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Showing posts from June, 2020

Treasures

7 Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 8 We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9 we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. 10 We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. 14 For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you. 15 Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. 16 Therefor…

What's Next?

Maybe a frequent question so many of us are asking ourselves, one another and of God especially in this crazy season and time in history. There's really no other word to describe what we are walking through, living through and navigating than crazy. Who would have ever imagined in a million years we would be where we are today. In the middle of a global pandemic that has literally changed how we live, breathe, move and function. 

So what's next's? Man, a really good question but timing is every thing. For me, I've stopped asking that question. In terms of trying to imagine when "this" will be "all over" or when we can plan or discuss our "future," I am not there at all. I don't even know what August will look like and whether me and kids will return to church yet. I am only fairly clear on the next 30 days only because our family is on a Sabbatical but even then, I can only take it one day at a time. I'm not just throwing around cli…

How Are You?

How are you? A sincere question. Three words but depending on the time, day, month or season, it can be a fully loaded question. But in a good way. 

When I’m asked that question, I generally answer in two parts. How I am doing and feeling in that very moment the question is asked, then I think about how I’m doing overall spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Basically, how is my soul? Is it prospering? What is the pulse of my soul? And generally, if you just asked what I'm ruminating on, praying about or repeat song, you can probably quickly figure out “where I am.” So I can move from surface level, and deep dive really fast. But I’m learning to not do it all at once. It can scare people away. But then there are a few who can roll like that. ME!! 

So, how am I doing? Y’all, I'm good. I’m doing well by the grace of Jesus. I am incredibly grateful and fortunate. I’m living in the present. Finding beauty and purpose in every day life, and seeing the evidence of God’s invisible han…

Providence

The dictionary defines providence asthe protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power, timely preparation of future eventualities.Providence can also be defined as divine guidance or care. A third dictionary defines providence as God, especially when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence. A manifestation of divine care or direction, provident or prudent management of resources, prudence, foresight and provident care.
Whichever definition you prefer, the heart and intent is the same. GOD IS IN CONTROL. HE IS GOOD ALWAYS. HE HAS GOT YOU AND ME IN HIS LOVING, CAPABLE AND PERFECT HANDS. HIS PLANS ARE GOOD FOR US. WE HAVE PURPOSE AND LIVE WITH A PURPOSE. WE HAVE A BEAUTIFUL FUTURE AND INHERITANCE IN JESUS CHRIST. HIS TIMING IS PERFECT. All of my days are numbered and known by my Father. 

Providence to me means the God who is perfectly good, all knowing and wise who not only created the universe but is the One who also c…

Slower Pace

God often uses things in the physical to teach or reinforce a deeper truth or spiritual revelation for application in my life. I am grateful for a Father who knows me and speaks to me directly and in a personal way. I cannot deny that He sees me and He truly knows me. 

I know God has been long pursuing my heart to "slow down and take time." He is teaching me to be, to sit, to receive and to be cared for. While it has taken me probably "longer" than others, I don't feel shame or disappointment because I've learned to define "success" and progress differently. God is not at all disappointed in me, not once ever. Because He sees me. He sees my efforts and pursuit of Him and obedience. He sees me listening, watching and waiting for Him. He knows that I hear him. I am constantly thinking about him and asking for his help to understand how I am to obey and act on the thing I heard him say within the context of my present situation. He is not off put by m…

Wednesday Musing

Many people are going through so many different things right now, no one truly understands the depth or weight but God. So I am very thankful He is a constant and very good friend and Father. Everyone deals with stress and pressure differently so I want to be sympathetic and gracious. So for me right now, I’m learning the best thing I can offer people is prayers, grace, empathy and understanding. And space to be and figure life out right now. 

The things I decide is best for me in this hour and moment, is just that, my personal conviction. I do not put pressure or guilt on anyone, that is not my intent when I share my journey, the process. God speaks to everyone differently. Life as we know it today is changing constantly due to external circumstances beyond anyone's immediate control. Although, there are things we can do the help. There's always some thing we can do. We're called to be contributors, however small or big. So I am intentionally practicing mindfulness and see…

Tuesday Musing

Sometimes I share mid-thoughts in mind and it lands for some and flops for others. Of course it makes total sense to me, cause I've been living in the context. Having said that, every once in a while, I'm sure it's happened to you, without much context you read something and it resonates with you. Some musings as of of late or perhaps, some coherent language to feelings and thoughts that have been long brewing. 

In the face of uncertainty upon uncertainty (before corona and now during corona) while there is a peace, there is also a sense for me to be humble and quiet. So how do I be? What do I do? Walk daily, listen and live this day only. I cannot plan beyond this moment. This can pose some friction or tension as I err on the side of "planner/controller."  It most certainly can make and has made relationships (outside of my immediate household) tricky. But this is where I am. And this is all I know to do and feel God is allowing me to do in this moment, this seas…

What to Do

What to do when there was uncertainty in your life before, and now with COVID-19, another layer and level of uncertainty - unprecedented and complex uncertainty is presented? Where do we go from here? How do we keep navigating these uncharted waters and move forward with "life" with courage and intentionality but also with mindfulness and a sense of responsibility all while things are frequently still changing and evolving? Surely it can be a strength test for some relationships and perhaps a litmus test for some others. All to say, it makes many if not all facets of life a little more complex. 

What to do when we're struggling to navigate? A few thoughts came to mind. I'm sure it's redundant in some regards but I'll share in its rawest form as it feels the most authentic to me at this moment. Remember, I'm a deep feeler and can be very specific. 

1. Hope in God alone. Hope in his character and not in my context or circumstances.  
There is nothing wrong wit…

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and father figures. Most importantly, thank you God for being the perfect Father!
There are so many complex aspects and parts to being a dude. Many of which I will never fully understand and can only empathize in part. So for the dad's that feel they fall short, have failed, are not enough or have yet to accomplish what your heart desires, I see you. God sees you. Your commitment to your spouse and kids by showing up is HUGE. Thank you for digging deep and staying when it feels easier to retreat, hide or run. Thank you for all the ways you go out of your comfort zone, personality and natural abilities to be DAD. You are sowing good seeds, and it's making a difference. By the grace of God, I pray one day you'll be able to see the fruits of your labor and legacy. Brick by brick, layer by layer, inch by inch, you're building something great. Hang in there and keeping going. I celebrate and applaud you. 
For some people, today is not…

One Day

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.  Revelation 21:4
What a beautiful reminder of our promise in Jesus Christ. One day, all things will be made right. A time is coming when the struggle, the trial, the heartache, the angst, the injustice, the longing for better will be no more. We will no longer experience the darkness and evil in this world. We will finally experience all that Jesus has already completed and redeemed for us. All things will be completely and fully revealed and we will see clearly with our very own eyes. We will know all things and finally experience being fully known, seen and understood. 
So as we are still in the middle of many different challenges in our world, society and personal lives, we can find hope in the middle. Because this is not all there is to life, there is more. We have a future inheritance and a perfect home with a perfect F…

He Speaks

I love the creativity of God. He is personal and speaks to me as an individual. He knows exactly how I am wired. He knows what speaks to my heart. He knows my language. He is my God, my father, my friend and my creator. He fashioned and formed me - my quirks and all the things that makes me uniquely me. 

I randomly, and I literally mean randomly strained/sprained my back yesterday. I was doing an every day activity, bending over to grab a plate for lunch. As soon as I hunched over, something happened and it wasn't good. I immediately felt pain to the lower back and both sides of my hips. I have never experienced that before, ever. I'm still on the mend, thankfully much better than yesterday but man, my back is not normal. For sure I am being extra careful, taking it slowly and very intentional and aware of my every movement, action and step. From the pace that I walk, to what I carry, to how I turn or twist, how I bend over, sit and rise, push in a chair. You name it, I am acut…

Expanding

Expanding our family. That's been a conversation around our house off and on for the past year and a half. I prayed and thought we were good, complete, our "quiver" is full. But our daughter has persisted off and on for a sibling - a sister (to play with). Today she mentioned "we would go get her and bring her home." But then again she also said we would go to the store and pick her up. So who knows. 

But what does this all mean? I am not entirely sure. I suppose I may be looking at one of those life "defining moments" in which I am in a specific phase of life and I may be moving on and out of it (pregnancy phase/young babies). Or, I can choose to linger a little longer. As you can tell, I don't have the right language for it right now. I guess because I've never really had to think or consider the closing of "windows" for various specific phases and seasons of life (here on planet earth). I never really considered the possibility of …

Created for Connection

We crave connection because we were created for connection. Jesus is the waymaker that makes it possible for us to be in relationship with God the Father.  Fellowship with God is meant to also include friendship with God. I want to be known as a friend of God and friends with God. 

Because of the finished work of Christ, we have been reconciled to God which enables us to have relationship with one another. Jesus Christ unites us. The Father created us for connection and Jesus Christ made a way for community and the Holy Spirit enables us to live in unity. All that God does has purpose and is good. I love His establishments and ways. 

As I desire to know and be known by God through a personal and individual friendship and fellowship. I also deeply long to know and be known among a community, body of believers. That's a good desire and worthwhile prayer.

Courage under Pressure

Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

If you have lived any amount of time of this earth, you will find out that life is hard. There are hard moments. Dark times. Challenging and confusing situations. Chaos and struggle. While there is brokenness around us, it will not be that way forever. One day, Jesus will come and make everything right. We have that hope and assurance. The Scriptures tells us so and I believe it. 

So what do we do in the meantime? How do we live this life in the midst of the hard? We turn to God's Word that gives us hope and encouragement. In Psalm 27, David exhorts us to wait for the Lord. And as we wait for the Lord to answer, to rescue, to deliver, we are also told to be strong and courageous. We dig deep and we choose to be strong and courageous as we wait. 

Friend, it takes immense strength and courage to keep showing up when things are hard and it's seemingly easier to bail. It takes an incredible amount of faith an…

My Jesus

The dictionary defines MY as "belonging to me." Two letters placed together to make a powerful and personal word. Our Lord is a personal God who longs to be known intimately. 
As believers, we may know him and interact with him in corporate or group settings, which is needed and good. But Jesus Christ died and resurrected to redeem and restore a greater, more intimate and personal relationship. So in order to have the intended relationship God desires, there comes a point where our faith is our own. Where we have a daily and personal relationship with Jesus.  
It's a beautiful and powerful connection when we are able to say, "My Jesus." Jesus desires to be our very best friend. He has made himself completely available to each and everyone of us. He is my Lord. My Savior. My Friend. My Rescue. My Hope. My Life. My God. My Helper. My Healer. My Joy. My Love.

Endless Alleluia

Song: Endless Alleluia
Written by Cory Asbury, Ran Jackson, Ricky Jackson, and Brian Johnson
Verse 1 In the morning when I rise to meet You In the morning when I lift my eyes You're the only One I wanna cling to You're the first thought on my mind Chorus Let our voices rise All creation cries Singing out an endless alleluia From this moment on Join with Heaven’s song Singing out an endless alleluia Verse 2 In the moments where You go unnoticed In the ordinary day to day Countless miracles of life around us Point like arrows to Your name Bridge Only a moment to live this life Like shooting stars burning up the night Till Heaven’s opened and we arrive In Your presence Lord In Your presence Verse 3 In the evening when I lay my head down In the evening when I close my eyes You're still the only One I wanna cling to You're the last thought on my mind Tag There’s nothing better There’s nothing better There’s nothing better Than this right now

Slowly Emerging

I cannot begin to describe or fully articulate what the last few months has meant to me. Although I do wish it were under different circumstances, but nonetheless, it was a moment that I am forever grateful for. While my prayers and heart are still with those on the front lines of this global pandemic as well as those who are still feeling and experiencing the devastating residual affects, I cannot deny the grace of God towards my family during this unprecedented season. I also am very much aware of the current unrest in our country today surrounding racial tensions and injustice. Again, I am humbled and still prayerful for all that is going on and believe that hope and good can still come from tragedy and pain. 

We are constantly holding and carrying various tensions in both hands and in our hearts. We toggle between an array of differing emotions and feel conflicted. But so much of life is like that though is it not? The reality of REAL life. Having said that, I am thankful for this …

Always Will Be

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 
He has always been and will always be. 
There is NO OTHER NAME. 
There is NO OTHER WAY. 

I am forever grateful that Jesus is the eternal Lord and King. There will never be another like Him. There is nothing that compares to Him. He is matchless - Forever and Almighty. There are not enough words to describe all that Jesus is because He is infinite and cannot be contained. That is really good news because we all need a Savior. And Jesus is the only righteous and perfect one who is able to save us. 

Today and forevermore, our hope is found in Jesus alone. The tomb is empty and that is proof that our Lord Jesus is alive and He reigns. He is our conquering and overcoming King. The life I now live is not my own but Christ who lives in me, to do the work of my heavenly Father. To go and make Christ followers, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach them to obey and walk in God's ways, laws and command…

Biblical Truths and Values

For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. Galatians 1:10 

My husband and I live by God's Word - His truths and His principles. Our lives are governed by biblical values. Every decision we make is reflected and found in God's Word. Are we perfect? Oh golly no and I’d be the first to admit that. But we still believe and abide by God’s word. We believe the authority of Scripture, the clarity of Scripture, the necessity of Scripture, and the sufficiency of Scripture. We believe all the words in Scripture are God's words, the Scripture is true (inerrant), and the written Scriptures is our final authority. I am forever grateful and cherish God's written word. The Scripture contains everything I need to trust and obey Him. It is the road map and compass for life. 

Not everyone believes what I believe. I am fully aware of that. I have also come to accept th…

My Father

My Father knows me and I am HIS. 

He see me. 
He hears me. 
He loves me. 

My Father is with me and He is FOR me. 

He cares for me. 
He provides for me. 
He is faithful to me.

My Father makes a way for me. 

He is gracious and compassionate towards me.
He extends His grace towards me and forgives me. 
He is my everlasting to everlasting. 

My God. My King. My Father. He blesses me with Himself. 

Who do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You. Psalm 73:25



More Than Enough

Song: More Than Enough - Jesus Culture 

Beyond all my wildest dreams Your grace is alive in me I’m caught in the overflow Of mercy that won’t let go Here on this holy ground Standing before You now Jesus You are more than enough If there’s one thing I know It’s how You love me so Jesus You are more than enough for me Finally my eyes can see You’ve never abandoned me I’m held by the kindness of A Father who won’t give up My Father, You’ll never give up Forever strong Forever faithful All my life, You are enough for me In every storm In every battle All my life, You are enough for me You are more than enough for me Fear could never conquer me Cause You already have, you already have Worry could never conquer me Cause You already have, you already have

Rest in the middle of Restlessness

Rest and resting in Jesus is something that God has gently been teaching me over the years. He has slowly peeled away layers of self-sufficiency. Not because I feel adequate but because I fear being seen as "inadequate." He has smoothed out the areas that would so easily wind me up and get me all bent out of shape because life is not "adding up" or "making sense" in that particular moment. He patiently speaks over me reminding me that I am enough because He is enough. I do not have to strive or fret because He has a good plan and purpose for my life. I am secure in His loving and all knowing hands. 

Being His daughter and being found in Him is not an "add on" to my life as a believer but that IS my life. It is my aim and purpose to make much about Him. I live to worship and praise Him for how marvelous and wonderful He is because He is God. To bring Him glory that is due His Great Name. So by God's grace, I am not where I started. I am foreve…

No Fear

God's Word is my anchor, a strong foundation. It is unchanging, complete and reliable. When I am confused, uncertain, discouraged or want to know the heart of God or need answers or comfort, the Scriptures, living and active and so able to do that and more. 

Today, I am encouraged that fear is not of God. I do not have to live in fear. Although there are many opportunities for me to feel anxious and we do experience fearful moments in this life, I am not destined to a life of fear as a result. I do not have to choose fear. I do not have to live in fear. How do I know this? God's word tells me so and by His grace, I believe it.  

2 Timothy 1:7 says, For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

Despite what I may be feeling in the face of a crisis, devastating news or tragedy, those feelings do not define me. Those moments do not define who I am. But rather those are just  moments. Even in my sadness, confusion or momentary moments o…

Pre-Choosing to Choose

So much of life is about choices, if not every aspect of our life requires some level of decision making. What is for dinner? Where will we go out for dinner? What will I wear to work? What song should I listen too? 

According to a 2018 UNC Science TV article, the average adult makes about 35,000 "remotely conscious decisions each day."  That's a lot of decisions with varying levels of consequences and degree of seriousness. In contrast, a child makes on average 3000 decisions. Oh what sweet mercy it is to be a child - and I am reminded of the scriptures that makes reference to this "childlike faith." Gosh, how peaceful would life be if we would just believe, trust, listen and obey? To take God at His Word, to obey His commandments and live. I get it - life is complicated and complex. 

I will be the first to admit, being an adult is hard, really hard at times. It comes with more responsibility. The decisions we make are "weightier" and oftentimes, the m…

Broken

I am very sad and broken. The images and video footage over the past few weeks are beyond troubling, it's grievous. It is not okay. I am not okay with it. Every person is created in the loving image of God. Therefore, every single person is deserving to be treated humanely, compassionately with dignity, decency and respect. What we have seen is not the heart of God. God is a loving God. He is a just God. 

I find myself in tears, actually my husband too. The mood has been solemn. I fully recognize and acknowledge I have no words of my own to sufficiently soothe the hurt, bring about reform or the type of restoration and peace our nation and world desperately needs in this hour. I make no attempts at saying I completely "understand" what my fellow Americans are feeling and experiencing. I cannot begin to speak about the pain and ache that many are walking through for the injustice and wrongs. But what I do have, I offer. I offer my sincere intercessions and prayers. I offer…