Even The Plunging Of Anothers’ Poop

Dirt
No resolutions. No vision board. Nothing.

Just a few words to live by for the year.

And here goes…

Being loving and kind towards another when he or she is loving and kind towards you is easy and smooth. And not in anyway messy.

But I want to be mean, to blow up and just be downright honest in a mean and destructive way. But I can’t. Because I can remember clearly the times when I terribly wished that someone was kind to me when I was ugly and all I deserved was not.grace.

And then I also think about the ones that drew near when they should’ve stepped back like others did.

I think about the One that reached in, drew out and pulled near.

I can’t save another. Even when I sometimes foolishly believe that I can. But I can see another’s brokenness, and even though I’m tempted to look away and maybe take a step back, I can dig my feet deep in the dirt and stand in the gap.

All with the help of the One that can reach in, draw out and pull near.

This year, I can come out of my shell even when I just want to crawl up into a ball of self-pity and self-centeredness.

I can choose to text first, call them and check in first. Even when the why-can’t-she-text-or-check-up-on-me overwhelms my mind.

This year, I can let go of the idea of doing big things for God while believing that the mundane, day to day, ordinariness of it all matters too. Even the plunging of the bad smelling poop of – I believe, one grown man and a couple of kids – that refused to flush down the toilet on its own.

I can choose to see something beautiful in when she walks into the room late at night to discuss something, that she could’ve easily discussed with her friends, with me.

Choose to believe that the combing of hair, pulling of textured weaves, locking together of braids and faux locs matters too.

I can choose to do justice, walk humbly and love mercy. Even though I no longer believe that I truly know what that means.

I can let myself be embraced with grace. Extend grace to myself and freely give it to others. Starting with my family members.

I can let myself be deeply loved by the God who has saw it fit to give me my life. All because he knows best.

This year, I can accept the invitation to “Come, let us reason together”. More often. Freely. Without shame and without fear.

I can choose or choose not to believe that my God doles out gifts, blessings and goodness according to how big our faith is.

This year, I can choose to press on. To press on to know the Lord.

And when I fail in any or all of these things, I will choose to trust in the One that has already reached in, drew out and pulled near.

Happy New Year Folks!!!

God Uses Failures

God uses failures
“No failure is fatal. No failure is fatal. No failure is fatal.”

This has been my mantra for the past week.

I got the devotional No Failure is Fatal by Max Lucado, in my inbox last week. The devotional came right before I failed woefully in something that I thought I had already gotten a hold on. My pride, my controlling tendencies and my manipulative heart. I had no idea how much of an encouragement this devotional would turn out to be for me.

I saw it coming. The rage of anger, the irritation, and the pride. The possibility that I would fail to honor God through my response to the situation but I subconsciously chose not to fight. I got too comfortable and I felt like it was already a lost cause. I believed the lie of the enemy that there was nothing to do and I allowed ungodly fear to overwhelm my mind. I was unable to believe that I have been redeemed and I have the power within me to not go back to my old ways.

So I acted out of fear. Fear of not knowing what the future holds. Fear of the past. There was no need nor desire to fight. Not through prayer or the word.

But God knew the future and He saw my failures even before they came to be.
So God was not caught unaware when I reacted in anger. He was not shocked that I gave in to my fear and pride. He saw it coming, and in mercy He had already went before me to provide sufficient grace in my failures and weaknesses.

“Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD” (Psalm 139:4).

He is not amazed at my failures and even before I failed, He has chosen to use the failure. To show His surpassing power in my weakness. To reveal to me my desperate and constant need for Him. To help me understand that He uses failures.
My failure and sin towards God and another person has shown me my hypocrisy when it comes to extending grace toward others.

I desire to be forgiven, for my failures and weaknesses to be easily overlooked and for the shame to be covered. Although I’ve occasionally failed to do this for others. If I’m sinned against, my natural tendency is to want others to know of what wrong was done to me.

Sadly, I have not been one to cover up another person’s shame or weaknesses. I have not loved others well in their sins, especially my brothers and sisters in Christ. But I desire to be loved and accepted with all my sins, mess, failures and weaknesses.

The standing truth is that I am loved well. Loved and fully accepted by God. And if I choose to believe and walk in this standing truth, I believe that I would be empowered to do the same for others.

God uses failures. The only reason I would wish to have never failed would be due to having to accept the responsibility and consequences of my actions.

Failure at times can be painful and shameful but it is not fatal.

And in the discipline from God that comes out of this failure, I feel and see the Lord’s mercy. I cannot fear or resist His loving discipline. It is good and perfect.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” -1 John 4:18

When The Hurt Is Too Painful To Forgive

 

Too Painful To Forgive
Some hurts are unbelievably hard and painful to forgive.

Some people in our lives have, either intentionally or not, done some unforgivable things to us. And we all have our own unique definition for what we deem unforgivable.

Things we struggle with letting go of. Things that have marred or shaped us in some form or way. Things we would like to gladly hold over their heads for as long as possible.

Due to these reasons, many of us are prone to see those that have hurt us as our enemies. And we are not alone in this as God also has enemies.

The important question is who are the enemies of God and how does He deal with them?

God’s enemies are those that have not been reconciled to Him through faith in Christ. Those that continue to live a life of wickedness and by doing so have made themselves out to be enemies of God.

“For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life.” (Romans 5:10)

And in spite of their hearts and lives, they continue to receive blessings from God in one way or the other.

“God causes His rain to rain on both the righteous and the wicked, and His sun to shine on both the good and evil.” (Matthew 5:45, emphasis added)

And we are called to be like our Father.

In being like Him, we’ve been called to love those who hate us, pray for those that curse us and do good to those that do not wish us well (Matthew 5:44).

Among the many other things in which I struggle with, being obedient to this particular commandment from God is one. I occasionally struggle with loving my “enemies”. And I’ve also found it excruciatingly hard and painful to forgive some hurts.

But one thing that has helped in this is meditating on the word of God and reminding myself of who I am. Continue reading

He Is Well Pleased With Me

Well Pleased
Sometimes I get so insecure by trying to figure out what others think of me.

Other times, the battle is just with me trying to perform for God. Believing in the lie, once again, that His love for me is work-based.

“Oh I shouldn’t have said that. Maybe I should’ve done it this way”. Many times, I find myself feeding on the lies of the enemy. Find myself worrying about insignificant things that I feel I now know the meaning of being ‘worried sick’.

It’s a struggle and a weakness. A joy stealing weakness. Sometimes it takes a while to get a hold on my thoughts, to take these thoughts captive.

But when I finally do, I am reminded of some wonderful truths. Continue reading

Grieving The Spirit

Grieving The Spirit
Beating yourself up because you feel like you keep disappointing God?

You’re wondering why your words, thoughts and actions are not glorifying God. Your relationship and walk with Christ is not at the place where you would like for it to be. You most likely feel stagnant.

It seems like we live in a world that makes being a Christian difficult. But the truth is that there are things that we as individuals can do to distinguish ourselves from the world.

The bible says that we are a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:19).

So how can we be the light in the midst of darkness (the world)? How can we be the salt that gives taste to the world?

There are books that we read, TV shows we find entertaining, certain types of music we like listening to, people we follow on social media networks, friends we interact with and many other things that we surround ourselves with. But are these things glorifying God? Continue reading

Suitable Covering For Shame

Covering for Shame

As humans, we tend to believe that we are capable of covering up our shame.

And of course we do try, we cover it up with flimsy things that can never last, things that have no substance and will soon fade away.

We cover up our shame with lies, denial and/or blaming others.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized their nakedness and this gave birth to shame. Not only did they realize that they were naked but they went on to believe that they could cover up their shame with clothing made out of fig leaves.

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. (Genesis 3:7)

But God had a better plan. Continue reading