Friday, 14 October 2016

The 'puzzling' truth about God's plans

It has been the best of times; its been the worst of times. It's been a long time. Thirteen weeks, at least that's what my blog tells me. In those thirteen weeks, I thought about writing

Why didn't I?

A lot has happened, and because I have been away so long, it's hard to know just where to begin. My sister has been insisting I write a praise report on God's goodness towards my oldest daughter, so I will do just that.

That seems a good place to begin.

I call it .. The great puzzle.

 My youngest daughter likes to do puzzles; me?.... Not so much! I don't like to sit in one place too long, I don't like to look for the pieces and make them fit just right, I don't find it at all relaxing, and to top it off, I'm not very good at it. I remember as a child when I used to visit my late aunt's house, she would have those 1000 piece puzzles. Many times they would be in a state of 'un done' and a few weeks later 'all done' and displayed on a center table with a vase on it. I didn't give it much thought then but that must have been a true labour of love. Me? they say...' I ain't got time for that!'

I don't like 'puzzling' as my daughter calls it, but I often attempt it and end of uniquely frustrated.

A few years ago life got 'puzzling'. My daughter had to stop going to private school. It was no longer affordable, she had to be sent to public school and it was a difficult transition. Getting her into a 'preferred' public school proved futile and she ended up at one that didn't top the list. Fast forward four years and she has transitioned to one of the top high schools in the country! She did so well that she earned two scholarships to cover her high school career.

Who could it be but God?

When she had to leave private school, I was devastated and angry at God for not providing some way for her to stay. I wondered where was my 'four days late?'
Four years later he showed me that not only is he always on time but he is the plan.

God, the ultimate puzzle master.

The pieces of the puzzle did not fit for me at the time and I spent many wasted days and nights trying to put pieces together that almost fit, but as you know.. ' almost doesn't count'. I have been humbled by a God that proved that not only is he good at ordering our steps but he is excellent at putting puzzle pieces together.


He is the puzzle master, he has all the pieces. All.

Us?... well we have one puzzle piece at a time that we get to put down when something happens. The problem is, we don't seem to know this. We think we have all the pieces and we go on misadventures trying to do our 'puzzling' and end up ...well..puzzled.

When everything fell in place with my daughter, I had to smile, I had to say.. ' I see what you did there God'. I realised why no other situation concerning my daughter ever worked the way I wanted it to. I.did.not.have.that.piece.of.the.puzzle. It was not mine to fit. I was not good at puzzles. 

The 'puzzling' truth 

I have come to realise in these few weeks away that I need to trust the timing of my life. I need to let go and let God. I need to trust him, even in the big fat no's.

Behind all of God knows (no's) are yes's waiting on obedience.

Why haven't I written in so long?

There is something so haunting about standing in disobedience to God that can paralyse a person that thinks about writing everyday.

My blog needs to go in a slightly different direction and it is a little bit 'puzzling' to me. It isn't exactly where I would put down that puzzle piece.. you know...the one that I think I have!

Many days I often have to go back to Jeremiah 29:11. It is life. It is the answer to all the puzzles we often try to solve. It is what I and you must apply when we are led in directions that seem 'puzzling'.

Are you trying to put puzzle pieces together?
Do you have a praise report? Share it with us below.

You might also like : Jesus loves you regardless of the state you are in.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

life doesn't just happen.....

'It's  life, things happen'...I've  been hearing that a lot lately.

I don't want to believe that. I can't afford to believe that. Alot of 'things' have been happening lately and it's been a little more than stressful - and if life just kinda happens...its happening to me a little too much.

Car trouble..check
Work stress...check
Phone issues...check
Big fat no...check
Faith issues?....

Yes,  life has happened and there are days when I have felt like having a pity party in the basement with some coconut ice-cream but life doesn't  just happen to me. I had to remind myself  of that a couple of times this week.

My steps are ordered by the Lord!

Faith issues?...

When things seem endlessly slow and unbearably  low,
 Remember our God sits high and looks low. He has promised to never leave or forsake us; He is our father and he is just.
Encourage yourself in the Lord, speak life with every word.
The world may say that things just happen but the Christian should know all things happen for good to them that love the Lord and are called by his purpose.

Faith issues?..... I'm leaving that box unchecked.

For those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...that word renew....make new again...rewind...again and again as life ' happens' .... I' ll wait on renewal.

I'm still here!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

When Jesus replies with a BIG FAT NO!

On Saturday my phone got shattered.

Just four days later, my hopes suffered the same fate.

I was listening to a preacher on Periscope on Saturday, he was giving a simple, yet powerful message – Psalm 50:23 “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” It struck a chord. I had been letting my doubts speak for years. The next few days, I had fewer conversations! The ones I had were just with me and my God. I had begun to understand that I needed to speak life over myself.

If you asked me to explain how the phone fell face down on the cold hard concrete, I’m not sure I could, but as I caught my breath and hoped for the best, disappointment came. Remarkably, all functionality of the phone was intact, the Periscope replay still played, the volume was still soul reaching, but it was shattered nonetheless. I was running my life from that device, this blog, schoolwork, research, my bible notes, pictures, just about everything was on it and I had to decide, should I pronounce it dead or try to make it ‘worthy’ again? I chose the latter. Hopefully, it can be repaired as good as new.

There is this song like – ‘When Jesus says Yes, nobody can say No,’ (and isn’t that the truth) but when you land on the other side of Yes, that flipside, that BIG FAT NO  side – there is another song you sing.

I had fasted. I prayed. I repeated bible promises. I planted a seed. I had spoken life over my days. I had been asking Jesus for something my heart desired, something I had hoped for. Jesus grants the desires of your heart. That same Jesus, after my sacrifice, said…NO! A BIG FAT NO!

On Wednesday, hope, well- it just died – fullstop.

I now, became my phone – shattered but working; fully functional with a broken screen. If you asked me to explain why my hopes fell on the cold hard concrete of life, I’m not sure I could, but as I stepped out in faith and outside of fear, disappointment came with that BIG FAT NO!

Out of all the people in the Bible, I have never heard anybody wanting to be Job – ever! No one names their kid Job, no one longs to lose their loved ones, no one wants to have their friends say the dumbest things at the most painful time of their life and no one wants to lose all they have ever had. If there was ever a happy ending in the Bible, it was Job, but the process! The process was brutal!
The thing about Job though, that we all, I’m sure, find remarkable, was that faith; Satan questioned it, but God, he believed in it. God believed in Job’s faith so much that he removed that covering from him and let that Satan run Job through a sieve. He shattered his business, wealth and family in one go! Talk about overkill!

Curse God and die!

Job couldn’t see the future, he wasn’t a prophet, he didn’t dream dreams, he, just a man, who loved God. On that day when his hopes were shattered, Job could not envision the turn- around that lay up in God’s hand for him – all he could see was desolation.  YET – all he held onto was his God!

His fate didn’t determine his faith – neither must yours or mine

I would take a guess and say that Job probably prayed that day when he lost everything; I’m sure he made all the relevant first fruit and burnt offerings unto his God, but that didn’t spare him from being shattered.

God, must teach lessons in faith, he tailors his plans according to his students. Differentiated learning they call it in education circles, I have to do it too, it takes into account your students’ abilities and learning styles – I must teach the way all my students learn. It isn’t a one size fits all experience anymore. This NO, was my differentiated instruction.

I had whispered in my prayer time that I wanted an increase in faith, I had said it out loud too; the word became flesh; God agreed, then replied with that BIG FAT NO! – Now your move my child.

Curse God and Die!
Job 2:10   But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job, did not lose his integrity, and neither will I. Psalm 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

I had whispered for increased faith. God had answered, “I will grant your request for increased faith, by saying NO, now. I will say NO now, and see if you will still TRUST me, see if you will still LOVE me, see if you will still believe that I WILL do exceedingly abundantly above ALL that you ask or think.” God whispered a BIG FAT NO  and I shed a tear or two, but my faith did not waiver, and I surprised myself when I whispered … “Well, I guess you have something better in store for me; guess I will wait.” 

So, that No song you sing, that we have sent for Jesus but he hasn't come song, I’ll sing it knowing “he’s four days late, but still on time.” 

Martha thought all hope was lost, the family was shattered but God was going to show up and Lazarus was going to come forth. I was disappointed, but I didn't die!

Do you think God loves us any less than he did Lazarus?

1Corinthians 2:9   But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

I'm there for it!

You may also like : Hello Fear

Thursday, 21 April 2016

I've hit the big 5O! A guide to blogging success in Christ

I have hit the big five O!

Apparently 50 is a milestone number for writers. I've always seen sitcoms celebrating the 50 th and 100 th episode. So I'm celebrating too. Technically, this is my 51 st but who's counting?

When I just started my blog, I read everything blog related; I went on a few bloggers networks- they said- don't apply unless you've written 50 posts! So I wanted to get here, it meant being taken seriously. It meant you were committed... It meant you were blogger network worthy. most ' goals ' when you get there, you are like ' now what? ' What happens when you hit those self imposed, man made targets?

I have scribbled a few of my thoughts, dare I say tips in this post about 'successful' blogging.

Push pass the crowd and touch the hem of his garment! 

When I started this blog 50 posts back in July, I had no idea there were so many Christian blogs out there. I felt like Alice in Wonderland- lost!

But I wrote still! 

I read all the posts that offered advice on how to grow your blog. I visited successful sites and tried to get ideas, I read posts on SEO's. I latched on to free webinars, signed up to receive mail from ' the people who went through it already so you don't have to'! 

I wrote, and I waited with every post to see a share- I waited for that ' viral post!'

Afterall, that's what makes blogs successful right? And doesn't God want us to be successful? If he called us to share through this medium, shouldn't we do all it takes to get in the big leagues?....

Your answer will depend on who you ask, but I read on a holy, one of my favourite Christian blogs...viral is closely related to virus! Isn't that the truth!

We are called to share the word for God's glory, not our own- he's been teaching me that. We all like to feel appreciated, and acknowledged for our efforts but this type of work requires all egos to be left behind; so if it's viral content we seek, we are in the wrong line of work.

The lady with the issue of blood pushed through the crowd to touch Jesus. We, in our efforts to push through the crowded blogosphere, must also seek to touch Jesus to be made whole. Jesus, and by extension his disciples touched lives - one at a time. Remember, the harvest is plenty, it's the labourers that are few. There are enough people out there for every blogger to reach one!

Find your niché 

God, in his wisdom gave us all a purpose, each one different but all to be used for his ultimate glory. I used to sing this hymn in high school...the line...' And we though many throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.' It occurred to me that we look around at others and try to imitate their successes, not appreciating that our one true and wise God has given us a fire shut up in our bones for us to unleash! Each member important but with its own function. We must uncover our purpose and use it to his glory, that alone will make you successful.

The disciples, I suspect, might have had no idea their own writings would have changed a generation! They too didn't have a cult following but were just men, like you and me, being obedient to the unction of the spirit.

So, if you find that you are a great cook, and want to inspire others to eat healthier, feed that! If you have a way to write to reach the young- play it up. If you have a heart for the homeless- love them. Ultimately, we are feeding his sheep.

Write your truth

Another tip I came across from successful bloggers - write posts that help others in some way. Give advice to help others through their struggles. 
Many times when we go through our trials, we are fooled by the adversary that noone understands. We are alone. No one has gone through this before; we hide ourselves behind shame. But, oh, for some honest truth to shine through and light our darkness! In our quest to make our blogs successful, we often make it sanitised and cookie cutter perfect! The lost stay that way and slip deeper down the rabbit hole. The disciples were honest. They said- look right here at this thorn in my side, it's bothering me and I have prayed for relief. Relief wasn't immediate but it's coming. Again they made us know that that thing which we want to do, we do not but do what is wrong... We are in a battle of flesh and spirit but there is a hope in Jesus if we keep our minds stayed on him.

We have to write our truths to help others.

That shameful story, that dark place where we once hid, we must shine light there and look for others and bring them out from the depths of their own hells. People need raw, honest truths as desperately as the blind want to see. If your writing helps one, then you are successful.

SEO and the numbers game

I used to come into my blog and painstakingly look at my numbers- how many visitors did I have today? Which post did they read? How many shares did I have?  Were their any comments? Then I started to compare my blog with others and I started to 'introspect'. So many posts are written all over the Internet about how to increase your numbers, get more traffic to your blog, get more followers and get noticed. To what end? It's easy to lose sight of the end!

I read an interesting article early in my blog about Christian blogging and getting more traffic, the writer thought that we need to be just as vigorous in getting noticed as all the other genres of blogging because we have a greater purpose. The article also said the more people we reach, the more souls we are likely to touch; I agreed, in part.
Numbers and blog traffic are important especially if you want to monetize your blog and segway into appearances and book deals- cause as they say ' ain't nobody got time to listen to a person who isn't relevant'..right?

But, oh for a God who tells me that my talent will make way for me. Oh for a God that gives me favour! Oh when Jesus says ' yes' nobody can say no! I am by no means promoting mediocrity, for my God does nothing that isn't 'good' but God has a process, and most often, he starts small, with just a seed. As the tree grows, he prunes and then we all bear fruit in due season, and as we stay under his guidance we continue in prosperity.

God promotes, not man. You will be in the right place at the right time when he believes you are ready. Your job?... Be obedient.

I could have better numbers, I could write better titles for my posts to turn up in Google searches but I write the titles that are on my heart. I try to be honest. I look at my numbers now and I do not allow them to tell me I am not good enough a writer. I do not allow them to tell me that my content is bad. I am learning that I am pre approved, as Jennifer Dukes Lee says; I am going through my process.

Be true to yourself and give yourself a break.

I have a full time job, I'm a single mother, and I am basically running this blog from my phone! I have internet and PC issues and writing weekly posts, plus doing all the marketing it takes to run what is deemed a successful blog is a struggle. I'm tired and stretched thin, I am aware of my truths and I have to let them guide my decisions. If it were up to me, all my spare time would be spent sleeping but I know I am called to write and I have to push past my tiredness and  sometimes laziness and make the best use of my time. But I don't beat up on myself, instead I lean. Lean on him that can make my burdens light and fix it for me. It will all come together, he promises, he knows the plans he has for me and you...and just like his is good!

Life, begins at 50 huh?...let's see

Happy blogging disciples!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Hello fear, there's something I need to tell you

Hello fear.

Just before the Easter break, I started teaching homophones, in our curriculum, it is referred to as word pairs. Fear, was not one of my featured words - it came in threes. I didn't want to complicate matters in an introductory lesson.

Fear, you see, complicates matters.

Fear and I have been having a symbiotic relationship for years, a little fear is good right? It keeps you in check, keeps you out of trouble and it can even help you to make critical decisions (that fight or flight hormone). Over time though, things took a turn for the worst. Fear became a friend I loved to love, and it slowly ate away at my being.

Fear overtakes things and makes light places dark places.

Recently, while I looked at my fearful place through a trembling heart, I realised how much of myself I allowed fear to cover with its dark veil. I hadn't allowed parts of me to live. I hadn't allowed parts of me to be known. I hadn't allowed myself to be me.

Fear, you see, takes small pieces at a time...until...

It is a crippling feeling to face my fear, for in doing so, I had to face a part of me that made me feel shame. I had made a mistake that was costly. I had made a mistake that had ramifications. I had made a mistake that I let define me. My mistake, let fear dwell in my mind and my heart. But, I lived life with a smile that covered fallen away pieces. I lived life with my own private, unspoken fear.

Fear likes to hide things.

When God decides to work on a heart, he's going to disturb some things. He's going to uncover some things. He's going to come in with that light and shine it on that dark place. That place that fear abides. Funny, one would imagine that when his light bursts in and illuminates a dark place, that would be the end of that- no more darkness right?....wrong!
Just like a flashlight in a dark room, he zooms in on an area; you get to see the rubble that's there. You then, have to clean up!

Fear meets fare.

When that light shun on fear, when I saw how many pieces of myself was hidden in the dark places, I wept. I wept because of my mistake. I wept because I had become a prisoner of my past. I wept because I was afraid to clean up. When you have to take piles of garbage out, it's highly likely that people will see. It's even more likely that they will judge you. It's a given, you will condemn yourself. I did. But. I looked at fear, and through the tears, I said 'hello fear'...there's something I need to tell you!
"Meet your word pair...fare." A price has already been paid for me to journey through this life, without you.

2 Timothy 1:7 " For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind"

Facing fears ultimately means stepping out in faith. Faith is the kryptonite of fear. Faith; my greatest struggle to date. So, if God is shinning his light on my fears, he is simply asking me to increase my faith. He is asking me to trust him. He is asking me to rest in him. He is loving my unspoken broken to wholeness.

Letting go of fear, means letting go of a familiar safety net. When you do that, you mourn a loss. This too can lead to another kind of vulnerability, that can lead to...fear.

What if I let go of fear and I am judged?
What if my mistake is forgiven by God but not by man?
What if I fail?
What if my faith weins?

Fear not!

Fear delights in secrecy. Fear establishes insecurity. Fear gives legitimacy to self doubt. Fear cripples. Fear steals time and let dreams die. Fear held these words in its dark place.

I put off writing this post for weeks, fear gripped the words and threw it in a pile of rubble. It turns out, that's the very pile God shun his light on. I saw it. I moved towards the pile with knees that wobbled, I took up a word at a time like a shy child in a room full of strangers. My heart pounded through my chest with every word I made into a sentence until I breathed steady breaths of relief. God, never gives you more than you can bear and he only asks you to bare your dark places to heal your brokeness.

" So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10.

Hello fear'...there's something I need to tell you...I made a list and you're on it.

Hello Fear" by Kirk Franklyn

Hello Fear 
Before you sit down there's something I need to explain 
Since you're here 
I think I should tell you since we last talked things have changed 
See I'm tired of being broken-hearted 
So I made a list and you're on it 
All my hopes and my dreams You took from me 
I want those back before you leave 

Hello Fear 
I knew I would see you, You have a hard time letting go 
See these tears,Take a good look cuz, soon they wont fall anymore 
God's healing my hurtful places 
That seat that was yours now is taken 
I'm no longer afraid,See I'm better this way 
And one more thing before you leave 

Never again will I love you 
My heart it refuses to be your home 
No longer your prisoner 
Today I remember 
Apart from you is where I belong 

And never again will I trust you 
I'm tired of fighting it's been way too long 
No longer your prisoner 
Today I remember 
Who I was and now it's gone 
They're gone 
Hello Fear 
Da da da da da, da da da da da 

Farewell Goodbye So long [3X]

Hello Grace 
It feels like forever, I thought my chance with you was gone 
See your face, it reminds me of mercy 
And please let me say I was wrong 
Never knew your touch was endless 
How you never run dry of forgiveness 
Didn't know how bad it was, was afraid just because 
Sorry fear, grace took your place 


Farewell Goodbye So long [8X]

Hello Fear 
Before you sit down there's something I need to explain
Taken from

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Jesus loves you, regardless of the state you are in

I had another chance encounter with a homeless man, this time, I had choices; I chose to park by him and his dog. I didn't pray for the car this time - I just went ahead and bought him lunch.

God works on our hearts in mysterious little ways.

As I stood with the bag in my hand, a lady was to my left, a man in his car to my right; unwanted spectators in my moment of insecurity. I waited, I hesitated. I let my mind wander into those of my spectators. Their voices sounded very much like my own.

'Why would you give him food?'
' He's probably a drug addict!'
' It's his own fault why he's here in this state'
' You are being an enabler.'

In a moment, a voice cried out softly and said, ' it doesn't matter why he's here, your job is not to judge him but to help him.' ' You were once found wanting too, but I still loved you.'

With that, I handed over the bag with just a ' Sir,' He barely looked me in the face, but he did say thank you. He didn't look in the bag, he put it beside him. He went back into his world. I didn't get the gratification I think I wanted for my good deed.

God, has ways, of working on your heart.

In that split second before I handed over my obedience to this man, I thought of what I should say. I ended up; I pondered saying Jesus loves you. I didn't.

Why?....because I saw a man blackened with dirt, filled with metal rings on his fingers, hanging unto a dog on a leash and a split second...hearing the words 'Jesus loves you' wouldn't mean a thing!

In a split second, I thought, that the good news that Jesus loves us, would mean nothing to a person in their lowest state. In a split second, I thought hearing about the love of God would have no bearing on a man who no one saw, who people avoided, who the world 'justifiably'ignored. How would hearing that Jesus loved him make a difference to him?

Jesus, he works on hearts, in mysterious ways.

I drove away, again, having this time delivered food but not the bread of life. I felt like I failed again. How could a self proclaimed Christian not think that the good news is worth sharing to anyone at anytime under any circumstances?

I thought about my choice for a while, it rested on me like a cross too heavy to bear alone. It dawned on me that my choice is what  so many make on a daily basis. How we complicate the simplicity of Jesus' love! How we over think what Jesus can do and inflate what we do. Jesus never asked us to save anyone. He just asked us to be messengers.
We need only to be on one accord with what Jesus came to us.....first.

I made up in my mind, in only a split second, that hearing that 'Jesus loves you'  would have zero bearing on a man that was living on the streets, how could he? If Jesus loved him, wouldn't he be with family and friends? Would Jesus love him homeless?....I knew he would think these things if I told him these three words...I withheld. I over reached, over stepped, over thought, and made the love of God small enough to fit into ' my own understanding.'

Jesus, changes hearts. He's changing mine with not so chance encounters.

The Lord works in mysterious ways, his wonders to behold, I don't know what he's up to, but I know he's up to something. I trust his heart. I trust my heart in his hands.

That simple sentence, 'Jesus loves you ' it carries weight, heavy enough to stand on its own yet simple enough that it needs no further explanation. It just is.

And isn't the love of Jesus something wonderful? That love that boldly bore my sins and yours. That love that stood unashamed betwixt two thieves. That love that has the holes in hands to prove to all the doubters that it is real. That love that reaches us from our earthly graves. That loves that does not care about our station in life. That love that rescues the perishing and cares for the dying. That love that's says..I loved you first. That love that calls us friend. That love that calls us heirs. That love that invites us All in. That's the love that we must share.

Share it often. Share it everywhere.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

One space left- a lesson in obedience

It was the only parking spot left. It was right near an iron post in a corner, I wasn't positioned to drive in seamlessly. I would have to reverse. On reversing, there he was. A young man in old clothes, with plastic bags by his side filled with what looked like clothes. He looked newly homeless, despondent. I looked around the parking lot, hoping to see a reverse light or any indication that another space was becoming available. No such luck! I hesitantly drove in, beside him.

The car on my left was still running, as I looked over, I read the driver's eyes - it said- are you seriously going to park there beside him?! I held my head down wondering how his eyes had read my mind. I glanced over at the young man, I whispered a prayer - for the car! I said to my God, 'Lord, please don't let this guy do any harm to this car.' After, I said a prayer for the human, I said - 'Oh and Lord, help him', or something to that effect. I got out the car sheepishly, I tried not to look at him, thinking I was being nice by not staring. The man in the car to the left, I saw his eyes read my mind..again...'are you seriously leaving your car beside him?'

I stood in the line, it was longer than I was comfortable with, I was getting a patty for my mummy. A few weeks before she had said, "I would eat a patty from a sore foot man!" That's a phrase only a Jamaican would probably understand, it simply means, she wanted a patty, very badly, even from someone that would seemingly be unclean! I was being the 'good' daughter, I was getting her her heart's desire.

As slowly as the line moved, my thoughts raced, thinking about the man by the car. I wanted to move the car badly. Then a thought came into my head that quietly whispered, "Get a patty for him too." My mind hesitated. Then I said okay. Another whisper, "Get him something to drink too." Hesitation, then I said okay. I knew who was whispering. I ordered. With patty, drinks and change in hand, I walked back to the car. The whisper said- "Give him the change too." I am on a very strict budget, I wanted my change, I shook my head in the negative, I argued, then I decided to obey. On my short walk back to the car, which felt like an eternity, I had a few conversations with myself.

It is funny how a patty, a drink and change can make you adjust your thinking. I no longer thought about damage to the car, now I thought about damage to my ego. How would I approach him? What would I say? What if he rejects me? What will the man on the left say to me with his eyes? Should I tell him that God said to give it to him? Should I say I'm a Christian and I just wanted to help? I shook my thoughts quiet, and just decided that I would say whatever came to my mind. I stepped to the side of the car.

The young man, the young man that had the plastic bags of clothes. The young man in the old clothes that I feared parking beside. That young man that I had prayed for after I had prayed for a car. That young man- was gone!

The young man and his bags were gone, and I stood in the parking lot holding the bag. I looked around, I hadn't been gone that long, I made a 360. He was nowhere in sight. He seemingly had disappeared. I sighed. The man to the left was still there, this time, his eyes didn't reveal my mind. I opened the car door and sat. Still. I felt defeated, un-redeemed. Then I said to God - "well what exactly was the point of that?" "Why exactly would you let me do all of that for this young man to just disappear?" I didn't get the point.

As I drove away, I still looked, I wanted to give him the food, I wanted to have him feel like someone cared, I wanted to 'save' him by this one gesture but most of all, I wanted to redeem myself! I didn't want to be the girl who drove in a parking lot and parked beside a homeless person and prayed about my car- first! I didn't want to be the Christian girl who prayed for people in need when it was in my capacity to help them. I didn't want to be that Christian girl who didn't show kindness to strangers. I wanted to not feel shallow.

I didn't see him. I drove home. Mummy got two patties and a drink that day.

I related the story to a blogger friend, she remarked that it was a great story. I couldn't see it. She said, that is a remarkable story on obedience. She then asked, if that were to happen to you again- would you react differently? Would you hesitate as much? Or would you just be obedient immediately?

I believe, in all sincerity that I would be more compassionate; my thoughts would not mirror the man on the left, and I probably would have less hesitation to help a fellow human being. I didn't see the lesson at the time, but I thank God for the experience. Now- I look around for people just like him.

I want to be a Christian girl who gives as lead by the spirit.
I want to be a Christian girl who values people's souls
I want to be a Christian girl who sees people like Jesus sees them
I want to be a Christian girl who prays for people and not things
I want to be a Christian girl who doesn't care what the world thinks about her actions
I want to be a Christian girl who does what she is lead to do, even if she doesn't want to do it.
I want to be a Christian girl.

And God, He is wise. If I had gotten to deliver that bag, I might have thought of myself as 'good', I might have done like the many persons on social media, who post pictures and write long posts how they were lead to buy food for homeless people. I might have blown my own trumpet. I thought about those people as I walked over to the car with the bag. I said to myself, I won't take a picture though. We have to be careful in doing the right things, that we have the right motives. Less we think of ourselves as 'good.'

There was only one space left in the parking lot, I got it, right beside a homeless young man, I didn't want to park there. There was only one space left, Jesus, got it, in the midst of two thieves. He asked that the cup be passed from him, yet he said, thy will be done!

So I say, whatever the lesson, whatever the reason for my experience that day, thy will be done.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Fasting, does it move God?

Fasting. That Christian discipline. Fasting. That Christian discipline that Jesus said would remove certain kinds of demons. Fasting. That Christian discipline that Jesus said would remove certain kinds of demons often never goes as we plan.

On my very first serious Christian fast, I had high hopes. I expected a divine visitation. I expected Jesus himself to visit me in those quiet prayerful moments. I was waiting on the bright lights, the tears to flow and a life forever changed. I would become, after that encounter a Christian missionary or something equally selfless and fabulous!  As you probably already guessed, that did not happen. God rarely does what is expected.

What I got was something entirely unexpected. I looked relatively the same but my sensibilities had changed. My heart had decidedly become a little softer. Hard was becoming soft. I didn't sign up for that. I was in it for a change in altitude, I wanted to bear fruit, I wanted to find my purpose, I wanted an encounter.

Jesus, it seems, was in it for the heart of it.

I listened to the preacher Paula White a lot during that period. Her thoughts on fasting, and I paraphrase here:- 'Fasting does not move God, it moves you.' I wavered in agreement at the time, but at the end, I saw her point. God probably is less impressed that you can bring yourself to stay away from food to allow yourself to spend time with him. After all, we were made to worship him, for in him we live and have our being.

God I believe is decidedly pleased that you have decided to allow him to do a work in you. It is his work, his plan and he will accomplish it as he wills.

Bearing fruit, that Psalm 1 kind of bearing, takes being placed at a spot where there will be an abundance of sustainance; it requires deep roots, it requires pruning, mulching. It requires time but most of all, it requires that seed- that seed that needs to be planted on a soft heart- first!...

Fasting moves you to be obedient to God's probing and prodding. When he says move..move! When he says wait...wait.

Which brings me to my point. I haven't written in a while, partly because I had become very busy with obligations at work but upon listening in my fast...I heard...stop.

I feel like I am hearing that my blog needs to take a different direction, it is actually a series I have been mulling around in my mind for awhile but kept putting it off. So, I am listening for confirmation... I believe I have it now but doubt is still there.

So while me and my heart work out our issues, and I work on my obedience and faith. I will write what is laid on my heart, as I have always done.

That fasting thing. It accomplishes what it will. That Christian fasting. That  Christian fasting thing. That Christian fasting thing that Jesus said will get rid of certain demons, he did it too. He did it before he started his public ministry.  If he can, why not us?

What is your experience with fasting?
Did you get what you imagined you would?
Share your experience with us...

The now empty nest

The empty nest


Sunday, 14 February 2016

Love abuse

Day 5
Love abuse

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him will not perish but have everlasting life."

Recently, I read a blog post on, my fellow blogger Jaime hosts Sitting Among Friends blog party every Wednesday. I'm always there.(I can't make a live link because I'm using my phone, but I urge you to check it out). She wrote a post about love and examples of love in the Bible and how we can follow those examples when we love. It struck a cord and one song kept playing in my mind. 'God favoured me'. One line from it in particular.. ' love, I've had my share of Love Abuse..manipulated and its strength misused..'

Yes, I thought, love abuse. I've had a lot of that. We've had a lot of that and on today, Valentines Day, many are celebrating just that. Love abuse. When you have had that pure genuine child-like love we all originally had manipulated and misused, we begin to have doubts. We first doubt ourselves. We doubt others. We doubt love. We wrap that soft love with hard shells. We build walls instead of bridges. We start to mistrust love. We tell love it doesn't exist.

If there comes a time when genuine love appears, we find it hard to recognise it. We tell it it's a liar. We accuse it. We leave it for that special abuse. We become trapped in a cycle of hurt and abuse..with little love to show for it.

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is felt most when it's genuine
And I know he favoured me because my enemies did try, but didn't triump over me.

Now that hard has covered soft, and we only recognise and respond to love abuse; in comes God with that love on a cross. In comes God that's says ' I love you my child'. I love you with all my being. I love you with all your faults and flaws. I love your hard places. I love your soft places. Will you love me back? The dilemma now is, you don't know what to do with this type of love. You no longer trust yourself to choose love. You only now know, love abuse.

Houston.. We have a problem!

Many times, its not that we don't want to love God, it's that we don't know what real love looks like anymore. We can't let anyone into our hard places for fear that they will injure our soft places. We can't trust the people we see, touch and feel, how must we accept, receive the love of Jesus?

Truth is, there is no easy answer to that question. The answer that I know, is just to try him. Just to try him fully and you would be surprised how much he will heal your unspoken broken and make you whole again. The next thing you have to do is Trust him. That's the hard part. The trust part. You don't even trust your own judgement. But you must let go and let God..* welp*. It must be done. It can be done; slowly. Strip back the layers and receive a lover who is willing to be with you even unto death. One who doesn't just pay lip service but one who actually has the holes in his hands to prove it.

I'm not big on Valentines Day, something about being single has something to do with it. What I am big on is learning to recognise the love of Jesus as something wonderful.

And I know he favoured me because my enemies did try but couldn't triump over me.

"Jesus wept."

Saturday, 13 February 2016

How do you love?

Day 4

Jesus loves us

I typed the perfect little post, it got deleted.... Queue my * wonk wonk* soundtrack somebody. Day 4 has its challenges, life is full of them but we must soldier on. Luke 22:32 says " But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to me, strengthen your brethren." The Lord prays for us! Isn't that incredibly awesome?

Jesus prays that our faith in him not wane, even when Satan seeks to sift us like wheat. He is watching, he is present. He is praying.
Luke 22:32, says importantly..' When' ...when you have returned to me, not ' if'. Not if but when. Jesus knows that sometimes, life may rock us, sift us and beats us to the ground; he knows too, that sometimes we may just deny ever knowing him because of it. But he's a praying father, and there isn't anything more powerful than a praying parent.

Why do we pray for our children? In a

Malachi 1:2 " I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet Ye say, Wherein hath thou loved us...? God has demonstrated his unfailing love towards his children in so many ways long before he was nailed betwixt two thieves. His love for us his only crime. Our crime? Denying him. Denying his love.

How do we love?

I listened to a video recently about the book the Giving Tree. I read the book a long time ago, a boy, who a tree loved first, would go playing under the tree. The tree, because of its love gave unselfishly anything the boy asked. The tree willingly gave his fruits,  its shade and as the boy grew he asked for more, eventually taking the lumber leaving the tree with just its stump. Years later, the boy, now a man came back but there wasn't anything else for him to receive. The tree offered its stump. The man sat.

I always felt bad for the tree, it didn't know to say ' no'. It gave everything it had, for love, our God gave his very life, because, like the Giving Tree, he loved us first. Unlike the tree, God tempers our desires for our own good. We will not always get everything we ask for even though Jesus will always have what to give.

Many times we behave just like the boy in the story, we selfishly ask for things not thinking how it affects others. We treat Jesus as if he is our giving tree, and when we get what we desire, we forget him; only to come back when we are in need again.

How do we love?

I have no problem loving everybody, it's just my neighbour I can't love!.... I laughed, yes, we live just like that. People are hard to love, up close. We have to try to follow  Jesus' example of love. Love, yet say no. Love, and say yes. Love and say wait. Love and let go. Love and let God. Love and be patient. Love and be kind. Love and be wise. Love and be sacrificial. Love and give. Love, even if you love first, love even if you are hated. Love even when persecuted. Love and forgive. Love and love.

How did Jesus love?

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Is your answer always a yes? Be careful who you say yes to!

Day 3
What are you saying 'yes' to?

Romans 5:19 "For by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one shall many be made righteous"

So an odyssey began. One that led one righteous innocent man to die on a cross of sin and shame to save me. I said it, out loud even. "I was innocent of the charges, I had done nothing wrong, I didn't crucify him." I was guilty on all accounts. Made a sinner since that faithful day, that day before man counted time. I was made guilty that day when bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, the perfect help meet made a fatal decision. I was made guilty when the man looked upon the woman who was made only for him, said ..."yes". Innocence was lost for us all that day when the first man was obedient to his perfect mate but disobedient to his maker.

That word, 'yes' is a tricky one. We say 'yes' many times when we really want to say no. We feel so obligated to say yes to everyone; to please everyone, to strip ourselves in our obedience to 'yes'. As a parent, you will remember around the age of two, when your sweet little babies learnt the word 'no!' We were at our wits end when they say no, even to the things they needed. We encourage 'yes's', we encourage obedience in our children. They need to be obedient to us,to their teachers, to adults, to the Sunday school teacher, to the choir director and of course to God! Many times- in that order. Obedience for me comes with a caveat. Yes- doesn't always signal obedience.

Jesus's obedience is hard for me to accept; that being fully man and fully God has my mind saying 'no'. I can't wrap my head around it. I understand most things in theory, I understand the concept of being God and man- I understand that heaven wasn't empty - I understand that Jesus was born of a woman - I get it- in theory. Here's where I have an issue- being God with this plan of his - Jesus's 'obedience' didn't seem to me like much of a choice between that 'yes' and 'no'. John 1 is interesting to me in this regard " 1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him: and without him was not anything made that was made. 4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.5 And the light shinneth in darkness;and the darkness comprehended it not.God made everything that was made, everything, he is the light and life of us all, he is God and he is the Word. He came among us, yet we couldn't recognize or accept him. All those years spent outside of Christ was me being on the wrong side of history.


being this God and being this man .................... at once..........................was there really a conflict? Wasn't Jesus's always extremely focused on his mission? Did he at any moment have any wavering at what he was truly here to do?

Luke 22:41"And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down and prayed. 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.44. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."


.....being fully God and fully man made his 'yes' harder; much harder and that is truly what I can't wrap my head around. The fact that he was fully God. That part. Just that part. That's were the true obedience comes in. He made everything in the world and he subjected himself to being crucified by the very people that he made. The fact that there was so much power in him, the fact that he could have called 10,000 angels, the fact that he could have voiced the words 'no' is what is powerful about his yes. If he was fully man, I would have thought him strong, a martyr for his cause, a prophet, a John the Baptist - a man being obedient by a mere 'yes' he was not.

Luke 22:43, says an angel appeared and strengthened him, that struck me the level of conflict that was in him, how much agony he was in that prayer alone wasn't enough- he needed heavenly help. We, however, mere mortals, man only, try to solve our inner conflicts on our own.

God's obedience was by no means easy, being fully God and man. Our obedience, is no less hard. We are Ad'Am's' in our own right. We were made to have dominion on the earth. We were made a little lower than the angels, we are heirs, we have greater works to perform- God said it and he did some awesome things. Yet we are also humans walking and moving in a physical body trapped in a world with people handing us their brand of knowledge of good and evil. How easy it is to say yes, how easy it is to hand off our yes's to our help meets. How easy is it to just say the 'serpent beguiled me' and I did eat.

Luke 22: 40 .... ".Pray that ye enter not into temptation."

Being obedient doesn't always mean saying 'yes' as we have been taught, many times it includes saying no. Many will need to retrain their brains, including me. Say no to sin and shame, say no to our desires, say no our help meets, saying no to the world. Then in obedience, we say 'yes' to Christ. Just yes.

Luke 22: 31 "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you like wheat: 23 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethen." Isn't this a comfort and a word for us all.


Related Readings : Luke 22

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The empty nest

Day 2
The empty nest

An empty nest, can bring lots and lots of rest. I know, yesterday I slept from 8 in the A.M. to 4:47 in the P.M. I surprised myself! 8 hours and 47 minutes of uninterrupted sleep! I have not had that in a long time. There are two reasons for this - I have the coolest job, so I am on holidays because of Ash Wednesday and I have an empty nest for the weekend! The kids are having a grand time with grandma! My grand time - apparently revolves around sleep- 8 hours of sleep!

His eye is on the sparrow

A few days ago, February 6th to be exact, I stumbled upon a nest (feel free to StumbleUpon my blog :) ). It was perched so low on a hanging branch that I was puzzled by it's mere existence. I thought birds built their nest up high, but, I was happy that I got myself a bird's eye view. I immediately grabbed my camera- you know- the one attached to my phone. I started snapping at the cutest little bird in the perfectly shaped low hanging nest. Just tiny little black eyes with a slender teeny tiny beak revealed their hiding place. Not a sound did they make.As I snapped, I looked around for their mommy- nowhere in sight was she. I felt scared for them. For I knew if any curious kids stumbled upon them, they would be goners. The nest though well camouflaged was much too low - for me.

two little birds by my doorstep

 I called my littlest daughter, I said, I have something to show you - she couldn't see, I had to lift her, she then smiled in awe. She called her sister and her friend who was playing in the yard; my littlest one, shook the branch! Not out of spite I am sure, but out of mere curiousity- she wanted to get close to the birds. I was none too happy, I told her so too and she confirmed my fear - the nest, though well camouflaged was much too low- for me.

Some time later, I went back to check on them, my oldest daughter had reliably informed me, that the mommy bird was out looking for the best worms she could find, and that is why she has been gone for so long. She is filled with little bits of knowledge gems. The mommy had indeed returned, but I saw no worm,and I didn't get that photo op either..*wonk wonk*. The tiny mommy bird perched on a branch above her nest- looking up, I understood now why the nest and the baby birds were so small. I felt comforted that she was back..but still...The nest, though well camouflaged was much too low- for me. I worried about the three.

Today, I went to have a look see. The little birdies were still there, they had grown, some colour had come in on their feathers, and the nest seemed smaller somehow; maybe it seemed that way because they had grown. I snapped pictures, then I saw the mommy bird fly by; I took my queue. I was an unwanted intruder in her home. The nest though well camouflaged was much too low- for was working quite well for the three.

The birds today

Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap: which neither have storehouses or barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls.

His eye is on the sparrow, so I know he watches me!

We are many times curious onlookers into other peoples lives, many times we see things that we think needs to be fixed. Often times we offer unsolicited advice, we often fail to realize that what works for us, doesn't necessarily work for others. We oftentimes can be meddlesome and not even know it - for even though a well built nest seems too low for us - it works well for who it serves.

The beauty about the God we serve is that he isn't using a cookie sheet, he doesn't have a one size fits all plan. He has tailored made plans for even the sparrows. If I were a bird, I'd probably build my nest way up high but sometimes 'up there' isn't the best place- it's easier for predators to see.
A low place, that small well camouflaged place, that away from the crowd place, is sometimes the best place. There are times when God has to take us low to protect us, but, we don't see. We see only 'up there'.

And just imagine being up there, deciding in your mind to come down here. This low place. This crazy, carnal, sin-filled place, your very well camouflaged place. Coming here to this low place, was the only way that we could be in a protected space. Heaven...I thought for a moment was contemplating having it's own empty nest. The thought came to me and I dismissed it totally, for my mind knows that heaven wasn't really empty when Jesus was on earth. That whole omni-present bit. But I thought it, I thought it, I contemplated it. A parent on high, sending his child down low, knowing the outcome would be death. A parent that never hovered around the naysayers, the intruders, the know it alls; a parent that watched the agony, pain and suffering of their only child for me, for you, for us. I dismissed that thought, for heaven wasn't really empty.

I, a curious bird watcher, sat considerate of my little discovery, I but for a fleeting moment pondered about their safety. I spared a thought of what they would eat, of where their protector was; but as concerned as I was, it was for a mere moment. I went on with my life. I was also pretty psyched about catching a glimpse of them on camera - the wanna be photographer in me; but I went on with my life.

I tried an overlay

We are not but a mere thought to our Christ, "Behold, I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me." (Isaiah 49:16). We are his pride and joy, just like the bird that fluttered by me when I intruded on her home and around her prized possession, so God will protect and avenge us, his prized possessions.

Romans 5: 19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

When you look for the 'me' in 'us', you might not see Jes'us'

Day 1
Draw me close – closer than before- closer than I’ve ever been

In Jamaica, we double words for emphasis. When someone has died and we find it hard to believe we ask, “Do you mean the person is dead dead?” Is the cake good good or just good? “Good good would mean it’s very good! I am Jamaican to the core.

A couple years ago a friend asked me if I believed Christ died on the cross for me. I said yes. Then I paused, I asked…Do you mean me me or just people in general. She said, “you”. I paused again.

“No, I said, I wasn’t even born when he died; it was like more than 2000 years ago.”
 “I suppose I believe he died for the people who were living back then, and all their sins. I didn’t commit any sins when he died.”
 “I’m thinking the whole, he died to save us bit was a spill over unto me.” 
I was a Christian when I said that bit. And thank God for how far I have come.

I believed in theory that Christ died for ‘us’ on Calvary’s cross, but somehow, at that  moment, with that question, when I tallied it up in my brain; it didn’t add up. The whole ‘me’ part. That personal part. That Tanya part. Me. Just me.

How could he? Why would he? Why did he? How does it transfer to all who are here now? How does it cover all who aren’t here yet; all who are a mere thought in a couple’s mind? How does it really and truly work like that?

To answer that we have to go back to the beginning, you know- the God created heaven bit, when he fashioned 'man' in his imagine and likeness. That Adam and Eve part. He didn't create them in isolation. In fact in creating them, he fashioned the way for us. All of us - including me

I remember being admitted to the hospital once. I was sick sick. Mummy had to leave me, but she left me with this Psalm and these words. Psalm 23. Read it and remember what is says, she said, it's a personal Psalm. It's all about you. Don't worry, I'll be back in the morning. I read it, I trusted and she was indeed back in the morning. We all know reads..
 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Jesus loves ME

 It was all about me. Just me. That me that Jesus thought about on Calvary's cross. That me that he fashioned in my mother's womb. That me that he knew before I was even conceived. That me that is fearfully and wonderfully made. That me, so important that he numbered all the hairs on my head. That me that was made a little lower than angels and crowned in glory and honour. Yes.That me

In fact, that me, that you, can get lost  in that 'us'. That Christ died for 'us' phrase. Sometimes we forget the me in us. Sometimes we can forget that Christ carried a cross, died in shame for a 'me' that was there at the base of the cross, as well as a 'me' that would stand infront of her own cross pondering if Christ died for a 'me' or an 'us'

I was not there. I committed no sin. I didn't say 'crucify Him'; yet, he died then and there, on that cross of shame, for a future that I was to gain. I accept it. I live in it. I am growing in it. Me.

Truth be told- my thoughts that Christ did not die for me me, is the thought of the many who reject him daily. It is the thought of the many who think they are too far gone, too wrapped up in sin, to accept that their sins have been forgiven and their souls redeemed more than 2000 years ago by a Christ that sees all things and knows all things. A God who in Genesis told us that the seed of a woman would crush the serpent's head. Yes, that God knew, from Genesis, the beginning, what would happen 2000 years after; and he told us too. We serve an all powerful God. A good that is concerned with the 'me' as well as the 'us'.

So why did he do it? How does it transfer to me..just me

Genesis 1: 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Why did he want to save me? because he made me just like himself, I am just like God, I am his image, I am his likeness. I am holy, I am righteousness, I am beautiful, pure, blessed, wonderfully made. If God was Jamaican, he would say - She mek good good- translation - 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. 
That's why he died on that cross for us - for me; because I was made not just good, but good good, and anything made very well is indeed worth saving. Let us embrace Him in this the 40 days leading up to the cross with a hope to find me and us in Jesus Christ our Saviour and soon coming King. 
Related Readings : Genesis 1-4
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