Stay on Track

Sometimes we set the bar so high for ourselves that when someone keeps moving the goal post and we fail to achieve our targets … immediately the war in our minds begin and the trend of crazy thoughts come fast and furious. We know from past experiences the difficulty of saying, ‘I need to let it go’ and doing it.

We desperately try to stay calm in the chaos while trying to steer our ourselves back on course. There’s an active internal war raging within you that gives you every logical reason to give up than to keep fighting to the end.

Our thoughts when left unattended are like human cargo sitting on an unmanned ship heading to an ultimate crash with little chance of anyone surviving. It’s a disaster waiting to happen if we allow our thoughts to go by unchecked. God promised to keep us in perfect peace if we keep our minds stayed on Him. So the war is ongoing my friends.

The struggle to keep in the game if someone keeps moving the goal post each time is as real as it can get. We are tempted to quit because we feel disadvantaged. But from where do we get help in times when we feel disadvantaged? Our help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

How do you carry on with regular activities when someone keeps moving the goal post? Call on the Name of Jesus for He is the one who goes before you and makes every crooked path straight. Do not fear or be disheartened. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows many ways to get you to the finished line.

The LORD knows that you are tired from the heavy burden you have been forced to carry. He promises to give you rest. Accept it and learn while staying on the job, it’s the only way you will be able to get some rest. Our goal is to get to the place where we are no longer exhausted and burnt out from the fights … but we confidently come before God with all our shortcomings.

It’s like having a parent who sits with you in your darkest moments speaking words of encouragement. He will not even allow your own mind or feelings to overpower you. It’s a safe place where we are strengthen and we don’t become victims of Satan’s mind games.

God knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. It’s like baking a cookie and knowing it can crumble if it falls to the ground … so you handle it with care until you place it in a safe place. God remembers we are dust and He knows we can crumble if we hit a rough patch in life.

Sufficient for the day is its own trouble … so get ready to apply the brakes on the unmanned ship of destructive thoughts. In these moments we will do one of two things: Draw closer to God or pull away from Him. Let’s muster all the strength we have remaining and draw closer to God because He sincerely cares for us. When our hearts are overwhelmed, He will never permit the righteous to be moved.

So, we do not lose heart when we look at the shifting goal post. Get Wisdom! Get Understanding! When you do what is right, you will live longer and you will shine brighter. Keep your eyes straight ahead and avoid all sideshow distractions. Look neither to the right or the left … leave evil behind

Anyone who look to God will not lack anything … therefore encourage each other. God doesn’t always take away the pain that we are dealing with, but He does give us comfort.

A Conversation with Ourselves

It’s not how you started or where you came from … first you must crawl, then walk, and then run but giving up is not an option. You will encounter failures and doubts along the journey but one day you will look back and be glad that you didn’t give up.

When we were children, we thought and reasoned like children. When we were teenagers, we lived ‘nine lives’ taking huge risks and breaking speed limits in every unimaginable way. Then the great 30’s and 40’s came along and suddenly life doesn’t look like a crazy joyride anymore. The reality made many weep for fear of getting old.

Sadly, it’s at this intersection some folks quickly forget only to pick up speed trying to capture the best pictures of life as they hang over the cliff of the 40’s and up. It’s at this crossroad where I caution you not to exchange your integrity for approval.

It will be a tragedy to reach to the end of your life and realize that your priorities were messed up and you have no more time to carry out the plans and purpose that GOD carried in HIS HEART for you.

Our gifts and skills will make room for us but being lazy will make you a slave to the lender. At the END of life we WILL be called to attend our final appearance at the table where our APPRAISAL/ PERFORMANCE REVIEW will be conducted … it’s the Frivolous vs Purpose reality check point.

Choices and generational curses are to be carefully managed as they can ruin our reputations.

Never give up. Never look back. Never look down unless you’re helping someone else up. Don’t let anyone make you feel unworthy. If someone is strong enough to bring you down, get right back up because you’re not a victim. You were born to shine.

If someone offers to pay me a huge lump sum of great wealth to re-live my life at any age from birth till my current age of 64 plus years … I will decline without hesitation and kick my shoes off and fall right into my sofa with great laughter. Why one may ask?

When I was a child, I thought as a child … but at my age now … I’m much wiser than I have ever been in all my life … and so my purpose in life has been upgraded to a higher standard.

God has turned my curses into blessings. I’m walking in freedom and I’m no longer a slave to people’s opinions, generational curses and to anything in my past. I’m actually living my best life at an age that most folks are terrified of reaching. Everything that was meant to destroy me became my stepping stones. When I’m called for my appraisal/performance review I want to boldly step forward and say, ‘Here I am.

Finally, the LORD specializes in turning curses into blessings and He’s good at bringing laughter into your life in the middle of the bleakest situations. It’s been proven that we can experience peace in the scariest moments of life.

God takes you on a path that ends with blessings that you never imagined… keep walking with purpose and a plan. Everything that the enemy INTENDED for pain and shame in your life, the LORD TURNS them into blessings. It’s all working in your favor. And the lessons and experiences …. they are important for your story.

That Friday Feeling

Cheers to everyone who came through this week singing inspite of the ups and downs.

It’s the little things in life that makes us grateful and thankful for everything.

It’s F.R.I.D.A.Y …. it’s time to L.A.U.G.H again.

So thankful we made it to the end of the week smiling. Without YOU, there’s no ME. THANK YOU!

Have a fabulous weekend and take time to hug your family and friends.

See you on Monday when I get to share my thoughts again.

Be safe! Love to ALL!

Don’t allow Anyone to Change who YOU Are

David was a young man that went everywhere King Saul sent him … and he did well at everything. Everyone including Saul and his servants were pleased with him … UNTIL David returned from killing the Philistine and the women came out singing and dancing on the streets celebrating David’s victory. Then, the friendship between David and King Saul quickly changed into hatred and the love fest turned ugly.

Saul became jealous of David’s ability, success, and popularity with the people. “For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” (James 3:16).

AHA Moment: Instead of being jealous, God wants us to be thankful for other’s blessings. Jealousy is dangerous and leads to other kinds of sin. We must guard our hearts.

Sometimes in life we will encounter wins in life after experiencing many losses. Some people will stay in your corner while you are experiencing losses … but the very same folks will quickly disappear when you are winning. There’s always a great chance that some folks can become unimpressed with the loud cheers and the accolades from the crowds.

AHA Moment: In life there’s a purpose for everyone you meet. But setting boundaries is healthy because you only what to attract those who will never make you question their loyalty. The real tribe are the ones who stay with you in the valley and on the mountaintop.

To err is human … it’s a fact of life. We cannot change how people treat us or what they say about us … our power lies in how we choose to react when mistakes are repeated. David behaved wisely when praise and popularity came. It didn’t corrupt him.

AHA Moment: Set proper expectations for yourself . No one builds a beautiful house and doesn’t live in it. It’s good to find enjoyment in all you’ve worked for during the few days of your lives which God has given to you. God has given to everyone of us the ability to eat and enjoy the fruits of our hard work. It is a gift when you can live well and enjoy your life and not have to beg for bread. Just guard against it corrupting you.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 6 that even if we live a thousand years twice and DOES NOT enjoy your success it is fruitless and a grave tragedy.

As much as lies within you … live at peace with everyone … that it may go well with you, your household and the generations to follow. Do not hide yourself from helping others. If your enemy hunger, feed him. If he’s thirsty, give him drink.

AHA Moment: The more words that are spoken, the more trash talk there is in the air… and no one is better off. No one knows what the next chapter of our lives will be … so as much as it is possible live at peace.

Be content with what you have and don’t assume that better things might turn up sometime in the future. Build with whatever is in your hands and the work will never stop. A good reputation is better than having a fat bank account. The end of things is better than beginnings. Build! Build! Build!

AHA Moment: Our death date tells more than our birth date. We learn more at someone’s funeral than we learn at a wedding. On any good day, enjoy yourself. On a bad day, take a moment to reflect because God allows the both days to come to us, so that we will not take anything for granted.

FINALLY: The LORD your God would not listen to anyone who send a curse your way … but the LORD your God will turn the curse into a blessing for you because He loves you. God made us all picture perfect … it’s we who have messed up the images.

Not a drop of Wine or Beer was Pouring

If our Heavenly Father says to any of us — ‘You can have anything in the world your heart desires and I will give it to you.’ I hope I would have a swift response so that God can take action immediately. Can God trust me enough to give me what my heart desires, and can I trust God enough to believe He would give me what I ask for?

My mind goes back to Hannah … we all know her for her sorrow. She longed for a son as she was a barren wife and the shame was too much for her to bear. We read that she daily went to the temple bringing her #1 request to the LORD. She was desperate for a miracle and knew that her present condition was NOT God’s final answer.

For years she was laughed at, mocked and scorned because of her childlessness. Even the priest jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk as she wept and prayed in her heart with only her lips moving.

Hannah’s response: “Oh no, sir—please! I’m a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I haven’t been drinking. Not a drop of wine or beer. The only thing I’ve been pouring out is my heart, pouring it out to God. Don’t for a minute think I’m a bad woman. It’s because I’m so desperately unhappy and in such pain that I’ve stayed here so long.” 1 Samuel 1:15-16

As faithful as God is to His promises … in 1 Samuel 2:21 it says, “And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.” = 6 children in total

Like Hannah some of us have found ourselves many times at the altar bringing our barrenness (emptiness, dead situations) to the LORD. And suddenly the answers begin to tumble and kick inside us as we wait on the Lord. What we feel inside will always reveal our level of expectancy.

May our postures at the altar keep us there until the LORD answers. People looking on may jump to conclusions like the priest who observed Hannah at the altar as she wept and prayed silently … but we know that all we have been doing is pouring out our heart to the LORD … and not a drop of wine or beer is responsible for our sorrowful spirit.

God interprets our tears and reads our hearts and if we do not faint ... we will laugh heartily at the days to come. There’s no shame in praying long and hard and waiting at the altar for as long as God takes to answer. To be emotionally barren means you have challenges to overcome but the good news is, God allows the barrenness to prove that what is impossible with humans is a miracle waiting to happen with God.

If there’s no barrenness … there will be no excitement to witness a miracle in the making. God has chosen you to be emotionally barren … not everyone gets chosen to birth a miracle.

The LORD will make you laugh and everyone who hears of this will laugh with you. You will be a joyful woman and will give birth to new beginnings. There’s a kind of laughter bought on when it looks as though you missed the last train only to see a helicopter landing on the runway with your name on it.

Great verse to bring this to a close is found in Exodus 1:12 — the more you are mocked and ridiculed is the more you will grow in faith and those looking on will not be able to stand before you.

‘You can have anything in the world your heart desires, just ask me. Signed, GOD’

Who’s Guarding the Guard?

We have heard it said that life doesn’t come with a manual or instructions … and it’s impossible to live a life free from mistakes and wrong turns. But as most of us have come to realize that mistakes are costly even though we can learn from the lessons.

There’s a children’s song based on a dialogue between two persons called Henry and Liza … the song is, ‘There’s a hole in My Bucket’ and it’s pretty much a heated dialogue between Henry who has a leaky bucket, and Liza who tells him to fix it.

How do we fix a leaky bucket in a marriage? What is the next step after crying about the milk that spilled? Can we recover after our mistakes? Is it true that life doesn’t come with a manual or instructions? I think that God will be sloppy or inconsiderate to send us to earth without instructions.

One day as I pondered on what I thought was the greatest excuse in life for failing grades —‘Life didn’t come with a manual’ … my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of me turning my pages in the Bible. I paused and thought to myself that it’s been over 2000 years that these instructions about life were written. Then it dawned on me that we humans had the lamest excuse of all times.

The Bible has many interesting characters that will fit right into today’s society like: Abraham -Was old before he had his promised child. Elijah – Was suicidal. Joseph – Was abused. Job – Went bankrupt. Moses – Had a speech problem. Gideon – Was afraid. Samson – Was a womanizer. Rahab – Was a prostitute. Just to name a few interesting characters.

When I mean the Bible has EVERYTHING pertaining to life … I mean EVERYTHING. So, it’s inaccurate to say that we did not have a manual or instructions … God is not sloppy or inconsiderate to send us without instructions. It’s more accurate to say we did not read the manual.

The Bible says that when the HEAD of the home is FULLY armed, and he GUARDS his own home everything will be SAFE. But IF someone stronger than him attacks the home and conquers … he takes his security in which he trusted and divides the belongings.

Our homes can be a safe place when we give Jesus Christ permission to be The Head and to rule in the affairs of our homes. Everything remains safe from someone stronger and more powerful attempting to break in and divide us.

When we do things that are pleasing in our own eyes … it becomes dangerous and someone stronger comes and steals all that we have toiled and labored for. What happens in the privacy of our homes determines who is standing guard at the door.

If I’m asked what the biggest decision any family can make … my answer will be found in Ecclesiastes 4:12 “One can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn’t easily snap.” Jesus, you and your spouse make up the three-ply cord that will hold your entire world together.

When trouble arises and they will … we look to Jesus Christ who is stationed at the entrance of the home with over 2000 years of experience and has an excellent track record. Jesus says, “In this world you will ALWAYS have trouble. But take heart! I have OVERCOME this world.”

Big trouble, little trouble … we all will have trouble … God’s Word is clear. There will be trouble … but TAKE HEART! Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Life did come with instructions but we didn’t spend time to read the manual. Unless the LORD builds the home we labor in vain. Unless the LORD keeps watch, the security company watches in vain. Know who’s guarding the guard.

It’s Easy to Become Puffed Up

Our responsibility as parents is to teach our children that love and obedience go hand in hand. My Mom used to tell us, ‘DELAYED obedience is disobedience.’ When love is at its best—honor, respect and submission comes naturally … never resisted.

Children that grow up without honor, respect and submission to God will become adults that think nothing they do is wrong. Our children may not have known or seen the many kind acts of the LORD … but we know that if it had not been for the LORD intervening and disrupting the evil plans of the enemy our troubles would have increased.

The Word of God cautions us not to allow our hearts to deceive us into believing that everything we have in life was all our doings lest we turn aside and begin to serve other gods (material possessions, careers, family) and worship them. It’s very easy to fall into a ‘State of Pride’ where we take pleasure in our achievements and successes.

Pride is hard to detect when all is well, and we are ruling our kingdom.

The person who understands the kindness of the Savior stays humble because they could have had far less than they have now. After we have eaten and our children are full we must not forget the LORD who bought us out of difficult times. When God can trust us, He blesses us more.

The LORD’s anger can be provoked if we miss the opportunity to honor Him in the presence of our children … and the heavens can be shut up. It’s easy to become puffed up with pride over our wins … and our children if we are not careful, they will forget that it’s called GOD.

1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “What are you so puffed up about? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why act as though you are so great, and as though you have accomplished something on your own?”

God has given us the sole responsibility to teach our children when we sit in our homes, when we walk, when we lie down, and when we are awake what the LORD has done for us. Deuteronomy 6:7 … We are to teach them that there is a blessing and a curse set before them.

Blessings that makes us rich and adds no sorrow if we obey the commandments of the LORD our God — to love the LORD our God, to walk in all His ways, and to obey His laws. A curse if we do not obey the laws of the LORD and turn aside and go after other gods (prosperity, destructive behavior, greed ) which we have not known.

Even one parent or grandparent can have a great influence on the family. We read in 1 Timothy 1:5 — Timothy had a sincere faith, a faith that was first in his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, and that faith lived on in him. The greatest legacy we can pass on is a legacy of character and faith. It’s not money and material things we leave in our will after we die… but the stories that are edged in our children’s minds of a faithful God while we are alive.

It’s our Godly faith that levels the playing field for the rich, poor, educated, and the voiceless. We can have nothing or everything … but without Jesus our life will be the most miserable of them all.