Blog, Daily Devotional, Spiritual Walk

Puppy Love

This is a repost.  After spending the weekend with the ladies in prison, I cannot get this song (see below) out of my head.  I felt it was fitting to revisit this.  Have a wonderful day!  –d.

Good morning, peeps!

 

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV

“Oh it chases me down – fights til I’m found – leaves the ninety-nine” – from the song “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury

Today’s word of encouragement is brought to you in loving memory of Chocolate Pupcake, my friends’ (The Walters) sweet four-legged family member who was killed earlier this year when she was hit by a car.  As this song played in my head this morning, I thought of Choco.  Never met her, don’t know if she would’ve bit me or pee’d on my shoe. What I DO know is that Robin and her family loved her with a reckless love.  Like, seriously crazy about her.  Just by listening to Robin talk about her, I could tell.  And that right there would’ve made me love her, too.

After being let outside to play one evening, she ran off.  This was something she’d done before so they weren’t alarmed and she always came back.  When she didn’t, they rallied the troops and searched for her.   I’m sure they didn’t have to rally too hard: their friends and neighbors were more than happy to help for this was in the scope of their love.  Now read the scripture. We tend to base what we think God will do for us – how far He will go to find us, the number of times He’ll put us back together – on what our limited minds can think, on what we perceive, on what we’ve been told that has planted itself in our hearts.  Listen to me: God ain’t us.  What we call reckless love is not even in the same league as His recklessness.  And I’m not talkin’ comparing apples to oranges.  Stack that apple up against Orion’s Belt.  Yeah.

Mind. Blown.

I have tried to wrap my mind around God’s ways and I cannot.  I just can’t.  Check it: I had the most amazing dream this morning about His angels protecting and providing for me and my family and STILL, I know that dream was limited by my ability to comprehend.  Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God!  I pray that you let this just wash over you this morning as you look around at your babies or assess what you’ve got ahead of you today.  Love ya.  Have a great day.

–d.

Daily Devotional, Long Read, Spiritual Walk

Peace In.

Good morning, peeps!

Oh, I’ve missed you! Would you like to hear what I’ve been doing during my hiatus…or would you rather see the results of it? Most mamas answer their own questions and I am no different: you’d rather just see the results. I heard Dr. Tony Evans say something a long time ago and it has stuck with me ever since:

“No one goes to a football game to watch the team huddle for 3 hours. You go to see what the huddle produces.”

Ev’ry day I’m huddlin’, huddlin’. Ev’ry day I’m huddlin’, hud—….no? Okay.

Yesterday started off rather rough for me. You know, it was one of those days when you say, “Okay, Imma go back to bed and start this again.” Anxiety, dread, and all kinds of crazy stuff hit me upside the head before I even stood up. So, I came for it. You want some, fool? Okay. I began to say who God is: Father, Alpha and Omega, Almighty, I AM… I went in, y’all. And then I pulled out the heavy artillery: I started reciting the fruits of the Spirit. Not in a quiet way, either. I declared them because I knew the only way to combat what was obviously not of God was to hit ’em with the things that ARE God. You do know that fruit is indicative of the tree, right? So God IS peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.

Whatchu got to say now??

This morning is a brand-new day, peeps. I woke up with the idea that I would wear my freedom t-shirt to work. Y’all know I love printed tees and I just got the okay from my boss to rock them at work. YESSS!  I love this shirt. It says “freedom”. And it’s soft. And it’s grey. And I’m wearing it with dark jeans with my pale yellow cropped blazer. I’m about to be too cute!! Free AND cute! As I was ironing the shirt and looking at the word on it, God reminded me of what comes with freedom. There’s power – duh – but something else: PEACE. Say what?? So, I sat down with my bible and looked in the concordance for a scripture that had the word “peace” in it. Sure, I can recite plenty of ‘em but I wanted a scripture that I didn’t know off-hand.

What happened next blew my mind.

You all know how concordances are set up, right? The word you want – PEACE – will be atop a column and below it will be a list of the occurrences. Well, most of them. It’s usually just a snippet for the sake of context, with a “p” in bold. “P” for the word “peace”. As I scanned down the list, I heard in my spirit, “Read it out loud and say the word “peace”.” So I did.

Y’all…I felt something shift in the atmosphere. On everything.

I want you to do that right now. I am going to fake a concordance – I don’t have time to type the book and verse – and I want you to say each of these out loud with authority and BELIEVE EVERY SINGLE THING YOU SAY. Here goes:

And give you p

My covenant of p

Proclaim p unto it

Lay me down in p

End of that man is p

And a time of p

P been as a river

The way of p

Saying P, p

Shalt die in p

They shall seek p

To send p

P with one another

The way of p

On earth p

P be to this house

P I leave with you

Ye might have p

P from God

The way of p

We have p with God

The gospel of p

Live in p

For he is our p

Preached p to you

The p of God

The p of God rule

P among yourselves

The Lord of p

King of p

Follow p with all men

Depart in p

Let him seek p

P be multiplied

Question: have you ever noticed that the gesture we make for peace with our fingers is the same gesture people make for victory?

It’s good to be back. Have a great day, peeps.

–d

Daily Devotional, Spiritual Walk

Fuming.

(This is Part 1 of our 3-part devotional series “go sit: the art of being”.)

Good morning, peeps!

I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel You ~ hope to feel something again ~ but You have called me higher ~ You have called me deeper” – from “Called Me Higher” by All Sons And Daughters

I want to clarify something: to be doesn’t mean to stop living. Oh, I know I gave examples during the Press series about God halting my routine, telling me to sit my butt down and stop just doing. I want you to understand that it doesn’t mean I stop living. That I stop ministering. That I stop praying. That I stop singing. That I stop doing. I’m not sitting on my couch with my feet propped up chillaxin’ and acting like I don’t have a call on my life. No ma’am, no sir.

“Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” – Acts 16:24-26 KJV

You have no choice but to be when you’re locked up in prison, especially if your feet are in stocks. Where you gonna go, friend? No where. You can’t help but to sit down and be. Look at the above passage from Acts 16. Paul and Silas were some active folks. The two of them were going everywhere, preaching, teaching, and casting out spirits. As a matter of fact, if you read the few verses prior to that excerpt you will find that doing that very thing is what got them locked up in the first place. They cast a spirit out of a woman whose possession was making folks money. In the scripture, they were called her “masters”. Funny how people will see something in you and try to control it for their gain…like they own you. That’s a whole ‘nother blog. When Paul and Silas called the spirit out of her and she was released, her masters became enraged and made a false report to the authorities, causing Paul and Silas to be cast into prison. That’s messed up.

So here’s three things that came to me this morning and are the reason we have a new series. I can’t do them all in one day.

  1. One, sometimes God will allow things to happen just to get you to be…just to get you to sit down.
  2. Two, being does not mean not being. Does that make sense? No? Good. That means I get to explain it. Yay!
  3. Three, being actually positions you for what God wants to do.

“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord ~ open the eyes of my heart ~ I want to see You ~ I want to see You” – from Open The Eyes Of My Heart (cover) by Trey McLaughlin

(Author’s note: if you listen to this version of the song and you aren’t rockin’ smooth-like with it, listen to it again.)

Part 1…sometimes God will allow things to happen just to get you to be…just to get you to sit down.

God doesn’t want you operating off of fumes. Remember that I said “Paul and Silas were some active folks…going everywhere, preaching, teaching, and casting out spirits.” I just did a copy/paste on my own words. Yeah-uh! I don’t remember reading about Paul and Silas (known henceforth as P/S) ever taking a break. Do you? If you look through the Gospels, though, you will see several accounts of Jesus going off by himself and sometimes He took the disciples with Him. God appreciates and honors the ministry we do for the Kingdom, but goll-leeeee! Sometimes He wants you to just sit down! You need to just be sometimes so that God can minister to you. And truthfully, that is the only way God can “open the eyes of your heart”. For real. How else are you going to see Him “high and lifted up” if you’re so focused on doing and not being? I used to go and go and people would ask me how I had the energy to do so much and I would reply “I’m just functioning off of fumes.” That is not good.

And that is not God.

God doesn’t want us to serve Him out of exhaustion. I know Scripture says “present your bodies a living sacrifice”, but please take note of the “living” part. Good grief. How alive are you if you’re just functioning off of fumes? What kind of sacrifice are you presenting? Man! Even the dead sacrifices back in the day were about sumthin’! No one brought some old dried up or shriveled side of beef to the altar. Naw, baby. They brought the best and juiciest…as a matter of fact, it was killed right there at the altar. Some of us…never mind. Again, that’s a whole ‘nother blog. Matthew 26:41 is often used as an admission of weariness: “…the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Okay, I get it, but where are my church folks who will admit that sometimes it’s their spirit that is weak and I don’t mean in regards to temptation. You have no umph left. You are dry. Oh! I see some hands! Here’s my message to you: SIT DOWN.

I am smiling right now because I imagine that had not the feet of P/S been locked in stocks, they would’ve been walking around the prison ministering. When God wants you to be still, oh, He makes sure that’s all you can do.

Have good one, peeps.

–d.

Daily Devotional, Spiritual Walk

Get Clean.

Good morning, peeps!

(This is a repeat.  A very special man in my life passed away this time of year in 2006 and he’s been on my mind a lot lately.  Like, a lot.  I revisited this post this morning and I thought I’d share it with my friends.  I hope you all have a great weekend.)

–d.

 

This post is inspired by my late stepdad, Curt.  I miss you…

Curt’s denim jacket has been hanging in the laundry room since he died in ’06.  I have looked at it every day, but for some reason I felt particularly drawn to it today.  I took the jacket off of the hanger, running my hand up and down the sleeves, fingering the collar as I remembered how he looked wearing it.  While most of his things had been sent to the professional cleaners, this jacket was washed at home with his jeans and still smelled of Tide and Downy.  I put my nose to it and sniffed – hey, we’ve already established that I am a little weird – and was surprised that I could also smell hints of the cigarettes he used to smoke.

You can stop doing worldly things, spruce yourself up as best you can, even go to church for years, but if you haven’t let God “clean” you, the stench of sin is still in every fiber of your being. You’d be like that jacket: look clean, in a place of cleaning, and still reek. There are some things that only God can do.  Ask Him to cleanse you today.

Daily Devotional, Spiritual Walk

And now…

Good morning, peeps!

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR…

The word for today is “forgiveness”.  This word has been haunting my dreams lately.  Ugh.  Every night, I am presented with a different scenario involving this one person and every morning when I wake up, God says “You need to forgive them.”  Ain’t.  I want to – I really do – I just don’t know how.  So this morning, God broke it down real easy for me so that I would finally get what happens when I don’t forgive.

I dreamed of a young lady I know who is on the verge of adulthood.  We were in a car on our way to ATL and she was driving.  Somewhere along the way, she got turned around – we were going in the wrong direction.  This is what I mean by “we were going in the wrong direction”.  I don’t mean we were supposed to be headed south and we were going north.  No.  I mean, we were driving north in the southbound lane.  We were going against traffic!  I’m riding shotgun and I’m asking her if she can see the cars coming towards us.  She quietly replied, “Yes.”  I looked upside her head and said “Yes??  What do you mean ‘yes’??!”  She said, “Yes, I can see them.”  Y’all, this girl was so calm, it was freaky.  I’m on my side of the car panicking because semi-trucks and cars are trying desperately to get out of our way as she continues to speed in the wrong direction.  I finally coached her over to the other side and onto the shoulder.  Y’all don’t want to know how I did that.  Everything about this dream was illegal.  Once there, I calmed her down and said, “Okay.  Now you can go.”  She sat there with a terrified look on her face, gripping the steering wheel.  She said, “I’m scared.  I don’t know how to go that way.” Now, I promise you, I was totally confused.  I said, “Okaaay.  Remember how you just went against the flow of the cars on that side?  You will now go with the flow of the cars on this side.”  She said, “Oh.  Okay.”

She turned the car and drove against the flow of traffic.

When you do not forgive, you go against the flow.  I told y’all, I’m a poet!!  You do.  That’s what God was telling me this morning.  My unforgiveness is really making life harder than it should be.  I am going against, well, life.  Even when God gets me turned around and I’m travelling the right direction down Forgiveness Hwy 1, I will stop, turn my own self back around, and go the wrong direction.  How? Well, I attach bad experiences to things that have nothing to do with those and I hold on to the bad things of my past, looking at my future through that dirty lens.  So instead of typing another blog for the devotional series, me and God went back through my life and I forgave.  Yeah, y’all…I forgave.  God brought to the surface stuff that I didn’t even know was still there.  And I forgave.

Try it.

–d.