I have a confession to make. I am addicted to books. I realized it when my bookshelf took a turn for the worse. Too many books found their way on the shelves and the weight caused it to wobble and lean. Eventually it’s going to collapse. I haven’t replaced it yet so it’s still leaning. I took some books off the shelves and laid them down gently instead of standing them up tall. It helps but it’s not good enough to stop it from leaning. The back particle board has come apart from the frame so there’s no support from behind. It looks like a bookshelf but it’s not acting like one. It has become defective. I know it’s still a bookshelf but the books aren’t being supported the right way. It reminds me of my life ‘s bookmarks. Sometime things get wobbly on the job or at home, I start to lean and sometimes I really feel like I could collapse. The weight of dealing with everyday life, work, finances and family gets heavy. Sometimes I look like I’m living on pitch and doing ok but I’m not. I’m just living and leaning, wobbling and shifting. One thing I’ve learned, when I’m feeling as if I’m about to collapse is God is my support. My bookshelf taught me that one day. I realized God has my back covered and he won’t let me fall off the shelf. I can gently stack my burdens, problems and fears and lay them down before God. I am renewed and refreshed by reading my Bible, taking time out for prayer and meditation so that I can stand up again.
Psalm 31: 1 (ESV) In you, O Lord do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!
Psalm 119:116-117 (ESV) Uphold me according to your promise that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually.
It’s Memorial Day weekend. Everyone is gearing up for their summer vacations, relaxing by the pool, and cooking outdoors. As I take a minute to reflect and remember loved ones gone to soon, soldiers and officers, workers in the military, emergency workers, medical professionals working to save lives everyday, and those who fight for our country and our freedom, I can’t forget about God’s army of missionaries, pastors, Bible and Sunday School teachers, ministers and the entire host of foot soldiers on the battlefield sharing the good news of God’s love, grace and His mercy. We honor and salute all of you today. John 3:16 (ESV) says for God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. I had to let that sink in for a minute. God did not forget about us. He gave so that we could live. God’s love saved my life and I can never forget that.
All weekend long I was asked if I was going out on a date. Not just any date but a “hot” date. I only changed one thing on the outside and that was my hairstyle. People noticed my hair and makeup, my walk, my clothes and my personality. Some even said I was glowing. I smiled and just said, there was no hot date to everyone who asked me. The outside appearance was different, but what really changed for me was mostly on the inside. Truth is I had been on a date, in fact it was several dates. We’d met before but it’d been a good while since we last spent quality time together. We re-connected and after spending time alone without any distractions, I realized I missed being in that old place, our place where I could just be myself. I spent time getting a little closer, I laughed and cried, I surrendered and I gave in to the request to keep in touch more. I was happy to be going out on my “hot dates”, it just felt good and right. I felt refreshed and knew that’s what being in God’s presence would do to me, it would fill me up, change my look and make me glow. He was and always is my perfect date.
2 Corinthians 5:16-20 ( MSG)Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for your presence in my life. Let others see the glow of God in me every moment I spend with you and every time I sit at your feet. Amen
ICYMI is a popular acronym used these days for updates, news flashes, rewind, etc. I missed watching my show The Voice, but saw the highlights on the website. I missed the political news about Hillary and Donald, but caught up by reading CNN’s website , I missed that cute family photo my friend posted but Facebook updated me. I even missed church on Sunday but got updated by members and listened to the sermon through online replay. Please don’t miss this: God doesn’t miss anything we go through in life. He doesn’t need a recap, doesn’t need to see it again, or revisit anything. He is everywhere, knows everything and has all power. I realized my best resource for ICYMI is the Bible. I have missed a lot. Somehow I keep missing the mark, I feel like I am missing God sometime. I feel like my spiritual acronym should be YYMIA for yeah, you missed it again. But thank God for being the same, yesterday, today and forever. The Bible is better than social media sites, news feeds, entertainment websites or any app on my phone. God gives constant updates and reminders in the Bible to recap, go back, hear it again, listen to His voice then keep on doing what it says.
I will keep it plain and simple today with just two words of encouragement:
Just Awesome –that’s who God is!
It is the season to celebrate, wow and excite moms for a day. We buy gifts, send cards and make phone calls to show our love but I can’t celebrate Mother’s Day like a 1 Day Sale at Macy’s. You see, moms deserve more than one day on a calendar, they deserve to be celebrated everyday. They deserve to be honored. We’re blessed to have mothers past and present who’ve shown their love everyday in so many different ways. I don’t think I can schedule express love for mom in just one day. I need to just do it everyday. I will honor my mother just like the Bible says to do. My mom always said to me,” Mother’s day is everyday.” That means when I run an errand for her, help her or the grandkids out with a project, remind and take her to a doctor’s appointment, put gas in her car, call or text her, (even though she doesn’t always text me back), it’s Mother’s Day. It’s also when I cook dinner, take her shopping, get the bags out of her car, pull the car around for her when she is tired of walking, help her stay organized with bills, clean up the house, decorate for a family gathering, laugh and cry with her, or do whatever she asks me to, it’s Mother’s Day. So I will continue to honor my mom daily and let God wow and excite her beyond what I can do in His own chocolate-dipped, freshly crafted kind of way.
Exodus 20:12 (ESV) says “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
May is a busy month for me. I’m marking up my calendar with events for the summer months and plans for the weekends ahead. The month of May brings a few holidays with it also such as Mother’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. It’s also Older Americans Month according to my health calendar. I took a look at my church calendar which is usually full of reminders, events, services and rehearsal dates and noticed the Annual National Day of Prayer is coming soon. It’s on May 5, 2016 for this year’s observance. I will be sure to mark, circle and highlight it on all of my calendars. National Day of Prayer is not promoted or marketed like the other days. There are no ads, sales events, parties or special promotions and announcements with this one. It’s a pure and simple invitation for everyone to take some time out to pray and reverence God’s name. We all need prayer, not just for one day, but everyday.