It’s a heart condition.

All people have a past. All people have been hurt by other people, sometimes within their own families, making communicating difficult.

The enemy of our soul does not want us unified.  Whether it is within a family or a Nation, Satan will drop accusations in our soul [mind, will, emotions] to keep strife [anxiety] stirred up.

Side note: How we process things in our minds has a lot of how we have been conditioned growing up.

When I was a child, people communicated that I was a burden. Combine with my childhood environment, there was always a struggle in every area of life, overwhelming sadness, which would lead to rage.  And the internal dialog I had: ‘You are not good enough.’  ‘You’re a low life.’  ‘You will never amount to anything good.’ Etc.

These things created my filter or lens of how I saw myself and the world around me. Whenever I would have any interaction with another person; I would ‘react’ based on my programming; that I wasn’t measuring up. Right or wrong, this was my world, and it got to the point where I didn’t want to do life anymore.

God wants us to have a fully abundant life [John 10:10]. That doesn’t mean that we have many ‘things’ but to have peace and joy. God wants us to know that He loves us with such extravagant love that He has made a way for our tormented souls to have such peace and joy.

It wasn’t until I knew [believed with my heart] what God thinks of me that I could stop those derogatory words I repeatedly heard within me. I am not sure if you ever heard the term, the battlefield of the mind, but it is actual. Our minds are in a constant battle. That is until we learn to keep our thoughts in line with what the Bible says.  

I am still learning to walk in my identity in Jesus, seeing myself as God sees me. But in those times, I become ‘fleshy’ [my behavior not lining up who I am, and my beliefs] I pull myself aside. I quiet my soul and listen to Holy Spirit minister to my spirit. I get heaven’s perspective, seeing the situation more clearly. Then and only then am I able to gain control over my emotions once again.

I believe that whenever a person loses control over their emotions, the enemy has become the puppeteer, pulling our strings, and we are just his puppet.

But who has that kind of time to process, especially when we are in the middle of a stressful situation?!

Practice. For me, I have to mentally pull myself aside, ask Father God to put me in a bubble, and protect me from the accusations my carnal mind is speaking. I ask Him to allow truth to wash over my mind and emotions. I anchor myself in what GOD say’s about me. Sometimes the less spoken is best, even when the other person is wanting dialog.

So if you find yourself in a position where you feel that you’ve done something wrong, or maybe even rejected, ask Papa God; What is the truth in this situation? What does your word say?      

2 Corinthians 10:5-6 The Message

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools [The Word of God] for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. Parenthesis mine

I Remember 9.11

9/11

Never Forget – I remember this day. I was 36 years old, Bob was 40, Ashley was 13, and Kory turned 12 the month before. 

When the attacks first happened, I was clueless. It wasn’t until I went into work at the public school where we lived at the time did I hear that terrorists had attacked our Nation. I stood in disbelief in what I was hearing; this type of thing doesn’t happen to America, I thought to myself. Indeed someone is a little dramatic. But sadly enough, I learned it was true. 

One of my jobs as support staff was to go to each building office to pick up and deliver internal office mail. I was shocked to see and hear that the classrooms with televisions had live news reports. Even back then, I felt that we [as a society] was too obsessed with watching the news reports as our source of life.

I was broken-hearted to hear the loud ‘bangs’ and glass shattering – knowing it was men and women jumping from the skyscrapers and hitting the cars below. I cried for days, and couldn’t even turn on the television.

Churches came together with leaders, and we had corporate prayer times for weeks that followed. People were compassionate toward one another. And grace was extended to those who seem preoccupied with heavy hearts.

Little did I know in 2001, my oldest, Lisa, was going to school there in New York. And if you know my story, Lisa and I were united together back in 2008. It was a few years later that I learned that Lisa was there on 9-11-2001.

We were sitting outside in the back yard, talking and enjoying the beautiful sunny day. Suddenly Lisa shuddered as we heard an airplane was descending to land.

Hearing a plane descend wasn’t anything out of the normal. When asking Lisa if she was okay, she shared a small part of that day.

It was chaos, people running everywhere. Mind you, Lisa would have just turned 20 years old. All I wanted to do was run to the subway.  But before entering the underground, I was met by a man. He would not let me pass him even though I explained to him that I “had” to. Unexpectedly this man picked me up and ran [so fast] out of the area and tucked me in a storefront far away from where we were. As soon as he put me down, I went to turn toward him to thank him, but he was gone.

After she told me that, I instantly had goosebumps [god bumps], and this was dropped in my heart, “Even though you were in denial of what happened to you years ago. Every time you prayed protection over your children, that included Lisa.”

Still today, this makes me tear up. And it reinforces my faith that GOD HEARS MY PRAYERS! GOD HEARS OUR PRAYERS.

My heart goes out to all those individuals who were there in New York, the Pentagon, and on that plane that crashed in PA on that day. As well for those who lost loved ones, and for the rest of us, that remember. 

I finish this with a short prayer.

Papa God, thank you that you hear our prayers. Thank you that you are a loving God, who only wants to see us walk out the beautiful plans you created us for.

We ask Father God to heal the United States of American. Heal the emotional pain that came from that day and the emotional pain [and fear] that is widespread today.  Encounter each person in a personal way, Lord God. Give each of us a new revelation of ‘who’ Jesus is and help us understand ‘why’ You sent Him.

Help us, Lord God, to remember not only our American history but remember the Cross and all that it stands for. We ask these things in the name of the King of all Kings, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Looking in their eyes.

It is a fact that we have had to change how we do things since the COVID-19 quarantine. Then with the racial tension that is going on, all people are more hesitant about how to go about doing things. Maneuvering through or day to day life has become complicated. We have to consider how to approach other people, which we usually wouldn’t have to think twice about before.

We are social distancing.

We are wearing gloves.

We are wearing masks.

We are planning birthday or graduation parties differently. Where before you could buy bulk to save money, now buying individual servings: instead of a big bag of potato chips, we are buying individual servings. Necessary or unnecessary, it is how we are doing life. For now, anyhow.

Recently I heard a pastor’s perspective about what has been going on in our world, seeing it from Heaven’s lenses. Understanding the spiritual side of what is going on ‘globally.’ With the COVID virus attacking our ability to ‘breathe’ and George Floyd’s last recorded words being, “I Can’t Breathe.”

I won’t be able to quote the pastor’s message word for word: I am paraphrasing what was highlighted to me is. The enemy is trying to take the breath [or voice] away from the church. Two of the many scriptures that were pulled into his message: Genesis 2:7 and John 20:22. In the book of Genesis, God breathed into man’s nostrils. And in the book of John, Jesus breathed on the disciples to equip them with the Holy Spirit.  

We are designed to make a difference – to speak words that cultivate the kingdom of Heaven here on earth—looking back to the original mandate. But we as a church have sat in our pews and kept to ourselves rather than ‘being’ the church: the church is not a building, it is the believers. We have sugar-coated what it means to cultivate a God-honoring world.  

I do want to note that this pastor was not minimizing the evil injustice that happened in Minneapolis. He can better understand the cry of the hearts of many men and women, due to brutality, being a man of color himself.  

I have shared many times, either in conversations or in writings, that our words have power. The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21. In general, we don’t realize how powerful our words are. To put it simply, if we speak kind words, we create an environment of kindness. We speak words of love; we create an atmosphere of love. And this includes the opposite; bitterness, and hate, as well.  

I didn’t realize how true it is ‘that my words create’  till I heard pastor Claude B from Adrian Michigan say; We are created in God’s image, in his likeness. We don’t know what he ‘looks’ like, but we do know HE created with words. Since then, I have been ‘trying’ to evaluate my words before speaking. Sometimes I am successful; sometimes, I am not.  

Today at church, I realized a new layer of what is going on in the spiritual. As you all know, I am a prayer person, an intercessor. For years I try to purpose my heart to sense what the Lord wants me to pray. I can be watching the news [not too often] and ask Lord, how am I to pray about that? I drive through different neighborhoods and ask Holy Spirit; what do you want me to pray into this area?

With what has been going on in the past two weeks, I have been praying: Lord helps us all see each other’s hearts, not their skin color. Help us look into the eyes of each other.

Then it dawned on me today! That is precisely what God is trying to get us to do! People are wearing masks, and rather than ‘judging’ them for wearing one or avoiding them altogether, how about looking at their eyes!! I mean, everything else about the face is covered, but the eyes.

When I look at someone in the eyes, I sometimes can see emotional pain: Lord what word, or prayer, do you want me to pray for them to ease their pain? Sometimes I can see physical pain: Lord, how do you want to heal that person, what is it that you want to do through me? Sometimes I can see depression: Lord, what is it that has this person so depressed and without hope? How can I serve the people who cross my path?

Often, I  will engage in a conversation with those individuals that have been pushed aside by society, most are homeless, and I am always searching their eyes to ‘see’ them.

So the next time you are face to face with a masked person: See them, see their heart. And ask Father God, what would Jesus do? 

Into the Light

Pulling myself into consciousness, I fumble around to turn off my daily alarm. Routinely I go to the kitchen to start the coffee; my heart asks Papa God this question: “What do you want me to declare today with my words Lord?” With all the fears of COVID-19, I know enough negative words are swirling around. I want to speak heaven’s words.

Quieting my heart and listening to what Holy Spirit is saying, I start interceding for my community/nation. Thinking of the difficult times we are living in today, I ask the Lord, “What is it that you would like to accomplish through your church – in such a time as this?” From this place, I nuzzle under HIS wings and read my scripture.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may declare the goodness of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

“Lord, I want to proclaim your goodness authentically. Either with words or actions, I want to reflect your love for those around me. Papa, would you partner with me?” The warmness I feel in my heart lets me know that the Lord is with me.

Before I know it – it’s time to get around for work. Eager to see opportunities opening before me, I look to see with HIS lenses.

While working, I spontaneously receive a text: “Going to Bristol Mobile Village to hand out fliers for our meal box give-away. Would you like to come?”

“Oh my goodness, there it is – an opportunity!”

Not knowing much about this little community, upon arrival, I realize these people need God’s love. And today, I can be HIS hands and feet!

Knocking at each door, I’d step back from the entrance, respectfully social distancing at 6 feet away. Some residents peeked from behind their blinds to see who was knocking then pretend not to see me. That’s okay, Lord, encounter them with YOUR love; I would pray.

Then I knocked at ‘his’ door. The blanket hanging over the window moved to the side. I knew the person inside the mobile home saw me. Will he answer; or hide like others, asking myself the question. But as I heard each lock on the door unlatch, my heart was overwhelmed with humility. One, two, three locks were on this door. The man behind the door struggled to open it. “Do I help, or let him continue to struggle?” Unsure how to respond, I stood there, hoping my smiling eyes would be noticed since the mandatory mask covered my mouth.

The door opened ever so slightly. A frail-looking man peered at me nervously. I could tell his eyes had not experienced the sunlight for some time, as he squinted at me. I noted that his arms were tiny, and his face looked pale. Lack of nutrients or the lack of being outdoors? I was unsure of the answer. I greeted him and shared that meals will be handed out the following Thursday for children ages 4-18. Almost afraid to talk, he said, “Oh, no children live here.” And he closed the door.

My heart sunk. I wanted to engage with this man a little more. I wanted to let him know that he is loved and valued. I couldn’t help but think about the courage it took to open his door in the first place, let alone engage in an oh so brief conversation with me; suddenly, I was fighting tears.

Papa, it’s painful to see with your lenses. People are hurting and afraid. I want to do so much more for him, I thought to myself.

But then, this dropped in my heart. “My daughter – he came into the light. You carry My light. And for a brief moment, tormenting darkness fled him, and he felt my love. Thank you for doing this today. I knew I could trust you to share me with him.”

That moment, and his face, is forever etched in my heart. And I lift this man in my prayers. Maybe, just maybe him opening the door to me will begin his journey of walking into HIS Light.

His Hands

Have you ever sat back and watch how a toddler explores the world? Have you ever thought, what goes through their little minds when they experience the feeling of grass for the first time or sand between their toes?

When my children were just toddlers, they would occasionally climb up into their daddy’s lap as he sat in his recliner. He worked many hours back in those days, so they didn’t get the chance to do this too often.

Once situated comfortably, they would reach for his hands and hold them in theirs. Not saying too much, they would study his hands, looking down at how big and strong his fingers were compared to theirs. I thought to myself; Do they understand how much work those hands do to provide for them?

Read more… “His Hands”