When Things Don’t Add Up

We can learn so much about ourselves when there are disruptions in our lives. You either grow or you become sidetracked; quitter or resilient; a doer or a mere talker.  But one thing is clear – not all disruptions are to be dreaded.

When confronted with problems you immediately feel like you have been driving a car with four flat tires. Times like these Satan makes a bold and daring move on your mental state targeting your thoughts. It’s called ‘The Great Debate’ where you are the audience, the judge, and the only participant having an intense disagreement with Satan. And suddenly you snap out of it thinking, ‘What a nightmare?’ 

There are periods in life when you feel pressed, crushed, stressed, squeezed, tested beyond human capacity and wonder how long again you must go to get to the end. Hang in! Sometimes disruptions, chaos, and confusion come as a distraction to take you away from reaching your own aspirations. If Satan can get you to give up on those things that mean a whole lot to you  – it’s a win for him. Hang in! God will give you the wisdom to focus on what matters and not what’s distracting you.

Be courageous and know that when things do not add up it’s a time to challenge yourself that you are not going to be in the same place this time next year. Job 23:10 says, “But he knows the way I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” If you get tired – rest. It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.

Choose to stay focus during distractions because you know that life is not a competition but simply trying to grow to become better than you were the last time. Distractions take everything within you to hang in there, but the strongest people are usually those who win despite the interruptions. When God said that He is with you to the end, then there’s nothing more that is required of you than to stand still and wait for it to come to an end.

Believe with all your heart – It will be well. It must be well. It’s going to be well. You are God’s personal concern. When disruptions come and they will – give God something to work with. Speak with confidence and refuse to be intimidated by what you see. The distractions you see today you will see them no more because you are more powerful than you can imagine.

Use your sunny days to tap into things that are honest, good, pure, lovely, and of a good report. Stay positive and do good for no one knows when storms will come.

Give God something to work with – YOUR FAITH IN HIM. Faith in God changes your perspective on disruptions. Faith is knowing that you are never going to lose hope because God always shows up with a miracle in His hand.

God never asks us to figure out anything. He simply asks you to trust Him. Lessons and disruptions go hand in hand. Talk to God before you overthink.

 

Find your Peace in the Storm

Someone said, “Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.” Some of us are either in the eye of the storm, coming out of a storm or heading into a storm. But everyone will have to walk through a storm. Storms are part of life.

In the moment things don’t usually add up and life seems unfair. Times like these Satan makes a bold and daring move on your mental state targeting your thoughts. It’s called ‘The Great Debate’ where you are the audience, the judge, and the only participant having an intense argument with Satan. And suddenly you snap out of it thinking it was a nightmare.

There are periods in life when you feel pressed, crushed, stressed, squeezed, tested beyond human capacity and wonder how long again do you have to get to the end. Hang in! Sometimes the strong winds come as a distraction to take you away from reaching your own goals. If Satan can get you to give up on your goals – it’s a win for him. Hang in! God will quiet the winds because He wants to get you to your destination.

 Be courageous and know that when things do not add up it’s a time to prove what you are made up of – you are good, pure gold my friends. Job 23:10 says, “But he knows the way I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” There are times you cannot see God – you look back; He is not there. You look ahead; He is not there. Yet you know that God must be there somewhere as He has been many times before.

Genesis 50:20 says, ‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.’ I LOVE IT! We are kept ALIVE after a windstorm of unprecedented events for a greater purpose. There will always be strong winds that shake your beliefs but through it all you must hang in there. It will be worth it.

Stormy weather takes everything within you to hang in there but like Job you will come forth as gold. When God said that He is with you to the end, then there’s nothing more that is required of you than to stand still and wait for it to come to an end. You will be kept alive for a greater purpose.

Believe with all your heart – It will be well. It must be well. It have to be well. You are God’s personal concern. When random thoughts come to you, give God something to work with you. Speak faith and don’t be intimidated by what you see. God’s thoughts towards you are bigger than what you see or hear or imagine. Give God something to work with my friends.

Use your sunny days to tap into things that are honest, good, pure, lovely, and of a good report. Anything positive and good – think on those things. For no one knows when storms will come.

 Jesus has the ability to sleep through stormy weather because He knows it’s not about what’s happening outside and around you – but who is in the house with you. All is well regardless of what you see or hear or imagine or know. Give God something to work with – YOUR FAITH IN HIM.

There are THREE sides to EVERY Story

There are three sides to every story – yours, mines, and God. You can never get the whole picture of what really happened if you are only hearing one side. Hearing all sides, you get all the facts about what really happened. Never make a judgement call until you have heard all sides of the story.

For many of us we would not choose a promiscuous woman to either be our friend or even to introduce her as a family member. We will openly disapprove of her behavior and  distant ourselves from her lifestyle treating her like a forbidden fruit.

But included in Jesus’ family tree was a harlot by the name of Rahab. The Bible, however, made no attempt to hide the unpleasant fact that Rahab was a harlot. God in His Divine Plan cleverly orchestrated a plan to use a prostitute to protect Joshua’s men from being killed before their mission was accomplished

These men were different from the other men who will stay at Rahab’s place. They came for protection to hide from those who were pursuing them. It’s kind of startling to imagine God choosing a woman of low reputation to rescue His people and then to have her included in Jesus’ Family tree.  There are three sides to this story – The people in the town, her story, and God’s story.

By God’s intervention – Rahab then marries into one of the leading families of Israel and becomes a faithful follower of the LORD.  She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth and a couple generations later was placed among the family tree of Jesus. ‘When God’s grace erased a life of shame’ should be the tagline for Rahab.

It’s unimaginable to think how God could handpick a woman of disgrace to make it into His Son’s family tree. Rahab may not have known God … BUT GOD KNEW HER. God had a plan for her long BEFORE her plan included God.

At times we struggle to love and accept our women who have fallen beyond our standards of grace. But to see how God turns ashes into beauty remains one of the most spectacular show on earth that reminds us that God can certainly show up in any situation and show off. 

Only God can really turn a mess into a message. Only God can redeem a woman of low self-esteem. ONLY GOD  can take other people’s versions of your story THEN adds it to your story and miraculously turn it into a best-selling story. 

The spies turning up at your door is a divine encounter waiting to happen before you realize that God has a better plan for your life. God always has a divine encounter waiting to happen for anyone who will courageously risk their lives to trust Him.

He is the kind of God that takes your past and make it into a Broadway Show. There are always three sides to a story – their side,  your side, and God’s side. God’s mercy cannot be exhausted, and His grace can never drain the ocean. 

Stay encouraged! He gives more grace to erase a lifetime of shame. God’s love has no limits and no boundaries. No one on earth can exhaust God’s grace. Others may see no beauty in you that they should want to be in your company but based on God’s original plan for your life – your story can make you famous if you risk your life for God’s version. 

RAHAB HAD A CHANGE OF HEART AND LIFE and she became part of Jesus’ family tree.

The Morning of the Big Exam

When your back is up against a wall and you look all over and there’s no one standing with you  – it’s normal to make you want to question where is God?  Meanwhile, could it be that God is trying to determine or assess your strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and skills?

It’s like the anxiety you feel on the morning of a major exam. You know you’ve got this because you’ve recited the scriptures from memory repeatedly but on the morning of the test you experience a FAITH blockage as the facts stare right back at you waiting for your response.   

This is too important an exam to have a ‘no show’ written across your name therefore you must find the courage to either step forward and do the best you can OR run away as far as you can and never come back.

Accepting the challenge is the toughest decision you will ever have to make but it’s worth more credits than running away and never coming back.  A stressful situation brings out the best and the worse in everyone. Like the prophet Elijah you want to flee for your life believing that you are the only left to fight this battle. And then God shows up reminding you in a still small voice that there are countless followers of Jesus Christ who kept the faith and finished the course.

Absolutely, there are those scary moments when the spirit of fear of the unknown cripples your every effort to step out boldly. All you really want to do is to flee into a solitary place and hide among the rocks hoping no one will see you. The Psalmist David reminds us that there’s no place we can hide from God’s presence, and His love.

Your tears are bottled up in Heaven not one falls to the ground and evaporates without God seeing. Tears travels to God faster than a speeding bolt of lightening so you can rest comfortably in His understanding of the situation. Revelations 21:4 says, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

God is trying to determine or assess your strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and skills. Take a deep breath. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life. This too will pass.

It’s intimidating to be in a dilemma thinking that you are not quite ready for what’s happening but when your confidence is in God – know for a certainty that all God is asking for you to do is to show up, be strong in faith and courageous in the test. 

Settle your nerves and find your strength knowing that after the test there MUST be a testimony. God keeps track of all your tests results while He is bottling up your tears. There’s NOT one man-made drug on earth that will ever permanently remove fear of the unknown so relying on your faith in God is the better of the two options.

GOD soothes your fears and strengthens your heart. God’s strength is made prefect when all your strength is gone. He carries you when you can’t carry on. When there’s nothing more you can do – just show up and complete the test. The longest day still have 24 hours. The longest week still only have 7 days. But quitting will give you a lifetime full of regrets. 

 

 

You’ve Got This

What is graffiti? Graffiti is writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed unlawfully on a wall or other surface in a public place.

I’ve seen graffiti written on tombstones, buses, trains, subways, billboards, public washrooms, and over people’s pictures. I’m pretty sure you too may have been victimized by some unscrupulous people who also rides the bus with you.

Do you know many of us have been victims of very unkind words and acts scribbled, edged into our minds, and spray painted over our lives? It felt like someone throwing eggs in your face or someone breaking your windows that once protected you from the outside world.

Sometimes thoughtless words and slanderous comments get tossed into the atmosphere destroying one’s reputation? Words do hurt and break many good people’s spirits. Have you noticed how quickly gossip spreads while good news travel slowly and it hold little interest to the hearers. Escaping the graffiti or gossip crew is like trying to cross a busy highway hoping not to be hit by a speeding car.

Words do hurt and they are hard to be erased from the minds of wounded people. Our tongue is the smallest member of the body but has incredible power to destroy generations. Words spoken carelessly changes the way other people see the wounded and the hurt.

The saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ has proven to be wrong. When graffiti and gossip talk – people listen. Listeners become judges and things spoken in secret are not easily forgotten.

“Perception unchallenged becomes reality.” Unknown.

Perception is how you see things and if no one questions it you will always think that the way you see it is right. What makes this sad is, you pass your perception on to others and if left unchallenged, it becomes their point of view too.

I don’t know who said this but it’s worth repeating here – “Should you ever find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, smallness, insecurities, remember things could be a lot worse you could be them.”

Proverbs 17: 9 says, ‘Whoever would foster love COVERS over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter SEPARATES close friends’.

There is hope if we ever find ourselves victims of graffiti or gossip  – God orchestrates a host of angels to discredit every unkind word or act. Isaiah 54:17 says, “No weapon fashioned against you will succeed, and you may condemn every tongue that disputes with you.”

“Where there’s no wood the fire dies down, and where there’s no gossip the quarrel comes to an end.” Proverbs 26: 20-22

No matter how you feel today – YOU are a fine work of God’s art. Get up! Dress up! Show up! And never give up! Keep company with God, get in on the best that God has for you. Keep nothing back from God and He will validate your life right before the eyes of those who deceitfully use you.

When God stamps His approval on you will get to your destination on time. Forgive and choose kindness. If you find happiness, there will always be someone who think you are overconfident. But be happy anyway. Not everyone you love will love you back in the right way. But love them anyway. The good you do may be overlooked. Do good anyway. Your peace is worth the effort.

Be that kind of person who never gives up and who believes in herself. 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Laugh Again

It’s FRIDAY ! It’s that time to laugh again. Life is too stressful not to have one day to simply laugh. I hope I can get you to smile.

Here’s to a fabulous weekend from my heart to yours.

Thank God It’s FRIDAY!

May all thoughts be happy and bright. Thank you for staying with me on this journey.

Without YOU there will be no ME. Blessings always .

See you on Monday when life gets busy again.

Your Family is Worth the Struggle

What brings me hope in the dynamics of any family setting is that even though Jesus’ disciples had their dysfunctions and failures He personally handpicked each of them to follow Him.

No one can change who they are related to by blood, but you can choose who will be in your inner circle. I wonder what Jesus’ was trying to teach us when He chose dysfunctional disciples like Judas who betrayed His trust, and Peter who denied knowing Him to be a part of His inner circle.  

God in all His infinite wisdom strategically selected every member of your family with all its different dynamics to be a part of your family tree. There maybe a thief, a drug addict, a liar, a judge, a lawyer, a banker, a housewife all sitting at the dinner table.

Oh, to be like Jesus who demonstrated such grace, patience, humility, compassion and mercy.

Family dynamics sometimes get tricky with all the different colorful characters but with an overflowing abundance of grace and patience we must manage our emotions and stay positive in very difficult and challenging circumstances.

Your family is worth the struggle, the time and the patience to hold the unit together as much as it is humanly possible. Harbouring unforgiveness, shame, anger, resentment in your heart can become very unhealthy for you and toxic to the family’s environment.

To be happy and free you must be prepared to hourly/daily/weekly leave all unhealthy words and emotions outside of the room. It’s extremely stressful to stop every time to remember what others have said or done to you last year or last evening,  

The most valuable member of the family is the one who has learned how to walk through the storms without the storms permanently changing who they are.

Watching for trigger topics and knowing what topics must remain off limits help to cope with difficult family dynamics. Everything doesn’t need to have a voice to it. Somethings are better left unsaid for the unity of the family.

Your family is worth fighting for. The devil will love to see families being torn apart because of strife, bitterness, resentment, betrayal , money, house and land , and everything else that we cannot take with us to the grave.

Every family that is torn apart to the point of even refusing to sit in a room together is a win for the devil. Every family that chooses to be held together despite the dysfunctions by the power of prayer is a win for God. .

To honor God as the Head of your home is like allowing your dad to sit at the head of the table as a mark of respect. You cannot have harmony in your home if the head of the home is not regarded with respect.

When God is respected – the conversations are easy on the ears. The attitudes are checked at the door. And a little food eaten in peace and quietness is better than a feast with strife.

You can start again this time with God as the head of the home. Your family is worth the time and the investment. If every member does better the community becomes stronger.

Every member of your family’s tree is being carefully arranged to show a beautiful portrait of grace, forgiveness and wisdom.

Don’t lose heart. It doesn’t matter what it looks like now – it’s all coming together.

Every storm runs out of rain, and every dark night turns into day.

Hold on, pain ends. Joy comes in the morning. This too will pass.