Flies are normal during summer. Once you leave your door open for a few minutes, it’s normal to kill one or two. On this evening, something strange happened in our house. We suddenly experienced a fly issue about 5:00 pm. We started by noticing one very big fly. Steve killed it and flushed it in the toilet. In a few seconds, there were two more flying around. Steve killed them and flushed in the toilet. Every couple of seconds appeared one or two flies after the next is killed and this went on for hours. It seemed like they were coming back to life after being killed and flushed in the toilet and at first we joked about it and laughed. It was extremely strange! Over time, it turned into annoyance and I felt a Holy Ghost anger in my spirit. I said to Steve, “this seems like witchcraft. Let’s pray!” We prayed and commanded whatever was causing this to stop. No Kidding! Instantly the flies went silent and this was about 8:00 P.M. after hours of killing one or two flies at a time non-stop. We took authority in Jesus name and it was instant. We were totally amazed! Sometimes I wonder, why do we take so much grief for so long until we can’t take it any more? Why can’t we see sooner and take action soon? “2 Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.” (Colossians 4:2 MSG)
This week found our family with a challenge. Our 15-year-old son, Nate had a medical condition which led his younger sister crying feeling sad for her brother. Nate calmly said to her, “Well Sally, Don’t cry. Think of all this time God has kept me without being sick.” This just put tears to my eyes. Nathaniel, a 15-year-old has got through tough life battles with this kind attitude. He never stop amazing us. He keeps his mind focused on goodness. I really thank God for my children and watching them support each other so strongly during tough times fills my heart with joy and peace. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV). Nate somewhere deep in his heart understands this so well. God wants us to give thanks in all circumstances. Focusing on our life circumstances drugs us down but when we focus our mind the good times and blessings, this lifts our spirit even in difficult times. After all, if we trust God, we know that He works all things for our good even when it makes no sense at the moment. Please join us in this journey of giving thanks to God for Nathaniel and where He has brought him from. God is good all the time and all the time, God is good.
Whenever you talk with a friend, your friend hears you and you hear them. You may not agree on everything every time. At times your friend may give you an idea that changes the way you were thinking about something. It is also easier to talk to a friend we are close too because we spend a lot of time together building trust. The closer we are to our friend, the easier it gets to talk to him/her about things. It also is easier to trust what they have to say to us even when we don’t like what they have to say sometimes. Sometimes, your friends can see things about you that you can’t see. Being able to receive what someone else has to say takes having a good trusting relationship especially the things that are hard for us to hear about ourselves. This is exactly the same as speaking with God our Father. He is always listening when we speak to Him as well as speaking to us. In our prayer time, God answers us in various ways: i. He may give us a direct answer to our prayer. ii. He may change the way we are thinking about something by giving us a new idea, iii. He may even say no to our prayers etc. His ways are higher than our ways even when the answer we get is not the answer we were looking for. The most important thing to have in mind is that He hears our prayers and to trust in His wisdom, He answers our prayer. His call to us is to seek first His kingdom. By having a great relationship with God, we are able to hear Him more which leads us to peace in knowing His answers to our prayers are what is best for us each time along the way. We need to purposefully spend more time with Him and build a more trusting relationship with our Father which will make it easier to us to receive what He has to say to us. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
BEHOLD THE GLORY OF GOD.
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”(Psalm 27:4 NIV).
Sunflower is absolutely glorious in its beauty. It knows exactly where it’s glory comes from as God fashioned it. Never gets tired of staring at the beauty of the sun. As a result, it is filled with beauty from the sun. Sunflower is not shy to be! It is spread out fully and bright. When morning comes, you find it facing East towards the sunrise. As the day goes, it changes direction following the sun. By evening it is facing at sunset westward 😊. God gave us Holy Spirit to guide our path as the sun guides the sunflower. When we follow His leading, we are filled with God’s glory.
When you don’t ask, most likely no one knows what you need or even, if you have a need. Asking takes humility and the only answers you can get is a yes or a no. Sometimes, we are so afraid of getting a no that we choose not to ask. The fact is, if you choose not to ask, you already told yourself no! Others more likely to support or give than not. When they don’t, that is okay because you did you part by asking and have no regrets. It could even be saying something when things don’t seem right.
One day, I brought my vehicle for oil change and it is first come first served. I was waiting for about ten minutes for the person ahead of me. Another customer came just as I was getting ready to be signed in and another attendant arrived same time. He right away signed in the person who came after me even though I said I came first. They said they would make the change in the system but didn’t. I saw that person’s vehicle changed oil before mine which meant an extra 45 minute wait. I don’t have a problem allowing others in line to be served before me and I have done that many times when I choose to. But when this is done against you and cost you that much longer to wait, it hurts. I felt angry but Holy Spirit prompted me immediately to pray which I did before saying anything. I then approached the assistant manager who had said he would change it in the system and asked him why that happened. He first played not to understand and I gently reminded him. It was this had taken place a month ago. I could not believe it. He then apologized but I told him again gently that this was unacceptable behavior it made me sad they could do that. When my vehicle was done, he gave me a pass for free oil change next time and promised they would watch out for that not to happen in future. Sometimes, people behave the way they do because we aren’t bold enough to call them out. Or because we let anger take control of us and act out causing us the blame even when we are truly violated. Sometimes, there is nothing we can do about things done to us and the best choice may be to walk away instead of picking a fight. But don’t be afraid to ask or say something because if we don’t, we are saying no to us. It takes humility to accept a no from others and if we can get to that place, we will be able to receive a lot more because we won’t be afraid to ask and won’t be afraid to get a no. And we will never know the answer until we ask. Most of all, ask from God our Father all the time because He is faithful.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 NIV).
Have you had moments when you feel so alone? You feel like no one understand? Sometimes, life can be so tricky and difficult that it feels like God has forgotten us. Those moments when you feel like you are doing your part but things keep going the wrong direction or continue to be difficult. The enemy can throw doubt in our minds to question if God is really with us or if He really cares. The truth is that God understands and is always with us. Sometimes, we walk away from Him but He never stops pursuing us. He is full of love and compassion for you and I no matter what. In Isaiah 40 God is described in His might and wisdom. He reminds the children of Israel who He is and How He works. He reminds them that He has not overlooked them; (vs 27-28), “27 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”
One of the things that God continue to train me is the importance of surrendering to Him. Sometimes, I don’t understand the things I face, the pain I feel, the stress I carry, but in surrendering it all to God, I am comforted. What can I do any other way that would help? I have not found a better way than to cry out to God and surrender it all to Him. If you are going through a tough time, trust the process because God is always faithful even in situations that do not make sense. Still go to Him and not away from Him. Still talk to Him and trust Him. He will never disappoint you. Do not give up!
“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off…..7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?…..23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139 NKJV).”
Every person goes through some sort of suffering in this life. It may be the death of a loved one, sickness, financial, marriage or relationship problems, divorce, loss of property, etc. It is part of normal life which means most people know to some level what it means to suffer or go through painful moments of life. But what about when pain or suffering is not just a moment but prolonged. For example in case of disability, chronic illness etc. Unless you have dealt with such a situation, it is difficult to come close to understanding it. Some people think a person gets used to suffering and others think you get over it because it’s like a “norm” for that person. But pain is pain and doesn’t get less because someone lives it for a long time. No one becomes an expert of enduring pain because they suffered very long. Prolonged suffering usually slowly can eat up into the person dealing with it. That’s why people who appear to be handling it well are suddenly gone, and people are left surprised that no one saw it coming. For many years, I suffered with chronic illness in my family, after a painful divorce. As a single mother, my hospital bill maxed every year faithfully meaning $6000-7,500 out of pocket after insurance covered the rest. Not to mention many days, weeks and months of being hospitalized, so not working. Having rent and all other bills to pay, etc. Talk of the emotional, mental with sleepless nights, worry, advocacy etc. Talk of stress of working at keeping job in the midst of all this and acting at best conduct even when I felt like crumpling. The suffering was beyond words and nothing ever prepared me for what I had to face each day with my child at the time. The friends and family could only go so far because they too have their own to worry about and when it is an always situation like mine, it is normal for people to get tired. Don’t forget, a friend in here and there leaves the rest of 95% or more of the time on your own. What got me through was intentionally focusing on gratitude for the glimpses of goodness around me. I have shared testimony of goodness in my life and it can seem like I was covered. But that was the focus that kept me going because the reality was that no one could attend to my situation because it was too much. Think of Job in the bible and all he went through for a long time. His friends as well as his wife got so tired of him that they wanted him dead. They accused him of sinning in secret, etc. This is all part of prolonged suffering. He endured so much pain but in the end, He was restored. And in His suffering, God was with him because and kept him focused. God was glorified in Jobs faithfulness. I intentionally kept my focus on God and His blessings even in helping me get through each of the difficult days. About 12 years of intensity and God came through and stabilized my life. Not perfect or without suffering but nothing close to those 12 years. If you are going through suffering and the pain is too much, if you are wondering if people care enough, if you are wondering if you will make it through, hold onto hope. No one else will understand but God alone. Focus on the small rays even when darkness seems to overload your current world. Trust God no matter what. Give thanks for those who bless you even if it may be a small scratch to your big situation. God is faithful and will see you through if you don’t give up hope. And in His timing, He will give you a way of escape.
“You will never be tested more than you can bare but with every temptation, God will provide a way of escape for you. Never give up hope!”
A farmer plants grain in his garden after preparing it. Very quickly, some green starts to sprout out of the ground and fills the garden and has no rhythm to it. This makes it very difficult for the farmer to distinguish between what he planted which is grain, and what grew on its own which is the weeds. It all looks the same. The farmer must wait until the crops grow enough to know difference. By the time that happens, the weeds are taller than the crops, the roots firm and had to uproot and it is a lot more than the crop. If a farmer is not careful, it is easier to uproot the crop because the roots are not as firm and the crop is hidden below the weeds. It takes time and caution to take out the weeds and keep it off. This is very true for our lives we being the farmer of our lives. Whenever we start a project, it is important to know who we let in. The wrong person into your project will overshadow it and will also be difficult to uproot once in it. It is important to always watch who you let into your circles and to what level. At the end of the day, it will impact you and your success. If a farmer was to let weeds and crops grow together, the crop would definitely not be healthy and would most probably die before yielding fruit. So are our life projects. Wisdom is key.
Your day can be made because you made someone else’s day in a simple way. I stopped at a Sam’s club gas station to get gas and a woman approached me from the opposite side seeming upset and discouraged. She said, “would you please swipe for me your membership card so I can get gas? I forgot to bring my card.” I said sure, and I did. She was so happy and said a loud thank you. She was with someone on the phone and she said to that person, “Imagine this lady helped me.” After getting gas she came over and said, “I had approached five people and they all ignored me. You are the only one who don’t look like me but you helped me.” I couldn’t imagine why anyone would refuse to swipe a membership card for another person because it costs nothing. Besides, I have forgot my membership card many times I believe many people have forgotten theirs. Four people overlooked her for such a simple thing. She went ahead to tell me She was on her way to work and was completely out of gas but would get to work in time now. She blessed me and was so happy. It cost me absolutely nothing but I made her day. I was so glad I was the recipient of her joy and blessings. Sometimes, all it takes is to genuinely smile at someone who is overlooked, or hold the door for someone and give a compliment to make someone else’s day much better. And in being a blessing in simple ways, we can be more blessed by the joy of those we bless.
It is better to give than to receive. This morning, I woke up to photos of a young child who was rescued from extreme circumstances and placed into loving home. It was amazing to see the change in him in Seven days of being with us. Looking back at the sacrifices our family and many supporters have done, it was all worth it. Giving is for the sake of the other person but is also has a way to fulfill the heart of the givers. The overflowing joy that follows can’t be compared to holding onto all what we have for ourselves. It is the reason I pray that God make me a blessing. Great joy comes with giving. I am often reminded of God’s generosity to us by giving His own son for our sake when we did not deserve it. For me, it is the reason I feel blessed to give to those who do not know me and those that may not ever give back to me. Because I have already been given and because God is faithful to His word; “38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV).