Happy Tree Planting Day 🌴

AUGUST 26 HEART TO HEART GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

PSALMS 1

There are TWO roads in life. One is the road that leads to Happiness, the other is the road that leads to The School of Hard Knocks.

No one with all the knowledge they have in hand will intentionally choose the School of Hard Knocks. Yet, some unintentionally find themselves there.

The Road to Happiness comes with restrictions and persons on that road must be strong willed and focused.

🌴 The road is marked by trees. Trees need water, sunlight, and the nutrients from the soil to grow well. The soil is the Word of God that massages the roots inspiring them to grow strong.

🌴 Many times on the Road to Happiness our branches will quiver during the storms creating doubts and fear. But when the roots are strong everyone can laugh at the storms.

🌴 If you ever felt like giving up just remember that there are branches depending on you to spread out … so don’t disappoint them.

🌴 Day or night. Night or day … your leaves will not wither and whatsoever you do will prosper.

🌴 Come rain or shine the roots are strong enough to hold up the branches.

🌴 Be like a tree. Stay grounded in the Word of God. Bend your knees before you break. Keep growing in faith. You can be scared and still keep growing at the same time.

🌴 Stay deeply rooted in God’s Word while looking for the sunshine.

🌴 Never disturb the roots. You will not topple over. Don’t give in to every wind that blows. Your strength is in the roots.

🌴 Depend on Christ only, drawing life and strength from him. Continue to grow stronger in your understanding of Him, and never stop giving thanks to God.

🌴 Storms make trees grow deeper. Fear not! Don’t be discouraged. You need to have strong roots before the branches grow. The branches are depending on you for strength.

HAPPY TREE PLANTING DAY 🌳🌴🎄🌲🌵🪴

JUNE 10 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Today’s Topic: Friendship 101

There’s a difference between being alone and loneliness. Sometimes I love being alone. I enjoy my space and independence. Just because I am alone doesn’t mean that I am lonely.

However, loneliness is another feeling that causes people to feel empty, alone, and unwanted. People who are lonely often crave human company. They hate being alone.

Friendship is God’s gift to us. Without friends, life is a boring and lonely road to walk. But not all friendships are worth our time. At some point in life, you will have to be honest with yourself, look at your friendships, and decide whether to keep them or let them go.

Thankfully, the Bible offers awareness on the topic:

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times.”

Philippians 2:2-4 “Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

Proverbs 16:28 “Troublemakers start fights; gossips break up friendships.”

Proverbs 27:6 “Trustworthy are the bruises of a friend; excessive are the kisses of an enemy.”

Proverbs 12:26 “Good people are careful about choosing their friends, but evil people always choose the wrong ones.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 “Don’t be fooled: “Bad friends will ruin good habits.”

Job 42:10 “Job prayed for his friends, and the Lord made Job successful again. The Lord gave him twice as much as he had before.”

When you have found good friends:

Rule #1 Practice self-control. Self control is the ability to control oneself, emotions, and feelings.

Rule #2 Mutual Respect. Mutual respect is when two people may not agree on everything, but they don’t get upset. They will work things out to the best interest of all.

Rule #3 Don’t live with ongoing drama. It’s draining and no one wants to be around ‘high maintenance’ and needy friends.

Friendship is not guaranteed. It takes love, respect, trust, understanding, friendship, and faith to make it last.

Two Quotes:

“Respect yourself to walk away from anyone or anything that no longer serve you, grows you, or makes you happy.”

“Three things in life that once lost are hard to build up are, friends, respect, and trust.

When life gets you down, count your blessings and not your troubles. When you count your blessings, you will realize that you are actually doing just fine.

The reality is that there will be difficult times, but God promises to be our place of safety.

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank you that we are never alone. Though sorrows befall us, and Satan oppose, you lead your dear children along. In Jesus Name, Amen

JUNE 9 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Today’s Topic: Watch Those Thoughts

Our thoughts become our words and our words become our actions. Healthy thoughts are trees of life so maintain them well. Words spoken can only be forgiven but never forgotten.

Conflict intensifies as we all have a need to be heard when there are different beliefs or viewpoints. When we misunderstand one another, feelings get hurt and resentment steps in.

Our thoughts become our words and our words become our actions. Words spoken in anger can never be recalled. Have you ever thrown a ball against a wall? The ball bounces right back to you.

James 3:7-9 says, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue.”

We should be picky with our choice of words as we are when we hear someone we love has passed away.

If words were weighed and then priced many of us will not be rich enough to purchase ‘unintentional’ words.

A sensitive answer is like fine wine it must be chosen wisely. You respond slowly and with wisdom leaving something for others to think about.

Proverbs 17:1 says, “A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.”

Someone said, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

A word spoken in the right tone calms a trouble soul. The Bible says that the thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasant words. The heart of the righteous studies to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Be the change you want to see in the world you live in.

If you live with hostility you will learn to fight. If you live with criticism, you will always be defensive. A loving person lives in a loving world. Be the change you want to see in the world you live in.

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”

2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 says, “Our weapons that we fight with aren’t human, but instead they are powered by God for the destruction of fortresses. They destroy arguments, and every defense that is raised up to oppose the knowledge of God. They capture every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Let’s do it God’s way by destroying arguments and every defense. Capture every thought and make it obedient to Christ.

Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry without sinning. Don’t let the sun set on your anger.”
If we believe God’s word, we will know it is possible to be angry without sinning by capturing every thought before they become words. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

PRAYER TIME: Father, we have been so careless with our words in those unguarded moments. Please forgive us and help us to control our thoughts making them submit to your image. In Jesus Name, Amen

JUNE 8 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Today’s Topic: Don’t Give Up

First, they will laugh. Then they will copy. Do. Not. Give. Up!

Have you ever experienced someone laughing at a comment you made or laughing at an idea you had? Laughing at others comes with a price. Dare I say a very exorbitant price. It means that someone must be the butt of the joke and immaturity is one of the biggest reasons why people laugh at others.

Another person’s insecurities and struggles should never be a sign for anyone to be condescending.

It’s bad enough if a stranger does it, but how much more when it’s someone whom you trusted and respected?

The danger of belittling is a form of abuse and is unpardonable.

You can certainly tell a lot about someone by what or who they laugh at.

But here’s the comeback friends. God certainly had unimaginable foresight into future life as it is written in Proverbs 31:25 that “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” When God is with you, you will not be bought to shame.

When God is ordering your steps, your strength grows just when it looks like you are falling apart. Be quiet and trust the process. God’s timing is never off. Be brave.

The LORD is close to all those who are heartbroken and protects those who feel abandoned.

There will always be naysayers. They are designed to be an integral part of your journey. Trust the process.

The story of Joseph proves God’s ability to change the outcome of misfortunes into a positive ending. God is always in control even when you think your world is out of control.

God remains faithful. God moves powerfully in our lives when we choose to engage Him in our decisions making.

God has used hard times in my life to help me change my view of Him. I used to view God as someone who would always take care of me physically but not emotionally. God does care about how you feel. He cares about every detail of your life. Accept God’s view and opinion for your life rather than embracing the world’s.

Psalms 147:3-6 says, “God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. God counts the stars by number, giving each one a name. Our Lord is great and strong! God’s knowledge can’t be grasped! The Lord helps the poor but throws the wicked down on the dirt!”

Misfortune and the unexpected are actually opportunities to find strength from God. Do not isolate when the unexpected happens.

See these times as opportunities to deepen your relationship with God and good friends. God always provides the way to overcome.

First, they will laugh. Then they will copy. Do. Not. Give. Up!

You are braver than you believe. You are stronger than you think. And smarter than others think.

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank You for clothing your children in strength and dignity. We will laugh at the days to come. Looking back, we have proven Your love and mercy and Your faithfulness. Thank you that we are not quitting or looking to other strange gods. We will trust Your timing. In Jesus Name, Amen

June 7 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Today’s Topic: Life is Different Stages

We are all performers on the stage of life. At birth we are welcomed on to the stage with hugs and kisses. The teenage years take you to the public arena where you can do whatever feels good until you get a reputation.

The adult stage is where you must show up every day struggling to juggle all the curveballs as quickly as they come.

The season of performances ends in the twilight years when the music fades and all is drift away longing to hold something of worth.

Life teaches us a lot about our strengths, weaknesses, values, principles, and morals.

James 4:13 says, Pay attention, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such-and-such a town. We will stay there a year, buying and selling, and making a profit.” You don’t really know about tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for only a short while before it vanishes.”

It’s unthinkable how we brag about what we will do tomorrow believing we know so much about what the next day brings. Our time on the stage of life is like a cloud with tiny water droplets floating invisible to the human’s eye.

One day we can be performing our best act on the stage of life only to vanish into thin air never to be seen again.

The stages of life are short, and no one knows when their exit will be.

Psalms 39:4 the Psalmist David says, “Lord, tell me, what will happen to me now? Tell me, how long will I live? Let me know how short my life really is.”

Since we have no idea when the curtain will be drawn after our last performance let’s avoid rushing through life collecting and fighting for things that we don’t know who will get after we die.

Our life is like an image in a mirror. We very often look and walk away forgetting what we looked like.

It is a sin when someone knows the right thing to do and doesn’t do it.

David the Psalmist asked God to lead him down the path of truth. If David asked God to lead him down the path of truth – therefore, there’s a path that leads to truth and a path that leads to lies. Life is too short to get lost at the crossroads.

Being annoyed, afraid, or angry about how brief life is without accepting divine guidance to be led into the path of truth is called folly.

Whenever you don’t know how you will get from one path to the other just bow your head and say a prayer. God always had a plan and will school you in the path you should go.

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank You for this life that you have set aside for us. We will daily walk in Your truth. Forgive us when we become weary and afraid. Through grace we will conquer. In Jesus Name, Amen

JUNE 3 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Today’s Topic: Hey! It’s Only A Test!!!!

“In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” Tom Bodett

James 1:2-4 “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work, so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

Welcome to adult life. It’s a journey where everyday you are given a test that teaches you a lesson.

In stressful situations it’s normal to feel very anxious because you weren’t prepared for whatever you are now confronting. Back in our school days when exams came around some of us would feel a fear of failure bought on by the pressure, we put on ourselves.

Anxiety is very normal when faced with uncertainty.

What is the best medication for anxiety bought on by a stressful situation?

James tells us to consider it a gift from God. Why? Because when you are under pressure your life of faith is force into the open revealing the true you.

It’s only a test. I find that the most important tests in life are the experiences that we can learn from, grow, and apply in our walk with God.

James encourages us not to get out of any test prematurely. Go through and grow through so you can become mature and well-developed in every way.

Every test, every difficulty, every problem, every challenge, every tear, every heartbreak, every sleepless night, every test you dreaded teaches you a lesson.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 “Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles. So, we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. That’s because what can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever.”

The next test you face allow it to change you on the inside forcing your life of faith to be revealed and at the same time it changes you to become more like a child of God.

We become “mature and complete” in Him at the end of the test not the beginning of the test. It’s the test result that marks the spot of maturity in God.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus “fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

The truth is Jesus Himself didn’t get exempted from test time.

We are all going through our own tests so that we may be “mature and complete” in our hearts for God. The breakup, the lack, the virus, not being able to achieve your goals, financial problems, chronic illness are all a test to reveal the real you.

We must have faith that God will help us with our own test as well.

Lesson 101: When you are under pressure what’s on the inside will come out. Make no mistake, mangoes when crushed don’t produce orange juice.

PRAYER TIME: Father, through every struggle in life you have been with us all the way. Make us mature and complete at the end of every test. In Jesus Name, Amen.

MAY 27 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Today’s Topic: It’s Going to Get Better

When you’re going through a difficult time, be it emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual it can be easy to lose faith and feel like you will never be happy again.

But the good news is, you can be brave enough to heal and move past it. The good Lord doesn’t give us more than we can handle. We can grow through our most difficult times.

Every day is a new day, and if you’re not feeling the strength to start your healing process today, there’s always tomorrow.

Remember, regardless of what you’re feeling or going through, this too will pass. It may hurt like a kidney stone, but it will pass for better days are coming.

The Lord is a great friend to have in your boat when the storms are intense.

Jeremiah 30:17 says, “But I will make you healthy again. I will heal your wounds,” announces the Lord.”

Sometimes to heal, you must be brave to accept that struggles are essential, but the Lord is always keeping watch over you, like a shepherd over his sheep.

He will support you in trying times. God is not unjust. He will heal your wounds. In the end you will have great peace if you refuse to become stuck in the wind of uncertainty.

The years mingled with pain and regret are designed to build a friendship with God. Time spent alone with God can be turned into your success story.

Psalms 107:19-21 says, “So they cried out to the Lord in their distress, and God saved them from their desperate circumstances. God gave the order and healed them; he reached them from their pit. Let them thank the Lord for his faithful love, and his wonderous works for all people.”

No matter how heartbroken you may feel, God can put your life back together. You will heal. Give it time. God’s mercies are new every morning. From the rising of the sun to after the sun is set. Remind yourself that you are not a failure.

Isaiah 40:29 says, “He gives strength to those who are tired. He gives power to those who are weak.”

The Lord knows we are not perfect, so be open about those things that don’t please Him, and we will be greatly rewarded. The gift of peace is greater than any riches can bring. Have faith that the Lord will guide you toward a peaceful future. No one is beyond the grace of God.

Healing goes hand in hand with thanksgiving and praise. God rewards a grateful heart. Stay humble! Stay faithful! Stay thankful! Though your prayers may not always be answered when we want them to be, never doubt the power of Jesus.

PRAYER TIME: Father, we have faith that you are always near to answer our calls. Even through the pain we will never walk alone. In Jesus Name, Amen