I often wonder about random things and true to the nerd that I am (and proud of it) I usually look things up and research them. Seguing into my latest query, I was thinking about candles in the window and why hundreds of years ago they used to do that. What I found out was that placing a candle in your window evoked the warmth of home and family. And since the fireplace was center of family life back then, the candle was generally lit from that fire. It was then placed in the window as a sign of good news or as a beacon to weary travelers. Candles also represented friendship and were seen as a sign of welcome to others.
In acquaintance with that Matthew 5:14 tells us that we as believers are the light of the world. We are supposed to be that place of warmth, drawing our light from Christ, the center of our life. We are to glow like lights, as a beacon to the weary world sharing the good news and showing others what Christ is like. We should be welcoming…friendly, reflecting the love and character of Christ. We hide our light when we are quiet but should speak to share the reason for our light. We hide our light when we go along with the crowd instead of standing for Christ. We hide our light when we deny the light, let sin dim our light or ignore the needs of others. Lord forgive us for not being that bright light that you want us to be and help us to be a brighter one today! Shine Brothers & Sisters!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Family, sometimes the things we face may seem so challenging that we think there’s no way we can do it. Instead of rising to the occasion, we just say, “Its too hard”, and move on. But, hard things are Jesus’s specialty. The Bible says His strength is made perfect in our weakness. It’s not that we need to go seeking hard things, but when challenges come our way we don’t have to be afraid of them. We can be awesome at doing hard things through Christ who gives us strength. So now, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am awesome at doing hard things.” And have a great day on PURPOSE!
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of HIS mighty power Ephesians 1:17
There’s a lot of hysteria right now surrounding the corona virus. It’s led to the outsell of hand sanitizer, face masks and other products that help keep one safe from the threat of it. In the face of no cure, the world right now fears contracting the virus. Yet we belong to the God of the universe, the greater ONE lives in us. The same ONE who raised Jesus from the dead, saved nations of people….saved you…saved me! God’s incomparable power is available to help and protect all those believe. Do you believe? So, do wash your hands…do use hand sanitizer but dont be worried and fearful…Gods got you and He always will!
🎶This is my story, this is my song…praising my Saviour all the day long🎶 I don’t remember the exact moment in my childhood when my self-esteem became irreparably broken. Maybe it was when I was curled up on my bed with bloodied whelps for interrupting my Mother’s conversation…maybe it was when my uncle looked at me with lust in his eyes but yet I was chastised by the elder women as if I had invited it…maybe it was that moment in 6th grade when a fellow classmate called me a half white n***a (I wasn’t even aware that I was different) and then suddenly neither my black friends nor my white friends wanted to include me and I became an outcast. Or perhaps it was just when I was changing in the girl’s locker room for phys ed and some girl made a less than kind remark about something on me that they perceived as an imperfection. It could have been any of those incidents or an even darker moment that I have suppressed (or not), but nonetheless, I began to struggle. I watched myself, as if from outside, wondering how I looked to other people….anticipating disapproval and indifference….changing my behavior to accommodate scenarios. And when the behavior change wasn’t enough I used substances to mask feelings of brokenness. With that I left the naturalness of childhood behind and I sold my pity for a dime…this is my story….
It wasn’t till many years later that the simple words of a children’s song shifted my focus from myself. “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”. With those simple words I began to believe with my whole heart…(this is my song). I didn’t need to be afraid Jesus would reject me. Jesus already loved me and nothing I did would make Him love me more…or less. See, it didn’t matter that what happened to me was fair or unfair…I couldn’t change one minute, one second of the past but I could change me! When I minded the flesh that meant that I kept focusing on the negativities in my life. What happened to me…poor me, pour me another drink, right? But focusing on that got me nowhere or as the scriptures say “death”…because truly I was dying, emotionally and spiritually and I wasted so many precious years there. But when I shifted my focus to God and spiritual things my life filled with life and peace…(praising my Saviour all the day long). Yes those things made me who I am today but instead of being ruled by them I became fueled by them and I grew from them…so I could be someone for someone else to lean on…..my children….their children…. another Sister or Brother. That’s what we do with our hurts and pains….focus less on them and more on God so that He can give us beauty for the ashes of our life. And His love is something I wouldn’t sell for all the money in the world.
“There is immunity in community”. I heard this on the radio station I listen to today. And what a fitting phrase for all that’s going on today. The phrase is built on the premise that within the community there is hope…within the community we can lean on each other…pray for each other…encourage each other. Studies show that people that are worried and fearful have lower resistances and are more susceptible to sickness. So let’s uplift one another Family. Let’s feed each other with uplifting reports not downcast ones. Let’s feed ourselves with positivity and not media negativity. And know, just cause I am not fearful of any virus that’s going around that it doesn’t mean I don’t understand how someone could be or that I shouldn’t take precautions (like we always should) to ensure we don’t spread germs. What I am saying is that if you are fearful…if you are worrying…let’s come together and inspire hope in each other because there is immunity in community!
I have to come clean. I have an alter ego. Her name is Rhondeeka. She likes to drives fast and listen to loud rock music. She stands in lines at stores, gets irritable and gives people the “look” when she has to wait too long for anything. She gets smart mouthed with people on the low-low, reads trashy novels and watches ratchet TV. Sometimes.
However, Rhonda is who I am 95% of the time … she’s the one who knows the value of walking in the footsteps of Jesus. She’s the one that knows that although those things don’t have the capacity to steal her salvation, none of those things glorify God, help her spiritual walk (in fact they might hurt it) or help identify her as someone who loves and follows God.
Still in all my shortcomings God says:
“I will sow her for Myself in the land.
I will also have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
And I will say to those who were not My people,
‘You are My people,’
And they will say, ‘You are my God!’”Hosea 2:23.
The book of Hosea is all about the sinfulness of a people and God’s character … how even when we don’t act like God’s people, He still extends mercy and calls us His people. What a love, right? What a God! Let God’s great love and mercy towards us motivate us to be less of our alter ego and more like what He calls us!
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised) Hebrews 10:23
Anyone that knows me knows that I love a good bargain. You want to see me smile from ear to ear? Let me find a good deal! And I don’t mind sharing but I know that to some people (snobs) that it’s trife to talk thrift store prices so I try to restrain myself … but gosh darn it! It’s hard not to shout out the dirt cheap price I found on something at the local thrift store! There have been many times in my life though when there were no new or used clothes on the horizon. Budgets got tight, bills were piling up, and I just wasn’t worried about looking cute … i was worried about surviving … worried if I had enough to make it to the end of the month.
Worries can crowd out your joy. Reason #2,789 Why I love Jesus … He understands our concerns for clothes, food, and shelter. He is interested in our souls, but He is also interested in meeting our physical needs too. He wants us to be calm in the fact that when we are following Him, He is concerned for us, we matter to Him and He will take care of us. If we trust Him, even when it comes to the basics, we will never be disappointed. Through worries, we may grow in faith, overcome doubts and questions. Let adversity be an opportunity to deepen our relationship with God and feel some of that abundant joy that is plentiful through the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
…contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] hospitality. Romans 12:13 AMP
“What have we become?” That’s a line and popular song title from DC Talk, a Christian pop group. It sings of human stories that mirror the selfishness of present day society, a society wherein you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that isn’t primarily looking out for number one. It goes on to challenge Christians to be what we are called to be…to be that ONE that is righteous, to be that ONE that is holy and to be that ONE going about doing the will of our Father in heaven. In other words—not being selfish but being kind.
The other day, I was really touched reading about a woman who went above and beyond to be kind (2Kings 4). See, back in the day, prophets used to walk from town to town sharing the word of God and often were housed by families in those towns. One day, there was a woman that saw Elisha, a prophet of God, and LOOKED FOR an opportunity to do good for him! So she spoke it over with her husband and they ended up extending a room and food to him. Wow! I mean come on let’s be real … many of us might be kind for someone right in front of us and someone we know … but to LOOK to do good for someone? And for someone we’re not familiar with? That’s a stretch! But this woman sensed a need and went above and beyond to meet it.
Now, this isn’t to make anyone to feel bad…just something to think about to challenge your faith and take it to another level…but how many of us go the extra mile and LOOK for ways to serve and help? I know we have to be cautious and all that jazz in today’s society, but let’s not let that be an excuse to not help anyone! Right?! So, let me tell you the rest of the story…BECAUSE she went above and beyond, through Elisha, God rewarded this woman above and beyond—blessing her with the son she so desperately wanted and hadn’t been unable to have AND later when the son suddenly died, assuaged her grief by raising him from the dead to live again. What an awesome blessing, right? But what a great thing she did! We can be like her and not that we are working to be kind to just get the rewards but God WILL meet the needs and desires of your heart when YOU unselfishly meet the needs and desires of others. #BeKind
Psalm 27:8 New Living Translation (NLT) My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
I recently saw an old “dear” friend that I hadn’t seen in seven years. I was just meeting him, right? No big deal. We were just two grown adults. A little time had passed…we were the same—but not…you know? The way life changes you because it happens and your experiences grow you…if you learn from them. I wasn’t the same woman that once mooned over him, professed my love for him and heart beat fast at the prospect of seeing him. He wasn’t the same man that once professed his love to me and that I was the first thing he thought of when he woke up. So, I’m cool, right?! Copasetic. Chill. No worries. Zero issue. And because I said all that you know it was nothing like that!
I, so wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming rush of feelings that came
over me…feelings that warmed my heart and made my heart sing like no man has ever done—but him. I hated the way I betrayed myself…silly me…hopeless me. Now two weeks later he’s still on my mind and I’m on
this crazy rollercoaster of emotions again—which is why I jumped off in the first place. I want to be with him…but he’s never in any particular hurry. I don’t want to seem desperate…but the truth is more like I am desperate to listen to him….talk to him…to hold him. I can’t wait till he calls me and says that he wants to talk to me—cause as much as I don’t want to be so there at his bidding…the truth is more like, I’ll be right there.
The feelings that I have for my friend are very intimate but I realize that I want the relationship I have with God to be even more so. God knows me even deeper and even more completely than any human will ever know me. And He knows the secret things that I will never tell anyone (probably even things so dark that I have suppressed them) and He loves me anyway. He won’t take my feelings on a crazy rollercoaster and He looks forward to times we talk just as much as I do…or at least as much as I should. Cause see a lot of times I’m a slacker. But I so want my heart to respond “Lord, I am coming” when I feel Him calling me. I so much more want to feel for God what I feel for that man…desperate to listen to him…desperate to talk to him….desperate to hold His word close to my heart. I want to be right there when the Master calls me…at His bidding.
*Sighs*…I’m a work in progress…human…fallible…subject to flesh but willing, oh so willing, to be shaped for the Master’s use. I don’t know what’s going to happen between me and my old friend but I do know that I am going to use this situation to fine tune my relationship with my Father.