Friday, October 29, 2010

The Dream

I haven't been very political in my blog although I am very passionate about politics. But something happened this week that I just had to share.

I talked to a child this week who cried on my shoulder because her Dad may be deported. It broke my heart, as I prayed with her and cried with her and tried to assure her that everything would be okay. I tried to comfort her with the reminder that her Dad loves her and wants her to have the best chance at a good life.

And what struck me most about that was earlier in the week I had watched CNN's Black in America special, "Almighty Debt." One thing that the featured pastor asked was "Why are other people risking their lives to come obtain the dream, but we who have been here, can't see the dream?"

I don't know the answer to that question. I struggle with that when I see kids, black and white, who seem to take it for granted that we get to go to school for free. Education is free in this country. We can't see the dream or remember what folks sacrificed for things we take for granted.

As Election Day approaches, all of these things have coalesced together in my mind. So my WOW Moment today is I am truly glad to live in this be an have liberties and freedoms that some can only dream of. I am grateful for those who died that I might have the life that I so easily live every day.

CNN also did a feature on "Who Votes" and I was astounded that in mid-term elections only about 46% of us as Americans vote. We were behind Afghanistan...who even with their country being torn up by war has 49% of citizens voting.

As an African American, it has not been that long ago since my ancestors were disenfranchised...mocked, harassed, sometimes beaten, sometimes murdered and yet they kept coming, year after year to excercise their right to vote as a citizen of this great country. Flawed though we are as a country, hey...we are all in need of redemption, we can change things with our vote.

As a woman, I remember that it hasn't been that many years since women, even in this country, could not vote. And in this year, two thousand and twelve, there are still many people in this world that cannot exercise the choosing of those who would govern them.

So as an African American woman...I say WOW...I am grateful that I get that chance on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Just take a moment and remember those who came before that you might have that right. Honor them with your matter who you choose to vote for, exercise that right as a citizen.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's great to have true friends

For those who know me, you know that I'm not really into hair and makeup and all of that kind of stuff. It's just not my thing. Not that I don't like to dress up every now and's just that I need some help most times to pull it all together.

So since I was trying to get ready for my first TV interview to promote my new book, "10 Things Every Kid Should Know About God," I had already planned to go to the salon. My stylist did an awesome job, but that was on Thursday. All I had to do was maintain the hair do for one day.

Well, as has happened to me many times in the past, I just didn't even know where to begin when I got up. But I figured I would make it work somehow.
Fortunately, my stylist had also volunteered to do my makeup. When I showed up, I'm surprised my stylist didn't pass out in shock to see my do. But graciously, she whipped out her flat iron and fixed my curls right up. Then she did my makeup and had me looking like a STAR.

So what does this have to do with a WOW Moment. The fact that my stylist took 30 minutes to redo my hair and give me the best makeup job I'd ever had, while her two other clients waited patiently was a true blessing for me. The fact that my friend invested in me to help me put my best foot forward. WOW...It's great to have true friends.

Then I was off to the studio. The interview went well and I was grateful for the opportunity. Another friend helped put that in motion.

As I left the studio, I went over and over the interview in my mind. I should have said that. Why didn't I add on and so forth.

But then I walked in the door, and saw the light on the answering machine blinking. A message of encouragement from a friend about the interview. Plus, a message on Facebook and an e-mail message. I needed that encouragement. I different perspective.

So my WOW Moment for today was an attitude of gratefulness for the wonderful, life-affirming, encouraging, uplifiting people in my life that I have the privilege of calling friends.

If you have those kind of friends, let them know what they mean to you and take the time to say a prayer and thank God for the friends He has placed in your life.

PHOTO CAPTION: My stylist, Tijuana, and me

Friday, October 8, 2010

Have you seen it? Part 3

This is Part 3 of the blog series, "Have you seen it?" which refers to seeing God's meticulous and intimate involvement in our lives.

In all we face, even in pain, sorrow and grief, it is not separate from God's plan for us.

His perfect will is for us to comfort others as He has done for us. He does that with compassion, love, long-suffering, empathy, and friendship. Likewise, when we seem crippled by our grief, it is God's will that other Christians come along side those newly-grieved and comfort them. That is part of the process. God is preparing us to minister healing to those around us.

It is not His purpose or design that we would grieve just to go through the process. His purpose is always part of a larger picture--to encourage and build up those in like circumstances.
He will give you peace when there is chaos around you. He will comfort you when no human hands, hearts, or words can ease your pain. He will grieve with you when no one else can even remotely understand. He will give you strength when all you feel inside is utter hopelessness. He will bring you through when you don't feel you can take another step. He will show you His Word is ture, He cannot lie, He is faithful to who He is all the time.

He gave me two Scriptures that helped me understand what He was doing in my life. Genesis 22:14 says, "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen." Second Corinthians 12:9 says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

God began to show me how much He loved me and truly had a plan. God in His infinite knowledge could see the past, present, and future. While I was grieving in the present, He already saw the good that would come from it.

Abraham named the place on Mount Moriah Jehovah-jireh after God provided the ram as a sacrifice instead of accepting the death of Abraham's son Isaac as God had commanded. Jireh comes from the Hebrew word translated to see or to provide. His seeing is also forseeing because nothing is hidden from God. He sees what was, what is, and what is to come. In His forseeing of our needs, He also makes allocations for our needs--His provision. In His character it would be unlike God to see a need and not provide for it. In essence His forseeing or prevision and His provision are the same thing. Since God has foreseen all that happens in our lives, all of our needs have been provided for, past, present, and future.

Regardless of your personal experience, God has gone before you to prepare the way. Even though we respond to personal tragedy in many different ways, God is still the same. For many Christians, the loss is made more difficult to handle because there is the ever-present question of if God is in control of the universe, if He knows everything, if He really loves me, then why did He let this happen to me. Whatever the hardship, it is human nature to wish to be spared from these circumstances. That is why I had to examine my trust in God.

I could rattle off charateristics of God like loving, trustworthy, holy, perfect, sinless, merciful, and gracious. But when it came to accepting those characteristics in spite of my situations, I had to go deeper than just knowing about God, I had to really get intimate, and get to know HIM.

In Corinthians, God reminded Paul that His grace was enough. That was all Paul needed--God's grace. God would provide everything else. It is in our weakest that we can fully realize and experience God's full power. We cannot truly see His provision until we have fully exhausted all human ability to address our situation.

At the precise time when we face our darkest moments, it is God who comforts and strengthens us. God never sends us where He has not led, nor leads us where His grace is not sufficient to keep us.

This blog is a revised excerpt from my book "Perfect in Weakness," Chapter 14 titled "Faith Lessons."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Have you seen it? Part 2

This is Part 2 of the blog series, "Have you seen it?" which refers to seeing God's meticulous and intimate involvement in our lives.

What I want you to understand and truly get down in your Spirit is that the Creator of all things, loves you. He sees you. He hears you when you pray. He knows all about you. He is with you. He has already made provision for you. Isaiah 65:24 says, "I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!" Get that! God saw your need before you even knew your need. But not only that, before you could even get it out of your mouth, He has already answered. WOW!

God is engaged with your life. He is vested in you. Not just as a chessmaster moving pawn pieces. But because He loves you so much. He looks for ways to bless you. He honors His covenant relationship with you and makes a way to redeem you. He justifies you by faith and calls you His own. He loves you dear one....YOU are His beloved one.

Get that today. God loves you. God has a plan for you. God's eye is watching you and His hand is upon you. God is with you.

He has gone further than you could ever imagine to bring you into His family. He will comfort. He will strengthen. He is all that you need. He is the I AM.

If you know Him, find comfort in these words today. If you don't know Him, then please seek Him. For He loves you just the same. And even when you do not seek Him, He still loves and pursues you. WOW! Even when we forsake Him, He will never forsake us.

Take time today to look for His fingerprint in your life. He is our Jehovah-jireh!

Look for Part 3.