Sunday, September 27, 2015

This Person I've Become - Nature Lover

Tonight I saw the blood moon.

After the sunset, but before the moon

I didn't know much about it beforehand, but I had heard about it. Some Christians have beliefs around what this red moon signifies, but I hold no such beliefs. I was simply curious and a tad bit bored.

So we ventured out to a popular hiking spot and it was crowded - seems like many had the same idea.

We parked our car and somehow I got into a conversation with an elderly gentleman named Neil.  He seemed knowledgeable about what was supposed to happen, but it turns out he was just like me - curious. While waiting for the moon to show, we talked about everything and nothing in particular. He was a gregarious man. He thought because I was black, I bought into some of the spiritual significance of what this moon could potentially signify.  We chatted and waited and when he left he hugged and kissed my daughters and I. And as soon as he left the moon showed her pretty face. I was excited. The moon was red, but it was blocked by clouds but it was still a sight to see.

I kept saying - "There it is! There it is, I can't believe it."

I was awestruck because so many from around the world were witnessing this phenomenon also.

All I could think was:

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. Psalm 19, 1,2 [NLT]

Did you witness the blood moon? What were your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

War Room and Marriage

Today my husband and I saw War Room - the movie that brings a Christian spiritual perspective to the masses. Before I saw this movie marriage was on my mind:

It's a good thing - it has the ability to bring out the best in you through much trial and error. Just like in raising children, there's no definitive formula for having a successful marriage but there are traits that improve the situation.  Living and loving closely isn't always smooth sailing, but the importance of a solid foundation becomes prominent as you navigate the ups and downs of life.

Iron sharpens iron - the best in you sharpens the best in him and vice versa.

Don't neglect yourself for the sake of your marriage - this is often overlooked. Nowadays it sounds like taking "me" time with a focus on physical renewal. However if you had a solid walk, and a strong pray life, prior to marriage then this is something that you need to continue. This practice produces the best you. When two become one, it's two solid people that do so. To neglect this individual aspect of your union does not a strong union make.  It seems counter intuitive - but when two people have strong walks and come together and continue their individual spiritual practices while at the same time adding  to it, the union becomes stronger. The spiritual aspect affects the rest of you. Your pray time and time with God, literally provides practical application for day to day living. It is one of the most effective ways to affect change in your relationship.


One of the comments from the movie was, "It's hard being a woman." When I would say this, my husband would say, "It's hard being a man." I would have to agree with both statements. Some of the hardness has to do with cultural expectations combined with personality and general expectations. Being in relationship with others brings out the best and the worst in us, because though married we are still human with all of our flaws in addition to everything else.

I like that War Room shows a version of marriage most people don't see, in a demographic that is often overlooked. We've heard people talk and heard the Christian cliches, but the movie provides a visual representation of:

Praying for each other instead of trying to change each other - Elizabeth's prayer life has lapsed due to the busyness of life. But she knows and loves the Lord. Her husband, Tony seems to be even more cursory in his walk and his faith doesn't appear to have an impact on his daily life. This shows up in his actions at work, and how he treats his family. Elizabeth is burdened by the state of her marriage and wants it to change, but she seems to be at her wits end. Enter Ms. Clara who has seen how prayer changes things. There comes a point in the story where Elizabeth is forced to pray and she takes Ms. Clara's lessons to heart and establishes a War Room in her house - a place that is quiet and private where she can spend uninterrupted time with the Lord - and begins to pray earnestly for her marriage, her husband, her family, her house, and herself.

Christians can make dumb mistakes - Tony has made some poor choices and ultimately loses his job. Elizabeth knows her husband's flaws, but because she is no longer focusing on him and what he's not doing she can respond in a way that astounds him and forces him to search his heart and ultimately confess, repent to his wife and God, and change his ways.

Spiritual warfare - As Elizabeth prays for her family, she recognizes that she is fighting a battle in prayer. Sometimes when we have minor arguments that erupt in to big things I wonder how we got here. At these times, it is distinctly impressed on my heart that the devil does not like thriving Christian families and creates distractions that take our eyes off of our purpose. As Elizabeth prayed she recognized that something was trying to tear her family apart, but no more. In the mighty name of Jesus, it had to flee. When you recognize the enemy you are dealing with, you can pray smartly so that he is defeated.

Mentoring - Ms. Clara wasn't always a prayer warrior; she didn't always know how to pray and didn't always read the Bible. But now that she is, and she has seen visible proof in the transformation of Elizabeth, she charges Elizabeth to do the same for another person. She shares with Elizabeth how seeing her grow has strengthened her faith as well.

I have found that praying and spending time with the Lord, provides wisdom that you just do not have unless you do so. It gives you the courage to act and speak wisely. You have a confidence that belies your current situation. Now, I don't have a physical war room in my house and I don't typically write my prayers down. I have a prayer time daily in the quiet of the day where I read and pray. I know the importance of pray and set aside time to do so daily.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 [NLT]

Do you pray for your marriage? Do you pray for your spouse? Will you see this movie?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tricky Times

Life is a bit tricky right now; everything is not smooth sailing.

Here's what I know, if you come through your trials with a deeper abiding faith that is the most important aspect of your trial. This deeper abiding faith gives you a peace in the storm. It doesn't make you lazy or complacent, but it is reassuring. You really do learn that it is wasteful to worry.

It's not always that at the end of our trials that we are better than where we started - you know, we're not richer, or have less problems for example. It is that we came through and the storm has abated.

On a daily basis, how this plays out is by a simple act of believing you don't have to worry but doing what you can by renewing and transforming your mind. How you deal with problems and life starts with your mind. Your mind holds both your emotions and your reasoning so this also affects your heart.

In spite of all the things that appear to not be going right, there is a calmness; there is no depression or despondency though sometimes there is a sense of frustration. Frustration comes because of impatience of wanting the hard time to be over; of wanting a respite.

But the One who is in control, His timing  is not ours - 2 Peter 3:8. So what are we to make of our year, or years of hardship? And what is our hardship compared to what he went through for us? Is the lack of hardship the goal in life? Can we prevent hardship? No.

So we remember the promise of James 1:4:

  Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

We need nothing, because at the end of it all, we have truly learned that we have the One who provides all of our needs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

International Literacy Day

Literacy Day

Important information on behalf of Grammarly. I do believe that Reading is Fundamental so I don't mind sharing. After all, how will you learn if you cannot read?