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

Friday, October 20, 2017

LIFE LESSONS: CELEBRATING SHALAUNDIA


"Take criticism as a disguised compliment...There are a whole lot of people who know the price of things, but they don't know the value of things...You don't have to respond to your critics. Let your work be that which responds...I'm gonna let Jesus vindicate me... They called it wasteful; Jesus called it useful... 
The most liberating day in the life of any person is the day you realize that God is not expecting you to be like anybody else. There's something that only you can do for God...
She did what she could do...She did all she could do...She did it now--then---right then..." 
~Pastor Anthony Moore

#celebratingShalaundia
#lifelessons

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

CHARACTER COUNTS WEEK

If you have to call into question your own words, actions, inaction, beliefs, prejudices, preferred narrative, likes, dislikes, opinions or even sanity, DO it, but don't just believe a lie. Don't hang on to it like grim death, no matter WHO told it. Backpedaling, stuttering, and "But, I thought..but he said...but she told me...", is pitiful coming out of the mouths of thinking people. It makes intelligent people appear foolish.

Yeah, the truth can be a mother sometimes, but don't look it in the face and reject it. Just because you like or love the liar--or the liar is engineering or conducting your gravy train-- don't check your brain at the door. Check the facts! Don't join a liar in denial, divisiveness and deceit! Draw the line at being a mindless follower so gullible for gossip, or the destruction of another person, that you lose your sense of justice. Don't injure your own integrity and character. Don't be, in the words of my dear departed Aunt Lillian, "messy". Don't tarnish the faith that others could have in you. It's not worth it.
If you contributed to the health and well-being of a lie by repeating or co-signing it, repent...apologize. Ask yourself why truth was too difficult to swallow, and fix that. People might take their time processing whether you deserve it or not, but God genuinely and completely forgives. 
Start there.
 
#charactercounts

THE SINGERS WERE THERE


Perhaps someone knows why
It is ever so
That the singers aren’t certain 
Where they should go
Or aren’t welcome
Or must wait for an invitation
To move from the shadows 
Of the congregation

I can only imagine the strength of the song
If the singers had all been
Where they belonged
And the singers were there 
I saw all of their faces
They were left, right, and center
Yet, out of their places


But, it became clear
As the sounds filled the air
The anointed were present
The singers were there
And they raised their voices
From where they all stood
And they joined in the singing
As best as they could

For them, it mattered not 
If they were seen
Their motives were pure; 
There's a difference between
Calming broken spirits 
And giving a show
The singers all learned that 
A long time ago

So I smiled that they all came
So humbly they shared
There was just no denying
The singers were there

 
vrw©2017

SOMETHING LOVELY AGAIN



With no warning, or care
Sorrow knocked at my door
I knew it was nearby
Never this close before
It was my first, real loss
Though death was not new
This time it was different
I couldn’t find you
You’d always been there
Close enough to reach
This time I cried out
Did you answer me?

You let me stand in
My grief for a while
My soul was angry
My heart could not smile
Before, I always knew
Just where to turn
A chapter; a page
A lesson to learn
There was always a sermon
A poem, a song
To turn to when 
Everything seemed to be wrong

But this time you spoke
Directly to me
Stepped into my space
Ministered to me
“My child I’m still here
Just as I have been
I’ll always be near
Now until the end
I never said you
Would always have ease
But trust, I’m right here
My child, hear me please

There’s never a time
That you’ll be alone
You’re not forsaken
You still have a home
And deep inside you
Live wisdom and grace
Placed there so that you’d
Always seek My face

In times just like now
When nothing makes sense
And nothing seems fair
And your strength is spent
Remember my child
Apply what you know
Don’t wallow in doubt
Don’t let it be so

This trial may be
Difficult for you
So give it to me
And watch what I do
You’ll no longer feel lost
I’ll dry every tear
And the questions you ask?
I’ll make each answer clear

And rest you shall have
Peaceful and with ease
I love you, and I’ll
Take care of your needs
Though this is your first time
I’ve done this before
I, too, had to lose
Someone I adore
So cheer up my child
This isn’t the end
Out of this will grow
Something lovely again”

vrw©2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

DEW REFRESHMENT CALL/ OCTOBER 12: WHAT NOT TO DO IN THE WILDERNESS


A wilderness can be described as an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region. Wilderness can be referred to as the wilds, wastes, desert, back country, outback, the great outdoors; the boonies; the boondocks; a neglected or abandoned area; a wasteland, no man's land or someplace far out of reach. 

Wilderness implies that if you’re there, you’re in a position of disfavor; you’re lost, disoriented, off track, indecisive, unstable, isolated, confused, ostracized, or you’re being punished

We’ve all found ourselves, from time to time, in what seems like an abandoned place. But what if there is purpose there? What if it is no accident or unfortunate twist of fate that you're having a wilderness experience? What if it is not bad luck at all? What if you haven't been kicked to the curb? What if it is a necessary thing designed to teach, motivate, strengthen, empower, emancipate, stretch, elevate, or discipline you?
We’ve all been at a crossroad and wondered which way to go. We've all felt stuck and needed to know which way led to light, purpose, clarity, fresh air, new beginnings, prosperity or freedom. The only way we now know, is because we have, or someone else has been there. Someone else has taken the journey, and lived to tell about. Whether it’s by our own experience, or that of someone else, we learn valuable lessons in what to do, and what not to do.

The Bible teaches us that Jesus, himself, was tested and tempted in the wilderness, and it was a place he willingly entered. The Spirit of the Lord led him there (unlike Joseph in Genesis 37, whose brothers took him to the wilderness, threw him in a pit, and were going to kill him, but decided they could profit off of him, so they took him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver). Jesus obediently entered the wilderness, unlike the Children of Israel whose unfaithfulness was the reason they were led into the wilderness. But, notice what the Bible says in Deuteronomy, chapter 3, verse 7:
"For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing."

Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 2 says:
"You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not".
 
There weren't pages and pages devoted to the wilderness experience of Jesus, but there is so much to draw from it, and every biblical wilderness experience, particularly concerning what not to do.

1. Don't ever, ever think that God is not there, and resort to self-help born out of desperation, frustration, or anger.
2. Don’t let your physical condition overrule your mental condition. 
3. Don’t abandon what you know. Speak it. Don't doubt or reject what is tried and true.
4. Don’t surrender your authority to anyone who has proven to be shady, opportunistic or irresponsible. Don’t fall for schemes.
5. Don't ever think that what you were delivered from is better than where you currently are or where God is taking you. Don't look backward.
6. Don’t neglect your feet. Don’t forget to cover them and reinforce whatever covers the bottom. Don’t forget to watch where you step and walk. If what’s on your feet is not conducive to the ground on which you have to walk, and it’s making you unstable and prone to trip, fall, lose strength, or not be able to walk and move forward at all, take them off. 
7. Don’t lose your head. Don’t lose heart and don’t get comfortable. Don’t start fantasizing about how workable, beautiful, or okay the situation is. You are not there to stay. Help is present and on the way at the same time. Don't forget that.
8. Don’t forget the power of your hands. That doesn’t mean you can touch and handle everything. If it looks shady or you know it’s poisonous because you have encountered it before, don’t touch it. Keep it moving.
9. Don’t abandon your sense of gratitude. Don't waste, or complain about resources. You may not have what you want in the wilderness, but don’t forget the importance of what you need. Don't complain about or turn your nose up at what can sustain you. It may not be ideal or top shelf but it serves a purpose. You may not be where you want to be surrounded by what you've grown accustomed to, and sometimes you're not even sure how you got there, but you are on your way out. Remember you’re still alive, and as long as you are, deliverance and victory are attainable. Be grateful.
10. Don’t eat everything you see. Some things look good but are not edible. Some things are edible, but they may not agree with you.
11. Don’t listen to every voice. Don't trust everybody. Don't neglect to guard your ears and heart. When some people think you’re sufficiently isolated, they think it’s a good time to get into your ear; tell you things they think you ought to know; lie; gossip, cause division and discord. You know, things that don’t edify at all or help you progress. They’ll tell you everything except how to get out because they like to see you there.  It makes them feel better about themselves.
12. Don’t invite everyone you may encounter into your space. Remember, if they are in the wilderness, too, they may not be a friend. Even in the wilderness, you can and must create a safe place to rest, hide, store whatever you need to sustain yourself and shield yourself from the elements. Beware of those who simply want what they have AND the little that you have, and have no problems making you feel they need what you have more than you do.
13. Don’t lose your sense of direction. The first time you realize you’re going in circles, stop! Get your bearings about you. Don’t get bogged down in complaining about the tree or rock you know you passed fourteen times already. They’re not going anywhere! They are fixtures in the wilderness. You are not. Stop passing those same rocks and trees and recognize you need to do something different.
14. Don’t lose your creativity. You have skills! Hone, and use them. Keep thinking clearly. Help yourself, don’t beat up on yourself. Don’t forget that you can make tools. Just because the place you’re in doesn’t seem to be refined, doesn’t mean it is a wasteland. Remember, every city and highway used to be in a wilderness. Someone either had the resources to make significant change and bring supplies in, or they had the know-how to mine and tear down what was there.
15. Don’t panic. The more you fret and struggle, the faster you will sink. Some situations are just not that deep, complicated or dangerous. They just appear to be. Don’t let frustration or fear make you think you are drowning or stuck. Stand up! Find something sure, solid and trustworthy to hold on to and pull yourself up and out. You know what is sure--the Word of God. 
16. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if it is there. Don’t have a signal and then be too proud or embarrassed to use it. 
17. Don’t forget your strengths and your limitations. You can have faith and be realistic at the same time.
18. Don’t stop searching for water. Don’t forget that even the dew drops—even the slightest bit of water-- can save you. Don’t forget to catch it when it’s available.
19. Don't forget to think before you act. Know whether any move you make is helping you to reach your goal or setting you back.
20. Last of all, don’t think that you can’t celebrate and worship God right where you are. There is always something for which to be thankful. Lift your voice. Sing your song. You know the words: "I will bless the Lord at ALL times..." 

When you find yourself on the other side of the wilderness, tell someone how God delivered you. Encourage hearts. They need to know that they are not forsaken or hopeless.

#JUSTKEEPGOING
@DEW4U