A Different Friday

It’s a Friday with a difference. There’s a time to laugh and a time to cry.

Life is short. There’s no time to leave important words unsaid. If we wait until we are ready it will always be too late.

Let’s fight for each other. No longer can we be silent. Your battles are mines and mines should be yours.

Have a fabulous weekend and take time to say the things you always wanted to say. Live! Laugh! Love!

Thursday February 4 Grown Up Conversations

When the Brook Dries Up

What do we do when all our resources dry up? We must learn to encourage one another because God answers prayers in ways pass our understanding just when we think it’s over. Psalms 94: 17-19 “If God hadn’t been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, “I’m slipping, I’m falling,” your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up.”

No matter what you may be going through it’s a guarantee as a child of God that you are not facing life alone. God is with you and He has already determined that this is not how your story will end with a dried-up brook. God is at your side, with God’s help you will make it.

Find someone who can pray with you and for you.

Matthew 18:19 says, “Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”

The scripture teaches us that not one sparrow will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

A lack of resources makes anyone anxious but if we never had a lack how will we know that the scripture is true where it says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, to Him be the glory.” When our resources run dry and the brook dries up God can do more than you and I can ever imagine. Do not be afraid. You are worth more to God than the birds in the air.

In the end, we come full circle around that God never fails. I remember my Mom having a plaque with the words ‘God never fails” and I’m guessing that’s why her children are still standing firm in faith. It worked for her raising her children and certainly it has worked for me regardless how anxious I may feel when life sometimes plays out in slow motion.

God uses whatever we have in our hand to start multiplying. A little faith, a little scripture, and small steps gets His attention. God knows you are depending on Him and He will not make you ashamed. We live everyday by faith that’s the currency God uses beyond our wildest dreams. Being a Christian does not exempt you or I from the normal everyday experiences of low resources, no resources, or dried up brook.

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.”

Prayer Time: Father, thank you that you will never disappoint those who put their faith in you. When things are under your control they will never be out of control. You are an on-time God bigger than any brook that dried up or the resources that are no longer able to sustain us. Thank you, Father, for every blessing from above. In Jesus Name, Amen

February 3 Grown Up Conversations

Psalms Wednesday

Psalm 91

Easy-to-Read Version

You can go to God Most High to hide.

You can go to God All-Powerful for protection.

I say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety, my fortress. My God, I trust in you.”

God will save you from hidden dangers and from deadly diseases.

You can go to him for protection. He will cover you like a bird spreading its wings over its babies.

You can trust him to surround and protect you like a shield.

You will have nothing to fear at night and no need to be afraid of enemy arrows during the day.

You will have no fear of diseases that come in the dark or terrible suffering that comes at noon.

A thousand people may fall dead at your side or ten thousand right beside you, but nothing bad will happen to you!

All you will have to do is watch, and you will see that the wicked are punished.

You trust in the Lord for protection. You have made God Most High your place of safety.

So, nothing bad will happen to you. No diseases will come near your home.

He will command his angels to protect you wherever you go. Their hands will catch you so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.

You will have power to trample on lions and poisonous snakes.

The Lord says, “If someone trusts me, I will save them. I will protect my followers who call to me for help. When my followers call to me, I will answer them. I will be with them when they are in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will give my followers a long life and show them my power to save.”

February 2 Grown Up Conversations

Rule Your World

Quote: “Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?”

What are some of the things we can control?

  • How many times we smile and say, ‘I love you’
  • Your health
  • Mental and emotional state of mind
  • Competing with others
  • When do we choose to walk away from a confrontation?
  • How much time we spend trying to convince people you’re right
  • How much you enjoy the things you have right now
  • How much do we eat
  • What time we go to bed
  • What time we wake up

We should only focus on what we personally have control over.

What are some things we can’t control?

  • Weather
  • Other people’s actions, and reactions
  • Other people’s opinions and thoughts
  • Other people’s beliefs
  • Other people’s happiness
  • Other people’s mess
  • Our Past
  • Future
  • Changes
  • Time

We must learn to let go of those things we have no control over.

The Bible says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.”

Nothing is more frustrating than when you find yourself out of habit trying to control things, you have no control over.

Someone said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”

It’s insane to try and control time, weather, and people. It’s like beating the wind. It’s all in vain. 

Rule your world and live your best life. Don’t worry. Don’t be angry. Be grateful for everything. Be kind to everyone. Say ‘I love you’ until it becomes your preferred choice of words. Surround yourself with people who love to laugh.

Quote: “Let your smile change the world. But don’t let the world change your smile.”

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Life in itself is beautiful without the need to try and control the uncontrollable. Everyday we wake up is a miracle. Every breath we take is a gift. Make your miracle and your gift a worthwhile offering to God.

Today, we will choose to remember the days we prayed for the things we have now.

Quote: “Be strong, but not rude. Be kind, but not weak. Be bold, but don’t bully. Be humble, but not shy. Be proud, but not arrogant.”

PRAYER TIME: Father, we know the plans you have for us are to prosper us and not to harm us. They are plans to give us hope and a bright future. Thank you, Jesus, that our lives are in your hand. In Jesus Name, Amen

February 1 Grown Up Conversations

You cannot Help Everyone

Sadly, there is no perfect place to live on planet earth to avoid seasons of life. We have seasons to heal, seasons to mourn, seasons to tear down and seasons to build whether you are affluent or underprivileged.

Life is more than what we eat, where we live, and what we wear. To survive the seasons of life it’s important we find a quiet place where we can be honest before God. No fancy words, long prayers, or pretense required. It’s your one-on-one-time with God alone.

When our environment is shifted towards God, we will begin to feel a sense of peace and reassurance.

Quote “You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick.” Where is your focus? What are you tolerating? How are you living?

To move from season to season we need to prepare to spend alone time in the presence of God. We very often find ourselves sweating over the small stuff in life while caring for ourselves and others with the hope we can somehow ease everyone’s pain while we are dealing with our own.

We must come to the complete understanding that no significant healing can take place without first changing our mental and emotional and spiritual environment.

If someone’s environment is toxic and they see nothing wrong about it then you can pray with them until you suffer the loss of your voice, they will keep on developing unhealthy symptoms while draining your energy.

Quote: “A shark in a fish tank will grow 8 inches, but in the ocean, it will grow 8 feet or more.”

No one will ever achieve their full potential if they refuse to change their environment even if you give them everything they will ever need for the rest of their lives. You cannot change anyone who does not see an issue with their mess.

Jesus did not spend all His time healing people. He taught them to love God. Love their neighbor as themselves. Forgive others who have wronged them. Love their enemies. Ask God for forgiveness of sins and to turn from their old ways.

Yes, God can physically heal. Yes, He can emotionally heal. Yes, He can financially heal. God can do anything but change your environment for you. Your environment is your personal decision.

We can’t be everything to everyone while trying to handle our own stuff. Jesus didn’t heal everyone.  At some point in life, you have to realize when you have done too much for some folks. Sometimes no matter how much you have done to help someone their challenges will remain the same until they decide to change their environment.

The message is simple. You cannot help anyone who refuses to help themselves get out of their toxic mental, emotional, and spiritual environment. Persons who are at risk in coping with season changes need to have their own personal encounter with Jesus Christ to be protected from the trauma of everyday life.

Prayer Time: Father, we cannot control anyone else but we can control our thoughts, words, choices, actions, and our environment. Grant to us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change. The courage we change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. In Jesus Name, Amen

January 28 Grown Up Conversations

Who Moved the Hedge?

The Bible says in Job chapter one that Satan who is our accuser, walks to and fro on the earth checking things out. He is observing our ins and outs with the sole intention of launching his attacks where it hurts the most.

One day God was having a conversation with Satan and this is how it went:

God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job?

Satan responded, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose!

“But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”

God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead – do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.”

The Bible says then Satan left the presence of God.

I often wonder what kind of conversation God and Satan are having about me. I wonder if God can brag about me in confidence. Will God say to Satan – “Go ahead—do what you want with all that is hers. Just don’t hurt her.”

When you look at your life is there any evidence that probably Satan and God have been having similar conversations? Will you stay faithful to God if everything you have was taken away from us in a blink of an eye?

This kind of conversation I find very fascinating.

Satan can do NOTHING without God’s approval. God always has the last word in ALL conversations. God does whatever He sees fit to do. Regardless of all the losses Job faced he did not sin nor accuse God with anything wrong.

There will be times while trying to cope with our losses the rumors fly around like hot bread straight out of the oven. Our haters make it much more difficult to live with our grief, but we must be determined not to lose heart nor accuse God of any wrong doings. Stand firm in faith.

We are not fighting alone. Stay faithful to God who gives us the grace to outlast the test. As human we will always have many questions with no easy answers. But be assured that the difficult situations we face as children of God are permitted by God to test our faith and in all of this, we will not do wrong nor blame God foolishly.

The Bible says that Job fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

In our most vulnerable times when our strength is being severely tested may we always remember that the Lord gives and takes away and we will continue to bless His name forever. We came into the world empty handed and we will leave this world empty handed. No one ever died taking everything they own.

We may never have all the answers to why some things happen, but we will choose to keep the faith, no matter how terrible things look. Hold fast to your integrity.

Prayer Time: Father, I pray as we go through our times of testing like Job we will not sin or accuse you of doing us wrong. We will not lose hope in you. In Jesus Name, Amen

January 27 Grown Up Conversations

Psalms Wednesday

Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. I will trust in the secret place of thy wings.

For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name. Thou wilt prolong the king’s life: and his years as many generations.

He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Quote: “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” “What wings are to a bird and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.”

PRAYER TIME: Father, may you guide our feet wherever we may go. We always feel confident when we see things are lining up with your plan for our lives. You alone will get the glory. We do not need to have full disclosure about our future because your eyes are keeping watch. Teach  us to pray more and worry less. In Jesus Name, Amen

January 26 Grown Up Conversations

Every MESS there’s a MESSAGE

There’s an interesting story found in Genesis 16 of two women Hagar the mother of Ishmael and Sarah the mother of Isaac. Sarah was childless and, in her eagerness, to have a child she gave her handmaid Hagar to her husband Abraham. However, when Hagar became pregnant, Sarah became unhappy with her and began to treat her differently. Hagar runs away into the wilderness and an angel of the Lord found her sitting at a well.

The angel said, “Go back to Sarah, and continue to be her handmaiden. The LORD will give you a son, who will be called Ishmael, because God has heard your cry for help.”

Ishmael means ‘God listens.”

The story went on when Ishmael was about 14 years old Sarah gave birth to her son Isaac whom God had promised. One day Sarah saw Isaac and Ishmael playing together and, fearing that Ishmael would also become part heir to the throne, she begged her husband to send Hagar away.

With only bread and water Hagar and Ishmael ran away into the wilderness. She accepted that this was the end of their lives. 

Once again God sees her and calls out to her showing her a well of water that will sustain her and Ishmael.

The Bible says God promised her that Ishmael would be blessed and that he “will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.” (Genesis 17).

Can I remind you that God sees, listens, and responds to every tear, heartbreak, disappointment, and rejection?

What an unfortunate situation Hagar found herself in which was far beyond her control as a slave. But God can turn any mess into a message if we allow Him to have the last word in our lives.

God did not abandon Hagar the first time when the angel met her at the well nor the second time when she was thrown out of Sarah’s home with her child. Wilderness experiences reminds us that God never abandons His own. He sees and He listens.

Both times God provided for Hagar when she trusted Him. Obedience to God brings multiple blessings for you and your children. We can take the risk of trusting God for everything we will ever need. God looks beyond our failures and shortcomings. His grace and mercy turn every mess into an intriguing message.

God is El Roi the God who sees you and me. He knows how the mess got started. All he requires is that we walk in obedience to His Word. He miraculously turns our mess into our greatest pride and joy.

Heartbroken Hagar called God – El Roi – The God who sees.

The questions are: Why are we running? Where are we running to? Who are we running from? Can we trust God to give us our greatest win out of the messy situation?

Quote: “God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling.

If you ever need someone to just listen, then pray. God sees, and He listens.

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank you that nothing is hidden from your sight. We are reminded that you are El Roi – the God who sees and listens. Thank you that our mess will be our greatest message because things are turning around in our favor. In Jesus Name, Amen

January 25 Grown Up Conversations

Don’t Panic

Why should you read the Bible? 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul writes that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”

If we go a day without eating anything and then a week and then a month, our body will become weaker and weaker with each passing day and we will eventually die.

Quote: “You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy, or fake.”

As God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit – so we are body, soul, and spirit. When we read God’s Word it feeds our mind, soul, and spirit. We are what we read, so don’t go one day without reading the Word of God otherwise you will be an easy catch for Satan, diminish your worth, or end up being fake. The Word of God teaches us everything we need to know about life and the after-death judgement day. It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27

We are living in very uncertain times.

The times we are living in many will claim to know God’s mind and will deceive many. If you and I don’t read the Word of God for ourselves we will be deceived and lead to believe other people’s opinions. When we fill our minds with the Word of God, we will have no room to believe Satan’s lies. We have been hearing about wars and rumors of wars. God’s Word says – see to it that you be not frightened, shocked, or worried.

From time to time, we hear folks say, ‘How can a good God allow this?’ The truth is, God created a world where people could choose. God would not force anyone to stop their evil behavior. Human behavior and their refusal to obey God’s Word has created the evil that waits outside our doors. For those who choose to make Jesus Lord of their lives God’s Word promises us there will come a day when God will wipe every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.

God’s Word says evil will always be present in our lives BUT Psalm 112:7 says, “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass.”

Knowing God is like finding a safe haven in the times of unrest.

Psalms 115:2-3 “Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; He does as He pleases.”

Reasons why you don’t need to panic:

  • Proverbs 15:3 “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.”
  • Psalm 121:8 “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.”
  • Genesis 31:49 “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.”
  • Psalm 34:15 “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry.”
  • Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.”

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank you for your Word, you word gives HOPE in a world filled with fear and bad news. We will not be afraid our heart is fixed, trusting in you. Considering all the evil that surrounds us we will not be troubled for all these things must come to pass. In Jesus Name, Amen