All posts by whyevewhy2016

Driving Around In My Faith

Today I gave up the ghost of my “Mommy/First Responder Mobile”………It was a 1997 Ford Expedition. This truck never let me down. We drove it from 1998 until a few months ago. I sold hair products all across North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in it. I drove around in this truck for years with 2 booster seats and a car seat.

It was my PTO Mom vehicle. It was my husband’s Coach Mobile that carried his equipment and team to and fro across our county. Basketball, T-ball, Coach Pitch, Little League Baseball and Football Seasons were spent in this truck. Children whose parents that would not or could not take them to and from practices and games traveled safely in this truck.  Not to mention the tons of snacks hauled in the back to stock the concessions stands at our local rec league park. Everyone in town knew this truck. If you passed by our local Elementary School chances were that you would see this truck. The world knew I was volunteering or tutoring that day because this truck was parked in the circle out front. Our yearly fun filled vacations to Chicago, St Louis, Florida and Myrtle Beach were taken in this truck.

Yet the truck was so much more than all of that. It was my Mission Mobile as well. I would take my Uncle E, that just so happened to be 6 foot 5 inches tall to and from the VA hospital in it. He suffered from COPD and Emphysema. I could place his huge oxygen tanks in it.  My Uncle E was a Vietnam Veteran that unfortunately had been exposed to Agent Orange and due to witnessing several of his platoon members being blown up by  grenades………he had taken his first cigarette in the bushes of Vietnam to calm his nerves and become addicted to cigarettes resulting in lots of health issues. If my Uncle would stop breathing the local fire department would respond to my grandmother’s home and a call would be made for me. I would jump into this truck without hesitation, the truck would start and often times I would beat the ambulance there. After awhile my family began to call me First Responder and they swore my truck had secret hidden emergency vehicle lights embedded in it’s grill. They swore that I had activated the secret lights and raced through town to often get to him. My grandmother had poor circulation in her legs as she grew older. She would eventually lose both of her legs. I would drive her to and from doctor visits, physical therapy and prosthesis fittings in this truck. We would laugh, eat, sing and pray together out loud all up and down the highways. I would heave her wheelchair into the back of it. How she and I got her into and out of this high vehicle sometimes on a daily basis I have no idea. Wait I do now realize how……. God’s Grace was truly sufficient. I received lots of wisdom and was blessed with lots of gospel singing from my grandmother and her sisters while riding around in that truck.

Today in this moment I look back on how I came to own this truck. I was working in between having babies. I worked in the city and would race home to the country for my husband to get to work on his late shift job. Every single day traffic would back up for me in front of the Cadillac dealership. One day I glanced over to my right and saw a beautiful green Ford Expedition it was in immaculate condition. I would think to myself that is a very nice truck. As the weeks went on I began to see myself and my family in that truck. I began to think of how easy it would be to place my young children comfortably in the truck daily. No yelling about he or she touching me. No one would be kicking us in the back of our seats while driving, I could put all my groceries in the back and my back would no longer be killing me from  bending down securing everyone in their seats. I began to pray for the truck. I did not mention it to my husband at all. I felt the truck was too expensive for our budget and honestly I wasn’t sure how long I would continue working because my oldest child would start school later on in the fall of the year. My husband and I had discussed me coming home fulltime when he started.

Honestly folks I prayed about and for that truck for at least 3 months every single day I traveled home from work. The strange thing was on my way into the city daily I never looked at the truck. One day the traffic simply stayed blocked for what seemed like forever. My mind said” well you are stuck here why not get a closer look at that beautiful truck.” Finally when I could get up to the entrance to the dealership I turned in parked and walked over to the truck. I fell more in love with the truck. That particular day my husband was called into work early. My in-laws had graciously watched the children until I could get there to pick them up.  I mentioned the truck to them. My Mother-in- law suggested my Father- in- law go and look at the truck. We headed back up there and he inspected the truck. The salesperson knew my Father- in- law from church. I had absolutely no idea about that but apparently God did. The dealership really wanted to get rid of the truck because it was a Ford on a Cadillac lot and it had been there going on 3 months. So they agreed to reduce the price.  They told me to take it home and let my husband see it. I was scared to death. I wasn’t driving that truck off the lot, my husband didn’t even know about this truck. I quickly and loudly said nope! (Feeling the oncoming of a wavering of faith).  My Father- in- law calmly stated we would take the truck home and bring it back tomorrow. I was looking at him like he was crazy. Man we can’t afford this truck! (Suddenly I had wavered in my faith).   We left the dealership and drove straight to my husband’s job and called for him to come out. He instantly loved the truck. He asked about the price and asked if I really wanted it . I told him it was simply too expensive for our budget. He told me to take the truck on home and we would discuss it further in the morning. The next morning I told him to take it back and I grabbed his car and headed to work. I didn’t need that truck. (Again I was wavering in my faith).  Needless to say by the time I got stuck in traffic that afternoon my car was on the dealership lot with a for sale sticker slapped on it’s windshield. I almost had a panic attack because I had ordered him to take the truck back. ( Child were is your faith).

As I came out of the curve in my subdivision I saw the huge green truck sitting in my driveway and my husband and children standing in front of it grinning and waving.  I quickly began to fuss that we couldn’t afford the truck. My husband calmly explained that because of our credit and his Dad’s haggling, and great friends at the credit union, that the truck had been financed at a very low rate.  He  gently placed the keys  into my hands and said ” you have never ever asked me for anything for yourself. Why can’t you  just simply allow God and me to bless you with this beautiful truck? You know in your heart that we truly need this truck.”………………………………………………Prayers had been answered just like that.

God had given me the desire of my heart! He had blessed me to do wonderful, fun, compassionate things all while traveling safely in this truck.  Thanks Be to God that we were never ever late with a payment on this truck. God knew He had plans for me to use the truck for good! He saw the needs that would be coming on down the road for my Beloved Family. I had enough FAITH to petition God all those years ago for something my family needed………… not so much wanted but truly needed. In this moment that the tow truck driver pulls away taking it  as a donation to the Kidney Foundation……… I realize that for all these years I had been Driving Around In FAITH. God had made sure I never broke down or was stranded in this truck. Today was the first day the truck had ever taken a ride on the back of a tow truck. Keep the Faith and God Shall Provide All Your Needs and as a bonus…… He will always secure and protect it for us. He already knew it would bless us. He had placed the truck before me daily in traffic. He just patiently waited for me to have the Courage and Faith to ask Him for it. Funny enough I never ever got stuck in traffic again in front of that dealership. Perhaps the traffic jams were simply set up for such a time for me to notice the beautiful green truck. Praying in Faith provides endless possibilities and blessings my friends. When God begins to answer the prayers don’t be like me and then suddenly experience the wavering of your faith!  Pray in faith and Stay in faith! When God answers prayers things began to happen very quickly.  Don’t ask in faith and then get scared when it’s activated. I am sure that probably causes God a tad bit of stress! Are you living in a house received in faith? Driving in a car received in faith? Sitting behind a desk in a job received through faith? Perhaps you are living, walking, hearing, seeing or breathing in this moment because of your faith.

Blessings Upon Blessings

Spiritual Check Engine Light Blinking

Oh Lord My Check Engine Light Is On

In case you haven’t realized it yet life can be so overwhelming and hard at times. We rise early everyday and we simply get busy. Honestly for most of us our feet hit the floor and we are off running. So many things to do that we honestly don’t realize that we are actually breathing. Looking back I honestly don’t know at what point that awful ritual starts.

Over the later part of 2017 I realized that my Spiritual Check Engine Light was flashing. I was trying to ignore it.  I was just sputtering along. I was frustrated, restless and empty. I was desperately trying to plug into God and I was not connecting. I was eagerly listening for His voice and all I heard was static and noise. I looked around and everyone was chattering but nothing made any sense. I was reading my bible and falling asleep. I would listen to gospel music and get interrupted by a notification, email alert or call on my cell phone. I would pick up a book and fall asleep reading instantly. I would attend church and sit looking around me longing for a spiritual attachment to simply plug into. Suddenly I realized there was nothing or anyone to bum a charge off of. My spiritual transmission was slipping.

Spiritual emptiness is like living while dying. It’s a dark lonely place and honestly very scary. I was busy doing things that I felt were meaningful while the sheer joy I had once received was quickly disappearing. I was busy and excited for the Lord but unfortunately I was unable to find anyone to run the race with me. I saw needs everywhere. So much good to be done in the world but the world was not interested. I found myself feeling isolated, strange, out of place and frustrated. Everyone was simply living in the “ I just care about myself, my family and my things.”

Honestly watching the madness was simply heartbreaking. We live in a society where the majority are immune now to compassion. I found myself listening to conversations and thinking to myself  “ oh hell no I don’t think I want to be a Christian.” Yes you read that correctly. I honestly started evaluating if I personally had missed the true message of being a Christian. I was an overachiever and all that compassion, empathy and energy had been wasted for years. I was an alien in the land of mostly strangers. I was thinking “what would God think, what would Jesus do?” I honestly gave up hope of spreading the awesome “Good News”.

On the rare occasion that I would share my thoughts and feelings I would quickly regret it. My husband seemed to be the only one seeing what I could see. I could not find the presence of God or the Nature of God anywhere. I felt like “ The Walking Dead”. The joy, hope and light I once knew was no more. For me my spiritual world was coming to an end. My Spiritual Check Engine Light was blinking rapidly. God was pushing me onward and I was yelling over my shoulder “please stop doing that. Why won’t you just let me be.” I remember daily telling God “ why won’t you just let me worry about myself?” Come to think of it He hasn’t answered that question for me yet.

Finally I simply unplugged. I gave up almost everything. God would try to talk to me and I was ignoring Him. I remember one day actually saying out loud at the kitchen sink “ look God I am going to need a spiritual timeout. If the world doesn’t care why should I.”  It was during that time that people began to reach out. I think God said “well Missy if you won’t listen to me I would send some messengers.”  Suddenly I realized that what I had been doing had not been in vain. I had made a difference in the lives of some people. I had in my busy work brought some joy, laughter and light to others. I was reading my bible daily. I began a new 90 day devotion. I started putting my headphones on and listening to Gospel music. I started live streaming different sermons and taking notes again. I found myself in my prayer closet again. I found myself reading books again and actually finishing them. I found myself replenishing. Joy and laughter were  slowly reappearing. I was walking in peace again. I just needed to go into the spiritual repair shop and get myself a Holy Oil Change and a Spiritual Tune Up. While there I got my Spiritual Windshield Repaired. I learned to accept that I will always see things differently than most others and I will be more passionate than others. It appears that God equipped me with some high powered spark plugs and my heart engine just seems to be A Compassionate Turbo. I am honestly hoping that like me the world’s check engine light is merely blinking. Praying that God will give us all a Spiritual Tune Up in the very near future.

Blessings Upon Blessings

Father Forgive Them They Know Not What They Have Done

If you have gone out to eat this weekend and your food came out slow…..Thank your buddy in the White House. If you went to a restaurant last night that is usually open late night and they were closed…….thank your buddy in the White House. People are afraid to drive around town and probably will not show up to work over the next few weeks. So if your workload gets heavier over the next few weeks…..Thank your buddy in the White House. When your boss suddenly starts demanding you to do things normally not in your job description.  Thank your beloved buddy in the White House.

Lots of parents are going to be afraid to send their children to school from here on out. So to my teacher friends that voted for that person…….when your conscience forces you to  start worrying about Little Johnny and Little Jessica when they no longer show up to your class… You can thank your newly elected buddy in the White House. If by the end of the week fresh produce prices are sky high…..Thank your buddy in the White House. When you go to the meat department and the price of meat has increased by 30% over the next few weeks. You can thank your buddy in the White House.

When your rental properties are suddenly empty and you are left to pay the mortgage on them without rent money next month. Ding Ding Ding you get to thank your buddy in the White House. When you are suddenly in a hurry for a cab and it takes an hour or two to get one. You can thank your buddy in the White House. When you go to the florist  to pick up some beautiful flowers and the price has suddenly  increased sending you into sticker shock. You and You and You get to thank your friend in the White House. When you suddenly drive on to your college campus or industrial park and the grass is overgrown and the beautiful landscapes are no more……Yes you guessed it you can thank your friend in the White House.

The Bible speaks of immigrants at least 92 times in the Old Testament alone. If the disciples had not been allowed into foreign lands we would have never known the marvelous works of God or His Beloved Son. I often imagine the Israelites as they escaped Egypt…. Oh the joys of the possibility of a better life.

To the friends of mine that don’t think I know you voted for him…..I am enjoying your reactions to certain conversations because it’s written all over your faces. I notice when your shoulders slump and your chins suddenly drop. Your quick exits from hot topic discussions bring me so much joy as your footsteps of shame echo like those of King Kong. I will never trust you or look at you the same. I am careful now of sharing my fears and concerns for my family and those with my skin tone. So when you suddenly realize I have deleted you from social media accounts….. For that you can thank your friend in the White House. I no longer wish to share my lows, my highs or my families moments of fun with a person with a hardened heart that condones blanket racism.

There are people in this country just trying to make a living to feed their families. If you ever took the time to venture outside resorts when you visit other countries like Mexico which I personally have…….You would have some compassion and empathy for immigrants and you would not have put your buddy in the White House. Some people have lived in tents without clean water or toilets and you voted to throw them out. You care more about dogs.

I don’t want to hear about your excuse for voting for him because of better jobs. The last time I checked your family had a roof over your head, lights, water, food and most of you two cars. You were not suffering because the Lord has truly as He promised as a usual showed mercy and provided. Please don’t come at me about Pro-Life because it is quite obvious you are not willing to help provide for the babies when they come. You don’t want healthcare for all. You don’t want to help with birth control and you want to punish the woman. You have no desire to create laws to make adoptions faster and affordable. You don’t care about the immigrants babies that may be left in this country alone and forced into foster homes. Yet you tell yourself you care about those not yet born.

You proudly displayed pictures of children and grandchildren going off to the military excited that they have joined. You failed to realize that putting your friend in the White House might very well send you loved ones off to war. So if deployment papers should unfortunately come……You can thank your friend in the White House. It is officially too late to voice your concerns.

You don’t even care if public schools are lead by people that will insure those babies or their parents are provided with a decent education. He has chosen to fill those important positions with people that have never cared about public education. How can we ever expect them to overcome. He has chosen to fill those important positions with people that are billionaires that send their kids to private institutions.

The fact that you chose to put your faith in a man for provision instead of your God spoke to my heart. Your actions have moved me to not use anger against you but to pray to God that He might in the future change your hearts. So today in this very moment of news coverage of traffic stops and ICE raids and police checkpoints in our very own town…..I choose to pray “Father Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Have Done”.

You see your buddy told you exactly what he was going to do and left no ugly racist, hateful rock unturned. You by your actions looked the other way and you put him in the White House. You my friends by voting for your buddy have allowed things to be done that as decent human beings should be frowned upon.  So once again my prayer for you all is “ Father Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Have Done”.

Blessings Upon Blessings

God Forgive Me For The Box

God Forgive Me For The Box

As I lay in my bed flipping through my social media account. I realized something. I have often questioned things even within the Bible. There have been times when people have been mistreated, beaten down and made to feel ashamed as a result of people pounding them over the head with the Bible. I have sat and watched the tears of an unwed mother made to feel horrible because of the conception of a child. I have watched gay people sit in church pews in tears and fear listening to a preacher preach the threat of hell’s fire upon them. I have watched gifted women be told they can’t speak in churches when they have clearly possessed an anointed Godly gift or talent. I have witnessed women destroy other women for their choice of abortion ……..sadly they did not realize that I knew that they had actually had an abortion. I see mothers and fathers on social media bashing one’s right to abortion not realizing that some in this world know their secret of paying for their daughter’s abortions. There are men that preach from the pulpit that have actually borrowed money from family members in their past to pay for a girlfriend’s abortion. They believe their secrets are safe. If only we would all simply walk in our own truth. Our world would be so much better for it.

Sadly I remember my very own sins and I am humbled by God’s forgiveness. By sins I mean times that I have done things wrong and been convicted by my own heart, soul and mind. To me those are actual sins. We know our actions are wrong but we do them anyway. God has granted all of us a spirit of discernment but we rarely use it. By discernment I mean the perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual direction and understanding. What I mean is we know we are wrong before we even do it.

Honestly who are we to determine what a sin actually is? We are not God. We only know the Nature of God. His compassion, mercy, kindness, willingness to listen, willingness to bless, willingness to protect us and a willingness to convict us when we are wrong. Anything other than that we rely on the words of the Bible that were written by man. We must never trust any man or woman to lead us to the promise land. We must depend solely on God to let us all in. Do not get me wrong I feel that the Bible has some great guidelines in it…. but I feel it is up to each individual to seek their own personal guidance.

How could we ever honestly think we know all there is to know about God. God is prodigious. Meaning He is remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree. All one needs to do is step outside and look up at the sky and see the greatest example of prodigious. Take a walk on the beach and attempt to find the end of the ocean. I dare you to attempt to count the waves as they come in. I triple dog dare you to attempt to count the grains of sand. Listen to me people God is bigger than we think.

Only a Massive God could ever create such diversity of races of men and women. Only a Huge God could create all the different plants and animals that dwell upon this land. Only an Immense God could have the power to allow us to breath as our hearts continue beating. Only a Mammoth God could supply so much mercy and forgiveness for all the wrong we do to each other fighting one another from day to day.

God has blessed me so many times I honestly am ashamed to admit it. I am not worthy of this vast amount of love, kindness, compassion and provision. God has protected and loved me more than sometimes my heart can stand. I know there is a God and as I write this blog I can feel Him. God wants us to recognize that He determines our sins. He knows the truth about us all. He wants us to love one another and to show compassion for one another. He wants us to take Him out of the box and use His example of love to  embrace every human being.

We know right from wrong. We are convicted within ourselves sometimes on a daily basis. We must learn to help, support and offer provisions to one another the same way God provides those things to us on a moment to moment basis. Why do we think people do not have a right to have all the blessings that we in the moment are having. We have jobs, homes, healthcare, love, fresh air, clean water, safe neighborhoods and free will to make our own choices. Take people out of your boxes and allow them to live. Whether you agree or disagree it is simply not your choice to make laws governing what people man nor woman can do with their bodies. You are not the maker of either so how about we let God govern that part of living.

God forgive me for the audacity to have ever placed you in a box inside my small mind. Forgive me for ever limiting you to the Bible. For this morning I realize that I have yet to climb out of my own box and experience the fullness and greatness of the Almighty God. Help me to take the lid off of my life God and climb right out of this box. God is bigger than we all think people. Why not chose today to take Him out and enjoy the fullness of God. I promise you will not regret it. Attempt to stop judging the lives of others and get busy enjoying yours. God is waiting for your attention. I sincerely believe He wants to bless you. Honestly what size box have you placed God in?

Blessings Upon Blessings

A Christmas Tree To Remember

A Christmas Tree to Remember

As we all get ready to celebrate the New Year perhaps we should pause and celebrate the Old Year. We look so forward to new things and new resolutions with great anticipation of what the New Year will bring.

Well as I began to take down my 2016 Christmas Tree something began to bother me. For a moment I stopped dismantling my tree and took a seat. The strangest and saddest feeling came over me. For the first time in my life I thought about the New Year in a different light. I thought to myself how next year might be different. How arrogant of me to take down this tree ornament by ornament with preparations forming in my mind of how I would unpack everything next year. I was thinking where to store things and how I would do things a little different on the tree next year. I would change this and that and even where I would place the tree next year. Like a ton of bricks reality hit me. Who says I will be here next year? Who says I will be able to see or hear or stand next year. A bold and audacious assumption had been made simply by taking down my Christmas Tree.

Here I was embracing a New Year when I wasn’t yet finished with the old year yet. I had not stopped to thank God for bringing me and my family through 2016. I had not thanked God for better health in 2016. I had not thanked God for allowing me and my family another 12 months of bills paid and full stomachs. I had not even stopped to thank God for safe travel and no accidents in 2016. I had not even thanked God for allowing me to live in a country that had not experienced war in 2016. I had taken for granted lights, heat, air conditioning, water and a comfortable bed to sleep in all of 2016.

How dare me assume that all of those things mentioned would await me and my family again in 2017. Here I was embracing an unknown year 2017 and not truly realizing what might lay ahead for me and my family.. Perhaps 2016 might be safer.  Who knows the situation our country, or community or our economy will be in for 2017. How dare me look forward to a New Year without being truly grateful for what God has blessed me with in 2016.. In a moment my soul had been deeply convicted and I began to stare at the 4 angels that were left waiting a top my Christmas Tree. Waiting to be carefully wrapped and put away until next year with the other tree trimmings. I sincerely began to weep. My heart simply overflowed with gratefulness for a year in which me and my family had actually been blessed beyond anything we could ever imagine. Everyone in this house was still alive, healthy and blessed.

Suddenly I wasn’t in such a hurry to take down the tree and clean up my mess. I thought to myself who knows in 2017 what angels will be selected to stand amongst the Lord’s trees in Heaven. If I happens to be one, I just want to go on record as saying……..Christmas 2016 has truly been a blessing. 2016 was filled with millions of moments of wonderful heartbeats and lots and lots of unhindered deep breaths. Lord God Father In Heaven for the Old Year 2016 I am GRATEFUL. Sadly it took a quiet moment with four little angels and a partially dismantled Christmas Tree to make me REMEMBER!! In 2017 my friends let us all resolve to be more GRATEFUL.

Blessings Upon Blessings

Misunderstood Santa Claus

I was  sitting in the quiet of my living room tonight and I was drawn to the lights of my Christmas Tree. I took a moment to admire the ornaments that adorn my tree. I began to remind myself of the importance of a select few ornaments that stood staring back at me. I glanced down at the boxes of neatly wrapped gifts and I couldn’t help but to reflect back to the kid in me. I thought of the joy that would come on Christmas morning when my family would discover the treasures under the tree. I found myself going back in time and remembering the wonderful scenes of Christmas past such emotional times for me.

I remembered the good ole days of traveling to Evergreen Plaza in Chicago and sitting on the lap of a Black Santa Claus. Dad felt it was important  for his children to see a black Santa Claus. You see on television a white Santa Claus was all we would ever see. Most malls and department stores had Santa Claus but he was always a different complexion than me. I was kid I didn’t care what color he was. I just wanted to take a seat and rattle off my list of toys I expected  on Christmas Day under our tree. Looking back now I figure Daddy felt like “ hey I am spending my hard earned money each year at least let the fake Santa Claus look a lot more like me.” After all my Daddy was brown skinned and jolly he looked a lot like Santa Claus especially around the belly. ( Let’s keep that part between you and me. I wouldn’t want boulders from Heaven being thrown down on me.)

Every single year I read about new controversies concerning the celebration of Christmas , the origin and meaning of the Christmas Trees and of course those that wish to argue over the color of skin of Santa Claus all across our country. Humans seem to want to argue over the most trivial things. Christmas comes just once a year and I personally think that should be an off limits day for controversy and fighting. Why can’t it simply be a day of sharing, caring, eating and napping with strangers, family and friends. Why can’t we just celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and his wonderful gift of Salvation for all who desire to seek and receive it. If you don’t wish to accept such a gift that is perfectly fine with me. To each his own is my way of thinking. Why can’t we just use it as a day of giving. No matter what you wish to call it. No matter what you wish to believe in.  Why not make it a special day to bring the gift of joy, happiness, compassion and unselfishness towards fellow human beings.

As I sat there a large bag with a Santa Claus plastered on front seemed to stare at me. Let me be clear before your minds wander…… I don’t drink! The bag kind of got me to thinking. A scripture came to me “ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) I thought to myself ….What If?img_20161209_183715748-1

What if Santa Claus is merely a concrete illustration of the exercising of Faith? What if he was simply created as an elementary illustration of a bible school lesson for children on Faith? Children are taught to believe in Santa Claus and to wait with great excitement and anticipation for the desires of their hearts. They don’t see him physically on Christmas morning but like clockwork every year gifts appear. Sometimes it’s what we hoped for and at other times it simply isn’t. Doesn’t our Faith kind of work like that. We believe there is a God. We pray and fast believing that He will come through and give us the desires of our hearts. We can not physically put our hands on Him but we know when He has been in that hospital room, in the courtroom, in that operating room, in that wayward child’s room, in that mailroom sending an unexpected check or in the heart of that neighbor, friend or family member moved to bless us with help, food, comfort, prayers or a listening ear.

Perhaps we all have missed the lesson that Santa Claus has attempted to teach. He wasn’t really saying Ho Ho HO!!! Perhaps he has been actually saying ……..HOPE HOPE HOPE!! A misunderstood message for both you and me.

Blessings Upon Blessings

 

I don’t want to miss my train

There is something special about rolling over in your bed early in the morning before the sun has taken it’s place up high in the glorious sky. For some it can be an annoying time as we take a quick peek at the display of our alarm clock. For others it can be a reflective time. A rare moment of peace and tranquility. A time to stop and listen to your heart and mind as they seem to in a rare moment attempt to synchronize. A quiet dark moment to take some much needed deep breaths. A kind of “Peace Be Still” moment if you will.

morning-train

As I lay here in the dark quiet morning I can hear the train as it toots its horn through town.  I can actually hear the train cars rolling down the track. I focus to hear the train as it rolls off into the distance. I am suddenly reminded of an old Gospel song I have heard since I was a small child. I’m Going Home On The Morning Train goes somewhat like this……

Get right church and let’s go home (you better get right church and let’s go home)

Oh Oh Oh Get right church and let’s go home

Oh Oh Ooh Get right church, get right church

Get right church and let’s go home

(You know that) I’m goin’ home on the morning train

Oh Oh Ooh I’m goin’ home, I’m goin’ home

I’m goin’ home on the morning train

The evening train might be too late

I’m goin’ home on the morning train

That Gospel hymn is often  used in a Gospel play called Glory Train. It depicts several church members who are traveling to a church convention. On their way there they are all unexpectedly killed at the same time. They all assume they are going to Heaven. The play opens with them all waiting at the train station to board the Glory Train. They all have their tickets in their hand about to board the train to Glory to be with God. There are several characters all with different personalities and beliefs of how and why they deserve to go to Heaven. They have interesting names like Sister Living Right, Sister Goody Good, Sister Slip Around, Sister Nosey and Sister Chance just to name a few. It’s a powerful play that demonstrates that just because we label ourselves Christians  and have convinced ourselves that we are Christians doesn’t necessarily mean we will actually make it to Heaven. In the play the conductor makes several stops and characters are deported from the train. He gives you the reason why you must step off the train before it actually makes it to Heaven. All characters are truly stunned because they have been bible carrying, scripture slapping folks and pew watching  for practically all their lives. They have honestly seen nothing wrong with living like that.

This morning in the darkness before the break of this glorious day I have felt compelled to evaluate my seat on the Glory Train. What exactly does God Himself think of me. Have I always done things pleasing in HIs sight…..Umm Nope. Have I always strived to do my best to lead others to Christ?……Umm I have tried but probably not hard enough………Have I shared with folks the goodness of God?……..Umm every chance I get……..Have I sometimes judged folks based on the Laws of the Bible?…….Umm unfortunately yes!!   (Between You and Me I think in the past I may have used it wrong)The last question has been working on my soul a lot in the past few years. I have been struggling with watching others around me using Biblical Law to justify the mistreatment of others. Picking specific scriptures to justify overlooking the feelings of others. Yet failing to emphasize  some of Jesus Christ’s most powerful moments. Failing to realize the importance of the parables of Jesus’ love and acceptance of those disregarded by others. Jesus had a powerful mission here on earth to illustrate to us the Awesome Abundance of God’s Love for all of His Children. A message of Salvation in which Grace and Mercy graciously await to embrace all of us. We must only stop take a listen for God’s Voice. Feast upon His Word and be granted the privilege of tasting and seeing what God has for You and Me.

I have come to the conclusion that my sole purpose in life is simply to share the Good News of Jesus. To encourage others to read their bibles so that they too might gather a better understanding. I have realized that the Bible is for our own personal interpretation of God’s Word. It is God’s responsibility  to convict us. By focusing on our own studying it leaves less time for judging others. This morning I am reassured that my soul’s yearning to continue showing compassion and mercy towards others is key to me getting the Golden Ticket…….Perhaps one day I will be blessed to board the Glory Train and maybe just maybe I will manage to stay on the train until the last stop. The stop where streets are paved in gold and the rivers overflow with milk and honey. Perhaps I will once again get to see my Daddy and my Mommy. Perhaps someday I will be worthy to lay my head in the Bosom of God and dwell there with Him in Glory forever. For now I will embrace my early morning awakenings and constantly remind myself to work hard at doing the right things so that I might be blessed to ride the Train To Glory. Lord please grant me the wisdom and knowledge needed so that I will not miss Your Train to Glory.

Blessings Upon Blessings

What A Day to Remember!!!

For me this has been one of most difficult weeks of my life. I like many other people desperately wanted the election to be over. My mind and soul were sick of all the hatred and the arguments that had gone on for way too long. I just wanted to wake up to a steady but somewhat peaceful world. Unfortunately that is not exactly what was destined to happen. Around 3:30 Wednesday morning I awoke to alerts going off on my phone. I had forgotten to turn my volume down. My phone was going crazy. As I was about to roll over and blindly silence the phone I noticed the bedroom television was still on. I took a quick glance and suddenly realized what was probably going on with my phone.

I like many other Americans spent Wednesday morning in a fog. I silently sat in my bed and watched my Facebook feed show me all my Christian friends that were celebrating. I watched some friends like, love or comment on certain news status and post. I was simply horrified. I wasn’t horrified  by their party affiliation because I already unbeknownst to some of them knew it. I know these things because party affiliation is public record. I was just shocked at the mere fact that they had voted for a particular candidate. I have always had a diverse group of friends. It has never mattered what political party they were affiliated with. Yet this time for me how they have voted has sadly made a difference. I watched friend after friend after friend in jubilant celebration. Thanks to social media newsfeeds I now knew with whom I had been dealing with.

I found myself on my knees on my bathroom floor at 4:00am in the morning crying and praying. I was pleading with God to make this all a dream. I prayed and asked God to give me the right words for my morning meeting. You see I already knew the type of mean and discriminating world we live in. I now realized that by the results of this election the world as we knew it in a few hours would never be the same. I also knew that even though some of my friends would never go around bullying people and making racially charged statements at least not in public. I knew that some of this particular candidate’s followers would feel liberated and now feel free to do it. Now because the people had spoken “Political Correctness ” was no longer in some people’s minds needed. All gloves were off. All the frustration and anger could now be openly justified and allowed. Hatred and Discrimination Unleashed would suddenly seem appropriate. Obviously some of my friends and associates had not realized there would be new rules of engagement.

Finally, I gathered myself together and I headed for my meeting. Of all the days and all the meetings  that I am a part of. Today would be a Diversity Meeting. As I sat at a stop light at a very busy intersection I glanced over to the car on my left. Two men of a different race were sitting in it. All of a sudden the man in the passenger seat looked over at me started laughing and stuck up his middle finger. I wasn’t shocked and I was not disappointed. I just simply turned away from him and turned up my radio playing gospel music. I simply had no energy yet for the (insert bad word) yet. Yep I thought “this is only the beginning, this was what some of my friends had so excitedly voted for”.

After a very healthy and emotional  meeting I stopped at my local store to pick up a few things. Usually the atmosphere in the store is quite cheerful but not today. I gathered my things and headed for the cash register. As I approached the register there was couple and little boy standing there. The father quickly grabbed his son and moved over. He said to his son “ no worries son now that (Blank) is President  you don’t have to stand beside people like her anymore”. I just thought to myself  “Jesus Christ please just let me make it out of this store”……Well they left the store and I put my items on the counter. All of a sudden I feel someone close up on my back in my personal space. I am thinking to myself this must be someone I know. I turn around and nope it is NOT!  Apparently Elvira’s twin sister had made it into the store. I took a deep breath and took a step forward and paid for my things and left the store. I sat in my car and thought to myself this is going to be a long 4 years. Lord how am I going to manage having to find a Bails Bondman from now own. The feisty part of me was today was still surprisingly sleepy and numb.

I decided to head to my church and get a mission project done because I probably would need to stay inside the confines of my home for the rest of the week. I am just not ready to put an orange jumpsuit on. So I headed to the church. Grabbed a key from the office and headed to the sanctuary to get my mission bags done. I was glad to be in the sanctuary for a few moments no radio playing and no tv on. I was just going to get my work done.  I kept being drawn to our church altar. I remember saying out loud “ nope I am not worthy today to come near the throne.”  I tried to focus on getting things done. I started singing out loud but I couldn’t remember the words to any of my beloved songs. I was simply too mentally and physically and spiritually gone.

A few minutes passed and I was again somewhat beckoned to the throne.

I finally gave in and went over to the front pew and sat down for a moment. I stared up at the cross and waited for God. I know I sat there 10 minutes and simply couldn’t hear a sound. All of a sudden the tears began to fall and sobs from deep within find themselves suddenly on their way out. Years of frustration and anxiety found their way out. After a few minutes  I realized I had no words for God and evidently He had none. After a while something said  “look up”……. when I looked up my face was directly in line with the altar table. “ Remembrance of Me” (This picture posted depicts what I found). I was simply stunned. I dried my tears and took some breaths and stood up. I placed my hand on the church bible and declared out loud “ Ok Big Guy I am going to trust you on this one. I hope and pray You don’t let me down.  I have never been in this dark place before and I don’t think I am wired to take anymore”………….

throne

On the drive home I decided that perhaps just perhaps I may very well not be “Christian” I simply do not share the same views with some of them. Compassion is in my personal opinion the most compelling thing about the story of Jesus Christ. I managed to find that personality trait in all the Biblical Chapters about Him. I believe with all my heart gender equality, racial equality and religious equality are far more important than economy, foreign policy, healthcare and taxes. For me how I have shown love and compassion for fellow man and woman is what I am most concerned with when it’s time for me to face God……. I am Remembering God in ALL things and honestly praying others will do the same. Tomorrow is coming and I am no longer numb so all the racial tension and hatred better soon be long gone because…… in the future it will not be ignored. I am sure in the days ahead I will be spending lots of time on my knees at God’s Throne. I and those I love now find ourselves wishing for a more peaceful time that is now long gone. I am truly heartbroken that some people I know sadly turned their faces from the blatant discrimination and still made their choices.  For some others now I  look back and realize they actually are part of the crowd that secretly and in their private groups  cheered for it.  Today I saw some of my friends and associates in a way I never had seen them before.  Sadly I just can’t seem to accept the excuses for justifying doing something like this.  For the next four years I will daily and desperately be  REMEMBERING HIM!  What A Day!

Blessings Upon Blessings

What’s In Your Silo?

silo

Earlier this week I was traveling in the car with my husband. Just as we were coming towards the railroad tracks the arms suddenly came down. Much to my hubby’s dissatisfaction a very slow moving train was about to come through town. I mean it was just sputtering along. I sat there amused at how the typical Mr. Cool’s blood pressure was quickly headed for a climb.

I turned to gaze out my passenger window and I noticed the concrete silos that sat across the field right before the entrance to our small rural town. I remember thinking to myself “man that thing has been here for such a long time.” I began to try and remember a time that it wasn’t present in our town. I quickly realized that it had been here in this exact place since I was a child.

I began to appreciate it’s durability and it’s enormous size. I began to imagine what could it possibly be holding on it’s inside. I had to giggle a little because I recalled one day driving by the town silo with my kids. I remembered pausing for the train and listening to my teenage sons giggling about a childhood lie. My oldest son had told his younger siblings years ago that giant chocolate swiss rolls were stored inside. Oh the joys of childhood imaginations when going on country road rides.

I quickly came back to reality and realized the train was indeed slow and traffic was building quickly behind. For some reason I felt drawn back to the vision that lay to my right. The huge silos off to my side. For some reason on this particular day those silos seem to glisten and seemed so very bright. Those silos had been on earth as long as I had. I began to think about my soul and I imagined it as a silo. I began to think “oh through the years what on earth had I stored inside”. Joys, pains, frustrations, anger, disappointments, judgements, love, fragments of scripture and most importantly a belief in God. I quickly thought to myself “Oh Dear Lord what is possibly buried that I might not remember that I perhaps had chosen to hide.” I just sat in the stopped car staring across the field beginning to truly search what I may have inside.

Finally the train ended and we proceeded on our ride. As we drove down the rural winding roads the picture of the silo was still on my mind. I started to think of all the times I held things in my heart that probably were not pleasing to God. I started to think of the good things that were growing inside. Patience rather than sudden rage. Compassion for those mistreated because of their gender and race. Sudden calls to action when no one would take on a troubling situation. I begin to truly search my soul. I decide I would take some time to biblically search for some justification for some of the beliefs stored deep within my soul. So for the last few nights I have gone to bed earlier and taken the time to open my bible and ponder a few beliefs  that I held in my soul.

Well today I knew I had a meeting and knew several things would be discussed so I took a moment to consult with God. I said a quick prayer before entering the building and asked God to come in with me and for Him to help me maintain control. Well halfway through my meeting documents were handed out and low and behold it was the exact things I had be praying about all week long. As I read through the documents I became nauseated and my head began to swoon. A productive and lively conversation soon ensued. I tried desperately to control my tongue and control my eyes from performing their traditional roll. I listened and I prayed. I listened and I prayed. I asked a few questions for clarity and I finally let God take hold. I finished my meeting and people quickly disbursed and I gathered my notebook and boldly stepped forward. I spoke to the wonderful person in charge and I told her my dilemma. She listened passionately and took my hands. She understood and respected my position and she told me her own dilemma in this particular situation. I explained to her that my  God’s Silo was too big for my head and heart to comprehend. I told her that I had been lead to Romans 2:1 “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.”( NIV ) I could not in good faith sign on for this journey because I needed to stay off of judgement lane and tend to my own Silo. After a couple of hugs and a few tears I was on my way. My heart seemed so much lighter in the end. I made sure to drive home right past the old silos and I thanked them for the precious gift of bringing me back to a spirit of discernment.  I ask you today my friends to take a moment when you get a chance……..take a deep long look into your own Silo because I think you will be surprised all that you are carrying around and what you can learn from it. If I am truly trying to help someone in need  judging them should be my last concern.

Blessings Upon Blessings

As Sure As The Hands Of Time

 

 

clock-tower

 

As a child I attended Sunday School every single Sunday morning. It was as natural and expected as weekly chores. What I mean is that it was something you knew you participated in because there was never a choice. We rose early and we ate breakfast without a television on.  Your clothes had been ironed and your shoes shined the night before. Your dress was hanging neatly on your bedroom door. Your parents only crossed the threshold of your bedroom one time to announce it was time to get up and begin the rituals of a Blessed Sunday Morning.

I honestly do not think one realizes what they have learned as a child in Sunday School for quite a long while. It’s not until we become teenagers and we grow into a spirit of conviction. It’s the very moment when we choose right or wrong. As a teenager I often chose wrong.

For some reason our consciousness  of going to Heaven or Hell has yet to bloom during adolescent times. We are living in the moment and caring  less about tomorrow. We are free to live life to the fullest and salvation can wait until another time.

Typically it is not until sickness, death of a loved one or other challenges within our early adult life that we begin to truly foster a relationship with God. We are fully aware that He is there just waiting for us to pay some attention to Him. We  assume God is real because we were taught about Him in our early days of Sunday School. We take for granted the story of Jesus because we only relate it to our Church Christmas plays. We associate Him with Santa Claus and Christmas gifts. For some they are simply characters in a book.

Some of us throughout childhood have a greater awareness of God and His Son Jesus. We tend to grow up with a slight conviction of some day having to answer for the hidden secrets not yet uncovered by our parents.

As for me I have always known God was real because I could feel Him all around me. I had witnessed the things He had miraculously done in my life. I had benefited from His twins grace and mercy more than once.

But not until……. I sat at the bedside of several dying loved ones  as they transitioned did I really get the tangible truth that Heaven is REAL. To watch someone begin to talk to persons I was unable to see. To watch the light of grace show upon a dying loved ones face. To sit in awe as they reach up towards the Heavens with a passionate smile upon their face. To watch their eyes dart from side to side as deceased loved ones that I can’t visibly see begin to surround their sick beds. That is when the TRUTH is graciously revealed that there is a True Heaven and God will take you there. It’s a rare time that human beings are allowed to witness the Spiritual Realm. It’s a time to remain still and very quiet. It is a priceless VIP Seat  to witness the Glory of God Revealed.

God and Heaven are REAL my friends. My late Grandmother two days before we even realized she was dying proved it. She sat quietly in her wheelchair and gave me specific orders. She advised me who would come and what I should do. I without hesitation asked her where she had gotten this information. She calmly replied as she stared at the TV  “ the Lord was here last night and He is coming back  soon for me.” I admit I was a little shocked but curious at the same time. So I pushed her further and asked her jokingly “ where do you think you are going?” She just giggled and gave me a quick sharp stare. “ I am going to Heaven honey. The Lord has shown me the road and all I have to do is take a step up on to the road and walk on there . God is gonna meet me there.” I must admit I was very curious then. I mustered up the courage to go further and I said “ Grandma you don’t have legs how are you suppose to walk there?” She just patted her hand on her knee and turned and smiled at me. “ In Heaven Child, God already has new legs for me.”

It was after that conversation that I learned to pay attention to what was constantly going on around me. Four years later I would witness God’s Glory again as my Mother transitioned to Heaven right before me. She spent her last week in peace. Quietly crying and silently but visibly  talking to people unseen. Occasionally there would be a wave. Often times there were big smiles. Sometimes she would point and let out an AWWW. It was another reminder that Heaven is  REAL and God will be waiting. We seem to have entered a season of death and it relentlessly seems to be all around. I write this blog this week my friends to encourage you and bring you some reassurance that ……No matter what we will face in the days ahead. Please my friends realize that our time is not long but if we continue to pray, trust and believe in God………when our earthly clocks or our loved one’s earthly clock expires …….we are truly going to find that Our God will be WAITING THERE!! Our Sunday School lessons were not in vain my friends! HE is really THERE!!

Blessings Upon Blessings