A Psalm of David….Can You Relate?

Psalms 18: 1-3 “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised.”

I do my best to live my life in this thought process daily.  I rely on the Lord to guide me because, without his guidance, I would just make a mess of things. (Psalms 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd)

God gives me strength and wisdom to think about the things that I do in my life and to make good judgments on the things that will impact my life and the lives of others.  I may not get it right every time, but can you imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have him beside us and guiding us along the way?

I know because there was a point in my life where I tried to do things my way.  I really did convince myself that I was in control of my life and struggled to “stay” in control, to no avail, because since I wanted so much to be in control, God gave me the wheel and yes, I did make a great big mess of things.

You see, I was stricken with the desire to always be in control of everything until I finally realized that I am in control of absolutely nothing!

When I was finished making my worldly messes, I cried out to my father God and he took back the wheel and guided me in the way that I needed to go.

Just as the young child is guided by his/her earthly father, so are we guided by our heavenly father, if we allow him to do so.

That was about 8 years ago and I am so grateful that I was humble enough to follow him because it has changed my life and the way I see things.  It has completely changed my thought process.

As I am pretty sure I’ve stated before, I am a work in progress and will be for the rest of my life, but I look in the mirror now and I like what I see.  I didn’t before because of insecurities that I don’t think I was even aware of.

I know that I am loved by my father, God, so there is no need to desperately seek it elsewhere.

Fun Fact:  Orbicularis Oris is a muscle that surrounds your lips/mouth.  Since it attaches where your mouth opens and to the skin at the corner of your mouth, it enables you to close, compress/purse, or pucker your lips. (Wikipedia/ A&P1 Lecture)

 

 

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Reinventing Yourself…

My apologies for having been away for so long…

I’ve been experiencing numerous transitions in just about every aspect of my life.  Life is funny that way.  Sometimes you’re on a roll and things just kind of flow so eloquently.

But then you reach a fork in the road.  It may not be a troublesome fork, yet it is still a fork, and you have to pause for a minute and collect yourself to figure out in which direction you will go as you reinvent yourself on this new path to see where it takes you.

That’s what I’ve been doing, reinventing myself so that my life flows a little better for me moving forward.

I am blessed beyond words because of all the things that have come across my path during this time that I’ve not posted for my readers.  Some overwhelmingly great and some still somewhat challenging.

Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed the transitions thus far.  I say “overwhelmingly” great because I see my Father, God’s hand in it and it pleases me to know how much he loves each and every one of us.

(Psalms 40: 1, 4 “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”

When you can’t ignore the obvious presence of God in your life you can’t help but be fascinated by it.  No matter how many times God wows you, you never cease to be amazed because each new blessing is just as significant as the last.

(Psalms 29: 1-2 “Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

When I speak of my transitions, I don’t mean physical transformations or anything drastic.  I’m speaking of the transitions in my walk through life which happens one moment at a time and impacts my very existence spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

I imagine I will always be transforming in some way or another, as will you.  In my opinion, transitions are just another way of growing.

I think of life as a big ball of transitions, some are initiated by us, some come as blessings to us, and others are unwelcomed impositions.  Either way, if we’re paying attention, we manage to learn something from the experience.

May God always be with you in your walk through life…

God’s On Your Side!…

I wanted to stop in and share this message of Praise from “The Mississippi Mass Choir” with you.  I ran across this video as I was seeking some words of encouragement and I remembered this choir, who had inspired me for many years.   Based on my upbringing, they are very traditional in their praises.  Watching this video really took me back and reminded me of where I originated from.

I’ll stop back soon with more thoughts and encouragement.  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this message and know that “God is on your side”.

Click this link below to view the video.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/LR9gJVSwxAQ

God Bless You All!  🙂
Image result for Mississippi Mass Choir images

 

“Woe Is Me” Attitude…

Woe is me is described as how one exclaims his or her sorrow and distress.  A pitiful expression of one’s self.

Well, an interesting thing happened to me this week and it led me to be really careful about feeling broken and sorry for myself when negative things happen in my life.

I had the pleasure of meeting a very determined and spiritually strong young man.

This young man shared his personal story and reminded me that sometimes, we have to put on our big girl or big boy undies and roll with the punches.

Easy for me to say, right?  No, it’s really not, because I am so guilty of not always rolling with the punches.

I hate to admit it but often times when I’m faced with difficult challenges, the first thing I do is sing the “Woe is Me” sad song.  I even sing it to God, “Why Me!”, I ask him.  “Why do I have to fight so hard for everything that I achieve?”  “Other people seem to have things handed to them”, I cry.

Then, I remember that God said he will be with me through my troubles. (Psalms 50:15, And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”

Someone once told me that you know you are under God’s divine appointment when you are always coming under a multitude of struggles, trials, and spiritual warfare which can be flattering if you possess the strength and understanding to see it that way.

The Book of Job comes to mind because he was faced with a multitude of losses, troubles, and challenges, yet he remained faithful to God.  He didn’t question God, nor did he complain and he lost everything!  What did God do after he remained faithful?  He Blessed the latter end of Job’s life more than his beginning by giving him twice as much as he had before.

This young man reminds me of the faith and courage that Job possessed.

What struck my attention about this young man and sort of put me in my place was how he showed amazing strength paired with so much joy, in spite of what he has endured.   He had a silent sense of calm about him that I couldn’t quite figure out.

It was nice seeing such a young person with all the qualities at such a young age that most of us can only hope to possess in our lifetime.  He is truly a rare find.

I spoke with him a little and he shared with me some losses and challenges that he has already endured during his young life.  He’s only 17 and had just a few days earlier lost a loved one, yet he continued to wear his smile.  I couldn’t even imagine how I would handle such losses and I hope I never have to find out.

He does not wear his losses like a badge, as some of us do, he does not mope around in sadness, he does not seek pity.  Instead, he handles his challenges like a pro, rather like a young man of God who knows that our Father is guiding him through all that he has to endure.

Even with all the losses, some very recent and some still anticipated, he possesses this gentle spirit that can only come from the Holy Spirit.  He also shared with me that he was a Christian and leans not on his own understanding but rather he leans on God.

That’s when I realized what it was that puzzled me about him.  He wasn’t just any ordinary teenager, he is a teenager with a divine purpose and he is seeking God’s guidance to fulfill that purpose.

I try and keep myself focused on (Philippians 4:13)  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”   Once I’m reminded of this passage, that’s when I pick myself up an dust myself off and try and move on from it.  It’s not easy, though.

We could all learn a thing or two from this young man…

If you have not yet obtained a bible, the one shown below is similar to the bible I own.  It was a gift from a good friend.

This is an additional bible I’d like to own, along with the book “How To Study The Bible”.

In Loving Memory of Yoda…

This Is Just A Photo Of Him Napping…

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I am dedicating this post to my precious Yoda.  A beautiful and loving Chihuahua, who passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.

His owner (his mom), has been a precious dear friend of mine for many many years.  She was kind enough to grace my family with the pleasure of spending quality time with Yoda.  (You know who you are.)  We are glad we got to know and love him.

I wasn’t there when Yoda passed, so I think I’ll just envision him still alive and well because I really don’t want to believe that he is gone.  I can’t imagine how his mommy must feel.

May your prayers be with her and all of us who loved Yoda.  I pray that God will fill the void that has been created with his passing and bring us joy as we remember him.

Yoda wasn’t just any ordinary pet.  He was a very special Chihuahua.  He could be very serious at times and just wanted to be left alone to rest in his “Sun” spot by the window.

 

Other times, he was very playful and when he played with the boys, he possessed a sort of child-like personality.  For those special moments, he was just one of the boys.  It seemed as though he had experienced some form of humanism because that’s how he acted (smiling).

I remember Yoda coming to my bedroom while I was lying down and just standing there looking at me barking and wagging his tail.  Then, he would continue to look at me as he stepped one paw forward and then back again as if to say, “Get up, I’m hungry!” or “I need to go out!”

When his mom and he would visit, she would say “Yoda, show me”, and just like the smart pet he was, he would walk right to the door and wait for her to let him out or walk him to do his business.  He was really an amazing and smart pet!…

I remember the first time I took Yoda for a walk in my neighborhood.  He really enjoyed the walk, although I would decide to pick him up and carry him like he was my little baby part of the way back home.

After that first walk, he remembered it every time he came back to visit because he would walk right over to the door and just stare at me as he waited for me to take him out and walk him.  He would initiate our walk down that familiar path.  It seemed as though he was walking me (smiling) because Yoda knew exactly where he was headed.

Yoda was very sweet and loved to lick you on the face, arm, hand, and leg because that was his way of showing his love!

I remember spending time with him and although he was a dog, as I stated earlier, he had these human-like mannerisms.

Yoda lived to be a thriving 13 years old, I think that’s 91 dog years. He maintained his cute little baby face so you never would’ve guessed he was so mature.

Yoda, Memories of you and all the little quirky things you used to do will remain etched in all our hearts forever.

God must have needed little Yoda. Which reminds me of the animated movie, “All Dogs Go To Heaven”. I imagine Yoda is very happy there.

We Love You and Miss You, Yoda!

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I Got You…

I wanted to stop in briefly to share with you an unusual moment that turned into a great act of kindness in my favor as well as the lessons I learned from it.

I was in the automotive department at a local store.  I really needed help figuring out which item to purchase to repair my vehicle.  I had no idea what I was doing!  So I asked an associate for help but they were “seemingly” too busy and uninterested in helping me because I believe they were finishing up their shift.  The key word here is “seemingly”.

I learned a valuable lesson that day.  We should never judge others because it is wrong and most of the time you’ll find that you could not be more wrong about them because your thoughts are not their thoughts. (Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”).

I do not center my thoughts on the goal of judging others but once in a while, I fall victim to that sin.  Coincidentally, the Sunday sermon was centered around the sin of judging others, so I was quickly reminded that day of what I had done wrong.

I am constantly working on self-improvement in every aspect of my being, especially spiritually.

So, going back to that day… I immediately started feeling judgemental in my spirit after the associate didn’t jump to my rescue.  I thought to myself, “They don’t want to be bothered”.

I was quick to judge and allowed myself to feel neglected.  So, my feelings were hurt because I thought, if it were me, I would’ve still asked if I could help with something.

So, I go to another associate in a different department and ask if there is anybody working in that department that could assist me.  The associate took me back over to that department and asked that same associate if he was able to help me.  He said, “Sure, I’d be happy to!”

After everything was said and done.  The first associate had no idea that I needed further assistance because I had asked a closed-ended question (One which can be answered by a simple yes or no).

In the end, this associate was apologetic and went above and beyond to help me resolve my issue.  In fact, he even went a step further and took time out of his personal schedule to help me fix my issue, which saved me a lot of money in unnecessary automotive repairs because it was an easy fix.

I was very grateful and asked if there was anything I could do to repay him and he said, “No, you don’t owe me anything”.

Then, he said something that really stuck with me.  He said, “Don’t worry about it, “I Got You”, with this smile that could only be coming from the love of God through this individual.

I doubt I will ever see this associate again which makes it all the more fascinating to me.  I really do believe this was God’s reassurance to me that I need not worry about anything because, you guessed it, He’s Got Me.

(Isiah 41:10, Fear thou not; for I am with thee:  be not dismayed; for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness”).

I have showcased a CD below for your review.  It is another one by Jack Johnson.  It has a song ironically entitled “I Got You”   Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.  But it got me to thinking of the many ways in which God show’s himself in our lives.

In my previous post, I showcased my most “fun” favorite album in his collection.  Well, this is my 2nd favorite album. My favorite song on this one is “I Got You”. 

Click the image below to buy:

One Foot In, One Foot Out…

Do you have one foot in “Christianity’s” door, while the other foot is hanging pretty far out?…  Do you want to live a life that is pleasing to God, but you’re just not sure if you’re ready to give up your worldly desires?

Are you afraid that life as you know it will change drastically and you will lose something precious and valuable to you if you err on the side of the Lord?

Perhaps that boyfriend or girlfriend that you enjoy spending time with.  Maybe its that special music you enjoy listening to, or going to that special party spot on Saturday night, or whatever it is you like to do in your free time that may not come into alignment with what the Bible teaches.

Well, that was my life, too.  I dabbled with becoming a Christian for many years but I wasn’t ready to give up my life as I knew it.  Sure, I went to church, prayed faithfully and believed in God, but I still wasn’t quite ready.  I was afraid of the unknown.

When I would attend church on Sunday morning, I felt so guilty because I had not long arrived home from partying with my girlfriends, or my love interest.

Specifically, I went out, drank cocktails (alcoholic beverages), danced all night and into the early morning hours, lived and sinned in the flesh.

Oh, I was having fun!… Or so I thought. Ironically, there seemed to always be some “underlying’ (present but not readily noticeable) consequence that surfaced after the fact.

(Ephesians 5:9-11, For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.)

I knew it didn’t feel right, but I did it anyway.  Then, I justified it in my mind by thinking that even though I was out partying the night before, it didn’t interfere with my Christian fellowship.  I told myself “At least I got up and went to church”. So, I figured I was ok.

I was exercising my “One Foot In and One Foot Out” way of living.  I was in transition, I guess…

I remember being afraid to give up all that fun stuff!  In actuality, it wasn’t that much “fun” because what I was really doing was looking to fill a void that would never be filled in that way. I was lonely and looking for love in all the wrong places, or whatever else it was that I was seeking and I always came up empty.

What I did not know back then was that I already had God’s love right there in front of me, and that was all I needed.

I didn’t go out every night, but when I did, there was something in my spirit that made me feel really yucky inside.  Now, I know that yucky feeling was the holy spirit working on my conscience because I was clearly not pleasing God.

That’s not to say that I don’t make mistakes now or sin sometimes because I will never be perfect.  But the difference between the person I am now and the person I was back then is that I don’t set out to do things that I know are displeasing to God.  I try not to dwell in the flesh and that keeps me grounded.

If I should fall short, I ask God for forgiveness and try to do better next time.  So I am still a work in progress (an unfinished project that is still being added to or developed).

I still like good music.  So, rather than listening to music that creates sinful temptation, I listen to “Good” music that is clean, happy, kind, free of vulgarities, yet still fun to listen to.  Some of it is Christian music and some of it is not.  I find that Praising God through music is always fun because it makes me happy.

Looking back, I really didn’t give up anything.  Instead, I gained so much more.  I have peace of mind now.  No more “on edge” consequential worries and anxiety that I had back then.

Sure, I struggle with life’s challenges, but it’s not the same because I experience spiritual fulfillment and joy that is embedded inside of me.  My joy comes from the Lord even when things aren’t going my way, there is no longer that lingering internal void within my spirit.

May your life be full of clean fun, joy, and fulfillment…

This is one of my favorite “fun” CD’s that I can actually listen to with my kids.

My favorite song is “Upside Down”

Click the image below.