Friday, December 23
Upon arriving at a detour sign, you can do one of two things: you can follow the sign or you can turn around and head back to where you started. A detour can be thrust upon you with little notice or it may come at a time in your life when you thought you had it all figured out. In life's journey, there will be many timely detours. Quit being intimated by the uncertainty of what lies around the next bin; instead, be courageous and advance forward because this next detour may lead you to the greatest victory you ever experienced!
Proverbs 16:9 (MSG): We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.
Wednesday, December 21
Monday, December 19
Thursday, October 13
Wednesday, October 12
This scenery reminded me an individual's heart. It takes painstaking work to insure that one's heart is free from unnecessary rocks. Rocks are a hinderance and prevent the Word of God from falling on good ground. You have a duty to keep digging the rocks out of your life. If you fail to repent on a daily basis, it won't be long before something insignificant will continue to fester until it becomes a stumbling block. Hence, remove the small stuff before it causes problems in your life!
"Today I faced a mountain that I have no strength to climb, and the struggle of this journey has left me weak both in body and in mind. Where I stand to the peak is a distance on my own I cannot reach. So, this journey of a thousand steps begins right here on my knees.
Soon I'll soar like an eagle high on wings of grace. Far into the heavens where I can almost see God's face. Rising in His splendor to heights I never knew. What once looked like a mountain is just a hill from heaven's point of view.
I may face things tomorrow I can't comprehend today. Circumstances so uncertain make it hard to find the strength to pray, but I'm living in the promise I'll never leave you. I will always see you through. So what's this mountain to an eagle flying high from heaven's point of view."
Friend, I have been there. There was once a gargantuan mountain in my life that depleted me of my strength. I experienced the bitter sting of disappointment. And I had to begin the journey of trust right on my knees. Thankfully, my mountain, viewed from my heavenly Father's eyes, was just a hill! "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness...." (2 Cor. 12:9) I am so thankful for a faithful Friend who is watching over me.
Monday, September 19
Friday, September 16
What are you willing to initiate in your life? Yes, you must be bold, but if you are willing to take a step of faith, God will surely bless you. We serve a great King who has our best interest at heart.
Friday, September 9
Perfect praise truly can bring about tremendous change. Consider 2 Chr. 20:22: And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. If they had not praised the Lord, perhaps they would not have experienced a victory. The next time you are feeling down and out, try PRAISING the Lord!
We were sitting in church listening to the moving testimonies of how the Lord set people free. Every testimony was amazing, but one sister said something that caused me to ponder on her words. “Sometimes it is uncomfortable living for God.” I had to agree with her. There are times when the disappointment seems too great, the burden too heavy, and the road too dark and desolate. Thankfully, God is in control of our lives. If we were comfortable all of the time, we could never truly appreciate what God does for us on a daily basis.
We serve a just and faithful God, but there are times in our lives when we are asked to do something beyond our comfort zone. God spoke to Abraham and did not just ask but requested him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. I know that Abraham probably was not the least bit thrilled about this request. He may have been uncomfortable. He adored his son. His son was no ordinary child, but a child that was given to Abraham and Sarah in their old age, a miracle from God.
Abraham obeyed God. Abraham could not have known that walking on the other side of the mountain was a ram that would become the sacrifice, and his son’s life would be spared. Abraham and Isaac were able to rejoice together because the Lord provided the sacrifice.
Abraham stepped out of his comfort zone, and God provided the miracle. So, step out and be encouraged. God is only making you uncomfortable so that you may have a greater appreciation for the miracle that is coming your way!
Tuesday, August 30
This particular scripture, in my opinion, is exciting. As you read it, it is as if you can sense the excitement of the prophet concerning his revelation: the Lord fainteth not neither is He weary. Today, this message still has a profound impact on those who come across it. Regardless of what you are facing, rest assured that the Lord is right there by your side. If this is not enough to encourage you, then you only have to read one further scripture: "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. (Isaiah 40:29)
Monday, August 15
I have a pocket full of personal life-changing moments that I will forever treasure. These moments are my personal altars, and only God knows just how much my life has changed since we have been here in revival. At times I was on the Potter's wheel, while at other times I was experiencing great victories. Sheldon has changed too. He has met new friends, become more involved in church, and learned many valuable lessons. The discipleship classes have been a highlight of Sheldon's life.
Mother's Day was unlike no other. Imagine with me as you see young, innocent girls jumping rope, bouncing a ball, and enjoying the sweet fragrance of flowers. Every girl is happy. Suddenly, they are compelled to walk through a door that is marked, "Bad Choices." These same young girls merge from another door as women who have been defeated by life's bitter blows. They are now broken, bitter women who have experienced degradation and no longer feel worthy of anyone's love. These women had bags draped over their shoulders. These bags contained every bad choice they ever made. The story does not end here, these women find a greater life as they experience the joy of being forgiven. This mini drama impacted my life.
The congregation of Higher Ground truly is more than a church, it is an extended family. These people are committed to the Lord and have a great love and respect for Pastor David and his family. The young people are united and fervently serving the Lord. The single moms of this church have a passion to impact other single mom's and lead them to the Lord. These moms are ensuring that their children have a greater future. Families are excited about living for the Lord. The puppet ministry is a vital outreach program at Higher Ground. Youth Alive consists of teenagers who are sold out to the Lord. This church is marching on spreading this wonderful gospel to their community. Soon, they will be in a new church building. Praise God!
I can never fully express my gratitude and thanks to Pastor David, his family, and church family. They have sacrificed their time, energy and finances to support this revival. THANK YOU! You are awesome people. I will miss being apart of this church, but I am thankful to have spent a chapter of my life here.
I cannot close this thought without expressing how surprised we were to receive the many thoughtful gifts. While we will enjoy the Starbucks gift card, I am so grateful for the LOVELY scrapbook. This scrapbook is more than just pictures of everyone in the church. It's a chapter of my life. People wrote sweet thank-you notes to us. It even has a picture of Sheldon's first dentist appointment! (Ask me about this story someday.) And since I am a sentimental person, this scrapbook is priceless and a personal treasure of mine. I will always display this wonderful book. I will have many fond memories because people cared enough to lovingly put this book together. So, if you are ever visiting me, just ask to see this precious scrapbook. It truly is a must see.
THANK YOU Higher Ground. You are great people. Bro. and Sis. David, we are thankful to have met wonderful friends. Sis. David, you are amazing. You possess great motherly wisdom. I have gleaned little nuggets from your acts of motherly love which you displayed not only to your family but to your church family.
Sis. Katie David, thank you for sharing tidbits of your life with me. I marvel at your great faith and trust in God. I have learned, through your life stories, to trust God because everything will work out in His perfect timing. You are a tremendous blessing to this church. You are a pillar of strength and great faith. Next time we are here, you have to save a seat for me. I want to hear more about your life.
God bless all of you, and please keep us in your prayers!
Thursday, August 4
Tuesday, August 2
"The furniture of our minds consists of what we hear, read, observe, discuss and think each day. Are we retaining in our minds too much old furniture which should be replaced by new, or are we making room for new and better furniture to meet the constantly changing conditions with which we are confronted? The minds that are going to be of the most value during the coming year are those that are being furnished daily with sound, constructive ideas and plans that will be helpful in a most effective way. . . . The mind is a storehouse of information--either useful or useless. Whether it be filled with trash or treasure is a matter of our own choosing. The furniture of the mind reflects our character, personality and ability, and determines the extent of our accomplishments."
Saturday, July 30
An old, cranky turtle walks by and responds to the ant's plea for help by saying, "I've had my swim for today, and if I went racing about helping everyone who was in trouble, I'd have no time left to relax." The turtle slowly walks away, lands in a predicament, and seeks the assistance of a hornbill roosting on her nest. The pompous bird responds, "I could . . . but I won't. This will teach you not to be so clumsy."
The bird drops her egg which she was roosting on, and endeavors to enlist the help of a giraffe who responds, "If I did such a thing how silly I would look. I'll have no one laughing at me." The haughty giraffe then gets tangled in vines. He spies a proud lion, who laughs at the giraffe and merrily goes on his way without bothering to help at all.
After the lion meanders away and plops down to rest, a boulder lands on his tail. He humbly asks a rhino for help. The arrogant rhino responds, "I would if you could think of some way to return the favor." Finally, the rhino haphazardly runs into a stump and is stuck.
"So the rhino, the lion, the giraffe, the hornbill, the turtle, and the ant were left in deep trouble. That would have been that if a jolly big somebody hadn't decided to stroll through the jungle that day." Can you guess what animal came next? A gargantuan elephant! He kindly helps everyone in need. After helping everyone and feeling rather proud of himself, the elephant begins to think that everyone has troubles but himself, and he will never need the help of anyone until ..... He gets stuck in a deep ravine. Surprisingly, it is the little ant and ninety-five thousand of his friends that come to the rescue!
I realize this is only a child's book, but it has a great moral: We need to take time to invest in others. To help simply means to "make it easier for (someone) to do something by offering one's services or financial or material aid." Hebrews 4:16 states, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Everywhere you look, someone is in need of something. Perhaps you can bake cookies to brighten someone's day or give a single mom an afternoon off. Maybe there is someone who is struggling financially and you can give a monetary blessing. Whatever the need, seek to help someone. "Assign yourself the purpose of making others happy and thereby give yourself a gift." (Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop, John L. Mason, pg. 59)
Saturday, July 23
There is something about a well-manicured yard that captivates my attention and causes me to dream about how I want my yard to look. I will ponder on various flowers that I like and imagine how they would look planted in my picturesque yard. The one thing I absolutely despise are weeds. Weeds, in my opinion, detract from the beauty of the flower that it surrounds.
Then I started thinking about how easy it is to mow a yard. Yes, it takes effort, but the lawnmower is doing all the work. You are simply guiding it along a designated path, and you do not even have to rake up the discarded grass. Once the lawn is mowed, a feeling of accomplishment settles over you. You then notice those pesky weeds which need to be removed, but you are not exactly thrilled with the prospect of removing them. Why, because you know that this job requires true back-wrenching work. By the time you have completed the weeding of your garden, your back aches, your fingers are red and itchy, your knees are sore, and you are miserably hot. In a nutshell, you simply are exhausted.
Can you see where I am heading with this thought? All of us have weeds in our lives that must be identified and removed. Sometimes it is a matter of recognizing something and repenting over it. Other times, it is a deep soul-searching task. Only you can put a label on your weed. Whatever it is, if it is not good, then it is a hindrance to you.
"Prevention is the first line of defense in keeping weeds from occurring or increasing. Eradication is the removal of weeds from an area so they will not recur unless reintroduced. Control reduces population. Adequate control may prevent future infestation. A weed management system integrates two or more methods into a plan of action." (03106.html) http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/ Even though the above plan of action is dealing with true weeds, you can apply this concept to your spiritual life.
First, prevent the weeds from entering your life--repent daily. If you do something that is less than desirable, ask for forgiveness. If you find that the weed has already taken root in your life, eradicate it, and do not allow it to recur. Finally, take control of what is plaguing you. You alone must label the weed. Once it has been identified, take action and pluck it up by the roots. Kill that thing before it takes over and multiplies. You will find that once it has been removed, it can no longer survive and infect your pure heart.
Okay, I am sitting here smiling, but I know that many of us can confidently and effortlessly thank the Lord for all the good times in our lives. This type of praise just flows naturally. When we are encompassed with seemingly "bad situations," we immediately want to pout and complain, and the last thing that comes to our mind is adulation unto the Lord.
The Bible further states, "It is good to give thanks unto the LORD, and sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night. . . . For thou, Lord, has made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. O Lord, how great are thy works. . . ." (Psa. 92:1-2; Psa. 1:4-5) Yes, one of life's great lessons is being able to speak words of thanksgiving for EVERYTHING that comes our way. By my words of thanksgiving, I am turning a negative situation into a window of opportunity wherein I can trust the Lord. I simply need to have the faith to believe that everything is going to be just marvelous because He has given me that blessed assurance.
I am ending my thought with one last scripture and then it is off to bed for me. "PRAISE ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." (Psa. 106:1)
Friday, July 22
Every Christian has a “rod” or God-given callings and talents. A preacher can fervently preach the Word of God until it seems that the “dead bones” within our lives become resurrected, and we are renewed with a new vision or passion. One individual can sing a melody so lovely and sweet. Another eloquently writes words of inspiration and wisdom. Whatever talent you possess, guard it and never take for granted what God has graciously bestowed to you. You do not want to despise your calling or rod of faith and negligently cast it down. You must endeavor to keep it in God’s hands. In God’s gentle hands your “rod” will be more powerful and effective.
Wednesday, July 20
Tuesday, July 19
While I agree that our shoes should be comfortable, I just could not muster the courage to wear a pair of flip-flops to the White House. If I was meeting the President and the First Lady, I would want to look my very best, and flip-flops would definitely be the last shoe I chose to wear. However, I admire an understated quality of these women--they did not feel the need to be ostentatious. They remained true to themselves. They were simply wearing a shoe that they liked. Since the media has branded this as a major fashion no-no, now the flip-flops can be sold on e-bay, and a 10-year old girl with a brain tumor will be blessed with a financial miracle.
Monday, July 18
Tuesday, July 5
Once we braved the traffic and found a parking space, we trotted off to the beach to await the firework show. On the beach, the intangible aromas of grilled food began to tickle our senses and send a message to our stomach that we were, in fact, HUNGRY! We were ever so surprised to see a hot dog vendor on the beach. We immediately ordered hot dogs to go. We then dined on Fire Hot Cheetos with "limon." (Thanks Shawnna for the introduction to these tasty cheetos.) Oh, and what is the 4th of July without licorice!
Settled down in our comfy seats, we begin to experience a slight chill in the air. So, we naturally inched our way closer and closer to a bonfire that was so timely provided by another family. By the time it was over, we all had cozy spots next to the vibrant, warm fire, and all our chills soon became a faded memory.
The relaxed ambiance of the beach just set the stage for us to enjoy the fantastic firework show! After all the oohs and awes, it was time to go and face the unrelenting traffic. Everyone was kind and courteous as they exited the parking lot, and we were not in a traffic jam for long.
There is something about being at the beach that causes one's appetite to expand and roar with hunger. Or perhaps, we are just staying true to our Pentecostal roots--food and fellowship, equals great fun! At about 11:20 p.m. we then met our friends, the Webbs, for a late night snack at Cocos. At midnight were were enjoying a belgian waffle smothered in syrup and butter. Too bad Starbucks was closed or we would have had to add a hot mocha to the mix.
Yes, we had one fantastic day! Thanks everyone for making this day memorable!
Monday, July 4
Tuesday, June 28
ROAD LESS TRAVELED
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
Saturday, June 25
I just cannot help but to express my adoration for the Lord. My life is blessed because He holds my life in His hands. No, these are not idle words, I sincerely believe that the Lord is guiding and directing my life. Sometimes I cannot see the outcome, but I know that He is near. I have hope, "For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth." (Psa. 71:5)
Wednesday, June 22
After swimming in the picturesque ocean water, we were all sitting on the beach. Laycee and Sheldon were beginning to build a sand castle, when all of the sudden, the tide came up higher than we expected, and got us all wet. We then proceeded back to the picnic and had a marvelous dinner of steak, hot dogs and corn on the cob! All of this was so yummy.
We also celebrated Jessie's birthday. We had birthday cake or maybe I should say, cookies smothered in frosting. When you are out at the beach anything is possible. A day with Bro. and Sis. David would not be complete if we did not have cup of coffee. Unfortunately, there was no Starbucks to be found. So, Bro. and Sis. David graciously brought coffee to us!
After dinner, we once again walked to the beach. Thanks Babe, for the lovely stroll. The sunset was beautiful. We have some great pictures of everyone.
Resa David saved the best for last, cheesecake, and it was delicious! I wish the day never had to end, but it did. Whenever we go to Dana Point, I will fondly remember this "Picture Perfect Day".
Tuesday, June 14
As ladies, we should rest assured that in our Heavenly Father's eyes we are wonderfully made. Too often we want to look in the mirror and focus on every flaw. We want to compare ourselves to someone else. We may rehearse such phrases as "well, if I looked like so and so, or if I had her talents, her personality," on and on our rampant thoughts run. Well, guess what, we will never be like someone else. We are unique and fashioned by a Maker who does not make mistakes! Hence, we need to quit coveting what another possesses and realize that the Lord has equipped us with every talent we need to effectively be His servant. March on and be encouraged for you are like no other!
Inspirational quote: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is." (Albert Einstein)
Monday, June 13
Sheldon is growing up so fast, but we are thankful to be raising him in a Godly home where love abounds. He is a precious gift from God, and we are striving to raise him according to Biblical principles. Someday, he will be riding off into manhood, but we know that the Bible promises us that if we "train up a child in the way he should go", when he is grown and on his own, he will not depart from this precious truth!
Tuesday, June 7
Inferiority will then breed an inferiority complex. The term "inferiority complex" is defined as "an unrealistic feeling of general inadequacy." The burden of inferiority will rob you of your joy and self worth. It will cause you to look in the mirror and see a negative reflection of yourself. Do not spend another vital moment believing the hurtful words or pious looks of those who want to make you feel inferior. You are a "pearl of great price." In Serita Ann Jakes book, The Princess Within, she states, "I have looked into mirrors and out through windows, and I have found that it is better to look for windows of opportunity to help others than to grasp for glimpses of my own reflection."
Friday, June 3
Thank God for a brave dad who always steps to the plate in times of need. He is courageous and the best dad around! You are our hero. We love you, Mark. Because of you, our lives are blessed. You are amazing, and we are behind you 110 percent. Keep preaching the Word!
Mark 11:23, states: for verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Are you ready to become an overcomer? It takes true boldness and courage to overcome an obstacle that is in your pathway.
If you are to become an obstacle conqueror, you cannot make an about face and run from what is troubling you. You must be brave and face what is concerning you. Also, you must not allow your frail mentality of doubt to dictate to you any longer. Your obstacle will dissipate if you will have the faith to believe that Lord truly can do all things. The Lord is not limited by what you are experiencing today. The Lord will give you the strength and guidance that you are seeking after. You must take the first step and the Lord will take you to the next level. We serve an awesome God who is able to provide your every need!
Tuesday, May 31
My son, Sheldon, came into the house and said, “Mom, I am going to be playing outside and I am tired of having to come inside to talk to you. Would you please wear this walkie-talkie so that I can talk to you?” Of course, I gladly put it on, and we proceeded to engage in a wonderful mother-son conversation. He started out talking about humming birds. Then, he wanted to know if I had been on the Titanic. (This statement really made me laugh.) The conversation switched many times. He then started singing and kept me smiling. It was a fun experience for Sheldon knowing that he could hear and talk to me even though he could not see me. Once he came inside for a break, we discussed the fact that as long as he was close to home and did not stray too far away, we were able to effectively communicate to each other.
After stating this observation, I immediately thought about how essential it is for us to stay “connected” with the Lord through our prayer life and daily devotion. We cannot allow the static of life and everyday living to keep us from praying or studying the Word of God.
Tuesday, May 10
Thankfully, on the scale of life, the positive far outweighs the negative. We have the ability to set the right atmosphere for our home. We do not have to be held captive by negative emotions. A day that starts out in prayer is one that is usually blissful. There is something about taking the first fruits of your day and finding time to bask in the presence of your Heavenly Father. Morning prayer is your ammunition against the wiles of the adversary. The sticky, deceptive web that the adversary strives to weave is useless because you are girded up and protected. You have prayer in one hand and the Word in the other. Prayer works! Prayer is the best defense. It is our shield. Therefore, start the day out right and sincerely strive to ensure that your home is a haven for your family.
Eph. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Thursday, April 21
To all my friends, I want to say, “Thank you for being there for me. All of you are awesome!" Even though I cannot speak to all of my friends on a daily basis, I am thankful for a Friend who is always with me, and His name is Jesus. When you stop to consider just how incredible it is to say, “Jesus is my Friend,” you can’t help but to smile. Israel Houghton’s song, “Friend of God” gently reminds me of how blessed we are to be able to call God a friend. More importantly, God call’s us His friend. (James 2:23: And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the
Friend of God.)
Sunday, April 17
Friday, April 15
The following is a quote taken from the commendable book, God’s Leading Lady, by T.D. Jakes: “When you focus on yourself and your self-perceived imperfections, you get trapped in a dark, miserable world where nothing is good. You lose sight of God’s great magnificence, the awesome light that shines through you and the rest of the world. You become so intent on what is wrong and how to fix it, that the rest of life just slips away. Don’t become paralyzed with a critical spirit, a perfectionism that’s unattainable, or a cynicism based on what you see from your limited view.”
It is essential to step out of the arena of “poor me, pity me” and get on with your day. Too often we try to focus on ourselves and look inward for the answer, when God is trying to show us the way. God wants us to look beyond our “limited view” and what we see this very moment and to begin to dream of a brighter day. God wants us to forget what happened yesterday and realize that today, right this very moment, is a day of celebration. A day without blemish, it’s a new page without any lines written. How are you going to write upon this page of your life? It’s time to shake off the shackles that are limiting you and fervently allow God to reign in your life!