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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Roll Call

Roll Call

“So—who is like me? Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy. Look at the night skies: Who do you think made all this? Who marches this army of stars out each night, counts them off, calls each by name—so magnificent! so powerful!—and never overlooks a single one?” –Isaiah 40:25-26 MSG

As night begins to fall, high up in the highest skies, the lights of the night begin to be awoken. It is time for their nightly assignment: light up the skies for God’s earth. Radiance is the first one up and quickly rouses the others to get ready. It will only be a short time for their Lord arrives to call roll and kindle their lights.

“Stars, are you ready for tonight?” God asks, fully aware of the fact that His faithful night servants are always ready to go at the drop of sunset.

“Yes, Father! We are delighted.” Dazzles replies, now completely awake thanks to Radiance’s friendly wake up call.

“Father God, he would not have been ready, if it had not been for me!” Radiance huffs.

“Radiance, stow your jealously. We all know I shine so very bright.” Dazzles counters.

“Here I am!” Bright, the baby of the bunch exclaims, thinking his name has been called.

“Not you Bright, the word bright.” Dazzles corrects.

“Oh I–” Bright begins talking in attempt to salvage some of his dignity.

“I spy with own eyes two of brightest blockheads in the skies tonight.” Radiance says, roaring with laughter.

“All of you just stop! We need each other –”, Sparky says trying to bring the peace, but is interrupted by Glow.

“Yeah, Sparky you need us, because your light only sparks. The rest of us, well at least me, glow all the time.” Glow replies with a chuckle.

“Now, Glow, that is just a dim comment.” Luminous, the elder star of them all chastises.

“What kind of name is Luminous anyway? Luminous…horrendous…” Radiance yells.

“That is enough.” God says with the sternest, but stillest of voices.

“I have let you all carry on long enough and I am very disappointed at your behavior. You all have a responsibility, an important one at that! To light up the night for my children on earth, during what would otherwise be a time of darkness. Not everyone has the opportunity to be stars. I hand crafted each and everyone of you, to be just as your are. The most beautiful and bright…in your own light.”

“God, I apologize for darkening the mood and being selfish.” Radiance says sincerely.

“Yeah, you definitely–” Dazzles starts but is quickly interrupted by God and given a silent warning.

“…Definitely weren’t alone in your selfishness.” Dazzles says, thankful for the quick save.

“Sparky, I’m sorry for my comment. Your scintillating sparks are what make you stand out from everyone else!” Glow says.

“Thanks Glow, you know you are the one who brings the real star show!” Sparky replies.

“And to Luminous, I owe an extra special apology. You have been nothing but kind and helpful to all of us stars. As the oldest, you are greatest star to ever chase away the dark!” Radiance speaks.

“I love the sight of this. Look at how you all are just illuminating. Your love and forgiveness for each other has kindled you all tonight. My touch isn’t necessary! Whose ready for roll call?” God says with a warm smile.

“Yay!” Bright screams.

 

“Sparky to the North.”

“Yes, Lord!”

“Glow to the East.”

“Yippee twinkles, Lord.”

“Dazzles to the South.”

“Thanks, Maker.”

“Luminous and Bright to the West.”

“Ready, newbie?”

“You bet I am!”

“And my sweet Radiance, to the center.”

“The center? God, I –”.

“Am underserving? Yes, you are! And despite your moment of strife tonight, I still love you and will not hold my compassion from you.”

“God, how could I ever repay you for loving me, the unlovable?”

“Radiate so that all the world can see. Gleaming so brilliantly, that all those who have sight, know it is because of Me.”

 

Roll Call, The Play
Starring:
God

Sparky
Glow
Dazzles
Radiance
Luminous
Bright

Hopefully you enjoyed that! Now, there are more (much more) than 6 stars in the sky every night. 6 trillion is probably more accurate, but I would not have been able to keep up with 6 trillion characters! Isaiah 40:25-26, is just one of those verses that truly comes alive for me. And when I was thinking about it today, God gave me this vision of how He marches the stars out at night. How amazing, yet completely unfathomable is that? Maybe God will give me the conclusion of this vision telling me how He marches the stars in 🙂

If God can remember the names of 6 trillion stars, then surely He can remember our names and march us into our bright futures! And He loves us, just as He does Radiance…acting on His love and not our actions…

Until Thursday,

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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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Love Lights the Way

Love Lights the Way

What influences your life? Or better yet, who? I like to believe that God and His Words frame my world, but last night, I realized that was not all the way true…

“Storage Almost Full

You can manage your storage in Settings”

Yep, I got this message on my phone last night! And you’re probably wondering, “How does one burn through 60 gigabytes of memory in less than a year?” Easy, a phobia of running out. You see, when I take pictures I don’t just take one or even two, I have to have at least 4 or 5. And instead of deleting all the duplicates, I always find a reason to keep them. Like, “What if the picture is too big/small to be cropped?” or the infamous one, “What if the other three get deleted by accident?” The thought of not having enough, whether it’s contact solution, batteries, gas, or lead is just downright frightening. Now, we all have quirks of some sort so don’t judge me J!

It is human nature to search for security and center our lives around those things. My day is already off to an interesting start if I have to put some elbow grease into getting my morning toothpaste! The day is not even broken in yet, and I have already allowed a fleeting phobia to hijack my life! Whether it be financial security through an investment or emotional security through pets…we are trying to fill void that can only be sufficed by God’s love and light.

As children of God, we cannot allow our quirks to pave the way for our lives. We cannot allow negativity, jealously, fear or any other ungodly thing(s) to rule our lives. With God, we have everything we will ever need and thus want for nothing. God loves us with a love that outweighs any and all other things that try to take our lives off the course that he has already charted.

Love lights the way and in those lights of love there is no darkness…

Psalm 119:105 & 1 John 4:18

Until Thursday,

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Face the Music

Face the Music.jpg

Yes, that is my hand. No, it is not bruised. Yes, it washed off. Hopefully, I answered all questions! Oh, and it is maker by the way, I was doing some DIY tie-dye for my sketchbook…

Although, school doesn’t officially start till next Wednesday (ages away, I know), today I had to get books and attend to other school related matters. Subconsciously, I was dreading school and getting back into the hustle and bustle. And instead of facing those fears like the Child of God I am, I was hiding…

We are not meant to be cowards to fear and Satan. God wants us to face tribulations –whether it be Crayola marker wars or crazy schemes from Lucifer, head on with His airtight armor. Natural wars often leave us with a lifetime of physical and emotional scars, that some (unfortunately) are never able to recover from. Supernatural wars, on the other hand leave us with a lifetime of experiences and testimonies.

Honestly, this entire year has felt like a supernatural war for me! It is so much easier to ignore trials as if they aren’t happening to you. Ignore hurt feelings as if they aren’t bothering you. Ignore fear as if it isn’t screaming at you.

I love how in Daniel, when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were checked on the next morning after being thrown in the fiery furnace, the King, “discovered that the fire hadn’t so much as touched the three men—not a hair singed, not a scorch mark on their clothes, not even the smell of fire on them” (Daniel 3:27 MSG). And because God works miracles in any weather, I am also fond of this line, “ But the Israelites walked right through the middle of the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall to the right and to the left.” (Exodus 14:29 MSG)

With God, no matter the weather or temperature of the fire or waters we pass through, we always come through completely clean…

Bringing this post home, my hands came out about 97.13% clean with a little soap and a lot of scrubbing! Meaning, I was left with about 2.87% of marker residues in the grooves and curves of my hand. But what is even more impressive (besides my superb mathematical skills) is that with God, not even the tiniest bit of evidence from trials remains in our lives.

So go ahead, strap on the full Armor of God and strike down whatever mountain is staring you in the face, with God’s Word. Face the music of victory and no matter what happens, “just keep on dancing.”*

*P.S. Two things really quick!

  1. Although, I would love to take credit for those last four lines, I can’t! This is the original quote from the movie, Jumping the Broom: “Life is like a disco. No matter how the music changes, you just keep on dancing.”
  2. I apologize for rambling, but I am confident that if I needed this today, then maybe you did too!

Until Sunday,

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Throne Room

Throne Room

Since my drawing skills is still a work in progress, I am going to stick to writing and try to put words to a vision I had! Oh and as a warning, this one is a little on the long side…

Life has left you broken and destitute both physically and emotionally. Your family has abandoned you and your tattered clothes are a stark reminder of just how unworthy of The Kings’ presence you are. But, at the end of your ropes, you reach the door of the Throne Room and swing it open with the little strength and faith you have left. As you enter you are completely taken a back by the serenity saturating  the atmosphere and then left gasping when you see pictures of you all around. Hanging from glass stained windows are pictures of you from various stages of your life. You, taking your first breath. You, as a beaming toddler. You, as a boisterous teen. You, as a busy adult. You’re amazed at how God has seemed to have kept a better record of your life than you have. Gathering yourself, you continue to make the trek to The King’s Throne, with streaks of blues, reds and purples accompanying your face from the stained glass windows. As if they were keyed in to your movements, angels suddenly break into a gloriously beautiful sound up above, in a balcony, that boasts calligraphic writing noting, “Where love and mercy reign forever…”. Your ears have never heard such delightful and delicate songs! The combination of their voices and the lyrics they sing is overwhelming, like a bright winter sun. Becoming accustomed to the stained glass and angels singing, your eyes wander a little below the balcony of belting angels to which a magnificent waterfall goes up and down, down and up, cycling water throughout the entire floor of the room. Water flows from the waterfall in swirls and is moved toward the top of the stair case pooling there, before trickling down the staircase landing and finding its way into the tiles of the floor, of which you now see water flowing underneath your feet but do not feel it. After observing everything and everybody else in the room, your eyes finally rest on two important people, whom you and everything you have seen could not exist without…The King and His Son. Seated at the right hand of His Father, Jesus gracefully gets up and walks to meet you on your walk to Him. He has tears in His eyes and as He comes closer He lifts a hand to steady your trembling body. And with his other hand he wipes the tears from your eyes with tissues that God gave Jesus before approaching you. All you can say is, “Jesus”, to which Jesus gives you a warm smile and says, “Yes, I am here.” God gives an order to the choir of angels and they begin singing another lovely tune. Jesus takes your hand and leads you back up the steps. He orders one of the angels to pull up a chair next to His for you and tells you to take your rightful place. “We’re so glad to have you here!”, Jesus exclaims.

Now, when we get to Heaven, the Throne Room may or may not look like what I have just described. And since I don’t know anybody who has been to Heaven and back that can confirm or deny my depiction of the Throne Room, I am going to stick with the fact that I’ve never seen anything like what I saw in my vision and that it had to be God drawing this magnificent portrait in my head.

And since all the lines are probably blurring together at this point from all the reading, I’ll spare you anymore discomfort and refrain copying and pasting Hebrews 4:14-16 on here! Thanks for reading till the end and hopefully, you were able to see as I saw…

 

Until Thursday,

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SCOPE

SCOPE

  • “Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.” – Colossians 2:9-10
  • Dictionary.com defines scope as the “extent or range of view, outlook, application, operation, effectiveness, etc.”

At this point, you have probably realized that the topic of discussion today is…SCOPE. Not a scoop of ice cream or buttercream frosting –which would by delightful by the way, but scope.

We use various types of scopes in our everyday lives. Whether it be a cousin of the scope family, like glasses or a son of the scope family, like telescopes. Glasses and telescopes allow people to do two very important things 1) see clearly and 2) see things that the naked eye cannot. If I see the sun as purple through my glasses, then I am going to believe it, because it is by my glasses that I view things. If I see a rainbow-colored star in the sky through a telescope, then I am going to believe it, because it is the telescope that frames my outlook.

Satan and this world are always trying to give us various scopes to see life through. Negativescope. Stressoscope. Unforgivescope. Sinoscope. And the list goes on. But not being outdone in anything, God has his own set of scopes that are more powerful than Satan and his demonic puppets could ever fathom creating. Positivescope. Peaceoscope. Forgivescope. Freeoscope. And the list also goes on.

Every morning we have a choice of which scope to see life through. The fullness of Jesus lives in us, meaning that everything He is, we are! He is healed, so we are healed. He is blessed, so we are blessed. He is whole, so we are whole. Don’t let Satan tell you anything to the contrary!

What scope have you been looking at life through?

Until Sunday,

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Laugh It Off

Laugh It Off.JPG

Shake it off! What a popular statement that we probably have heard or said ourselves more times than we can count! The phrase stands the test of time because there is so much truth in it. When bad or unfavorable things happen, we should not carry them, but get rid of them…immediately.

There are a lot of ways to remove things from your life. You can shake them off. Drop them off. Cut them off. Or even burn them off. However, I think the most rewarding and effective way is to, laugh them off. I see it like this: Whatever happened, happened and time will never be reversed. So, I might as well find some humor in it!

Last Friday, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I will admit that. I really was just a sitting target for funky frosty flakes and some miffed milk. And being the opportunist that he is, Satan acted quickly and the next thing I knew I had to apologize to my family for irritable demeanor and actions. I assure you I am putting all my business out  there for a good reason…

Fast forward a couple hours later and my 7 year old little sister asks our mom this ironic question: “Mommy, what is strife?” To which my mom replied, “Strife is what Kaylah* was in earlier.” Now, it wasn’t a good feeling to realize that I had succumbed to emotionalism and for that I am deeply sorry. However, laughing at the joke my mother made, severed the ability of Satan to condemn me later. I said my apologies to my family and I made my amends with God…there is no record of it!

Hopefully, there are some things in your life, that you can laugh off and take them as learning experiences. As long as we remain honest in our imperfection and repent for our mistakes, we are still in the clear with God and out of the red with Satan.

A laugh a day, keeps the Accuser away! When was the last time you laughed?

Until Thursday,

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* Kaylah and I are the same person. My parents hardly ever call me Vivian and if they do, I’m in an immeasurable amount of trouble!

 

Honest Conversations

Honest Conversations

I have a fairly passive-aggressive personality, in which I normally go completely out of my way to avoid conflict.  Whether it be conflict with others or even with myself.

Honesty, is a two way street that must be traveled by everyone and the people they associate with. Integrity is probably one of my biggest pet peeves as I expect it from those around me and hold myself to that same standard.

Today, I had to confront one of the most important people in my life. This person, after God, knows me best…myself. I had to ask and answer some hard questions. Such as “Does my view of myself align with God?”, “Am I truly walking in my redemption?” and the real kicker, “Do I honestly believe that God loves me?”. It’s easier to either a) ignore things as though they don’t exist or b) rationalize things to make them seem insignificant. But neither of these coping mechanisms are beneficial in the end. They simply mask the truth and keep leading us deeper into lies.

Satan is the father of lies, John 8:44, in which if he can’t get his lies to us, he will feed his lies through us. Instead of coming with foolishness himself, he will disguise himself as our inner voice and accomplish his mission, of snuffing out light and honesty for darkness and dishonesty.

God is light and in Him, there is no darkness, 1 John 1:5. His desire is for us to live our lives in His bright light! Only you (and God) know what areas of darkness you may have in your life.

When was the last time you had honest conversations with yourself?

Until Sunday,

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P.S. What came out of my honest conversation with myself? I still have some growing and learning to do when it comes to my faith! But, I have peace about the progress of perfection in me. God is going to keep pruning me until I am exactly as He created me to be! He is adamant about finishing His work in me…and you!