April 14 Grown Up Conversations

Psalms Wednesday

Psalm 139

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

April 12 Grown Up Conversations

Let’s Root For Each Other

Teamwork makes any dream work whether it’s a marriage, family, business partners, etc. We are not living on a deserted island nor are we hermits. We must pull together because tough times don’t last but tough teams do. Teamwork is like running in a relay race with people you trust passing the baton on to the next person while staying in your lane.

A strong team does not always win, but if we don’t stay in the race we will certainly lose. The Word of God is the go-to point of reference if you ever need verification on a matter.

1 Corinthians 12 says, “A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, transparent and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.”

No matter how important anyone think they are you still need the trash collector, the nurse, doctor, cops, firefighters, teachers, etc. The scripture went on to say, you can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body it makes no difference whether the part is visible or invisible.

If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer a healthy stomach to having a beautiful skin complexion and full body of hair? The hidden parts are no less value than the outer members.

The way God designed our bodies is an example for understanding the importance of a team. No person is more important than the other members even if the other members do not have a leading role. God designed us in a way that if one person hurts, the other team members feel the pain as well as the healing.

So, it’s kind of nice if we all just settle down and stop fighting against each other. No matter how you feel about someone remember we are still connected. Teams argue, fight, may not even speak to each other for a while but they make up and chat for hours. They may not have it all together but together they are a team.

James 4 says, “Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn’t it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body?”

God treats us with even greater kindness. His amazing grace humbles us, but He resists everyone who is proud. A team is not only a team when everyone is getting along exceptionally well. There will be many times when feelings get hurt but humility and grace will make the dream work.

PRAYER TIME: Father, may we enjoy the privilege of working together as a team providing strength to each other. Let humility and wisdom prevail when times get tough. In Jesus Name, Amen

April 8 Grown Up Conversations

Mom, it’s Going To Be OKAY!

Mothers have inner dialogues that are incredibly painful bringing deep guilt that maybe just maybe we didn’t get it right. In moments like these we mostly never win with ourselves. We find ourselves focusing on the one thing we didn’t do right, and the guilt rollercoaster takes us for long rides as we struggle to stay breathing.

We become emotional but we remain the rock in a weary land. We get tired but we keep going. We worry but yet we stay hopeful that things will change the next day. We become impatient but our heart will never let go. We get overwhelmed with sadness, but we still keep going. We get recognized by others who are observing us, but we still doubt our worth.

Our greatest win will be to witness our children’s happiness, peace, and joy before we close our eyes.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Isaiah 53:13 “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”

Deuteronomy 6:1-2 “These are the commandments and statutes and ordinances that the LORD your God has instructed me to teach you to follow in the land that you are about to enter and possess, so that you and your children and grandchildren may fear the LORD your God all the days of your lives by keeping all His statutes and commandments that I give you, and so that your days may be prolonged.”

In our survival mode as mothers the one thing that brings us incredible peace is knowing that the promises of God are worth the ink they are written on. God does not require perfection, but He always blesses those who humbly ask for His help. As mothers, our job is do whatever is possible and within our human capability and trust God with everything else that is beyond our control.

Becoming a mother is a task you must be committed to in good seasons and bad seasons. Someone said, “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed.” This right here makes me want to shoutout all mothers who have survived holding the hem of God’s garment.

To all mothers who are fighting battles that no one else knows about, I say, “It will be well.” Believe that you have taught your children to walk with a godly awareness and great will be your peace. Trust God and yourself that you are doing better than you think. It takes a lot of strength and firmness to watch your children handle stuff you wish you can help them with, but your prayers will be more effective than helping them to avoid the consequences of their choices.

Something to laugh about: “Shout out to all the Moms who started out their morning like a Super Mom, only to become a borderline psychotic by 10a.m.”

Being a Mom is a calling to give our children JESUS.

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank you that you are a good, good Father. Thank you for choosing us to be mothers as we point our children to the perfect God. In Jesus Name, Amen

April 7 Grown Up Conversations

Psalms Wednesday

Psalms 136

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:

With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psalms 138

I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth.

Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.

Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

April 6 Grown Up Conversations

Take It Up A Notch

Your mistakes and failures do not define you. We are not that powerful to blow God’s plan for our lives regardless how many times we got it wrong. Satan’s only tactic has been and still is to manipulate our thinking. The things we say to ourselves when we are discouraged, saddened, and lonely are outrageous. I don’t have to list them because you and I have repeated those hurtful words so many times especially 3a.m. in the morning.

Think of a Wi-Fi connection. When you have a strong connection, you can download things quickly and smoothly. When the Wi-Fi is weak it’s very frustrating. Isn’t it strange that when you are restless at nights the ugly thoughts download quickly and the dialogue is ongoing? Our bad thoughts are always running on high frequency. The download is overwhelming as you try to catch up with them. Strangely at those times when we have a poor connection to what the Word of God says hope gets dimmer with every passing minute.

3a.m. Brain Quote: “I can see you’re trying to sleep, so I would like to offer you a selection of every memory, unresolved issue, or things you should have said or done today as well in the past 40 years.”

Most people are aware when their thoughts are being disrupted by sadness. Sometimes when someone says, ‘I am fine’ the cookie could be crumbling on the inside. The worst thing anyone can do is to play with their feelings. If the voice in your head ever says anything that contradicts scripture, that is not the voice of God. God’s voice never creates fear and anxiety. To enjoy a good night rest, you must know that God is fully capable of handling every little detail of your life. Just another reason why no one should do life without Him.

Psalms 4:8 says, “I will both lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”

Psalms 127:2 “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for God gives His beloved sleep.”

God gives help to anyone who looks to Him for help. Admit your failures to Him and do what’s right. Don’t let past failures haunt you at night. God is with you to give you beauty for ashes. He knows your potential and you will be at peace because He is in control of the outcome.

Another Psalms says, “As I lie in bed, I remember you; all night long I think of you, because you have always been my help. In the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. I cling to you, and your hand keeps me safe.” Grab a hold on God’s promises before the war of thoughts begin.

Psalms 46 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Give everything to God and go to sleep. God has all the answers to all your questions you are not even aware of as yet.

Quote: “Being an adult is mostly going to bed when you don’t want to and also waking up when you don’t want to.”

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank you for bringing us through all the restless nights. Quiet our minds so we can hear your voice. In Jesus Name, Amen

April 5 Grown Up Conversations

Things That Should Make Us Go hmm…

We cannot become what we want by remaining the same way we were yesterday. Everything we are praying about demands a certain level of discipline on our part. Prayer without discipline is pointless. God helps those who help themselves.

Today, I am doing some reflections on things most of us have heard before.

‘A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.’

This is exactly how things go in life. People hear, repeat and believe anything bad they hear of others. That is why a lie can “travel halfway around the world.”

Proverbs 18:8 says, “Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?”

Word to the wise: On the road to success choose the scenic route where the air is rare.

‘My ride or die friend.’

When choosing to be loyal to someone you should never have to set yourself on fire to keep them warm. Friends should help, support, and share your dreams guiding you on the right path while holding your hands through the twists and turns of life.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Word to the wise: Anything is achievable when you have the right friends.

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’

Absolutely not true. Words spoken can never be retrieved even if there’s great remorse. We all have dropped plates, spill milk, and had a few burnt meals but no amount of tears repaired the mess. Words do hurt and leave deep scars that only God can heal.

Psalms 34:18 “If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”

Word to the wise: Don’t let anyone rent space in your head unless they are a good tenant.

‘Our parents were patient when we were young, now it’s time to be patient during their old age.’

Our parents are getting older each day. They will not be here forever. Stress and drama are too heavy a load for them to carry since they have already done their job raising you. Appreciate them now and not at their grave.

Leviticus 19:3 “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father… I am the Lord your God.”

Word to the wise: Treat your parents with respect and your children will do the same for you.

‘The devil finds work for idle hands.’

People who live with passion are the happiest people even if everything is not amazing. An idle person is a miserable person and knocks on every door. Satan still finds mischief for handle hands to do. If there’s no progress the drama magnifies.

Proverbs 31:27 says, “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

Word to the wise: A wise woman builds her own home and when her feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, ‘Oh crap, she’s up.’

Finally, “The greatest gift you can give someone is your time, your attention, your love, your concern.”

It’s horrible to stand in a line to receive something you have not deposited. People will never forget how you made them feel.

Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.”

PRAYER TIME: Father, teach us to live well. Teach us to live wisely. May we live each day knowing you’ve got us. In Jesus Name, Amen

GOOD FRIDAY

Good Friday is a Christian holiday remembering the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. Read along with me.

Luke 23:33-56

When they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they divided His clothes by casting lots.

The people stood by watching. But the rulers with them scoffed, saying, “He saved others. Let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the Chosen One of God.”

And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him and offering Him sour wine,  saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

An inscription was written over Him in letters of Greek and Latin and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

One of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us!”

But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, seeing you are under the same sentence?  And we indeed, justly. For we are receiving the due reward of our deeds. But this Man has done nothing amiss.”

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun was darkened. And the veil of the temple was torn in the middle.

And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He gave up the spirit.

When the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God and said, “Certainly, this was a righteous Man.”

All the crowds who came together to that sight, witnessing what occurred, struck their chests and returned.

But all those who knew Him and the women accompanying Him from Galilee stood at a distance, seeing these things.

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, who was a good and just man.

He had not consented to their counsel and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, and he himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God.

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took Him down, and wrapped Him in linen, and placed Him in a hewn tomb, where no one had ever been buried.

It was the Day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was drawing near.

The women who came with Him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how His body was placed.

Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

My closing remarks: What will you do about Jesus? You can either confess Him as your Lord and Savior or deny Him for many reasons, but He gives us a chance to have our sins forgiven. Romans 10:9-10 says, That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

April 1 Grown Up Conversations

Stay in Your Lane

Most of us have experienced making unwise and impulsive decisions and soon enough the feeling of regrets is awakened. Impulsive decisions come from the secretive desires of our hearts when our mind is under attack. We all have skeletons in our closet as reminders of our unwise and impulsive decisions. However, never make the mistake of telling God that you are too far gone for Him to use you.

The past is the past. What matters is who and what we are aiming to become. Don’t be impressed with title, positions, or who is leading the race. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

One step up a thousand steps is far better than remaining in the tangled mess of regret. The race is not set for those who are ahead of us but those who will feed the courage to get to the finish line. Become curious of what your life could look like versus remaining a victim of bad choices. Believe in yourself that you can do better rather than assuming that you cannot win.

Comparison is the silent killer to goals. Stay in your lane and don’t look to the right or to the left. Keep maneuvering your way over the obstacles. Face your fear and give it a wink because this time next year your wins would prove your fears were wrong. Your past may not have been all your fault, but your recovery is totally your responsibility.

Strength does not come from feeding yourself sad replays of your life. When you know that God loves and accepts you unconditionally, it sets you free to do the same for yourself. When you live by the principles of God’s Word you experience true peace, love and happiness.

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman

The sun comes up it’s a new day dawning

It’s time to sing Your song again

Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me

Let me be singing when the evening comes.

You’re rich in love and You’re slow to anger

Your name is great and Your heart is kind

For all Your goodness I will keep on singing ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing. The end draws near and my time has come

Still my soul will sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord oh my soul oh my soul

Worship His Holy name. Sing like never before oh my soul

I’ll worship Your Holy name

The END

PRAYER TIME: Thank you Jesus for showing us by example how to handle betrayal. Thank you that you are rich in love, and slow to anger. Thank you for the forgiveness of our sins and taking up residence in our hearts as we leave our old ways behind. In Jesus Name, Amen

MARCH 31 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Psalms Wednesday

Psalms 138

I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

I will worship toward thy holy temple and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth.

Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.

Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Psalms 141

Lord, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.

When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.

Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.

But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.

Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.

Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.