Embracing Uncertainty

“When we embrace uncertainty, it can be very liberating. If you can accept the uncertainty, it allows you to live life every day.” Victor Gospodinoff

My mom passed away last year—not from breast cancer though—she was a breast cancer survivor for over 15 years. I so miss her. Today, I remembered her funny little characters that she often drew when I was a child.

Stick figures… my brothers and I called them! Sketches of people, young and old… who always… And I do mean always! Had their hands and feet curled up. Smiling faces from the pages with no lips and triangles for a body. Those amazingly simple drawings that I cherish. 

Not as Good as Mom’s Stick Figures Were… But Such Fond Memories Still!

Adoringly, I drew a stick figure—a modest likeness to my mom’s—I’ll admit. But close enough! Through a kaleidoscope of memories, I took off the breast cancer pen that I was wearing and placed it next to the stick figure on the sheet of paper. For a few long solitary seconds, my mom’s love embraced me in warm nostalgias. I heard her inspiring voice, talking as we often did. We were deep in conversation on our way home from one of her radiation treatments.

We were talking about what a blessing the young man was that gave her the treatments. Since, mom didn’t drive, I had to take her to each appointment. This was a task that I eagerly accepted. But my mom was concerned, because I worked out of town. And would have to use a half day of sick leave, each time… 5 days a week… during the 7- or 8-weeks  that she needed to do to complete her treatment.

The young man overheard my mom talking about hoping that I would have enough sick time to finish her treatment….  He then told me to bring my mom for her treatments at 6:15 in the morning, if that would help. He was willing to come to work and hour early… That way my mom could get her treatment. And I could get to work on time without having to take any sick leave.

“God will always put people in your path to help you,” I can hear my mom saying. I can still see the expression of joy and relief on her face in my mind’s eye, because of the young man’s act of kindness. Each day, she got up early and bravely faced uncertainty with determination. Until she was told by the doctors that she was cancer free—I love you mom… now and forever.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—a time to focus on spreading the word about steps women can take to detect breast cancer early. Along with opportunities to support breast cancer research…

Whether it’s illness, concerns over your children, financial woes, challenges on the job, love or a lack thereof… be encouraged in your time of uncertainty. You’re not alone according to Isiah 30:21.

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.~ 3 John 1:2

The Struggle is Real—But So is God’s Grace

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9

There are days when you walk out into the bright sunshine… embraced by a cool breeze.  And as you look around, you realize the struggle is real. Then you smile. Because so is God’s grace—that unmerited favor that you don’t deserve—but received just the same. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

So you shake of the cares of life—counting your blessings. Thanking God for deliverance from enemies, afflictions, and adversities—dangers seen and unseen. Knowing that you’re blessed—able to do all things through Jesus Christ. You have God’s daily guidance, forgiveness, and preservation. You’re a joint heir with the Son of God (Romans 8:17).

Continue reading “The Struggle is Real—But So is God’s Grace”

The Favor of Being Graced by God

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: ~ Ephesians 2:8

In our… it’s all about me… self-made state of mind. We sometimes remember that we didn’t make ourselves. In humility, we see our smallness in the vast universe. We thank God for feeling the harmony of life. When the rhythms of this world flow in our favor. In the fiercest storm, we see glimmers of hope. These are the times when we feel the grace of God in our lives. It’s in such moments of clarity, we thank God for His amazing grace.

Continue reading “The Favor of Being Graced by God”

In the Name of Jesus

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18-20

Easter, Pascha (Greek, Latin), or Resurrection Sunday is a sacred time for Christians all over the world. A time when we reflect and reverence the sacrifice of our risen Lord and Savior… Jesus Christ. A celebration of the unfathomable outpouring of humility and love for humanity by Jesus in honor of God, our Heavenly Father.

As I listen to the song, As I Pray (https://clyp.it/i3wmmhms/widget), the words are so honorable and powerful. They give meaning to the phrase “words are spirits”. In the song, the artist sounds passionately in love with God and yearns to be with Him… because He has been in His presence. Such a deeply devoted love of God requires knowing His Son Jesus Christ. According to John 14:6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

So, in the mist of “easter eggs” and “easter bunnies” …on this Easter Sunday, we know why we celebrate in love and hope. We rejoice… knowing victory is already ours! For the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… affirms that He lives… and we shall too.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

The Shield of Faith Protects Against Fiery Darts

dart-1943313_1920Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. ≈ Ephesians 6:16

Have you ever felt like a bullseye was on your back? With a homing device locked-in… that guided fiery darts to land in the center circle. Even as a Believer, fiery darts can pierce your heart, shatter your thoughts, and captivate your mind. Fiery darts, those dispiriting disruptions… harbingers of chaos and confusion. Ranging from minor disappointments to overwhelming crises that cause you to say or at least think… @#$%!

By identifying theses fiery darts: delay, discouragement, difficulty, depression, and doubt… you can defend against them by putting on the shield of faith. Exercising your God-given supernatural authority to protect yourself against the fiery darts of the enemy. You can also, learn to quench the fiery darts before they attack you!

When delay makes, you believe the blessing will never come… Faith insists, But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:1).

When depression causes you to feel like it’s not worth it… Faith insists, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

When difficulty tells you that life is too hard… Faith insists, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

When discouragement tells you that things won’t get better… Faith insists, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

When doubt causes you to think that you’ll never get your heart’s desire… Faith insists, Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart (Psalm 37:4).

Don’t think your fiery darts strange. They happen to everyone. They are a part of life. The goal is when faced with a fiery dart… not to react in a negative manner. Don’t go berserk. Stay cool! Take a deep breath. Whisper a prayer. Then embrace your shield of faith.

Cloak yourself in the shield of faith… divine inspiration that allows you to stand bravely against every fiery dart that comes your way. Knowing that your faith, which is patient and enduring is your God-given shield of protection. Knowing that God can use a fiery dart for good in your life and those around you.

Therefore, when you get a fiery dart aimed at you, don’t be afraid, don’t give up, don’t worry about getting even. You know the source of all fiery darts. So, just tell God about it and raise your shield of faith up high… protecting yourself from the crown of your head to sole of your feet.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Attitude Towards Wealth

And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! ≈ Mark 10:23

What is the right attitude towards wealth? A basic question to consider when deciding “about our perspectives and decisions in relation to material things—particularly material wealth” (Link, 2013).

It’s surmised that for many, wealth is the excessive abundance of possessions and the status that money can buy. Riches above the means needed to enjoy the comforts of this world. Beyond the realm of what Maslow, Alderfer, and scholars affirm all humans need. Where wealth is stored up, idolized, vigorously indulged in, and tirelessly pursued.

Though wealth can buy material things like property, power, and position… It can’t buy integrity, love, or peace. Besides, wealth isn’t a sign of God’s favor. Wealth is a gift from God to be used in His service for the good of all His people. When God choose to give us excessive material wealth. May we have the courage to accept… that material wealth can become a dangerous idol. Matthew 16:26 asks…what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Although it may seem, there is nothing that the rich have in common with the poor. Proverbs 22:2 states… the Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all (NIV). Faithful men and women of God, can be rich or poor as declared in Genesis 13:2, Deuteronomy 8:18, 2 Chronicles 17:3-5, Job 1:1-3, Matthew 27:57, Mark 12:41-44, Luke 16:19-22, 19:2-9, Proverbs 22:2, and Luke 6:20. Hence, the children of God choose not to pursue wealth, but the Giver of wealth.

As, I pray to God in Jesus name. Not for an abundance of material excess… But, for enough… That which is sufficient, to do the things that God would have us to do. Trusting in Philippians 4:19, And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

I wonder if wealth—including monetary wealth, can simply be “the condition of being happy and prosperous” with “spiritual well-being” (OED).

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Common Sense… Not So Common Anymore

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; ≈ Proverbs 2:6

Meriam-Webster, defines common sense as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts; the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions; ordinary good sense and judgment”.

Before I learned a lexicon definition of common sense, I gathered its meaning from my grandfather’s words. “Now where’s y’all common sense? What y’all did… didn’t make a lick of sense”. His favorite words for telling me, my brothers, and cousins that we didn’t think before we spoke or acted.  “Y’all got five senses. Use them… Y’all can see, smell, hear, taste, and touch. Now put them all together and don’t be foolish.” He told us… all those years ago.

Looking back, I realize that the common sense, my grandfather referred to include the ability to intuit outcomes based on our own individual observations. He expected each of us to estimate outcomes and discern right from wrong. The common sense needed to identify the difference between good and bad… by not only knowing to do better… but choosing to do better.

For Proverbs 3:21, tells us that wisdom and preference constitutes common sense.

My son, do not lose sight of these— keep sound wisdom and discretion (ESV).

My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion (NIV).

My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them (NLT).

I think that common sense can benefit reason… maybe even give it an advantage in space and time. So, that we swiftly use our common sense to see things as they are and defend that which is true, against that which is false. So that we continuously proclaim that which is just no matter how small our voice may be in a sea of resounding noise.

I’m thankful… my grandfather taught his grandkids that common sense is invaluable… in the absence of… and in the presence of… academic knowledge and scientific data. James 1:5 affirms that… common sense is God given wisdom and understanding. Yet, common sense, doesn’t seem… so common anymore.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Those Who Dared to Dream

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. ≈ Psalm 139:14

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of ‘Negro History Week’ the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month” (History.com, 2017).

So, as we celebrate Black history… and honor the accomplishments of African Americans. Let us remember that we are all… wonderfully and uniquely made by God. Thanks… to all the African Americans who dared to excel… who challenged to go beyond a given persona… because they possessed their own identity.

Let us remember the sacrifices of those who are no longer here. Let us cherish those who stand and defend liberty each day. Let us protect those who are vulnerable among us. Let us continue onward, as exemplified by the wisdom of James Weldon Johnson’s poem.

The Gift to Sing

Sometimes the mist overhangs my path,
And blackening clouds about me cling;
But, oh, I have a magic way
To turn the gloom to cheerful day—
I softly sing.

And if the way grows darker still,
Shadowed by Sorrow’s somber wing,
With glad defiance in my throat,
I pierce the darkness with a note,
And sing, and sing.

I brood not over the broken past,
Nor dread whatever time may bring;
No nights are dark, no days are long,
While in my heart there swells a song,
And I can sing.

                                                        by James Weldon Johnson

Black History Month… appreciating those who dared to dream and lift their voices with the harmony of words and deeds for the good of all. May we continue to dream and raise our voices …for those things [that]are true, that are honest, that are just, that are pure, that are lovely, that are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8). May we all have the gift to sing as we dare to dream…

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Groupthink

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. ≈ Acts 5:29

Few will deny the benefits of belonging to a group. While, groups may differ in the types of benefits they provide. A major benefit of membership in a group is the validation of a person’s sense of belonging to a “larger social whole” (Baumeister & Leary 1995). For most people, belonging to a group is good and often necessary.

In addition to membership in the Body of Christ many Christians also belong to other groups.  But, sometimes belonging to a group becomes undesirable or problematic, for Christians. Especially, when a group display symptoms of groupthink.

Janis (1972) asserted eight symptoms of groupthink:

  1. Illusion of Invulnerability… Members hold extreme self-assurance that encourages recklessness.
  2. Collective Rationalization… Members ignore warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
  3. Belief in Inherent Morality… Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
  4. Stereotyped Views of Out-Groups… Members hold negative views of outsiders, who are seen as the “enemy”.
  5. Direct Pressure on Dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express opinions against any of the group’s ideas or actions.
  6. Self-Censorship – Members do not express doubts and departures from the observed group consensus.
  7. Illusion of Unanimity – Members accept the majority views and judgements as unanimous.
  8. Self-Appointed ‘Mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from evidence that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, opinions, and/or judgements.

Christians have free will to choose right or wrong. However, it is an expectation that Christians will do what is right. Right in the sight of God, regardless of their group’s point of view. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36, KJV). 

Even though Christians participate in a variety of groups, they still must glorify God. They must stand against that which is wrong, defend those who are weak, and love their neighbors as themselves. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV). Therefore, Christians…  obey God above man and avoid groupthink.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s Granddaughter.

Love & Christian Duty

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. ≈ 1 John 4:8

I remembered Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) today. A PBS documentary, books from divinity school, and quotes of yesteryears swirled into view. “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.” And “The truth is mightier than eloquence, the Spirit greater than genius, faith more than education,” according to Luther. Humble memories that sparked hope as I grappled with the notion of Christian duty.

The idea of Christian duty towards humanity. All of humanity… those in the body of Christ and those that are not yet believers. All of humanity… those that favor one mode and those that favor the other. All of humanity… those that look one way and those that look another. All of humanity… Jews and Gentiles as created by God.

Nothing profound… not metaphysical… nor perplexing… Plain and simple reasonable expectations befitting a Christian. Old Testament commands (Deuteronomy 6:5 & Leviticus 19:18), while the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:30-31 & Luke 10:27) avow Jesus’ message… of loving God with our whole being and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Christianity, the lens through which I view the world. Christianity, the glory that reflects God’s creation. Christianity, the love of Jesus Christ that is for all of humanity. Christianity, the faith that frames understanding, guides relationships, and prescribes moral character based on love.

I bowed my head, fold my hands, and meditated on Philippians 4:8-9 (KJV), Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Please God… Bless America… the land that I love. Amen.

Lifting my eyes towards the hills from which comes my help. I considered the words of Martin Luther again, “Christianity can be summed up in the two terms, ‘faith’ and ‘love’… receiving from above (faith) and giving out below (love).” Hence, on earth… every action taken… should be tempered in love.

Therefore, for the Christian… love is duty and duty is love… whether called by any other name.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Truth of Another Day… for This Day

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. ≈ Psalm 118:24

Once… when I searched for evidence that Jesus Christ lived in history, from sources other than the Bible. I came across confirmation… from Josephus, Lucian, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, the Babylonian Talmud, and a few other historical works. In grateful humility, those sources spoke of proof. Affirmation for rational minds and doubtful believers that Jesus lived on earth. But, “Why wasn’t there more written in secular records?”

A miracle-working man… drawing attention and challenging rulers. Speaking hope to the downtrodden… fellowshipping with Jews and Gentiles, men and women… even little children. Surely, people heard of His presence from near and far. A man with a beard, teaching about the kingdom of God… preaching love your neighbor… even love your enemies… Wow… Who wouldn’t write about such a person? An answer, seemed baffling… just beyond my grasp.

Then at a conference, I heard a keynote speaker affirm that “history is changeable” and we can affect that change. His words were profound. I thought about them for months. How can we amend static bygone space and time… to change history?  Could this be… the flip side of an idea that I had grappled with for years?  Remembering a favorite childhood fable, The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen (1837), a tangible thought emerged. Maybe, some history is held captive by misrepresentations… Maybe history is changeable, merely by telling the… Truth.

Perhaps… more people would have written about Jesus in secular works, if they weren’t afraid of the powerful leaders of their day. Just a thought… we may never know the answer to the question.

Yet… by acknowledging… oppressor and oppressed, conqueror and conquered, marginalized and glamorized. And yes… the right and the wrong… the good and the evil… By holding up a standard and measuring with the Word. Respecting the relationship between past, present, and future, we become aware. Recognizing disconnected, desensitized, and dehumanized concepts, we become informed. Unifying, to fortify… our need for each other… and our responsibility to each other. We emerge, to embrace, our mutual journey in human destiny as ordained by God.

Though history may have omitted many important facts. When history is accurately transformed, it affects the present and changes the future. Whether written in stone or with invisible ink. Life merits, confessing omissions and fallacies… In hopes that one day, all men, women, and children will live fearlessly in the present… courageously look forward to the future… and recognize that each day is history.

Yes, Truth… affects history… no matter when it is told… Truth improves the present and changes tomorrow. Let the truth of another day… make this a better day.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. ≈ Psalms 31:24

emma_rev_gimore3In 1983, President Ronald Reagan, signed into law Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday legislation. We celebrated this federal holiday the third Monday of January. It is a day when America pauses to remember the life and legacy of one of God’s chosen champions. A man, who delivered a dream of hope, for all mankind. Hope that still resonates in the hearts of men, women, and children.

Though I never met the man. I am thankful to the late Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Gilmore, who told me about the last time that he saw Dr. King. It was Wednesday, March 20, 1968. About 10:30 p.m., near a tiny airstrip in the rural town of Marion, Alabama.

Rev. Gilmore had driven Dr. King and a few members of his staff there from Greene County. Dr. King had spent a long day in speaking engagements. So, it was late as they traveled on narrow meandering two lane country roads. Trying to get Dr. King to Marion, to board a small plane leased by a project called The Poor People’s Campaign. That would transport him to Washington D. C. for his next engagement.

When about half way between Greensboro and Marion a tractor-trailer rig passed them. The truck slowed down and then blocked the road. Forcing Rev. Gilmore to stop. The driver, a man, mid to late 30’s, small build, got out of the truck. He left behind two comrades, who just watched.

He walked over to Rev. Gilmore’s car and put his hand on the driver’s door. Then he told them, preceded by unceremonious, derogatory language. “Get those bright lights out of my rear-view mirror”.

In that tense moment, Rev. Gilmore, told me that he was prepared to protect Dr. King with his life. But that wouldn’t be necessary.  Rev. Gilmore watched Dr. King leaned over in the seat next to him. Almost touching his right shoulder, and said, “Young man get back in your truck. You are trying to start trouble. Get back in your truck”. The man stepped backwards. Stood there for a while, speechless. As Rev. Gilmore drove off. Mindful to avoid the trailer rig still blocking his side of the road. Soon they reached Marion, AL without further incidents.

Rev. Gilmore and I, had quite an in-depth telephone conversation about that situation. I remember the date, Dec. 22, 2012, because the conversation started with an email that he sent to  me. An email that I revisited today. Searching for the words, he used to describe the distinctiveness of Dr. King’s voice.  That even after speaking at various churches, all day. Late into the night… Dr. King spoke with crystal-clear clarity on that fated night in 1968.

Rev. Gilmore emphasized that Dr. King’s voice was mesmerizing. He’d never heard anything like it. He wondered if the other’s in the car heard it too… a resounding quality of peaceful God-given authority. But, they didn’t speak about what had just happened as they continued their journey.

Rev. Gilmore told me that on that night… he thought, “Only God knows the weight of the Cross that Dr. King bears”. Thank you, Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. for hope in such a time as this.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

A Nostalgic Moment

Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. ≈ Psalm 112:6

Yesterday, when I called a business from the office telephone. After several long rings, a lady answered.  I heard the hesitation in her voice. Sheer awe, as if she didn’t know what to say. So, I rushed on to identify myself and explain why I had called. Then she told me the reason for her reluctance.

“The number you called from… that showed up on the caller id is that of my mom and dad,” she said. “They’re gone. Both my parents are in heaven. So, I knew they couldn’t be calling me,” she added.  So astonished, she asked me to tell her out loud the number that I was calling from. I did.

I told her that I understood and we shared pleasantries. Since I too, know what a nostalgic moment feels like. That sentimental longing for someone or something that is gone. An overflow that stirs the heart and fills the mind with joy, sadness, or pain. An occurrence that I have learn… to let it come… and let it go.

For God, doesn’t want us to live in the past. Though He allows us to keep our memories. Causing, nostalgic moments that can overwhelm. I’m not talking about gut wrenching, heartbreaking, life shattering moments. Where you just want to fade away. I’m not talking about teary-eyed, agonizing, debilitating feelings. When you first realize your love one is gone.

Nor, am I talking about… illusionary, often bittersweet memories of the good old days… that linger for days or even weeks. Those good old days that weren’t as good as our selective memory makes them out to be. Nor, am I talking about living in the past… refusing the present, or declining the future.

I’m talking about, the reality that God makes no mistakes and we must bow to His holy will. Yet, when we walk outside on a bright sunny day and the scent of lavender kisses us with a memory of a beloved one. When we’re tired and just want to survive the drive home. Then, flipping the radio dial, a late love one’s favorite song plays on the radio. When that nice old lady at the department store goes out of her way to help us exchange an item, without a receipt. And yes, her name tag says Dotty. Which just happens to be the name of our dear late granny.  And, for a brief moment, we’re looking back through time. Thank God for memories.

Every now and again… often few and far between… when I smell a familiar scent of cinnamon, I’m overcome with nostalgia. With every whiff and sweet wispy wave of air. The sheer aroma, reminds me of sharing lunch and good conversation with my dear granddad. For, a brief instance, just a few seconds… I feel his presence… if only in my memories. Then I smile… just a nostalgic moment.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Friendship

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. ≈ Proverbs 18:24

I enjoy writing. For it expresses the eloquence and the uniqueness of words, which you can touch.. Yesterday, I wrote. ‘Don’t get so overwhelmed with the cares of life, that you forget to live… living is a gift’… a blessing from God. I thought to tweet it. But I didn’t. Captivated by the world.

Then this morning, a dear friend sent me a text. That encouraged me to have a great day. It included a link to this song.

 

The warmth of friendship overflowed from the song. Friendship that refreshes and guards against the cares of life. A reminder that God is still God… God of my life… God of our lives. Friendship, which relaxes the grip of daily life. A vivid reminder of God’s love through Jesus Christ in the bond of friendships.

The desire to write each day, ignited my consciousness with every musical note. My heart embraced the words. Words that inspired hope. Words that inspired my dreams. Words that expressed my faith. Words that declared, the Lord will make a way. Words that brought joy, irrespective of circumstances. Regardless of what’s taking place in the world.

Bold caring friendship that hears the needs of others and lift its voice for good. Precious friendship that acknowledges, God has it all in control. A friendship that fosters responsible courage. Thank God, for friends that remind us of our source of strength in the universe.

Thomas Aquinas, said, “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” For friendship affirms that life is most interesting. It is a grand adventure made grander by the company of friends. For friendship,  reveals the amazing grace of God’s love. Through the caring words and acts of others.

God given friends who overlook faults. Share in disappointments. Then rejoice in our successes is the best antidote for the cares of like.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Wise Men & Women Still Seek Him

I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. ≈ Proverbs 8:17

The Magi rejoiced when they saw the Star of Bethlehem. Those wise men knew that it would guide them to Baby Jesus. But it was the wise men’s decision to follow the star. As it is, our choice to follow Jesus today. Matthew 2:1-12, say that the wise men knew who Jesus was to this world. They weren’t searching door to door, asking the parents of young children “Is this the baby Jesus?” Nor did the wise men hesitate to acknowledge Jesus, the King of kings, when they reached Him.

Matthew 2:11 (KJV), tells us, And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The wise men:

  • understood the purpose of the Star of Bethlehem
  • rejoiced with exceeding great joy when the star appeared
  • knew their true King
  • didn’t follow misguided instructions from Herod
  • didn’t give up while traveling to reach Baby Jesus
  • fell down and worshiped Jesus before they presented gifts
  • knew the significance of gold, frankincense, and myrrh
  • were warned by God to recognize deception
  • traveled a different route on their return trip home

Christmas is the sacred time of year to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Traditions include Santa Claus, holiday parties, and religious rituals. The time of year when we remember loved ones that have gone on before us. The time of year when we give thanks for those that are still here with us. The time of year when we count our blessings, renew our hope, and pray for those in need. The time of year when we wish love, peace, and joy to everyone on earth.

So, as we embrace traditions… be wise. Come to worship Him, as the Magi did all those years ago. For wise men and women still seek Jesus with the assurance that they will find Him.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.