Living Like an Overcomer

No matter what is happening in this broken world, I am an overcomer. So many things in the last few months have happened to make my heart heavy, sad, broken — it can be difficult to muster the strength to hold on to joy and peace. But, I have chosen to hold on to joy and peace. As believers in Christ, the adversity, grief, heartache, woe and injustice that we experience is expected. We are not citizens of this earthly realm; our home is in heaven – we are foreigners here, aliens on a journey. It would stand to reason that we will experience enmity, bigotry, bias, hate. The world will not embrace us, nor its systems treat us with fairness. Sadly, many of us, who are citizens of heaven, have forgotten our place and are treating other citizens of heaven in ways that we should not — but I digress.

As we grieve the things that happen to us on this earth, we can rejoice that we are not alone nor forsaken! We have a great High Priest who is familiar with the troubles that we face. He is limitless in His mercy and grace, and He invites us to cast our cares upon Him. We are His chosen children – He loves us and wants what is best for us. You see, the world wants us to believe that all is lost, that our case is hopeless, that the battles will never end, that we are less than worthy of a peaceful life. But God has repeatedly told us in His word that this is simply not true. We will overcome!

We can hold on to joy — because our hope does not lie in the things of this world or in the systems of this world – but in He who cannot and will not fail; in He who loves truly and perfectly; in He who is our all! Much like those three Hebrew boys who were in the burning furnace, we have to believe that there is One that sees us, hears us and will deliver us in His own perfect time. We have to choose to embrace His truth – He is our peace.

Yes, it is painful; it is unfair; it is discouraging — all of it feels so wrong; but don’t lose sight of the truth that it is not contrary to what our Lord has spoken to us. He has foretold the trials would come; but more than that, he has revealed a future victory that no world system can snatch from us. The troubles of this world can touch my flesh, and they can prick my heart, but I will not allow them to swallow my heart, and He will not let them cover my soul in darkness. I am grateful that my life is filled with friendships that include people of all races, colors, religious backgrounds. I am blessed to have good friends across the color spectrum. But even if no one down here values me, I know who made me, and I know He adores me. Man can hold me in disdain, but He is exalting me as His called out one. I am an overcomer — and I intend to live like it. Make the choice to believe His truths no matter what is happening around you, so that you can experience his peace that man cannot understand. The one who dwells within you is greater than any issue that you might face. Don’t lose heart – in the end, you will win!  Yes! In the end, He will reign!

“I Have A Dream” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Jr. delivered the speech “I Have a Dream” during the August 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in which he advocated for civil and economic rights and an end to racial discrimination. At the height of the civil rights movement, King’s speech to more than 250,000 supporters in Washington, D.C., at the Lincoln Memorial, was a pivotal moment and one of the most famous in American history.

There are times when we just need to hear these words over and over again … reminders of what our nation can become if we allow Love to be the guide …

Walk With Me, Lord!

The last 12 months have been quite …. AHHHHHH!!

COVID was already in motion and then my mother begins her eternal life. Many of our countries across Africa were blocking the return VISAs for our global workers because of the VIRUS. Cancer took away a dear, close friend from high school and two of our global workers. Racial hate continually raised its head across the USA in many ways. Some, who call themselves believers in Christ, somehow mixed political beliefs with their belief in Jesus Christ. It has not been a year without much difficulty.

The racial issue alone just gives my heart much concern. As a mom of young black men, my heart kinda quakes almost every day. I just don’t want them mistaken for a terrible person because they are chocolate and caramel as God has made them. As a full-time missionary who has to have financial support to cover all costs, both work and personal, I have taken hits from people who think it makes me less than them.

Dealing with all of the issues, there have been days where I was just not … happy! I had no fear – not even for a moment – but I didn’t like what was all around me. There are always situations in life that make you want to quit.

A beautiful truth for a believer in Christ, a child of God, is that nothing that goes on around us can prevent or block our victory. For me, God has been evident…. my calling, the part of the Body of Christ that I am, is to ensure that the truth of the Gospel is spread across Africa. According to my Father, my role is to lead like Christ led – by serving people and demonstrating to them the life that should be lived. So … take the step back into the difficulties and remember that all of that is happening, but He hasn’t told me to take a break! He just keeps telling me to hold His hand and keep-a-stepping! I mean, think about it … I actually have the best boss man EVER – The Almighty God!! All-powerful, grace-giving, truly loves me, strengthens me, protects me, heals me, directs me, instructs me and I have the best benefit package of any employee – eternal life!

One of the most beautiful things that I am learning more and more and more is what it means to trust Him. You see, I don’t have anything in me that wants hurt to come to anyone that causes harm to me. I don’t fear to face any person who doesn’t like what He is speaking through me. I don’t doubt that He will finish what He has started. I have the good sense to humble myself under His mighty hand, knowing that he will exalt in due time! Praise God. He loves me so much that He started His work in me, and, as I keep saying every single day, He can’t fail!

So Lord, walk with me! I can take a hit, a slap, a knock out – because I know You’ve got me! I’ll make it through it all. For the sake of Your glory … I will make it!!

Taking Defensive Action

Chatter is a term used often in shows about espionage. That term is used to describe the information received from eavesdrop on communications from suspected terrorists. They use the information from the ‘chatter’ to plan defensive action. Well, we are privy to lots of chatter too and we don’t have to eavesdrop to get it. The world; the enemy; our haters (naysayers); and even our own minds can be the means to our sabotage.

Chatter in the world carries false messages for us. False messages like:
– We are not worthy because of our ethnicity – FALSE
– We are not worthy because of our past failures – FALSE
– we are not worthy because of our lack of education – FALSE
– we are not worthy because we’re not married – FALSE
– we are not worthy because our womb does not produce children – FALSE
– we are not worthy because our personality makes people uncomfortable – FALSE
– we are not worthy because we’ve been divorced – FALSE
– we are not worthy because we’ve had an abortion – FALSE

When the world says that all of these messages determine whether we are worthy .. they all are RUBBISH!! Trash!!! Waste!! Debris!! Lies!! Don’t let these statements guide your mind and heart in understanding who you are in Him.

I am so glad today that I know that the chatter I hear in the world is not my truth! Neither is it your truth!

As a believer in Christ – we need to learn to take this chatter and take defensive action against these terrorists that are threatening our abundant life in Christ.

The Word of God tells us that we should tear down twisted philosophies and take wayward thoughts and emotions captive and bring them in line with what His truth is. That means we have to believe Him and that we have to believe that His word is our truth – our only truth. We have to remember and speak to ourselves the truth.

As a Christ follower I am worthy (worth it) because He has taken up residence in me and has called me; and when he called me He put me in right relationship with Him; and when He put me in right relationship with Him, He committed to complete all that He started in me for my good and for His glory. I am far from perfect, but my imperfections do not disqualify me from living the abundant life that He has laid out for me.

I will be an asset in this world and not a liability because God has made it so. Chatter — sometimes you have to shut it down! Don’t let your circumstances, your friends, the naysayers, the haters – keep you from living holy; from living free; from living in joy. You are an overcomer – not in your own power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit that resides in you. When I was living in Ghana I loved to hear them say “Let Them Say” – which means their words have no power over me so they can talk all they want.

I encourage you today to believe that He has counted you worthy of His calling and worthy of the sacrifice He made for you at Calvary. I encourage you to have the faith to shut the chatter down in whatever form it may come. Let them say!YOU — JUST BELIEVE!

Beloved … let us love

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!