What You Need To Do

Micah 6 8

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This Week’s Art

Warrior 5 and Samuel the prophet. Samuel is based on the photo of James C Lewis.

Asked For

In the current bible study I am doing, Beth Moore has taught us that the name Saul meant “Asked For” He was a king they asked for. It reminds me that some of the things that I ask for look good on the outside, but woe the trouble it brings. This drawing is based on James C Lewis’ photograph Saul. Lewis created a series of images with People of Color in the role of Bible characters.

Saul

Dancing During the Storm Vol 2 is June’s Featured Book

The best part of my life is that I get to tell stories that have been inspired by the Creator of the Universe. Whenever I feel as though I am done with this writing thing, He gives me a story I can’t keep to myself. And the funny thing about it is, many of the stories I tell seem to have to real connection. But I trust the Ultimate Storyteller. This month I am working on some new projects, but here is a done one that I just love. Dancing During the Storm Vol 2 is a collection of short stories that captures the imagination. His Favorite One is the story of a man given a great responsibility but has to deal with the consequences of not fulfilling them. Dancing Vol 2 is the featured book for the month of June. It is available on Amazon, Createspace and Books2Read.com

Chris Rock Started Singing Circus Afro

in the middle of worship this morning and I couldn’t stop to answer the phone. Yes, Chris Rock is still my ringtone. It is normally my habit to turn the ringer off before I enter the church. I did the same thing today, but it came back on in the middle of church service, but fortunately I was up in the sound booth, and only the folks up there with me heard it.

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Another habit I have been practicing a little longer is sacrificing something for Lent. I am not Catholic or any type of Orthodox religion. I just appreciate the season. I was thoroughly amused when a friend asked me what I gave up for Lent.  I have been doing this long enough that folks who know me know.

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One of the things I chose was to praise God everyday in a very physical way. So on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram and here I posted my praise in the form of His Word.  It was interesting to see which scriptures resonated with my friends.

I also believe that it is not a sacrifice unless it cost you something.  How can I offer to God something that is free to me? How can I offer something that means nothing to me?  So I sacrificed things that I valued.

As I approach this last week before Easter, this Holy Week,  I am reminded that He is a Holy Uncreated God. Everything I see is created, He is not created. Even though I cannot wrap my finite mind around this, it is true.

I am also reminded as I make my way to the cross this week with millions of other Christ followers, that the way to the cross is not paved in gold bricks and lavished meals.

It was on a dirt road, with a heavy cross and lots of onlookers who were not willing to help.  He endured the pain of the cross for me. Praise God.

How Do You Get Through Tough Times?

2015 is going down as one of the hardest years of my life. It has also been one of the most powerful years of my life.

This week in the study of Revelation we are looking at our view of God.  Many of us think of God as some better version of ourselves. Why else would we be so flippant in how we approach Him and refer to Him? We think of Him as a buddy or friend.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to listen to some teaching by Francis Chan which approached this subject. I spent some time in Revelation 4 and gave great thought to who this was I am praying to. To be just a black girl about it, “What does He look like?” ( I mean wool like hair? Does that mean He black?)

To be honest, the images in Revelation 4 scared me. I have prayed for Him to help me understand what He wants me to know about these passages.  As I think about facing this mighty powerful God and all of those creatures, it makes my current circumstances seem like nothing. I can face a mountain of earthly circumstances in order to NOT have to face a creature with eyes in the front and back of it’s head who also has six wings. (feathers freak me out) And that is how He works. He takes our circumstances and uses it for His glory.

When Isaiah was mourning the loss of his king, Uzziah, The Lord revealed to him what the real King looked like on his throne with train of his robe filling the whole temple.(Isaiah 6) The Lord met the elders of Israel in the desert and John on the island of Patmos (Revelation 4). What they thought were awful circumstances, changed as they focused on the Creator and not His creation.

Their circumstances took them to the throne of God. My circumstances have taken me to the throne of God.(I have not physically been there) I have watched Him do more than I can imagine in my life this year (Ephesians 3:20). But now, I think about WHO is doing this for me and HOW He loves me unconditionally.

This week we have seen terrorism in France and wonder what will we do to combat such a powerful foe. People are angry and frighten by cowards who kill in the dark. The truth is the cowards are mortal and will die as will their mission. I have read how the story ends. We win. Don’t allow mortal men to cripple you with fear.

Let me tell you, there is a God who sits high and looks low (Psalms 113:5-6). He is not a better version of us (Isaiah 55:8). He is immortal and will judge everyone (James 4:12).

What I have learned in difficult times is that worship can get you through anything. You have to focus on what can really help you. A relationship with Jesus Christ. He can heal any wound any man can make.

I was sick all week, to the point of losing my voice, but the Lord saw me through. He took care of everything.  He writes scriptures on my heart through His actions. When I didn’t have another ounce of energy, He gave me more than I could ask or hope for (Ephesian 3:20).  He deserves all the worship I can I give.

One evening in BSF we were singing Worthy of Worship. I wondered if we would sing this in heaven. (And yes I want to be in the choir for that one). I can think of instances when He has been Father, Creator, Savior, Sustainer and more.

How do you get through the tough times? Worship.

Each Moment is Precious

If I had known it was the last time I was going to hug her, I would have hugged her a little longer.  I would have said a few other things. I remember wrapping my arm around her and greeting her. I remember she said some words to me, but seemed preoccupied. We were on our way to somewhere, so I didn’t investigate.

That is the great adventure of this life, not knowing if you will ever see someone again. Every encounter we have with each other should be treated as a moment we might not get to repeat. The headlines of the news are filled with instances of people who never got to say goodbye.

We feel entitled to the privilege of saying goodbye to the people we love. God did not promise us that. (John 16:33)

He promised we could live forever with Him in eternity if we accepted Jesus as our savior. When he planted the tree in the garden, He knew what kind of world this would become. As we are stunned each day by the atrocities, He whispers I have a plan in place for this. (John 1: 1-5)

He loved us so much that He sent the most precious thing He had, his Son. (John 3:16) He said if you believe in Him and accept Him as savior, you can join Him in heaven where you will not experience this type of misery ever again.  As sad as I am to lose a love one, I hang on to the promise that it won’t be the last time I see them. I know we will meet again in heaven and finish the conversation we didn’t have here.

Every year at the end of BSF we sing a song. We hold hands, hug and sing this song.  Many of us know it by heart because we have sang it so many times. It reminds us that we are parting, but this is not the end. I sing this song every year, but I never think that I won’t see my sisters in Christ again.

We memorize the verses. We sing the hymns. We do the church thing and all the other feel good stuff. Some days life calls us to live those words out. That is when it gets hard, but He promised He would guide us through it. He didn’t say it would be easy, or we would like it or we would even understand it. He asked us to trust Him. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Hold on to that. If you are in Christ Jesus, this is not the end. And you are not alone. He is with you. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)