There a times when I am silent and I know you’re there
There are times when I am silent and I know you can hear
There are times when words escape me and I know you can see
That in those times my heart longs for you
And deep I know you will see me through
Recently having moved to a new place, the time appears to be flying by. For years I’ve prayed to be in my current location, for improved opportunity. And at the appropriate time, God granted it to me.
The timing of his plans are always “perfect”. My mind is much more settled and I have a greater sense of who I am as a person, however; I must admit the lure of the “city” has entranced me. So how do you find balance in an unbalanced environment? For me the key is staying grounded, but untattered.
Through out childhood due to circumstances that are all to familiar to children in today’s society my parents and I often communicated through a series of hand written letters. At the time I thought they were the worse form of communication for parents and children as I longed for the “normal” family/upbringing. But little did I know I was getting God’s best through my parents’ best.
In these letters my parents communicated with me with more depth and honesty than traditional “in house” parents do at any given time. The letters detailed life lessons, tips, and prayers for my future, most of the things that are often unspoken in regular everyday households.
That’s why I say God gave me his best! Growing up I read the letters with some regard noting what was said as they applied to my life at the moment and put them away. At the time I didn’t realize the value of what was taking place, although I knew without a doubt that I was loved, my parents were proud, and they always noted the goodness of God in each.
As I’ve grown up and now gotten into my thirties I can now appreciate what had taken place. In the hundreds of letters my parents were devulging the secrets to life that they had learned along their journeys without hesitation, without censorship, and without reserve. They were parenting me through distance for my future. The true value of what took place was the ability for me to look back on the life lessons etched out on paper with my now adult eyes and perspective.
These letters, notes, and cards are priceless and full of things that I often I apply now. Many of their words echoe daily in my mind. Things like “don’t take the long way around”, my mother wrote in one letter, advising me to be clear and never put things off because of my youth. Or, “life is just like this chessboard, ” my father said to me as he taught me the game and reinforced in a letter.
My life at that point had been uncharted, and hadn’t even began to take shape but they knew it would one day and God allowed the circumstances to be used for my good overall. Now in my new place, new city, at the crust on a new chapter in my life I’m thankful that although from my vantage point things appear “uncharted”, they have already
been chiseled out by the almighty!
Candid Moment: As children of God its our job to do things that would please him. During service today a key point was brought up amongst the many ways we can please God…how we treat our family…the people God selected for us to be placed with…as it was explained in life we are given authority to decide nearly every detail of our lives (friends, associates, career, etc. in many respects) but family the one we’re placed in is HIS choice.
Often in my life I have questioned this, “family” and thought as many do “why”. In today’s society not many people put an emphasis on family, instead we tend to gravitate more towards things and people that are most like us (in our comfort zone) because often times “family” challenges us, to give more than we want to give or to feel more than we want to feel. To some they place no emphasis on the blood tie relationships between people and gravitate towards bonds that until they are tested often rely on conditions unstated in an invisible contract, that once broken dissolves the bond.
I’ve always found it peculiar as to how some people can build a life based on so little. Often times people will make friendships trying to mimic the feelings of family, and often in the process push those away who love them unconditionally.
But the fact remains that when things are all said and done when you’re at your lowest God has provided a built in safety net. Now granted some families are not what they should be, but when pushed and tried ;they your blood will come through for you.
The family relationship is one that is heavily emphasized throughout the bible, as it refers to God and Jesus as father and son. This bond is unbreakable so much in fact that in order to have one you must also have a relationship with the other.
Family ties are sacred and often scarred by unforgiveness and resentment over time. These factors of division keep many from reaching their full potential. As people we could stand to go back to the times when the word family stood for something. In bible times the family unit carried itself as a church in the sense that people understood that in unity (where two or three were gathered) was where god dwelled and blessings flowed.
Unity amongst kin is where we need to get back to because in division and discourse the devil can freely devour!
It’s been three years since I experienced what I consider a “true God encounter.” I had always heard people use this term to describe the moment when their lives changed forever and they experienced a “great awakening.” But I never thought it would happen to me.
Although I had been a “Christian” my whole life, the thought of a “god” encounter seemed far fetched. I thought that those experiences were for those who were considered to be “lost,” those that hadn’t grown up in church, hadn’t been baptised by the ripe old age of 5 , and that lived drug-fueled lives that were out of control. I was wrong.
I had been the girl that had done “everything” right and had beat the odds. I had been raised by my grandparents, graduated from highschool with top honors, and was one of the first in the family to go on to finish college. I was a success! At least in my mind.
As I went on in my career I faced many challenges daily and the level of stress was astronomical. I was challenged on all fronts by coworkers, the public, and those that I was assigned to each year. And naturally I found myself looking for relief. I prayed. And I become bitter.
The bitterness came from something that was hidden deep within my heart from various experiences and the lack of recognition from my job. The whole time I attended church. I was the “typical” Christian who felt that I could “do me” , do what was half right by god, pray, and expect things to workout. And I was extremely wrong.
As time passed the pressure from job began to explode within in me and started to manifest in my attitude, my thoughts, and even into my physical body. The seeds of bitterness had began to poison me and was mounting to kill me, through intense chest pains.
I can remember having deep pains shooting throughout my body radiating from my chest outward. These pains would stop me in my tracks and were coupled with shortness of breath. I spent countless days in and out of hospital rooms hooked to machines and in tears. Along with that I felt like I had no one. My family was hours away and most of my “friends” deserted me during this time. But God.
In my moments of pain and my upbringing I knew to call on the name of Jesus. Many days and nights I would lay in tears praying for the pain to stop and for things to change. This was my “rock bottom” moment. All my adult life I had prided myself on being able to handle things. I could endure the racism on my job, the rowdy public, and anything else. I was an over comer, until had was faced with something “I” couldn’t over come. My body was giving out on me and I felt like my world was collapsing. But god!
One evening after going to the doctor I sat down on the couch sobbing. And that sobbing turned to prayer. In that moment there was a glow I saw and then I heard a voice within it. By this time I was kneeling on the floor and the voice said “everything will be alright, you’re not going to die, and from now on your life will never be the same.” In those moments tears were streaming down my face, but I felt comforted and confident.
I then realized that the whole time and mostly all of my life I had depended on me. I had always prayed but deep down I believed that god was distant and if things were to get done I would have to do them. Until, I was faced with something I couldn’t fix. After that day I made the decision to trust God. I wanted that feeling of security to never leave so I went after god.
I began to read more of the bible that I had often just had as a night stand piece and I started to pray more and with more fervor. My faith was developing into something real. As I went to more doctors appointments and more tests were ran doctors became more and more perplexed. Nothing wrong could be found!
This experience completely changed my life! In the moments when death seemed to be around the corner I had developed an intense love and thirst for life! Instead of focusing on the pain I began to focus on the moments I had “left”. I found myself laughing and smiling more, and intentionally choosing to be happy instead of focusing in on what was wrong with me, my life, my job, or others. I made peace with those that had wrong me, most of that I realized rested within my own thoughts as I had rehearsed the hurt. I let go!
From that time to this, I can say I truly enjoy my life. You can too!
Skin is something that we all have, but unfortunately it’s also something that many of us don’t feel comfortable in. These days people tend to allow that uncomfortable feeling to lead them into various outlets, endeavors, and under takings in order to feel better about themselves. In our society it has become too simple to change what we don’t like about ourselves in the areas of outward appearances, sexual assignments, and gender roles.
We have all become victims of media overload which influences the ways in which we view life, our bodies, and others around us. It is clear that with the prevalence of television and other 24 hour media outlets and connectivity that our society has taken a severe down turn. In today’s society most people seem to live in an almost constant state of confusion about who or what they are as they try to wear the many hats placed upon them through the media. Examples of this can be seen throughout a variety of areas in life especially in the younger generations. It seems that certain things like homosexuality,bisexuality, transgender, gangster/thug, and many many more terms/lifestyles have become fads. My question is why?
The answer can be found in the Bible, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy”John10:10. In this parable Jesus is speaking about a shepherd and his sheep and he explains the plans of the thief. I know you’re wondering what that has to do with the topic at hand, right?
See the point is that we as humans are open vessels that can acquire and learn things based upon our environment and surroundings. So if the media, which includes television, radio, social media (Facebook, twitter, etc.), billboards, magazines, commercials, etc. constantly bombards you with images, music, and other subliminal messages that suggest you need improvement, you need this, you need that, it’s okay for this, and it’s okay for that then the seeds of distraction, confusion, and discourse have been planted. And if you are young and impressionable then these images and sound bites begin to sprout and become real in your life especially if there is nothing to contradict them. But not only do children fall victim to these things adults do also, which is why cosmetic surgeries are at an all time high throughout the world.
It seems that no one is comfortable in the own “skin” anymore everyone is striving to be something or someone else. Ironically, after all pursuits of fulfilling this unattainable standard are exhausted many will realize that, that which they were seeking was with them the whole time. In that space that many are trying to fill, only the one who fashioned the skin you’re in can fill it. God.