THE VOICE OF HOPE

It's All Good Here ~ We create Hope with Words to bring out the "BLESSED" in you!

Examining Motives


All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Proverbs 16:2

No matter what we are doing in our lives right now, we have a reason or a motive for doing it. Motives directly correlate to our purpose, goal, and objective in a given situation. Our motives are driven by forces of desire within us. Motives can be pure of heart or ill-conceived. Pure of heart motives will always yield a fruit of blessing. On the other hand, ill-conceived motives usually have dire consequences that follow.

For example, my primary motivation is that my family is set up to win. Every day, when we all venture out to school or work, my intent or my motive is that everyone has lunch, snacks, homework, hugs, smiles and an overall great start to the day. Great starts make happy hearts.

If I start off my day cranky and my primary objective is to make everyone around me miserable, that is an ill-conceived motive. Everyone would have a rotten start to the day, and maybe end up in trouble before the day is over.

We have a motive attached to the things we say. If we are pure of heart, it is easy to speak compassionately and humbly to people even when we are challenged in a situation.

Think about dealing with a cashier at a check- out counter. A pure of heart person will realize that this person has been on their feet likely all day and appears to be slow or disengaged from the transaction. Yet, the person does not feel the need to complain, rather compelled, to say something that helps motivate the cashier to finish their shift. This pure of heart approach yields the fruit of the blessing which is the encouragement of faith for both people involved. (Hebrews 3:13)

Ill-conceived motives bear witness to the term ill: it’s sickening, negative, disgusting, offensive, and repulsive. Ill- conceived motives drive us to speak in condescending or controlling ways to people. This motive primarily thrives on the power trip that results from internal insecurities of the person.

If we attack our spouse in an argument, we may feel a sense of relief or power because our goal was to put them in their place. If we want to intimidate someone who has embarrassed us, we may say something to make them feel threatened. If we insinuate that we know a dirty little secret about someone we may voice a hint of it aloud to provoke a reaction from that person. If we want to correct a person who is tail-gating in a car traveling behind us, we may slow down or “brake” check. All of these ill-conceived motives have dire consequences in the end.

We go about our day with some pure of heart and some ill-conceived motives. We fail to keep in mind that God has an eye on all of the motives of our heart no matter which one it is. Pure of heart motives are the ones God wants to see us practice. If do, say, or pray something with selfish motives, the Bible says we are doing so with wrong motives. (James 4:1-3)

We can only get those pure of heart motives by reading the word of God and aligning with His purpose. James 4:7-10 has the remedy for getting our motives in order:

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”

Motivation speakers have one purpose- to motivate. Let your motives be ones that motivate others in the direction of God. Practicing and professing purity prevails promptly.

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Fighting Back Against the Desire to Die


16He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalm 18:16-19

 

Suicide is never an easy topic to discuss, but at one time I had to face it in my life. I went through about a four year period where I was just stuck spinning my wheels in grief. There were days that I didn’t want to get out of bed. There were times when I just wanted to be alone. There were times I just wanted to scream because I could not communicate what was going on with me.

I was grieved to the point of thinking suicidal thoughts. I would run and hide in the bathroom or the closet because while I was suffering and struggling to survive, so much was demanded of me at the same time. I felt like I would be better off dead. I imagined I would stab myself in the heart because that is where I hurt. My heart ached as if something in me had died. I thought about an overdose because that was less of a mess and I wouldn’t hurt any more.

I sought the Lord, over and over again with no relief. I finally told someone close to me how I felt. That discussion was even worse than what I was thinking of doing. The other person asked me why I wanted to kill myself and told me that it didn’t make sense. I remember being upset thinking well, what good is it to talk to someone when you end up feeling worse off than before you said anything?

It occurred to me that when you announce that you want to die or you thought about harming yourself, everyone will not understand. You cannot just talk to anyone about your situation. It helps to talk to someone who has been in that situation. When I found someone to relate to me I was able to get more in touch with the root of my issue.

You see, when you go through something that wounds you to your soul, it’s hard to recover. Yet, the people around you tell you, you need to get over it. You want to and you just can’t- at least not on their timeline. You have to work through your grief on your time, not somebody else’s. When you get to the point where you want to die, it’s dangerous that the desire is in you. It’s not too late to get help. Be prepared because it may take overcoming some hurdles to get resolve.

I finally had a breakthrough realizing that although I hurt deep within my soul, there was a reason for it. I got into my bible more, and it became clear that God had a plan for my life. The devil has never, ever wanted me to succeed. Satan also knows the plans God has for my life and he knows it’s good! I am such a threat to the enemy he has to plot to take me out by my own hand! I couldn’t make the devil’s plan for me easy. I fought back. I empowered myself with God’s word. The word led me to Psalm 18:16-19. I was emotionally flooded as if in ocean waters. God rescued me because he delights in me. He delights in you too!

The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) reports that “every 14.2 minutes someone in the United States dies from a suicide”( AFSP, Facts and Figures, 2009). By the time you finish a 30 minute lunch break close to 30 people have died by their own hand. In one day, the number of people is over 1,300.

Praise God that I never attempted what I was thinking. Yet, I’m sharing this today because I know somebody is thinking about it. Please do not suffer in silence. Get help. I am living proof that the best times of your life are yet to come. Let God show you how much He delights in you.

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Life Prayer

Dear Lord,

I remember clearly when I was going through that time in my life wondering why you made me and why you allowed me so so much misery. It seemed like you were not even there, but you were. You delivered me, you rescued me, and you saved me.

You gave me a testimony to share with other people. Thank you! I pray that the right people who need to read this will know that you are speaking to them personally and there is a reason for the struggle. Trust and believe in God’s plan and do not give the devil a “W” in his game against you. To God be the glory. AMEN!

The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Facts and Figures; 2009; Retrieved on September 12, 2012 from http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?page_id=04ea1254-bd31-1fa3-c549d77e6ca6aa37

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Whatcha Worrying For, God’s Gotcha!


Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. MATTHEW 6:25-33

The message in church last Sunday was, “I am To Blessed To Be Stressed.” Let me just tell you, I have been screaming that all week! What is gonna take for me to fully put my trust and faith in God? How many times has He shown His love for me through answered prayer, but like the Israelites I seem to suffer from memory loss at times. God had brought them so many things yet they still questioned His ability to take of them. Why? Why do we continually worry about things when God has promised us in His word that He would provide for us. He will protect us, and He will make a way when there seems to be no way.

I Remember the back to back blizzards we had about three years ago. The world called it the “Snowpocalypse.” I don’t think I have ever seen that much snow in my life. Talk about worrying. I mean stress was kicking my butt…. What are you gonna eat, what if you cant make it to work, you know you have bills to pay, what if you lose electric, if you lose electric you wont have heat, and on and on like the pounding of a hammer it went and this was before the storm actually hit! God, the faithful loving, Father that He is, showed me some things during this time, that I am ashamed to say I must have forgotten. I have to have or why else would I even give worry the time of day now.

Honestly, I had been listening to the weather report all day the day of the first storm, and in the back of mind I thought its not going to be that bad. Well I was wrong. It was about 7 o’clock when I got off work that night and that’s when the reality of it had hit. They had issued a State of Emergency, all cars needed to off the road. Well I had to go to the store so I ignored that. Thank God there are several grocery stores I would pass on my way home because the first one was EMPTY! I mean ZIP, ZILCH, NADA! No bread, potatoes, milk, eggs, chips, meat, and even the produce section was bare. I have never walked into a store and saw anything like that. Fear really kicked in then. I called my husband and told him about the situation and he told me he had stopped to the store when he got off work at 4 and he had some stuff. Although that reassured me a little bit I wasn’t satisfied. My second stop was at Giant, and it was there I made out much better. They didn’t have much meat but that had much more food on there shelves. I made it home safe and sound and food in hand. I was happy.

Upon arriving home I learned my hubby had to go into work and most likely he would be stuck there. Well I didn’t like the idea of that at all. All I could think about was him out there on the roads and what if we lost electric. After seeing him off I made my way into my room to talk with God. It was there that I learned my first lesson. It seemed I had been praying about us not losing the electric more then anything else so it was during one of those prayers God spoke to my heart and said, “When you pray, believe that you receive.” My next thought was well I do believe so I just need to start thanking God that we will not lose electric. And that’s what I did. I started thanking the Lord from that point on that we would not lose electric. When it blinked, I thanked God, that it was going to stay on. During both storms we never lost electric on our street. The streets parallel to us lost it, but not ours! We kept our electric it never went out. The lesson I learned was sometimes there comes a point when you have to stop praying about a situation and just start thanking God for the answer. Some people may think that’s silly but not me. When you pray, you must believe that God hears you and if you believe He hears you then He will answer you so why not thank Him in advance for the answered prayer.

It was also during these storms that I took up a love for feeding the birds. There would be no work for me that week. I couldn’t even get out of my driveway. I was really worried, I had bills due that week and we needed more food so being out of work for a week was not really working for me. So since I was stuck in the house all week and had nothing else to do I fed them. I would put my boots on and walk in mounds and mounds of snow just to feed them. I popped popcorn for them and everything. (LOL) While watching them eat one morning the scripture about worrying and God taking care of the birds came to mind. Why do you question God’s ability to take care of you. Look at these birds, God puts it on peoples heart all over this world to set out feeders and watering stations for them so that they are well provided for so what makes you think He wont take of you? Silly me! I started thanking God for the provision we needed to get us through the week. My husband could get back and forth to work because his job let him use a vehicle with a snow plow. He is the Maintenance Supervisor in a huge housing development. People were coming to him and asking him to plow their driveways so they could get out. While he couldn’t do it on company time, he did it on his lunch hour and after work and they paid him!! He made tons of money that week and God had provided for us!

God is so faithful even when we question and doubt His ability to do as He said He would. Thank goodness He never gives up on us! So why do we worry? Why do we continually walk in fear instead of faith in Gods Word. He says in Philippians 4:19, that He would supply ALL our needs according to HIS riches in Glory. Why not rest in that instead of wrestling with fear, doubt and unbelief. Fear and faith cannot operate at the same time. We are so accustomed to taking care of ourselves so when situations arise and our ability to do so is question we become afraid and faith goes out the window. The truth of the matter is our faith should be in God anyway and not ourselves.

Look back over your life, can you remember the times that God has provided for you when you didn’t know how or where your provision was coming from. Those are the times you need to revisit and build your faith back to the point where you say, “Ya know what, I been here before and I know the Lord will make a way.” If He did it before He will do it again.

Father,

Forgive for putting our faith in our ability to provide for ourselves. Forgive us for worrying and doubting You and Your Word. It is only by Your grace and mercy that we have made this far. Thank You God that even when we are not faithful, You still are! Thank You for Loving us enough to never give up on us. Thank You God for making away when we see no way. In Jesus Name Amen.

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Lost in Love


Help me, O LORD my God! Save me because of your unfailing love. Psalm 109:26 NLT

When I was a teenager, this guy group came on the music scene and stole my heart away- New Edition. I will never forget where I was when I first heard Candy Girl. I just knew they were singing about me. (Don’t hate…lol) The group sounded like The Jackson Five at first. Soon after that first release, all of the crazy, love dazed teenagers, like myself, could recite Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, and Ralph’s names in our sleep.

New Edition had some wonderful songs that I still love to listen to today: With You All the Way, Cool It Now, Mr. Telephone Man, Is it the End, just to name a few. The one song that hit me the hardest was Lost in Love. Again, they were singing about me right? They didn’t even know it.:)

Woman to woman, there were many men over my lifetime that I thought I was lost in love over. It didn’t matter if they were in real life or on the TV. A tall, handsome, good looking piece of eye candy was always my favorite treat. I know you must be thinking what in the world, oh Monica has issues! Sure enough I had issues alright. Truthfully, I had no idea what love was at all. Even growing up and becoming a woman of my own, I still had no idea what real love was. I knew what I thought love was. I had other people’s ideas planted in my head of what love was. Mary J was searching for it too; Real Love was one of my jams.

It was not until I learned about the love of Christ that love truly began to make sense to me. Over time, I had a new edition of my own – being lost in love with God. Little by little God began sweeping my heart away. I would lay awake at night and have little talks with Him. I started writing poetry to God and about Him. Then there were songs like I Love the Lord by Whitney Houston that I played over and over again. I began reading my Bible more than I ever had in my life. The scriptures started to make sense, my life and my purpose began to be revealed. I would pray and see my prayers answered. I started believing in miracles. I stopped watching soap operas and stopped talking to certain people. I sought after true changes for my life. God sent me friends, who sharpened me. I went from being lost in the world’s idea of love to finding the truth about love.

I can share from experience that developing a deep, loving relationship with God takes time. I had to be betrayed, manipulated, used, and abused by the so-called loves of my life before I could see and feel that God truly cares and loves me personally. I followed urges to be as ugly to people as they were to me or worse before I could embrace the love God had for me.

God has saved me countless times. God has set things up for my good even when the process to get to the good was frustrating for me. God has showed up and shown out on my behalf. He has been my offensive and my defensive coordinator in the spiritual war games. He is my refuge in times of trouble. He is attentive to my cries and counts my every tear. He wooed me out of the wilderness that I was living in for a long time. His love for a broken, faithless, adulterous woman like me is unimaginable. Through my tears, I thank him for never giving up on me even when I gave him good reason to.

No matter where you are in your walk with God, He has not given up on you. He wants everyone, including you to be saved. God doesn’t want anyone to be lost or perish. I hope that you will join me in becoming a lost in love testimony for God!

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STAYING FOCUSED


Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, LET US RISE UP AND BUILD. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. (NEHEMIAH 2:18)

So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof; for THE PEOPLE HAD A MIND TO WORK. (Nehemiah 4:6)

It’s so very easy to start a project, the dilemma then becomes staying focused long enough to complete it. Ask me how know! (LOL) I have several things I have “started” writing about but never finished. I have papers and folders and notebooks everywhere. I have notes and greeting card ideas tucked away waiting for who knows what. Writing is something I have always wanted to do especially after becoming a Christian. You would think that since starting this blog I would have been on top of my game especially since I now have an avenue that I can share some of my work. Not the case. I used to call it “WRITER’S BLOCK.” Well this morning I have learned otherwise! It’s called PROCRASTINATION AND LACK OF FOCUS!!!!

It’s been a week since I posted my last blog, why, you ask? UHHHH, I don’t know what to write, by the time I get home and get dinner, clean up, and shower it’s late, you name it I can find an excuse to keep putting it off. I have heard people say several times, “you make time for what you really want to do.” I hate that sentence! (LOL) That’s not the case with me. I know my problem. I am a procrastinator and I am easily distracted. Take for instance this morning. I have been up since 6 o’clock and it is now 8:30 and in just that short period of time several distractions came up. First I put a load of laundry in and then got my coffee and sat down. While sitting at the table I notice my hummingbird feeder needed to be refilled, I can’t let Petey ( my nickname for him) drink old nectar. Then it was back to the laundry, and I noticed the other bathroom needed hand sanitizer so I had to get that. The hubby got up and it was time to make the bed after all I can’t stand an unmade bed. (LOL) I go back to the laundry room and what stares at me but clean unfolded clothes and pile of dirty clothes waiting to be washed. I ignore the sight for sore eyes, shut the doors and proclaim, “I shall return after I have finished my post!”

Lord, Help me stay focused has been a prayer of mine for as long as I can remember! My Pastor says it all the time. If you are going to get anything accomplished in life you MUST stay focused! Especially if it is a goal or desire you have. So why is that I have such a hard time. Why cant I be like Nehemiah, he knew what he had to do , he set his mind to do and despite the distractions that arose he got the job done. I know I wanna be a writer, my mind is set on that so why am I so easily distracted? Could it be my thoughts and feelings? Am I thinking too much instead of doing. After all a writer, writes not thinks, right…hmmmm or perhaps it’s my feelings, fear of failure, fear of success, just all out fear!!! In any case I see from the story of Nehemiah that the one thing he did was never take his eyes off of God and his purpose. He never lost focus. He stuck it out. So I will take a page from his book and persevere in prayer and direction from God and once I get that I will have reestablished my self with my goal, which is to have a post up at least every other day. 🙂

So what is it that you have lost your focus on? What is it that you are putting off doing. What dream or goal have you set on the back burner because of to many distractions in your way. Toady let’s go before God and ask Him for a fresh start. Lets ask Him to show us the distractions that are hindering us and how to handle them. I believe God has big plans for you and I but we must stay focused. The distractions are only sign that you are headed in the right direction. They only arise to get your eyes of God and where He is trying to take you. Just think of them as “DISTRACTIONS FROM DESTINY.”

Father, In the Name of Jesus, we ask you for a fresh start today. Show us the things we have allowed in our lives that distract us. Awaken all that You have placed within us once again and give us the tenacity and strength to push past all distractions from our destiny. Give us the Spirit of Nehemiah. Help us to become people of character, persistence, and prayer. Help us not to be just “thinkers” but to become “doers.” Once You have given us the plan and purpose for our lives may we never give up or allow ourselves to become so easily distracted that we forget where we are headed. In Jesus name we pray. AMEN

I have to tell you how thankful that I am to have finished this post right now without allowing anymore distractions to pull me away from this computer. But for now I must bid you a fond farewell because I have a FLY TO KILL!!!!!!!!!!! (LOL)

Here’s Petey! ❤

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Can You Hear The Voice of Hope


Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumes, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I HOPE in Him!
LAMENTATIONS 3:22-24

What does the Voice of Hope sound like to you? Have you ever heard it? It doesn’t have to be an audible voice. It could be the voice that comes from listening to another share their story. Especially if there story is liken to something you are going through and they are telling you how they made it.

One of the definitions for the word voice is, something likened to the speech as conveying impressions to the mind. That is what this blog site was designed to. As we share our life experiences and struggles it is our desire that the voice with which we speak is conveying hope in your mind. The kind of hope that says, you know what, if they went thru that and God brought them thru then surely He can do the same for me. God is no respecter of persons, (Romans 2:11) and He loves you just as much as He loves me.

One thing we lack in our lives is transparency. People don’t want you to know their struggles. They just want you to see them shining, later for the ugly parts of life. Just get to the good part. We see the effects and scars but the story of how they made it over is hidden out of fear of judgement or shame. I can only speak to you from my experiences and in return this should offer you some kind of hope. How can I give you directions to get to New York if I have never been there myself? Sure I can maybe sorta guide you but if I have actually driven there myself and I know the ins and outs of the city then surely that would give you a little more confidence in taking directions from me, wouldn’t it?

When you are going through things in life you need to find someone with which you can identify with. Someone that can say, “Hey, I been there and done that and because I made it through you can too.” A couple of years ago I found a lump in my breast and fear was waiting to greet me with thoughts of dying at a young age. I knew I had better get a hold of those thoughts or else they would overtake me and win. The first thing I did was search the bible for healing scriptures so I could speak them over my life, then I asked God to put a song in my heart to carry me through, and He did. The song was by, Dewayne Wood, it’s called “Let Go.” I also knew of some women of faith who had battled breast cancer and won so I read their testimonies. The purpose of doing these things was to feed my faith. I also went on the Susan G. Komen website to read the stories of women who had cancer. Doing those things gave me hope during that dark scary time in my life. Turns out it wasn’t cancer (Praise God!) but just in case it had been I was getting myself in the position to hear the voice of hope come from others experience.

When you see that someone else has overcome the same thing that you maybe be struggling with and they survived it, that gives you hope. I was listening to Bishop Jakes on TV the other day and He was talking about this very same subject. The man he was interviewing was talking about a time in his life when he had lost his job and had his car repossessed. He felt like he had failed his family. He was struggling on the inside and was too ashamed to tell anyone. He said, he would go to church and look around at all the people who he “thought” had it all together and he would leave church feeling worse than when he went in. Then one day he met a fellow who had been through the same exact thing he was going through and he shared his story of how he made it through that season of his life. Hearing this mans story encouraged him so much. It gave him some hope and placed something within him that said, “EVERYTHINGS GONNA BE ALRIGHT!” People love to share the glory but not the story that goes with it.

In your everyday life you may come across hurting dying people. I don’t mean dying from a sickness or anything like that. I mean dying for lack of hope or strength to carry on. All you have to do is look around they’re everywhere. The things you have been through in life may not have been all that good but like I said before God can use it for your good. Especially to help another person. No experience you have in life will God waste. Just take a look at Saul in the bible, he was a murderer, he killed Christians for a living. (Acts CHAP 9) Then one day God got a hold of him and not only changed his name from Saul to Paul but He changed his life forever. He was forgiven, his past was wiped clean, and he became a new person. That story alone should give you hope. Surely if God could give a person like Paul a new life, imagine what He could do for you! Paul went on to become the author of thirteen books of the New Testament and its in those books that you can find, if your listening, “THE VOICE OF HOPE!”

~~ Be Blessed ~~

Chanteea

LET GO ~ Dewayne Wood

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Wait on the Lord


Psalm 5:3
Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

It’s been about six weeks since we moved into our new place. After we got unpack and settled; we realized we were missing our friends. We were getting discouraged about not having met any people who we could call friends. I thought we could meet people at church or out that the park but as of yet we really have not been able to connect with anyone in either of those places. My husband and I know of one or two people out here but we haven’t been able to connect.

Part of me was just thinking the bulk of the friendships would be generated after school starts. Yet, as many times as I moved in my life, I know how scary it can be to start a new school in an unfamiliar area.

I started to pray about it. I asked God about developing some friendships before the kids go back to school. We live in a condominium complex that has an interesting layout. It’s mostly car friendly which is really not a good place for the kids to play without supervision.

My bedroom leads out to a balcony and there is a patio below also that leads to our backyard and out to the parking lot. I started going out on the balcony to read, write in my journal, and pray. I realized sitting out there that I could do my writing and still have a good line of sight while the kids play in the parking lot.

So we tried it. Once the sun went down, I went on the balcony and the girls went through the backyard out into the parking lot. I gave them boundaries as far as I could see from the balcony. That was as far as they could go.

The first night, they played out there alone and no kids came out. The second night, they played out there and no kids came out again. However, after the girls came inside, I was still on the balcony. Suddenly, I heard this lady say excuse me. I looked up and said yes ma’am. She asked me if my kids had been out there playing because her daughter was looking for the kids who were just out there.

I said yes, but they were going to get a bath. I told her I would check to see if they had made it to the bathroom and if not I would send them back out. I could have just sent the kids out to play with the girl, but I decided to go out and talk to the lady too. We stood out there and talked and the kids rode the scooters until it was so dark we couldn’t see each other.

We all came back in the house, feeling refresh and rejuvenated. We finally met someone we can call a friend. We can’t wait to see them again tonight.

There’s a lot more I can share about waiting on the Lord. When we want something, we want it right now. Sometimes, it’s not the best time to have it. I believe there was as reason we were not connecting with people out in those other areas we were looking. The friends God chose for us were right outside our backyard. No matter how long we wait on the Lord. If we truly wait expectantly, He will come through for us.

Prayer

Lord, it’s hard to wait on you. I want things in my own time and in my own way, and under my own circumstances. Help me to trust that your timing is better than mine in all things. Amen!

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Face Value


Face Value

James 4:5-7

“Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” NIV

Face the facts. Sometimes it’s hard to face the truth about ourselves. We invest so much time in rationalizing our actions and portraying an image that we would like to be rather than what we truly are.  We live so much in deceit that even when we are faced with our reality we are unable to accept it at face value.

Day in and day out we live in the lies we have created to keep us from facing the truth about ourselves. Even when people confront us about how we act or the things we say or how we say things, the truth is not received.

We have such an embedded level of deception, it becomes our reality. We are not perfect, but we think we are. We think more highly of ourselves than we should. When all is said and done, none of us should have any stones to throw but we do it every day.

There is hope for us to breakdown the stronghold of these lies and live the life God intended for us to have.

After the death of Jesus, the book of Acts chapter 2 explains how Peter and the other disciples spoke to the crowd regarding the death of Jesus. Peter said, “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

The response from the people wasn’t; no we didn’t do that. The people didn’t “flip the script” and accuse the disciples and run down their list of wrong doings. The people didn’t just dismiss what was saidand walk away.

The people were open to dissolving the cloud of deceit they were under from the accusations made against Jesus prior to his death. The people truly took Peter’s words to heart. They asked Peter; what should we do?

Peter told them,

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.”40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Three thousand people swallowed their pride, humbled themselves before God, and were baptized the same day because they knew it was time to take the death of Jesus at face value. The people were made right with God by accepting the truth at face value even though it hurt. To this day, we need to take the death of Jesus at face value. Jesus died for us. He laid down his life without even defending himself so that we could know him, know God, receive forgiveness of our sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. What a deal we get for being the sinners we are!!

Let this blog be a confirmation to you that it is time to take some things at face value. If you have heard someone tell you that what you are doing is not right or you need to change, that should be a sign to you. God is using these people to tell you about yourself as Peter did with the crowd of people.

There is hope for you to receive all that God has for you. In the sight of God, repentance signifies “surrender” toward Him. The fruit of surrender looks like this:

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47

Claim your fruit today. Take Peter’s message to heart for yourself.

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What message has God spoken through other people around you that you have not yet received?

Are you afraid to believe what has been said to you or face what you need to change?

What is the root that is actually keeping you from having your surrendered moment with God?

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LET IT GO


PHILIPPIANS 3:13-14
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

When I was 12 years old my mother died of Cancer. She was only 41. As one would imagine this was a very devastating time for me. Now, some of my memories of her and the events leading up to this time are just not there, while others are unforgettable as you will see.

I remember where we lived. 890 Cedar Lane Avenue in Pleasantville, New Jersey. Our house was a 3 bedroom green rancher. The Applewhites lived to the left of us and Mrs. Eloise and her family lived on the right. My best friend Angel and her family lived next door to her. There were a lot of other houses surrounding us in the area too. There was a big empty field where all the neighborhood kids gathered to play softball and kick ball. We had to cross this field to get to our house when walking home from school. The saying it takes a village to raise a child could definitely be applied to our neighborhood because if you were caught doing something wrong, somebody was going to tell on you!

In my house lived, my mother, father, 3 younger sisters, ages 10, 8, and 7. My older sister age 25 and my 4-year-old baby brother. I also have an older brother who did not live at home at the time. When my mother became sick at one point my cousin Monica and her family as well as my grandmother came to stay with us.

I guess you could say the first memory of mom being sick was when I woke up one night to see my father carrying her out to the car. That didn’t turn out to be much at the time, just a kidney stone. She could have known then that she had cancer for all I know. I say that because, six months she was sick no one ever told us younger kids. The only reason I knew she had cancer was because I had overheard it. It was the summer before she passed actually and one of my sisters and I had been staying with my paternal grandmother for the summer. My grandmother was on the phone with one of my aunts. “Ricky, short for Valryka, has cancer” she said. I don’t remember my initial reaction at all. The only thing I recall about that is telling my younger sister. We didn’t even know what cancer was and we never told anyone what I had overheard. No one ever told us what was wrong with mom and we never asked. I think she didn’t want them to tell us. Years later my father told us that on the night she found out she had cancer she begged him to tell her that she wasn’t going to die as she cried in his arms. She made him promise he would take care of us.

Our last Christmas together is very faint as well, but what I do remember brings tears to my eyes, even to this day. It was a couple of days after Christmas and mom was laying on the sofa. I was kneeling down beside her as she watched me show her how I played this hand-held Pac-Man video game. She asked me if I was mad with her because she couldn’t play with me. I don’t remember if I looked up at her and answered or if I just kept on playing as I answered, “No” I remember how my heart-felt though, you know the type of pain that feels as if someone has just gripped your heart with their bare hands and is trying to squeeze all the life out of you as they are daring you not to let that tear fall from your eye. Yes, it was that painful. I held it in though just like I held in everything else.

Mom had a make shift hospital room in the house. They had turned the dining room into a room that would meet all her needs. Complete with hospital bed and all. She wanted to be home and when she was well enough to come they let her. One week before she died she went into a coma. My grandmother couldn’t get her to wake up. They called for my best friend Angels, mom to come down and see what was wrong. She was a nurse. She helped them turn her over because she said sometimes when you turn coma patient they wake up and she did. They still called the ambulance and took her to the hospital. There they would tell them she only had a week to live. The family never told my mom and they never told us kids. I guess they felt it best. All she wanted was to come home so they let her. That was Monday January 10, 1983.

Every morning before we left for school I gave my mom a kiss and told her I loved her. Monday morning, January 17, 1983 we overslept and were running late for school. I rushed out of the house without telling her that. Oh man! I thought, as we got in the car and headed for school. I will tell her when I get home I thought. As I sat in Ms. Birch’s 6th grade class, staring out the window, I had what you would call a vision I guess. And this vision would haunt me for years. As I stared out the window I saw my green house and the field we played kickball games in. I saw myself walking through this field and my cousin coming out to greet me, she would tell me that the ambulance was on its way to get my mom and that later on that night she would die. Well I snapped right out of that and said to myself, you need to stop daydreaming and that was a stupid thing to be thinking anyway. Get back to work, I told myself. Three O’clock came and the day was over. I waited for my sisters and my best friend Angel after school so we could walk home. I laughed and carried on with them like we normally did everyday. That is until we got to the field and my cousin Monica came out to greet me and tell me that the ambulance was on its way. What I had visualized in school was coming to pass right before my eyes! Now, I do not remember anything else after that moment except for them coming back home and gathering us all in the room. I just remembering crying before anyone of them opened their mouths. They didn’t have to tell me because I already knew. My thoughts at that moment went straight to that morning and how I had forgotten to tell her that I loved her. I do not remember who grabbed me or was trying to console me at that time. The only other thing I remember about that night is my father telling us that we would be alright, and my youngest sister asking why everyone was crying. When they asked her why she had been crying she replied, “because everybody was.” She was only 7 at the time. She didn’t understand death. No one ever told her about moms sickness perhaps had they prepared us her response would have been different. Just in case you’re wondering if I was angry with them, I wasn’t. I had deeper issues. Issues I never shared with anyone for years. You see I thought my mom died because of what I had thought that day in school. I was angry with myself for rushing out that morning without telling her that I loved her. Did she know that I did? This 12-year-old was in torment. This is the place where fear was birthed in my life. The fears I shared with you in my previous posts. They all stemmed from this one event in my life.

The funeral was January 23, it was a bitter, cold, and dreary day, perfect for a funeral I suppose. We all rode in this ugly green limo. The hearse was the same ugly color. The funeral home smelled like cherry Juicy Juice, oh how I hate the smell of it! Other then remembering that my mother had blue on and that Rev. Scott mentioned how I prayed for my mother every Saturday at the bible study he held in his house, I don’t remember a thing about the funeral.

There was no real grieving process that took place for me. Her death was never really talked about. I remember one day my sisters and I were together in our room and one of us mentioned my mom and my younger sister said, “sssshhh don’t talk about mommy.” Why she said that I have no idea but growing up we just did not discuss her. I do remember crying myself to sleep at night because I thought I had caused it all and I told no one….

I lived in that mental prison way into my adult years. I did eventually share the story of my vision in school that day with my sisters and my father. I never told them that I had thought it was my fault though and to this day I have not shared that with them. Grieving moms death never really happened for me until last year. Mother’s Day weekend actually. Well maybe I grieved in my own way all those years but a part of me felt that I needed closure. You see every January 17, February 27, her birthday, and Mother’s Day was awful for me. Silently I suffered inside. It was like someone gripping my heart again and daring me to shed a tear. And it hurt like hell. I wanted it to end after all it had been 28 years for Petes sake. I came to this conclusion while shopping for a Mother’s Day card for my Pastor’s wife. I was standing in Rose’s Department Store surrounded by what I always called “stupid mother’s day cards” when the pain in my heart came again and this time the tears fell right in the store. I rushed out to my car in tears and could barely see while driving home. This is ridiculous I thought. She has been dead for 28 years now and I shouldn’t be feeling this way. Sad maybe, but my heart shouldn’t hurt like this. Someone later told me that because I never grieved her death, every time those events came around it was like I was reliving it all over again. The wound never had a chance to heal. It was awful. I came home and sat down with my journal and talked to God. You have got to help me Lord, I cried and wrote. I cant do this anymore, I don’t want to feel this way, she is dead and I know she is not coming back and I don’t want to cry anymore. God quietly spoke to my heart and said, “you will rest in peace when you let her rest in peace.” I had never let her go and therefore I had no peace. I never got a chance to say my goodbye. My aha moment, as Oprah would say. I decided I would say my good byes. I went to the store and got a Mother’s Day balloon and I was going to write my mother a letter, tie it to the balloon and let it go. I sat on my swing outside, it was a beautiful warm sunny day and I wrote my goodbye letter. I told her I was angry that she left me and that I was sorry that I had forgotten to tell her I love her that day. I told her I knew she was in a better place and that I would see her again someday. I shared a lot about my life and things a mother and daughter would discuss. Then I tied it to the balloon, cried like a baby and LET IT GO! I asked God to send it to her grave in New Jersey for me. It hasn’t made it there yet but I believe it will somehow that balloon is going to get there.

I shared this story with you because I learned that there is tremendous power in letting things go. I am by no means saying that when a person dies you should just forget about them and move on. Grief has stages and is a process and takes time. I just wish someone had shared this with me back then, but that’s OK. As a 12-year-old child no one told me that so all my emotions were bottled up inside and because I held them in my heart for so long other things began to manifest in there as well. All those fears i spoke of in the previous post, they stem from this place right here.

We all have to go through things in life that will bring us to our place of purpose, but at the same point in time, there will be obstacles that we must overcome on that journey. That was an obstacle for me and 28 years later God has healed that part of my heart and I am free from its torment. So with that being said, I ask you, what’s in your heart that you need to let go of? It doesn’t have to be the death of a loved one it could be anything in your life that is weighing you down. Have you been carrying around hurt, anger, bitterness or maybe unforgiveness in your heart towards someone and you sense that its time to let it go. Perhaps you have been feeling that nudging in your heart for a while now and this post is just a confirmation for you. Well I am here to tell you there is freedom if you release it.
Life is to short and you have a purpose to fulfill whether you know what it is or not right now, is not the point. The point is to let go of all the things in you heart that are hurting you so you can get to that place of purpose.

Father,

I pray that all who read this will examine their hearts and follow Your leading on how to release the issues in their hearts. Let the words that have been written plow their hearts so that they are now ready for Your peace, love, and healing to start growing in place of every hurt that has ever existed in their lives. May they come to know You as their source of all strength when their heart is overwhelmed. May they come to know the purpose and plans that You have for their life and not only know it but walk in it. May they come to the place of understanding that even though bad things have happened in their lives that You, Oh, God can use that as a platform to propel them. Most of all God, I pray that they come to know what is the depth of Your love for them.

In Jesus Name I pray,
AMEN

~RIP~
VALRYKA Y. MOBLEY
1-17-83

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