Happy New Year!!! 2020 is Here!

On January 1, 2019 – 2 1/2 months after brain surgery – I opened the door to 2019 with great joy!! I’ve made it through an entire year … I am so grateful!!!!

I spent all of 2019 getting to know the new me. Facing truths in life that I hadn’t seen clearly before. Seeing diversity come alive in the global missions world. Seeing our regional leadership plan in Africa become a reality. Building ministry relationships that will help us step into new areas strongly. Being part of a body of believers that love us and see what God is doing through us. Mentoring young folk. Lloyd preaching. Me singing and teaching. A beautiful partnership with a local Christian counseling ministry. Grateful to have one of my sisters back in my life. Rejoicing as my daughter was married and gave birth to baby #2. Rejoicing as my oldest son was married to the woman God created for him. Excited for both of my sons to begin the ministries and businesses that God has led them to do. 2019 was a good year.

It’s a New Year!  I want to keep running to the finish line.  The only life prize that matters is the one that has been promised by God, through Jesus Christ … eternal life with him.  I’m not there yet, God knows I’m not!!! But I’m committing to leaving the junk and mistakes of 2019 back there … and moving on in 2020, allowing His Spirit to guide and direct me, and doing every single thing for the sake of His glory.  No! I’m not yet all that God wants me to be, but I’m pushing hard to let Him change me, mold me and make me all that He’s called me to be.  It’s what my Savior wants from me. It is why He made me His own!!!  (Philippians 3: 12 – 15) So … for 2020, I want to keep moving after some things and add new things that’ll help me be what He wants me to be.  So here’s my 20 for 2020: 

  1. Focus on the problem solver, not the problem (preach Reginald!)
  2. Believe I can do things, because He told me to do them
  3. Love, even when the love is not returned
  4. Forgive, even if it happens again
  5. Repent and repent again
  6. Ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit each and every day
  7. Extend mercy to people, just as I beg for mercy from Him
  8. Grace, I’ll give it to others just as He gives it to me
  9. Share my joy
  10. Speak truth
  11. Build friendships
  12. Pour in to relationships that I’ve neglected
  13. Be a respecting baby sister – listening to and being taught by my older sisters, who are amazingly God filled women
  14. Listen and learn from the Word of God
  15. Love and pour truth into my children and grandchildren; love and bring joy to my mother
  16. Take care of my physical body 
  17. Lead well in every role God has placed me in
  18. Serve well in every place God has sent me
  19. Love, obey, adore, serve, encourage, care for, invest in … my wonderful gift of a husband
  20. Serve, obey, glorify, uplift, reflect, praise, submit to, listen to, talk to  … my God, my Savior, my King, my Father, my All In All

Happy New Year, friends and family!!! Let’s take the next step in wonderful new ways for the sake of His glory!!

Tame That Tongue!

My dear friend and mentor, the late Brenda Waters, wrote a song that she taught me before we relocated to Ghana — the chorus says,

“You talk about who’s been sleeping with who; and you talk about who’s been cheatin’ with who.  You talk about the preachers and the way they preach, you even think you want to try to impeach them.  You talk about whose been smoking that stuff, and you talk about whose been shootin’ it up. And you talk and you talk, and you talk and you talk, and you talk and you talk!

Don’t you know that God wants to use your tongue for glory?

You know that He’s worthy! Give Him the Glory!”

There are many days when what I hear (or read) coming from the hearts of my Christian brothers and sisters just breaks my heart. I hear (and read) words of hate, deception, anger, disdain and judgment and it leaves me concerned for the world – because if the Body of Christ is not getting it right, who will? Whether in response to that person that cuts you off on the freeway; that driver that seems to be going just a little to slow when you’re trying to get somewhere; in response to the blatant injustices happening in America; in response to political decisions that we do not like; in response to a loved one being hurt by another; in response to being taken advantage of; in response to the feeling that our rights have been treaded on; in response to sin in leadership that seems to have been overlooked — in response to the myriads of things that can cause us angst; we must be careful not to allow our mouths to be used as a tool of the enemy.

When we open our mouths to speak what is evil/sin/wicked/hateful/not godly — we open our lives up to evil/sin/wickedness/ungodliness. The old Dracula movies said that he could not come in unless someone opened the door and invited him; our enemy Satan is the same way. The Word of God tells us that the power of life and death are in the tongue. Don’t you want your life to be blessed? I do! I’m not trying to create hell here on earth for me to live in.

I made the decision long ago to speak life into my own life; into the lives of the people around me; into this world. What is life? Life is God. What is God? God is Love!! Love!! Love!!!

If you want to live a life that is marked by His blessings – choose to open your mouth and speak love and life. Don’t malign someone just to make yourself feel better. Don’t gossip and say it is a call to prayer. Don’t repeat something that you know is not true and use the excuse that so and so told you. Don’t spread falsehoods and use the excuse that you found it on the internet. Don’t let the media form the message that comes from you. Make a stand for love and for truth.  You see, it is a sad commentary when the world can’t tell us from them!

Some of you are dealing with serious issues that will require divine intervention — it would seem that if you need the divine power of God in your life, you would live, act and speak in ways that invite His power in to your life. I want everyone who encounters me in this world to know that I am different. As a new friend said to me recently – I want them to be attracted to the Jesus glow in me. I want to walk in the favor and blessing of God.

I will NOT be used by the enemy to bring hate into the world. I will NOT spread the story when I don’t even know if the story is true. I will NOT invite the enemy into my life, my heart, my mind, my home. My yes will be yes; my no will be no. I want my life to bring God glory. I want my tongue to bring God glory. I want to experience the blessed life that believers have been promised. May the Holy Spirit work in me to make it so.

‘For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. ‘

1 Peter 3:10