Category Archives: Thoughts

Liiiiife

The past two months have been interesting and a bit much.

Hence my slacking on what I planned on doing.

I am not the best with structure and sticking to a schedule. I did a great job for a while.

But then things changed. I was doing well at first. Then I totally fell off. I have not adjusted the best.

Cuz life man.

But the great thing is that I can learn and reflect and figure out how to get everything done.

Just because life comes and changes our plans doesn’t mean we have to quit on stuff or even ourselves.

We can evaluate and make a new game plan and still be great.

Let’s not focus on the perceived failure but focus on what it teaches us and where we can go.

How?!

I had all the plans to end my unintentional sabbatical earlier than the month I decided on-with the exception of that post the other day.

I was gonna write about Passover, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, the crucifixion, the death, the burial, the resurrection. All that good stuff.

But I didn’t. And I won’t. I reflected and am so very grateful. I will post about what, to me, all of that resulted in.

During Passover after Palm Sunday, I was driving and saw a car behind me. I’d post the pic but I shouldn’t have even taken them and they don’t clearly show what I saw.

Anywho.

The hood was jacked up. I think the lights may have been messed up too. The thought I had was how is it even driving.

Then I went down a hole to a degree like I do.

How are some of us even functioning? Now. We may not show outward damage like that car.

But. Life has done a number on so many of us. It is mind blowing how some of us are in our right mind, how we function, how we put one foot in front of the other. How, when giving up and giving in is so much easier and who would blame us?

But the finished work at the cross. The determination Jesus had to do what he came to do despite asking if it was possible for the cup to pass from him (Matthew 26:39).

Jesus was our perfect example to keep going in the face of seemingly insurmountable circumstances. He did it so we could. God promised to be with us in Isaiah 43:2. And sent his son to show us how He is with us. Then sent a comforter to be with us (John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, and 16:7). So. I guess that’s how.

Earthquake

Hey y’all!

I def didn’t mean to disappear. But life has been life. I think I’m gonna just continue to let life be and get back to it at the beginning of April.

However. I had a concrete, postable (is that even a word?!) thought earlier so I’m heeeeeeere!

There are, at times, cataclysmic events, people, seasons, and/or situations that shake the foundation, core, plates of our lives just like an earthquake.

Like legit. An earthquake is the moving and shifting of the tectonic plates in the earth’s crust. Far from where our eyes see, there is pressure at fault lines (thanks for the refresher Google and wiki) that causes the plates to grind and shift.

Some earthquakes are felt and some are not. Some we see evidence of and some we do not. But no matter what, something happened and left the earth forever changed.

The biggest earthquakes have visible changes, disturbances in roads resulting in cracks and sinkholes. Houses and buildings destroyed from the foundation up. Not to mention destruction of their contents. Water main breaks. Gas lines destroyed. Havoc wreaked on power lines. Death. The list is endless.

The smaller ones exist but, much like the daily rotation of the earth, we don’t necessarily see or feel them at the moment. But, as sure as winter turns to spring, summer, and fall, leaves and flowers, daylight and darkness, nothing stays the same.

Not to mention the aftershocks or shockwaves. Those tend to be worse and far more dangerous than the earthquake itself. Things are already out of whack and perilous. And here comes more shaking to add to the destruction.

For us, cataclysmically, death, loss, life, addition, quakes us. Changes us. Would seemingly destroy us. Or make us better.

If we stay at the quake we miss out on the beauty of it. If we hold on to whatever it is, good or bad, we don’t make room for the goodness that can come of it.

Being stagnant is not always a standstill in grief. Sometimes we think we have arrived at the best we’ve ever had and as good as we think it’s gonna get. So. Out of an abundance of caution, we park there so we don’t risk it or lose it. Never mind the possibility of more or better.

There is something to rebuilding though. Processing the event. Learning from it. Growing from it. Mourning or celebrating. Grieving or rejoicing. Going through what the earthquake brought you and putting it into proper perspective. Learning the lesson and accepting the gift.

All life really is is a collection of moments sewn together to make a well-used, patchwork quilt. It is up to us to determine what we do with the pieces and how we embrace or even use what is sewn together.

Isaiah 58-60 The Message MSG

My words will be italicized wherever they appear. Should the Bible be italicized near my words, I’ll do something to differentiate them.

Isaiah 58

Your Prayers Won’t Get Off the Ground

1-3 “Shout! A full-throated shout!
    Hold nothing back—a trumpet-blast shout!
Tell my people what’s wrong with their lives,
    face my family Jacob with their sins!
They’re busy, busy, busy at worship,
    and love studying all about me.
To all appearances they’re a nation of right-living people—
    law-abiding, God-honoring.
They ask me, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’
    and love having me on their side.
But they also complain,
    ‘Why do we fast and you don’t look our way?
    Why do we humble ourselves and you don’t even notice?’

👀👀👀👀👀👀

3-5     “Well, here’s why:

“The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit.
    You drive your employees much too hard.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
    You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
    won’t get your prayers off the ground.
Do you think this is the kind of fast day I’m after:
    a day to show off humility?
To put on a pious long face
    and parade around solemnly in black?
Do you call that fasting,
    a fast day that I, God, would like?

Same. Ima be chill today.

6-9 “This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
    to break the chains of injustice,
    get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
    free the oppressed,
    cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
    sharing your food with the hungry,
    inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
    putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
    being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
    and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
    The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
    You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’

Sounds like Jesus in Matthew 25:35-45.

A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places

9-12 “If you get rid of unfair practices,
    quit blaming victims,
    quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
    and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
    your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
    I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
    firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
    a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
    rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
    restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
    make the community livable again.

13-14 “If you watch your step on the Sabbath
    and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
    God’s holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’
    making money, running here and there—
Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
    Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.”
    Yes! God says so!

So easy but so hard.

Isaiah 59

We Long for Light but Sink into Darkness

1-8 Look! Listen!
    God’s arm is not amputated—he can still save.
    God’s ears are not stopped up—he can still hear.
There’s nothing wrong with God; the wrong is in you.
    Your wrongheaded lives caused the split between you and God.
    Your sins got between you so that he doesn’t hear.
Your hands are drenched in blood,
    your fingers dripping with guilt,
Your lips smeared with lies,
    your tongue swollen from muttering obscenities.
No one speaks up for the right,
    no one deals fairly.
They trust in illusion, they tell lies,
    they get pregnant with mischief and have sin-babies.
They hatch snake eggs and weave spider webs.
    Eat an egg and die; break an egg and get a snake!
The spider webs are no good for shirts or shawls.
    No one can wear these weavings!
They weave wickedness,
    they hatch violence.
They compete in the race to do evil
    and run to be the first to murder.
They plan and plot evil, think and breathe evil,
    and leave a trail of wrecked lives behind them.
They know nothing about peace
    and less than nothing about justice.
They make tortuously twisted roads.
    No peace for the wretch who walks down those roads!

The first part made me smile. Sin babies. I can’t. He was giving them the business!

9-11 Which means that we’re a far cry from fair dealing,
    and we’re not even close to right living.
We long for light but sink into darkness,
    long for brightness but stumble through the night.
Like the blind, we inch along a wall,
    groping eyeless in the dark.
We shuffle our way in broad daylight,
    like the dead, but somehow walking.
We’re no better off than bears, groaning,
    and no worse off than doves, moaning.
We look for justice—not a sign of it;
    for salvation—not so much as a hint.

Eeeeeeek.

12-15 Our wrongdoings pile up before you, God,
    our sins stand up and accuse us.
Our wrongdoings stare us down;
    we know in detail what we’ve done:
Mocking and denying God,
    not following our God,
Spreading false rumors, whipping up revolt,
    pregnant with lies, muttering malice.
Justice is beaten back,
    Righteousness is banished to the sidelines,
Truth staggers down the street,
    Honesty is nowhere to be found,
Good is missing in action.
    Anyone renouncing evil is beaten and robbed.

🤦🏾‍♀️

15-19 God looked and saw evil looming on the horizon—
    so much evil and no sign of Justice.
He couldn’t believe what he saw:
    not a soul around to correct this awful situation.
So he did it himself, took on the work of Salvation,
    fueled by his own Righteousness.
He dressed in Righteousness, put it on like a suit of armor,
    with Salvation on his head like a helmet,
Put on Judgment like an overcoat,
    and threw a cloak of Passion across his shoulders.
He’ll make everyone pay for what they’ve done:
    fury for his foes, just deserts for his enemies.
    Even the far-off islands will get paid off in full.
In the west they’ll fear the name of God,
    in the east they’ll fear the glory of God,
For he’ll arrive like a river in flood stage,
    whipped to a torrent by the wind of God.

Well.

20 “I’ll arrive in Zion as Redeemer,
    to those in Jacob who leave their sins.”
        God’s Decree.

And I thank you Big God.

21 “As for me,” God says, “this is my covenant with them: My Spirit that I’ve placed upon you and the words that I’ve given you to speak, they’re not going to leave your mouths nor the mouths of your children nor the mouths of your grandchildren. You will keep repeating these words and won’t ever stop.” God’s orders.

Isaiah 60

People Returning for the Reunion

1-7 “Get out of bed, Jerusalem!
    Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight.
    God’s bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness,
    all people sunk in deep darkness,
But God rises on you,
    his sunrise glory breaks over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    kings to your sunburst brightness.
Look up! Look around!
    Watch as they gather, watch as they approach you:
Your sons coming from great distances,
    your daughters carried by their nannies.
When you see them coming you’ll smile—big smiles!
    Your heart will swell and, yes, burst!
All those people returning by sea for the reunion,
    a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!
And then streams of camel caravans as far as the eye can see,
    young camels of nomads in Midian and Ephah,
Pouring in from the south from Sheba,
    loaded with gold and frankincense,
    preaching the praises of God.
And yes, a great roundup
    of flocks from the nomads in Kedar and Nebaioth,
Welcome gifts for worship at my altar
    as I bathe my glorious Temple in splendor.

Yas! Also. The wise men brought gold and frankincense to meet Jesus…interesting (Matthew 2:11).

What’s That We See in the Distance?

8-22 “What’s that we see in the distance,
    a cloud on the horizon, like doves darkening the sky?
It’s ships from the distant islands,
    the famous Tarshish ships
Returning your children from faraway places,
    loaded with riches, with silver and gold,
And backed by the name of your God, The Holy of Israel,
    showering you with splendor.
Foreigners will rebuild your walls,
    and their kings assist you in the conduct of worship.
When I was angry I hit you hard.
    It’s my desire now to be tender.
Your Jerusalem gates will always be open
    —open house day and night!—
Receiving deliveries of wealth from all nations,
    and their kings, the delivery boys!
Any nation or kingdom that doesn’t deliver will perish;
    those nations will be totally wasted.
The rich woods of Lebanon will be delivered
    —all that cypress and oak and pine—
To give a splendid elegance to my Sanctuary,
    as I make my footstool glorious.
The descendants of your oppressor
    will come bowing and scraping to you.
All who looked down at you in contempt
    will lick your boots.
They’ll confer a title on you: City of God,
    Zion of The Holy of Israel.
Not long ago you were despised refuse—
    out-of-the-way, unvisited, ignored.
But now I’ve put you on your feet,
    towering and grand forever, a joy to look at!
When you suck the milk of nations
    and the breasts of royalty,
You’ll know that I, God, am your Savior,
    your Redeemer, Champion of Jacob.
I’ll give you only the best—no more hand-me-downs!
    Gold instead of bronze, silver instead of iron,
    bronze instead of wood, iron instead of stones.
I’ll install Peace to run your country,
    make Righteousness your boss.
There’ll be no more stories of crime in your land,
    no more robberies, no more vandalism.
You’ll name your main street Salvation Way,
    and install Praise Park at the center of town.
You’ll have no more need of the sun by day
    nor the brightness of the moon at night.
God will be your eternal light,
    your God will bathe you in splendor.
Your sun will never go down,
    your moon will never fade.
I will be your eternal light.
    Your days of grieving are over.
All your people will live right and well,
    in permanent possession of the land.
They’re the green shoot that I planted,
    planted with my own hands to display my glory.
The runt will become a great tribe,
    the weakling become a strong nation.
I am God.
    At the right time I’ll make it happen.”

😍😊

Convenience Isn’t Cheap…Easy Ain’t Always Betta Part 2

I sent my auntie that post and got an update.

She got limited help and has to go to an old school store. She said she wouldn’t have wasted so much money had she gone there first.

The thought that came to mind is the title. Convenience isn’t cheap.

It was convenient to go to the newer, fancier, bigger store. But the convenience didn’t solve the problem.

She got help but not the help she needed. She went with it, I assume, since she was already there and had already spent time, effort, and energy there.

There is something to be said for going with what is tried and true. Sure. New. Progress. It has it’s place.

However. If it ain’t broke…

I’m not a fan of some of what I was taught and went through growing up. It just ain’t it for me after taking a look at it and the Bible.

However. They taught me some stuff, prayer, some songs, standing firm in conviction, that gets me THROUGH some of my toughest moments.

This new music, some of this microwave, quickie, cute stuff ain’t gone move a leaf let alone a problem I’m going through.

At the root of it, the hours and hours of church gave me staying power. Something to stick to my ribs like oatmeal on a cold day. It wasn’t convenient, it wasn’t easy. But it made me.

It would do us and the world a world of good to get back to the basics. Read the Bible. Study it. Look at different versions of the same scripture. Sit in prayer. Speaking and listening. Find some hymns and songs that are scripture based. The hard parts of surrendering time and attention in this crazy, overstimulated world.

Cuz all that convenient, new age stuff, it may be nice. But it ain’t cheaper. It’s gonna cost us more in the long run. We could have spent the time ahead of the storm getting ready with the expensive, time-consuming foundation building. Instead, we have convenient, cheap stuff that doesn’t lasts and costs even more to go back and repair when we could be on to the next.

Stretched

So I got my nose pierced about five years ago. It hurt. The circumference of the stud was kinda big compared to studs and rings people wear.

I eventually changed it. I have struggled with studs and hoops since. The way my nose is set up and the location of the piercing. Not to mention the stones falling out.

I didn’t like the hoop I finally tried last year. It was studs til then. So I went and got a new hoop.

I wasn’t thinking. It is ribbed. I think my hole is smaller cuz the studs I put in after I took the original out are way smaller.

The thang HURT. I wanted to say nah. I’m done. Nice try. I like it but the pain. I thought I was done withthe pain after it healed. I’ve had bumps n stuff since. But I don’t recall pain like the initial piercing. This was similar.

But I stuck with it. My nose either stretched or realized this wasn’t a foreign object. I didn’t consider foreign til typing. Ima go with stretched cuz that was my initial thought and point of this post.

Life stretches us. We go through something. It hurts. Then it looks like we are onto something else. It may not be the same thing. But the pain feels the same. We thought we were done with the pain.

God allows things to stretch us. To grow us. To get us to where we need to be. It’s difficult. But, if we allow ourselves to be malleable like a rubber band. Man.

Rubber bands start at one size. Based on appearance, they can only handle so much.

Once we start using them, we see that they can handle more than their appearance would lead us to believe. So we keep adding. And often they just keep stretching.

We aren’t totally like rubber bands though. Eventually we can put too much in them and they break. Or they get old and break down. They no longer stretch.

Fortunately, with God, we have an unlimited ability to stretch. We won’t break. We won’t break down. We won’t lose the ability to stretch. We will never have too much to hold. God’s got it and us.

So. Go on and stretch. You got this!

Failure is Fruitful

To quote India.Arie’s The Truth, there’s a blessing in every lesson.

Failure can teach us more than success at times.

Failure shows us who we are.

Failure shows us where we went wrong and how to get it right.

When done right, failure brings us closer to God. He shows us who He is and how is is capable of helping us get it right.

We gotta try. And if it doesn’t work, assess, take stock, learn, and try again.

Failure is fruitful.

Failure shows us what we are capable of.

Dust off those failures and go win!

Easy Ain’t Always Betta

I called my auntie and she sounded annoyed.

I asked her what was wrong.

She said she was in the store and couldn’t find what she needed.

I asked if she was gonna ask for help so she wouldn’t get frustrated. Maybe I said or should have said stay frustrated. 🤷🏾‍♀️

Immediately after asking that I went off. I got some revelation from our conversation. Barz. 🤣🤪

She said she was in a different store than usual and it is easier at the other store.

She continued to talk about her options and fuss.

Then she said okay I’m gonna go get some help.

One. How often do we need help but just keep trying to do it alone or ourselves? We don’t seek God or others who could help. Then we end up annoyed and frustrated.

Chances are we end up in a mess that God has to bail us out of that was not even necessary to endure had we sought Him or the plentiful resources at our disposal.

It is so easy for us to rely on ourselves and our own strength. We know what we want and what we are trying to do. We may even be operating in obedience or working toward purpose.

We relied on Him and went or started. But we took our focus off of Him. In ALL THY WAYS (Proverbs 3:6). Not some. Not just through instruction. But. Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

Two. She said she was in a different store and it was easier at the other store. Faith to faith (Roman’s 1:17). Glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). What was easy on one level, in one season, at one time, is more difficult in the next or new.

Once we master a thing, it’s time to move on to something more difficult. Well if we want to grow and move into the next God has.

I have lost focus because this life with God thang is hard at times. I want purpose but the tests and trials cause me to move away from Him. Human.

In a sense, doing what is easier and being complacent is comfortable. Auto pilot. Coasting. But there is a lack of real contentment. Because I wasn’t where I should have been. Frustrated. Easy but wrong. Easy but not better.

It would be like being in 12th grade and doing kindergarten work. Capable of so much. Did what it took, the hard work, to get there. But it’s too much and too challenging so Ima go back to kindergarten cuz it was easy.

And guess what? All that work will be for naught cuz I’m not getting out of 12th grade and on to college until I do the 12th grade work.

Let’s buckle up, man/woman up, and trust God to get us through to where He wants us. He has never failed. And He WILL NOT start now.

How To (Actually) Help

I saw a woman who looked like she had been out in the rain for a while as I exited the gas station.

I knew I had a poncho in my car that I thought may potentially help her not get any wetter than she already was.

I found her inside and asked if she would like the poncho.

She looked at me like I was crazy and said no.

I may have said okay. We both exited the store.

Now. I could have made a deal of sorts and told her why I thought she should take it.

I was trying to be helpful.

She didn’t ask for help. Her decision to say no indicated that she didn’t want it.

Often we force what we think is best on people and call it help. But. They didn’t ask for it. And, for whatever reason, they don’t want it.

We gotta let that be okay. We gotta respect that people are different and what we see one way they see another.

If it isn’t beneficial in the eye of the recipient, it is likely not actually helpful at all. And to push it or force it or make them feel bad if they don’t want it, turns “help” into control.

Let’s be mindful. Even when our initial intentions are good. 🙃😊😍

Wasted food

I hate wasting food. I hate when people waste food.

There are people starving. That’s a waste if money and resources.

And don’t let me have spent time preparing the food being wasted. Gaaaaaah.

That made me think of the spiritual food we waste.

We read the Bible. We listen to sermons. We endure tests and trials. We have lessons sent by God.

And yet. We don’t do anything with it. Or we don’t keep at it. Wasteful.

If I am irritated by the waste of vittles, I wonder how God feels about our waste of Him and His Word.

How does He feel about us not choosing to be good ground, or good stewards?

I challenge us to keep His Word and provision ever before us. What He gives is too good and too important to waste.

I Quit.

J/K. But I really wanted to just bury my head and take a break from life. If I’m honest, that has happened more times than I care to count. I have actually chucked the deuces and backed up from my relationship with Jesus more times than I care to count.

I have known part of my purpose since I was 14 years old. Going on 21 years. My life was no picnic before that and it has definitely not been one since then.

It is difficult to me to be me. I get that other people my have it worse. That doesn’t negate what I’ve endured. What I’m enduring.

I CANNOT quit. I CANNOT let my foot off of the gas. I have to do what I have to do in this moment to get where I’m supposed to be. This is the last time some of this particular stuff will go on. I’m not dealing with it any longer. I will have done everything possible to handle it.

I gave it to Jesus long ago. But, I’m not the only person involved. I am doing something I have never done. Cuz I want it to be OVER. Maybe it ends. Maybe it gets better. That is a possibility. What I do know is that I’m not putting up with it. I don’t have time or energy to continue in the cycle of this particular foolishness. I’ve walked away and gone back. Had to.

I don’t feel obligated after it is addressed. Either the people involved do what I need them to do or I do what I need to do for me, my future, and those attached to my future. Make no mistake, it will be a hard sacrifice to walk away. But, I have before and I will again. They will have to meet me where I am. There’s nothing wrong with boundaries and standing up for yourself. Selfishness has its necessary moments.

So. Don’t quit. Figure out what you need to learn and what you need to do. Have the conversations. Make the hard decisions. You are responsible for you. Nobody will take care of you like you. And, if God is involved, it will all work together for good. Romans 8:28. Believe it. Cuz it’s true.

It’s Temporary

Nothing in life is ever permanent.

I’m walking in 41° weather and am warm in the sun. I hit a patch of shade and was a lil cool. I have a sweatshirt but already took it off and just have a long sleeved tshirt on.

It’s temporary. Nothing in life is ever permanent is what the Lord brought to my mind as I got cold.

I’m gonna see more sun, have been in and out of cool, shade spots, on this walk than the cool shade.

There is no need to put the sweatshirt on as long as I keep moving forward and endure the temporary discomfort of shade until I get back to the sun.

Keep moving. Don’t stop. Don’t alter you life based on something that is temporary and not permanent!

Endure hardness like a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3 King James Version KJV). There is glory after this (1 Corinthians 3:18 KJV). Jesus died and already gave us the victory (1 Corinthians 15:55 KJV). We just have to do something to continue to be victorious. Hes’s got you so you’ve got this!

People’s Proper Place

Ion know. Repetitive maybe. But it blesses me and I need reminders so maybe somebody else does too. And this is my second to last in this post marathon.

I got some of this from others I’ve heard preach or post on Instagram.

We give people the wrong status in our lives.

We make friends out of acquaintances.

We make significant others out of flatterers.

We make spouses out of situations.

We make roots out of leaves (a Tyler Perry monologue you can search).

We make seasons out of moments (A quote you can search).

This has caused me unnecessary pain and grief. I want what people do not, cannot, should not give me.

Omg. The internet wasn’t working and I had a whole draft. I couldn’t save it online and I created a word file. I thought it was something else.

I didn’t pay attention. Gah. And I was supposed to. Just wrote a whole post and said I was going to. And of course I didn’t have my settings right to save versions without hitting save on my new Word on my desktop.

It still may not have lcuz the internet was down. Maybe what I said wasn’t what needed to be said. If I find it I may add it. I’m not gonna try to remember. I know better. Save, save, save! Ugh.

Honestly, I think I’m done.

We need to just be careful who feeds us and who we feed.

We need to check our motives and intentions and the motives and intentions of others.

I painfully gave up a lot of people.

If they aren’t helping me get to purpose, but, are a distraction, they gotta go.

I don’t have time to waste calling and texting and being frustrated with people who don’t have time for me.

I have stuff to do and a promise.

Jesus promised I would receive hundredfold and inherit everlasting life if I gave up people and stuff to follow him (Matthew 19:29).

I owe him my life. Literally and legitimately. He can have it. And anything that’s in the way.

Ima tell him how I feel. But he can mend it and make it better.

2022 is a year of no new friends unless a sign comes from heaven and I just gotta have the person in my life.

Cleaning house emotionally, mentally, and physically has what looks messy on the outside ranked as the best life I’ve lived to this point.

Obedience and trust in this confusing time has me growing and changing. I love it.

I suggest we take inventory and look around. Who is and isn’t serving purpose, serving destiny?

Pain is temporary. Legacy is forever.

PAAAAAAAY ATTENTION..and Plan

Sooooooo I was frustrated last week with my schedule. I wasn’t getting things done that I wanted to. I hadn’t been getting my exercise in like I wanted to. As my nephew used to say. Fruserated.

I walked for like an hour one day but determined to get my 10k steps in at once like I was used to. Two hours for my slow walking self. Eh.

It isn’t that cold to me where I am compared to where I just moved from. I tend to run warmer than others. And once I get moving I heat up. Even with my short, slow gait.

I considered getting my rain jacket but decided not to. I think I left out without my car keys and didn’t want to go back.

I made it half way. I was a bit tired. I had been off my game and the terrain is different. Resting for ten minutes before turning back was the game plan.

You know what happened right? Shortly after I sat down, I heard something. Rain.

Too lazy to get the jacket. I rarely check the weather. The sun wasn’t shining but that doesn’t necessarily mean rain.

But, I didn’t pay attention. I didn’t plan properly. Fortunately, it wasn’t a torrential downpour. Fortunately it stopped and the hardest it rained was close to the house. I did have on a jacket. Just not the right jacket to be in the rain. No hood. I wasn’t that wet though.

It was interesting to me that this happened on Friday on MLK’s actual birthday. All I did was walk in the rain. The Civil Rights leaders were hosed with water so strong…a lil light rain is nothing compared to that.

I didn’t really complain because I was going to a warm home while others sleep outside in the rain. I love the rain. And I got to get my steps in out in nature. Which is big for me. I didn’t play sports or explore the great outdoors.

In fact, I never really liked being outside much. Probably because I was usually stuck inside as a latch key kid and stuck in my ways as I got older. Amazingly, I have an evolving love for God’s creation. I can’t wait to try all kinds of outdoor things. At least once. That may be enough for some of them. Lol.

The title. The point. I’ve never been big on scheduling or planning. Not really. But, when I have something to do, I make sure I know and have enough time to get where I’m going. I fail to be on time sometimes. Especially to work. But, it is rarely said that I am late to anything. First one to family functions a lot of times.

I’m moving into a new phase of life. God is gonna fulfill, perfect, and complete some stuff. I gotta be ready when He does. I have to pay attention to everything. No matter how small. I should have turned around for that jacket. I should have checked the forecast.

Nothing major happened. This time. I doubt will go that way the next time. That’s cool. Cuz I am going to do my level best to pay attention to the situation, the circumstances and plan.

Someone said if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Id have to agree with that sentiment…

Words, Words, Words

All I had as a draft was the title. Ima see what I come up with.

Words matter. Sentence structure matters. Semantics. The English language is one of the hardest to learn for a person for whom English is not their first language. So many words sound the same but are spelled the same. The silent letters. The rules. Sure, for English speakers, other languages may be difficult. I learned Spanish. Their rules make a lot more sense than some of those I remember from my English classes. There are a multitude, a litany of exceptions for our words. For the most part, Spanish rules are pretty constant.

Lissen. Those last couple of sentences are sending me somewhere I cannot go. Lol. Just ponder them and see what you come up with. 😉

The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). James 3 is a whole situation about the tongue and our mouths. He talks about how small they are and how much fire they can kindle. The thing that I thought of is his question in verse 11: Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter.

When reading it to put a couple of other things here I was also reminded of verses 9 and 10: Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

God spoke and created the earth. Go catch that first chapter of Genesis. Throughout the ENTIRE Bible, the words, promises of God and His vessels, Jesus shift lives and entire nations. Over and over again.

My thing is this. God breathed His breath into man in Genesis. Jesus promised us power to do greater works he did (John 14:12). He stated that things could be spoken to or spoke to them (fig tree, mountains, demons, wind and sea). So, if God spoke, Jesus spoke and promised us greater works than him, if we speak, we have the ability to have what we say.

It is so very crucial as believers to only speak positively and what God says. When I say what God says, I mean speak His word. The Bible. And, if He speaks to you personally, say that as well. Saying what God says isn’t 100% literal though. We have to speak well of, about, and to each other. With kind words. That is the essence of His Word and those who wrote under His inspiration.

Many of us were called things contrary to the plan of God for our lives. Many of us were called things contrary to who God made us. People didn’t know better or they passed their issues onto us. Some of us began to become what others said we were. Some of us began to call ourselves what others called us.

I thought about that thang one day. And you know what I did? I put the Word on it! I bound it because Jesus said what I bind on earth would be bound in heaven. I loosed what God thinks, what He says because he said what I loose on earth would be loosed in heaven (all bof of em are Matthew 18:18). I cursed it at the root and sent it back to the pit of hell where it belongs (churchy phrase with likely origins to that fig tree mentioned abouve).

I submit to you today, that if you are struggling with your words, study to be quiet (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Study the Word. Say things the way they should be said and say only what should be said. Not idle, wasteful things. I’m working on this myself as I believe I stated elsewhere.

If you are struggling with the words of others, study the word to find out who God and His vessels say we are. This. This. This. This. And this are great places to start.

Just Because it Tastes Good…

Folks like usin salt and butter in food. I don’t usually use either. Salt almost never. Butter depends on what I’m cooking. It’s usually a season with sodium (Cavendar’s) and some form of, liquid or spray, Olive Oil.

Salt flavors but sends blood pressure up and causes water retention. Most of us get plenty without adding straight salt-unless we have medical things going on. Butter is basically flavored fat. So there’s that.

Not to mention all the sugar we consume. Sure, salt, butter, and sugar taste good. But too much is not good for us. It has lead to our obesity and obesity related health issues.

The salt of the earth ain’t where I’m going on tuhday.

In Matthew 7:13 (KJV), Jesus says wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction. All that fat, salt, sugar. All that sin. All that stuff contrary to the Word and will of God. Just wide and fat. But it sure tasted good.

Good news. Jesus told us to enter through the straight gate because straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14 KJV). Keep our weight down. Watch what we eat. Watch what we consume. Keep our lives, our circles tight and right.

I’m on a weight loss journey. Holistically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically. Why? Hebrews 12:1 (KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Also. Good stewardship over this body. Bump just stewarding money well (Matthew 25:14-30). My body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19). Obesity ain’t stewarding this body well. I don’t think I’m gluttonous overall (Proverbs 23:2-3; Matthew 23:25-26). Ya know. Just some times when the food is good. Genetics and a sedentary life aren’t helpful. But I gotta prosper and be in good health even as my soul prospers (3 John 1:2).

Live

I’m sitting doing my hair and listening to my lil Christian/Gospel music.

I have several unwritten drafts. Relationship wasn’t one of them. The unwritten ones require more time than I’ve carved out since I got the inspo. Ima get to them.

I feel like I stay fussing or correcting. But I don’t feel bad. Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. But he was and his words are bomb.

There’s plenty of saccharine, sweet, positive, good, prosperity, little accountability words floating around. That ain’t me. Ima keep going in my lane.

God promises us things. Good things. But so many focus on His hand and not what is required to obtain His promises. Ima talk about standards and the holistic Christianity of the Bible.

Waaaaay off. Two different songs that play today talked about living. Not I’m Alive. Lol. Go check that post out.

I need someone to know that they need to live. Suicide isn’t the answer. Wallowing in depression isn’t the answer.

I wanted to die. I was depressed. It was overwhelming. I saw no way out at the time. But it got better. Jesus and I got tight.

Everything in my life isn’t perfect. Honestly, from the outside it is a MESS right now. But I know what God said. I know why. I trust Him. I have hope in Him.

I see how He’s come through for people in the Bible. I remember how He’s come through for me.

Focusing on Him and His Word gives me peace. It gives me joy. He makes life worth living. It’s not easy. At all. But soooooo worth it. The peace and emotional and mental stability is PRICELESS. Try it. I dare you. 🙂

Relationship

I know I talked about this the other day. But it is important.

Would you consider yourself in a good relationship with someone if they:

  1. Only talked and never let you talk
  2. Always asked you for stuff and wasn’t worried about you as a person
  3. Talked about you as if they knew you but spent little time with you
  4. Wanted you to be or treat them a certain way but were unconcerned about they way you wanted them to be or how you wanted to be treated
  5. Had all requirements but disregarded yours

That’s some of us. If we are guilty of this on a regular basis, I’d say we need to check ourselves and fix our relationship with God.

Relationships are not one-sided. No relationship is 50/50. But um there should be an exchange, a balance. Especially since we will never be able to give to Him what He gives to us.

We will NEVER get to 50/50 with God. I doubt it would ever be better than 90/10 in reality. But the way some of us operate, we have made it 99 (us)/1 (Him) by the way we relate to Him and interact with Him. We gotta do better!

Dranky Drank Mary Jane

Growing up as an Apostolic Christian smoking and drinking were a no go. Periodt. As I grew up, I read the Bible myself and had some conversations with some people I trust.

First of all, above all else, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV). We should treat them well. I’m working on this. In all aspects. What we ingest, how much we rest, and how active we are.

The thing is, the Bible doesn’t prohibit drinking. I’ll get to the Mary in a minute. The first miracle Jesus performs is turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). The people told us growing up that it was different wine, isn’t the same as today’s wine, and that they didn’t really have anything to drink. Or something like that.

That right there is a bone I have with a lot of churches and church folk I’ve been around. Just telling us stuff with little to no Biblical reference. Just some man made rules/revelation that people just went with without questioning or researching and kept passing on. Tradition. Religion. I digress.

The Bible disapproves of drunks/being drunk. There are comparisons made regarding drinking to things/people that aren’t so great. However, there is no express prohibition against drinking.

These are topical searches on Biblegateway.com that discuss/mention wine, alcohol, and drunk. I didn’t do drink because there are scriptures wholly unrelated to the dranky dranky.

I didn’t want to go into all of them and do a deep dive. These tend to be shortish and sweetish. Lol.

Mary, Mary, Mary. It grows naturally. God allowed it to exist. There are proven medicinal properties via the THC in marijuana. I firmly believe that if MJ was allowed, legally, at the federal level there would be little need for many of the medications people take. There would be less need for nonviolent, entrepreneurs (lol) to be locked up. But, that’s not how the rackets in capitalist America work. I hope our new administration changes this.

I could digress further into my opinions about legislating and criminalizing morality. Not today. Maybe another day. Cuz people are gonna do what they want. God allows it. I don’t agree with everything people do. Neither does God. But it is their choice and who are we? Okay. Well I guess I did go there some. I have way more to say about it.

The issue I take with the MJ, and the dranky dranky, is dependence and addiction to be altered and cover up issues. If you need the MJ or just the THC for medical reasons, go for it. If you are having a nice lil dinner or get together and have a lil drank, go for it.

But when it is a salvo, a think used to medicate around issues, that leaves little to no room for God to heal you. That leaves little to no room for God to take care of you. That leaves little to no room for you to see and expose the areas in your life that only God can handle.

So, do you boo. Just make sure you are not dependent on a resource or thing that exists instead of THE Source-God.

Still There

I was cleaning the other day and there was rice everywhere in the pantry. I pushed it off of what it was on onto the floor. Some of it had already spilled and I needed to clean the floor anyway.

When I was done cleaning and it was time to clean the floor I couldn’t see the rice but I knew it was there.

I swept the floor and, as I knew, I gathered rice.

The point of my being in the pantry is because there was disorganized chaos.

We have a whole lot of stuff we can’t see because our lives and minds aren’t organized. Here I go with this again.

We haven’t taken stock and inventory of what is going on with us. We have trauma and pain, hurt and confusion, disappointment and abandonment hidden among so many other things.

That was the initial route I was going with this. But, while writing, the age old adage that is ever true came to mind. Even when we can’t see Him, what we know to be true, is that God is always there.

We have all of this mess and stuff that we need clean. We name it and put it out there. Or stuff we need. We know we place our petitions before Him.

But He isn’t moving quickly enough. Or at all. Or we just don’t see Him in the process.

Then all of a sudden here comes something “big” (big cuz it may be small but the smallest things can be big in the moment), like a broom to a pile of dirt, comes along and shows us God was there all along. Just like we knew. Just like He said He would be.

I didn’t publish this the other day and stopped writing because I was tired and felt like this didn’t make much sense. It still may not. I think the organization may be off. I dunno. But, this is just a thoughts post. Perfection is never my aim. I think all of it is important. Hopefully it makes enough sense.

The point is two fold. Just because we can’t see our issues and mess does not mean that they are not there. We need to clean it up so God can use us. We don’t use partially clean stuff in our lives why would God want to use a partially clean life for His glory? Especially when NOTHING about Him is unclean. And when nothing, no thing is hidden. He already knows. Just tell Him and let Him help and guide us into cleaning it up. Things will always be a bit off until we do anyway.

Second, though we may not be able to see Him, or trace Him as some say, the Word gives us a promise. He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5 KJV). He keeps His promises. It may seem like all is lost and He has abandoned or forgotten you.

Look at Job. He was there. He allowed Job to go through it because He knew Job and knew he could handle it. That’s the not allowing us to be tempted more than we can bear in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

I’m sure Job had more feelings than we see-despite seeing a lot of them. But God knew that he could handle the loss and the temptation to walk away from Him. He questioned God. He expressed his feelings. God could handle the messiness of it.

Then God reminded Job who He was. Job gathered himself and got it together. Then God blessed him with even more than before. God knew what He was doing, who He was gonna get His glory from.

Valleys don’t exist without mountains. Mountains don’t exist without valleys. But God is the Creator and God of them ALL.