You are not alone

Just sitting in the backyard one morning observing Gods awesomeness when I noticed some dead leaves hanging awkwardly on a branch in a tree. It was so noticeable, surrounded by all the other healthy green leaves. There was no way it could camouflage because it simply did not fit. The dead, existing amongst the living, trying desperately to blend in and hold its place . Just there, barely hanging on, but if for just one strong wind. One jolt from a bird or squirrel. One shift from a living, stronger, growing branch can make this lifeless branch tumble to the ground, never to exist again.

This made me think of so many people I have met or talked to over time who were barely holding on. Living day by day on, what they perceived as, their last. Their last hope. Their last dime. Their last chance at living. Hopelessly clinging on with little avail. But God!

Sometimes people just need to know someone cares. Sometimes they need an ear to listen, not so much words of advice. Sometimes people need encouragement, or even a compliment or appreciation. Sometimes people need to know, God cares.

These messages, especially the latter, can sometimes be difficult to convey when your talking to a broken soul, someone who is barely holding on. But it is vital to let hurting people know, unlike the dead branch that was existing among the living, they are just in a dormant state. God is preparing them for a rejuvenating period. A period of new life. A period of growth and replenishment. Encourage rest. Encourage taking time for meditation and prayer. Suggest positive reading or listening material. God’s Word is always good. Suggest they take a walk. And by all means, encourage them to talk to someone when needed.

Sisters, you are not alone. There is a whole community of loving, healthy and encouraging minds that are willing and able to listen, encourage, and pray for you. All you have to do is just reach out.

“I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls.”

Jeremiah 31:25 MSG

Wisdom of Mom

“The mouth of the righteous flows with (skillful and godly) wisdom, But the perverted tongue will be cur out.” Proverbs 10:31 AMP

I dreamed of my mom and was awaken a little disturbed. I prayed and eventually was able to go back to sleep. When I woke this morning, a young lady messaged me with the following. Mom is no longer with us, but this is just an example of why we must watch what we say and how we live because we effect lives.

“Your mother just came across my mind. I remember telling her in purity class I wasn’t pure and she didn’t kick me out she told me all I have to do is repent. I am forever grateful to her for showing that kind of love to me who was just a lost young lady at the time. Have a great day💞😍

The scripture speaks of wisdom, that we know comes from God. I don’t know if Mom knew the impact she had on the lives of many young ladies, but I do know she loved God and she exuded that love on others. Let’s try to touch lives by doing the same.

Be Blessed

Don’t be a hoarder

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“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. 2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)

While attempting to clean out some rooms in my house and throw things away, I began to make separate piles of things to keep. My daughter, who was supposedly helping me, stopped me and said, “Mom, you don’t need that.” I quickly relied that I might need it again as I continued sorting through and separating my things. My daughter continued telling me what I didn’t need, won’t wear again, asking me what am I saving things for, so on and so on. She then went on to tell me, “Mom, you’re a hoarder. You have been keeping things for years that you don’t need, just through them away.”
This statement stung in more ways than you could ever imagine. It’s true, I do hold onto things that I believe are great in case I need them later. When will later come, who knows, but I will keep it until that time. I thought of the television show, Hoarders, in which many people were nearly buried alive in things they felt they needed and could not let go of. I call it trapped in their own spaces, unable to truly function beyond those walls.
Later, I began to think further about what my daughter said to me. “Mom, you’re a hoarder.” Little did she or I know it would make me search my Spiritual life. In my own words, I described hoarders as being trapped in their own spaces, unable to truly function beyond those walls, well I have been living inside my walls of what I call protection for years. Trapped by the fear of totally trusting another. Guarding myself with pieces of my past. Limiting my relationships and depriving myself of developing what could become promising and rich.
I recall being hurt from a guy I was in a relationship with. When we separated, I dated a few very nice guys who I already knew liked me, but nothing serious. When the previous relationship I was in resumed, I secretly refused to get rid of the phone numbers of the other guys because, well, we had a great time and, of course, I felt I might need them later. This hold went on for years and in essence, prevented me from developing a healthy relationship with the one I was with.
I realized after talking to my daughter that day, that there are always things we need to let go of. In my case it was the fear to trust. This fear spoke to my lack of trust in God. That day of cleaning my house, my outer dwelling helped me realize that I should also remember to clean my inner dwelling in order to stay free of clutter and to trust God. I refuse to be a hoarder and not enjoy what God has for me outside of my walls.

Be Blessed.

 

Time to deliver that baby! https://mypoaww.com/2019/04/16/time-to-deliver-that-baby

Time to deliver that baby!

https://mypoaww.com/2019/04/16/time-to-deliver-that-baby

Preparation.   Some prep time for our lives events are easy and welcomed, while other times are hard, heartbreaking, tedious, and often seems impossible.  Regardless of how we learn our lessons, the best results come once we have completed what is necessary to become who we were truly meant to be.  The question then becomes, how long do this process of preparation take.

Often I speak with young people and I ask them, “What are your goals after high school?” Many times they do not have a clue what they want to do, if they want to go to college, trade school or military.  Or, they may have dreams, that based on their behavior, study habits, and current preparation in high school, they are not in position of obtaining.  Yes, there are things we learned in high school that we may never use, but the process of learning and studying is a skill that should always be treasured.  If I can only get them to recognize the value of receiving an education, whether as a life lesson or to utilize later, then they would understand the importance of it and how to apply what they have learned in everyday life.

This reminds me of the young Esther. I’m sure fear and uncertainty often gripped this young girl, but the strength God put in her kept her going.  The preparation she went through as a young girl was only to help one-day place her where God intended her to be.  Her background as an orphan did not determine her future as a Queen.  Likewise, for you my sisters.  No matter where you come from or your background, your life lessons, or should I say, your prep time, has prepared you “for such a time as this.”

So go out my Sisters and sow your seeds.  It is time to launch out and be the Queens God intended you to be.  No more waddling in your sorrow, hurts, fears, or pains of the past, and yes the present.  Stop holding on to what hurt you and birth what God has put in you.   Stand for God and tell your story.  Rejoice in the right now and know, all you have gone through is for God’s glory.  It’s time to deliver that baby.

Follow Directions

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Obey my laws, and carefully follow my rules. Then you will live securely in the land. Leviticus 25:18 (GW)

Every day I dread seeing one of my classes due to one student.  The student is very bright and can be very nice, but this quality is overlooked because of his behavior.  Once he finally shows up for class, the irritating behavior begins, my body gets tensed and I cannot wait for the class to end just because of one student.

Prior to him entering the class, everyone is usually calm, going about preparing to work.  Once he walks through the door, I hear sighs, groans, and comments of a disappointing, “Man, he came to class.”  The class is aware that it was because of this student that they were not able to go on a field trip.  They are aware that a few benefits that my other Junior class are afforded as a group, they have not been offered the same.  Not fair to this class I thought and decided to punish the one who deserved it, instead of everyone in the class.  Unfortunately, this does not always work when the others get drawn into his nest of non-compliance by laughing at his shenanigans.

I often think how unfair this is to me that I have to put up with such behavior and disrespect.  He taunts his classmates, always out of his seat and often talks back when spoken to. I am not accustomed to such blatant disrespect, but I continue to give him chance after chance.  When he has questions, I answer.  When he need help, I help him.  Even when he is hungry, I feed him.  Despite his terrible behavior and teenage attitude, I want to see him succeed.

This reminds me of how we are at times when it comes to following God’s Directions.  Often we get sidetracked by what we want to do that we disregard our instructions from God.  This leads us on a journey of often disappointing and problematic experiences.  Jonah experienced this when he did not follow God’s direction to go Nineveh.  Instead, in his own wisdom, Jonah went a different route. This route led him on a downward spiral of being thrown into the sea, swallowed by a big fish and much heartache.

Peter wrestled with what he really believed in when he denied Jesus, cursing and swearing.  David, a man after God’s own heart, wrestled with his own selfish desires that led him in a life of twist and turns constantly battling to do what was right and often doing what was wrong.  Yet, God loved them all.

I think of God’s love when dealing with this student.  Yes, he should follow my directions.  Yes, he should be respectful and do his work.  But at the end of the day, when he comes to me for help, I must put the other behavior behind me and help.   Even with all that we do, God still loves us.  He puts all of our dysfunctional behaviors aside, and he help us anyway.  God does not hold grudges and neither should we. Just follow directions.

Be blessed

The other side of “But”

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The Lord speaks to us in many different forms, through His word, songs, visions or people to name a few.  We often seek to hear from Him for direction for our lives.  The Bible tells us, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth. (Proverbs 3:6 God’s Word).  If we do this as directed, wouldn’t our lives be so less complicated?

Faith, trusting in God unconditionally, is disrupted by a self-inflicted battle that many have created for themselves. It often means letting go of what is comfortable and grasping hold of the single thing that blocks us from trusting God, that infamous “But.”

We say, I know God can, “But.”   I prayed about getting the job, “But.”  God said in His word I’m healed, I am more than a conqueror, “But.”  I know God can save them, “But.” If we could relieve ourselves from the bondage of doubt and focus on what is on the other side of “But,” our lives would be totally different.

On other side of “But” is God.  He is there to wipe the “But, “away.  He will wipe away all the doubts, fears, hurts and pains.  God is there to relieve us of worry, to give us peace and to help us sleep.  On the other side of “But,” God will wipe our crying eye and turn our sorrows into joy.  He will give us light even during our darkest hour and be with us when we are lonely. On the other side of “But,” our bodies, souls, and spirits can be healed.  On the other side of “But” forgiveness is real.  On the other side of “But,” our needs are supplied and those in bondage are set free. It is then that it becomes possible to trust God unconditionally.

 

Be Blessed

Judging or Justifying

Matthew 18:22-35 The Message (MSG)

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

 

I wrestled last night with a conversation with some friends of mine concerning what they had heard said about someone who had fallen prey to the trick of Satan.  We are all capable of doing so, but are we all capable of forgiving.  The unfortunate part of this is, this is not the first time I’ve heard this topic come up, not by my friends but yes, by others in the church.  This conversation disturbed me so that I woke up with it on my mind.  What a thin line there is between judging and justifying.  It is so easy to see the faults of others, make up reasons they should not have done what they did, or reasons they got caught up in their sin.

Wow!

So, now we are in position to decide since a person may have a smug personality, may be rough on others about what they do or say, or whatever the case may be, that once they fall, they don’t deserve forgiveness.  We are in position to say they brought it on themselves and they deserved it because of how they were.  When did we become more than God that we can continue to hold our foot on the neck of someone due to a fall they have taken.

We beat them by our actions towards them.  Does anyone consider how they feel knowing that not only have they sinned against God, because truly, that is who the sin is committed against, but the humiliation they have endured.  Has anyone considered the brokenness they may have endured, the murmurs they may hear, the so called friends they may have loss.  But now, they have to be ridiculed by several self-made deities who feel they have the right, even over God, to keep them down and not to forgive or allow them to forget.

God help us.

Little did I know that the scripture reading for the day would be one of man being forgiven of a debt he owed.  The scripture says, “And his master’s heart was moved with compassion and he released him and forgave him [canceling] the debt.” (Matthew 18:27) I asked myself, where is our compassion as people of God.  My prayer today is for forgiveness, compassion, self-examination, and awareness of my actions and thoughts.  Just I justify my judgement, God is judging me.

 

Be Blessed!

Yes I Can!

Philippians 4:13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

I awaken this morning to the sound of “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me,” running through my head. What an amazing truth. Knowing that no matter what my personal struggles may be, how hard a situation looks, what I may be up against or who says I cannot, God’s word tells me I can.
When I think of doing simple task such as moving through my day, preparing a lesson, a meal or cleaning my house, I realize that I need God’s help to do so. When interacting with people, with all of our different personalities, values, and beliefs, I need God. To listen first and speak later; to show love even when I feel the situation does not warrant it, I need God. In times of loss and in times of gain; during my bereavement or the welcoming of new life, I need God.
I need God to help me to respond in a way that is God-like because I cannot do it on my own. I cannot smile in the mist of adversity, on my own. I cannot not be strong when my body is physically weak, on my own. I cannot show love when hatred so obviously surrounds me, on my own. But through Christ, who lives in me, all things all possible.
Learning to live a life totally dependent on God is a life of discipline and peace. Trusting God is all that He want us to do; knowing who we are to Him and knowing in Him invites us to the table to feast in his presence. I woke up this morning knowing, because of Christ who lives in me, I am sufficient, capable, more than enough. So yes, I can and you can do all things that God has set before us, through Christ, who is our strength.

Growing Pains

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We all at some point or another have been in a place of discontentment. These feeling could be due to self-doubt, others putting you down, low self-esteem from lack of love, lack of encouragement, too much or not enough weight, dysfunctional relationships or simply because you never were taught to love yourself.

How many times have you found yourself heading the line of rejection, defeat, and feeling totally deflated from disappointment? Maybe you had your life all mapped out in your mind how you wanted things to go. Maybe you wanted to get married and have children. Or maybe you planned to complete college, work and travel the world. You maybe wanted to be uninterruptedly used by God, but life had another trail mapped out for you.

Disappointments are at the very heart of our growing process. Growing pains, just as children experience in their limbs and joints, without knowing the cause of their pain or how to handle them, happens when we are going from one level to the next. Our pains may or may not be physical, but the behavioral results are very similar. Just as children may get fussing, mean, sensitive, totally annoying or seemingly unable to control their feelings and behaviors, our emotions go on the same trip. There seems to be nothing anyone can do to help, so we just go with the flow.

Growing pains, in the natural, is a good thing. It is a demonstration that a child is getting stronger, developing properly, on his or her way to maturity. The set of pains may be experienced in different stages of their lives. The pains can go on for a few months to a few years, causing the child to sometimes cry. They cause discomfort at different times throughout day but become most uncomfortable during the night, keeping the child awake. Doesn’t that sound like the pain we carry, keeping us up at night? The best part about the growing pains, they usually disappear in the morning.

We too, like a child, must go through this process of growth. Although trouble come in our lives making us very uncomfortable, and at times unbearable, we will get through it. 2 Kings 4:1-7, tell us about a widowed woman who was obviously suffering from the loss of her husband. I can only imagine that the concern that she voiced to the prophet Elisha was only the surface of her sorrows. We did not read about her mourning, loneliness, depression from bills, fear of having to start a new life without her husband, or even her worry about the day to day care of her family. We can only imagine some of the thoughts and feeling she experienced. But even in her distress, God did as we know He can do, He showed himself strong by not just suppling her need, but assuring her that, THAT need, would be no more.

Won’t you trust God today with your growing pains? Read 2 Kings 4:1-44. Look at the ways God stepped into the lives of some in their time of need. They had to go through the growing pains of their various situation which even included death, but God was there in the end. Just trust His plan!

Prayer

Today I choose prayer. There are so many hurting, and on this day, 9/11, it brings to our remembrance the importance of life. Will you join me today and choose to pray for someone who have lost a loved one? I’m praying for you 💕

Psalm 147:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

3 He heals the brokenhearted

and binds up their wounds.

4 He determines the number of the stars

and calls them each by name.

5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;

his understanding has no limit.

Are you willing?

As I get older, there are a few things that I enjoy more than others.  I really enjoy waking up in the morning because, well, I’m still here.  I enjoy giving God praise and thanking Him for another day.  I enjoy praying and seeing listening for what is waiting for me.  I enjoy going out and seeing how I can make a difference in someone’s life; saying something nice or encouraging them in a way that makes them want to go a little further. I enjoy having the opportunity to try to make a difference in the lives of the people I come in contact with.

The other thing I enjoy is returning home in the evening.  I enjoy sitting still and reflecting on my day.  I ponder if there is anything I could have done differently.  I think is there anyone I could have done more for, or even someone I should have given more space.  I wonder if I did what the Lord wanted me to do today; was my mission complete.  I pray there was no one I hurt or offended, that there isn’t anyone I need to apologize to. I also pray if it is, that God would allow me the chance to make it right.

As I reflect on my day, I think, was my behavior a reflection of Christ.  Was I the closest thing to Christ, someone who does not know Him came in contact with?  Did I say the right things or react the right way?  Was my persona that of Christ’s love?  More importantly, if God called me home at any moment throughout the day, would I have been ready?

A while back, the late, great, Pastor Burton Clemons spoke a message on “Being a First Responder.” He told us to do something for someone else.  Buy some flowers, sneakers, etc.  Do something to reach other.  In Matthew the 9:35-38, Jesus spoke these words,

35-38 “Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Message (MSG).

We are to be those harvest hands.  So many people are waiting for a touch from someone, just to know they care.  We are to be the messenger of hope and love for Christ.  We are to do as Pastor Clemons stated, “Be a First Responder.”  That means we don’t wait to be told by others, asked if we can, or question why.  We do as our hearts lead us, as God would have us to do, we simply respond.

 

 “In response to your prayer I will send forth a missionary.  I will send you.” “What did you answer? That you were willing? Or that you wanted others sent out to the mission field?”

 “Or did you receive this answer from the Lord: “I will in answer to your prayer send out a missionary. And since you yourself are too old to go, I will send your grown-up child?”

“Or did the Lord answer you thus: “I have heard your prayer about sending forth laborers.  But you yourself are too old, and you have no children to send in your place.  Send me therefore your money for the time being?”

God’s Word for Today, O. Hallesby

God, in the midst of delays?

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While traveling home from Mexico, we experienced delay after delay once we landed in New York to transfer to Cleveland.  Just when we thought we were about to board the plane, we received notice that our flight was delayed again.  As we sat in the airport, snacking and playing on our phones and tablets, when time approached for us to, once again, board the plane. To our disappointment, we received yet another message that our flight was delayed until around midnight.  Midnight came around and we were told we had to stay overnight.  Ugh, I was so not feeling this!  Unacceptable.  I was fussy, tired and ready to go.  I had things to do and this was not at all what I planned.

Have you ever been in a hurry and suddenly, there is an unexpected delay?  It could have been in the form of a traffic jam, baby suddenly needing a diaper changed when you were about to go out, a waiter taking too long to bring the food to the table, or even an unanswered prayer.  Whatever the situation may have been, we have all experienced, what we consider, inconveniences due to delays.

Thinking of this scenario and my attitude during it, my mind goes to our good old Sister Martha. She had made up in her mind that if she and her sister Mary sent word to Jesus that His friend, Lazarus, was sick, He would come immediately.  Surely, Jesus would drop what He was doing and come to them simply because they sent for Him.  But Jesus had another plan.

Had Jesus come at the time He was summoned by Martha and Mary; the story could have been written differently.  It could have been said, because of the fast thinking of the sisters to send for Jesus, Lazarus lives today.  But since Jesus is Omniscience, all knowing, He came after the death of Lazarus.  He did it His way so that people would believe in Him. John 11:15 says, “And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.”  Jesus knew all along what the outcome would be. His delay was intentional so that we would learn to trust Him.   Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead and others would believe in him.  The way things played out, there was no doubt who Jesus was.

Needless to say, we arrived home safely.

John 11 shows us all delays are not to hinder us.  They may be inconvenient and unwanted, but that does not mean the desired result or better will not happen.  Even when it doesn’t seem like it, God is always in control.

Love deeply!

Interruptions or God?

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It was early in the morning and I’m sleeping like a baby when suddenly, I hear this loud noise next to me.  It’s my husband’s phone, he is strolling through Facebook.  The loud, obnoxious sound from ads and videos playing as though I’m not trying to sleep, had awaken me from my peaceful and well deserved rest.

Oh baby, did I wake you? I’m sorry.”

I turn over and within what seemed to be a few minutes, I hear the television.  It loudly flick from one channel to the next, from talking, to music, to audiences’ laughter. Really? Can’t he see I’m trying to sleep here?  Just because he’s awake doesn’t mean I want to get up.

I begin to toss and turn, seemingly unnoticed by him.  I take my pillow, and with a loud sigh, cover my head.  Finally, my husband casually turns around and says, “Is the TV too loud? My bad.”

Why do I feel he asked with a smirk on his face?  I eventually fall back to sleep only to be awaked by a knock on my door.  Before I can respond, my husband yells for them to come in.  In bounces my daughter with a big smile on her face and singing, “Good morning parents.  Mom, can I either use your car or get a ride to work?  I need  to leave now because I have to meet someone soon.”

My husband and my daughter look at me.  I think in my mind, “Okay Lord, I’m awake.” I smile and shake my head as my husband tells my daughter to take his car and he would get it later.  My daughter leaves and my husband turns off the TV, rolls over and falls asleep.

Now, at this point I am awake.  My husband is asleep, his phone and the television are turned off, and my daughter has left. I just lie there with this silly grin on my face waiting on God.  It is so peaceful now and I love it. Okay Lord, you have my attention, it’s just you and me. There is always a reason for everything.

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I lied still and began to pray.  I told God that he had my complete attention.  What was so nice was the peace and quiet I was now experiencing compared to the noise that had interrupted my sleep moments earlier.  That same noise, that seemed to be such a disturbance, ushered to a place of peace.  Oh, blessed quietness.

As I prayed and waited for the Spirit to lead and reveal to me what I was to know and do, I got it.  So often we have distractions in our lives that annoy us to the limits of no return, but all distractions are not really distractions.  Sometimes God is trying to get our attention, and  He knows how and when to do so.  He knew my husband would fall asleep, the noise would stop, my daughter would leave, and I would be awake.  God already knew that I would eventually calm down and get it.  He knew that I would eventually get that He was trying to get my attention and I would lie in my bed and pray.  God is teaching me patience.

This situation makes me think of 1 Samuel 3:1-10 when the child Samuel was sleeping and he heard his named called.  The Lord woke Samuel out of his sleep three times before the boy answered by telling the Lord to speak because he was listening. God had to get his attention so Samuel would hear Him.

How many times have God tried to get your attention but you were either too busy, too afraid, or simply, did not answer his call?  What interruptions keep occurring in your life that you have not figured out its purpose.  Quiet your noise and tell God to speak, because you are ready to listen.  He is waiting to hear from you.

Love Deeply!