Thank You Father!

Good morning. I just wanted to talk to the Lord, with you on this morning, if that is alright? Let’s pray. 

Oh most Holy Father. We thank you for giving us the ability to approach your throne of grace. We thank you for who you are. We know that you are God and there is none other like you. We also know that you are our Father, and you are concerned about every detail of our lives.

We thank you for allowing your angels to serve and protect us in our homes while we slept during the evening hours. I ask if you would continue to be a shelter and place of refuge during the day for us. Relocate, direct, and reroute those who have had to leave behind everything in Texas, to cities where they can flourish and excel. You said that everything works together for our good. Make it GOOD for them. Give us the strength to endure the trials in our lives.

Help us to love the people who are hard to love and to forgive the people who have hurt us, taken advantage of us or maybe even abused us. Burn away the sin in our lives so that we may live for you.

As we begin our day today, allow us to remember your word. As a child who prepares to leave for school and a parent who gives a word of hope, encouragement and strength, you have given us your words to prepare us for whatever life presents to us. With all that we see occurring in Houston and the state of this world, it is easy to become worried; but You spoke a calming word and told us to not allow our hearts to be troubled (John 14:1). With what we see every day in our communities and the issues we face in our own lives- when we feel like you are not there, you told us to keep pressing towards the mark (Philippians 3:14) and to place our hope in you (Psalms 42:11). When it feels as if all of our efforts to be positive and uplifting are for nought, you said be steadfast, unshakable and continuously abiding in your word because our efforts are not in vain (I Corinthians 15:58).

I humbly ask that you accept this prayer. In Jesus name, amen.

Healthy Options

How many times have you used this phrase: “I’m not _____ enough?”

The words used to fill in the blank above may have been: Smart, pretty, strong, good!

Do not allow yourself to live in silent defeat.

A gift is a special ability to do something. It is also something that is given and cannot be earned. The Lord has equipped each and every one of us with a gift that destroys the negative statements above. Some gifts require additional parts, such as batteries, that are not included. The gifts that are God-given include everything that is necessary to function properly. Every gift given by our Father, serves the same purpose…

“And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts.” 1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭CEB‬‬

When God gave His Son Jesus, it was not for the benefit of some but for all.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.” John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭CEB‬‬

When Jesus chose His closest cabinet- the 12, it was for them to spread the word of life to everyone…

“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark‬ ‭16:15-16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Mental fitness is like physical fitness. We must work at it and not allow ourselves or others to become stunted in our growth. It’s a process but overtime, with separation from negativity and gravitation towards spiritual discipline, your statement of defeat can change to:

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Every skill is learnable as well as any negative/positive habit. Put down the mental junk food and pick up some healthy choices.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” III John‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Open the Door

On this morning, I found this scripture to be so inviting, and emotional. 

Imagine this scenario. It’s Friday. Hey heyyy. You are having a huge end of the summer soirée. You invited everyone. Let’s turn up before the children return back to school, and the Summer season gives way to colorful leaves, frosty grass and additional layers of clothing. 


You sent personal invitations to evvvvvvery body. You are doing it big!!!!! You are ending the summer on a good note. There has been so much drama and tragedy has happened in such a short period of time,  you just wanted to carve out a few hours from your closest family and friends time just to enjoy life. 

But you somehow left off one person from your guest list. You effectively and intentionally left out your brother, Jesus. No problem. He is not tripping on that, nope He didn’t take offense to it.  He is not easily offended. Maybe the invitation was lost in the mail. Maybe the evite ended up in His spam folder. 🤔 Maybe you thought you included Him on the group text. 

No problem. He showed up ready to release the cares of this world and as He always does, He came bearing gifts. He brought some food and drinks for the party, but there is just one problem:  He has been knocking and calling for someone to open the door, and no one is answering. He can see you in the window. He even sees someone standing near the window beside the door, and no one will open the door. 


What you failed to recognize is that Jesus is the life of the party!

Huh??!! Oooh I just got excited right there!

You are in desperate need of His fellowship. The party is dry! People are dancing, but they aren’t happy. The food is okay, but it could be better because Jesus brought the bread of life. 

I am that bread of life. (John 6:48, KJV)

Your choice of drinks are alright, but your guests will not have enough to drink because Jesus brought that good good water where they’ll never thirst again. 

“but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” ‭‭John‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Your party is in desperate need of Jesus’ presence and He is seeking to come in. 

You did not ask Jesus to bring anything but that is the type of person He is. He is always exceeding expectations. You didn’t ask Him to do anything, but He asked you for one thing…

Just. Open. The. Door

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Don’t Give Up!

It is so easy to look at the state of our world, our country, our state, city, communities and even within our own families and feel hopeless due to all of the adversity we are surrounded by. The appearance of evil is more prevalent than good. No one chooses to fully commit to the statues of God. Nobody desires to truly forgive and let go. There are all sorts of division in the body of religion (not Christ). Notice that I did not say the body of Christ. The body of Christ is not divided. I don’t have time to go here. 😱🙅🏽


Shoot, after all this chaos and thoughts of hopeless, you’ll soon begin to wonder if God even cares. If not careful, we will carry the mindset of quitting and giving up.

I just wanted to encourage you on today. A simple statement that is so powerful. When faced with adversity on today, remember these words:

Don’t give up!

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This is a strategy of the enemy. It is a distraction. In this world, because of sin, we are going to have trials and tribulations. There is no way around the tragedies, but there is a way to push through them. We must change our focus of despair to one of opportunity. It is not easy to do alone. What I am saying cannot be done under self-will. This must be done under the submission of the Holy Spirit. He is our guide and He is our comforter.

Tests and trials are opportunities to pray, seek the Lord for guidance, utilize your relationship with the Lord, and introduce someone to the Lord or more importantly, you yourself establish a stronger relationship with the Lord.

I have to tell you- you’re going to need it. We all will. If we don’t strengthen ourselves and become rooted in the word of God, our souls will slowly decay.

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,”Matthew‬ ‭24:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Don’t give up! Your burdens have a purpose.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” I Peter‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Don’t give up! Your broken-heart will bring God closer to you- I am a witness.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalms‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Don’t give up! Your suffering will bring you closer to our Savior.

“My suffering was good for me, because through it I learned your statutes.” Psalms‬ ‭119:71‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Don’t give up…
Don’t give up….
Don’t give up…

Do NOT give up on Jesus, because He did not give up on you!

“Think about the one who endured such opposition from sinners so that you won’t be discouraged and you won’t give up.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:3‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Perseverance 

Good morning. It is Monday but that is alright. I am excited. Can I share with you my excitement?

When I was in college, I met a young man on my job. Wait. A. Minute!

As I’m writing, now I think this was a setup, by the enemy! I didn’t have to work to get through college. I received an academic scholarship for my entire education plus additional grants. Now I am frustrated. 😡 ok- I digressed, back to the point. I met a young man while working as a customer service rep. He was no good for me but I could not see that.

He was a salesman and he was good at selling. He sold me naivety and I almost went bankrupt on my future investing in his mess. Ugh! I was so naive and gullible. Prior to engaging in this crap, I had ended a relationship that was a mess.

I share all of my messes in my first book: Who You Callin’ Silly? How a Silly Woman Becomes Virtuous.

I didn’t have much exposure to young men. I had “boyfriends” but they were mere cat and mouse games. I pretended but honey I could not stand the thought of the fullness of intimacy (I’m being g-rated here); but you have to understand my upbringing. I grew up in church. As I entered middle school and high school, I strayed away and explored the world (at least I thought); I knew I did not fit in. My mom, still married to my dad, but separated when I was 4 years old (and remained separated) instilled in me the importance of being confident, having an education, and providing for myself – beyond chasing a boy. She always said that there would be time for that. So I gravitated towards sports, music and education. I graduated high school at age 16. When I started the university I attended, I was 17. Now I’m staring at the faces of these young ladies who look as if they can show me all the tricks of the trade, but I was still pretending.

Ok- I digressed again. My mom could see right through this dude’s plans. All the lies. I was on a mission to prove her wrong about him. I had one more year remaining in college and I just knew that a total eclipse was going to occur: all the stars, moon, and sun were aligning and I would be planning a wedding and a graduation. My mom and I even got into a heated discussion and I had the audacity to throw in her face her choice of men- and I lived to tell the story. 😳😱 wheeww! By this time, I was 19. My mom allowed me to go through the experience, but she remained in hot pursuit. This ship (I refuse to call relational) lasted for 3 years. She would not allow me to unravel. She pursued and she persevered for my well being. Of course, she was right. It was one of the worse experiences I had gone through but it was necessary.

Persevere means to continue in pursuit of someone or something, even when it is difficult. God demonstrated the epitome of perseverance and continues to do so.

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God completes what He begins. He started the good work in you when he made you to be like him. Just like me, you strayed away, but God remained in hot pursuit through Jesus. He covered you. He protected you during your times of worldly exploration. He loved you when you were reckless with life and He has determined, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that He is going to finish what He started.

Whewww! Talk about the greatest implementation plan??? The most prolific strategist of all times is your Father.

If we desire to live godly lives in Christ, it is a fact that we will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12), but the faithful will persevere, kept by the power of the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our salvation. He will complete what He started in and through YOU!

Forbidden Fruit

In my readings last night, I came across the subject of Adam and Eve. God gave precise instructions to Adam, not to eat the fruit from a specified tree, in the midst of the Garden of Eden. Eating the fruit from this tree would give a person the knowledge about good AND evil. 

“And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

First of all, that in and of itself ALONE is amazing. A tree that produces fruit AND gives insight to the eater? Really? And a tree that can give me life? 

Secondly, what was so intriguing about the tree with the knowledge versus the tree with life? In the same verse above, it says that every tree God had planted in the garden was pleasant to the sight and good for food – so…it could not have stood out any more than the others, could it?

Adam, you mean to tell me you preferred to know good and evil over having life? I mean I know you didn’t eat first, Eve did, but surely you gave her a tour of the neighborhood, right? 

I’m referencing Adam because He was given the initial command and shudda been like: “Eve, get some business. God said no and that’s it.” Come on Adam- be a protector. Show your dominion status, geez! 🙄

Maybe Adam felt that he understood what it meant to have “life” and that he already had life. After all, he was living. God did give him the chance to name all of the animals and have dominion. Adam was there when God put him to sleep, only to be awaken by the sight of a beautiful woman who would become his wife. So the creation of life maybe wasn’t a big deal to him. Maybe they were a product of their environment- which simply means the environment you grew up in, influences your decision. 


Maybe Adam didn’t know what type of life the tree of life could produce. Well, Adam sir…maybe because you had not been exposed to death, you didn’t understand the significance behind life. 👀👀


Honey….let me find a life giving tree and especially now having loss my mom? Me and my family would become “lifegans”-  life-tree-eating vegans.  


Was Adam and Eve’s sin really about eating a piece of forbidden fruit? The significance or point in the passage is not the fruit itself, but the command against eating it. God gave Adam and Eve only one barring in His instructions. He could have altogether not allowed them to eat the fruit, but since He made them in His image, they had the power of choice. 

The issue was not the fruit, but the sin was in their disobedience. By eating the fruit (the act of sin), Adam and Eve gained personal knowledge of evil. They now had the contrasting experience of the evil of disobedience and the guilt and shame that sin brings with it.

Satan deceived them. He told them that eating the fruit would make them like gods. When in actuality, they were already made in the image of God, and therefore were like gods. 😱

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:26‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

And so it is today. It is our ability to choose that gets us in trouble. The enemy- even if it is of our own mind, sends an illusion that something we know that could be detrimental to our lives, our relationships, and our health, is actually good. It is enticing. It lures us. It makes our hearts pound faster, our mind races and pretty soon, we are giving in to our fleshly desires. Once the act is committed, just as Eve, our eyes come open to the knowledge of the evil act we have committed and the consequences of our actions follow. 

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” ‭‭James‬ ‭1:13-15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

What is the point? When God says NO to something, we better start taking heed; it is for our own good. Disobeying Him, going our own way, or deciding for ourselves what is and is not good, implies that we are “god,” we are in control, and we do not need the Almighty’s help. Let us consider our ways. Our Father desires for us to experience an abundant life both now and forever; but the choice is ours. We have a list of forbidden fruits that everyone seems to be enjoying, but the end of it is destruction. 

“The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won’t inherit God’s kingdom.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:19-21‬ ‭CEB‬‬

Your abundant life is contingent upon the choices you make, which all center around the obedience or disobedience of God’s principles. Choose this day!

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭12:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The Value of Your Fight

What are you fighting for? Is it worth it? What are you expecting to gain?

I have come to realize that there will be many life struggles. To date, death has them pretty much beaten; to lose a loved-one, for me a mother…? Her departure has had more affects on me than losing my child. It was sudden and abrupt. It was unexpected and unplanned. I often find myself saying: “I cannot believe my momma is gone! The life that brought forth my life, is now lifeless.”

My fight has been to survive and only through God’s comforting grace, family and friends, have I been able to push through the pain. This has been my life’s fight. I have come to realize that the push through this pain was necessary to align my purpose.

I have also learned that having someone to help you get through those trying times makes it a little easier to handle.

What is your fight? Are you fighting to reconnect family ties? Are you fighting to overcome a health problem? Are you fighting to reignite the passion in your marriage? Are you fighting to gain the attention of another? Are you fighting for your integrity? Are you fighting to live? Are you fighting to keep your flesh under subjection? If you are fighting with no idea of who your component is, you’re entering the battle unprepared and unequipped. 

If you have the Holy Spirit, why are you so quick to claim defeat? What did you do before Jesus entered your life? Didn’t you fight?

Whatever happened to Him being greater in you than what’s in the world? And when will we begin to believe and operate in this?

“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”1 John 4:4 NLT‬

Whatever is the source of your fight, make sure it is worth the effort. Consider a boxer and the training he has to do. Not only does it affect him personally, but everyone or anything connected to him. The pressing, the stretching, the stressing, the preparation, the mental, the sacrifices associated with eating and physical training- it all leads up to one evening, 12 rounds, and a decision that is contingent upon his or her training.

We are all in a fight. There is a spiritual warfare that is happening before our very eyes, but we are so caught up in what is in our direct line of sight, that we are unable to comprehend the broader scope of the fight.

Let me be the first to admit, that when I hear of horrible situations or when I am the main character of the story, and my storm is all around me, immediately my heart races and my initial reaction is almost always: “oh Lord, help.”


But then I have to recall to my mind that He has already sent help. The enemy is declaring war. He has nations fighting against one another. For what? Races are fighting against one another. For what? Then we fight amongst ourselves…FOR WHAT?

The enemy has a designated date to enter the ring with you. He desires a 12-round bout, just you and him. What are you doing to prepare? Stop looking at the warfare and look at the weapon? What are you doing to learn your weapon?

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,” II Corinthians‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Jesus fought for you! Not only did he fight, He won. He desires for us to share in His victory.

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:55, 57‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus determined that we were worth fighting for. The value of the fight was our life. Oh My God! That is so powerful. So humbling, so awe-inspiring…so unbelievable. I ask you on today to remain in the fight. You’re not alone. You have more fighting with you than against you.

“And Elisha prayed, and said, “ LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” II Kings‬ ‭6:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Fight…
Finish…
Remain faithful!

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬