As Is

As Is

“As Is: All Sales Final!” Seeing that sign always put me on the edge, as I don’t like the prospect of me getting home with something that might be defective or broken (by no fault of my own) and have no recourse. Although, 9 times out of 10, we are satisfied with our purchases, I believe most of us like the luxury of returning an item, if needed.

Since Satan and our minds love to play the “what if” game, we might as well, go along with it!

What if God knew all of our mistakes before we even made them?

What if God saw the flawed piece of clay that we were?

What if God planned something great to happen on every day of our 
lives?

What if Jesus had full knowledge of the imperfect people He was 
dying for?

These “what ifs” are true facts! God knew exactly what type of car he was buying. Knew all the pros and need improvements. All the future issues and current joys. He saw the risks, but couldn’t pass up the final reward. Still, He wanted to be our Potter and send His Son as a sacrifice for our lives.

Neither God nor Jesus was jinxed into joining our team. As The Creator of Knowledge, He knew all there was and will ever be about us and yet, with full disclosure, he made His choice. I can imagine God saying something like this: “I still want [insert your name], their edges are a little rough but I can bevel those edges. Their paths are slightly crooked, but I can straighten them. Their heart a mess, but I can purify it. Their lives a train wreck, but I can restore all things. Yep, I still want [insert your name] and nothing and nobody can sway my decision!” He counted up all the costs and reasoned that the benefit outweighed the expenses. He saw the work needed and concluded that the finished product was worth much, much more.

God knew what your issues and flaws were before you even did! You’re like a classic car, with a few dents and dings. You need a new paint job and some fresh tires. An oil change and alignment wouldn’t hurt either. There’s a rattling of some sorts under the hood, that likely needs to be fixed soon. And to top it all off, you have no idea where you are going in life. But God has already scheduled an appointment with the best body and paint repair shop in town. He’s thinking of royal purple or peaceful teal for the paint and spotless white for the trim. He’s elated that next door to the body and paint repair shop is another business that specializes in oil changes, alignments and diagnosis of unknown auto problems. The destination? It’s a surprise! And God sometimes even stands in awe of His own works!

Until Thursday,
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The Unlovable

The Unlovable.jpg

Some people are just hard to please, tolerate and above all...love. Luke 6:31-34

"No, that's not right. Go the left."

Rower rows to the left.

"No, that's not right either. Only go to the left after every 5 rows.

Rower rows to the left after every 5 rows.

"I'm getting dizzy, only row to the left after every 15 rows."

Rower rows to the left after every 15 rows

"No, please row to the right. I'm getting seasick."


Upon disembarkment from the boat, one of the passengers said to the 
rower, "How did you deal with her?"

To which the rower responded, "I didn't, Christ did."

There’s a punchline to this story, I promise. Here it is: God is not a difficult or indecisive God. He’s unchanging, simple and patient. Which is why and how we are given grace to deal with people that aren’t. 

Sometimes, God has a good sense of humor and other times…not so much. In a way it is comical and practical that I am having to develop the abilities to love the unlovable and forgive others all in same year! Things that I have never had to deal with before. That is probably one of the coolest, craziest and sometimes chaotic part of life, although you know trouble is coming, you don’t always know how, when and even why?

Difficult people will come and go, but they will always remember how you treated them. I believe that everyone is conscious of how they treat people and how others react to them. Even the Grinch had a heart!

Everybody has their own boat to row. Their own shopping cart to push. Their own path to chart. From the outside looking in, their boat may look pristine, their shopping cart full and their paths enviable. But what lies under all the luxurious rafters, pretty packaging and bright blooms is an entirely different story.

As I am writing this, God has decided that He wanted to steal the show, so I am going to let Him go…

I’m not saying that how they treat you is okay. I’m not saying that their own personal issues justify their ways. I’m just saying that my grace gives you the ability to love them anyway.

Loving people is your life’s mission. Will it be accomplished?

Until Sunday,

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With You

With You

Since we had story time Thursday, I suppose God thought it would only seem appropriate to have poetry time Sunday. The backstory to this poem is not important as what it means to me, will probably not mean the same to you. I hope you enjoy it…

With You

 

Like two people reading from opposites ends of a book

Like two people rowing in counteracting directions

Neither willing to sacrifice

So am I

When I am control of my life

 

As the author of my own story

I fail miserably at writing

Nothing makes sense.

 

As the captain of my own ship

I come up short constantly in navigating life

Nothing makes sense.

 

I am not the editor of my life’s novel

I am not the planner of my life’s voyage

And when I act as if I am

Nothing make sense

Words are incoherent

And nothing moves

Destinations are indecipherable

 

Nothing makes sense and nothing moves.

God, You are the mental lubricant that makes words flow

 

Jesus, You are the physical lubricant that allow boats to go

 

With You, everything makes sense

And everything moves

 

Without You, there is nothing…

 

Until Thursday,

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P.S. One of the scripture references used by my Pastor this morning was Acts 12:1-16 when Peter was delivered from death by the prayers of some devoted prayer warriors. Verse 11 in the King James Version, says, “…when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a SURETY, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” What a confirmation from God!

Surety

Surety.jpg

Now, as a disclaimer, my heart goes out to those affected by the hurricanes. I am extremely sensitive and by no means am I poking fun or degrading the devastation of the floods that have happened and the lives that have been lost. I am referring to God’s promise, that He would never flood the entire earth again and swipe out all living things by water, Genesis 9:11.

DNT Weather Report:

“The earth is officially flooding!”, Lee False, a trusted meteorologist reports for DNT, (Definitely Not True)’s daily weather report.

“A little bit each day. By next week, we’ll all be fish!” Lee False jokes.

….

3 Days Later

“Did you hear about the news?” Flaky Fiona says as she enter the lounge for church volunteers.

“Yeah, maybe God isn’t all that trustworthy after all.” Maybe Max responds, grabbing the coffee pot to pour him a cup.

“My thoughts exactly! I mean, I didn’t think it was true after rereading Genesis 9:11, but then when I started seeing water, that changed things.” Flaky Fiona says in exasperation.

“Changed things”? You’re sounding like the children of Israel. Every time something contrary to God comes up, you go running!” Confident Connor says, entering the lounge to make copies for the upcoming event.

“Oh Connor give us a break! Maybe we need to reconsider all this stuff we’re preaching. Maybe it’s all “Hallucinogenic Hallelujahs.” Maybe Max responds, as he plops nine cubes of sugar into his coffee and 11 creamers.

“Yeah, for you probably. I’d be hallucinogenic too, if I ingested that much sugar!” Confident Connor counters.

“Hallucinogenic? You all know that is a serious condition that many people suffer from. It shouldn’t be the focal point of jokes, guys. Not cool.” Surely Shirley says, as she comes in looking for pens and markers for the kids.

“You’re right. But we were originally talking about the flood. That’s how hallucinations came up. Max and I wonder if The Bible is just that.” Flaky Fiona says.

“What flood?” Surely Shirley asks.

“Uh, the flood going outside this building! The water you had to wade through to get in here!” Maybe Max says.

“I saw water and I felt it too, but I don’t believe it.” Surely Shirley says to which Flaky Fiona and Maybe Max’s eyes go triple in size.

“Someone with some sense is here!” Confident Connor exclaims.

“You two are crazy!” Flaky Fiona says.

“No, what is crazy is God sending his only son to die for you and then you turning around is questioning Him. That’s insanity.” Surely Shirley counters.

“2 Corinthians 5:7, walk by faith and not by sight, was not put in the bible as filler of space. You two-” Connor adds before he is interrupted by DNT.

DNT Weather Report (Goof):

“The earth is NOT officially flooding!”, Lee False reports.

“A malfunction in the city’s water supplies caused the flooding. By next week, we should see dry land.”

“Now, my God just parted the Red Sea for me!” Surely Shirley says.

“No, my God parted the Rea Sea for me, you’re just blessed to be near me.” Confident Connor says.

“Do you have the copies we need?” Surely Shirley asks.

“Do you have the markers we need?” Confident Connor counters as he and Surely exit with laughs as they return to their tasks.

“Maybe, God-” Maybe Max starts before Flaky Fiona raises her hands and cuts him.

“Don’t start. Maybe you need to read your bible more!” Flaky Fiona says.

“Hey, and you don’t?! You were agreeing with me!”

“Yes, I was. Shirley and Connor really made me think. They were so sure and confident of what God said. We should definitely listen.” Flaky Fiona says.

“Yeah, maybe.” Max says launching his empty coffee cup into the trashcan, before leaving.

 

END.

 

Surety, The Play

Starring

Surely Shirley 

Confident Connor

Flaky Fiona

Maybe Max

 

Hopefully, you got a laugh (and a lesson) out of that! Couple things I want to mention…

  • This week, God bluntly asked me this: “Would you believe that the earth was flooding, if you saw it your own two eyes and felt it with all 20 of your fingers and toes?” Yeah, I’m still a little speechless. But, that is the best place to be in Christ. Completely in awe and always reaching for higher heights in your faith.
  • Make note that Connor and Shirley came in the lounge to do things. Connor, copying papers. Shirley, looking for markers. Fiona and Max, weren’t doing anything but socializing. As soon as Fiona came in with doubt, Max should have “checked” her with God’s Word, not validate her doubt. If you want to live a great and prosperous life, across all areas (spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally, financially etc.), you must watch your associations. Proverbs 13:20, as Connor would say is not in the bible a “filler of space”.

 

Shirley is a sure believer because she is secure in God’s promises.

Connor is a confident believer because he has seen God work in his life.

Fiona is a flaky believer, because she will believe God’s word until the next contradiction comes.

Max is a skeptical believer because he needs lives by proof.

 

Now, what kind of believer are you?

 

Until Sunday,

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The High Road

TheHighRoad

Sometimes I get tired of taking the high road. Why do I have to be the one to sacrifice and forgive like Christ? Why do I have to be one to turn the other cheek and surrender to love’s feat?

Because Jesus did it for me. That is why.

It is easy to stay right where we are in our minds. Allowing them to run our lives straight into ruin. It is convenient to hold fast to scapegoats, as oppose to taking charge of our own boats. It is comfortable to defer change to another day, instead of grasping the concept that we make our own way.

The High Road (Matthew 7:14). It is neither easy, nor convenient or comfortable. It forces us to look at the eyes that look back at us in the mirror and say, “No more.” It forces us to get honest and stop all the excuses and good lies that we tell ourselves as tools of appeasement.

To be honest, for the last month I’ve probably been somewhere in the middle of the road, stumbling at the promises that I already have in my hands. Living like a deer in headlights, when I was created to be an eagle in the sky’s heights. Nevertheless, I do not have to stay where I have been, I can change. And so can you!

Thanks for allowing me to bounce some of my eclecticism around today! Hopefully, out of all that you found something that will inspire you to walk confidently on The High Road, leading to The High Life.

The High Road…The High Life

  • Selfless
  • Faith
  • Secure
  • Loving
  • Peaceful

The Low Road…The Low Life

  • Selfish
  • Fear
  • Insecure
  • Loveless
  • Peaceless

Which road are traveling on?

Until Thursday,

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Butterfly

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“Why doesn’t she release us?” Freedom, a bright blue butterfly says to her prison companion, Forgiveness.

Freedom and Forgiveness are butterflies that have been imprisoned for more years than they can count. They long for the smell of outside air and the scent of fresh sprouting flower blooms.

“I don’t know?” Forgiveness replies, who also happens to be an equally beautiful and bright butterfly in his own right, except white in hue.

“It is the most asinine thing I have ever experienced.” Freedom remarks.

“It really is. She has the key to free us but she refuses to put it to good use!” Forgiveness adds.

“Exactly and if her sanity wasn’t enough, then the price her Savior paid for the key should be.” Freedom adds.

“Yeah, a hefty price! Talk about some unconditional love and mercy.” Forgiveness says.

“You see my wings? Their sparkling white and created to withstand the troughs of tribulations.”

“Freedom you and I were meant to fly, high into sky. You, near the clouds, light and free. Me, in the skies, full of blithe.”

“Couldn’t have said it better, Forgiveness. Although, you did forget your scintillating blue wings, strong enough to cut through the harrowing winds of hate.”

“Freedom, you are-Wait, do you hear that?” Forgiveness whispers.

Dear Savior in Heaven,

Thank you for waking me up this morning and blessing me to see another day! Without You on my side, I could never find the way. You sacrificed Your life and paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom and well-being. Help me to forgive others just as You did on the cross. Help me to release the desire to be in control of my life. Show me how to walk, live and revel in love all the days of my life. It is time for me to let go of these heavy weights that have been holding me down and grab tight to the promise of new life. I leave the past, present and future where they rightfully belong…in Your Almighty Hands…

In You Great Name, alone. Amen.

“I can’t believe it. We’re finally going to be free!” Freedom screeches.

“After all these years of being held in captivity and oppressed. I’m so elated that she decided to roll the weight of hurt and worry onto Jesus’ mighty shoulders. And I’m even more ecstatic to feel the wind through my wings again!” Forgiveness says

“Me too! Although, I am really going to miss you, Forgiveness!”

“Same here, we have had a lot of great times together.” Forgiveness responds.

“Well goodbye then, be blessed!”

“You too, but it is not goodbye, it is till next time…”

Butterfly, The Play

Starring:

Freedom
Forgiveness

Personification brings the Bible to life for me and allows me to not only retain God’s Word, but also understand it. What I would give to have Calculus and Chemistry textbooks in story form!

Unlike “Roll Call”, this one (Butterfly) is a little more abstract, so I am going to do a quick summary just in case you got lost in story! The butterflies are mental visuals of what goes on in our hearts. Past hurts and strongholds often hold us back from fully surrendering to God’s goodness. We have the keys to The Good Life, thanks to Jesus dying for us, yet we hesitate to use the precious gift that He sacrificed so much for! Your trapped butterflies might be different, maybe it is Peace or Joy. Kindness or Compassion. Temperament or Patience. Whatever they might be it is time to set them free

At the start of this year, AD declared that 2017 was A Year To Fly, and although there are only 112 days left in 2017, that is still plenty to stretch our wings!

Until Thursday,

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Settled.

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Sometimes my life looks like the picture above. Everything is blurry. Running together. Spiraling somewhere. And like a strong force of gravity the chaos of my life tries pull my mind into it. Blurring my focus. Running faith and doubt together. Spiraling nowhere.

Tries, is they key word here. Satan tried to stop Jesus as a baby, when King Herod authorized the order to kill all baby boys in Bethlehem. Satan tried to discourage David, by making his death, Saul’s personal mission. Satan tried to discredit Noah’s resolve in God, by speaking words of doubt through the townspeople. Satan a trying god…I’ll give him that! He has a fairly decent persistence rate and an equally mediocre creativity rate. He neither stops afflicting God’s children nor cease thinking of devious way to do it.

Try as the big bad wolf did, but he could not blow the third little piggy’s house down. That little piggy was settled. Satan will huff, puff and tell us that he is going to blow our houses down, destroy our careers, rip apart our families and do us completely in, but like a good villain, he never spills the bullseye of his demise. The bullseye: He can’t move settled people. Confident and resolute Christians will withstand all of his fiery trials and fierce floods.

I have made the decision to finally settle some things in my life. Things that were like measly sticks and straws in my heart, shifting around every time life’s gravity pulled on them. No longer am I am double minded. Triple minded. And unsettled. Today, I choose to change and be single minded and settled.

My thoughts and prayers are with the world today as I hope that a settling peace will overcome this world, in the midst of Satan’s last days of destruction…

WE WILL NOT BE SHAKEN, PSALM 55:22.

Until Sunday,

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Anchored ⚓

Anchored ⚓

I have to apologize for missing days and being a bit inconsistent! This time it wasn’t my flash drive, it was lactose. I am sensitive to dairy products and let’s just say that yesterday they demanded that their presence be acknowledged in my life! August was a life-changing month for me. So much happened on both personal and global levels. Things that have left me suspended in the ocean of this great, big world. Just barely hanging on to life, as the next vicious wave comes crashing in, trying to do me in.

I’ve struggled, but I’m still standing. I’ve hurt, but I’m still loving. I’ve stumbled, but I’m still here. We may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning! Hebrews 6:17-20 has been the light in my life through the darkness. Jesus never said the waters wouldn’t rise against us. He never said that life would be smooth sailing. He never said that the currents wouldn’t come violently. But He did say that he would walk through the waters with us. He did say that He wouldn’t ever forsake us. He did say that He would be anchor.

Merriam Webster describes anchors as “a reliable or principal support”. I love that definition! Jesus and everything that He is and stands for is our anchor. Does it take the pain away? No. Does it make everything perfect? No. Does it gift overwhelming peace? Yes. Does it allow joy in sadness? Yes.

1 Peter 5:9, reminds us that we are not the only Christians fighting the good fight. If Satan is turning up the heat in my life, chances are he is doing the same thing to you! Hopefully this post wasn’t depressing. I try to employ, “happy honesty” in my life (and I just coined that as I am writing this). I can be real with my feelings, so long as I keep a joyful heart about it. Who wants to feel just as horrible as their circumstances? I’m going to presumptuous here and answer this question…no one!

My Editor (God) is giving me the signal to wrap up this post, so I’ll end it with this: Whatever you’re going through, I promise you are not alone. God sees every tear, knows every heartbeat and hears every prayer. Great things are up ahead, if only you’ll hold tight to Whom you belong…

Until Thursday,

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His Breath

His Breath

This past week has been one for the books! It was my first full week of classes and it seems like something went off the rails every. single. day. However Tuesday and Thursday were the pinnacles of chaos. Tuesday, a meeting that I had rearranged my entire week for, was cancelled 5 minutes before the appointment time, by a third party. And then Thursday, my academic flash drive decided to play a one sided game of hide and seek, with me, draining the time I had set aside to do AD. It was still a great week as I am alive and well, but it was a crazy one…no doubt!

It is in those hectic times, when everything is going wrong, that you have to dig deep for the one thing that is going right…breath. The fact that you can feel the pain and the frustration of life is a clear indication that you are still living. The dead neither tell tales nor have feelings.

What would life look like if with every inhale of oxygen and exhale of carbon dioxide, we thought of whose breathe we are breathing?

Genesis 2:7, talks about how, “God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive—a living soul!”. Us, breathing air, is the very handiwork of God. Us, living day by day, is the very testament to God’s faithfulness. The essence of our well-being does not even reside in our own hands. We could not even save ourselves, if we had to. And when I ponder all that, it makes me look at life in a different light. If I cannot breathe on my own, the how in the world do I expect to live on my own?

According to Wonderopolis, we breathe on average between 12-20 times per minute, equally between 17,000-30,000 breaths per day. Which loosely translates to this:

God reminding us that…

  • His love cannot be severed at least 12 times per minute
  • His faithfulness will never falter at least 720 times per hour
  • His mercy reigns forever…at least 17,000 times per day

Remind me, why we are stressed again?

Until Thursday (hopefully :),

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I Don’t Receive That

I Don't Receive That

Yesterday was my first official day of school and I can’t say that I missed it! This school year is one with a lot of moving parts, as I have to keep up with application deadlines and projects, all while maintaining stellar grades. Anyway, I had a great post, ready to go this morning, until Satan decided to send me a message…

I was brushing my teeth and combing my hair like normal people, when I started having images of flunked tests, fear and failure. Quickly, I had to put Satan in his defeated place, out of my life and remind him of his untimely fate. Never before have I had Him directly afflict me in that way. Yes, people would irritate me. Yes, situations would discourage me. But, those were all indirect sources of evil.

Satan in his end reign is getting bold and we as Christians, have to get even bolder! He is destroying everything in his path and trying with all his might to rope us into his rapidly sinking boat. When Satan sends you a message saying, “You aren’t going to make it through the class, health report, financial strain, family dysfunction etc.”, don’t hit ignore, say “I don’t receive that, Satan. It is written… and my Redeemer lives!

I am expecting an amazing year of prosperity as Satan can only factor lies from the truth. He is too incompetent to think for himself, so he takes all of God’s original information and duplicates it with his trademark, switching love for hate, joy for sadness, stress for peace. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, was not written as a mistake. Matthew 4 (when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness) is not a filler story. God knew that Satan would tempt us and because of that He gave us tools to bind the enemy AND a story of someone who successfully did.

Satan may talk, but you don’t have listen…

Until Sunday,

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