Selfies and Pride – a sinful trend?

selfie and prideToday I was listening to an oldie but goodie” song. It was Yolanda Adams’ song “Take Away”.

The song is like a systematic prayer petitioning God to remove anything inside that’s not like Him. It’s an amazing song for meditative prayer and a great precursor to your time with the Lord.

You know, one of the things that often slips by our spiritual radar is pride. You don’t hear many sermons about it. You don’t likely think about it often. In fact, the culture actually breeds and cultivates this sin in a variety of forms. (more…)

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What is normal anyway?

 

 The concept of “normal” in your life changes. 


To keep your peace, accept the things you cannot change, trust God’s sovereignty at all times and be ready to redefine the concept of “normal” in all aspects of your life.


I learned this years ago after I lost my brothers.  I am re-introduced to this idea this week after a stinging and painful family loss.


Normal is “change” and change is normal.  We have to be ready to cry, adjust and accept.  


It takes some time. 


Often it takes a lot of time, but healing looms when we understand life changes, amen?


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When I feel alone…

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Ever noticed when you go through the deepest darkest seasons of life, you often feel very, very alone?

Cognitively, you know your family and friends are “there”, but during those dark times, you still feel all by yourself. God’s presence “feels” far away while despair seems to be closing in all around you.

Sometimes in life, the pangs of grief can be so severe, so intense and so piercing that it can render you spiritually numb- almost emotionally paralyzed.

During these seasons, even the Word of God can feel like it’s not penetrating – not getting through.

But, GodsyGirl, let me assure you, it is and He’s still there with you every step of the (more…)

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Racism Today

Affected or effected…

The recent headlines are beginning to get to me.  

I know. There several sides to every story, but when I heard video from fraternity from University of Oklahoma, my heart simply shattered. I am clearly affected by it.  But, I’m also effected. I’m prompted to do “something” in my own personal sphere of influence. I don’t know what that means just yet, but something positive must come from this, lest a root of bitterness takes hold.

I do not need to explain to you how wrong racial bias is. But, I must vent and say we cannot let I stop here.

I work in an environment of racial “something” every day.  People “self-sort” and tend to segregate themselves by race. Sure, everyone is cordial. Some might even say supportive to the point of being helpful in the short-term. But, the racial delineation is clear and obvious.  In a meeting all the Black people are at one table (and even the president seems to have a noticeable blind spot for that table) and all the White people are at their tables. It’s definitely an issue in that workplace.  Not everyone…not all…but too many people are not reaching out. I am determined to reach a bit further to bring some change. We need it. Only the simple-minded and blind would say differently.

My previous job was nothing like this. I gained rich perspective from the diversity of our team. We challenged one another, we “did life” together.  We also grew to love one another because of differences. It was a professional utopia of which I cherish to this day. I remain in touch with them because I live them.

So the issue. 

Many Black and White Americans have a deep-rooted disdain, mistrust and disapproval of one another.  Some Whites look at people of different races and respond based on the limited images they see in the media. They assume “some” constitute all. Some Black people do this – not all.  Some Hispanics behave that way – not all. (more…)

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Lust and the Mature Christian

No one wants to talk about it. But, it is a very real struggle in the lives of Christian men and women. I’m talking about *whispering* L-U-S-T.

Lust is a spiritual ailment many preachers do not talk about on Sunday mornings. This is a huge mistake because the Word of God is about more than spiritual redemption by our loving Savior. It is also a spiritual blueprint directing us how to handle sin and temptation in our daily lives. The beauty is that it doesn’t just tell us, it shows us vivid examples of what it can lead to and offers tools to manage it by the spiritual power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says lust is the precursor for sin. Check it out: “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1: 14-15

How we feel about the opposite sex in our own minds. It’s linked to what we watch (television), what we think about (imagine), and even the music we listen to – all these shape our thinking and musings.

As a single women, I had done things my way for long enough and knew God’s way had to be better than mine. So, I determined to live holy and REAL (Consistently living according to His word). I knew that God would not tell me (in His word) to live without sex without giving me the strength and power to resist it – but I had a responsibility in the process as well.

As a single woman, I learned early in my journey that I couldn’t watch love scenes on television. Watching those scenes reminded me of past sensations and triggered lustful desires. I had other ways to prevent this.

Here are some of the practices that helped me finally walk in victory over lust and pre-marital sex:

1. Not too much alone time with him. Being alone with a gorgeous guy awakes desires and wants…you know what I mean, Girl. Say goodnight and send him home.
2. No kissing. This was a difficult one, but just like the being alone thing, kissing also presented it’s triggers. I was tired of sin reigning in my life. I was tired of being the woman Godly men would not marry. I wanted a change. I wanted to be holy before God and not always repenting over the same thing. No kissing worked for me.
3. Love songs. For me, love songs can put two people (attracted to one another) in the mood for sex. So, Luther had to go….even while I was just driving in the car alone. Memories, feelings… need I say more?

This may sound drastic, but I needed something drastic to empower me to be true to my God and His laws. Sex before marriage is sin; God doesn’t like it. He does not save you from it’s it’s consequences. You may not get pregnant, but you scarred. A bit of your innocence torn.

Obedience to God brings blessings, while disobedience brings the curse of guilt and spiritual death.

You know what. I found that God had something so much better for me than I could ever have imagined or gained playing “house” with some guy. I’m sorry, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I could not have accepted my “wonderful thing” if I had allowed my desires to control me.

So many single women want an authentically Godly man. (Yes, they are out there). Nevertheless, many of them are not willing to risk themselves for a woman who cannot even control her own body. Similarly, many truly, for real, Godly woman feel the same way – the last thing they need is some weak, lusty man.  Who wants that?

Perfect, I am not. Made lots of mistakes. However, none after I employed the “Top 3” listed above. It really helped me. And praise God, I (finally) learned that giving away my body was a huge mistake and barrier to my own self image. I pray every woman of God, every woman of Christian maturity learns the same.

Don’t forget: God is the God of another chance. It’s never too late to start over. Read 2 Corinthians 7:10.  Lord knows, I needed lots of chances, but praise Jesus for sustained victory over my desires! God will keep you, if you want to be kept. You will have to say “no”, you will have to deny yourself and you will have to walk away when everything in you wants to stay in his arms…but you can do it by the power of Jesus Christ.

 

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Handling spiritual battles

Handling Spiritual Battles

1. Know which people to hold close and which should be distanced. Let’s face it, some people are not good in times of trouble. Know the difference between those who can pray prayers that reach the very realms of heaven and those that are good for a trip to Burger King. *Sarcasm intended*

Some people may not have the maturity you need in spiritual wartime, or they just may have weak faith. Either way, the last thing you need is their negativity,  faith-less words or “logic”.  In a battle, you need folks who can believe God for a miracle in the face of a bad report Confide in someone who believes God’s promises over what they “see” or “feel”.

2. Store your strength.  When it comes to taking vitamins, I’m the worst. I hate taking any kind of pill.  I’m that person that resorts to vitamins only after my throat gets sore or my nose begins to run. As you know, by that point, it is usually too late for vitamins to help. The immune system was already compromised.

You know where I’m headed.

The Word is where it’s at! Thankfully, God has built extra special grace into your Christian walk. Isn’t that wonderful? Here’s how it works: no matter how many “spiritual” vitamins you’ve missed over the course of your day, week, month or decade, all you have to do is…throw yourself into God’s plan and allow it to work supernatural wonders in your situation!

Dive into the Word of God! Inhale it. Treat it like spiritual bread! Hey, the television show Empire can’t help you, the “The Haves and the Have Nots”  have nothing to offer you in your distress. So, turn your TV off or turn on a sound Bible teacher. The strength you’ll glean will give you the sustenance to get through your trial- day by day…moment by moment.

3. One day, in the midst of a trial, the Holy Spirit said to me “do you believe everything will be ok?” In my spirit, I responded the affirmative. He then said “then act like it, look like it and speak like it?” WOW!

I knew to what He was referring. While saying God was working things out, I was walking around looking like a hopeless sheep devoid of peace. Riddled by fear, worry and doubt, I embraced “pitifulness” (I know that is not a word, work with me.)

In fact, I weakened my faith with my silly behaviors.

Not for long, though!

I instantly got my hair together, put on some makeup and wore a smile composed of faith. After that, When people asked how things were going in my situation, I replied with the Word of God or a praise to the Holy God of the universe.

So, as you journey through your difficult season, let your exterior mirror the victory and faith of your interior. Not in vanity, but in a daily normalcy. Amen?

Recap-

1. Watch who has a “front row seat” in your tribulation.

2. Feed your spirit with the Word. Search, write down and keep the Word close at all times.

3. Don’t articulate that you’re trusting God while appearing defeated. Smile and reflect Kingdom victory!

 

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Prayer for driving in bad weather

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Need a prayer for driving home in bad weather (or anytime)?

Father in the name of Jesus, thank you for being my Helper and my Protector. (Psalm 27:7)

I know you will  help me drive safely and alertly today. You will protect me from all harm.*

Please give your angels charge over me, so that no harm will come to me. ( 91:11)

You said when I call upon you, you will answer me. I’m calling upon your might name and power right now (Psalm 91:14) .

Thank you, Jesus.

Just as a medication does no good until it is applied, (more…)

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Can God Restore Me?

God restores you Follow Me on Pinterest Today, I drove past a very pretty house. The house is fairly new. If you were new to Overland Park, Kansas and you drove by this particular house, you would think nothing much of it. Although attractive, it is quite similar to the other homes on the cul-de-sac.

Then it hit me. I remembered.

About twenty years ago, I lived in that area. I remembered that house. Better, that corner on that street. You see, something very tragic happened there. It was a news story that lingered in the headlines for days and days. The story was so disastrous that after some time, the home was burned to the ground. Only an empty, vacant lot remained for months. I hated to drive past it.

I had forgotten, as I drove by today, that in the place of that sorrowful, empty plot of dirt now stands a gorgeous three-story home, painted in cheery colors and full of life. That is it.  The lot has a new life.

Passing the home reminded me of my own life history. It reminded me of the greatness of my God.

Like you, I have places in my heart that were wounded. Some might say tragic memories linger there.  However, God is so faithful to His Word.

Just like the lot, where once stood an “infrastructure of pain” is now a beautiful testimony of God’s strength, faithfulness and ability to comfort me though all things. Instead of the fresh twinge sad memories could bring,  I instead remember how God brought me through. I recall how He delivered me. Not only do I remember He brought me out and through, but I think of how He restored what the canker worm tried to steal (Joel 2:25). How faithful He is to transform ashes (Isaiah 61:3) into something beautiful? God can restore you, Godsy Girl.

Sometimes it takes time before the “beautiful” becomes your first thought, but it does and it can.

Eventually, the pain of calamity can be replaced by the joy of restoration. It’s up to you and your choice to trust Him.

Here is a tip (or three):

  1. Read your Bible through your pain. Apply the Word as a medicine so you can be healed, reminded and reestablished. There is healing in His Word.
  2. Stop the movie. I remember my cousin told me that one time. I recalled something painful and she said “No, don’t play the movie!” She meant for me to “gird up the loins of my mind” as the Bible says (1 Peter 1:13). She was telling me to think on something different. Your mind is powerful; control it.
  3. Remind yourself great days are ahead. God has something brand new and wonderful for you – just as the old, burned lot received new purpose (Psalm 27:13). Your pain has a new purpose of testimony.

Hope in all things so your infrastructure of pain can become something beautiful and praise-worthy. Amen?

 

 

 

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