Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Waiting


They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31).

I have a new car, and I'm still getting used to some of the features. The most disconcerting is when stopped, the vehicle appears to turn off. It gets eerily quiet; I don't hear the engine idling. But once I put my foot on the gas, the car is engaged and ready to go again. Apparently, this is an energy and gas-saving feature.

So as I sit at a traffic light, I place my


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Some Doubted


The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshipped, but some doubted. Matthew 28:16, 17

Some doubted. These were the eleven remaining disciples Jesus spent His last hours with. He spent his final moments before dying, encouraging and comforting them. They asked questions, and He answered. He prepared them for what was ahead. His words to them are found in John chapters thirteen through seventeen. 

Yet after all of that, when He appears to them, resurrected, though they see Him, some doubted. Perhaps a momentary doubt because of the awesomeness of seeing Jesus.



Monday, September 27, 2021

SEEDS


These days I feel as if I'm planting seeds waiting to see when they will blossom. Other days I've reaped the bounty from the seeds I've planted, especially as I look at my children. I've also seen it in smaller interactions. The thing is when you plant seeds, they're so small you sometimes forget that you've planted them. And then you see a lonely neighbor who always pauses to speak with you because she enjoys your company. You've sown into her. Or you receive an email that magnifies your contributions to the team, although, to you, there were minuscule. Again you're using what God gave you to honor Him. SEEDS.


Monday, August 16, 2021

When a Bronze Medal Feels Like the Gold Medal


The Olympics are over, and we're all adjusting to regular life again. As I watched the bronze match for men's tennis, one player wanted it more than the other. The favorite for the gold was in this match; he'd been defeated and now winning this match was his only chance at medaling at the Olympics, an honor that held so much weight. 

In some sports you play for the bronze - soccer, tennis, table tennis, basketball while in others it's automatically based on how you finished. The bronze match is, in essence, a tiebreaker with so much on the line.


Monday, August 2, 2021

Love Through the Lens of Hair


I spend a lot of time thinking about hair. As women, we often hear that a woman's hair is her crowning glory, a phrase with Biblical roots found in 1 Corinthians 11:15 and Proverbs 16:31. Often how a woman feels about her hair will determine how she feels about herself. 

Black women have often been made to feel that their hair is ugly or bad because it doesn't fit the cultural


Monday, July 19, 2021

We Have Power


Read
-  Revelation 1:10 “On the Lord’s Day I was in the spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.”

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without the wind, branches without sap, and like coals without fire, we are useless.” John was in the Spirit and heard the voice of the Lord, loud, like a trumpet. Being in the spirit is a phrase used to describe a supernatural encounter with God in our lives, and it is often portrayed in the scriptures. 

The Spirit led Simeon and revealed that he wouldn’t die until he saw Jesus (Luke 2:26, 27). The Spirit filled Joshua, which equipped him to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land (Numbers 27:18). The Spirit of God filled Bezalel, which


Monday, June 28, 2021

Scars of Gold


READ - But he was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5 ESV).


I was a bit of a tomboy when I was a child, and I had scars on my legs to prove it. As I became more familiar with fashion and stockings became a relic of the past, I shied away from wearing skirts because the scars on my legs were so ugly. To my eye, they ruined an outfit. How I prayed for those scars to fade. I never saw the beauty in those scars, only what I thought was disfigurement.

But without those scars, I wouldn't have learned how to climb trees; I may have never attempted to run, I would have stayed safely inside. How boring! Those scars were necessary for my growth. They were valuable in my growth. They were golden, much like the Japanese art of Kintsugi.



Monday, May 31, 2021

Guest Post - Growing Well by Cheryl Holmes

I met Cheryl virtually via the Beloved Women website, where I'm a regular contributor.
When I saw her devotional, I smiled because this verse has meant so much to me. It's part of Jesus' last words to His disciples, which I've shared in my book The Comfort of Night.


Cheryl Holmes is first and foremost a believer! She believes in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. She lives in rural Southwest Louisiana with her pastor husband of almost 32 years and is the proud mother of two adult children. She is also a grandmother, a daughter, and the youngest sister of seven siblings.
Simply put, she loves the Lord, loves His Word, and has come to love sharing His Word by way of pen and paper.  "I am richly blessed beyond measure by every opportunity the Lord gives me to re-present Him, as I serve, as I encourage, and as I inspire others." 
Read on. I hope you are encouraged by Cheryl's words. 


Monday, May 17, 2021

A Community of Women


There are many beautiful things to love about the story of Ruth in the Bible but what stands out most for me is the community of women. Communities are typically unified in purpose, connection, and culture. It's a space women need but won't miss until it's not there. 

Naomi and Ruth are women returning to Bethlehem in Judah. Their integration into the larger community of Bethlehem is highlighted by the community of women.  



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

What I've Learned from Marriage and Motherhood


“Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew? Cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two?  The Candy Man…. The Candy Man can. The candy man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.” I first heard the Sammy Davis version of this song on the radio and sang it to myself often. I never realized that I would have my own version of a popular candy: M&M’s®.

A Popular Candy
M&M’s themselves began as a reproduction of a foreign candy, named after two candy makers whose fathers were both candy magnates – Forrest Mars and Bruce Murrie. While abroad, Forrest Mars Sr. noticed British soldiers eating small, pill-sized candies called Smarties, made of a chocolate center and a hard candy shell. He was shocked to see that the candies held up in the summer heat and were small and easy to transport. Armed with his new knowledge, he moved back to the states to claim his spot in his father’s company. He secured a patent for the


Monday, April 12, 2021

How To Have Zen-like Peace


The phone rang. By the time the conversation was over, it felt like someone knocked the air out of my chest. Before I answered the phone I was happy, content. I noted that I had a zen-like peace. It was strange because there were anxious circumstances around me – family, job, relationships. I was beginning to revel in this feeling of peace which defied any human understanding.

After the phone call, the brick on my chest was painfully palpable. It hurt to breathe. But I had to keep going. I made some panicked phone calls then walked around the block with my husband. I started to beat myself up, wondering what role I played in this outcome. I came up empty. Then I started to ask why. The why seemed loud initially, but that zen-like peace wouldn’t disappear; it



Monday, March 22, 2021

Walking in the Rain

These days as we make the most of our restrictive environment, my mind wandered back to when I felt gloriously unrestrained.

We had settled into our new house in Brooklyn and had established a routine for day-to-day life. At the ripe old age of twelve, I took public transportation, navigating the streets of Brooklyn. I never felt afraid though I knew to be aware of my circumstances. 

One particular day, I was walking home from school because I missed my bus. It started to drizzle, and I realized I had no umbrella, nor was I wearing a jacket with a hood. We had an unspoken rule that we never got our hair wet as it meant washing, drying, braiding again. I had a relaxer at that time, so I also thought if my hair got wet, no big deal! (after all, wasn't that the point?) All of these thoughts ran through my mind initially as the rain became a steady


Monday, March 8, 2021

Prayers to Get You Through the Day


As a mom, wife, sister, and employee, the need for God’s constant presence through prayer is inevitable and palpable. When I’m flustered by the day-to-day tasks of motherhood, it is then I turn my gaze upwards seeking the One from whom my help comes. When I feel alone or unheard, I turn to Him remembering that he always hears me. When I’m at crossroads with decision-making, I seek wisdom from His voice and His word. At the end of each day, no matter how it went, I’m grateful that I made it to the end of the day, with His help.



Monday, February 15, 2021

Roots

“Good anticipation on her part!” that’s what the commentator said as we watched the back and forth of a tennis match. Good anticipation – being in the right place to return the shot. However, there was nothing good about our anticipation as we discovered one family’s history through a TV show.

I was twelve, a new immigrant. Before moving, we lived in the Bahamas. Life, for the most part, was uneventful, stable, and content. Then without warning, Daddy informed us that we’d be moving to NY. We were never given a good reason and just accepted what we were told. Also, in our household, no one, at least none of us children, questioned authority. My mom presented it as an adventure, but it couldn’t have been easy moving to another country with seven children and all of our earthly belongings. The only thing we anticipated was a life similar to what we left. Within a year of being in

NY, my hardworking parents were able to purchase a house. Until that point, we, a family of nine, lived upstairs at my uncle’s house in what is now considered a historic brownstone—nine of us in a space better suited for four. 

Our house's purchase was a milestone for our parents, which created a sense of normalcy and stability for our family. We had one TV, and every night in January of 1977, we were all glued to the TV as we watched Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Mummy, the more outspoken parent, probably was the one who made us aware. But after that first night, all nine of us watched with anticipation as we learned the mostly sordid truth of African American history. It was at once horrifying while instilling in us a sense of pride. Each night, we had no idea what to expect; we were riveted to the screen.


Monday, January 25, 2021

Divine Appointments

Recently I experienced the sting of deep disappointment. I shot my shot and hit the rim; the ball didn't quite make it through the net. When I started on this recent venture, I did not ignore the possibility of disappointment; I went in with my eyes wide open. 

As I prepared, I focused more on the possibility than the impossibility. I relied on verses that I knew, whispered positive affirmations to myself, had lots of conversations with God, took deep breaths, and ultimately took my shot. But I also kept it close to the vest, sharing with very few. I


Monday, January 11, 2021

Do you Have a Firm or Flimsy Foundation?


Anything built on an unstable or decaying foundation will not stand. One example of a famous foundation failure is the  South Padre Island’s Ocean Tower in Texas. Ocean Tower was originally designed to be a 31-story building that housed high-end condominiums. However, construction of the tower couldn’t be completed because of foundation problems discovered in early 2008. The expansive soil beneath the tower began to compact, causing the building to sink and lean. Construction ceased and the building had to be demolished in 2009. (source - https://www.structuredfoundation.com/blog/extreme-example-of-foundation-failure/)

Another famous example is the Leaning Tower of Pisa; it leans because its foundation is unstable.