Friday, February 1, 2019


Photo credit: John W. Martin
Are you a mover and a shaker? Is your calendar filled with To-Do lists, meetings, appointments, agendas—all the pillars of the proverbial “rat race”?  Well, I’m here to tell you from personal experience that busyness is the root of all stress. Being a hard worker, hustling and grinding for legitimate gain is not a sin. It’s how businesses, relationships, and families are built. But what happens when we spend too much time doing “stuff” instead of sitting before the Lord being quiet and listening for direction from Him? We get stressed out, resentful, and become murmurers and complainers. As a result, the joy that we should possess is blocked by our own pursuit of stuff that’s way less important than hearing from God. Duh...
Remember Martha in Scripture? She and her sister Mary were hosting Jesus, of all people! In my holy imagination, I see a house filled with guests. I picture other folk showing up just to be in the company of the Lord. We can infer from Scripture that Martha was a little bit frazzled. Girlfriend was probably running around cooking, cleaning, preparing, hosting, etc... while her sister, Mary, was sitting down chillin’ listening to Jesus. Can you imagine having company, trying to make sure everything is perfect and the one person who should be helping you is sitting down chit-chatting? Most of us would have a fit! And you know what? Martha did have a fit, Honey! (And don’t go rollin’ your eyes at Martha, she was human just like us). Martha got so miffed that she went to Jesus and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40, NIV).
Scripture paints a picture of a patient, loving Father trying to talk some sense into Martha. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42). Can’t you just see the lip poke from Martha? Her standing there looking confused, after just assuming Jesus was going to come to her rescue and tell Mary to help her, and he doesn’t. Instead, He gives her exactly what she needs. He does the same thing for us.
The Lord tells Martha that the most important thing she needs to do at that moment is sitting before Him. You see, Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, hearing His Word. She had to have been quiet to hear Jesus. We can’t hear from God when we are all over the place with our own little agendas in the forefront of our minds. Quietness allows us to hear from God. We must learn to remove all distractions (even cleaning your home or attending to your family can be a distraction). Pick a time and place that will allow you to sit at Jesus’ feet like Mary. 
Once, I was complaining to my pastor about everything I had going on, telling him how burned out and tired I was from my day job, my night job, my kingdom commitments and everything else I had going on in my life. He listened intently and asked, “Did you pray about that? Because when God calls us to do something, He gives us the strength to do it.” All I could hear ringing in my ears was: Dun. Dun. Dun! No. I hadn’t prayed about teaching secular school in the evenings in addition to my ministry work and day job, or rather I didn’t wait for an answer! I was doing the Martha. I was doing “stuff.”  As a result, I was stressed out! Since then, I’ve learned the power of “no.” I try to pray and listen before I take on something new, knowing that the most important thing is to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear the Word, while I look out the window at the beauty of God’s creations, being quiet.
Get closer in study:
Matthew 6:6
Psalm 1:2
Psalm 42: 1-2

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This year brought a series of unexpected disappointments, subsequently causing me at times to doubt what God has planned for me. At times I waddled in frustration, other times I stewed in anger. As a writer, so much of my time is utilized thinking about characters and stories--a generous gift of creative energy from God. But truthfully, I allowed Satan to rob me of my creative energy because I was busy focusing on my failures and disappointments, and the blessings I am still praying for and waiting on.

In talking with others, sometimes you realize that your problems are minute in comparison to what others are going through. I began to ask myself, "Who am I to be angry because my publishing schedule was thrown off by something out of my control, when another family member is literally fighting for his life?" I began to reflect on God's goodness and thought about how wonderful He is to have given me such an extraordinary gift--to be able to touch people's hearts with my words--His words through me. I thought about the fact that even in a poor economy, I have remained gainfully employed with a job that is able to provide my basic needs and some extras. I remembered that God has shown me over the course of the years that He hears me when I pray. He's talked to me in ways that I can understand and sent others to minister to me when I have been down in the dumps spiritually. I have the two best friends in the whole world, who love me and correct lovingly. I could go on and on about my good health, having a great kid, and a loving mother. But all I really need to say is "Thank You, Lord."

Take some time today to reflect on the good things in your life, God's grace to you, and all of the ways He is providing for you and sustaining you. You will begin to fall in love with Him all over again and the "big" problems in your life will become minuscule. Thank Him and fall in love with Him today.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


For most of my life, I have been concerned about "me." Even when I became a Christian, most of my prayers and concerns were about my life and my situations. It is an unspoken rule for most people to "take care of yourself first." And really, it's not a sin to want the best for yourself or to take care of yourself. However, as Christians, our mission in life is to look like Jesus on a spiritual level. That means giving Him first priority in our lives.

Everything that we have belongs to God because He gave us the ability to earn it. Our education, jobs, gifts and talents are all given to us by God to accomplish His will. As I near the ripe, blessed age of forty, more and more I pray to become like Him. I pray to put myself aside and focus on the things that He wants me to do.

One of the things I've made a commitment to do this year is to serve God more with my money. Often when we have money that is left over after we've paid bills, or money that we usually use for entertainment purposes, we don't stop and think how God could use our cash. I am guilty of this a million times over. I think about a new dress, a new pair of shoes, a restaurant, or a movie I'd like to see. Lately, my growth in Christ has been propelling me in a new direction. I'm calling it the "Jesus Flow." I want to please Christ with my cash!!! I have earmarked a few ministries to share my Jesus Flow with. One is ministry that I benefit from daily by means of uplifting radio broadcasts. Another ministry is taking the Gospel message to parts of the world where people have never heard the it. And the last ministry is one that allows me to sponsor a child in another country that does not have the resources that we have here in the U.S.

Am I rich in terms of the world's standard? Absolutely not. I wouldn't even be considered well-to-do. But I figure instead of a restaurant night three times a month, I can just settle on one. If most of us were honest, we could surely agree that we waste a great deal of cash. Remember the three dollar designer coffee? The raffle tickets? The fast food? All this adds up!!! It could add up for good in God's hand. So as the world works toward maintaining a cash flow. I'm striving to maintain the Jesus Flow!!!

Join me!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Sometimes life gets rough--even for those of us who are Christians--who believe that our God is all powerful. Our frailty and humanness often prevents us from trying to view situations as God does--that everything will ultimately work together for our good. It is hard to watch others receive the answers to their prayers, or receive a major blessing they've been waiting for when you are still waiting for yours. As Christians, we don't like to admit things like these because it makes us seem "ungrateful" or " not Christlike." But feelings and emotions are real and need to be addressed.

When I was growing up, one of the first things my mother taught me about handling a problem or a conflict was to admit that the problem or conflict existed. When you're not real with yourself, you're not being real with God. And that isn't good. He already knows anyway. He wants you to be honest with yourself!!! God is big enough to handle feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and oh yes, the big one--being mad at Him!!!

So today, whatever problem or conflict you are facing, just get real with God. Let Him know how you feel. Pour out your feelings, the good, bad, and ugly, so that He can put His hands on your situation and heal what is broken--even if it's a broken heart.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


While teaching my adult Sunday school class, I boldly confessed a sin in front of everyone. I told them the truth--"I don't trust God." This declaration brought about stares and gasps. I'm sure it was hard to believe coming from a woman like me who claims to be a Christian and even teaches the Word of God to others.

I quickly explained to them that I struggle with tithing from time to time--even though I have seen God work on my behalf when I have been obedient to His Word. I have experienced Him providing me with the ability to pay a bill that I didn't have enough money to pay, or enabling my child to participate in an activity that I couldn't necessarily afford. So I should know better, right? Probably. But the truth is, like many other Christians, I have often allowed my faith to waiver under adverse circumstances. And that amounts to nothing other than sin.

Scripture says in 1 John 5:14, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have desired of him." You can't get any simpler than this!!! If we ask anything according to God's will--not ours, He honors our petitions!!! But in case you missed a key point at the beginning of the scripture, it says this is the confidence we have in him. It doesn't say the confidence we should have!!! It is imperative that we exercise our confidence in God--our faith--our trust. When we don't depend on God to meet our needs, we are basically saying what I was honest enough to share with my class, "Lord, I don't trust you!"

Now that may not sound like something a Christian should be saying, but faith equals trust. When we let circumstances ruin our faith, we are telling God--who created all heaven and earth--that we don't trust Him. And we know that we serve a God we can trust!!! If you are struggling with any sin or situation, know that you can trust God. He has proven that he is trust worthy by the simple act of waking you up, and giving you a second chance even though you have not put your trust where it belongs!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Waiting for God's Best!!!

Some years ago, I was seeking advice from one of my Christian mentors about a relationship I was involved in. Being a godly and wise woman, she listened closely as I told her all the things I liked about the person and all the things that worried me. When I was done spilling my guts, she looked at me with the love of a mother and said gently, "Is he God's best for you?" Her question reverberated throughout the room and sat quietly on my heart for the remainder of the day. I never answered her, and I know she wasn't expecting me to. What she was expecting me to do was to do some introspection. I knew the kind of relationship I had with God. I knew that God was a good provider. Would he send me this person out of his loving kindness, or was this relationship something concocted out of fear of never meeting "Mr. Right for Me?" My mentor had forced me to take a long hard look at my motivations for being in the relationship.

Sometimes we let society determine what age we should marry, have children, and start living our dreams. But God has His own timeline--and it is certainly not based on our whining or complaining. So if you are a single person in Christ, you have to remember that God loves you and desires the very best for your life. Jesus asks a simple question in Matthew 7:9--"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" Any loving parent's response would be "no one."

God knows how to give good gifts and give us exactly what we need. Why do we try to shortcut the process? At times in my life I have been guilty of trying to taking the shortcut route instead of waiting. But I know in my heart that the God I serve is a good and loving God who knows me better than I know myself. The only way to remedy the shortcut syndrome is to tell yourself that God wants the best for you--even if you have to keep reminding yourself daily. Don't settle for less than His best!!! Wait for Him. And if you find yourself in a situation that you are unsure about, pray. Ask yourself the same question my mentor asked me, "Is this God's best for me?" Then answer honestly. If you find that it isn't and God tells you in your heart that it isn't, walk away and trust God to love you like you need to be loved until He sends that special someone!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Make Every Moment Count

We live in a world of "hurry." Almost everything is rushed for our "convenience." And sometimes in the midst of hurrying along, we forget to honor the most important things in life--ourselves, our families, and our friends. Many of us experience burnout on our jobs, in our social groups, and even in serving God because we don't take time to rest and rejuvenate. So today, make every moment count by taking time for yourself. Mark 6:31 shows us that even Jesus valued rest! Re-build your inner person by doing something meaningful. Take a walk. Play a game with your spouse or children. Find a nice spot in nature to sit and meditate on God's goodness. After all, if rest or "downtime" was beneficial for Jesus, it is certainly beneficial for you!!!