Living a Life That Honors God

C42852FA-A9F9-4DC4-853A-78865F160FD4After receiving salvation, I began seeking through prayer and Bible study, both quality friendships and relationships with others, instead of maintaining unhealthy and ungodly relationships. God began chiseling away the ungodly relationships and set me on the proper course. God started to provide friendships that were supportive of my well-being and of my relationship with him instead of friendships that pulled me away from Christ and hindered my spiritual development. I was on fire for the Lord, and as a result, he began to give me the desires of my heart. As a Christian, I knew that godly relationships would help me grow in the Lord. I knew that I needed fellowship with other believers so that I could grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Christ knew my heart’s desire. When he saw my total commitment to him, he began placing people around me to whom I could be a blessing and whom could be a blessing to me.

At one point, I had a relationship with a man respectful of God’s word, and therefore, we both knew and desired to keep both ourselves and the relationship pure. For the first time, I desired more from Christ than any man could provide. We spent time together often, and both studied the word and prayed together. We attended the same church and worshipped together weekly. Although the relationship did not end in marriage, God showed me that he could keep me sexually pure and help me to honor him throughout the relationship. He showed me how to develop an intimate, but non-sexual friendship with a man. Because I honored God with my thoughts, conversations, and actions, he gave me peace and purity. He showed me that if I honor him, he will honor me. I knew then that I could honor God throughout my relationships.

058E699A-C593-4484-8C0C-CDEE90F2A026Afterward, God honored me by giving me great and wonderful friendships with women whom I encourage often to lead holy lives before the Lord. I have godly friendships with others that God blesses because I learned how to put Christ first in everything I do. I now have some of the greatest Christian friends for whom a woman could hope. I’m no longer a loner Christian or a Christian with non-edifying friendships.


I have a monthly women’s fellowship that a friend and I started. We get together with about twelve other women to pray, encourage each other, engage in activities (crafts, afternoon teas, vision boards), support one another, and enjoy good food. We all look forward to it, for iron sharpens iron. It’s one of the highlights of my month. Christ reached out to me, and now I reach out to others in love and friendship with a desire to honor God in all that I do.


Solid Ground

This poem is dedicated to Maryann.

Solid Ground*


The rollercoaster of our lives
Takes us up! down and round and round!
At times it takes us for some dives
Yet our feet are placed on solid ground

Our solid ground is Jesus Christ
In whom we savor sweet rest
The one who bought us with a price
And continues to bless and bless

On solid ground He will keep you
He will refresh you who are near
Gingerly like the morning dew
Giving life to you who are dear

Rest in the lover of your soul
The one through whom you are made whole


* inspired by the following famous hymn

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Peace be Still


Kneeling in Prayer:

Jesus, I put my hope and my trust in you. I surrender everything to you. You are my refuge and a very present help in the time of trouble. You are my strength. My weakness is made perfect through your strength. Apart from you I can do nothing. I will wait upon you! Renew my strength and my dependence upon you. With your help, I will climb mountains and serve you wholeheartedly. Your love propels me to walk with you daily. My heart pants after your heart and seeks you daily, and daily will I find you when I search for you with my whole heart. I will rest in your tender arms and find grace. I worship you and I sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs and continue to make melody in my heart unto you. You are the living word, the Rock of my Salvation, and my banner that covers me with your love. There is no one who loves me like you. You are the light of my life. I see your light shining brightly above me, guiding me by day and by night. What have I to be afraid of? You are with me wherever I go. You have prepared the way. You create in me a clean heart and renew a right Spirit within me. Despite the trials that I endure, I know you are daily working them out. I thank you for your love and mercy that pursues and catches me daily. I will put my hope and my trust in you and will not fear because you are my redeemer and you know me by name. Rescue me from situations and reveal your abundant love for me. In Jesus’ name I pray with your abounding grace and mercy, amen.

Encouraging Students As Our Own

imageI received a forwarded email below from my sister, a teacher; she received it from one of her colleagues. It was taken from a devotional, How God Grows a Mother of Prayer. I have not independently verified that it is quoted accurately, but it’s worth posting in its entirety (as I received it). I believe the part in parenthesis is an added part by the teacher at my sister’s school. Psalm 127: 3 says that “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Let’s treat other people’s children as if they were our own. The rewards will be manifold.


“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“Those little ears. They are so cute. And they are so tuned in to what we say, aren’t they? Those little eyes are so beautiful. And they see what we do. More than we know.

How our kids perceive themselves as adults is very much connected to the words and actions they experience growing up. Especially our words and actions. How they see themselves in the mirror is perhaps the way we see them. How they choose their friends may have something to do with the way we choose ours. The way they play, eat, study, work, think, dream – and pray – can be linked to the inner workings of family life. (We are included in their lives for a blink in time even if there isn’t a lot of support at home)

They may come off as inattentive and oblivious at times, but their hearts are still tender sponges, taking it all in. Even if they don’t say so, they long to hear our good words about them just as we long to know God is still in love with us and we’re making Him proud. kids want to hear those same words from us. “You make me proud. I’m so glad you’re my child. I enjoy being your mom/dad (teacher). I sure do love you.”

Have you encouraged your children today? Now’s the time. The hour. The moment……..

Let’s love children the way Christ loves the church, even when they disappoint us (we ourselves have disappointed God as well as our earthly parents).

For further reflection read:

Romans 8:35-39 (below) and the entire chapter of Romans 8.

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Dream Variation: A Remix

What happens to our daydreams?

To fling our arms wide in the face of the sun

Intangible dreams that aren’t easily achieved

To have all that we crave and work is done

And rest beside the sea when a new day’s conceived


What happens to our daydreams?

Do dreams of worldly possessions leave a lasting impression?

Or dry up like a raisin in the sun

And awaken our senses like a harsh lesson

Do they taste sweet as sugar and then run?


What happens to Christ-centered dreams?

They may seem to elude us today

But our dreams will one day bud like a flower

In the cool of the early morning May

Wiping away our cries and sorrows tomorrow.


What will our dream variation become?

Our dreams will invigorate the masses

They will no longer be without meaning

As Christ serves to give peace and save all classes

For then we will lift our voices and let praises ring


Personal Note

* This poem is a remix of Langston Hughes’s poems, “Dream Variations” and “Harlem.” I wrote a variation of this poem last year. I took the idea from Ecclesiastes 6: 9 which says, ” Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless- like chasing the wind.” Before I wrote the poem I asked God to help me put my thoughts together.

Jesus is Passing Over

The storms of our lives are passing by

Will Jesus hear our soulful cries

Does he see the stained teardrop face

As our life’s trials leave empty space


Jesus wants us to know he’s there

He says that he’s not unaware

But he wants us to look to him

And let it not be a passing whim


Take everything to him in prayer

knowing we are his blesséd heir

For he will see our heartfelt tears

As he allays all of our fears  


In the Name of Love

imageStarving children in Venezuela, torrential rains in India, mudslides in Sierra Leone, and rampant terrorism are not new social crises throughout the world.  Regularly, we see news footage of such devastation, and even once again in our own country. Disturbed by what we see, we may have taciturn conversations with friends and family about the world’s condition, but we may lack the ability to empathize. Sometimes directly adjacent to our own homes, we see others devastated by life events. We respond at times through financial donations or through the giving of our vast reservoir of resources, but then we continue doing whatever we were doing before hearing about the crisis. Bombarded with events of our own lives, some of us may say, “What more do you expect me to do? I did all that I could do. I gave the last time.” Is it possible to innately have empathy or is it learned through life experience? Within the scope of our lives, through every fit of despair, does empathy increase or is the ability to understand the plight of another naturally within the purview of our hearts? Whether it’s either innate or learned behavior, we Christians strive to be conduits of love, to be conduits of grace, and to be conduits of mercy. We are not doomed because of any lack of innate ability. God can still work in us, however he chooses. If we can align our core beliefs with biblical teaching, then we can change our thoughts, and if our thoughts are conformed to biblical teaching, then God can change our attitudes, and if he changes our attitudes, then he can change our daily actions. Empathy Is possible, not hopeless to achieve, and if we have hope, we have everything. If we struggle to empathize because of life experience, then let’s change these contrary behaviors by learning how to show love (through giving our time, talents, and resources) and by learning how to pray.

To conclude, the horrific flooding, and other sociopolitical crises throughout the world would devastate anyone. Familiarizing ourselves with current disasters and foreign and domestic social ills will give us a sense of duty to empathize with the lives of others affected by tragedy. We, in this country, are blessed, and it’s easy for us to lose sight of the plight of others throughout the world. Change any thoughts that are contrary to Christian doctrine; it will make you feel better. Even Patti Labelle says in her song, “New Attitude,” “I’m feeling good from my hat to my shoe/ know where I am going and I know what to do/ I’ve tidied up my point of view/ I’ve got a new attitude.” If you need a new attitude, ask God to fill your heart with love for others, for the Bible says from out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Let’s not wait until mammoth crises occur, but let’s empathize, and then offer assistance regularly. Make praying and giving habits of mind that become second nature. If we are aware, then we can change our behavior, and if we change our behavior, we can change the world for eternity. Pray! Love! Act! And let’s see what God will do through us and in us.


In the name of Jesus, we praise and adore you for who you are. We thank you for your love and mercy overtaking us daily. Help us to find meaning in our relationships with you. We ask that you bless the residents of Sierra Leone and India and Spain and Houston, and supply everything that is needed. Comfort those who have suffered catastrophic loss, including loss of life. Restore them manifold times. Give them back the material possessions in abundance according to your grace and mercy. Heal the sick and let them experience your love. Surround them with help from all around. Use these tragedies to show them how much you love them. Give them endurance to run this race. Comfort the children and the elderly. Shower blessings upon them that they cannot even contain. Hear their cries unto you. Be in the midst of this physical storm and the emotional storm of their lives. Help the waters to recede quickly. Stop the terrorists. Silence them. Open up daily the hearts of the people to help, to empathize and to give what they have of their time and resources. Use these tragedies to draw others to you. Let your name be exalted to the heavens. For those who do not know you, open the eyes of their hearts that they may know the far exceeding riches of your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray with thanksgiving and we wait with great anticipation for what you will do, amen.


For further Study: Read James 2.