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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “trust”

Book Review: Moses

Someone asked a question to which the answer came with an analogy using a reference of Moses’ life.  Yes, the Moses from the Bible.  It was in that moment, the seed was planted.  I wanted to read more about this Moses.  Clearly, I was missing some key and necessary points for my spiritual growth.  The time had come for me to meet this man, to discover  some commonalities we share, and to gain guidance—or at the very least, points for consideration.

It did not take long for the planted seed to sprout.  I guess you could say, it fell on good soil.  Seriously, I longed to know more about Moses immediately.  Within days my curiosity turned into a clear instruction, and my instruction manual came in the form of “Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication” by Charles Swindoll.  (See:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moses-charles-r-swindoll/1111384112?ean=9780849913853)

Admittedly, this has been a timely read for me.  It came when I was wrestling with returning to a place I had left.  You see, I rarely return to things once I have concluded to depart.  Are you like that?  It is not like I consciously choose not to return.  I simply do not think to do so.  Something major has to draw my attention back to something once I have checked out.  For me, that “something major” most likely has to be God-inspired.

Rest

Oh, how foolish I feel now having read this book admitting that I was wrestling with a God-inspired return.  Sometimes I have to laugh at myself.  If you find yourself in a similar position, this book is definitely worth reading.  It does not stop there though.  I gained so much insight (and confirmation) reading this book in the areas of leadership, walking by faith, trusting God even when dealing with the rabble, maturity, temperament, and so much more.  Without giving too much away, one of the things that I have found myself thinking more about is the idea that God parted the Red Sea.  Ok.  Ok.  I know, we have all heard of this before, but in reading this book, at this time, it dawned on me that GOD PARTED the Red Sea.  The visual scene became real.  I begin to think about the tsunami that happened in 2004, not for the scientific nor religious discussion but purely as a modern day reference that ocean-sized water can be pulled back.  In some way, it made it easier to visualize the parting of the Red Sea—the crossing and the demise.

Think about it: The same God that did that for Moses and the people he was divinely instructed to lead, is the same God that is alive today.  I think, sometimes, we devalue the greatness of that.  Earlier, I began to think about the biblically referenced miracles and became so excited about my future and about the promises God has given to me.  That same God is my same God.

Upon reflection, this book has been a great source of encouragement for me.  It has reminded me to relax.  I do not have to know the route before starting the journey.  I just need to follow God and be obedient.  This book has reminded me that blessings will come to me.  They will chase me.  Frankly, that is how I prefer it.  This book has illustrated that there will be obstacles, frustrations, and failures, but the making of thick skin should never thicken my heart.

Woman Standing On Rock

As I type this, I am smiling.  Earlier, I received a phone call.  On the other end of the line was a person who I had never met, yet he had a blessing for me.  This man did not know he served as confirmation, but I knew.  I am headed in the right direction.

If you are looking for a book to read.  I recommend this one.  It has blessed my life.

Walk In Truth

One day, after a staff meeting a much older attorney said to me, “You are different.”  I looked at her, not knowing what to say.  She continued, “I noticed that if someone says something that is not funny to you, you don’t laugh.  Others will laugh and say later it was not funny, but you won’t laugh.”  She went on to say, “I wish I could be like that.”

As I walked to my office, I thought about her observation.  It is interesting how on the surface, people will appear to be on the side of the majority yet have internal conflict.  It is also interesting how someone can long to be like you yet target you as their enemy.  Don’t take it personally.  Don’t take it lightly either.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

When Jesus left there, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say.  —Luke 11:53-54

Why is it that some people will love and hate you for walking in your truth?  Why is there a “campaign” to find a flaw in those who may be perceived as perfect, but who do not profess to be?  What is gained by opposing someone who does a good work to better a people, when doing a good work to better a people is the proclaimed goal?

Jealousy, envy, and insecurity will destroy relationships.  These things will cause one to miss (or have delayed) the very blessing sent to them.  In a world where everyone is in need of something, who wants to miss a blessing?  I don’t!

There was a time when I thought people were how they appeared.  Now, I know that people are who they are.  Some will laugh when they find no humor.  Others will not.  Some will wish you well as you leave their presence, and mean it.  Others will not mean it.  Some are consistent with walking and growing in their truth.  Others wrestle with the stagnancy of their lie.  To each, his or her own.  People are who they are.

As for me, the testament to first know, then to accept, and now to embrace the truth of which I am and to which I am of have come with an understanding that Truth is greater than the lie.  Its existence does not have to be defended.  Truth will propel me forward unto new experiences, abundant blessings, and restful sleep.  Truth increases discernment, wisdom, and inner peace.  It establishes trust.

No, it is not always easy to walk in Truth.  Some get nervous when you show up and odd things happen after you leave, but others are comforted.  Be clear about your journey.  Are you on a road less traveled?  Walk in Truth.

Friendship, In Black and White

As many of you know, I recently read an article on Franklin McCallie written by Joan Garrett McClane.  I absolutely loved reading the article because it spoke, with great honesty, about an oftentimes sensitive subject.  One of the things it initiates reflection upon is the idea of friendship across racial lines.  What does it mean to you?

I think about relationships, and in turn friendships, a lot.  Once a year, at least, I go through my list of associations and make decisions regarding who to delete and who to keep.  Normally it happens in December, but sometimes I do it when Spring Cleaning.  #funny  #NOTfunny  My reasons for doing this may surprise you, but they are not for this writing.

Friends

As I sit here, I am thinking of when I first had a non-Black, real-life friend.  I say “real-life” because I had both Black and non-Black dolls to play with as a small child.  Now, I wonder how many of my non-Black friends had Black dolls to play with, and how either having them or not having them affected (if at all) how quickly they gravitated towards people of darker complexions.  Interesting, right?

When I started elementary school, my classes were integrated, as were my teachers.  As a kindergartener, I made my first non-Black friend.  Of course, then I did not think twice about varying skin tones.  My family has a complexion range so wide that such things, even to this day, does not result in the reaction so commonly portrayed in mainstream medias.

Because I have lived in several States as a child, I got the benefit of appreciating diversity amongst people and cultures at a very early age.  I also understood at an early age that just because two may look alike, they may be worlds apart.  Of course, it is easy to get this same message when looking within one’s family, but I have come to realize that people more commonly generalize externally.

Fortunately, throughout life I have maintained the practice of having a “United Nations” entourage of friends.  I prefer it like this.  As a result, such things as attending multi-cultural churches is done with ease; Eating and hanging out with both Black and non-Black people comes naturally; Working in my profession is not jarring.  These experiences make me a more exposed person which enhances my personal growth.

Now, there have been both comfortable and uncomfortable moments.  For me, however, the good outweighs the bad.  When I select friendships, it is less about the color of one’s skin.  I look at the contents of his/her character.  Wait!  There is a second part.  I am not foolish.  I understand that someone may have good character, but may use a reasoning when confronted with certain scenarios, like “race”, that would weaken the foundation which I must have strong.  You see, with my friends I must trust that no matter what, I am safe.  This world is full of wolves in sheep clothing.  An enemy can be nice, but a brother will go to battle.  This to me is not a skin color issue.  It is not about Black and White.  It is about that thing in the middle.  It is an issue of trust.

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Kingdom Business

Does anyone besides me go through seasons when attending church services on a regular basis seem difficult, to say it nicely?  If you have not guessed, I am constantly surrounded by numerous faith-believing people, mostly Christian but not all.  We have conversations about numerous topics, but I have yet to have a serious discussion about my struggles regarding attending church services on a regular basis.  Let’s face it.  The faith community can, at times, present their views in ways that come across as extremely judgmental.  To someone who studies the Word, these sessions can easily turn into back and forth scripture quoting showdowns.  In doing so, we illustrate that we can recite biblical verses but this does not always leave a person motivated to face and deal with a very real issue.

Maybe you can relate to me?  I love spending time reading, studying, mediating on, talking about, being bathe in God’s Word.  Still, I have learned that I cannot talk about His Word with every faith-based person.  (I may blog more about that at a later time.)  Because I enjoy this and because I understand the importance of developing a personal relationship with God, I can very easily find a solitary place for this purpose.  Because I have a great deal of faith-based friends who are concerned about my spiritual well-being, as I am about theirs, I fellowship regularly (if not daily).  I donate (time, talents, and/or financially) to causes that promote His Kingdom, either directly or indirectly.  I listen to faith-based music and teachings via multiple vehicles.  Still, at this time I find myself believing that God wants me to attend church regularly.

“But why,” I have been asking.

Rest

At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place.  The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.  But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”  And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.  —Luke 4:42-44

Do you know why you were created?  Really, do you know your purpose?  I needed to get unapologetically serious about mine.  Why?  Because people watch.  (They want to hear and see good news.)

Contrary to the multi-billion dollar industry that continues to become richer by instilling fear, people really want Love.  Via Love, there lives Truth.  Via Truth, there lives trust.  People want to trust, but many do not think they can trust so they watch.  They watch for the lie.

Isn’t it interesting how babies—toddlers—trust you until you show them that you lie?  How disturbing to one’s soul that must be?  And THIS is why, during this season, I must push through my struggles and attend church services regularly.

It is now, at this time, that I understand the importance of finding a balance between finding solitude and going out amongst the people, even in faith-based places.  There is work to be done both in and outside of the sanctuary.  May my life preach the good news.   After all, this is Kingdom Business.

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