Tag Archives: help

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!

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. 🙃😊😍

Proverbs 24 (The Message MSG)

Intelligence Outranks Muscle

1-2 Don’t envy bad people;
    don’t even want to be around them.
All they think about is causing a disturbance;
    all they talk about is making trouble.

3-4 It takes wisdom to build a house,
    and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms
    with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.

5-6 It’s better to be wise than strong;
    intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;

Wise conversation is way over the head of fools;
    in a serious discussion they haven’t a clue.

8-9 The person who’s always cooking up some evil
    soon gets a reputation as prince of rogues.
Fools incubate sin;
    cynics desecrate beauty.

Rescue the Perishing

10 If you fall to pieces in a crisis,
    there wasn’t much to you in the first place.

11-12 Rescue the perishing;
    don’t hesitate to step in and help.
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,”
    will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know—
    Someone not impressed with weak excuses.

13-14 Eat honey, dear child—it’s good for you—
    and delicacies that melt in your mouth.
Likewise knowledge,
    and wisdom for your soul—
Get that and your future’s secured,
    your hope is on solid rock.

15-16 Don’t interfere with good people’s lives;
    don’t try to get the best of them.
No matter how many times you trip them up,
    God-loyal people don’t stay down long;
Soon they’re up on their feet,
    while the wicked end up flat on their faces.

17-18 Don’t laugh when your enemy falls;
    don’t gloat over his collapse.
God might see, and become very provoked,
    and then take pity on his plight.

19-20 Don’t bother your head with braggarts
    or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
Those people have no future at all;
    they’re headed down a dead-end street.

21-22 Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders;
    don’t be defiant or mutinous.
Without warning your life can turn upside down,
    and who knows how or when it might happen?

More Sayings of the Wise

An Honest Answer

23 It’s wrong, very wrong,
    to go along with injustice.

24-25 Whoever whitewashes the wicked
    gets a black mark in the history books,
But whoever exposes the wicked
    will be thanked and rewarded.

26 An honest answer
    is like a warm hug.

27 First plant your fields;
    then build your barn.

28-29 Don’t talk about your neighbors behind their backs—
    no slander or gossip, please.
Don’t say to anyone, “I’ll get back at you for what you did to me.
    I’ll make you pay for what you did!”

30-34 One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones,
    and then passed the vineyard of a slob;
They were overgrown with weeds,
    thick with thistles, all the fences broken down.
I took a long look and pondered what I saw;
    the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:
“A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
    sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
    with poverty as your permanent houseguest!”

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.

You Dead or Nah????

Faith y’all. Faith.

Faith without works is dead. James 2:17. The whole chapter is worth reading.

My brain is finna feel dead. I have four posts to edit in addition to the four? I’ve finished and Proverbs 21. Sheesh. It’s my fault though. Poor planning and time management. Digression.

We pray and we ask God for help. We expect Him to do all the work. Now, some of this may be my good, Instagram girlfriend in my head @shanickavailhouse/@mytransparentMOMents.

But, works require us to do something. God gives us insight and wisdom on how to obtain some things that we pray for. Either we miss it or are stubborn, obstinate, don’t want to do it His way.

If we do nothing the faith we had to ask for it or believe it would happen dies. Why? Because we do not obtain what we believed through our failure to act.

There are some things and miracles God just does and gives. I’m not talking about that.

I want to lose weight. I want to drink more water. I asked God for help. This isn’t the first time. I have tried.

I didn’t love exercising. I didn’t love water. Usually didn’t drink much of anything unless it came with the meal and could eat without any beverage. Didn’t love the outdoors. Ion like weather extremes after living in the cold midwest and hot south and not being out in it much as a child.

Something happened in the middle of the pandemic. Y’all, for my Apostolic/Pentecostal/Holiness/well informed folk, I just quickened.

In the middle of death. In the middle of devastation. In the middle of uncertainty. In the middle of chaos. In the middle of confusion. In the middle of confinement. In the middle of quarantine. In the middle of loss. While I was essential personnel. While I worked every scheduled shift unless I requested off. I lost weight while others gained it.

I would love to say I worked hard. But I didn’t really work at all. I just stopped eating more than one maybe two meals. It was really laziness. I was staying up after I got off at midnight and sleeping or not wanting to go get food. I wasn’t cooking. I feel like I may have said some of this elsewhere. Forgive me. It’s worth repeating.

Once I saw what I had done while accidentally, inadvertently intermittently fasting, I was sold. I bought a half-gallon igloo and decided to drink my water. I started craving it.

I started walking in the park and loved it. I get irritable, definitely today, when I can’t go outside and walk due to the weather. I have been out in walking in the teens or low twenties at the coldest. I just bundle up. I have come to love, love, love God’s nature.

I don’t just eat vegetables and healthily. As a matter of fact, I lost weight eating junk and fast food. I stopped most of the bad stuff at first. I don’t eat nearly as much junk as before. My water intake has slowed. As has the exercise. Moving and having a different lifestyle is an interesting adjustment. But somehow, I am still losing.

I have worked my faith and God has been gracious to me.

Whatever you are believing God for, figure out what your part is. And walk it out. Work it. He just may be waiting on you.

Proverbs 3

*Summary of The Message (MSG) version*

1-2: Don’t forget what we’ve been taught and take the commands to heart because they will help you live a long, full, well lived life.

It is important to remember the words of the Proverbs, but also the “words” of our lives. If we don’t keep in mind what we have been through and what we have learned, we are liable to have to endure it again. Cycles. Frustration. Wilderness. But, if we keep our lessons, what God has done for us, ever before us, we can move on and experience other things because we aren’t needlessly going through the same thing time and time again.

3-4: Maintain love and loyalty, tying them around our neck, carving their initials on our heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God and the people’s eyes

So interesting to me that love is mentioned as something we should maintain, along with loyalty, and carving their initials on our heart. Why? Because love for others, and his love for us, was so important to Jesus. It is all through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The Psalmist says they hide the Word in their heart that they might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). God is love (1 John 4:7). The Word is God (John 1:1). So amazing how the Word confirms itself. It is important that we live well. Later, in 2 Corinthians 3:2, Paul tells us that we are epistles, letters, known and read of men.

5-12: Trust God from the bottom of our hearts, not trying to figure out things on our own. Listen for God’s voice in everything we do and wherever we go because He will keep us on track. Don’t assume we know everything. Run to god and from evil. Our bodies will glow healthily, bones will vibrate with life. Honor God with everything we own, giving him the first and best. We will have an abundance if we do. Don’t resent God’s discipline or take issue with His loving correction. He corrects us because he loves us.

The King James Version (KJV) says with all our heart. But seeing the bottom in the Message (MSG) version hit differently today. The bottom is the lowest part. It still means all. But seeing bottom means, to me today, with every single bit, with every last drop. With everything and all that you have. KJV says not to lean to our own understanding. The simplicity of the MSG version packs a different punch too. Leaning to our own understanding seems to speak to not doing what we know. Here, it is telling us not to be independent but depend on God. KJV says to acknowledge him in all our ways and He will direct our paths. This version is so much more thorough and intentional. Not just acknowledge Him, but also listen for His voice in EVERYTHING because he will keep us on track. This seems like it is saying be humble sit down. Hahaha. How great is it that if we run to God, we will have life and health? Giving God our first and best leading to abundance reminds me of Malachi 3 and the promise if we give tithes and offering.

13-18: Meeting wisdom is a blessing. Insight as our friend is worth more money in the bank, her friendship better than a big salary. Her value is more than what comes with wealth, nothing we desire compares to her. She gives long life on one hand and recognition on the other. She has a beautiful manner, with wonderful life that is complete, a tree of life if we embrace her. If we hold her tight we will be blessed.

I don’t know how much more even needs to be said. Wisdom and insight are so vital and important to us. We need to make sure we use wisdom and insight in all that we do.

19-20: God formed the earth with wisdom, raised heaven with insight. They knew when to signal rivers and springs to surface and dew to descend from night skies.

Same. Y’all. Same. But. How cool is God that He gives us what He used to create the world to enable us to live well and be in relationship with Him.

21-26: Guard clear thinking and common sense with our lives and don’t lose sight of them. They will keep our soul alive and well, us fit and attractive. We will have safe travel without tiring or tripping, napping without worry, sleeping well at night. We will not panic over alarms or surprises, predictions of doomsday because God will be with us keeping us safe and sound.

Being free from clutter and distraction in our mind, as well as having common sense, sets us up to live our best lives without stress and worry, without being tired and falling down. Duh. Lol.

27-29: Don’t abandon anyone who deserves help as we are God’s hand for them. Don’t put our neighbor off for later if we have the money. Don’t find ways to take advantage of a trusting, unsuspecting neighbor.

Hands and feet of Jesus. That’s what I thought. People say that’s what we should be as Christians. Facts. Jesus told us as much. Whatever we do unto those who need it we are doing unto him (Matthew 25:31-46).

30-32: Don’t have a chip on our shoulder looking to fight. Don’t shoulder our way through life being a bully because God can’t stand twisted souls. The straightforward get God’s respect.

I mean. What more is there to say? That’s not who God is. We are to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). A bully ain’t that.

33-35: The house of the wicked are cursed by God but the home of the righteous is blessed. Proud skeptics are given a cold shoulder but those down on their luck receive help. Honor is given to wise living. Booby prizes are given to stupid living.

Reaping and sowing. Reaping and sowing. Galatians 6:7.

Bitter Forgiveness

That is all this really is about today. I’ve been hurt  countless times by countless people because I relied on them to provide things for me.

My life sucked. I’ve talked about this. I didn’t feel wanted, accepted, appreciated, or loved. All of that was provided at the cross. But it’s hard to be a child and have no control over things. And even into my early adulthood I was searching. People are visible and tangible. God isn’t

I have a vision and a huge future. For the past few years I have struggled with what to do after God moves me into what I see. Some of those people who hurt and betrayed me may put their hands out. Then again some may be too ashamed or embarrassed to put their hands out.

My flesh wants to be rude. My flesh wants to keep them in the past and continue the separation. My flesh wants to ask where they were when I needed and wanted them.

My heart wants to just love them because I found something in them to love in the first place. They provided something to me that was beneficial whether pleasant or painful.

My spirit says to guard my heart. My spirit says to be a good steward. My spirit is torn between my heart and flesh. I don’t have the answer right now. And to be honest I don’t need the answer right now.

God is a very present help in the time of trouble. And whether it is biblical or not, he is an on time God. I’m sure he will lead me and guide me into all truth. I just want to be pleasing in what I say and do.

To me forgiveness isn’t forgetting. If I forget I am susceptible to the same prior behavior. But forgiveness requires me to let animosity and bitterness go. I can honestly say if anybody who ever hurt me needed me I would be there. But I don’t desire a relationship.

I feel like if I wasn’t good enough, if my heart wasn’t good enough when I had next to nothing it shouldn’t be good enough when I walk into the wealthy place God has called, predestined, ordained,  prepared,  and created for me.

I have worked so hard and will continue working hard. I want to be surrounded by people who were willing to stay and truly assist me on my way. Not people who dismissed me.  I dunno. I’m rambling. I know his grace will be sufficient. I’m just going to trust him and know that all things work together for good.

Thank you!

To each of you who have read, liked, and followed. Honesty and transperancy despite mistakes, sin, and embarrassment is difficult. I made the decision to share my testimony hoping I could help or encourage somebody else. Thank you. I am extremely grateful.

Who say what?

Contrary to popular belief and behavior, God, Jesus, the Bible are all holistic. The mind, body, and spirit of a man matter.

Contrary? The “churches” I went to seemed to be worried outward appearance. Looking good. Smiling. Faking the funk pretending. But we should come as we are without pretense.

There are so many scriptures dealing with the frailty of the human conditions. People crying out to God. People recording what God said. And the His descent in the flesh in the form of Jesus. Jesus told us to bring it all to him. Paul told us that Jesus knows and understands because he was in the flesh just like us.

I don’t have a good poker face. Or at least I didn’t at times growing up. I usually wore my heart on my sleeve. I didn’t like the fakeness I saw. I didn’t like hiding and pretending. I also read my Bible for myself. I listened to who differ people said he was. But I was a mess. I couldn’t understand, didn’t like the fact that my “church”/”christian” world didn’t line up with the Bible.

When I finally gave up on the dream of better where I was, moved to the same, and eventually moved where I could heal, things got better. I had the hard task of looking at my life. I try not to feel ashamed or regret. I am painfully embarrassed and sad for her. But I try to remember what was going on with her and look at the big picture not just her behavior.

Everything isn’t perfect. I’m not perfect. I wasn’t promised a bed of-thorn free-roses or a field full of daisies. But I was promised help, a comforter, a listening ear. I try to pleases him but I know I mess up. I’m going to keep on trying.