Remember Me, Lord

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me

-Psalm 106:4

The last couple of weeks has been a little rough. I’ve been constantly on the go but truth be told, I haven’t taken much time for me —to rest, recharge or even focus on the things I love. Sometimes the Lord has a way of putting a stop to our plans and reminding us of the importance of finding true rest in Him.

This verse reminds me of seasons where I have felt like God had forgotten about me,  when I felt as if He is paying attention to the details in everyone else’s life but mine, and even reminds me of the moments where He has intentionally made me wait. I hear David being similar to me saying “Lord, I’m over here, would you pay some attention to me.

Although this verse reminds me of those things, it also convicts me because there have been seasons of my life where I wonder if God is saying the same thing to me “Remember me, my child. Your Creator and only Source of true peace and strength, remember me, while you are focusing on doing and not spending time with me. Remember me too.”

God has not forgotten about you. He has already marked you as His beloved child and even in the wait, He is close to You; however the true question is, are you drawing closer to Him in this season?

 

 

 

 

 

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How Much More?

 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! −Matthew 7:11 (ESV)

I love holidays because it is a time to slow down and spend time with the ones you love however Father’s Day is always a little different. It  seems like the middle child who often gets overlooked because Mother’s Day stole all of its shine. We don’t see as many social media posts honoring dads, restaurants aren’t as crowded and there’s just hardly any marketing around this holiday.

I recognize that Father’s Day is difficult for many people − those who may have lost their father or even those who may not have a relationship with their earthly father. The Lord gifted me with a good father and grandfathers to be able to gain great wisdom from and to also see a great example of fatherhood yet I know that’s not everyone’s story. My prayer is that you will choose to see the joy in today. That regardless of how your story has been written that you will be able to see a new perspective.

I find so much comfort in hearing this verse in Matthew 7 spoken by Jesus because I think it is an invitation to all of us regardless of your situation with an earthly example of fatherhood. Jesus says how much more will your Heavenly Father do for you if you would just ask.

Those three words: how much more has been impressed on my heart.

I am thankful today (and everyday) for my father and all that he has done to sacrifice, lead and support our family and as I reflect on that today; my heart is brought to joy of how much more my Heavenly Father will do for me too!

Sisters those three words are powerful and I pray that you allow it to sink in your heart. How much more, will He do for you regardless of the season you’re in or the circumstances, He can do so much more for you

My prayer for you today:Heavenly Father, thank you! Thanks for the good examples that you have given us on fatherhood. I pray that all of the fathers would feel loved, honored and valued today. I ask Lord that you would send an extra dose of your love to my sisters who are discouraged today because of their earthly examples; remind them of how much more You are able and willing to do for them. I am praying and believing that you are going to blow the minds of those who are willingly and faithfully believing you for more!

 

When You Have Big Shoes to Fill

person carrying black leather handbag

A covenant was made between God and the Israelites. God had called Moses to lead them to a life of obedience to the law and also to lead them out of Egypt. God showed Moses the promised land even though he wasn’t able to enter into it. But towards the end of the book of Deuteronomy, we see how Moses is preparing to pass the torch to Joshua, his assistant. And as Joshua is being prepared to lead, God is clear with him about the type of leader he will be. He would be strong and courageous because the Lord promised to go ahead of him as he takes on this new role. So when we land in the book of Joshua it’s when Moses has recently died, the people are mourning and God tells Joshua how now is his time to lead them into the promised land.

Scripture Reference: Joshua 1:8 (NIV) Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

As I was thinking about this text, I was reminded of the times in my life, when I was asked to lead in areas at work or even at church. And there’s a moment, where I feel honored to be asked but for me, it is immediately followed by my own doubts. I look at my own inadequacies and wonder “why on earth would someone choose me to do this?” I’ve learned that fear has crippled me in many areas of my life and I’ve been committed to recognizing this as I don’t want to allow fear to keep me from fulfilling the will of God. What I love about this scripture, is God has already laid out the path for Joshua’s success and it’s simple —staying in His presence. I think often times we focus on what’s in our hand too much that it keeps us from taking a step toward that thing but as this story unfolds we see that Joshua’s own inadequacies made him the perfect candidate to be used for God’s glory. It was made known that this role that he would take hold of would not be successful in his own will but that He would have to lean on the Lord for victory.

So if I can offer some encouragement for those of you who may be stepping into a new season of leadership, I would give you three key points from this scripture.

1. Don’t under estimate your planting season

  • I love how God orchestrates every little detail on our behalf. I believe that as Joshua was sitting under Moses leadership, he was being prepared to lead whether he knew it or not.
  • He was able to get some of those leadership skills down in his heart so that even if he felt unequipped to carry the torch, he had a good example to resemble
  • I believe that during this time, God was allowing him to be influenced by Moses’ leadership style. He was given a front row seat to leading during difficult times but little did Joshua know what was ahead for him and that he would be the one chosen to the lead them to the promised land.

2. Promotion can come from a dead situation

  • In this story, it was a physical death as Joshua was asked to lead after Moses death but i think for us, it could be a reminder that God can promote us even when we have laid down a dead dream even if we have laid down those skills that seem to go unnoticed, God honors faithfulness and can bring promotion out of any situation
  • I imagine that Joshua was terrified to lead the Israelites. Not only because he had to follow Moses as a leader  but he likely didn’t see himself as a leader. He had big shoes to fill yet he didn’t know that he purposed to fill them
  • So more than likely Joshua’s enemy was his own fear so the Lord instructed him to be strong and courageous over and over again to get it to sink into his heart until Joshua believed it for himself.
  • I think that what God was trying to tell Joshua and us today is that if we would just stay in His presence,  He will make us strong, courageous and equipped to lead through whatever task is given to us.

3. Let the Word of God be the soundtrack of your life

  • Keep this book of the law on your lips so in the moments, where fear tries to creep in, when our own thoughts of what we lack are louder, we can speak out loud the affirmations that God has given to us. This was a reminder that Joshua would have to speak life into the deadness that he saw in himself —his own inadequacies and view of what he lacked
  • It is still important today that we keep the Word of God on our hearts and listen and obey to this Word above everything else. This scripture promises that then we will be prosperous and successful

The truth is, we all have big shoes to fill. We were all put here on this earth to help change it for the better. God has placed a big calling on each and everyone of our lives and for many of us we may feel unequipped to bring it to pass. But in those moments of feeling inadequate, I believe God wants us to remember that He is with us every step of the way. He desires for us to seek His presence, obey His word and watch Him lead the way

I recognize that at times when we hear a scripture about obeying God’s Word and then being successful, it is easy to think that it means that success will happen immediately or when we want it to happen. But the truth is often times, it takes time for things to come to pass — it takes consistent obedience. Even in the book of Joshua, he had the recipe for success from the very beginning but he had to go through some battles along the way.

It takes pushing past our fears and insecurities which can be uncomfortable. It means not giving up when things get hard but it also means means that even through the uncomfortable and hard times that God is with us along the way. We just have to do our parts to stay in His presence and live a life of obedience.  And unlike Joshua, each of us, as Believers, have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us. And I believe that the Holy Spirit doesn’t move us to a place of comfort but that his Holy Spirit will comfort us as He moves us to step into a new season

*This devotional is an excerpt from a speech I did in a leadership class. I pray that it blesses you. 

A Virtuous Woman…Who Can Find?

love scrabble text wood

When I think of a virtuous woman there is a name that often comes to mind— my grandmother. She would sit in the congregation or sometimes in the choir, never to be seen yet never unnoticed. At home, you could find her in the kitchen preparing an amazing meal and even if you tried to help you would only be in the way. Let’s not forget that my grandmother was a defeating champion in a game of Scrabble but she never boasted about it. She would just quietly put a word on the board and leave us all speechless.

My grandmother lived a beautiful, simple life. Her love for her family was unmeasurable; yet her love for God was unlike anyone I have ever seen.

She didn’t need to be the center of attention but she kept God at her center. My grandmother reverenced God and all that He is. She knew His resumè and knew what He had done for her throughout the years.

I often wonder if the Bible says “who can find” because it means that she’s rare and unique.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I am reminded of my grandmother who is my angel in Heaven but also all of the amazing women (my mother, aunts and mentors) the Lord has blessed me with who are still on this earth. I am grateful to not have to look far to find examples of virtuous women in my life.

It is my prayer that you will also have an amazing community of women to look up to whether it be in your family, church or even your place of employment. I hope that you will celebrate this special day with those in your world.

I do recognize that this day is hard for those who may have experienced lost. I definitely have moments of sadness when I think about my grandmother but I also rejoice because I know she is worshipping in Heaven. I don’t have all the answers of what Heaven will be like but I imagine that when I get there, she will be one of the first angels to embrace me with her sweet, gentle hug because I am a product of her prayers.

The Lord says that He is close to the brokenhearted. So if you find yourself broken during this holiday, know that He is willing to hold you close. He can fill the void and turn your sadness to worship.

Can I pray for you today?

Father, I ask that you help us to rejoice even in the midst of lost. Help us to hold on to the truth that we will see our loved ones again. Send an angel here on earth to comfort my sisters who are in a place of brokenness. Let them not spend this holiday isolated or in grief but in celebration with those in their world. Keep her close this season and help her to feel your comfort like never before. Amen.

Faith in Work: Honoring in the Dark Season

three white ceramic pots with green leaf plants near open notebook with click pen on top

 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving- Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

What a blessing it is to rise up every morning excited about the opportunity you have to do a good work.  Although there is no perfect job as there are problems at every employer, I do believe that when you are at a job you love, it doesn’t feel like work.

But what happens when there’s a difficult season? Maybe there’s a lot of change going on at the job or maybe you’re in a season where you feel overlooked and waiting to be noticed for your hard work.

Every Believer says promotion comes from God, which is true but what do you do when it doesn’t come in the way that you have hoped.

This verse reminds me to change my perspective of how I work. I believe God honors hard work, He sees it and notices every detail. I know that I need to trust Him even when I am having a hard time at work. It’s a reminder that I’m not working for my supervisor or the CEO of the company, my ultimate work is for the Lord and it is up to me to trust that He will walk through this difficult season with me.

Even when it seems as if your work is unnoticed and that you are working hard and not reaping benefits from it, trust Him through it. Friends, I know it’s hard but when we can press through during the difficult seasons, we can come out on the other end stronger. Our Father is able to see far beyond our current circumstances so we have to trust that He has our best in mind.

If this season is difficult because of a co-worker, boss or things within your own heart, lay it at His feet. Don’t carry negativity with you  this season, it will only make it harder. Instead choose to have joy even through the difficulty.

The Woman from Shunem

close up of hands

Later Elisha asked Gehazi, “What can we do for her?”

Gehazi replied, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man.”

 “Call her back again,” Elisha told him. When the woman returned, Elisha said to her as she stood in the doorway, “Next year at this time you will be holding a son in your arms!”

“No, my lord!” she cried. “O man of God, don’t deceive me and get my hopes up like that.”

But sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. 

-2 King 4:14-17

I love this story of the woman of Shunem. The Bible never tells us her name but I love her heart to serve. In this story, the wealthy woman and her husband had invited Elisha to stay at their home whenever he would pass by. Because of their generosity, Elisha wanted to bless them; however the woman told Elisha’s servant that she was well taken care of and therefore she did not make a specific request. However the servant saw an opportunity for Elisha to bless her anyways.

Her response to this blessings makes me wonder if this son was something that she longed for. Something that maybe she stopped believing God for or it could very well have been a blessing she never knew she needed.

The servant saw an unspoken request. He saw an opportunity. He saw something that she could not get for herself, that money couldn’t buy it.

I love how sometimes the greatest blessings are those things that we don’t even ask for.

I think about how when a coworker has a big event happen in their lives whether it be a birth of a baby or death of a loved one; how we rally together and deliver food without ever being asked. We know there is a need and we want to help provide for it.

I think we are all believing God for something. Maybe you’ve given up on a dream and stopped believing God for it. Regardless of where you are, I believe that He is still in the blessing business and wants to meet your need, He wants to meet you where you are. For some blessings it make take longer to come to pass but God will always provide even for the things we don’t even know to pray for yet.

I encourage you to read the rest of the story in your quiet time and see the dedication of this mom to her son but I want to leave you with this thought: Never miss an opportunity to serve someone because you never know how your generosity will pour back into you. Elisha was so filled with gratitude because of her heart to serve that he didn’t want to leave without blessing her and even with the blessing looked dead (read 2 King 4:18-37), he still honored her.

Our acts of service will not only bless those we are serving but in return, we will receive blessings we may not even know we need.

Today’s prayer: Father, thank you for always providing for us. I want to specifically cover those who have stopped dreaming, those who have stopped believing you for great things. I ask that you set a fire down in their souls and remind them of the great plans you have for them. I believe this is a time to believe you for bold requests. Increase our faith in you and give us the endurance to circle our desires in prayer.

Reckless Love: Interrupted yet everlasting

stack of love wooden blocks

A couple of months ago, a co-worker sent me a link to a song titled Reckless Love. If I’m honest, when I first saw the title come through, I wasn’t initially interested because there’s a negative mindset that comes with the term reckless.But I finally caved in and gave it a try.

As I listened, the words began to pierce at my heart and as much as I didn’t want to keep listening; it made me reflect. I remembered what it felt like when God gracefully broke me – when He took everything that was once familiar to mold me into someone new. He changed me, but what it took to get there wasn’t pretty. It was uncomfortable; it interrupted the life I knew; yet in the midst of it, I felt Him near.

Being a Christian never implies that life will be easy; there’s nothing that says we will never endure hard times. Our manual says the opposite.

When my back is up against the wall; I have the choice to release control and allow God to do what only He can do; yet whenever I depart from the very Word that I’m called to stand on there is nothing that my Heavenly Father won’t do to get the attention of His daughter. He will stop at nothing to turn our hearts back to Him.

In Luke 15:3-7, Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep and shares this very concept of going after the one until its’ found. I find comfort in knowing that He will stop at nothing to keep us near Him.

Click here to listen to Reckless Love

Faith in Work: Finding Joy in the Day to Day

Stressed business woman

I just finished Tim Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. I appreciated this book because it showed the importance of seeing value in our careers regardless if you are in corporate or ministry.

Tim gave an example of a doorman at an apartment in New York, who was known by the residents for his positive attitude and how he took pride in helping people. He took the initiative to learn the residents’ name and when asked why he took so much pride in his work, he mentioned how it’s the people in the building that he cares about.

When I read this story, it reminded me of the security guard at my employer who knows every employee by name. He is the first person you will see in the morning and he makes sure the elevator is waiting on you. He takes pride in the people at the office. He brings joy early in the morning. When he is not there, you miss his presence. He simply radiants with Christ’s love.

Colossians 3:23 says “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

It is so easy to get bogged down in the day to day tasks that you find yourself losing joy in what brought you to work. When you’re constantly listening to people complain, surrounded by deadlines and work politics, it’s hard to find the energy to press on but what if we truly approached work as it is unto the Lord? Not to make our boss look good or to make the company more money, but if we can commit to walking in the light every day so that those who may not know God will sense something different through our presence.

There may be someone on the job who may only know Christ through you. There may be people who need to see an example of a servant leader. Or maybe that company needs your help to bring a new sense of purpose.

There are so many reasons as to why God has you where you are, but friends, know that it is on purpose. Let’s be committed to working smart and  intentionally being the salt and light in the workplace.

Court the Bible

pexels-photo-372326.jpegI recently read an article about marrying the bible this year and it made me ask myself what if we truly approached the Bible as we would a new courtship? When you first begin to court, you have these butterflies that fill your heart. You are constantly thinking about the conversations throughout the day. You are intentional.

The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8 NLT) so what would our lives look like if we approached God similar (and eventually better) than earthly relationships. If we set aside time to get to know Him: opening the Word daily and actively seeking to let it resonate in our hearts. That is when we will truly experience this love; God’s love.

My approach to the Word lately has been “Holy Spirit, teach me what it is that I am to learn about you today.”

I recognize how at times, reading the Bible can be difficult but as believers we can tap into the Holy Spirit, which lives on the inside of us, for wisdom and understanding.

As we continue to break old habits and start new ones, I want to recommend that we approach our daily readings with the intent to develop and strengthen an intimate relationship with God.

Let it be our goal to know Him (Philippians 3:10 CSB) this year. Let it be our greatest desire above anything else.