His Love Never Quits by Kenika

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his faithful love endures forever.”

Psalm 118:1 

2020. What can we say? What a year. Typically, I am the very last person to say or believe that one particular year is in and of itself good or bad. I just think that time goes on and some days are good, and some days are bad. But even I can’t deny the fact that this has been a challenging year, to say the very least.  As we approach the end, hopefully in every way, of an overwhelmingly eventful year, I find myself contemplating one thing, and that is gratitude. Much time has been spent complaining, too much time has been spent debating and arguing points of fact, there have been lots of tears, fears, anxieties and anything else you can think of.  Also, it is a fact that everyone has experienced the same thing at the exact same time.  However, as I look back, all I feel is grateful. “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1) The Message Bible simply says, “His love never quits.”

Some of us have jobs that have ended, living arrangements that have ended, a particular political party’s reign has ended with much contention, relationships have been forever altered or ended, but I find solace in knowing that HIS love never quits, His love never ends.  I needed that. After everything that has gone on, I needed to know that. 

I was having a conversation with my niece and we were talking about how everyone is experiencing mass isolation. Having to quarantine for safety also meant we didn’t get a chance to spend as much face to face time with each other as we are accustomed to. That meant many of us felt isolated and lonely, but we all felt it together. We were discussing how once the Corona Virus pandemic is over, we are going to have to reevaluate our relationships or more accurately, how we relate to others. But even if that’s the case, His love never quits.  For believers, even in our isolation, we were never alone. Jesus didn’t take a “breather” or have a need to be quarantined or separate from us, He didn’t stop loving, caring, protecting, providing and fathering us.  We had to quit going out as much as we did, we had to quit traveling for a period of time, we had to quit going into our offices (for some of us), plans had to be altered, canceled or changed, but His love never quit.  We felt tired, lonely, anxious, angry, sad, but He was always and will always be there. 

If you find yourself a little wearied by this battle that we’ve all been in, approach the end of this year and the holiday season with a heart of gratitude. It’s hard to complain when you are grateful. It’s hard to remain fearful when you remember the creator of the heavens and the earth is with you and will never leave you. Choose gratitude and His never ending, never quitting, never giving up, or never running out love as your motivation and comfort to finish strong and gear up for what’s to come. 

Be Kind To Her by Trish

Be Kind To Her….

 

The other day I penned these words and posted on my insta-story…

“To the one persevering in the midst of a pandemic…Keep persevering

To the one choosing joy over pain…Keep choosing

To the one clinging to love despite hurt…Keep clinging”

I’m not even going to pretend that this is “just another season” and it’s all okay.  It’s not okay…it’s hard and some days I find myself crying harder than I have in almost 4 years. There have been moments when it has felt like all hell has broken loose and I’m dodging arrows at every turn. I catch my breath long enough to dodge the next missile being launched.

Let’s see, global pandemic…check. National economic crisis…check. Misunderstandings, disrespect and lack of appreciation in relationships…check. Battle for justice…check. Racial tension…check. Hurricane Season…check. Limited interaction and social distanced relationships…check. And in the midst of the above checklist we are to figure out how to manage a home, business, work responsibilities, nurture a marriage, budget responsibly while not knowing financial future, keep the house spotless and fulfill the responsibilities within the home…(we each have our own “list”), be “present” at home, don’t forget to smile and act like you have it together when in reality you are one wrong comment or even look away from going off on someone. Basically, hold down the fort and keep your stuff together.

How in the world can we keep it together? We can’t and that is the very reason we need Jesus! I literally need Him as desperately as I need my next breath. Oh, and by the way, I can’t imagine you Mamas out there working your superpowers as you parent, home-school and/or work from home. And let’s not forget about the essential workers, teachers and on-going list of other women out there making it happen in their world and then coming home to make sure dinner is on the table in time. Y’all are the real MPV’s.

I say all of that to say…Be kind to her. Her being YOU. If no one else is appreciating your rock star effort in making that magic happen in your home during the year 2020…I salute you and I celebrate what you’re doing! This is not an easy season for any of us! I’m speaking to ladies because well, this is LADIES on Life but honestly, I commend everyone getting up every morning and choosing to do what it takes and choosing to LIVE BY FAITH. I know this is a crazy time, but we have a big God. The struggle may be real but the grace and strength He gives is even greater!

But ladies, I especially want to encourage YOU. Your worth is far above rubies, your value more precious than gold! If no one else sees or appreciates all you’re doing, know that God does and He will reward you.

Among that list of all we are facing, there is an even greater list.

You’re breathing…check

You somehow found time to have a break long enough to read this and be encouraged…check

You’re loved by the Creator of the World and He loves you more than life itself…check

You still have the ability to choose your responses…check

You have a direct access to God through prayer…check

You have an opportunity to see God do the miraculous in your life…check!

For every negative thing we’re facing, replace it with a positive and focus on that. I’m not saying live in denial of what is going on but redirect your focus and it will help redirect your day.

I would encourage you to write these verses down someplace where you will see it and everyday declare these words over your life as well as the entire book of Psalm 91, a declaration of God’s protection.

Psalms 61:2“From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Galatians 6:9 KJV “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Psalms 3:3 “But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head”

James 1:2-4 2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces [a]patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be [b]perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

 

Be patient with the girl reading this post- she’s valuable.

Be loving with the woman you see in the mirror, she’s doing her best.

Be forgiving of the blunders  she may make and most of all, please be kind to her.

 

Photo Credit: FreePik

My Stronghold by Kenika

 

Psalm 27:14

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27 is one of my staples. Whether I’m sad, afraid, depressed or discouraged, I know I can turn to this passage to receive comfort and strength. It starts by making a statement, followed by a question, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom should I fear?”  Statement: The Lord is my light and my salvation. Question (as a result of this statement): Whom should I fear?  Well if that doesn’t kick you right in the gut, I don’t know what will. It’s like hey genius, He’s already your light and your salvation so remind me again, what’s the problem? That’s my paraphrase of course. The Psalm continues winding through different scenarios that can happen, but that we still shouldn’t be afraid of you know, because Jesus is the light and salvation. Evildoers come to devour, armies can be deployed, war can break out, the day of adversity will come, may I add, a pandemic can be raging, but we are to remain confident.   Confidence is a strong response to fear.  Fear is debilitating, dismantling and crippling so it’s a strong call to transform that into confidence.

After outlining all that we need not be afraid of, the Psalmist asks the Lord to hear his voice, be gracious and answer. He makes a declaration from his heart, “Seek his face,” followed by a plea for God not to leave him, even if his parents abandon him.  That is a deep cry for nearness from our Lord and Savior. Everyone else can leave, the world can go upside down but whatever you do, please don’t leave me.  After all these wonderfully laid out sentiments, the Psalm ends with this phrase, “I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.”  (Psalm 27:14)

“I am certain…” there goes that confidence again.  Whatever we may be going through we can remain “confident” that we will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. The admonishment is to wait for Him, not to get impatient or to take matters into our own hands, but patiently wait.  Be strong, let your heart be courageous, such riveting words.  Actions words that couldn’t be further from the emotions of fear and anxiety.  But again, the Psalmist is expressing the confidence and assurance we already have through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. If you already have salvation, what else could possibly happen to you that you need to be afraid of? I’ll help you out, nothing.  If God is loving and powerful enough to enact a plan to save us and to make sure that we would be near to Him both now and forever, He is loving enough and powerful enough to get us through where we are now.  Be certain. Be confident. Wait. Be strong. Let your heart be courageous. Wait on the Lord.

 

PhotoCredit: FreePik

The Blunt & The Beautiful by Bombi

I’m married to a realist. The man is passionate and has deep feelings no doubt, yet so much of his thinking is based on facing facts. Sometimes his words can come off blunt, which at first I was not used to so much. Growing up, my mom was the sugar and my dad, like my husband was the realist. I often liked hearing answers to questions or anything from my mom over my father. Until later in life. Even more so lately. I’ve come to appreciate this type of honesty on so many levels. Which brings me to a passage I read recently in Psalms. I don’t know if you think of David as a blunt writer, I would more-so think of him as the “feelings” person of Biblical history.  Yes he was a king that took action no doubt, but the man had so many thoughts, feelings, and lyrics he expressed. Recently, I found a scripture that seemed very blunt. 

“When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the LORD will take care of me.” Psalm 27:10  (NKJV)

You catch that? He didn’t say “If my parents forsake me” or “when it feels or seems like my parents are forsaking me”. No, the man said “When”. Like he knew that inevitably it was bound to happen, even expecting it. Ouch. 

I have found that in moments where life has socked the wind out of me, God has been my immediate soft and safe place. It’s been Him that has taken care of me. It hasn’t been a matter of “if” because those moments have come inevitably. I wish I could tell you that I have the same friends I started out in life with, but I don’t. I wish I could tell you that I’m super tight with every member of my family of origin, but right now, I’m not. Maybe one day that will change. I am a believer in reconciliation. In the mean time, I’m hanging tight to God’s precious hand. For anyone reading this, I want to encourage you for those harsh moments when you will find that your parents, your child, your ministry, or boss, or spouse, or friend, or anyone for that matter, decides to ditch you, the Lord Himself will surely take care of you. The beautiful thing is that you will not be alone. You will not be deserted. You will be taken care of by the very God that made you. Just like He did with David, just like He does with me, He will and is doing for you. There is the blunt in life, but God is always there to bring the beauty, always.