Drawing Near In Time Of Trouble

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8

Hey friends!

I pray you all are doing well.  As I write this, the state of our nation is in a place that I’m sure none of us saw coming when 2020 rolled around.  

Times like these can bring a lot of anxiety, uncertainty and confusion. But times like these can also remind us of our need to draw even closer to our Father.  Below are a few things that have been on my heart that I pray encourage you as we navigate through this current season.   

1. Remind yourself of God’s sovereignty.  We don’t know how or why certain things happen in life. But we do know Who sits on the throne. God is sovereign. And His sovereignty means that He has supreme power and authority over all things.  Scripture declares, “Who can command things to happen without the Lord’s permission? Does not the Most High send both calamity and good” Lamentations 3:27. For me this a hard truth, but it also brings some solace in knowing that God is not scrambling trying to figure out what is going on. Additionally, as we understand that nothing happens without the Lord’s permission, we can also remind our hearts that “All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28. I don’t know how and I don’t know when- but we know that His word His true.

Draw Near.

2. Reevaluate and repent. Now that I’ve been forced to slow down I realize how much I’ve been moving. Now that my plans are not going quite the way I expected, I realize how much I need to release control. And now that I realize how much I need to draw closer to God, I see how far I strayed. The words of James in chapter 4 verse 8 are a mirror to our hearts, which force us to really see what has taken priority in our lives.  Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]. As am washing my hands, I’m also washing my heart. Revaluating areas of my life that may not line up with what God wants for my future.

Draw Near.

3. Meditate on scripture. While we’re “social distancing” it’s tempting to consume our time with the latest news updates, binge watch our favorite shows and scroll through our social feeds. I know because ‘tis me. Lol! But this is also the perfect time to feast on God’s word. If we are full from digesting what everyone else has to say, how much room will we have left when God wants to speak to our hearts? The appetizers might taste nice, but the main course is what we want.  Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8

Draw Near.

4. Grieve your disappointments. The impact of this pandemic goes way beyond what we see. Beside the health crisis, people’s jobs are on the line, weddings have been cancelled and families have had to alter funerals plan. Even if only temporary, life as we know it has changed. And for some it’s a lot. It’s heart wrenching.  But I will echo my theme: draw near to God. Take time to pour out your heart to God about the things that hurt you, the disappointments you have and intercede for others-knowing that our Father is big enough to handle it all. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Selah Psalm 62:8

5. Stay hopeful. Through it all we must maintain and give the message of hope. Hope is the anchor for our souls (Hebrews 6:19).  The beauty of an anchor’s true purpose if often displayed in some of life’s most difficult storms. As children of God we carry the message of hope not only for ourselves but for the world around us.

Be safe. Check in on your neighbors and loved ones. Get some rest.  But most importantly…

Draw Near To God.

Until Next Time,

Back To The Cross

As a recovering perfectionist, I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of feeling like you always need to get it right. But umm yeah we’re human, so mistakes are bound to happen. We do things we know we shouldn’t do, say things we ought not say and stiff arm the guidance of God, because we feel like “I got this.” (Or maybe that’s just me!) But once the realization kicks in that we’ve probably gone a little too far, it can be easy for guilt to paralyze us or make us feel unworthy of another chance. Yes, conviction is from the Lord. Condemnation is not. 

What if we allowed our mistakes to point us back to the cross?

The cross is where we find grace.

The cross is where we find forgiveness.

The cross is where we are reminded of our need for a Savior.

A Savior who redeems and gives us a second chance.

“I am writing this to you, my children, so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have someone who pleads with the Father on our behalf—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  And Christ Himself is the means [the propitiation, satisfaction] by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of everyone.”1 John 2:1-2

Thank you Jesus!

I’m reminding my heart and hopefully yours, that no sin is too great for the price Jesus already paid. Confess to the Lord. Repent. Find a friend you can be transparent with and accountable to. And by His grace make a decision to continue on the path He has for your life.

Happy New Year!

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance. Psalm 65:11 TPT

Happy New Year friends! I hope you had a joyful and exciting start to day 1 of this new year! I don’t know what your 2019 was like. It may have been all you dreamed of or perhaps you couldn’t wait to leave it behind. No matter where you find yourself, I pray that God’s promise of Psalm 65:11 will be yours as we move forward in anticipation of all that our Father has for us.

ABC’s Of A Grateful Heart

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.(Psalm 103:2)

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‘Tis the season for gratitude.

What’s one of the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your “ABC’s”?

For me it takes me back to the beginning of my childhood. Often the alphabet is one of the first things a child learns.  Before they can recognize words, write or form sentences, it is essential for them to grasp the basics of the alphabet. It is the foundation of everything that follows.  As I reflect on that thought this Thanksgiving season, I recognize this same principle is true in our journey through life.

The lesson of cultivating a grateful heart is essential as we move from season to season.  If we aren’t learning how to be grateful for where we are now, it’s likely we will have a hard time being grateful in other stages of life. Gratitude you see isn’t situational. It’s a heart issue. Continue reading

Reboot. (System Loading…)

I don’t know where it came from but I pretty much exploded. I was having a hard day- but it wasn’t just that day- I was having many hard days. High demands at work, overbooked calendar & trying to be the “good” friend to everyone around me amongst other things was stressing a sista out.  Something was wrong and it needed to be corrected asap.

I’ve worked in the technology field for several years. I remember early on in my career when working the helpdesk, if someone reported an issue with their PC , like a system freezing, an application crashed or weird error message, though most times determining the root issues was hard to diagnose, the symptoms revealed that something was definitely going on. My go-to technique was usually to have them reboot their PC…it seemed silly but 9 times out 10 that resolved it!

This concept works not only on computers or cell phones, but it can be applied to our lives as well. You see my outburst was just a symptom of other things going on. I couldn’t really place my finger on what …but a reboot was surely in store.

Reboot: start up again after closing or shutting down , start (something) anew: to refresh (something) by making a new start or creating a new version

After sitting in the bed exhausted that night I knew that I needed to reboot physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Reboot Physically

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? 1 Corinthians 6:19

Eating on the go or barely eating at all coupled with a lack of sleep were contributing to my irritable state. We live in a time where the “boss” mindset is glorified over the normalcy of life. As my pastor stated our side hustles have side hustles. Lol. I’m in NO way condemning those of you who are working multiple jobs, chasing dreams and doing what you feel God is calling you to do. I have several close friends who I admire like this, who are doing their thiiiing. What I am advising is that we must make sure in the midst of it all you take time to take care of yourself. Our bodies are our temples. And we should treat them as such.

Reboot Mentally

The battlefields we often have in our minds can be exhausting. When your thoughts seem like a tangled web of wires, figuring out a plan to unravel them can be just as tiresome as the thoughts themselves. Instead of trying to sort through where everything is coming from, sometimes we have to just pause and renew our thinking. Allow the Lord to take control and know that you have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).  At times our lack of mental peace is because our focus in on the wrong thing. Points to self.  Isaiah 26:3 reminds us “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You [the Lord], all whose thoughts are fixed on You!”  Perfect peace comes when our thought are fixed on the perfect One. Not my to do list. Not my worries. Not what other people want me to do. Not my Instagram feed. But a mind fixed on Jesus.

Reboot Spiritually

Last but certainly not least- reboot spiritually. Our relationship with our King has to be foremost in everything we do. But I’ll be the first to admit that as much as I know that, there are other things that often vie for my attention. A spiritual reboot begins simply by taking the first step to draw near to God. He promises when we do, that He will also draw near to us (James 4:8).  What an amazing thing that it is to know that no matter where you find yourself, the Savior’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). Perhaps it’s time for you to get back to church or bible study instead of avoiding it (Hebrews 10:25) and surround yourself with other like-minded individuals who can remind you of your first love (Revelation 2:4). Maybe it’s reading a devotional so you can get back in the habit of spending time in the word. Whatever it may be, the key is to do it. Everything we do hinges on connection to our Creator.  Ask the Father to create a clean heart and renew that steadfast spirit within you (Psalm 51:10), trusting that He will give you what you need to start anew in Him.

So how about you? What areas of your life are in need of a reboot? Take a moment to write them down and then execute a plan to move forward.  Praying for you..