THE VOICE OF HOPE

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

Knowledge of the Lord is my Jackpot!


No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24

I know a few people who play the lottery every single day with hopes of winning a jackpot. I admit there are times when I feel compelled to play the lottery too especially when the jackpots have extremely high pay outs.  I think I just want the feeling of being rich for a while. When you grow up poor and limited in what you can do, you see money completely different than people who have always had it.

I am a big dreamer and I know a monetary jackpot could do a whole lot of good. I think about what I could do with the money. I think about the investments I would make that would impact the world. My dream is to open an all-girls school and start a new generation of young ladies who believe in God. I dream of being able to put my children, nieces, and nephews through college. I dream of owning a beach house where my family can come together and have a reunion in the summers. I have envisioned starting a mobile ministry that goes across country to help people in need.  I dream of starting a publishing company to help writers like me and Chanteea.

There is one thing about these lottery jackpots that is not disclosed: more money, more problems. People win the lottery and have no clue how to manage it. They squander what they win and go right back to being in the same position they were before the winning with nothing to show for it. They get bombarded with requests of money from people they no longer associate with. They feel driven to be selfish with the money.

The bottom line is that taking money from people, creating a big jackpot, and giving the money to a random winner is the world’s way of enticing people into sin. The bible is clear about money, it is fleeting. We cannot take it with us when we die. God desires that we choose him over money. Does God motivate us to do what we do, or money? The love of money is the root of so much evil. (1Timothy 6:10). As an example, remember that money was given to Judas before Jesus was arrested, beaten, and tortured.

I may never win a lottery, but I have learned this: I’m already a winner and the Lord is my jackpot. Investing my time in a relationship with God will give me more of my heart’s desires than paper that blows in the wind. God is a divine king who has a wealth of resources at his disposal. I am a princess of the Lord. All I have to do is ask and He provides for my needs. To top it off, I have an everlasting salvation that no one can take away from me.

Proverbs 1:7 says, that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and knowledge.” Let the Lord be your jackpot. He wants to share his wealth with you, not just materially, but intellectually. Seek Him, find Him, fear Him, worship Him, and know Him personally = Jackpot!

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WHERE IS YOUR FAITH


Here's Petey! <3

Here’s Petey! ❤

MATTHEW 6:25-33

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?

26 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?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 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?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

More often than not, when I hear people speak or when I am reading I hear what I call, “TITLES” in my head. This morning while reading it happened again. What I read was, “Where is you faith,” but what I heard was “Where IS you Faith?” Is your faith in yourself? Is in the government, your job, your bank account, your friends, or is it in GOD?

So many times because of disappointments, distractions, and let downs we tend to lose our faith in God or we just lay it aside not really realizing that it was ever missing. When we do that we unknowingly are putting our faith in ourselves or other things and not in God. Through the distractions and disappoints that arise in our lives the enemy has lulled us in to putting our shield of faith down. God does not want us worrying about anything at all. I know that is a hard thing to comprehend sometimes especially when life is hitting you hard but its the truth. We see from the scripture God is saying, “What are you worrying for, if I can feed the birds, if I can clothe the fields with beautiful flowers, then surely I can handle what you need.” Its our job to BELIEVE that, to put our faith and trust in Him and His word.

Philippians 4:19 And My God shall Supply ALL my needs according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.

So today, I challenge you to ask yourself, “Where IS my faith, where did I lay it down?”

CHANTEEA

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Accessing the Spirit of the Lord


Created by Monica Cannady using MS Powerpoint

Created by Monica Cannady using MS Powerpoint

The Lord led me on a wonderful bible study last week regarding the Spirit. I stumbled on Hosea 4:12 that says, “My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner’s rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God” (NIV). Right away my eyes fell on spirit of prostitution. In the prior verses, Hosea states that the priests, prophets, and people were sinning to the point of destruction. The spirit of prostitution that was on them and they were unable or unwilling to overcome it.

A spirit can simply be defined as an angel or a demon. Dictionary.com further defines it as a divine influence working in the human heart, feelings, or mood. The people who Hosea was addressing had a heart for prostitution and adultery.

When we are baptized as believers, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:38, after Peter informs the crowd that they crucified Jesus he says, “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.”

Although we have this amazing gift of the Holy Spirit, we are not accessing the power that the Spirit possesses. Instead, we are functioning on our own human spirit. The human spirit was contaminated when Adam and Eve ate the apple. When they physically consumed the apple, they accessed the sinful nature of mankind.

The Spirit of the Lord is embodied with power. In Exodus 35:30-35, Moses conveyed to the Israelites that the Spirit of the Lord had been given to the chosen people: “Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers”

These men are examples of being filled with the Spirit of the Lord and were given wisdom, understanding, knowledge and all kinds of skills. When we possess the Spirit of the Lord we have access to His power and these gifts too. What spirit are we accessing and why? Is it a human spirit or the Spirit of the Lord? Is it spirit we need to overcome or are we unwilling to do so?

Honestly as of late and in addition to the usual demands of life, I have felt a spirit of tension and fear as the holidays approach. In general, I fear the unexpected. Since we have moved away from our family, our holidays will be different and I do not know what to expect. There are no travel plans as usual. There are just things on my heart that I have to deal with because the human spirit tries to rule me. These are spirits that I constantly have to battle against and rebuke. The sinful human spirits take our power away. It is important to be on guard, read the Word, and stay prayed up.

I have learned to extend an invitation to God in prayer to please grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. My prayers access the Spirit’s power. If I commit my spirit to him he will rescue me. Therefore, I have to believe that the holidays will be just as wonderful because God planned it all out in advance.

Here are a few biblical references to those human spirits that we need to pray off of us.

Evil/Impure Spirits- Mark 3:11; Mark 5:2-8, Mark 7:25, 1 Timothy 4:1

Embittered Spirit – 1 Samuel 30:6; Psalm 73:21-22

Haughty Spirit- Proverbs 16:18

Anger- Ecclesiastes 7:9

In obedience, we should commit our spirit to the Lord. Our goal is live our life by the Spirit and work toward gaining the fruits of the Spirit (Romans 8:41). In doing so, our spirit can be a lamp God uses to light someone’s path. Fred Hammond’s When the Spirit of the Lord song says, “When the spirit of the lord comes upon my heart, I will dance like David danced.” Start dancing, singing, and praying today and let that song led you into accessing a godly spirit.

Prayer Starter

Heavenly Father, I want and need the power of Your Spirit. Please attend to me as I fight off the human spirit that drives me to feel fear, anger, bitterness, pride, and a multitude of sinful spirits. Help me not to succumb and dwell in the negativity around me day after day. I believe you have good plans for me and want the best for me. You have plans to prosper me and give me a future. Your love for me has no limits. In Jesus’ name I pray for your Spirit of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to come upon me this day and every day. Amen!

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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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When the Bottom of the Basket Falls Out


Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. Proverbs 25:11

I am a basket lover. I could buy baskets for no particular reason than just the look. I have baskets for bread, decorations, and miscellaneous items. Baskets vary in size, shape, and décor. I wanted to use this analogy to illustrate the coming and going of what we hope for. Every day that the Lord allows us to wake we should be grateful. In fact, we should hope to live the next day because no days are promised. Every morning the Lord puts that little bit of hope in our basket just for waking up. Over the course of our day, hope may find its way into our basket through smiles, kindness of others or even conquering a fear. We make hope deposits in other people’s baskets as well. In the same way, hope drains from our basket in the form of dashed dreams, personal and financial losses, and just plain old enemy attacks.

What happens when the basket’s bottom completely falls out? How can the Lord put that new morning deposit in our basket? He can’t. How can we go about collecting those smiles, kind acts, and victories? We can’t. Imagine carrying a full grocery bag. The groceries represent our hope. The bag represents our basket. Now imagine that the bag completely bottoms out and the groceries fall everywhere. We can pick up the groceries (hope), but the bag (basket) is no longer usable. Sadly, some of us are still living our lives and practicing our faith with a bottomed out basket.

Consider the following biblical examples that involved hope baskets. The first one is in Exodus 2:3. A desperate mother had been hiding her precious baby for 3 months. She tried so hard to keep her son from death. When the knock of death came too close, she placed him in a basket and set the basket afloat on the Nile River. Because she placed her hope in a basket, Moses was well cared for as a prince and eventually able to completely save his people. In Matthew 14:20, Jesus demonstrated hope to his disciples by managing to feed over 5,000 people from 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. After Jesus blessed the food and broke it, there were enough baskets for leftovers. If we put our trust in the Lord, he will bless it and multiply it so we have overflowing hope to share with others. Lastly, Paul spent most of his time in prison from sharing the gospel. Some of us are just held hostage to sin. God provided a way for Paul and He can do the same for us. Paul was lowered to safety by a basket and escaped death in 2 Corinthians 1:32-33.

A basket can be full of good things or empty. What condition is your basket in? At any moment and under any circumstance, we can willfully choose to pick up hope even if it’s on the ground. Many of us won’t do it because there is no longer a basket to store the hope. Prior to my recent move to California, one of my cherished baskets was damaged. Even though I had to replace my original basket, I didn’t grieve over the one I had lost. I knew I could get another basket, a better basket, a stronger basket. Today’s challenge is to pick out a new basket for yourself. Use the word of God to pick up some hope to put in there. Don’t forget to share the contents of your basket with other people. I hope the Lord blesses and multiplies your baskets!

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Answering the Call of Hope


“My wayward children,” says the Lord,“come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.”Jeremiah 3:22

I have been guided to study out the book of Jeremiah. I must say wow! It only takes the first three chapters to get a feel for the Lord’s anger at some people. Can you imagine being Jeremiah and listening to the Lord voice his complaint?

Have you ever had someone go off on you in their anger? Well, that’s what the Lord himself did. He communicated the anger He had toward His people who abandoned him. Don’t we always hate it when people remind us what they did for us to help us out? Well, that’s what the Lord himself did. He reminded the people that He brought them out of Egypt into a prosperous, fruitful land.

We just can’t stand it when someone tells us we have not taken care of what they have given to us. Well, that’s what the Lord himself said about his wayward people. His people squandered and defiled what He gave them and they thought nothing of it. God continued on about the idols we worship and how worthless we make ourselves by practicing idolatry. Hand in hand with idolatry is adultery. God sees us pimping ourselves out to be loved. God issued very stern punishment that instituted generational curses to the children’s children. Ouch!

As parents, we have a similar way of functioning with our kids. We set expectations for their behavior and belongings. If our kids do wrong, we let them know it. We issue appropriate consequences. The Lord, as a loving Father does the same thing. He knows that our children’s children shouldn’t suffer for our wrong doings. It’s up to us to make some conscious changes.

Two things are very clear from these chapters: God does not appreciate being abandoned, and he still wants to take care of us- mad or not. We have a Father in heaven who is so amazing like that. He gave Jeremiah the message of how to call people away from their self-inflicted hurtful lives. God has hope in us even after all we have done. In Jeremiah 3:13, God has a three-step plan for us to answer the call of hope:

#1 Acknowledge your guilt.

#2 Admit that your rebellion against the Lord your God.

#3 Confess that you refused to listen to the Lord’s voice.

Does your life seem like you have been living in the Lord’s doghouse? Has He been trying to get your attention with a situation that seems to keep going in a circle? One of my favorite scriptures in the book of Jeremiah is in 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God’s plan is not just about hope, it’s about your future and your prosperity. Maybe it’s time to have that little talk with God and implement His three-step plan. Let him fulfill his promise to you.

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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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I Know Who I AM


[The Lord said,] ” My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 New Living Translation

No one likes to admit when they are weak. At least I don’t think I know of anyone who does. Who wants to admit they’re flawed??? I mean to expose things about yourself puts you in such a vulnerable position. Exposure leads to all kinds of mental attacks. After all YOU talk to YOU more than anyone else. You know what I mean. Those conversations you have in your head about yourself. The things you tell yourself about yourself. I shared some things in my previous blogs and in doing so I found myself in that place of vulnerability. The mental attack I came under ALMOST got me, I said, ALMOST. It was like the enemy, who knows, I have a purpose tried to distract me. God would then take me back to the first blog I posted, PRESERVING IN THE FACE OF DISCOURAGEMENT, and say, keep going, I AM WITH YOU! SO with shaky hands and a trembling heart I press on.

I received an email from Tyler Perry the other day that really struck a cord with me. This email came right on time as I was being overcome with these negative thoughts and emotions. The email was entitled, “DON’T LET PEOPLE DEFINE YOU.” As I sat in my car and thought about those words that had come at the exact moment I needed to hear them, I realized it was not people, who I have allowed to define me as much as it was me allowing what people THOUGHT about me to define me.

I titled this post I KNOW WHO I AM, because there was a time in my life where I didn’t know who I was. I just felt like I was just here, I existed, for no real apparent reason. When I became a born again Christian I did so because I didn’t want to go to hell. I had read a book by Pastor John Hagee, that scared the living day lights out of me. It scared me to the point of salvation.
It wasn’t until I started attending church and reading my bible that I found out that my salvation brought me more than just a ticket to heaven. I found out that I do have purpose, I am here for a reason and that God would use everything in my life that had already happened for HIS good. I came to realize that the things I had gone through in life God would use to propel me into what He had for me and at the same point in time the enemy would try to use it to paralyze me.

My past and the events that led me to Christ is MY TESTIMONY. If God had removed all the hurdles I had to overcome in my life then I would not be properly prepared for where He is taking me. Everyone who comes to Christ has a story of how they overcame. The bible even states in Revelation 12:11, that they overcame by Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

I refuse to be defined by what the enemy thinks of me. I Am who God says I am. It took me a long time to get to this place and I will fight tooth and nail to stay here. I heard some one once say, “GOD CAN HEAL YOU EVERYWHERE YOU HURT,” and He has begun that process in my life and I will not be controlled by or defined by anything other than THE WORD OF GOD. God wants all us to experience His love and freedom, the joy and peace that can only come from walking with Him. SO if you don’t know Jesus Christ as YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR, you can. All you have to do is pray this simple prayer and you to can proclaim to the world YOU NOW KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

Heavenly Father I come to You now acknowledging that I need a Savior. I have tried to live this life in my own strength. I believe that You sent Your only son to die on the cross for my sins so I can be free and have eternal life. (JOHN 3:16) I am asking You to come into my heart, wipe the slate clean, and give me a fresh start as well as new perspective on the life You know give me, this I ask in JESUS NAME AMEN!

Posted Below is the link to the Tyler Perry post

http://www.facebook.com/#!/thetylerperry

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Grief is a Process


Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

I had been waiting for Chanteea to share about her mom, Valryka, my favorite auntie. Her death was a major blow to our little family circle. My mom, Pat had a strong sisterly bond with “Val.” My mom just loved being with her and especially enjoyed fond memories of their times at the beach. Spending time at the beach as mom has shared was something they always did. It was something we continued to do even after Val was gone.

I was 11 years old and I can remember being right there with the family in that house on Cedar Lane. Auntie’s cancer progressed to where she was completely bed ridden. My mom and my grandmother, affectionately called Nan, were right there for Auntie. My mom had taken me and my brother and sister out of our school in Delaware for at least two weeks that January so we could be there.

One of the things I had to do while staying there was help clean the dishes in the kitchen. In the dining room next door was where auntie lay in her hospital bed. One day I was washing dishes and I heard auntie groan loudly several times. I couldn’t make out what she was saying but nobody was in the room with her. I went to ask my mom what auntie was saying. My heart sank as my mom told me that auntie was yelling fire. The cancer in her body literally made her body feel as though it were on fire. My auntie was in so much pain. I believe we all would have done anything to save her life, but there was absolutely nothing we could do. We were powerless.

That fateful eve of January 17, 1983 was the last time auntie moaned in pain. We were all gathered in the living room when the devastating news was announced. My mom said through her tears that auntie was gone. I cannot imagine how hard this was for my mom and even though she is a fighter, I believe she was also relieved that auntie suffered no more pain.

Chanteea was right, nobody talked about auntie’s death. It was like a hushed secret of shame that nobody wanted to talk about. As kids we had questions; we had overwhelming emotions not knowing how to process them. It wasn’t until I became an adult dealing with my own personal grief that I realized grief is a process. I felt like my “wheels” were stuck in mud and I was going in circles with the same issue over and over again as Chanteea shared.

The stages of grief: denial, anger/guilt, bargaining, and acceptance are real. When Jesus was nailed to the cross, even the disciples questioned whether he was the Messiah. When Jesus died, the disciples were confused and felt as if their loyalties were displaced and their convictions were void. There was an emotional reaction that no one knew how to deal with. The same reactions continue today.

Many of us have unspoken grief right now that is causing bewilderment inside our hearts and minds. People do not know how to deal with death or the grief aftermath. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and it makes people too vulnerable to the condition of their hearts. Those are feelings people just cannot handle. They avoid all of that “feely stuff” at all costs. People void the emotion and try to fill that void with worldliness: work, drugs, alcohol, unhealthy relationships, extramarital affairs, etc.

Our addictions are not rooted so much in personal desire as they are in grief. We fabricate our own coping methods and create a bogus front to give the outward impression that we are in control of our lives. The impact of not grieving through the entire process clings to our souls and lingers. Every time we are confronted with the source of an unprocessed grief, we get defensive and lash out. We accuse and point fingers at other people and cowardly dismiss our own guilt. Sadly, we neglect to realize that we will always be inadvertently conscious of the deep rooted grief, yet many of us will still stubbornly choose not to deal with it even when it arises again and again.

There is a huge difference between trying to deal with grief on our own or to let God help us. I am proud of Chanteea for surrendering to God and His way of dealing with grief. Her experience is an example of how God keeps his promises. He ensures that we are comforted, no matter how long it takes. God is faithful in all He does, even when it hurts us to our core.

If you are moved by this blog today, feel free to leave comments on how you have dealt or maybe haven’t yet dealt with a painful situation or how you helped someone cope with one. You never know how your story may help someone else find the healing they have been needing. Be inspired to lead someone else to the hope they are looking for.

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For more information on stages of grief please click the following link.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm

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Comforting scriptures

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Job 5:11

The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…

Ecclesiastes 7:2

It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

Jeremiah 8:18

You who are my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.

John 3:16

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

 

 

 

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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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