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.
That He desires to meet our needs is not in question – but the erroneous teaching that He desires all of us to be materially wealthy is hurtful to the heart of God! The big issue about wanting good to be spoken over your life by a man of God or woman of God is this — are you walking in holiness, righteousness, love????
If you know you are walking continually in sin and rebellion, yet you go to some church and a prophet/prophetess speaks blessing over your life with no mention of repentance – it should be clear to you that this person is not speaking to you a word from the Lord, but a word of their own imagination.
God’s requirement is always that our hearts be turned toward Him. When we commit adultery against our God and King, we do not have any right to perceive that He will bless our heresy, our sin, our stubbornness, our rebellion.
Woe to those who lure you with sweet words that come from the enemy about God blessing your life – a life that is against all that God requires! Woe to you who knowingly seek words from false teachers to make your self feel better! The answer – Be Thou Holy For He Is Holy! Turn your heart toward the Lord – He will not only forgive you but He will cleanse you. Once you are living right before Him, then go to Him and lay your heart out before Him and He will place within your heart all that He desires for you and He Will Bring It To Pass for your good and for His glory!
There is blessing in serving a true and living God – there is disaster in living a life contrary to His will and way.
It makes my heart heavy to see believers separated over the world’s political stances.
We, who are Christ followers, have only one King and Ruler. He’s neither Democrat nor is He Republican; He is neither Caucasian nor Black; He is neither male nor female …. He is Holy, Righteous, Unchanging! He Is All! We have pledged allegiance to Him and everything that we need comes from His hand! We are His children and citizens of His kingdom!
If we believe that we are citizens of heaven, then we should carry ourselves in a way that reflects that high honor. What does that look like? Speaking and acting like sons and daughters of the most high!
It looks like exhibiting love and grace and speaking His Word in a way that reflect that we KNOW it. Living in a way that reflects our contentment in all things because we KNOW that He is in control of every situation or difficulty.
Being overjoyed when someone comes to know and accept the truth of The Gospel.
Not fretting over whats happening in the world today or keeping our minds on the things of this world , but looking with hope toward His return.
Caring for others, especially those in the Body of Christ.
Extending love and grace that the world cannot understand.
Praying daily that His will be done AND when He carries out His will rejoicing in it whether it is what we desired or not!
We belong to Him! Let’s not let this world or the enemy make us believe something else!
Senseless killings. Abusers of children. Victims of trafficking – both human and sex. Violence against people because of their ethnicity. Violence against people because of their sexual orientation. Hate poured out in the name of a gospel that is not the gospel of Christ. Abuse of the elderly. Domestic violence. Rape of women in the midst of political conflict. Abductions. Racial hatred. It can all seem quite hopeless – it would be easy for our hearts to faint. The night after some of this has happened, I could not sleep – I could only cry!
Master, The Tempest is Raging by Mary Baker is a song I grew up hearing in church and most of us know the first verse. It starts off: “Master, the tempest is raging! The billows are tossing high! The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, No shelter or help is nigh” This last week, however, the 2nd verse has really spoken to my heart:
Master with anguish of spirit, I bow in my grief today; The depths of my sad heart are troubled! Oh, waken and save, I pray! Torrents of sin and of anguish, sweep o’er my sinking soul; And I perish! I perish! Dear Master – oh, hasten and take control!
I sang this song to my Father through my tears and I am overjoyed to tell you that my tears were cleansing for me. God used my tears to wash away my fears and fill me with His peace. He used my tears to wash away the doubt that He is active in every situation and fill my heart with irrefutable proof that He is indeed still in control. We humans, have a knack for hurting one another and we have a propensity for ignoring the hurts of those to whom we are not related. But there is a God who cares — the old folk used to say “He sits high and He looks low!” He knows all — He rules over all, works through all, and is present in all.
The refrain to that song says:
The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will. Peace, be still! Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea, or demons or men, or whatever it be! No waters can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies! They all shall so sweetly obey Thy will! Peace, be still! Peace, be still! They all shall sweetly obey Thy will … Peace, peace be still!!
I am overcome with joy in knowing that in ALL that I don’t understand and in ALL that happens around me that is disconcerting – I do have a God that I can count on and this great God wants to give me His peace! The ship may sink; the waters will surely rise but I can have peace! I have to choose this peace – it won’t come without my believing that His word is true. But His peace is there for me. Yes!! I can have peace and I can be peace. Can you fathom what it would mean for the Body of Christ to actually have our feet shod with the preparation of peace!! The world would never be the same; we could change the world! So — I choose His peace. It’s there for the taking and there is plenty to go around. I suggest you take some too!!
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