The Great Divide by Trish

 

It’s amazing to me that just by human nature we gravitate to what is familiar, common, “safe” to us and in doing so we build our network of friends, associates and community around such. In essence, we build our world with a pretty picket fence that only lets certain people in.

Yet we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves. The Bible doesn’t give prerequisites or qualifying credentials for what “neighbors” we are to love. Love your neighbor means just that…whoever you are around!

I was taught from an early age to love people, all people. To look beyond what may be different and celebrate the heart of a person. I was also taught that just by being biracial I would encounter people who could not get past what they saw as different but for that not to stop me from being me, or allow it to hinder my vitality for life. I was no less than anyone else just because I may have been the only little brown girl in my class or neighborhood. I was taught to celebrate the best of the worlds I came from and honor the fact that I was a designer’s original. No one was like me and for that reason, I had something to celebrate and honor.

Coming from that mindset I have very little tolerance for those who exclude themselves from people because of differences such as race, economic status, political views, religion or dare I say it, sexual orientation. I know what the Bible says and I’m not suggesting we compromise values to appease people. However, I do struggle with those who are called to love as Christ loves us and yet sometimes the most hateful things are spewed from those who call themselves Christ followers.

I’m not interested in your bank account, I’m interested in your soul and where your destiny lies. I don’t have to vote the same way as you to have respect for you as a person. I don’t celebrate cliques but rather honor community. I don’t want to change your life, I just want to introduce you to a love that will fulfill you!

I’m not persuaded to reduce my convictions to be your friend. However, I will love you and walk with you in this life and hopefully show you a love more powerful than the things that we don’t agree on. I’m not suggesting we engage in dysfunction or stay in toxic relationships for the sake of love. I do believe in boundaries, but I also know I don’t have to agree with you to love you.

The only way that this love walk can be mastered is when I acknowledge my need for Christ. I’m flawed, broken and in need of love that looks beyond my many imperfections. To me that is what makes grace truly amazing. I get to be an extension of the same love shown to me to someone else.

When we look at the life of Christ, He could be found among those who were considered outcast and the overlooked. When He chose His disciples, He didn’t take a vote on who was most popular or, in today’s culture, who had the most social media followers. He looked at the heart of the person and His presence in their life caused them to turn this world upside down with a revolutionary movement that is in motion to this day!

His love has come to conquer all. His love has come to heal the brokenhearted. His love has come to restore the faith of the hopeless and helpless. His love has come to bridge the great divide.

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Be On A Mission For God by Sonya

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew 28:19

God is calling my husband and I to go back to Africa. We were in South Africa ten years ago and part of our hearts are still there and have a passion for the work God is doing in Africa. So, we are going to Ghana and serving on the west side of Africa towards the north end now in the last two weeks of June. We are so excited to do God’s mission there and preparing our hearts for how God will work in us and through us. God is really working in my heart and showing me what being on a mission for God looks like. It starts with being a servant and having a humble heart to serve God wherever. Can’t wait to serve the people in Africa and see the world through their eyes and open my heart to see God in a new way. Our hearts have to be open to how God is nudging us and we don’t want to miss out on His calling for our lives.

Being on a mission for God could look like going to Africa or overseas but God can use you anywhere and in your family and workplaces and in your communities. He is on the move and ready to take us as long as we are obedient and in tune to His Spirit. Our eyes need to be open to the needs around us and hearts ready to move and be passionate for the things of God. God is really moving my heart for the people in Africa and I can’t wait to see what God is already doing there, to be moved and for my eyes to be opened to what He has in store. Also, I can’t wait to be the “light” for God and letting people see Jesus in a new way. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works, and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Letting your light shine in all places, you are showing people God’s glory and reflecting His love. Showing God’s love and spreading God’s word is being on a mission for God. Be that positive difference maker in the world. Don’t hold back and get out of your comfort zone and be that light today! “For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” Acts 13:47

PhotoCredit:By V.ivash / Freepik

Last Woman Standing by Bombi

August 5thmarked five years of being happily married. If you’ve followed my true life story here, you’ll know I’ve been married before, but never happily. Every August I reflect on all that God has brought us through together as husband and wife, and as parents to our whipper snappers. I am filled with so much gratitude.

As much as I’ve enjoyed my marriage, I can still remember the pre-marriage days when I was unsure of how life would look. I remember being a single mom and all of the uncertainty that came when I thought of dating again. I remember my first date with my husband. I’m thankful that he respected me and didn’t push me to do anything that I felt would be wrong. If you are reading this, and know what I mean, this is for you. Maybe you have a past and have rededicated your life to God, ensuring you keep yourself pure until marriage. This is for you.

As time moves on I see how quickly the world is changing around me. I have friends that share my faith and my morals and yet the men they meet do not. I just want to encourage you not to give up. Please don’t give up! He might be fine, he might say and do all the right things, and have all that you are looking for. But if he isn’t down with waiting to have sex until marriage, pass. I don’t care if you feel like you are the last woman standing, stand on. You’re worth it!

God has something for you, I mean He has stuff in the works that you need to have faith for and keep standing. Keep standing, when everyone else wants to do otherwise. You are not alone. There is someone for you. Someone who wants to stand with you, all the way to the altar, and beyond.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

 

PhotoCredit:By Katemangostar / Freepik

A Mother’s Heart by Sonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Mother’s Day approaching, I wanted to share my heart as a mom and what I have learned from being a mother. This role is one of the hardest things I will ever do in my life but the most rewarding. When I say hard, as a mother you have to be intentional and can’t sit on the sidelines when you raise your children. As a mother, God wired us to be the nurturer and feel compassion for our children. God has given us qualities that we are to bestow on our children and Proverbs 31 explains it.

As you learn and understand Proverbs 31, here are some key things: “Who find a …woman (with a mother heart)? For her price is far above rubies… She … works willingly with her hands… With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard… She reaches out her hand to the poor… Strength and honor are her clothing… She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looks well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Prov. 31:10, 13, 16, 20, 25-27) These verses show a mother’s heart and how unselfish and hard working she is for her family. Motherhood is not for the selfish and lazy! You give of your time and talents each and every day and don’t ask anything in return.

I remember the days when my kids where little and I was so exhausted. I wondered if my children really appreciated all that I did for them. Now that my four kids are older, they write me notes and tell me all the time how much they love me and appreciate all I do for them. The notes that stand out are the ones saying I want to be like you and thank you for teaching me about Jesus. That is what brings joy to my heart to see them love Jesus more and more and become more like Him. What rewards your heart as mom? Are we mothering to bring joy to our heavenly Father?

Our children are a gift from God and we have a big assignment as a mother to share the gospel and love of Jesus. Our mother’s hearts should be on mission to share Christ through our love and actions. It isn’t to be done perfectly, thank goodness, as we serve a perfect God and believe me I mess up every day and there is no perfect mom. But we have God to guide our children and lead them in His perfect way and will for their lives.  Having a heart to teach your children the bible and how to pray is rewarding. It takes a lot of work to invest in your children but don’t give up on sharing the truth even if your kids reject it as you are planting the seeds that one day will harvest.

As moms you are on a mission field to guide and raise your children according to God’s word and it can seem overwhelming, but know that you don’t have to do it alone, as God will lead you! Learning to have a mother’s heart takes unselfishness, kindness, love, and boldness to not fit in like the world wants to mold us, but to be transformed into a mother that God has designed each of you to be. Moms you have a light that shines bright and are one of your children’s biggest role models. Be the influence and show the heart of our heavenly Father that gives grace and overflows with love. Have the heart of a mother that cultivates Godly character in your kids and allows them to dream big and fulfill the plans God has for them. Don’t underestimate your job as a mother because in the end, your children see you as their “Hero and #1 Fan.” Be blessed this Mother’s Day and hear the words ending in Proverbs 31: 28, “Her children rise up and call her blessed.” Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Photo Credit : ID 95083320 © Konstantin Yuganov | Dreamstime.com