Sunday, June 29, 2014


Habakkuk 3:19 ...He makes me walk on my high hills

I've heard it said that one should never judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes.  I've never felt the truth of that so profoundly as I did this weekend after attending a thought-provoking and incredibly inspiring women's ministry event at my church.  I pray that some of the other sisters there felt that way too!

 I've never thought myself better than anyone else, Lord knows I've had my struggles with low self-esteem.  But I bet I'm not alone, in looking at another sister and saying, well at least I don't have that problem or conversely, she's got it made--beautiful body, fine house, and good paying job!   In both cases we're making assumptions based on what we see on the outside (I Sam. 16:7).  We have no idea what these women are going through in their personal lives or their pain!

This was the thought behind a dialogue shared by five dynamic women of God, all walking victoriously in Christ.  In the manner of the talk shows (The Talk, The View, The Chew),these ladies gave us what was aptly called a Shoe Vu of their lives before and after Christ.  They bared their souls to let us know that neither abandonment, weight, addiction, aging, domestic violence, nor issues with their complexion could keep them from the love of God and all of His wonderful benefits!  (Rom. 8:1; 39; Ephes. 1:3-6)

One sister struggled for years with a drug addiction and now sober reaches out to other women with  practical encouragement and God's message of redeeming grace.  Another no longer carries the burden of extra pounds and emotional trauma that prevented a healthy and joyous life with her child but shed them both to find new opportunities in ministry.  She was on the team that organized this event!

Red was the shoe color of a past domestic violence victim but the love that once bruised her body lights a fire in her to help other women reclaim their respect and dignity.  Who would have thought that a light-skinned sister would feel so trapped!  Too black to be considered white but too white to really be accepted as black!  Colorism did not stop her stride toward the freedom of knowing that she is fearfully and wondrously made with purpose and passion!   Silver shoes, brilliant in color and sturdy in structure personified the wisdom and grace our seasoned saint portrayed.  Age does not keep her from serving, learning, and embracing travel and cultural experiences that have come her way.  She made nearly 75 years old,  seen oh so more appealing.

So for all you Shoe Addicts out there, try these on for size:

1. Unstrap those Holier than thou stilettos the ones that keeps your nose up in the air
2.  Step into some Sensible sandals so you can bear another's burden
3.  Change your Athletic shoes often as you run to serve others
4.  Give a Sister some Sincere Pumps when she's feeling down


Sunday, June 22, 2014


Stand fast therefore in the liberty by
which Christ had made us free...(Gal. 5:1)

Power can be as intoxicating as any drug and there's none so heady as the power of choice!  You may recall as a child how you sulked when your parents wouldn't let you go places you had your heart set on or spend your own money on things they didn't approve!  No doubt you dreamed of the day when you could do as you pleased and make your own decisions.  I did!

Well, Carp Diem: Seize the day!  In God's infinite wisdom, He created mankind with something called free will.  This means that we can make decisions, good ones and bad ones, but here's the catch--we make the choices, but God chooses the consequences!

As a Christian we have tremendous liberty!  We are not ruled by instinct like animals.  We are no longer bound by the laws of man as a means of proving our salvation. We are created a little lower than the angels (Psalms 8:3-6) and we are made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:19).  You would think this fact alone would make decision making very easy.  Well, think again!

The next time you get in your car take a look at the speedometer.  You'll see that most cars in good repair can accelerate up to 120 M.P.H. but the legal speed limit in the U.S. doesn't exceed more than 70 M.P.H.!  Okay, we'll give the state of Texas a little slack I think they can max out around 85.  But this is not the norm.  In any case, you must make a choice.  Do I obey the law or exercise my free will?  Does Ford or Chrysler care if you endanger your life or someone else?  Perhaps, but the manufacturer assumes you will use good judgment.  Just because you have the liberty to go 120 M.P.H., doesn't mean you have to.

The apostle Paul says the same thing.  Just because, you can sin, doesn't mean you should or even have to!  Once we've experienced God's grace we no longer operate in the realm of sin, even if that sin is legal.  We are free from the power of sin (John 8:34-36).  To sin willfully shows poor judgment and its consequences can be devastating to your spiritual life.

Independence Day, July 4th, our nation's birthday is only a couple of weeks away. So go ahead, do your thing!   Celebrate this holiday with all the gusto you have!  Exercise your freedom--your freedom NOT to sin! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014


If  it's true that Wheaties is the Breakfast of Champions, as their logo claims, then General Mills must have dropped a boat load on my church last week!  Close to 200 local boys and girls attended a boys and girls spiritual boot camp and the timing was absolutely perfect. The end of another difficult school year rife with public school politics and just before the summer of one the most violent and crime ridden years in our community.

Youth six years old to upper teens gathered nightly for five days of mentoring, modeling, and motivation toward excellence in all areas of their lives! The camp's strategy combined personal testimonies,wise counsel, and unwavering hope to assure their future success.  The Boot Camp experience is nothing new to our church as the men are heading toward a decade of transformation training.  But only in the past couple of years has our pastor expanded the concept to include young boys. This year our precious girls were added. Praise the Lord!  To defeat God's enemy His spiritual plan includes both and each was addressed (Jeremiah 29:11).

 Men with adult children or no children at all came alongside boys with no father in the home to provide the crucial male leadership every boy needs. Women, some single and still struggling to raise their own sons and daughters, became mother-figures to others and modeled what it meant to be a Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman in this age.  It was truly a no-holds barred  scene for the older girls.  Keeping it real,  so to speak.  It even included a fight with  the devil!   The younger girls got a head start on learning what it means to be God's girl, demanding and getting respect for their body, soul, and spirit.

Prayer Warriors prayed every night for the duration.  Souls were saved, burdens were lifted, and God's Word was taught all within the context of worldly challenges our youth face. It was truly a family affair, a replication of the church in Acts, where the Holy Spirit had full flow in its members and all came together on one accord with all things in common --our youth (Acts 1:14; 2:44; 4:32)

After witnessing Youth Boot Camp this week, I can now imagine what could happen if God's Girls Met Faithful Champions all over the world.....Things Just Might Change!  Let's Pray it will...very, very soon! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

OUR DAUGHTERS, Part 5: Unconditional Love

 I've known only two great loves in my life. Loves that have no comparison and fill me with awe and wonder by the very thought of them--my Lord, Jesus Christ and my mother!  They are not unlike each other in my mind.  One gave me life and the Other gave His life for me!  This by no means lessens the love of my husband, family, or friends.  In fact they make that love possible and is what I draw on when times get tough and disappointments rock my world! 

On the other hand, there is no heartache, like the one that comes when a mother is alienated from her child.  I think it's particularly painful between those of the same sex (mothers and daughters, fathers and sons).  It is in God's eyes quite an anomaly.  Think about the relationship so profoundly portrayed in the Gospels between God and His Son, Christ. (Matt. 3:17; 12:18)

Jesus was the delight of His Father and totally pleasing in His sight.  And did not Christ in turn bestow the title of sons and daughters upon us, His children birthed by the Spirit?  It's truly astounding once you consider all the times we turned our backs on Him and chased the idols of our hearts for pleasure!  Yet, there was enough love left in the relationship to heal all wounds, restore, and even strengthen these bonds (Romans 5:8; 8:16-17).

As this is the last post in my series on daughters, let me remind you, that our children are not our possessions. They owe us nothing but a debt of love (Rom. 13:8).  They are not our benefactors neither or we theirs once they become adults.  How well they handle adult responsibilities fall on our shoulders and we must repent!

We may have erred by choice, keeping them in perpetual childhood to fulfill our own emotional needs or in pure ignorance; but the fact remains, they are gifts of the Lord (Psalms 127:3).  We are stewards, to train and nurture them into holy, productive images of God (Prov. 22:6).  Paul commended Timothy, a great servant of the Lord for his faith, but he acknowledges that the seeds of this faith was planted first by his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice (2 Tim. 1:5). You wield great spiritual power in your daughter's life!

This stewardship does not come without occasional pain but it definitely cannot bring glory to God without unconditional love!  

1. A love that is long suffering
2. A love that is not prideful
3. A love that doesn't insist on being right (ouch!)
4. A love that is not happy with wrong doing
5. A love that is joyful when holiness prevails
6. A love that believes the best in every one
7.  A love that endures no matter what

Paul described it in I Corinthians 13.  Jesus demonstrated it on the cross.  So when the wounds of love come too often and cuts too deep, remember the picture at the top of this blog.  Apply Unconditional Love as often as needed!  CHRIST DOES!  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

OUR DAUGHTERS, Part Four: Respect Yourself!

Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don't respect yourself
Ain't nobody gonna give a good cahoot,
na, na, na, na, respect yourself 
(Lyrics from song: Respect Yourself, by Staple Singers)

'm now of a certain age in which I often muse about the way "things used to be."  If that make me an Old Foggy, Old School, or just plain OLD, so be it!  But it's just disturbing the lack of respect shown, not just by young people but by those who should know better, i.e.,adult professionals, politicians, journalists and the like! No wonder our daughters are finding it harder and harder to find value in this soon to be lost art of civility.

This subject of respect comes up in every child rearing conversation I've had with mothers, especially those with daughters. Complaints about eye rolling, smart mouthing, and insisting on having the last word in a confrontation!  But let's get honest here. These attitudes didn't appear over night. There's been a steady growth of disrespect occurring throughout their formative years and what was once considered to be cute or precocious has become your worse nightmare!

This brings me to my first observation: Start respect training early! From the womb is not too soon!  Seriously, things like saying please, thank you, and excuse me are harder to teach a teen than a child.  (Prov. 22:6)  Be consistent. This is not a once in awhile manners exercise.  Remind your child at every occasion to be polite and respectful.  If they are strong willed and insist upon their own way, another verse in Proverbs should apply (Prov. 22:15) Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

Second observation:  Many disrespectful children have a disrespectful parent or someone they are close to that is also disrespectful.  It's important as a parent that you practice respect yourself!  If your daughter sees and hears you being disrespectful to your husband or others, a pattern has been set for future relationships.  Yours included!  Mothers remember, keep children out of adult business, be mindful when and where you discuss adult issues. 

Third Observation:To assure that your daughter grows up with a healthy respect for herself and others the entire family must practice it.  Respect starts from the top down--Respect and honor for God (Exodus 20:7) begets respect and honor for parents and other authorities (Exodus 20:12; Ephes. 6:1-3) which begets honor and respect for the child (Ephes. 6:4).  You can speak firmly and authoritatively to your daughter and still be respectful!  This is what I call the Queen Bee principle. Whether you have one daughter or five in your household, there's only one Queen--that's you!  She is easy to spot because she has all the power!  Teach this to your daughter and never let her get it twisted! She becomes a Queen only when she gets her own household!

Finally, like the Staples Singer's song, Respect Yourself, says: If you don't respect yourself, no one else will. Help your daughter set boundaries of respect now! No one is allowed to physically or mentally abuse her.  No one is allowed to cheapen her worth by even teasingly calling her "Bitch", "Ho" or any demeaning name.  Her time and possessions are valuable so be careful not to let others misuse them. Show respect to everyone, young and old, rich or poor, even if you dislike or disagree with them.  It's how you behave your way to success! (Ephes. 4:1-3).

Next Week: Last in series: OUR DAUGHTERS, Part Five: Unconditional Love