Ever tried having a conversation without moving your lips? Unless you were recovering from oral surgery or setting a watch before your words, chances are you haven’t. At its simplest explanation, the movement of our lips allows air into our mouths, subsequently enabling the tongue and vocal boxes to their jobs, which allows us to speak.
Often times, my lips, mouth and tongue’s first reactions are the opposite of James 1:19 and the whole notion of being “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” goes quickly out the window. I want to fight fire with fire and hurt them as much as they hurt me. You and I know the feeling, just as Jesus does.
From Pilate’s court to Calvary’s cross, Jesus was egregiously taunted and berated, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and verbally. Yet he stayed silent, never parting his lips to give Satan any room to abort the birth of redemption for you and I. Jesus maintained his peace, and selflessly went to the Cross with four things.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” –2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
God gave love to sustain us, inner peace to encourage us, power to strengthen us, and sound minds to lead us. Our lips should not open to engage in vindictive tic for tact with Satan, but stay closed as we silently profess our disengagement with his lies…
In a moment of extreme spontaneity, I traded the powdered lemonade instructions for real lemonade instructions and learned two things. 1) Artificially processed lemons pale in taste comparison to using actual lemons and 2) raw lemons have a lot pulp when blended!
I question if marketing executives purposely advertise products with the general naivety of potential customers in mind? Honestly speaking, when they advertise that one can throw peeled fruits (small seeds and all) into their product and receive a silky drink, it is safe to assume that the pulp leftover in the bottom of a glass is just part of the fine print, that they hope will be too insignificant for customers to return it.
And often times, they’re right in their thinking, as pulp is seemingly insignificant. Yet, within the pulp is the true integrity of a fruit. Lemon juice is on the tongue for one second and gone another second later. Lemon pulp is on the other hand, must be chewed!
How much of us is juice…fleeting? How much of us is sludge…lasting?
A lesson and silver lining can be found in everything, even in advertisements with omissions! No wonder why God chose to surround us with so many creations…
In the last few years (2 in October, thanks to you & God!), we’ve discussed many topics on AD from long held religious beliefs to dealing with insecurities, yet there is one conversation that has conveniently been skipped over…death. Below is what the Holy Spirit gifted Monday as I grappled with the loss of someone special and the memories of others that I have lost too.
Death is such a painfully complex and beautiful experience. It hurts to no longer have them in the flesh, but that is assuaged by knowing they are at peace in the spirit. Even more complicated are the people who love us that aren’t even family! Strangers that care and become closer than family, not out of familial obligation but out of pure genuity. And losing those people is hard, yet there is a silver lining to be unveiled. Just as they walked into our lives, so too, can others. We are not assigned to a designated number of sincere people in life. Our quotas are limitless and open. Although cherished ones can never be replaced, new relationships can become added dimensions in our lives and that is what makes death painfully complex and beautiful. Though one says their last goodbye, another says their first hello.
“… A time to cry, a time to laugh; a time to mourn, a time to dance…” -Ecclesiastes 3:4 VOICE
There’s a time for everything; the key is staying on and within time! 🙂
The Bible waste no time demonstrating God’s decisiveness, as the first few verses of Genesis, detail God confidently creating the entire earth in six measly days.
“First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss. God spoke: “Light!”And light appeared. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark Night. It was evening, it was morning—Day One.” -Genesis 1:1-5 MSG
If I was God, it probably would’ve taken me six days to differentiate between and name light and dark. The actual God’s efficiency is exemplary compared to mine, which is one good reason why He is He and I am me.
It makes me wonder about how long it took God to formulate the blueprint of my life? It begs the question of if a human being’s body and life is more or less complicated than all of creation? Although, I will have to wait until I go to my Heavenly Home to get those answers, I can be sure that if everything I see was made in six days, then I can only dream about the timeline of things I don’t.
I do have the answer for one question though…
Q: Why do we tire easily of and become overwhelmed by the constant choices in life?
A: Because we are attempting to override wise decisions that have already been made.
Your heart is pumping faster than it ever has before and you’re flight response in absolute over drive. You’re running with no destination in mind or sight, except to your escape pursuers and just when it seems like you’re about to shake them, they seem to multiply. They are all persistent, feeding off each of other. A quick look over your left shoulder and you see the workout you missed last week, hoping for some comfort, you look to the right and BAM, there’s the email you were supposed to send today. Resolving to sprinting forward and not looking back, you make it a few more yards before feeling something around your feet. Oh no! It’s the family member who has the perception that you owe them the skin off your back. Digging a bit deeper, yet feeling weak, your sprint turns to a jog, as a few more feet pass by and another (wet) distraction thumps you in the head. Knock knock, the leaky faucet beckons to be fixed. Never one to quit, you keep moving, in spite of your jog that has now metamorphosed into a brisk walk. “On my 139th mile!”, gloats the one peer that breezes through everything in life with closed eyes and manicured fingers and toes.
Exhaustion finally sets in and your chasers now have exactly where they want you, vulnerable, hopeless and heavy-laden. Stumbling to your knees, it seems like the wolves will surely overtake you as darkness begins to set in. That is until a firm hand touches your shoulder. Lifting your eyes, you are blinded by a bright light. Opening your ears, you are startled by a voice saying, ““I am light to the world and those who embrace me will experience life-giving light, and they will never walk in darkness.” (John 8:12 TPT)
When Jesus invites you to let Him light up your lives, He is talking about more than opening doors and revealing paths to you. He is also referring to how you travel. Will you be burdened down, traveling like a lighthouse’s rotating beacon? Or will you be feathery, traveling like light* itself.
*Few things can travel faster than light, even time lags minutes behind…
“My child, never drift off course from these two goals for your life: to walk in wisdom and to discover discernment. Don’t ever forget how they empower you. For they strengthen you inside and out and inspire you to do what’s right; you will be energized and refreshed by the healing they bring. They give you living hope to guide you, and not one of life’s tests will cause you to stumble.” -Proverbs 3:21-23 TPT
Life is such a complex network of overlapping and interconnected choices that the human mind would go insane trying to keep track of all it! How amazing is it that the wisdom and discernment that we trust, walk and rest in, is not the result of our own mental toils, but a spiritual gift from our Heavenly Father?!
I imagine God to be tickled pink Heaven at the thought of all the surprises that He has in store for us, yet saddened by the despondency that we resort to in times of stress and worry. The unknown of what we don’t see is much sweeter than the known of what we do and obsessing over what can’t be controlled diminishes the energy needed to change what one can.
When you look around at this gift of a life and all the impending goodness, you began to see that this is truly a sweet existence…
Pop quiz time! Choose one of the following answers to finish the statement:
There’s a grace…
a) for perfect people
b) for certain situations
c) for any and everything
d) for everyone but you
ding ding…it’s C!
God’s Grace extends to everyone and every aspect of life, especially you.
Grace reminds me of camouflage, another one of God’s creations that science still doesn’t have a coherent explanation for. Butterflies and chameleons have the astonishing ability to imitate their surroundings, hence allowing them to avoid predation.
Supernatural powers from Heaven enable us to rise above the occasion, completing the undoable and unthinkable. It is by grace’s influence only, that I can can begin to reason as to how I weathered the storms and fires of life, successfully and without the smell of mildew or smoke!
I imagine that over the years, animals and insects with camouflaging capabilities have developed a repository of concealment methods based on their environments. Much like, the refinement of grace in our lives as we journey through challenging events.
“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me.”- Psalm 119:114 MSG
Embrace the grace that was created to favor and help you in all of life’s various places!
In every profession and hobby, there are a) goals and b) obstacles. There can never be an achievement of one’s dreams without some nightmares along the way…
What stands between you, today and you, tomorrow? How about you, today and you, 2 minutes, ten days or twenty years from now? Time, doubt and exploitation. Although you prayed and believed for deliverance, a week has gone by with no change in your life. Time seems to be flying by, with God’s guarantee of goodness going right along with it! You begin to reflect on your life, past, present and future and wonder if God is truly for you or against you. And in the midst of this spiritual war, Satan comes striding in, prepared with plenty of tricks and tools to capitalize on your spirit’s vulnerable condition.
What stands between a competitive swimmer and a medal? Water and his/her fellow competitors. Yet, I have never seen a competitive swimmer swim looking to the left and right during a race. It is in those moments that they look within, remembering all their training and keep their eyes fixed ahead.
We can’t successfully run the race of faith, while keeping close and judgemental tabs on our neighbors. We can’t be ready to discount God’s promises, when our timing doesn’t fit into His timeline.
Hebrews 12:1-3 MSG…we will not (and cannot) concede defeat from someone (Satan) who has already been eternally defeated…
It’s easy to turn off the television, close the newspaper and disengage oneself from the troubles, tragedies and tribulations of others…
“People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” -Luke 21:26-28 NIV
Yet what is the method of detachment when friends, family members and close acquaintances begin to experience circumstances like those headlined in the media and read by thousands? Unexpected death. Health challenges. Financial woes. Prodigal children.
Pray it off.
That is what The Holy Spirit whispered to me as wrestled with the state of both the world and the lives of those around me. It is not our job to comprehend nor become sleuths to life’s unfortunate happenings, for our most chaotic moments are clearly understood by God. He’s knows the end from the beginning with the obstacles of our journeys being less than afterthoughts when compared to our final outcomes.
While on the cross, Jesus saw a vision of you living a life worth dying for, with success in all areas of life. Don’t let Satan use the trials of your life and/or other people’s lives to trick you into aborting that vision…
Happy Father’s Day to both our earthly fathers and spiritual Father! I’m blessed to have both and for that I am grateful…
“Heaven can be entered only through the narrow gate! The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the Gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” -Matthew 7:13-14 TLB
It’s no coincidence that the most rewarding things in life are the results of either long wait times and/or severe birthing pains. Whether it be a college degree, job promotion, getting married, having a child or even freedom from forgiving someone. The sweet and lasting blessings on the other side of narrow gates are always worth the sour and temporary trials, taunting you at the gate’s entrance.
Satan’s most momentous lie that he uses to cripple us is the “You’re missing out!” lie. It is the notion that jives well with our daily fast food and quick internet consumption. Surely, there must be something wrong with us (or possibly God) and our prayers if the promise hasn’t been fulfilled yet! And that is exactly where satan wants us, in a deep and depressive rabbit hole of “woe is me, waiting is meangingless.”
Our prayers, confessions and seeds need time to grow and a genuine expectation from us that they will be manifested. The easy road involves, looking around at the lives of others, concluding that Jesus has forgotten you and then subsequently giving up. The narrow road involves, taking inventory of all the promises that God has yet to fulfill, getting excited about each of them and then consequently expecting their arrival at any minute.
You are an invaluable human being, cherished on every level there is to be loved by God Himself, thus, making all of your desires just as priceless as you, yourself are!
wait it out…it’ll be worth it…just like this ice cream was 🙂