Gratitude is Always in Style

Today I want to take a moment to simply thank the Lord for His goodness; for His mercy; for His grace.  I know this world is full of challenges, but God is still good and deserves our praise.  My pastor often shares a great reminder that goes something like this… “What you’re complaining about is someone else’s answered prayer.  The family members that get on your last nerve… someone else is believing God for a family…”   I hope you get the picture.

I believe an attitude of gratitude opens the door for more goodness to enter our lives.  I believe it pleases God when we express gratitude for even the seemingly small things in life.   After all, everything we have comes from Him.

No matter the season, an attitude of gratitude is always in style.

Selah.

Meditate on this:  “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” — Psalm 34:1

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The Victory Belongs to Jesus!

This is one of my favorite worship songs… it just takes me there… right into His presence.  I’m sharing this today as a reminder that no matter the situation, God has the final say.  His Word is the final authority.  The victory belongs to Jesus!

A Valentine’s Day Message

God has a message for you today.  He loves you.  It will be the same message tomorrow and the next day too. HE LOVES YOU. And there is nothing that you can do to change this fact. You can search your entire life, but you will never find the beginning or end of God’s love for you.  His love is eternal. He loves you with an everlasting love. Yes, everlasting….

All around the world, people are celebrating Valentine’s Day today. Expressions of romantic love are on display with flowers, candy and other sweet gestures. If  you’re feeling lonely or forgotten, don’t. Wrap yourself in the knowledge that there is One who will never leave you nor forsake you. It’s hard, I know, to grasp the fact that there is someone who loves us unconditionally.  Just as we are.  In all our mess. Knowing this makes me happy today.  How about you?

Selah!

Mediate on this:  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” — Hebrews 13:8

Celebrating Life and Legacy

Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of my favorite quotes of Dr. King is, “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”  Do you ever wonder what the condition of our world would be if all people, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, embraced this creed?

I wish you blessings and peace as we reflect on the life and legacy of a remarkable man.

Meditate on this: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – MLK

 

Raise Your Expectations…

The guest speaker at a recent women’s fellowship at my church ministered on the subject of hope. It was a great message.  One that had me reflecting over my life even days after the Friday meeting.  Essentially, if  your hope is in God (as it should be), you can always expect good things from Him.  God will cause good circumstances to manifest in your life. Why?  Because God is good. That seems simple enough, but it can be hard to believe at times, especially when things seem to be going all wrong .  What are you to think when you face a series of disappointments? Is God still good?  Assuredly, He is!

The Word of God is clear in Jeremiah 29:11, which states, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  So then, when disappointments come (and know that they will come!), we can still have hope for a bright outcome because our hope/ faith is in God. (Hope and faith are interchangeable).  Our guest speaker reminded us that while circumstances may not always turn out the way we would want, things will still turn out good for us in the end because God is good.  And, since God is good, our expectation should be that good things will eventually take place in our lives.  When our hope is rooted in the promises of God, we can live with expectation knowing that good is on the way.   Rest in the truth that God is able; God is good; and God is willing.  Child of God, I encourage you to raise your expectation and anticipate God’s best to unfold in your life.

Selah!

Mediate on this:  “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” — Romans 5:5

 

 

And He Shall Direct Your Paths…

Yesterday my friend and business mentor invited me to join her as a guest at the Tuesday session of her school of ministry class.  I did.  Boy was I in for an eye-opening experience. Shortly after class began, we were paired into twos.  Our assignment was for one student to close his/her eyes and walk around the building while listening to the verbal commands of the student whose eyes remained opened. Needless to say, this was a challenging exercise for me on a lot of levels.  First, I am way too analytical for my own good.  I need to know how and why things work.  I’ve found however that this little personality trait does me no good when it comes to kingdom business.  Statistics, analytics, or even real-time facts are no match for the Truth.  The Word of God trumps all of that, every time.

So, with my eyes closed I started around the building guided only by the verbal commands of my friend.  While I took slow, teeny, tiny steps to complete this assignment, I trusted that my guide would lead me safely to my destination and not into a brick wall.  At times,  I felt a rush of uncertainty.   How much further do I have to go, I  wondered.  I’ll admit that I even peeked a few times, opening my eyes, albeit briefly, to see EXACTLY where I was.

Our reliance on the Holy Spirit to guide us through life is very much like this exercise. We must trust that He knows what’s ahead and that He will guide us to safety every time.  As a child of God, you can be assured of this promise just as it says in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which though shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”

Like me, you may be a work in progress. I’ve been serving God most of my life and I’ve met very few people who don’t struggle in this area from time to time.  Regardless of your status, you can take comfort in the truth that God always sees, knows and hears what we cannot.  Trust.

Mediate on this: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” — Proverbs 3:5-6

Selah!

 

God, We Need You!

Like me, you’re probably wondering how and why another senseless shooting has gripped our nation.  This time, evil visited San Bernardino – a city that I visit often.  I know many people that work in San Bernardino and who were just a few short blocks away from the shooting that occurred Wednesday, Dec. 2.  Thankfully, my friends were unhurt.  Authorities have confirmed that 14 individuals were killed and just as many were injured. Many more lives however have been forever altered as a result of yet another act of senseless violence.  When will it end we ask?  Why God, why? Why do bad things happen to good people?  We’ve all asked this question a time or two.  I don’t have the answers, unfortunately.  All I know to do is to keep believing the Word of God, regardless of what I see or what I feel.

I recently returned from Uganda. The people I met there were warm, beautiful and generous.  Reflecting on the news events of the last couple days, I wondered what my new friends might think about this American tragedy.  I was then reminded that we ALL need  a Savior.  From Coast to Coast, Continent to Continent, our only hope is in Jesus.  The One who surrendered His life for us.  Our hope for better tomorrows is only found in our belief in the Word of God. The Word that will not return to the earth void of power.

Now, join me please in praying for the City of San Bernardino and all the victims and families affected yesterday.  We serve a God who hears and answers prayer.

Selah!

Blessed to Be a Blessing

Today our missions team dressed in traditional African attire and our pastor prayed over us during morning worship service.  This is the first missionary trip for many on our team, including me.  We have all faced many challenges in preparation for this journey, and I suspect that there will be more before we depart on October 7.  A few weeks ago, the air conditioning in my car stopped working suddenly. (That’s bad news for anyone living in Southern California!) Last week, my mechanic told me that I would need a new transmission.  I recognize these challenges as distractions from the enemy.  That’s his job – to try to send fear and discouragement into our mind.  Rather than focusing all my energy on car problems, I am instead focusing on the goodness of God.  In spite of car challenges at the moment, I am still blessed.  I am blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Uganda.  I am blessed to know Jesus Christ as my personal savior.  I am blessed to be used of God.  I am blessed to be a blessing!

Meditate on this: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  — Isaiah 43:2

Selah!