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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “John”

Who Do You See?

If Jesus was standing before you, would you recognize Him?  Songs have been written about this and sermons have been preached, but do you regularly consider this question?  As Christians, shouldn’t we?

Lady Pointing at Herself

At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  Jesus said, “Mary.”  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).  John 20:14-16

Do you believe that God sends people to you and you to people?  I do.  Of course, not everyone who cross my path I believe is of God, but when I am aware of its occurrence I pay special attention.

Kevin Hart It's About To Go Down

I can’t help but to think about all of the prophets God sent before He sent His Son.  I think about how so many people, particularly people professing to believe in God, did not recognize them.  As a result, they were opposed to the message the prophets brought and to the work they did.  The people countered the God they said they served.  Isn’t that interesting?  What a scary thought!

Girl with Arms Crossed

Have you ever wondered if you have acted in opposition to someone God has sent?  Have you ever been that person who was sent?  Do you think such resistance is because people, particularly fellow Christians, do not recognize God in the situation before them?  Do you think people have stopped believing that God sends people to do divine assignments outside of sanctuaries?  Do you think they ever believed?

Rest

Like Mary Magdalene, there are times when I do not expect to see God, so I may need to take a second look.  Titles and suits, smiles and charisma can be misleading.  Following trend can leave you watching Noah and his family sailing away.  I am growing more conscious, however, about identifying who is standing before me.  I am listening to hear the voice–His voice of which I will know.  What about you?

Invisible Allies

One of the lessons I learned during my campaign run was to appreciate invisible allies.  I laugh about it now, as I reflect upon my growth in this area.  Truth is, not everyone who support you will cheer for you publicly, and not everyone who cheer for you publicly will care for you privately.

Ghost Scene

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus.  Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews.  With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.  He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.  Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.  Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen.  This was in accordance to Jewish custom.  John 19: 38-40

Who cares for you, for your soul, when no one else is looking?  Who do you care for; who do you pray for; who do you call, text, or email to sincerely encourage when an audience is not around?  Do you hold it against people if you do not see their support?  To you, I share what I had to become conscious about and am still maturing in:

  • Do not lose focus on God or on your divine assignment;
  • He is working in you and He is working in others;
  • Know that He will provide for you, even in times when you do not see or understand; and
  • Remain open to receiving love from people, even after you have left the scene.

Invisible allies are not your enemy.  If revealed, don’t treat them as such!

 

You Are Hated

Do you concede the notion that you are hated?  Seriously, have you ever settled yourself enough to acknowledge that you are detested, and then to understand why?  Have you ever fought to emerge pass the hurt and pain, the shock and self-doubt to maturely and boldly stand in your creation?  Have you ever made such awareness not about you, finding comfort in He which you reflect?

Women Thinking

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  This is why the world hates you.  —John 15:19

In sanctuaries, we valiantly profess our love for Christ.  That is always easy to do in environments where we think we are the majority.  Would you be so loud if you knew you were surrounded by wolves in sheep clothing?  Are you as brave when you are in the world?  Spirits recognize spirits, even when one does not do so consciously, no matter the conditions.

Have you ever shown up somewhere and people become uncomfortable?  Your mere presence causes a shift in the atmosphere—sometimes it is pleasant and other times you know to be on heighten alert.   Do not be deceived in thinking such changes are because you are well-liked or disliked.  It is spiritual.  Are you amongst your Family or have you found yourself in the midst of the clan of another?  Know your truth!  Spirits do.

Friends

For me, it became vital to understand the spiritual nature of hate.  Sometimes it is easy to identify.  Other times, it will masquerade as a friend or ally.  However it appears, it is a formidable opponent.  Love and hate cannot share the same space contently.  There is no compromise.  Life lives!  Are you living according to your faith and His purpose?  Sure, there may be times when you feel as if you are all alone.  Know that you are not.  There will be times when you will feel outnumbered.  Remember, Light shines upon darkness.  Do not become distracted by hate.  You have a purpose founded in love.  You have work to do, a work much bigger than you.  You have been chosen to stand out, to not surrender to hate, envy, or jealousy.  So YES, you are hated!!!  You are hated because you are different from that which the world purports.  Now that that is understood, carry on.

Me 12.30.15 talking to group

All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.  —John 16:1

 

Words Of Comfort

I had not noticed it until I picked up my Bible to prepare for my next blog entry—this blog entry….  I was to read, beginning at the 14th chapter of John.  Finding my placement, there it was:

Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  —John 14:1

Woman Reading Bible

These were the words which comforted me, just days ago, as I stared at them inside my cousin’s coffin.  No really, they soothed my soul.  You see, tears fell uncontrollably when I first saw my cousin’s lifeless body.  I had a hard time walking down the aisle at the funeral home only to sit in the front row at the Family Viewing.  The reality of not being greeted by her always welcoming smile and hospitality, wit and wisdom was setting in.  These were things I always received when visiting this Georgian city, one where my ancestors were instrumental in its development and discovery.  I guess I took for granted that this cousin would always be there.  Reality was setting in, however.  There is a season for all things.

Rest

So, there I sat—crying and staring, staring and crying.  Then, I noticed the words that were inscribed inside her coffin. I began to remember their meaning, Jesus’ instruction.  Knowing my cousin, I am confident that her soul is rejoicing.

Face

Yes, I will continue to miss her.  I will not be sad, however.  She would not want me to be unhappy.  Instead, I will be encouraged by her life and by the way in which she lived here on earth.  Her ability to touch hundreds, if not thousands, of lives across generations, professions, socio-economic brackets, and political affiliations is simply remarkable.  I did not know the extent of the reach of her assignment until her death, and through death I know she still lives.  My heart is not troubled.  Jesus promised then, and He reiterates it now as I note the timing of my preparation for this blog entry.  Words of Comfort.

Christian Challenged

I keep returning to this verse:

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed him.  But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.  —John 12:42-43

and now I know why.

Boss

Have you ever felt a faith-rooted challenge?  Seriously, have you ever faced a circumstance when before doing something, or saying something, you knew your beliefs were being challenged?  Have you ever received too much change back from a cashier and pondered if you should return the surplus amount?  Have you ever heard a discriminatory joke and everyone around you laughed?  Has a supervisor ever asked you to forge numbers on a report?  Have you ever been tempted to gossip?  What did you do?  How does your response measure up when compared to what you say you believe?  Do you love praise from men more than you love praise from God?  More so, do you fear men more?  It’s ok.  Be honest with yourself.  The Christian…challenged.

Lady Pointing at Herself

As I type this, I know that I am being challenged to spiritually grow.  In time I will write more about that, but for now this is what I will say:  I was hurt.  I have been healed.  I must help.  To remain in my comfort zone would be selfish.  I know what is in me is meant to be shared.  Am I alone?  Are you letting hurt hinder you from reaching your full potential?  Has your naiveté about people affected your trust in God’s word?  You are not alone.  Many Christians are consciously opting to play it safe because of this manifestation of angst.  Fear has a funny way of containing people–Christian people–in that way.  Even leaders–YES, Christian leaders–are faced with this controlling agent.

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It is easy to get loss in the crowd’s mediocrity—to be silent when God is urging you to speak, to go along to get along, to be ordinary and deny the extraordinary creation of that which you are.  It is easy…until it isn’t.

Kevin Hart It's About To Go Down

As you evaluate your life ask yourself, “Am I being led by man or by God?”  This is an important question.  Everyone has an audience.  Someone, somewhere is always watching you–judging you—making observations about you.  Do they see the God who you say you believe or the man of whom you are afraid?

Dear Christian,

Rest

You have been challenged.

 

Conversational Focus

The older I become, the more I am realizing how I spend time and the conversations I am having with those whom I spend time.  It is an interesting awareness which I am finding, more and more, makes me conscious of my part in dialogues.  Let’s face it:  We, each of us, have a responsibility when communicating—as the listener and the talker.

Yeah, yeah, yeah….I know you’ve heard this before.  I had too, but recently I had an experience which reminded me that people will use you as their audience to justify their point of view and how easy it is to be that audience for them when you lose your conversational focus.

Brittney Spears Clapping

A second time they summoned the man who had been blind.  “Give glory to God,” they said.  “We know this man is a sinner.”  He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know.  One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!”  —John 9:24-25

People will see Truth in you.  They understand the value of your concurrence.  You better understand your worth—spiritually.  It has physical manifestations…and you better believe an audience that tunes in nonstop.

Women watching tv

  • A second time they summoned the man….”  Don’t sleep on this!  Just because you think a conversation is over does not mean that everyone has let it go.  Isn’t it funny how gossip seems to go on and on and on?  Truth will stop it every time though.  Don’t Get Caught Up
  • We know this man is a sinner.”  Note:  Words spoken with authority are not always words of certainty.  Truth is Truth.  It does not need a majority vote.
  • The man’s response, however, impressed within me an “Aha!”

Woman Standing On Rock

Here, I saw a perfect example of the application  of conversational focus.  In short, he was not persuaded by the excitement surrounding the discussion.  He was not influenced by the person speaking to him nor his entourage.  Fear was secondary.

Instead, this man did two things.  He listened and when he spoke, he spoke only Truth.  When you speak, do you only speak Truth?  Were you blind and now can see?

Don’t Get Caught Up

Have you ever had awareness that someone was attempting to set you up to fall—or shall I say to fail?  How do you handle those situations?  Is your response the same as it was five years ago?

girl pouting

They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.  But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  —John 8:6-9

This passage, I ponder.  Typically, I have heard it tackle the notion(s) of judgment and/or sin.  Haven’t you heard the maxim, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?  You may have even said it yourself and watched how quickly it stopped direct, verbal allegations while saving you from considering revisiting your before I was saved days.

Kevin Hart It's About To Go Down.GIF

This passage serves as a timely mental note for me, as I am reminded of how much I have grown and how I need to continue to consciously grow.  There was a time when I would become insulted by people who would enter my space to set traps.  As a result, my response would be driven by a negative, emotional root.  (What a waste of energy!)  Fortunately, I have gained a deeper understanding of spiritual warfare.  In turn, I have learned how to quiet my emotions and at times limit my speech.  (See:  Silent, Yes Truth )  The blessing is in the knowing.

You know, it is okay to give those desiring to entrap you a chance to back away from their original plan.  This may, at times, mean positioning yourself in a non-threatening way.  Warning:  Discipline and discernment are required!

Girl with Arms Crossed

For those who persist however, do not be afraid to straighten up and SPEAK CONCISE TRUTH, not for the sake of conversation, then continue to do what you were doing.  Trust that Truth will be heard.  Remember, you are your Father’s child.

It's Handled

Don’t get caught up.  The soul saved may just be your own.

Are You A Well-Wisher?

Are you sick?  Really…are you?

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One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  —John 5:5-6

It is easy to admit when you are physically ill, isn’t it?  Feeling under the weather is a status society accepts and many times wishes of healing, prayers, and positive vibes quickly follow.  Taking medication, sipping tea, and getting plenty of rest are ready remedies to mend you to rejoin your peers in activities of life.  If only it were really THAT simple—are you sick?  Really…are you?  When was the last time you looked into your own eyes, into your own truth, to gauge your mental and spiritual well-being?  When was the last time you faced your fears and insecurities, your shortcomings and weaknesses, all of those things that hold you back from being the best YOU that you can be and asked yourself, “Do you want to get well?”  How long have you held yourself in bondage???  Seriously, do you want to get well?

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It seems like a lifetime ago now, but there was a time when I found myself totally exhausted.  Thankful I had not been in that condition for thirty-eight years, but I had been in it far too long.  The time had come for me to face my truth.  I stepped away from the distractions–from the parasitic noise I allowed to influence my life.  I surveyed my landscape, and was brutally honest about my condition.  Looking into my eyes I asked myself, “Do you want to get well?”  My answer would be life-changing.

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“YES,” my soul shouted!  Then, I cried… for two weeks.  Without my full comprehension, my cleansing had begun.  What I later realized was that with every tear I shed, a weight was being lifted.  I believe God was patiently waiting on me to get to the YES!  I needed to consciously want to get well.  THANK GOD I WANTED HEALING!

I could go on and on about the positive life-changes I have made which are a direct result of my decision to heal, and of the blessings these changes have brought.  It is all founded, however, on deepening my relationship with God and on trusting His promises.  I had compromised this focus before.  As a result, I became enervated.  Lesson learned!

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Are there things in your life, in yourself that you want healed?  Is it time for you to take a timeout—to get in a quiet place and have an honest conversation with God about your condition?  Do not sleep on YOU!  Do not sleep on HIM!  Do not get to the end of your life only to WAKE UP with a Should-a, Would-a, Could-a List.  Do you want better for your WHOLE life?  If so, do not become satisfied with simply being a get well-wisher!  God wants you healed!  Take action!  You have rested long enough!

 

Light Affects

This morning, I was reflecting on a number of things when this thought came to my consciousness, “When the light comes on, the crickets stop chirping.”

Then I read these timely verses:

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” —John 3:19-21

Woman Standing On Rock

Good versus evil?  Light versus darkness?  Truth versus lies?  Have you ever taken a moment to really consider these forces—to give proper respect to what they are and how they are?  I have been thinking…

girl pouting

about how effective and powerful Christian fellowship would be if all who profess their love for Christ fought to love each other.  Sure, it sounds easy…to love your Sister, to love your Brother.  Love, however, is an action word.  In my Wendy Williams’ voice, “How you actin’?”

Woman Yelling At Woman

There is so much devastation living in dark places, perpetrating as solid Rock for building beautiful structures upon.  No one shouts about the heap of dead fruit being produced, yet armies boldly plot to destroy healthy blooms.  Is that where the confusion resides?  Do people get a pass because they profess the same faith?  Do we not know the tree from the fruit?  No one remembers the biblical lessons about Jesus’ anger regarding making His house a den of thieves?  (You know that’s real, right?)

Woman Praying

Oh but the presence of light….  Its illumination changes the atmosphere.  Its very power is undeniable.  UNDENIABLE and formidably respected by the doers of deeds in the dark.  UNDENIABLE and contagiously inspiring to those doing deeds through God.  So, shelve your fear and radiate.  Your presence has Light affects.

Great Leaders’ Eyes

People will cheer for you when you do what they want you to do, especially if what you are doing is trendy.  They have no loyalty to you, but to that thing they want.  Understand THAT.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.  But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.  He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.  —John 2:23-25

Frog

Recently I had the blessing to be placed in a situation that confirmed my spiritual growth.  Progress makes me happy!  My change in perception provided me with spiritual protection.  I was able to see the attacks thrown at me fall by the wayside.  If I did not respect the opposition, I would have laughed.  I do respect the opposition, however, so I stood firm and discerned.  Are you at that place—the place where people can cheer or disrespect you and you receive it in the same way?  It would be nice to think that I am there consistently, but my truth is that I am not (there yet).  I do see much maturity though.  Life continues to present opportunities which enable me to measure my development.  Noting, these experiences are important.

Rest

A few days ago, I complimented a man’s temperament.  I have watched him over a course of time sit calmly when disrespected and when complimented.  I do not know what he is experiencing internally, but his outward disposition never seems to change.  He is smooth and I appreciate his example of leadership.  He exemplifies traits all great leaders have.  He understands the purpose and importance of his role.  He is clear concerning his assigned mission and committed to its completion.  In addition, he discerns the operation of people.  Sounds easy right?  Of course it does, but it requires a lot of discipline.

girl pouting

Smiling, I see progress…but I still have work to do.

All in!

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