Don’t Box with God!

A little over a year ago, I listed a house to sell. In a short time, I was heading out of the country and really wanted to be in contract by the time I left. No problem! I just KNEW it would be an easy sale. The house was only a year old! I prayed, had it staged, invested in a great marketing system, and scheduled my OPEN HOUSE dates. I honestly expected to only have to do one OPEN HOUSE though. I knew this particular floor plan was limited in this development and was in high demand.
The most ridiculous things started happening. And I do mean ridiculous. I fell out of contract before the ink had a chance to dry. At that point I had been in real estate for twelve years and had never heard of such a thing that happened, happening. JUST BIZARRE!!! Then, there was all of this interest, but no bites for no particular reason.
I go out of the country trying to manage phone calls while I’m a whole day ahead and busy with a full schedule. When I returned, the client was in danger of losing her deposit and another house that was being built, because her offer was contingent (upon the sale of this subject property). It was a MESS that made NO SENSE!!! I WAS STRESSED OUT!
Finally, one Saturday morning I prayed, “Father, I need you to show me what is going on. In warfare I have You on my side and I don’t struggle like this. I’m out here getting mollywapped, and that is leading me to believe I’m not fighting the enemy, but that I’m fighting YOU. I know I can’t win a fight with you! Am I fighting You? Are You keeping the house from selling???”
*ding*ding*ding* I had finally asked the right question. I offered the right prayer. He revealed the house hadn’t sold, because He wanted ME to move into it. Only this meant a relocation. A relocation I hadn’t planned for. A relocation I didn’t want!
I asked Him to confirm it while I was out of town that weekend at a prayer retreat. I vowed I would obey His answer, I just needed to be SURE. He confirmed. I cried for a week before asking Him to deal with my heart concerning the matter. I was expecting to relocate, but I thought it would be to Dallas or LA. I wanted my heart’s desires to match His. I didn’t want to obey grudgingly.
Two months later, I was out!!! And let me tell you this. It wasn’t until the morning after I spent the first night in the house that I walked out of my bedroom and realized I NEEDED the move. I had been suffocating and didn’t even know it. I had become so used to my atmosphere, that I didn’t realize the season was up, and that staying longer would have put me out of alignment with the next leg of my journey. Time was of the essence. There were connections that needed to be made, and relationships that needed to form. And my face needed to be in the new territory for the hand shakes and dinner dates to happen. If you’ve ever traveled, you know that “connecting flights” are critical and are the reason you do or don’t get to your destination on time. Sure, we’d all like a direct flight, but sometimes paths need to cross, a person critical to our journey is flying out from a different airport, and is en route to wrap up an assignment in a city we aren’t designated. The connecting flight the two of you have in common reveals the next move to and for you both!
Lots of supernatural occurrences happened throughout this transition, but I will abstain from sharing for now, due to the length of this post.
My point: Because of our humanity, we don’t like to suffer. We don’t like discomfort. And often times when we encounter discomfort, setbacks, suffering and/or a lack of fulfillment, we assume it has to be the enemy. Not so!
Sometimes it is God! Sometimes, He’s pushing us to higher heights, deeper depths, and a place of humility and service that is outside of our comfort zones and realms of familiarity. We’re being pushed out of the nest! Sometimes the pain and inconvenience is TOTALLY GOD!
Look at Jesus! NOTHING was comfortable or convenient about His trip to the cross, yet it pleased and glorified God.
Submit, surrender, and don’t give up. He’s got a plan for you, and it is GOOD even when the process FEELS contrary.
Oh and let me tell you this…. the house that wouldn’t sell? Yeah, the one I live in! There hasn’t been ONE month that has passed since I submitted and moved in, that someone hasn’t called to buy the house. Some are rather aggressive asking when it will be back on the market! What can they offer!!? When God holds something up, He holds it up! When He releases it, He releases it! He holds the POWER!!! When we strive with Him, we WILL NOT win!

More Time…

“What do you mean she didn’t make it?”

 

“Sir, her family is in the room, would you like to join them?”

 

What are you talking about? Dead? Tammy ain’t dead! I just spoke to her this afternoon. Where is she?

 

Sir, I can take you to the family. You just didn’t make it in time. I’m so sorry. Why don’t you follow me?

 

Jared felt cold…as if he was completely uncovered. The hallway the doctor started down looked white, barren, and long. My legs won’t move. What’s wrong with my legs? “Uhhh ma’am…, doctor? Suddenly Jared felt the floor under his throbbing head. If two people clanged cymbals on both sides of his head, the noise would be less deafening than the throbbing he could hear in his ears. The light above him looked like a huge flying saucer, now it was becoming blurry, and he could feel tears running into his ears. Where is she? Tammy, where are you at? Wait…. [Darkness] Let me just lay here and catch my breath. I just needed more time. I just needed more t….

Days like today are what life is made of. Nikki Rodgers wore my Starter jacket during the whole lunch recess AND she saw the kickball game. She saw me kick the ball over the fence… she SAW me! B+ on my spelling test, my Louisville cut is fresh, AND we’re headed to the coliseum for the Warriors game tonight. This might be the best day of my whole 8th grade. I might even ask Uncle Luke if I can wear his other pair of Cazal’s tonight. I’m feeling lucky- like ANYTHING is possible! Maybe that’s what Gramma means when she says anything is possible with Jesus. Maybe she means days like THIS!!!

 

Jared fakes a dribble up the walkway, and shoots a jump shot with his invisible ball as he opens the screen door.

 

“Boy! What I tell you about letting my door slam!”

 

“Sorry gramma! It’s me, I’m home.”

 

“Hey baby. Come gimme my sugah. How was school? You get the test back?”

 

“Yep, B+ gramma!”

 

“Well, alright now! I told you anything is possible if you only believe!”

 

Hmmm…that’s what she was talking about? I thought it was a miracle Nikki wanted to wear my Starter. That seems bigger than a spelling test.

 

“Gramma, I’m hungr….”

 

“Boy, I know. You’ve been hungry since you been alive. I made you a roast beef sandwich with the meat we had left over from last night. Just like you like it. Sit down so granny can feed you.”

 

“K. Gramma who’s that outside?”

 

“Oh, her name is Tammy. Her parents moved into the house across the street. I’m gonna be watching her every day until they get home from work. So, she’ll be here during the afternoons with you. She starts at your school tomorrow. I told her parents she can walk home with you after school……I said, I told them…”

 

“I heard you…”

 

Gramma spins around with her hand on her hip. “You say something Jared Daniel?”

 

“Yes ma’am. I mean no ma’am… I mean, yes, I’ll walk her home if I have to.”

 

“Of course you will because you’re a gentleman and it’s good to be kind. (Gramma’s voice fading in the distance) “It’s godly to be hospitable.”

 

Man, she’s pretty!

 

“Jared, do you hear me?”

 

“Huh gramma? Ummm yeah. Sorry, who’s in the hospital?”

 

 

I guess we would’ve been like brother and sister if we hadn’t always loved one another. I’ve loved her since I was 12. I took her to her prom. She didn’t speak to me for months after I didn’t take her to mine. The other girls at her catholic high school did things she didn’t do. Tammy was different. I just had to protect her.

 

She’s been right about every girlfriend I’ve had. And as far as I’m concerned, none of her boyfriends have been good enough for her either! She’s always been different. Even after we were grown she’d go sit and talk with gramma. Like she was an old lady trapped in a young woman’s body. She’s just always felt like home.

 

I keep dreaming about her. I see her face at the oddest times. When I envision her smile, I catch myself smiling. I don’t like the way that makes me feel. I don’t like not feeling in control. And her mouth. No other woman talks back to me like that! Why do I let her get away with that? She ALWAYS has something to say! I CAN’T STAND that!

 

I’ll be thirty-five next month. Mom keeps telling me I need a covering. I keep telling her she covers me just fine! She told me last week that one day somebody’s gonna snag Tammy. Where that come from? Uhhhh ok. Like I told mom, as long as he does right by her, we’re good! I felt nauseous when I said it though. But Tammy scares me. She doesn’t really NEED to get married though. I can’t even think of who could really handle her. She’s always wanted to be married and have kids though. Tammy… (he nods smiling) She’s sharp. She’s beautiful. She’s trustworthy. She’s LOYAL. (Stomach flutters again) Yeah, he’d have to be…. I wonder if she ever thinks about us. She acts like she never has time to hang out anymore, but I see how she looks at meI just don’t know if I can...(phone vibrating interrupts Jared’s reverie)

Answers phone clearing throat“Good Afternoon, Jared Sinclair…”

 

“Jared, it’s Christine.”

 

“Hi Mama Christine! You don’t sound like yourself. You sick? You okay?”

 

“Jared, it’s Tammy…there’s been an accident.”

 

“What’s wrong with Tammy? Where are you? She okay?” (grabbing keys off his desk)

 

“They brought her to Highland. Are you close? Oh my God!!! I have to go Jared. Get her if you can!”

 

(Jared frantically dials his mother) “Umm Mr. Sinclair, you have a client at 2:30… Mr. Sinclair!”

 

“Not now Janine! Family emergency! C’mon! Why is this elevator so slow!…. Yeah, mom? Where are you? I need you to pick up. Meet me at Highland. Something happened to Tammy…”

 

(driving frantically, weaving in and out of traffic) I’ma tell her. I’m just gonna tell her how I feel. Wait, how do I feel? What am I supposed to say, you feel like home? You make me think of my gramma? I can’t even think. God, just let her be okay. I know you’ll tell me what to say. Just let her be ok, okay? Please? PLEASE! I just need more time.

 

 

(gasping for air, looking around) What is that?(chest pumping) Where am I? I’m in my room. That’s the alarm. Jared moves his left arm to grab his cell phone and feels the tear soaked pillow against the side of his face. Let me catch my breath, MAN! I was dreaming. [exhale] The clock reads 5:05am.

 

 

“Yeah gurl, so let’s just meet up at Kincaid’s after work. I want to hear ALL about it. You’re giving me something to look forward to while I’m at work all day. It’s gonna be CRAZY. I have four c-sections scheduled.”

 

(Loud knocking at door)

 

“It isn’t even 8am. Who is that banging on my door!”

 

“Oh my goodness. I can hear it over the phone. Keep me on the phone while you go check sis. People crazy.”

 

“Gurl, it’s Jared.”

 

“Tammy, what he doing over there so early?”

 

“That’s what I’m about to find out! I’ll call you back.”

 

(opening door) “Jared, why are you popping up at my house and knocking on my door like you’re the police? Do you know what time it is? And why do you look like that? (straightening head scarf and tightening the belt on her robe) I’m looking all crazy… Jared? What is it? You alright?”

 

“You look beautiful.”

 

(side eye) “Jared, what’s wrong with you?”

 

“We need to talk…”

 

© 2017 Kelsi Marie

What a Difference a Year Makes…

“He slapped me! I know I’ve put up with a lot of things, but THAT I cannot deal with. I can’t be with anyone I’m afraid of!”

 

“Wait, what? What do you mean he slapped you?”

 

“Just that! I walked up to him when he was up in arms about something with one of the counselors. When I approached him to ask what was wrong, he looked at me with some deranged look on his face and hauled off and slapped me!”

 

“Okay, wait…. Did he say anything? That just doesn’t sound like him. What did the counselor do? If this wasn’t you telling the story, I wouldn’t even believe it. I want to say are you sure, but I know you’re sure you got slapped. I’m so confused.”

 

“I just left.”

 

“Wait what? Where are you?”

 

“Home.”

 

“You mean in your cabin?”

 

“No, HOME. As in seven minutes from your house. I came home!”

 

“Wait a minute… something isn’t right. Elyse, this doesn’t make sense! This is bothering me. He didn’t say anything…you just left the village?”

 

“They were trying to stop me, but I just ran to my cabin to pack. I’m DONE!!! I was on the next bus before he even knew I left. He didn’t even come to my cabin to try to stop me from leaving! He doesn’t even care!” (bursts into tears)

 

“Have you heard from him?”

 

“I blocked him.”

 

“Oh GOSH! Elyse!!!”

 

“He hit me! Are you defending him?”

 

“No, I’m saying something isn’t adding up.”

 

“Right! Like me agreeing to go on that missions trip with his youth and I don’t even like camping! Then getting humiliated.”

 

“Noooo, I mean his actions don’t make sense. Something isn’t right. And you’re not giving his consistent behavior a voice at all! ”

 

“Anyway girl, I’m done with this city. I had plenty of time to think on that 12 hour flight home. I told Synergy Inc. I’d have an answer for them upon my return next week. I called and told them I came back early and that I’m going to take the assignment. I’ll be gone for 12 months. Unless he gave me a reason to stay, I was prepared to leave. I feel like this opportunity is timed perfectly. I fly out tomorrow morning.”

 

“Wait a minute… I think you’re rushing a major decision. You don’t even like cold weather and you’re going to move across the country over a relationship not working out? You need to think about this.”

 

“God provided an opportunity that’s right on time!”

 

“I don’t sense God in this. I sense confusion! Don’t put my Papa in this!”

 

“Gurl, I’m tired. I was already thinking about going. You know that. He was the only reason I would have stayed. I need the change. I need to get my mind off of everything. I love you gurl, and thank you, but I have to finish packing. I gotta be in a car to the airport at 6am. I’ve got 11 hours to finish packing for a year and setting up my bill pays. I’ll call you from the airport.”

 

“Elyse, wait!”

 

“It’s a done deal girl! I docusigned my offer letter. I’ll call you in the morning, pray for me! And if you come over I’m not gonna answer the door. I’m doing this!”

 

“Elyse!”

 

Meanwhile, in the Philippines…

 

“What do you mean she left? You let her leave? You slapped her and let her leave?”

 

“I didn’t slap her. I killed a mosquito.”

 

“Okay, but you didn’t even tell her that?”

 

“I couldn’t! She went crazy! I was trying to calm her down and she said something about being done with abuse and ran off. I was due at the other end of camp to introduce the new students and thought I’d head to her cabin and explain later. But when I got there, they said she had packed up and caught a ride back to town on the supply bus. She told them she was headed back to the States man!  My calls are going straight to voicemail. She’s crazy man. But I can’t have her thinking I just slapped her. I was yelling about the vaccinations being late when she walked up. I don’t even know if she knows what I was upset about. I was gonna ask her to marry me tonight, but I’m sitting here talking to you and she’s God knows where. What happened? Gary rubs his hands over his face, what am I going to do?”

 

“Hey man, there’s nothing you can do. You’ll be on furlough in two weeks. You’d better head to Phoenix and straighten this out.”

 

“And what, she just gone keep her phone off?”

 

“Nah man, you got blocked! Straight to voicemail when you call?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

“Did your text messages show as “delivered”?”

 

“Nah…”

 

“Yeah, you blocked homeboy…”

 

“What is all that? I’ll go crazy thinking about this while we’re seven thousand miles apart. I gotta get a handle on this situation with these malaria vaccines. I’ll deal with that when I take my time off. I just can’t believe she’d think I would hit her. I can’t believe she’s shutting me out. I’ve never been violent towards her…never! WOMEN!”

 

….

 

I’ve got it all lined up! Janine is flying in Tuesday, and we’ll pick you up at the airport Thursday! I can’t believe I haven’t seen you in almost a year! And FaceTime doesn’t count!

 

“I know girl, I can’t wait to get home! I’m done with snow. I’m done with New York traffic. I’m done with 14 hour work days. I’m ready to get back to the desert. I’ll never complain about Arizona winters again. As soon as y’all pick me up, the first place we’re going is Spinato’s… matter of fact, y’all can have a medium pepperoni waiting in the car!”

 

“Gurl, we miss our friend, and our friend misses her pizza! Anyway!”

 

“No shade, no shade. Well, I gotta get things wrapped up here. And I have to meet with the owner of some charity or non-profit we’re committing funds to this year. I’m on my way out, so I don’t why I have to be the one to meet with them, but whatever. Tomorrow night I’m on a plane back to the west coast! Yayee, yayee, as Ice Cube would say.”

 

“Gurl, you crazy! Bye!”

 

“Bye gurl.”

 

“Ms. Robins security just called from downstairs. Your 3 o’clock is on his way up, should I just show him to the main conference room to wait for you?”

 

“Yeah, I just have to run down to HR to sign a few documents. Just tell him I won’t be long. Make sure he’s comfortable.”

 

“Will do.”

 

Elevator dings…

 

Elyse steps in only to freeze mid-stride as her heart turns to a rock in her chest. Oh God…Oh my God. What is he doing here?

 

New York? She’s been in New York all this time? “Elyse…”

 

“Hi… you’re the representative from the non-profit? I hadn’t even looked at the name of the organization, or else I would’ve…”

 

“It was a mosquito.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“There was a mosquito on your cheek. I had just been made aware of a malaria outbreak in the village. A few people were really ill and we didn’t have our vaccines yet. I just reacted when I saw the mosquito. I was worried. I’m so sorry…”

 

“I…”

 

 

**Moral of the story… Often times, it isn’t the act itself that scars you. It’s what you believe about the act. Don’t allow your past to narrate your present.

 

What if she’d allowed him to explain about the malaria outbreak?

 

What if he’d been a few minutes late to his meeting to explain?

 

What if they’d come home from the missions trip engaged after having a moment of clarity about “the slap”?

 

What would things have looked like these 12 months later?

 

What if…

 

© 2017 Kelsi Marie

 

 

 

Guilty!!!

I’m guilty. I don’t just mean in the past, but lately. I’ve been guilty of frustration. Guilty of impatience. We do know that patience isn’t waiting right? We’re going to wait regardless when it comes to what only God can release. Patience is actually waiting with the right attitude. We can murmur, complain and pout while we wait, or we can trust, praise and rejoice in the promise that is on the other end of our wait.

I became frustrated, because I couldn’t understand the point. I couldn’t understand why He has revealed some of the things He has, if CLEARLY some of the things aren’t coming to pass any time soon. Sometimes, when hope hurts, you’d just rather not know. Ignorance can be bliss at times. But when He reveals His plan and purpose you have to deal with the burden of conforming to His divine schedule. So I ask questions like… why did you show me if I was just going to remain irritated by the process? Why did I even have to know?

He had a talk with me today to remind me that it isn’t about my conveniences, but His purpose. And He also reminded me that cooperating with Him during the process is the same as cooperating with Him for the plan itself. A sous chef doesn’t get the credit, but certainly has responsibilities and must take orders and execute as the meal is prepared. The longer a sous chef works beside an executive chef, the more they learn, and the better they become.

So AGAIN, my heart has been restored. I needed it restored AGAIN. And I told Him tonight, that I commit to his purpose AND His schedule (ARRRGGGGHHHH it’s KILLING ME…. I guess that’s the point). I desire to execute my role in His plan with complete synchronicity, virtue and excellence. I am walking this out WITH Him. It’s His plan., so it will be accomplished in HIS time. Inhale… Exhale… Inhale….. Exhale…

Psalm 119:133 is my anthem right now. No iniquity!!! No iniquity tied to doubt, fear, frustration, impatience, bitterness, intolerance, pride….. NO INIQUITY!!! (If you read the scripture you’ll get what I’m saying)

We should feel honored to have a role at all!

Perspective is key….Selah

This 2016 Election…

Re: this election…I read about so many Christians who are up in arms about Clinton’s support of Roe v. Wade. I have GROWN to a place where I don’t support abortion. There are things she says about it that I don’t agree with. My disagreement with her doesn’t foster support for Trump though. Abstinence would solve most of the abortion issue (rape and incest are experiences we shouldn’t put our mouths on). But to expect the discipline of abstinence from people who haven’t the discipline to follow Christ is asinine. The carnal (by definition, not judgment) and unsaved will do what they do. So are we angry with Clinton for how she feels about the consequences of fornication without being angry with Trump for how he’s handled fornication itself in his life? Again, we should PRAY they do better. As a Christian, I don’t wish to condemn neither Trump nor Clinton. I wish to see both of them redeemed and reconciled to God with the fruit that demonstrates it. Reconciliation and redemption changes behavior through a process called maturation. 

That said, my strongest issue with this election isn’t what politicians are doing. Politicians will be politicians and it is our responsibility as Christians to humble ourselves, pray and seek God’s face so our land can be healed (2 Chron. 7:14). I accept the responsibility. 

My issue, what pains me most and I’m sure grieves the Holy Spirit is the spirit of divisiveness that Christians have allowed to manipulate us. Over an ELECTION we have become rude to one another, sought to belittle one another, prove ourselves right and condemn, label and judge people (candidates included) instead of praying their hearts are turned to God. You cannot speak word curses over a person and pray for them at the same time. So even on Facebook, our motives and our tone….even the sharing of scripture should be done in LOVE. A kind word spoken through arrogance has no love in it. We need to be careful and not allow the enemy to gain a foothold. 

After hearing that Trump told the mother of his three children that he didn’t want her anymore, because he couldn’t be attracted to a woman who has bore children, I told my aunt that ANY man who could disassociate himself emotionally (for that reason) from the woman who had HIS children, definitely has psychopathic tendencies. I repented to God for making that statement, and I am denouncing it for the purpose of transparency. This election should not change who WE are. #kelsimarie

Seasons Change…

Seasons change. I have loved people that I’ve had to release, whether because of death, marriage, miles or just the expiration of a season. As life shifts, sometimes configurations change. You’ve heard it before, you have some relationships for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime. Not all endings are bad and bitter.
That said, I cherish the moments, use my words, write letters, send messages and give gifts. I know I mustn’t hold on and prolong anything beyond the season for which it is purposed. I must yield to His plan and respect His course. My endeavor is to make sure that when one reflects across the miles and memories, the sunsets and secrets, the gifts and gains, when a person remembers me and thinks of our time and season of doing life together, they remember honesty, safety, laughter and loyalty…and they simply remember being loved. ❤️❤️❤️ #kelsimarie

Missed Opportunities…

I remember one day at church many years ago, the Holy Spirit told me to go ask an older gentleman…a seasoned elder in our church to lay hands and pray for me. I came up with every excuse imaginable. I was embarrassed to ask. I was afraid of how I would sound. What do I say? Then I said, “Okay, next Sunday…I’ll ask next Sunday.”
God knew, but I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw Him. You really never know when an opportunity will expire…when your season with a person will end.
I’ve repented. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ll never know what he would have imparted. I’ll never know what God’s intentions were. I’ll never know how my obedience would have affected my life. My flesh would love to believe I didn’t miss out…that it’s all good…that somehow, some way, SOMETHING has made up for it. But I know God and I know He ALWAYS instructs with purpose.
Years later, I stopped by my parents’ house and my father surprised me and wrote a check. I looked at the amount and said, “Thank you Daddy!” I was in a rush!!! I got to the door and had a fleeting thought to run back and kiss him and tell him I loved him. I didn’t. I was running late. I told myself I’d just come back in a few days. It was the last time I saw him. He passed two days later.
My lesson…there ARE missed opportunities!!!
Sometimes people know what they can’t tell you. Some time later I told my mom I wished I had turned around and run back. What harm would 90 more seconds have done? She told me she asked him what prompted him to write me that check that day. His response, “It’s the last gift I’ll ever be able to give her.”
Friendships expire. Seasons change. Doors close. People die. Folks move away. Life carries people in different directions. Winds of change are often unexpected…. The BEST we can do is maximize moments, make sure people know we love them and that they’re appreciated. Leave a good mark, something that makes people smile when they think of you or remember you.
And WHATEVER He is telling you to do. DO IT!!! Sometimes we’ve only got ONE SHOT to get it right and divinely timed for purpose. Mediocrity and settling present opportunities all day, everyday, as long as you’ll take them.

Jesus IS the middle….

The truth for a Christian, whether you’re ready or not, whether you like it or not, is that Jesus IS the ministry of reconciliation. He is SUPPOSED to be the CENTER of EVERY relationship you have, whether it’s marital, friendship, parental, sibling or otherwise. He will allow EVERY relationship you have to suffer and fall apart, just so that He can reconcile it and be the center of it. No, not to be mean, but because only through Him….only by Him being at the CENTER of the relationship, can you experience the FULLNESS of the blessing the relationship is intended to be. He HAS to be the center!!! I’ve been ruminating this revelation for about three months.
Here’s an example:
Isaac was a promise for Abraham. Sometimes we desire a promise so much and wait so long that when it manifests, we idolize the promise. We serve it and have a greater affection for it than we do God. Sound familiar? God desired to be the CENTER of Abraham and Isaac’s relationship. He has to be the middle, the reconciler. And when Abraham lifted the knife, he proved his faithfulness to God. He chose God over his son, therefore God gave his son back to him (provided a ram in the bush). At that point God became the mediator, the CENTER of the relationship, His rightful place. With order established, every future blessing God intended for Abraham to have through Isaac, could be given. He HAS to be the CENTER!!! Make Him the center so that He doesn’t have to SHOW you He’s the one keeping it together!!! (One of the many things I’ve learned from Bonhoeffer ❤️)

To The Open Heart on Valentine’s Day….

To the Open Heart This Valentine’s Day….
I was talking to one of my brothers in the Lord last night and he was sharing with me a recent revelation God gave to him about true Godly manhood and the masculinity revealed through responsibility. Divine masculinity that isn’t being taught and is missing in too many adult males around us. He shared that a man’s responsibility, even as a husband, isn’t contingent upon “feelings”. If Jesus was led and motivated by His “feelings”, He would never have drank from the cup. Conviction had to trump convenience and feelings. I appreciate these conversations we have because it becomes so OBVIOUS that the word of God is the skeletal framework of these revelations. I won’t share any more about his revelation about masculinity, as it is His to share. My spirit leaped because I understood, and in that realized that I was being understood.
You see, I made this vow to God a long time ago that I would give Him my life and really LIVE ON PURPOSE and by His design. It was then that I knew with certainty that I wouldn’t exist to pay bills and die. I decided that I would agree with God concerning His will for my life and do my best to partner with His plans and bring glory to His name.
If I am to partner with His plans, then I cannot partner with those who don’t partner with His plans- even if it means walking alone at times. If God’s plan looks like “this”, then I can’t marry someone whose life plan and pursuit looks like “that”.
We don’t choose one time to live for God, we choose to live for God CONTINUOUSLY, one opportunity at a time, overcoming by His strength, one temptation at a time, siding with Him, once choice at a time. Victory doesn’t mean there are no injuries, but it does mean you are at least TRYING to aim right and that there are more hits than misses. There should ALWAYS be measurable growth.
So tonight, I am saluting those who make the inconvenient, unpopular and often misunderstood decisions, in an effort to remain in the will of God. I salute you because it is a lonely place. There are those who have walked with you that will fall asleep on you (won’t you pray with me for one hour?). There are those who will tell you that it doesn’t take all of that. There are those who will tell you that since you only live once, you might as well do all that makes you feel good, DESPITE biblical principles such as those shared in Romans 8:1-5.
So to those who could have continued to stay on a job that allowed them to be rich, but chose to start all over, even if it meant less pay, to do things God’s way, and WAIT for the fruit of that decision, I salute you and can relate. Napolean Kaufman still had good playing years left in him in the NFL when he left to pastor (just in case you needed an example).
To those who desire to be married, but have had to forego opportunities to do so, because they haven’t YET met one that God said He endorses and fits well into His plan for their lives… I salute you and can relate.
For those who have had to endure public scrutiny whether at a dinner table or a board meeting, because they have defended the truth while everyone else was in agreement and slapping fives over a lie, gossip or demonic agenda… I salute you and can relate.
For those courageous enough to walk away from their desires, to pursue God’s desires for them…. I salute you and can relate.
Jesus set the example of sacrificial love and commitment for the sake of doing the will of the Father and THE WAY hasn’t changed. Nobody said it would be easy, but in the END, it will be worth it.
There are so many decades we’ll spend here. And there is an ETERNITY we will spend… somewhere else. Are you willing to sacrifice here to reign with Him there? You aren’t alone.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY…..where is your heart…..really?

Who Remembers Jordache?

I was just thinking today about how much I hate INSECURITIES. They are such tricks and tools of the enemy. If we never come in to full agreement with what God says about us or who God says that we are, we will never live the life, steward the ministry or take the territory for God’s kingdom that Christ died for us to take. Insecurities cause us to be timid, shy, depressed, despondent, and just flat out CRAZY at times. And YES, shyness is a form of FEAR. How will I be perceived? What will happen to me? What will people say? Will I be good enough? What will people think? Will I be embarrassed? I could go on and on….. but it’s all FEAR!!! I HATE FEAR!!! God didn’t give that to me!!! We serve a God who takes NO pleasure and has no delight in a drawback spirit. What have you missed out on, what chances did you not take, because of a fear of failure? Better yet, what job, relationships, circumstances have you settled for, because deep inside you didn’t believe you could do or have better? OUCH!
Insecurities have many different faces. Show me a bragger, a self-promoter, a bully, a flaunter and I’ll show you someone as insecure as the person who sits in a corner with their head down…. just a different execution of the same mess.
I remember when I was in the 2nd grade I had a friend who came to school with a turquoise Jordache purse (yes, I’m revealing my age) with fringes hanging from the bottom. OMG!!! That purse was EVERYTHING. See, she had a sister who was several grades ahead of us and shopped in the “juniors” section. Oh, how I loved that purse. She’d even let me wear it for a few minutes at recess.
I remember feeling like the light of the sun shone on her when she wore that purse and like the skies above me were overcast. That one purse made me feel “less than” and insecure. I wanted a Jordache purse like hers!! Not having that one thing, made me lose sight of all of the awesome stuff that I had. It didn’t matter that people fell out over my thick, long, beefy ponytails, my various flavors of Lip Smackers (for the men, those are lip glosses), or whatever new tennis shoes my father had bought me…. it wasn’t the Jordache purse with the fringes on the bottom!!! Insecurities, along with the sins of covetousness, envy and jealousy will make you MISERABLE!!! It will blind you to the fact that some who have never even paid you a compliment will begin doing their make up like yours, style their hair like yours, etc. The mental turbulence just doesn’t allow you to see your own value.The one major thing my childhood friend had that I didn’t, was CONFIDENCE.

This is a comical example of how the adversary slithers into our thoughts to discount everything God has graced us with, all the while, looking to the one thing someone else appears to have, that you don’t. We walk around bogged down with blessings while our sight is set on what we don’t have. How ungrateful!!!
Not long after, my mom bought me the cutest pink little girl’s handbag and I was over the Jordache purse! I completely forgot about it.My point? Don’t fall for the mind trick. Don’t dummy down and get all insecure. KNOW YOUR WORTH!!! And never ever forget you have your own batch of blessings!!!
Never allow the enemy to trick you out of identifying and being grateful for your strengths. If you don’t believe you have them, you will never use them and he wins. You have access to everything you need to run your race, win your battles, finish your course and accomplish your purpose. Find it. Use it. Thank HIM for it!!!