Matters of the Heart 14 – October, 2016

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua1:9 NIV

I can remember when I went away to sleep away camp and on the night before the last day at camp there were different awards given out.  The one that impressed me the most was the Turtle rock award.  Not everyone could swim the distance to get out to that big rock in the ocean that was shaped like a turtle.   It was anywhere between 3.5 to 5 miles there and back so a total of 7 to 10 miles.  I wanted that award; so, the following summer I convinced myself that I could swim the distance. I always enjoyed swimming and would take lessons after school during the fall and winter so I can do more than one stroke.  I spoke with the swim instructors and let them know this summer I was going to swim out to turtle rock. When standing on the beach and looking out, that was a far distance, and of course the row boat was behind us just in case one of us gave out or maybe cramped up.  So finally, I worked up enough courage to swim to that rock that was shaped like a turtle out in the ocean.  I knew a few strokes that in case I became a little tired I could switch to the side stroke in case I needed to rest and catch my breath.  That day the sun was shining, the current was not bad and it was time, I was only concerned about getting out of breath because I suffered with Asthma as a child, I was not afraid of my swimming capabilities.

Once we made it to the rock, we sat there for a little while but it was not over we had to make our way back to shore.  Well, of course I made it, I was finally going to receive one of the biggest awards at camp, swimming out to Turtle rock.  I think I still have that rock in the bottom of my mother’s china cabinet.  The Lord was with me in the water, I had the faith to swim that distance.

 Whatever you set your mind on we should remember we are more than conquerors.  Sometimes people become their own worst enemy because they do not have the faith to know that God will be with us wherever we go and whatever we put our mind too.  Do not allow fear to control you because then you will live with too many regrets and “what if” moments. Yes, there will be obstacles but if you keep your hand in the masters hands the Lord will see you through.  Will it be easy? no, but anything worth having does not come easy.  The Lord commands us to be strong and courageous and God will be with us wherever we go on land or sea.  I promise you if you stand your ground, allow God to fight your battles, you will be more than a conqueror.  God Bless

Matters of the Heart 13 – October, 2016

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10 (ESV)
When I was young, I would always see monsters in my closet, today I know it was nothing but the clothes, but at the time, it was monsters and no one could convince me otherwise. So I would go into my parent’s room and snuggle up because that was a safe place and I would go straight back to sleep with no worries; because my parents would protect me. The Bible says when I was a child I did things as a child but when I became an adult I put away childish things. I am grateful that I can call upon the name of the Lord when the storm clouds of life start to rage. Calling on the name of God has kept me in my right mind, calling on the name of Jesus granted me peace that surpassed all understanding.
We are all going to experience difficult and challenging situations in life and let’s face it, life’s challenges can be very unpleasant. There will be times when no one can help you and sometimes family and friends do not even understand what you might be going through or might not even care, but having a firm foundation in Christ can assure you that when you call on the name of the Lord, he will come to your rescue anytime, anyplace, anywhere. I am grateful for the strong tower and a place to feel safe. I encourage you to develop your relationship with the Lord, so that you will become one of the righteous so that you can go to that safe place that the Lord provides. God Bless.

Matters of the Heart 12 – October, 2016

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7 NIV

This Election season I must say will go down as one of the most Vulgar, strange and different from anything I have experienced since I became of age to actually pay attention to the candidate’s platform and what their plan is for the future.  This Election season had me to reflect upon the different unwanted encounters that I have experienced with men.  To blanket all men with Trump like behavior would be grossly negligent, but if most women were honest with themselves, we have all experienced something unpleasant and men are not the only ones who have cross the line with vulgar behavior with the opposite sex, women have been guilty as well.

I am so grateful that my experiences have not turned me off to the opposite sex.  I am vibrant and happily married, I have a wonderful son, my dad is still living, three brothers, uncles and many male cousins.  Although we are not running for political office, specifically the Presidency, we must be careful before we throw stones and we do not live in a glass house.  I certainly do not want my President to have misogynistic behavior holding the highest office in the USA, but Mr. Trump is not by himself, I do not live in a glass house and I cannot throw stones and yes his behavior is disgusting to say the least, but this is a time for self-reflection for a lot of people. Most men are respectful because they have Mothers, sisters and daughters.  Let’s continue to pray during this election season and continue to lift up women and men who have felt violated in one form or another by the opposite sex and let us also pray for those who have crossed the line and have not exhibited self-control.

I am grateful for the grace and mercy of God and the word of God which is a lamp unto my path and a light unto my feet.  The word gives me direction for how to strive to conduct myself as a woman of God, do I get it right all the time, absolutely not, but I have an eternal source that is forgiving and instructional which is my heavenly father.   God Bless

Matters of the Heart 11 – October, 2016

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJV)

Mr. Walt Disney along with a host of others experienced plenty of failure before they became very successful.  Maybe Mr. Walt Disney did not know this scripture about all things working together for his good and maybe he did, but the race is not given to the swift but to those who endure to the end.  Having a relationship with the Lord helps you endure to the end and have a life of purpose.  There is no way that I knew I was going to experience many obstacles and challenges in completing school and running a business and most recently ministry.    Everything you experience does not feel good nor do you want to believe that God is working it for your good.  Sometimes you say to yourself, “you have got to be kidding me, this is crazy, you can keep this blank,” (you fill in the blank); but when you start to read the word of God and learn how to trust him in the process, there is victory on the other side.

It is hard to believe that God allows things to happen, which some of the challenges and difficulties is certainly not of God, it is human behavior, which can sometimes be self-serving, mean and cruel. Sometimes my reaction is “yeah right, you can keep this blank,” (you fill in the blank).  After you cry a little and pray a lot, God is watching all of us from a distance and just like God ask Satin “have you considered my servant Job…. but on the man himself do not lay a finger,” God will not let any hurt, harm or danger come near you and you can rest assure that God will not leave you alone through the process.  Certain situations are not even worth telling anyone but you can better believe God knows everything, we cannot hide or fool God. We all can fool man but we certainly cannot fool God. I know for sure, when you live for God, he will show up and show out on your behalf because God knows just how much you can bear. I encourage you not to give up and keep your head up and learn how to lean and depend on God and “know in all these things you are more than a conqueror though him that loved us.”  All things may not be good in fact it is out right horrible but will work together for your good and make your life’s journey much more palatable so you can begin to pray “Lord if you do not move the mountain please give me the strength to climb.” I guarantee when you stay the course, God will get the glory and you will have victory in more ways than one.  God Bless.

Matters of the Heart 10 – October, 2016

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15b KJV)

When I was young, vegetables were not an option. Vegetables were negotiable, but not an option.  My mother would say “before you get up from the table you must eat at least three carrots, carrots are good for your eyes.”  “Before you get up from the table, you must eat at least four string beans” and the list goes on and on. I could have sat there for an hour or two minutes, but I knew I was not going to get up from the table until I ate a few of my vegetables.  The same application was applied to attending Sunday school and Sunday Morning worship service, it was not an option.  My mother said, “as long as you live here, we will serve the Lord.”  I tried everything in the book, my little imagination could attempt in getting out of attending Sunday service.  I thought service was to long, I could not stand my mother shouting, I was embarrassed and I came from a home where she said no one warms the pew in this house, you will participate in one of the church ministries.  I thought she was the worse, but what a difference a day makes. Listen, do I like everything about church absolutely not; I do not like everything about running a business, paying taxes, dealing with employees etc.. but I am glad that my mother did not allow me to run my own show, what did I know at such a young age; I did not pay my parents adult bills or have the weight on their shoulders that I now have on mine; because of my faith and relationship with Christ, I have allowed God to bear my burdens, the great hymn of the church says “I must tell Jesus I cannot bear these burdens alone… Jesus will help me Jesus alone.”

 The African proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child, it really does and the church is a part of the village especially historically in the black community.  There were so many things that I could call to memory as I moved through life that kept me and gave me wisdom to navigate life’s challenges that I learned from church.  My brothers who do not even attend church on a regular basis accept for one of them, will admit to you they are grateful for the parental guidance given to them by our parents.  My previous Pastor said if church is good enough for you, why is it not good enough for your children.  My son is now trying everything in the book to get out of going to Sunday school and worship service.  I laugh to myself but guess what, it is not an option.  The older saints would say you will need and call on God before God needs you, just live a little.  God Bless