'Be anxious for nothing..." ~Philippians 4:6

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Many forfeit the opportunity to speak truth and reason to power--whether that power is actual, perceived, or imagined,
1. they assume that the powerful won't listen
2. they're afraid of the response the powerful will give
3. they don't want to risk losing their perceived standing or position within the powerful person's circle
 4. they've erroneously concluded that they are special or favored by the powerful, or 
5. they've been convinced that speaking up to the powerful is somehow disrespectful.
It's not just in the halls of government. It's everywhere. People are strangely, and often shockingly mum when it counts the most, and too full of words when they should really be quiet. If nothing else, what people say, or don't say, proves where they stand. Some aren't even good at hiding their true motives. Hypocrisy and backpedaling are quite a pair. Greed, selfishness and deceit can never masquerade for genuine concern.

Many will hear a lie, KNOW it's a lie, but will accept, defend, justify, ignore, minimize, and even put a spin on it. They don't want to risk being subject to the mistreatment others suffer, ostracized, or demeaned, so they choose not to rock the boat, but some boats could use a good rocking. Lies don't need dressing up. They need to be exposed.

Why anyone thinks a disloyal, self-absorbed, arrogant, dishonest person wont turn on them and throw them under a bus without justification or warning, too, is beyond me.
If you have to fear speaking the truth, lie, censor yourself, be two-faced, or check your common sense, brain, and integrity at the door in order to remain in ANY relationship, you don't really HAVE one. Don't delude yourself into thinking you're secure. How close ARE you if you can't be honest, or are afraid to, or discouraged from expressing your genuine thoughts? How  frequently are you looking the other way, and trying to pretend you are ignorant or unaffected? 
Some things aren't right, and there comes a time when you just have to say so--and risk offending, shocking, or at least waking up those who make a habit of being offensive.
Why should you have to wear one face when addressing one person or group, and another the rest of the time? Pick a side--preferably the righteous one.

Good luck trying to convince thinking people to understand why you won't support the truth, and regularly make excuses for a liar. Don't be surprised if your own credibility suffers. 
Better to have someone mad at you for saying what needs to be said, than to be a party to deceit, misinformation, mistreatment, or injustice.

Right always wins.

Monday, June 26, 2017


A wise person said, "Some people are frustrated because their schemes failed." Others are frustrated because they've tried EVERYTHING, and were SURE that YOU would have failed, or let them chase you away by now.
You may have tied up your Chuck Taylor's in the past, and maybe it was your HABIT, or the easy thing to do, but your running days are OVER--not because you're tired or out of shape, but because you are no longer afraid, in denial, wearing blinders, or intimidated. 
Speak truth, and speak it boldly. You cried your LAST tear YESTERDAY.

WHO'S IN YOUR EAR? Don't mess around listening to shady people and find yourself in a pickle. Open your eyes. Don't check your discernment at the door. Know FOR SURE who has your back, and who is standing back there with a meat cleaver.
Only some kind of NEW fool thinks they get to sow seeds of discord in your space--be it at work, home, or play--while they enjoy peace in theirs, and you're going to keep quiet about it, or roll over. In the words of the great philosopher Deputy Barney Fife, "Nip it in the bud!"
Don't lift your foot, but just look down and let that snake know you SEE him...or her. Remind yourself that your God is BIG, and you have ALL of the receipts for his work on your behalf. When you ask righteous people to pray, that's just what the heck they do--and you get results--SUDDENLY!
Keep doin' what you've been doin'. It's right, reasonable, honorable and it's working!

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Sometimes we should to revisit the mental notes and bold declarations we made as children and young adults. Remember all of those great ideas? There were no limits to what we imagined we could do, or be, or where we could, or would go! Some of the things we said we would do when we "got on our own", should be placed back on our to-do lists. God ideas, no fear, positive standards, and admirable goals are things for which to be grateful--not doubted, second-guessed, or abandoned.

The apostle John recorded the words of Jesus" “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~John 10:10
I used to wonder why it was necessary to have all three of those destructive words in the same sentence, and then it occurred to me. If something is stolen, it’s gone, and the likelihood of getting it back is slim to none. It you do get it back it, the fact that it was in the hands of a thief may change the way you feel about it. You may not trust it. It may have been tampered with, altered, or broken. It may have to be replaced.   
If something is killed, it’s dead—finished-- and there’s no chance of it being revived, short of a miracle
If something is destroyed, there’s no trace of it in its original form, and it can no longer be utilized the way it was intended. Maybe it could be scrapped so that parts of it can be used to help something else work. Maybe it could be converted into something else altogether, but that was never the plan.
The goal of the enemy of your soul is to so annihilate you so that there is nothing left; nothing worthy, memorable, or valuable to speak of. If he can accomplish that by using you, it’s an even greater victory. If the enemy has a strategy, you can’t afford to be without one. The good news is that you didn’t even have to craft it yourself. 

The abundant life that comes with knowing and accepting Christ provides a remedy for that “steal, kill, destroy” level of destruction-- and we have choices.  If life isn’t abundant, it’s not because it hasn’t been promised, isn’t attainable, or not for us. You’ll know what’s attainable. James 1:7 tells us “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Someone told me a long time ago, “God doesn’t show you things to tease you. He shows you what’s available to you. He shows you what you can have.”
The apostles Matthew and Luke recorded the words of Jesus: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

One of the things that social media has done is to give us a glimpse into the lives of others. People we actually know are accomplishing some wonderful and impressive things! We’re seeing the fruit of labor, and the results of concentrated effort. We can like and love what others are accomplishing all day long, but what are we doing to enhance or own lives, utilize our own skills, and exercise our own gifts and talents? Who stopped us? What event arrested us and made us lay down our passions and plans? Who said “No you can’t”? Who said the time has passed, or the time you currently have, isn’t enough? Who said your strategy to attain your goal is unrealistic, illogical, not specific enough, too hard, negative, too costly, or not a good fit for you? The person who determines all of that is YOU! 
One thing about goal setting, you simply have to be wise and discerning when you decide to run your ideas by someone else. Some people’s fears are contagious and will potentially strangle the plans and dreams of others.

Never allow anyone to sabotage the beauty you are trying to achieve, the progress you are trying to make, or the goals you are trying to reach. People may infer that you think you're better than them or others for merely trying to improve your own situation. Let them talk, and hopefully work out their own insecurities. Let them mull over their own unwise choices. We’ve all had some blunders and missteps. Today, let’s decide that forward is the way.
Don't let anyone make you think you have to wallow with them in past failures, abandon your ideals, or adopt their ways. If it is possible to do and be better, then go on with your blessed self, and let people who have confused "keeping it real" with "keeping it trifling" go on thinking they're hurting others by devaluing themselves. 

There's nothing like seeing someone rise from complacency and oblivion, and deciding that they DO want more; they DO want better, they CAN achieve, it’s NOT too late, and there IS a way. It is a happy day when you decide that living beneath that which you KNOW are able, in conditions YOU know in your heart are unacceptable, are no longer options for you. Decisions like that begin in your own mind. No one can motivate you like you can motivate yourself, but you have to make sure the voice you’re listening to is yours—that bold, confident voice that is untainted by baggage, insecurity, or unresolved issues, lies, or misinformation. Be clear. Write it down if you have to. Read it back to yourself. Make adjustments. You can repeat as many mantras, amass as many mentors, and look at as many YouTube self-help videos as possible, but until YOU decide to make a move, your dream will be just that—a fantastic, seemingly unattainable show to entertain you while you sleep. A great consolation is that you have tremendous help—if you believe it.

The Bible says, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength”.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~Matthew 17:20
It’s not about size. It’s about what the mustard seed KNOWS. It knows just how big a tree it has the potential to be!

“What is impossible with man is possible with God.” ~Luke 18:27

Unfortunately, some people don't want to see you do better. Maybe it shines a light on their shortcomings, and forces them to take a good look at themselves and the condition of their own lives. Don't let that stop you from being and doing your best, and strategizing how to do it.

I like The Message Bible’s translation of Philippians 3:15-16:
“So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.”


Tuesday, June 6, 2017


The woman in the checkout line was wearing scrubs. Her cell phone rang and she apparently had to take the call. After several minutes, she said, "I don't know who you got your information from, or what you were told, but I'm telling you what I saw with my own eyes...Perhaps you need to go back and reassess the situation. Someone is not telling the whole truth or is in denial...She's not capable of articulating what she needs...They might have been well-meaning, but you can't rely on the estimation of people who are rarely around...Of course they'll say that! They're not there!...The person you should have spoken to is the regular caregiver. He'll be able to tell you what's really going on, and what services his mother really needs. He's there every day."
I almost dropped my lemons.
Everyone has opinions, but it's important who controls the narrative. If it is a trusted, usually credible or respected individual, innocent people could potentially suffer injustice. Some people won't ever ask questions or dig deeper. They'll just blindly believe and run with what they were told, then wonder why they're not trusted with information any more pressing than the time of day, and the weather.

If only we would do as much as we talk. It's those good talking games that mask dysfunction, incompetence, negligence, and unfinished business, undo beneficial gains, impede progress, and tarnish relationships.
If you're not operating with a whole story, or are privy to a story told by someone who is impaired either deliberately, or through no fault of their own, perhaps you should hold off acting on it, telling, retelling, or embellishing it. Your own credibility, and even any access you may have enjoyed, will suffer. Besides, egg is awfully hard to get off when it has been allowed to sit.

It is equally important to be on the side of right, fairness, and truth no matter how you feel about the topic of the conversation. When you know better, speak up. Sure, there may be opposition, but anyone who would want you to participate in the continuation of a false narrative is not honorable and certainly not a friend. It is so critical to pay attention to how people treat others, no matter how nice they are to you. A red flag will let you know that the moment you fail to give your agreement or consent, your turn at being turned on isn't too far down the road. Disloyal people, even when they aren't impaired, are faithful to no one.

Sometimes it's disheartening when you find out what was said, and who said it...but then, discerning people reassure you that they are not easily bought, conned, or swayed. They don't abide mess, and their brains, eyes, and ears are still functioning. They see and know what's going on, often because they have their own experience as a reference, and they have no problem or fear setting things straight.

Take heart. Someone has your back, and is battling on your behalf-- before stuff even gets back to you. You'll know them, because they prefer truth. They help where it matters. They do--without fanfare-- more than they idly talk, and they get results.

Monday, June 5, 2017


What a difference a day...and music...and love...and art...and friends...and beautiful weather make. 
Pastor Susie Owens was so right when she said, "Celebrate those who celebrate you."

Saturday, June 3, 2017


First thing this morning, quite out of the blue, someone tried to drag me into an argument. They've been trying to rattle me for a long time, and I hate to admit, it took me a while to see through them and discern their ways. I had such respect and high regard for them at one time. Now, I simply feel sorry for them. 
I noticed, not only how they treated me, but how they treated others. They were shady. They'd say one thing to one person or group, and convey an entirely different narrative to others. The way they would explain away the things they'd said, made you think either your ears stopped working, or you'd lost your command of the English language. They didn't seem to mind lying, and when caught in a lie always wanted to change the subject or shut down the conversation. They always had a lame explanation, or declared that their words had been misunderstood. I noticed a pattern of them pitting people against each other. They'd been very successful at it, because others respected them and believed their word, too. No one was bothering to confront them, or compare notes. I noticed constant fault-finding, tactless speech, and non-constructive criticism of people who were kind, competent, and helpful. I noticed how personal their attacks became if they were corrected or challenged. I noticed how envious they were of anyone who actually used their brain and hadn't succumbed to being yes-men. I started making mental notes, and severely limiting what I shared. I didn't want to believe what I was seeing and hearing, but it was, and always had been there.
I thought about the words of the late Maya Angelou: 
"My Dear, when people show you who they are, why don't you believe them? Why must you be shown 29 times before you can see who they really are? Why can't you get it the first time?"
The individual was looking for an argument and I gave them one. I am the least confrontational person I know. I hate arguments, but something in me said, "It's time to fight back--not with tears or defensiveness--but with the plain truth. Don't be weak or sheepish. Speak up, and shut this madness down once and for all".
It's sad when people are so determined to find fault in you, others, and well...EVERYTHING. Why? Fault is certainly there, but what's with the need to celebrate and point out the flaws in others? Is it just to make oneself feel better? When the individual can't find what they're looking for, they'll manufacture stuff, and then expect everyone to answer to, and explain it! 
The person had the nerve to try and trot out the Bible when they realized they were not gaining a foothold, or intimidating me. Wimpy Vanessa was nowhere to be found. She seems to have made a departure right around the time AARP tracked me down and made me a card-carrying member.

I'm grateful for everyone who ever advised me to hone good documentation skills. People can't argue with well-organized facts and figures, and I had them. I can't believe they tried to come at me, and then drag God onto the road when their argument crashed! What makes people think they can use the God you love against you to shore up their irrational words and behavior? Give me a break!
I don't care if you LIVE the church ATTIC, and are there every time the lights come on, don't say ANYTHING to me about the Bible; do not reference it, quote it, use it for points, as a defense OR weapon if you have a habit of lying, ingratitude, constant complaining and fault-finding, sowing seeds of discord among your friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances, are as mean and hateful as a rabid DOG, don't EVER have ANYTHING good or pleasant to say, and delight in mistreating and upsetting nice people for SPORT. Just LEAVE baby, teen-aged, adult, and resurrected Jesus OUT of your conversation before your teeth fall out, and your tongue turns into a frog! Just put the Good Book down SLOWLY before your hand spontaneously explodes!

Google--it might be safer--and look at that list of things God hates ONE more time. Perhaps you missed something. It covers MORE than the big three--sex, drugs, and alcohol--and WHO CARES if you're abstaining from stuff you CAN'T do anymore, or stuff you know would KILL you? Nobody is passing out Super Christian prizes for THAT!

It matters how you treat people!!!!

HOW...YOU...TREAT...PEOPLE...MATTERS!!!!!!!!!! You can't just go around starting stuff, bullying, hurting, using people, and being a freaking, inconsiderate, entitled NUISANCE, and not care or be aware of how your words and behavior impact others!!!!! YOU CAN'T GET MAD WHEN PEOPLE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF RELIGIOUS, DENOMINATIONAL BACKWARD, AIN'T-NOWHERE-IN-THE-BIBLE FOOLISHNESS, AND REFUSE TO TOLERATE IT ANOTHER MINUTE!!!!!!! HOW do people just go through life being mean, CROOKED, messy, selfish, and strife-loving but have the nerve to want to evaluate OTHER PEOPLE'S faith??????

It matters how you treat people. I CANNOT say it enough!!!! I don't know HOW people forget that; just gloss over that, and think they're on their way to Heaven! The devil is STILL a liar!!!! You can't just TALK this thing-- for show-- on Sundays to people who have constructed neither a hell or heaven for you to occupy. You gotta LIVE it, and NOT according to your own concocted, performance-based plan!!! GOD is God--NOT YOU!!!!!! Invest in a mirror and NOT a microscope AND TELESCOPE for everyone else!!! You've GOT to know that you are PISS POOR PITIFUL without God's constant help. So WHAT if people are impressed with your grasp of scripture, if you treat people like crap Monday through Saturday? 
God is monitoring you, too, and knows VERY well who is, and ISN'T repping him properly. HE is not fooled or asleep...AND I'VE SEEN HIS WORK. KEEP ON MESSING WITH PEOPLE. YOU'LL SEE IT, TOO. Some people OUGHT to be SCARED about the abominable way they treat and speak to others, and then have the nerve to walk into God's house and act like God takes HIS cues from THEM!

Oh, but we must remember: PEOPLE DO WHAT YOU ALLOW!!!!!! So it's time to stop allowing some things, and in the words of one of my favorite fictional characters, Barney Fife, "Nip it in the bud!"
Hallelujah, and O Happy Day for those who are discerning and wise. Do well at whatever task your hands are assigned to do, and before fakes come at you to justify their weak positions, or to control and manipulate you, YOU search the scriptures, and don't EVER be afraid to speak TRUTH--- with text AND context to back it up!!!

#YOUBETTERMIND #rantover #thetruthshallmakeyoufree

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


“We ought to have some business to do in this world, and not to live in idleness, and not to meddle with what we do not understand. We must be diligent and take pains. Let us do what we can…We must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not go in debt…Those who are busy-bodies, meddling in other men's matters, have little quiet in their own minds, and cause great disturbances among their neighbors. They seldom mind the other exhortation, to be diligent in their own calling, to work with their own hands. Christianity does not take us from the work and duty of our particular callings, but teaches us to be diligent therein. People often by slothfulness reduce themselves to great straits, and are liable to many wants; while such as are diligent in their own business, earn their own bread, and have great pleasure in so doing.” ~Matthew Henry

 “Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.”~Proverbs 24:27

“Be fully aware of the condition of your flock, and pay close attention to your herds.” ~Proverbs 27:23

Now, I don’t have any sheep or cattle, but I do have affairs that need my attention. As a caregiver, it is easy to lay aside your own needs and wants while attending to the wants and needs of others. You can spend extraordinary amounts of time making sure that others and their business matters are in order, and fail to notice that your own stuff is piling up and toppling over. It is noble, kind and commendable to be of assistance to others, but not to the detriment of your own life. You will soon resent sacrificing for and taking care of everyone else if you look up one day and you’re suddenly the one in need of help. 

Never put yourself on the back burner. That’s hard to hear, especially if you are a parent, have a servant's heart or are the nurturing type. It’s also hard to hear if you’re prone to be the go-to person when there are fires to put out. The first time I heard a flight attendant say, “Put your own oxygen mask on first” I thought it was the most selfish thing in the world! Then it occurred to me, you can’t help that helpless person if you’re unconscious.

The Bible says, “A good man shows favor, and lends: he will guide his affairs with discretion. “ This means being just, fair, and within reason. Not overextending oneself to the point of your own poverty.

1. Laugh often.
2. Honor your own feelings and needs.
3. Trust your gut.
4. Never fear hearing, or hesitate telling the truth.
5. Do what is prudent.
6. Know your limitations.
7. Speak up when necessary.  Don't mince words.
8. Embrace confrontation.
9. Open your eyes. Love what you see.
10. See things and people for what, and who they are--not for what and who you'd like them to be.
11. Be content with the decisions you make.
12. Reject the inclination to explain yourself to those who have no authority over you, and to whom you are not obligated.
13. Be honest about your resources. Don't overextend yourself to please, impress, or appease anyone.
14. Protect your personal space.
15. Know precisely who is in your corner.
16. Don't ever sleep on your discernment. Embrace it.
17. Read on, and in between the lines.
18. Don't be gullible.
19. Embrace "No". Respect your own boundaries, and be careful making exceptions.
20. Refuse to be manipulated. Call out that imp.
21. Be grateful for genuine help. Don't be a martyr.
22. Appreciate conviction, and make changes when needed.
23. Maintain your standards.
24. Go where you are wanted. Enthusiastically celebrate those who celebrate you.
25. Forgive. Don't walk around with residue.
26. Let go. Rope burns are no fun.
27. One thing at a time. Pick your battles and stay out of other people's wars.
28. Rest well--on purpose.
29. Only make necessary apologies. You are not responsible for how others respond.
30. Respect and value your time and effort.
31. Remember it's perfectly alright, and wise, to consider yourself.