Friday, October 30, 2009

My sons came home the other day in a panic. It seems that their cousins had gotten them all upset about the fact that they had seems "things" happen in their homes. They explained to my boys that chairs had moved by themselves, they had seen "ghosts" fly by windows and how they heard things at night. They explained to the boys that demons were there and at night, they come out to get them. That led to the boys asking alot of questions and in the end, sleeping with me that night. I explained the best I could, because I do in fact believe that there are evil things in this world. I don't necessarily think maybe the same way as other people may, but yes, I do believe there are demons. I talked to Greg (my minister) and asked would he talk to the boys for me and kinda explain and of course he said he would. He said he would tell them about Ephesians 6.... how no matter what is going on in the world, the way to fight Satan is putting on the armor of God that would protect you against anything that could possibly happen.

Yesterday was a very... not bad, but hard day. It seems that the armor he told me about Thurs morning, I needed to put on myself by Thursday night. I have said it before, I will say it again, Satan is very real and very much alive and if he sees you having an issue with one thing, he brings the rest of it on to pull you farther down than you were to start with. But as much as Satan is real, so is God and as the day went on, I just prayed for some type of calm. See, I am a person who really believes in signs. I mean I ask God point blank.." Ok if this is it, then show me. If its not, send me a sign." I don't know that He actually does it or if its just my mind making it happen, but I would really like to believe God is answering me to help me. So yesterday like usual, that is what I did. I just said, I need a sense of calm, I need to know that this is going to be okay and I would appreciate it if you would let me know today.

Hmmm, I got that last night. I was reminded that even when I feel like I am overwhelmed, like things are not going to work out, God's phone line is always open. There is no reason for me to go to sleep with a heavy heart, when I can just lay it all at his feet and leave it there knowing that he will take care of it as He sees fit. The feeling or sense of being alone is not the case. I think as humans we get really caught up (at least I do anyway) in the physical, the things we can see and feel and forget the one thing that can ease any pain we may ever have. I went to sleep knowing that it was going to be okay.. it may not be easy, and it wont happen overnight, but it really will be okay. I got up this morning singing " Oh no you never let go, through the calm and through the storm....." and I knew it would be ok.

Again with my I tell you, if I ever wrote everything I was thinking.. WOW.. lol. Thanks for listening. Until next time, Lord willing..

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My daughter wants to be a lawyer/WNBA basketball star. My middle child wants to be an artist and the baby, well, he has alot of things he wants to do. I believe that with a whole lot of work and putting their minds to it, my children can do and be anything they want to. They have the right, the God given right to make those choices that affect their lives. My children have dreams, but I also think God has plans for them too that may or may not include the things they have in mind. We are all called to be like Christ, and as many "great" things as we may do in our lives that impress people here, God may not be as impressed if it is not His plan we are following.

It took me just about all my life, but I finally realize God has a specific purpose for me as He does for everyone. It wasn't something that just hit me, I haven't always known and honestly, I am not completely sure I still understand it all, but I know its there. God didn't knock me over the head, there were no neon signs.. actually it wasn't until I started asking sincerely that I started hearing what it was He was trying to tell me. And it wasn't in my timing, it was all in His. I am an impatient person, I make no bones about that and waiting is not something I like, still don't. But in order for God's plan to work like He wanted, I had to be ready. What good would it have done if my mind and heart were not the right place? I also had to realize (and we all do) that if God chose me to do something, then it's gonna be done right. He is not going to give you something He didn't think you could handle. Perfect example.. Paul. Who would have ever thought that a man who persecuted Christians would be one of the greatest teachers of the gospel of all times??

Romans 8:28 - We know that in all things God works for the good of those that love Him who have been called according to His purpose.

If we trust in God, He will direct our paths and the purpose will become clearer, but remembering that our first and foremost purpose is to love God with all our hearts and to do the things that please Him.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and Lord willing, we will talk again soon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can't be nothing but God!

I have always had an explanation for pretty much everything that has happened in my life. The good and the bad, there has always been a reason. For the most part, it was something that I had done to cause something so I knew exactly why. For the past few months, there have been some things happening and I have no explanation for them. Someone actually asked me about it one day, and I tried to explain and for the first time in a long time, I fumbled through words and thoughts, trying to make it make sense from my point of view and I couldn't and she looked at me and said " Can't be nothing but God, how else would you not be able to explain it." At first I was like well, that doesn't really make sense to me, but hmmmm I am not so sure now.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11-13, NIV).

I have said this before, but let me say it again and hear me well, I am not perfect, I don't have all the answers nor do I think I know everything. What I DO know is what has gone on in my own personal life and how things have flopped or progressed, and let me tell you I have been praying more this past year than I have in my entire life. I have been trying my very best to be open with God, not like He doesn't know anyway, but He expects me to come to Him with the good and bad and I have. I have tried my best to turn things over to Him and not do it myself and I think, no I know He is listening and starting to move in ways I thought would never happen. Don't get me wrong now, everything is not perfect now, there is still ALOT of room to improve and do better, I don't have everything I want, but I realize that I have what I need and God is taking care of me as only He can.

"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:12-13 NIV)." "Then you will... " When? "When we get selfishness and self-will out of the way; when we want NOTHING but God's will, when we seek him with our whole heart. Then we will find him, then we will call upon him and he will answer." When we seek God with our whole hearts, there is nothing or no one that can stop God's plan from working in our lives. I am truly blessed!

This past Sunday at my church was our Operation Serve. That is where we have a short morning service and then we split up into groups going to different places (Rescue Mission, shelters, etc.) and help any way we can. This year one of those places happened to be my house. There was a group that came and trimmed hedges, cleaned my roof, fixed things that I had no clue how to do...and I want to say THANK YOU! You will never know how much I appreciate that. The house looks great and I love you all very much!!!

Until next time, Lord willing, we will talk again soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's been a very long week, not bad, just long. All I could think about was Friday at 1:00pm so I could just go home and basically just sit and do nothing. Seems like everyday after work, there is something to do: basketball practice, homework for the kids, cooking, cleaning, washing... my list could go on and on. And I think after a while as my grandma always tells me, I start to wear down. This week would be one of those. Well Thursday I had a meeting to go to after work and honestly, I did NOT want to go (sorry ladies!!). It was a JWCA meeting and we were having a kick off dinner for the Lights of Love at Phoebe. Now as good a cause as this is, I was just tired and my mind was not really in it, but I prepared to go anyway.

I had to stop by the store to pick up a bag of candy, the whole time telling myself I really wished I was home but that I would go anyway. As I got out of the car, I caught one of the most beautiful sights I had seen: there was a huge cloud in the sky. It wasn't round, it was more oblong and had ripples in it. On the each end of the cloud was an opening, a hole if you will and coming out, on each side was a rainbow that went straight down to the ground. It was absolutely beautiful and the people around me going in and out of the store didn't even seem to notice. I text my friend Paige because she takes pictures and I was sure she didn't want to miss this. I stood there for at least 5 minutes I know looking at the sight, wishing I had a camera of my own right then. I went into the store, got my things and went to my meeting feeling alot better.

When I got to the meeting, I talked to friends, had dinner and began to listen to the woman that would be the official tree lighter for the 2009 Lights of Love ceremony, Mrs. Linda Gray. Mrs. Gray has ovarian cancer and basically she was told she would not be alive today at the stage she was when she found out. They were wrong. As she talked, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. I was again reminded last night that it was not about me. I get so consumed in my little world that I forget there are so many more people out there with bigger problems and situations. I left last night with Mrs. Gray on my mind and prayed that God once again perform a miracle as I know He still can!

I hope you all have a blessed weekend. My daughter and the rest of the teen girls from my church are going a conference this weekend. Please pray for their safe travels! Until next time, Lord willing..

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To God be the Glory!!

My daughter plays 3 sports, but honestly, if it was not for her, I would never go to a game. I am just really not into sports that much, but something caught my attention this morning on the news. This past week, a player in Fitzgerald, GA, R.J., caught a touchdown pass in the end zone and when he did, he didn't jump up and down and do the crazy dances we see on TV, he didn't hoop and holler and act the fool, he simply stood perfectly still, and pointed one finger up to the heavens.... giving glory and honor to God for allowing him to catch that pass. The refs threw a penalty flag.

After this, seems they lost 15 yards or something like that (I don;t understand the language) and everyone from Fitzgerald was upset. They said on the news, if you knew R.J. you would know how much he loves God and would never be disrespectful. I am not sure what the rule books say, I do know they cannot act crazy when they get touchdowns, but the boy, a young adult, was giving glory to God and honestly, that brings a smile to my face. Offering support for what R.J. did, and rightly so I think, the whole town basically now wears " To God be the Glory" t-shirts ( that seems to be a hot item also now for EVERYONE around AND outside the town) at every game.

Over and over again in the Bible, there are verses talking about giving God the glory:

Listen! Do not be proud, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before it is too late . . .” Jeremiah 13:15-17.

Give glory to God by telling the truth, because we know Jesus is a sinner’”John 9:24.

“‘Fear God,’ he shouted, ‘Give glory to him [God] . . .’” Revelation 14:6-7.

There is no reason to be ashamed of God or letting people know we love Him. I think maybe sometimes we think people will look at us strange, call us names, or won't want to be around us. But this young man, well he should make us all proud. In sports, I have seen for myself, in my child's own games, where they makes points or score and they work hard at practice and think its all them. They think THEY are the ones who makes them able to do what they do. This young man KNOWS why he can do what he does and he was not ashamed to say it. WAY TO GO R.J.!! We should all take a note from you!!

I love you all, have a blessed day and Lord willing, we will talk again soon!

Monday, October 19, 2009

What causes fights and quarrels among you?

Saturday I had a disageement with someone really close to me. I really didn't even think of it as a disagreement until I got home and did my ususal, "start to think thing". And honestly, it was something that could have been avoided, but wasn't. I am not perfect, never profess to be and one of flaws (and I have lots) is the issue of having my way. I didn't grow up like that, but I guess as I got older and things started to happen in my adult life, I got this really hard shell that didn't want to let anyone in, had no intention of doing what anyone else said cause I had put up with that long enough, and I just had to have my way. That also probably came because I am a single mom with three children and I basically make any and all decision in my house.

But last night after I got home, I knew that the attitude, the wanting my way, could possibly make me lose something that I love very much. So last night I prayed really hard before I went to bed. Now again, for those who know me, I don't do the formal prayers. NOTHING is wrong with those mind you, but for me, I have to talk to God like He is the friend sitting right beside me on the patio.

I prayed that the feelings I was having would go away, that I would be humbled and that I started thinking about someone else other than myself at that moment. Then I went to sleep... a very peaceful one I might add.This morning I woke up, my mind was clear, and honestly I didn't have a thought or comment to post on facebook other than to think that I would go to church very open minded and be looking for what God wanted me to. I found it. I still say God has a really good sense of humor because as I sat in my Sunday School class, I had this inner smile and I thought..."alright, I hear you, I hear you and I will do it."

This morning in my class we talked about James 4: 1-10

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (1-3)

Hit me like a ton of bricks. See, the dsagreement WAS because of things inside me. I wanted my way, no if's, and's or but' s about it and if I didn't get it, the attitude was coming whether the person realized it or not. And I really don't think they did, but what it was doing inside of me was just as bad. Then someone made a comment about verse 5 - " Or do you thihink Scripture says without reason that the spirirt he caused to live in us envies intensely.?"

Now, I am no Bible scholar and there is alot I do not understand, and it took me a minute to get this until someone said " a perfect example would be a husband and wife. If one spouse is paying more attention to something, it has all their attention, then the other spouse would become jealous. God is like that too. He doesnt want anything coming before Him". Now, I try really hard not to put things before God, but sometimes I think things happen and we don't think anything about it until its done. Again, me. But every single negative feeling, emotion, reaction that happens from us, comes from IN us and its only when we choose to stop or not let the negative feelings control us, that we start to get stuff right.

And verse 6, maybe the one that will stick with me the most " God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Our teacher this morning said humility is about our relationships with each other and choosing to put ourselves last over them. He also said that this is really hard to do with familar relatioinship i.e. -family type situations. This is where it all kinda came together for me and I apologize if none of this makes sense to you, but it's just kinda how I write : )...

It's not about me. Never has been and until I get in my head that it really IS JOY (Jesus, other and then yourself last), that the world as I know it, will make sense. Things will fall into place, I won't have to stress or worry because it did say " Come near to God and he will come near to you."

All that being said, there is nothing left but to say I am sorry (and hope they accept that) and keep reminding myself that it is not all about me. Until next time...Love and blessing!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hi ladies (and gents)! It has been raining for the past few days and not too many people are happy about it, but me, I LOVE it. Not too crazy about the power going out and kids crying. but the it!!

Day before yesterday, my ex husband called me at work and all he said was " I was in an accident, I need you to come." My heart immediately began racing as I asked where he was, grabbed my purse and hurried out the door. I don't even think I told anyone where I was going. It was raining that day too and I just thought, " this is no good". As I approached the street, I saw 3 police cars, a school bus and people standing around but I didn't see him. I prayed the hardest prayer I have prayed in weeks!! I jumped out of the car only to hear a police officer tell me that I could not come up closer but I told him that my children's dad had called me because he was in an accident. He told me to go on... I walked around the bus to see him standing talking to a few people. WHEW!! It seems as though the bus driver got distracted with the kids and made a turn that was not wide enough and she pretty much demolished the front end of his car, but he was OK.

As he finished the report, I took him where he needed to go and went back to work, relieved. Relieved that my sons still had their dad, if only for one more day. Relieved that God had protected him. I also realized something else.. no matter how much we disagree (and at times that's alot), we both want the best for our sons and at times, we still need each other.

And I am not tooting my own horn, but sometimes we have to help those we don't like, the ones that always give us grief no matter what. Because remember " Not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven". As hard as it is sometimes, we have to put ourselves in the other person's shoes and figure out how it would feel. So be a blessing to someone today and everyday! I'm pretty happy my ex thought enough to call me when he needed help.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I get to spend mine with my four special people!! I love you all and until next time, Lord willing.... and remember

TGIF!!! (Today God is First!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TGIF !!!!!!

I am a Facebook junkie and Monday, a friend of mine had 'TGIF' on her update. I thought, how odd.. today is Monday and she is already talking about TGIF but under her update, she said" Today God is First'. Kinda makes TGIF more meaningful to me now!

We tend to put so many more things ahead of God in our daily lives. There is work, which I do believe is important. After all God does say, if a man doesn't work, he doesn't eat, I think we should try to be successful in our work and do the best we can, but it should never take the place of God. Some people want a "day of rest" on Sunday so they can relax and get ready for the next week, and I do not think God wants us NOT resting and having fun, but there is a time and place for everything and pleasure should not be the main thing we focus on. And as much as my family is important to me, they do not and should not come before God. God expects us to take care of our families, but God should always come first.. the rest then falls into place.

Matthew 6:31-36 "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

God tells us in Matthew to seek Him first and everything else will be add to us. He tells us right here that if we serve Him, He will make sure we have everything we need. Even as I read this, I wonder about all the people in the world who are having such a hard time right now, God's own children and honestly, I have no answer. I wish I did, but I DO know God is a God of His word and if He says it, I believe it. And in order to put God's kingdom first, we need to be a part of it. We must believe that Christ came and shed blood for us. We need to make sure we are reading and learning the way God wants us to live everyday and serve Him through your church as the faithful loving servant He expects us to be.

TGIF, today and everyday make God first.

Monday, October 12, 2009

This past Saturday I attended the funeral of a high school classmate of mine,Rickey Massey. I really had all kinds of mixed emotions when I got there. I saw classmates who I haven't seen in a very long time. Memories and emotions flooded each one of us at the thought of the life that we had just lost. I can remember being 18 and someone from the school newspaper asking me where I would be in 20 years and of course I gave the normal answer " Married, children, working for a really big newspaper in Boston, Ma." I can remember the football players, this friend who passed included, wanting to go to a really big name school and play in the NFL one day.

As I sat in the sports complex, I watched a mother cry as would soon bury her son, a 12 year old son cry as he would not know what it is like to watch his father one day see him play football, and former classmates, myself included, cry as we buried a friend, 18 years after we graduated from high school.

I wrote this one day last week, but nothing is promised to us. I think it is really good to have goals, like the ones we had the day we graduated from high school, but we also need to think.... we ave to really live each day like its our last. Nothing is promised to anyone of us.

As people got up to speak, one lady said something that maybe some of us have thought, but it really hit home with me. She told Rickey's mom a story that had happened just a few weeks before his death. Rickey had been at her home working on some papers that she was helping with and he mentioned that he had no money to purchase something he needed. As she looked around the sports complex at everyone sitting there, she said " its really sad that Rickey seemingly by the amount of people in this room had so many friends while he is laid in this box, but while he was alive he couldn't find one person to gave him a dollar. There was no reason he should have needed anything with this many friends." She finished her story and I thought to myself how right she was, her point was well made and taken.

God expects us to check on each other. He expects us to help in any way we can, to show love for our brothers and sisters. I am as guilty as the next, but is there really a reason there should be so many homeless, people in need of food, people not being able to keep the lights on in their homes?? I realize that we can't help everyone and there are alot of people who might take advantage of someone's kindness.. but honestly, is that for us to decide? We are to just do what we know is right and let God handle the rest. I have no automatic answers on how to handle that, or what would make it better.. I just know God commands us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.... it is one of the greatest commands.

For us to be even reading this, we have already been blessed. Now it's time to be a blessing for someone else today. Doesn't mean you have to spend alot of money, not even alot of time, but just be willing to put someone else above you. Make it not about you.

I am asking again, that you please pray for Rickey's family. If you have never experienced death of someone close... right now, things are as "ok" as they can be with people all around his mother and son. But as the weeks go on, the people leave and things get quiet, that's when they will need prayers the most. Pray for God's strength and comfort as they face many difficult days ahead.

I hope you all have a great week. I love you all very much and Lord willing,we will talk again soon

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It has been a really long week already. My computer is still not working at home so not much writing going on there, the weather is doing something funny, and I have a sick child. This past weekend I learned that one of my high school classmates had passed away. Once again, I started to do alot of thinking and talking with other classmates about this and how we really don't stop to think that one day, our time will come too and will we be ready.

Death, for me, is not a favorite topic . My prayer has always been that God allow me to be here until my children are all grown up and can take care of themselves. Now, that doesn't mean I want to go soon after, but I guess I always wanted to just make sure they were okay. But honestly, it could happen today, or tomorrow or next week and as morbid as it may be to some, and as much as we hate talking about it, we need to make sure that every minute of our lives, in all aspects, are minutes we use to serve God and please Him.

By no means do I think we need to consume ourselves with thinking about death every minute of the day, but God does say " There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die..." Ecclesiastes 3:1-2. The minute we are born, we begin to die. Question is " What are we going to do with the short time we have here on Earth"? When my parents passed away, I was a mess, but after a few years of counseling, some time and alot of praying, I know the lives they lived and I have no doubt as to where they are right now. That makes me want even more to make sure that I am living the way God would have me to so that one day I can see them again. Death is not the end, it can be a new beginning.

I am praying for the family of Ricky Massey, my DCHS Class of '91 friend. I know that right now it is really hard and there are alot of questions that may never get answered, but know that God knows best and nothing He does is in vain.

I hope I have not depressed you too much, but honestly, what if today WAS your last day... what would you do with it?

I love you all bunches and maybe AT&T will find it in their hearts to send my new power cord so I can be hooked up to the world again.. : ) Until next time, Lord willing....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My sons are very close. They are each other's best friend. They do everything together and I do mean everything!! A few weeks ago, Christian got to go home with one of his friends at church to spend the day with him. When I said yes, I had no idea what I was in store for at home. As I got in the car, Khaaliq's first question was " where is Christian?" This was NOT going to be good. " He went home with Mason" and the look I got... well, I just decided to look away. Brianna on the other hand was really happy about this for some reason, go figure. So as we were going home, I decided to get lunch for us and maybe Khaaliq would feel better. We got home, ate lunch and I decided to take a nap.. amazing how one child missing from the equation makes the house a little less noisy. Brianna was content, talking and texting away but Khaaliq..well, he wasn't feeling the JOY Brianna was. He was missing his other half and my nap turned into him coming in my room EVERY 10 minutes asking was it time to go back to church and get Christian. He was pretty happy when we got to life group to find his brother had not left him for good.

Last night at church, Matt asked us to write down some things that we knew for sure about God, that didn't change no matter what. There were alot of things mentioned, but the one that was in my mind was that He is always there, no matter what is going on, no matter if you decided you want His help or not, no matter if you and I have a problem at the same time... He is there ready and willing to help us.

I think about the movie Bruce Almighty... where everyone was praying and Bruce, who decided he wanted to be god, could hear all the prayers... at one time! The computer was keeping track of them and they were coming in so fast, he couldn't keep up. I remember being young, and thinking God must have like a million eyes and arms (which I wasn't sure I actually WANTED to see Him at that point) to keep up with us all at the same time! But our God is omnipresent.. He is everywhere all the time and he will never leave us alone. That comforts me every night when I think I can't go on, when I think I can't take one more day... God covers me with His love and let's me know it is all going to be okay.

I hope you all have a great day. Hasn't it been beautiful this week?!? I'm telling you, try sitting outside one night this week and just listening. It will do wonders for you! Lord willing, we will talk again soon....