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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS

Music To My Ears

Throughout the book of Psalms there are many references to singing, dancing and shouting. In chapter 33 there are several commands listed to shout for joy, give thanks to the Lord, make melody, play skillfully and sing. This passage reminds me that God is the Creator, the designer and maker of all things including music. God’s love commands us not only to hope in Him but also to express that hope in a way that others can see and hear. It’s audible, loud and expressive. It’s good to know the heavens and earth also acknowledge the steadfast love of God. Waters and seas follow His commands and the breath of God is so powerful it causes all the earth to fear Him. God is not an out of sight, out of mind kind of God. There is no need to wonder about tracking His location. To put focus on a position is pointless. To the readers of this Psalm all that really matters is knowing God sees us, hears us, delivers and keeps us. This passage clearly tells us He looks down from heaven, He looks out and observes our deeds. We can hope in God and openly express it all because of God’s steadfast love. That is good news and what I call music to my ears.

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS

Work in Progress

I know it’s not all about me when it comes to God’s program or plan. God doesn’t need me to accomplish His plan and even though it’s not about me I still need to work on me.

Praying for wisdom to do better, change and grow for the glory of God.

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS

It’s Gettin Heated

Sometimes my coworker friends and I live on the edge at work. When things aren’t right we may get to snapping back at each other, honking the car horn at folks during our lunch ride to our favorite restaurant or negatively putting in our 2 cents on a hot topic subject of management, changes or policy. Sometime it feels good enough just to get it off our chest and tell the person who upset us exactly how we feel.  Other times it doesn’t feel that good. There’s nothing wrong with being direct and honest with others but I have learned two words for when we are easily offended and take things to personally.  Those words are simply this:  SLOW DOWN.  In order to live on pitch we must not be so quick to take offense.  It takes practice, but my friends and I are learning and pushing each other by asking the question out loud who or what are we attacking? When we slow down we are able to ask more important questions like how can we react without attacking? We can learn to slow down by not pretending or defending with harsh words, eye rolls and side eyes. A gentle reminder goes a long way. I thank God for those friends and co workers who help me strive to live on pitch. Work life can knock us off our feet and catch us off guard but God is our Helper. What are some warning signs that show up when you’re offended by others?

 

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS

Minutes vs. Hours

Have you ever said  or thought there’s just not enough hours in the day?  I’ll admit I  thought that many times.  I’m learning to work through these things called minutes though.  Managing the minutes of my day is no easy task.  Early this year my church challenged me to read the Bible for 15 minutes a day. They meant everyday too.  I love my church  and the annual focal points each year.  We are reading through the New Testament together this year.  Well, I accepted the challenge and in my mind I thought immediately ok, I can do that.  Sounds easy enough.  I started to read, marked the time off my calendar and set a reminder. That was earlier this year, it’s now September and the  15 minutes a day challenge has me feeling like I didn’t get the memo. I have a confession to make.  I haven’t consistently used my 15  minutes a day to read through the Bible.   I don’t always complete the challenges I accept. I’m  a work in progress and  I really want to do better.  The time is still marked on my calendar.  I still read the Bible, but not for 15 minutes a day with intention.  The reality I face and most of us face is being intentional about using our time.  Mentally blocking out the time to meditate on God’s word is one of the hardest, but most rewarding and fulfilling things we could ever do.  I saw a TV commercial speaking of how 15 minutes could save a person 15% on their insurance.  Most of us have heard talk of  someone getting their 15 minutes of fame.   What’s so special about 15 minutes with God?   I don’t know for sure but I believe forming a habit of  daily bible intake is more than likely better than saving on insurance, or becoming famous for a short time period.    This is not the same thing as tracking progress in an app everyday, drinking 8 glasses of water, or or waiting over 10  minutes for a table at your favorite restaurant.  It’s about showing up, even it it’s just for 1 minute.  I keep telling myself if you can listen to audiobooks for hours, chat on the phone with your friends for hours and watch your favorite tv shows for hours of entertainment then surely you can take a minute or two, maybe even 15 minutes to listen to God, chat with Him and watch Him work things out in your life.  I hope to continue forming the habit of reading the Bible with intention and anticipation.   How do you intentionally use your time?

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS Uncategorized

Weekend Word

LOP-AttheCrossWell it’s Friday, Good Friday in fact.  Spring break is here and we are preparing for Sunday church services, shopping and getting ready for our family brunch gathering.  We are ready to take lots of pictures and remember the good news of the gospel message.  Jesus died on the cross just for you and me.  We have victory in a Risen Savior.  That’s a good word for us all no matter how you choose to celebrate the Resurrection.

Happy Easter and keep living on pitch.

 

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS

Why It’s Important To Live Life

bright burn burnt candle
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This year didn’t start off like other new years.  This year started off with death for me. There was death in my family, death of a friend’s sibling, death of a sorority sister and death of a family pet.  To hear about the death of a Los Angeles based rapper who I didn’t really know ,named Nipsey Hussle reminded me of it again. Death keeps happening and I discovered that it happens just as life happens.  I admit I’ve remained silent about this subject for a long time.  Nobody really likes talking about death and sometimes if we’re being honest, we don’t want to discuss certain realities about life too much either.  Every funeral I’ve attended there has been a look back over someone’s life.  Stories of life events were shared bringing both laughter and tears.  It’s so important to live your life daily to the fullest because others are watching, records are being kept and tomorrow is not promised to anyone.  In the midst of my sorrow over all these different losses I found some reasons to keep living.  My first reason was knowing God is in control of my life. God sets the timer.  God is my strength and eternal hope.  My second reason was to be a blessing and help others wherever I go.  Life can go on after death and if God wakes me up in the morning, that exactly what I plan to do.  Keep going and keep living no matter how bad or unexpected the news is.  There is good news for today,  I can live abundantly with God who is my comfort and so can you.

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS

Tone It Down

Warning: Sometimes the tone of frustration can lead to miscommunication.

Have you ever been so frustrated you don’t hear what someone is saying. Have you ever become tone deaf in communication with someone? It feels like the CD is scratched and you just can’t listen to it anymore. I have dealt with multiple challenges and communication issues for a few weeks and I am still learning whether I’m speaking a loving truth, or a hard truth I must be aware of my tone.

When I listen to music, if the tone is not right the whole song sounds off, it’s hard to listen and it becomes harsh to the ears. Sometimes we have to tone it down so everyone can hear. When we allow ourselves to hear how God speaks to us in scripture we find His tone always comforts when things are uncomfortable. We find encouragement when we are discouraged and peace in our storms.

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS

Ultimate Recipe

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I love a good recipe.  Recently I watched a television cooking show, which I often do to unwind, and I found myself intrigued with the challenges faced by 4 chefs. They were all passionate about cooking and although they all had the same assignment, each one of them had a different way to do it. The instructions were given, they listened intently and then the clock started. They scurried around the kitchen from the pantry to their stations as they showed their love for cooking food and creating the best tasting dishes they could muster up. They were competing for a grand prize of $25,000. Judges sang praises about how the plating was and critiqued how the textures of the various items was satisfying or not. Whether they were winning or losing a round these chefs one by one showed how happy they were just to be in the competition and to cook for the world class celebrity chefs. I admired that. I wondered how often do I show God I’m just happy to be serving, be on his team and in His presence? How often do we get excited about the curve balls life throws at us? I’m pretty sure it’s not too often. When the expected ingredients of life get tossed in with the unexpected storms of life, we don’t always say God is going to make something good out of this. God is good and creating from scratch, revising menus and overcoming challenges are His specialty.  God is the Master of everything. There is no problem too big, no ingredient too unheard of to throw Him off course. With God we have the ultimate recipe to overcome any challenge. Thank God for that reality because with God’s help you can make it through each round.

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS

Stop Signs

You ever notice how stop signs are red, some have flashing lights and are meant to be obeyed and seen? Have you ever run through a stop sign perhaps because you didn’t really see it? Or maybe missed a stop on your journey? I was talking to a friend about how to live on pitch the other day and realized that I missed a few stop signs in my own life. I’ll admit I’m a busy person and I try to do everything but I’m learning to stop trying to do it all. Truth is I can’t do everything. God is the only one who can do everything, be everywhere, see and know everything. I had to stop and say to myself, I am not God. I must stop trying to do everything. Health issues become my stop signs when I try to do too much. Another thing I am learning is stop trying to do everything right. It’s all imperfect. Unless God puts His supernatural hands on it, blows divinely on it and blesses it nothing I do is to perfection. Good and perfect gifts come from above according to the Bible. Fear and procrastination become stop signs when I try to do it all so perfectly. I have to tell myself God will accept it as is. When we ignore the flashing lights and fail to see the stop signs in life accidents can happen, life can get overwhelming and nothing gets accomplished. We lose focus on the Master by ignoring the stop signs. What do you need to stop ignoring or doing to live more on pitch for God? I pray you will see the signs, the flashing lights in your life and start living today.

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DEVOTIONAL WRITINGS Uncategorized

Unfollowing

Sometimes friends come and go in our lives. I’ve learned to accept the fact that friends and family may unfollow me but goodness and mercy will never unfollow me. Thank God for His promises today. I am confident and I am never alone. When we focus on following God, no matter who comes in and out of our lives we can be assured of His presence which reminds us we are always in good company.

Psalm 23:6(ESV)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.