’t know her name, as she was only referred to as the woman with the issue of blood, but she pressed, and Jesus answered her prayers.
Today, keep praying. Today, keep preparing. Today, keep planning. Today, keep pressing. Just for today. Then if the Lord wakes you up tomorrow, repeat until it’s your glory time and you are seeing Jesus, face to face!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Help a sista out
It seems meaningless, and or, it may seem unimportant on the surface and maybe can be assumed that she's unfinished or unkept. I’m referring to a button that isn’t buttoned or zipper that isn’t zipped all the way on the back of a dress or blouse on a woman. Many of us ladies may or may not notice such a thing on someone else’s body, especially if it’s someone you don't personally know, and if you do see that a button isn’t buttoned or a zipper isn’t all the way zipped to the top, you may hesitate to bring attention to it. While, others may instinctively say something and offer to help a sista out.
From my widow’s heart and experience, I can recall many a day when I wasn’t able to fasten the button or zip the zipper to the top because of my own limitations of attempting to do so on myself. Attempt after attempt I would try to complete my look before heading out to pastor on a Sunday morning and failing to be able accomplish such a seemingly simple task. Mostly it was because the job needed someone else who wasn’t wearing the item to be able to do it. After several frustrating attempts to get the hook around the tiny button, or zip the zipper, I surrendered to my failed attempts and left the house undone.
Thank God for Jessica! Often, I would find beautiful Jessica and her family waiting for me at the front door of the church as I was delayed from arriving because I was attempting to fasten the button. Sometimes I would remember and immediately say Jessica, can you please button this button for me? Other times, upon arriving at the church I would completely forget that I was unbuttoned, until Jessica in her soft and reassuring voice would say, “Pastor, let me button this for you.” Grateful, I would eagerly tell her how much I appreciated her assistance to notice and help a sista out! And I don’t want to discredit the times that I left my house completely unaware that I didn’t button or zip my dress and Jessica wouldn’t say a word, but I could feel her buttoning me up. What kindness, what love, what loyalty and what servanthood.
The purpose of this blog is to bring awareness to the numerous women who couldn’t zip or button their own piece of clothing. Each situation has a story behind it. Mine was I was a widow, and I didn’t have a second set of hands that was able to help a sista out. Maybe it’s a single mama who didn’t have a child that was old enough to understand how to push the tiny button through the tiny whole. Maybe it was the working woman who was just so overwhelmed with other things vying for her attention that she didn’t notice there was even a button. And, then there’s the precious and beautiful elderly woman whose fingers don’t work the way they used to, and their flexibility doesn’t allow them to lift their arms to be able to accomplish the task.
Thanks for noticing. Noticing is caring and you may have just helped a sista out!
Can't We all just get along?
Figure it Out and Get Along
As a parent, maybe you can relate to this: you have been given beautiful, precious, and equally adorable children to love and nurture. Yet, the seemingly simple responsibility of these precious ones to get along with each other gets out of sorts, and instead of harmony and unity, they argue, they fight, they rant at each other, they pick on each other, and then proceed to tell you about it. I mean, you’re the parent so you can punish them, right? They believe that you hold the key to making the other one behave and stop the mess. But, at some point in the conflicts, the arguments, the tic for tac of your children against each other, you wonder why they can’t just get along? How hard can it be? They are siblings. Yet, each of them contribute to the conflict by verbally pointing out the things that the other is doing wrong, “He’s looking at me.” “She’s making a face at me.” “Tell him to stop it!” They cry uncontrollably, “Mom, he won’t stop!” While the instigator smirks by sticking out their tongue when you’re unaware. Get the picture? Awe, yes, the sibling rivalry season, always…in season.
As a parent, I think we have all been there and bought the shirt. Obviously, there is an ongoing rivalry between the children, which can breed frustration as a parent as you must witness their conflicts over and over. I mean, they are family, so what’s the problem?? They must be together because they live together, they’re related, and they will continue being in each other’s lives under the same roof, together! Why can’t they just get along??? Perhaps in your frustration you remind them by saying things like, “Come on, do we have to go through this again?” At some point, well, and probably at the point that you have reached your limit, you may scream, “Stop fighting! You guys have to figure it out and learn to get along!”
Fast forward to today, right now in time, our current world where there is severe civil unrest. People fighting to be heard, rioting to express their frustration and violence to express their disagreement with the injustices that keep occurring. Why should we be surprised that not getting along with one another seems to come more naturally than getting along with each other? Think about it, as children, we have learned to not get along with our siblings at home, or our friends at school. It’s been taught to us and almost engrained in us to be at odd with each other, so we shouldn’t be too surprised to see it continue into our adult years. It happened when we were children, until someone in authority, a parent or a teacher, or if you were in a close community, it was someone else’s mama who yelled, “Enough! Stop it, you all gotta learn to get along with each other!”
Can we just be real? It’s the enemy who makes himself famous amongst us by getting into our heads, through our emotions to find ways that divide us. Often, multiple ways, countless ways, big ways and small ways that point out our differences and justifies us defending ourselves with self-righteousness. In the heat of the moment, those evil plots always seem right and take precedence over the option of choosing to figure it out and get along.
The enemy’s tactics to steal, kill and destroy is old, but it still works effectively among humanity, so it continues strong. His divisive ways are often manifested through highlighting the differences between us. Even as children from the same family who share the same experiences and space, find reasons to have conflict instead of finding the commonalities of each other. The truth is we can't on our own figure it out how to get along with each other. We in of ourselves aren't able to effectively look past the differences that divide us. If we could, there would be no need for Jesus.
In the Bible, James 4:7-8, we read these words, “So then, surrender to God, stand up to the devil and resist him and he will flee in agony. Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. At the point of your choice to surrender to God and to resist the enemy, the enemy must flee from you. In his absence, you will have less and less of the reoccurring invitation to look for what divides you from others. And, as you draw closer and closer to God, you will find Him filling your heart with His love and compassion. Which allows us to find and focus on the similarities, the things that we have in common with others. That, coupled with an attitude of humility we will be in a position that allows us to be able to get along with each other!
Love, sweet love, is what the world needs.
P.S. You will never encounter anyone who God doesn’t love.
Yesterday, I saw a woman in the market adding up her grocery bill on her phone calculator. Every item she put in her cart, she added the price to her running tally. I realized that she may be way on top of her finances and she is super organized and sticks to a budget to maintain balance in her life. That's awesome (a bit jealous) :) or, she could be so tight on money that she doesn't have the option to just buy anything and is limited to the bare necessities.
I realized while watching her that God has kept me. There was a time in my life, that I was at the point of the second scenario. Not much money and just trying to feed a family on hardly any funds to do so. The provision of God is powerful.
What season in your life are you in? Can you enter a market and purchase food and pretty much anything you want or need without having to rob Peter to pay Paul? Or, are you on a shoe string budget because of limited funds and just trying to survive??
Without much notice from us, the seasons of life change. Seeing this lady in the market yesterday, reminded me in BIG, BOLD LETTERS that God has kept me. Without much notice from me, but through the prayers and cries of my heart, God brought me through a very hard and difficult season of lack to a season of sufficiency. Sometimes, you don't realize it until you don't have to struggle anymore.
God, You are faithful. You are awesome. God, You're my deliver. Thank you for providing for me when I don't even notice. All glory and honor to Your Holy Name.
God loves you and has an awesome plan for your life!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news that God restored our brokenness with wholeness through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ came to transform lives. My life is counted as one of those transformations.
Transform - verb: to change, metamorphose. To undergo a change, appearance or character. ; become transformed. 2 Corinthians 7:14
Recently, I was asked how I became a pastor. It was a question I hadn't been asked before. It caused me to pause before I could really articulate the answer. That question has remained on my mind and I've begun a quest to find the answer. I mean, the direct, earth shattering answer that confirmed in me that serving as a pastor is what God had for me.
Ready for the answer??? My answer is, it found me. I can't say that at one particular moment in time, the earth stood still and God opened up the heavens with His voice of directive. It was more of a process of walking out life with Him. And through those experiences, He was drawing me closer to Him and transformation in my life and heart occurred.
From what God did for me and in me, I gained a desire to share with others the impact that God has had on my life. The times that He and I shared in despair and in joy, He has been outstanding. The result is a burning desire for all people to experience God in their own life and situations. To move from despair, depletion, defeat and deflation to victory!!!
How does transformation look in your life? What has God done that you want to shout it from the rooftops? Ephesians 4 makes it clear that there is one body and one spirit, but many working parts. So your call may not be to Pastor, but each of us has a call to testify, or tell others about the transforming work of Jesus Christ in our life.
May you be bold and courageous in telling your story of how God has transformed your life. My prayer for you is that God would fill your mouth to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ every single day that there is breath in your body. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Loving a broken man costs. It can cost you your entire being. Not because you want to pay that price, it just happens without much notice and certainly with no intention. A broken man will drain you, depleted you but mostly loving a broken man will assassinate your worth.
You see the enemy of your soul knows that you will exhaust yourself in your attempt to love this man that is so broken from his past.
The enemy knows you are faithful, loyal and your heart is compassionate, so he will allow this man to throw you a crumb of hope every so often. Just at the right time, you know, the time you realize you can't do this anymore. That little crumb has a big price attached to it when you take it. That crumb lures you back into the sick cycle of brokenness which brings more disappointments and doubts.
How can you tell if a man is broken? The obvious signs are often denied so look for the not so obvious ones.
He is emotionally unavailable.
His words don't show up in his actions and decisions.
He says he wants to be a better man, but there's a greater broken part of him that won't allow him to follow through in his want to's.
He's inconsistent. You're not sure of his intentions toward you or your placement in his life. Brokenness is now screaming at you. Can you hear it? And if you do, why don't you accept it?
A broken man will not be able to ever give you what you want, need or desire. Stop justifying him and call it as it is, it's brokenness.
The assignment of loving a broken man is to lie to you. The lie that you will never meet a man that is whole and not broken. The lie is that you will never be loved by anyone other than a broken man. The lie that no whole man will ever find you, let alone accept you and embrace a life with you. The lie is that you can never be a whole man's chosen one.
Here's the choice, stay with a broken man and pay the price or cut the bond between the two of you and close the door. Walk away knowing you tried, you gave, you wanted but only God can put a broken man back together again. A broken man can only leave a trail of heartache and illegitimate feelings behind him.
He's broken, don't allow it to break you.
The Lord will work out his plans for my life--
for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me.
Show Up & Be Present
If you know Jesus, you know Jesus is the answer. But, just because you know the answer, doesn't mean that you know the strategy to convey the answer.
So it is with faith...sharing your faith can be a bit awkward at times and often we go about it in a less than becoming way and end up with everyone involved being frustrated. But through the gift of the Holy Spirit and a relationship with Jesus, we can show love and in doing so, we are showing that Jesus is the answer. Only Jesus can help rescue people, but we can be great connectors to Him.
We who know Jesus also understand that we’re not stable enough to love and accept people on our own. We simply aren’t quipped to unconditionally respect and honor someone who is so vehemently different form us. And truthfully speaking, we will never reach a point of maturity in of ourselves to unconditionally extend mercy and grace to people.
I think by default, we use the less than best strategy in getting our answer, Jesus, to world. There are countless precious people that aren’t in a relationship with Jesus and still continue to be perplexed and burdened by their own sinful humanity.
The best strategy to gain people's respect and attention is to be present in their life and situations and to be a light. Only when we represent the principles and characteristics of who Jesus is, will people want to come to the truth of Jesus Christ.
When we get to know a person first, a relationship forms and through that relationship, can the process of coming to Jesus begin in their heart. And let’s be real, who’s gonna pass up an offer that is so amazingly right and good in their life once they see it and once they experience it? But they must experience Jesus first. So, therefore we must live, love and serve like Jesus, so that those who don’t know Jesus will want to know Him.
Telling people that Jesus is the answer is good, but being Jesus to people is a better way for them to want to know that Jesus is the answer.