Picture it! (You who know me – know that I loved to hear Sophia on The Golden Girls start her stories with those words! ) OK …. so Picture It!! A world where every Christ follower acts in love in EVERY situation. I’m not talking about loving the ones who love us. I’m not even talking about loving those who are not so loving but are yet dear to us (you know, those crazy family members you don’t really like!). What I am talking about is loving those who mean us harm; those who commit wrongs against us intentionally; those who purpose to bring to ruin the plans that God has for us. I’m talking about going beyond forgiveness and showing them love.
When I look at my wedding ring, I see many facets – sometimes it glistens bright white; at another angle it is a colorful prism; sometimes it looks like clear glass. My point is – no matter how I look at it or how it looks to me – it looks beautiful. Love too – in all of its facets is a beautiful thing. So then, why don’t we just try to take every experience of this day and respond to it in love. My oldest son, Joseph, signs his notes “Live In Love”, a great reminder of what our Christ’s life was like and what His example was for us.
As for me I have to ask myself daily: Can I be love in every situation? Honestly – I don’t know! But I can certainly try. My prayer today is that each person that I have contact with on this day (whether in person or electronically) will know that they are loved!
“I am ready to go to heaven, but I’m not in a hurry.”
My mom said this often. In fact, very often. As I’ve told people of her death, that is the first thing they say, “Miss Mary said she wanted to get on up to heaven, but she wasn’t in a hurry.”
My mom never meant, I want to die, she was ministering to people that there was no such thing as a life that ended, not as a believer in Christ. Her meaning was that people of Christ needed to understand that their lives did not end on what is called a death bed … their lives just never ended at all, but rather entered into the eternal life in heaven. She wanted the lost to know that just having the word heaven in their vocabulary was not going to get them there … only Jesus!
She Loved The Lord!!! She Served Him Always!! She taught us to love and to serve. She taught us to take the hits. She showed us what a good wife was – adored our father and served & supported him deeply.
My mom married my father when she was 17 years old. When he passed away they had been together for 65 years! 65 years and they were still best friends. She gave birth to my sisters and I and she was a good mom who loved us well. Her dear love was for her grand children – she had longed for them and was delighted when she got them.
She gave herself away to many elderly people who had no family. She cooked for them; cleaned for them; took care of their medical needs; loved them and so much more. And doing all of this, she was not a housewife. She worked, she took care of her family & home, she served her local church, she served the national Baptist convention … and it did not stop her from serving anyone!
She lived 92 years and was healthy every single day. I mean my mother was still cutting her own lawn, trimming her shrubs, growing vegetables in her backyard, and so much more. Because of reasons we cannot yet understand, my mother had a brain bleeding stroke. It was Mother’s Day Weekend (Friday May 8, 2020). Completely unexpected. She stayed alive for 10 weeks – a beautiful gift to our family. Time to take care of her in complete love. Time for her to see her three girls together in unity. Time to show her that we were okay. Time to show us that we needed to believe all that we had been taught about eternal life. July 15th we saw a last breath and on July 16th the heart stopped … she left us and went to Him.
What we know as a family is that this date was written in the books of Our Heavenly Father. His Word tells us that everybody has to die once. (Hebrews 9:27). Another great truth for us is the truth about death – it doesn’t mean that our lives stop, it means that our flesh life is separated from our spirit life … soul separated from body. We know with no doubt at all that our soul is who we really are and that this physical body is just what holds us until we get home to Him.
For my mother, I am truly rejoicing that she’s escaped timing and entered into an eternal destiny with the God in whom she believed completely! One of the most wonderful things that night was that she was smiling … the word of God does tell us that God’s children have angels assigned to them; and one of the jobs of those angels is to escort our souls into the Kingdom of God – well, it surely looked to us like her angel was right there. She hadn’t been able to smile since the stroke, not even once! But at that moment, when she was entering into her new life – a smile came upon her face. That is just another beautiful vision for our minds and hearts.
Oh Bright Glory! If we miss my mom from smiling, serving, counseling, encouraging, loving down here … we need know that she is up in bright glory. Absent from the body, present with The Lord!
I’m truly going to miss my mama …
An Invitation to Believe in a Truth that is REAL
If you have never believed in Christ, let me just tell you for sure that there’s a beautiful life that you can have on this earth if you believe! Peace on the inside comes! Perseverance in difficulty comes! Freedom from any addiction comes! A true relationship with Almighty God comes! A life that never ends comes! If you want to receive Him, you’ve got to believe in Him.
We need salvation! We all have sinned and are not worthy of His presence and that sin will send us into true death, while belief in Christ will give us life that is eternal!
God gives us salvation! He sent the only son He has to a place of severe discipline, and this Son – whose name is Jesus – took the hit and paid to God what our sin caused us to owe.
Receive what He has given! Believe in Jesus Christ, believe in the truth that He took the hit for all of your wrongdoing to bring you into the right relationship with God. Call His name and tell Him that you believe.
If you truly believe I’m telling you that you will have peace in your heart that you cannot even explain. I’m telling you that you have now been reconciled to a good relationship with God – The Father, The Creator, The Almighty One.
If you’ve come to Christ as you read these words, connect with a group of people near you who are believers, profess your belief and be taught. Find a group near so that you can truly keep your connection real. Need help finding a place to know Him better? Email me, I’ll gladly help you.
There are nations and people that have been lulled into believing that they have some sort of magic formula that has rendered them successful and even untouchable. They walk among us as gods … believing that they have some control over the fates of all people. Wielding their power to make others bend to their will, in exchange for some favor.
God is watching.
When we ignore The One who has given us life — who has placed within us the gifts that have made room for us — we are assured that His wrath will come … and all of the money, connections and power will not be able to save us!
As we bask in the luxuries that we have desired more than God — we might be lulled into some idea that provision, protection, status and security will be ours forever — it is NOT the case! When we exalt ourselves — He is just and faithful to bring us back to our rightful place.
We cannot live in such a way that we believe we have a right to use or abuse others because w efeel we are more than them. We are NOT getting away with anything!
When on our own wiles we rely – tragedy is sure to befall us. When we ignore The One who has placed the good in our hands, it is sure to turn on us.
I give God glory for all that He is. I affirm from my own soul that He alone is God and there is NONE besides Him. I beg His mercy on on a nation that has believed their own power has made them equal to You! I beg His mercy on people whose status and money have made them believe that they have equal standing with Him. I am asking God to give His children wisdom to walk in The Truth and to give His children boldness to exhort and encourage righteousness!
In a time when ministries are suffering for money; I am praying that He will help the to stand firm for the truth and not be deceived into thinking that any person or authority is sustaining them.
I am praying that He will help His people to remember that we live our lives for an audience of One! Praying that He will help us to remember that we will have to answer to a righteous God some day. Praying that He will help us to remember that our help is in the name of The Lord – who is Strong and Mighty … The God of every nation!
Recovery from the surgery has helped me feel quite independent. I can drive myself around. I cook what I want to eat. I go where I want to go – when I want to go. It has been nice. Well, I was doing a little housework the other day and a huge glass container slipped from my hands – glass flew everywhere which made me afraid to take a step. I cried out for my husband to come and help me, he said, “There you go – I thought you forgot how to call on me!” My husband let me know that it was his pleasure to deliver me out of trouble. It reminded me of the story of Asa in 2 Chronicles 16.
Asa went his own way for victory and Hanani the seer told him in verses 7-10 “ Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”
The Lord seeks to bring victory to those whose hearts truly and desperately depend upon Him alone.
It is not an easy thing to live in a state of desperate dependence.
This present age teaches us to go for it; to make our own futures; to live our best lives now; to be more than the next guy; to prosper at all costs. God seeks for us to depend upon him to bring to us the future and the present that He desires for us. Our striving on this earth must be, as Paul Says in Colossians, “striving according to His power, which mightily works within me”. In other words, even in seeking to bring a good resolution to our problems, we must do so in a manner that places us in a position of humble submission before the Lord of Hosts.
It is not proper that we rely on Him in our minds, but then act in the flesh to bring swift resolutions to our own issues. When we act in such manner – we disregard the victory that God has assures and set ourselves up for strife and discord. We must ask the Lord to develop within our hearts a trust that moves us to stand firm in our faith in God and in our belief that He will work the matter out for our good and for His glory. Yes we must ask the Lord because without Him granting us grace – we would not be able to trust Him at all!
We might be tempted to take out a payday loan to satisfy a debt – but we will end up losing more than the original debt when we realize that our resources are not enough to satisfy the payment. We might make a deal with someone to lessen some debt that we owe – but people are rarely satisfied with the deals they make with debtors unless it leaves the other person in ruins. If, however, we stand still and rely on the Lord; being strong and courageous and not doubting our victory, according to the Word of the Lord, we not only receive victory but divine favor!
O! that we would learn to trust!
Father, we need you to grant us the grace to trust you more. I plead for myself that you will make my heart one that relies on, desires, trusts and loves you above all! Father, there are many things facing me in the days ahead and I have been feeling a bit apprehensive, but today – I commit to lay my needs at your feet. The needs are earthly, in the flesh’s realm, and you are the God of all flesh. I know that you know what I have need of. I know that only you can provide everything that I need. On the word of my own testimony, I can say that you are a faithful deliverer and provider. Help me to be strong and courageous. Gird me up, Lord, when my faith falters. I am trusting in you to see me through! I am weak – You are all powerful! You are my God, in whom I trust. I know with assuredness today that all is well! Amen
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.--Romans 8:38-39