I Need You, You Need Me

Have you ever felt drained from life?

No, I’m talking about feeling as if life was sucking the life out of you? Every time you think you are making progress, something from an unexpected source, feels as if it is pulling the oxygen from your lungs.

We must remember that with the Lord, the pain we experience produces a purpose. In case you thought your life was hard, let’s look at the life of Paul for a moment.

In 2 Corinthians the 11th chapter, we learn of some of Paul’s sufferings for Christ Sake:

  • 5 different times, he was whipped by the Jews and received 39 stripes.
  • 3 times he was beaten with rods.
  • He was stoned once.
  • He shipwrecked 3 times.
  • He spent an entire day and night adrift at sea, left for dead.
  • He had been robbed, gone without food and water and enough clothing to keep him warm.
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One beating alone could have handicapped or even killed Paul. Yet after all of this, Paul says: “I believe God.”

Paul looked beyond his personal afflictions and recognized his sufferings equipped him and empowered him.

Paul endured many afflictions. He went from being an atheist to an activist of Jesus. I felt something right there- I’ll say that again:

PAUL WENT FROM BEING AN ATHEIST TO AN ACTIVIST!

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What about you? After all the hardships, pains and tragedies in life, will you believe God?

The world may press us hard, but God’s strength, presence, and comfort will not allow us to be crushed. If you see someone not like themselves on today, help them by noticing them. Give a smile, give an encouraging word, pray for them, give a listening ear.

Be willing to help someone live.

Handpicked

Adopting a child is said to be one of the most beautiful yet heart wrenching journeys one could experience.

Imagine a couple desiring to have children biologically but unable to. Sensing a void of laughter, joys, and growth in their lives, they find solace in the ability to rear a child through another process- adoption. What joy it must bring to introduce someone as a son or a daughter- words that you never thought would leave your mouth.

Receiving joy from watching that child growth from a baby to an adult. Reading bedtime stories, helping with homework, getting them involved in school activities, and being their during their growing pains. The ability to just be present and to be responsible for the life of another is a gift beyond explanation.

That child now has access to things that once were missing or not realized as a result of unfortunate circumstances. A chance to be loved, a life outside of governmental constructs for child placement, and a place called home. Whatever benefits the parents offer, they are now accessible by the child, without restrictions.

When we accepted Jesus as our personal Savior, we were adopted into a royal family. We now have access to benefits without restrictions – some yet realized.

This adoption process is a bit different. Although we were handpicked by our Heavenly Father…

“God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless in God’s presence before the creation of the world. God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan Ephesians 1:4-5 CEB

However, we are to make the decision to chose if we want to be adopted. The Bible says:

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” John 1:12 NKJV

When you receive Jesus, you have the right to become the children of God. What this means is that not everyone belongs to God because not everyone receives Him. Only those who choose Him by way of Jesus.

As a new parent receives joy just from the presence of their child, God finds pleasure in watching His children grow into maturity, to become men and women that He has reared to make a difference in this world and to reflect His image on the earth.

What an amazing opportunity it is to be given access to peace, joy, love, hope, and a promise of a life removed from worry, stress, fear, and sin.

Your Parent eagerly awaits your decision. What will you do?

A Masterpiece

What is a masterpiece? Over the years, people have revered some artistic designs as the greatest of among a few. One common artistic design is that of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Di Vinci. It is often the art that deems the artist as a skillful designer.

The artist works long hours both physically and mentally, meditating on bringing his thoughts to life; and when it is finished, he stares at it with wonder and amazement. He is so proud that he offers to share his creativity with the world- who then justifies and validates the imagery displayed on a canvas presented in front of them.

As I sit and think about what a masterpiece is to an artist, I think of what we mean to God. A masterpiece is unique, of high value, guarded and protected; not everyone is given access to it. A masterpiece is uniquely created by it’s designer with a specific purpose in mind. The designer is proud of His work. He takes his time to skillfully bring to fruition what was placed in his heart.

Can you imagine God’s thoughts, after creating us? We are the visual representation of His love. That is why He loves us so. God took His precious time to skillfully define each and every body part- from the joints for movement, the placement of organs, to the smallest of bones that allow us to bend our fingers and toes. He created billions of handcrafted puzzles uniquely designed to reflect His love, creating us in His image and likeness. God then takes a step back and looks on us in amazement of the perfect creation of love. Proud of what has been manifested, He then gloats about it with the present witnesses who form the trinity. When God speaks on us, there’s a sparkle in His eyes.

We are HIS masterpiece- a piece of the Master.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Love is God.

It is easy to be kind to the people who care for you and who love you, but what about the “other” people?

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What about the ones who challenge your vision and oppose your suggestions? What about those who propel their opinions of you on others, causing tension and division?

Being kind or showing love to someone who does not care for you is pretty difficult and quite frankly, frustrating. Jesus calls us to show love to all people, regardless of how they may treat us. He doesn’t say this will be easy, but He did ask that we would present our lives a living sacrifice to Him. This implies that regardless of how we feel about a situation or a person, we have the words of eternal life to impact our circle of acquaintances. Being a living sacrifice also means that we step outside of who we are, surrendering our mind, body and soul to the Lord to express a different kind of love – a love that some may have not experienced, but unknowingly long for.  Why? Because this kind of love is different but it is also a demonstration of the love Jesus expresses towards ungrateful, and unreasonable people who have rejected Him from birth and continue to reject Him on a larger scale. Can you imagine how that would feel- to be rejected from birth?

 

We cannot love people with our type of love because our type of love is selective, but when you love the people around you with His kind of love, they’ll notice.

Let us ask God to help us love people past their faults, the way that Jesus called us to love them. After all, that is what He has done for us. If we as believers cannot do this, then I am afraid we are yet to know God. God is love.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” 1 John‬ ‭4:11-12‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Self-sabotage

Comparison in a sense to degrade your own progress is vicious. Look at where you are today, emotionally and spiritually. If you are not better, you have every ability to become better. So do better.

  • Do you need to lose weight? Commit to a healthier lifestyle.
  • Do you need to be spiritually stronger? Get closer to God.
  • Need balance? Get rid of anything and anyone that does not serve the purpose. This shouldn’t be a harsh move but a gentle glide.

Your future you is depending on your current you to be grounded.

Stop sabotaging yourself. Stop saying you want something and then doing everything to make sure it does not happen (read that again).

Self-sabotage is a lack of belief in yourself. God believes in you so much that she filled you with His purpose.

Be stable. Be confident and be good.

I’m Salty

For as long as I can remember, I love the taste of salt. My mother used to take the salt shaker from the table. I would place salt on anything except fruit. Well, minus lemons. I would squeeze the juice in the lemon and then add salt, while sucking the juice from the lemon. When the lemon was dry, I would then eat the inside of the lemon because the salt would have settled inside. My mouth is watering now. 😱

I would salt my food without tasting it. Even now, I have to be mindful of the amount of salt I use while cooking. Salt makes everything better for me.

The purpose of salt is to balance sweetness and suppress flavors, such as bitterness. Salt contains the element sodium, which is an essential nutrient needed for the body. 

YOU ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE BODY!

Do not allow the world and people to make you lose your flavor. Do not allow the opinions of others to make you feel as if you are not important. You are a necessity.

You ARE the salt.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty? It is no longer good for anything, but to be thrown out and walked on by people [when the walkways are wet and slippery].” MATTHEW 5:13 AMP

I’m salty!

I am who I am

Cellular structure, solar systems, atoms, neutrons and protons, chromosomes, galaxies, trees, grass, bees 😳, spiders 😣, and your very DNA- the stuff you are made of. All of these things…no EVERYTHING, was created by God. Oh, and by the way, He happens to be OUR Father.

Yeah, that’s Him. That MY Father!

Today, think about God and who is REALLY is. Stop allowing yourself to be frustrated over things of no value. Your Father…IS GOD! He can do anything. That includes the things that you are most concerned about.

Sometimes I have conversations with myself. I’m not weird. I internalize the word of God so that it makes sense to me and so that I may apply it to my life. My thoughts are that if I can envision how God feels, then I can do my best to not frustrate my dad. I love Him just that much.

Just who is God? I imagine our Father saying this:

“I am who I am. My nature cannot be declared through mere words. Who I am cannot be completely understood through human thought. I exist as nothing else does or ever did. I am necessary, I am eternal, I am reality. If I am to give myself a name, that expresses who I am, through your language, let me be called…I AM, and besides me…

THERE IS NOBODY!”

He is who He is, and He is your Father!

“But Moses said to God, “If I now come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they are going to ask me, ‘What’s this God’s name?’ What am I supposed to say to them?” God said to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. So say to the Israelites, ‘I Am has sent me to you.’ Exodus‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Just Listen

  • Listen to your children as they explain their school day.
  • Listen to your spouse as he or she talks about the pressures and demands of life and work.
  • Listen to your heart and your body. Your body tells you what you need to be healthy in mind, body, and soul.
    Listen to words of The Lord. His still small voice leads us and guides us if we stop and listen to His instructions.

There is so much we can learn about a person, a business, or a relationship if we listen. Our faith grows when we hear (listen) to God speak through His word (Rom. 10:17). In other words, our ability to receive what God says and then apply it, grows our faith.

There is also a lot of drama that can be avoided by listening more.

The word of God tells us to be quick to hear and slow to speak (Jam. 1:19). Learning to listen well does not happen instantly. It requires discipline, effort, and intentionality. If we learn to be patient and loving, we can improve upon our listening skills.

The best ministry you might do today is to listen to someone’s pain, anger, or hurt from beginning to end. Your listening skills can reassure them that God is with them.

Take the time to listen.

The Promise

Happy new year to you are your family.

I pray that you were able to reflect on the goodness of God despite the sorrows that surround our lives.

The new year often begins with self-proclaimed promises of better for ourselves. Towards the middle of the year, life will challenge us to forget what we desired to achieve, if we are unintentional about attaining our goals (also known as resolutions).

Today I would like for you to reflect on God’s promises. While He honors times and identified specific times to do things in our lives, God is not bound by time. God is eternal. In fact, we can provoke the release of a promise, off schedule, to appear in our lives before the time He appointed.

Are there some promises that God has made you? Have you had a specific dream or vision that you are waiting to materialize in your life? Rest assure that the Lord will not forget nor has He forgotten. Your promise can also be delayed or passed on to others because of your unbelief.

The Israelites wandered for 40 years to a promised land which should have taken less time. But because of their disobedience, complaints about food, water, and rebellion against their God chosen leader (Moses), the promise of better was delayed. In fact those who complained died in the wilderness, leaving a new generation to inherit the land that flower with milk and honey.

Are you causing a delayed promise to manifest? Are you still waiting for the Lord to bring “it” to pass? Please believe and know that He has not forgotten. He is not overbooked and imbalanced to forget what He told you. While waiting, make sure you prepare for what He promised.