Wednesday, June 29, 2005

ALL of us

I believe most Americans tend to believe that God created them but no one else. That we deserve forgiveness and His blessings but no one else. I believe this because of the way I hear people talk of immigrants, Arabians, Africans etc. As if those people over there are not worthy of God's love and forgiveness because they aren't apart of America. They are not "civilized" or "decent" I have even heard christians speak this way of others.

How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures (Psalm 104:24) God made us all in wisdom. Everything He has made is good. God loves everything and everyone He has made. He loves us all collectively. There is a childhood song that many children sing in Sunday school, Jesus loves the little children all the little children of the world, red and yellow black and white they are precious in his sight... As simple as that may sound, people say that He can't love the people in the middle east because they have different beliefs. To God they are sinners just like all of us was (or still is) and He offers Jesus to them just as He has offered you. Even the terrorist. I know that is hard to come to grips with but that is how loving God is. Satan came and corrupted this world and people has been capable to do the worst, the unthinkable but that is why Jesus had to come and die and take on all this awful sin. Not the white lies, and the "okay" kind of the sin, but all the sin all of it.

God so love the world that He gave his only begotten son that whoesoever believeth in Him shal not perish but have everlasting life. We repeat John 3:16, we hear it, we memorized it but most of us don't truly know it.

Why is it that we are so quick to thank our soldiers for going overseas to war but we never thank the missionaries that sacrifice their lives everyday to bring God's people back to Him? I am not saying that we shouldn't be grateful for those who serve and die for our country, but what about those who christians who serve and die for this world? For God? I certainly thank them now. I also pray for them everyday.

Remember, God created all things and by His will they exist and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Starting Over

Sometimes when I have really messed up one day I feel incredibly guilty the next day, and the next day. But I learned something during a women's Christian convention I went to that I don't have to keep beating myself up. That God forgives and forgets and that's the way He wants us to be to each other. I still forget that sometimes especially when you have people upset with you for longer then one day. Any person who is in Christ is a new creature, the old things has passed away and all things has become new again.( 2nd Corinthians 5:17) I see that scripture as not just once when you become saved but everyday that you come to Christ in prayer and repentance you are a new creature. I know some say that isn't fair because some people intentionally sin because they can have their slate wiped clean again. Well I believe God knows your heart and he knows when someone comes with true repentance. I also believe that if you truly accepted Christ into your heart the desire to sin is gone and what you do, you regret because you know that Christ's love transcends throughout your body.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My God given talents

I believe that God has given everyone talents to use to edify His kingdom. I also believe that I was given the talent to write to educate and acknowledge the greatness of God. I feel that even though I am a wife and mother God has called me to do other things and that there is nothing wrong with that. The proverbs 31 woman did much more then take care of her husband and children. I am grateful for the women who have stepped out and used their talents to contribute to the blessings of others. My favorite christian author is a woman(Stormie Omartian) and I would have never been touched by her if she felt that God only wanted her to take care of her husband and kids and she never started writing. I am not against women who feel their calling is staying home taking care of their family but I believe that God has given women talents and knowledge to contribute to this world as well as blessed them with families.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

My Birthday

Today I have been blessed by God for 25 years. I know I am young but I feel very old. After marriage and four kids, I can't help but to feel old. But I am so grateful and so blessed that after everything I have been through in my life, God has forgiven me and with His son Jesus, set me free. I also look back on my struggles and how I used to think that they would never end but here I am, out of the storm. No one can tell me that there is no God because I feel His presence everyday. I hear his voice on those days when I am weary. I closed my eyes and felt His arms around me when I had no one to hold me. He is a good God. Now I am going to type my favorite and very well known chapter in the Bible that I also know by heart and I am going to type the meaning of each scripture to me in my life.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want
The Lord guids me the right way in my life and has given me all that I not only needed but wanted as well.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
He leadeth me beside the still waters
God has shown me how to slow down and think and appreciate and praise Him in this life where every hour is rush hour.
He restoreth my soul
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake
When I am weary, He gives me strength. He has shown me the right way to live my life so that I may show others and lead them to Him.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I shall fear no evil
Even though I have been through so much sin and problems and people who have hurt me and let me down I will not be afraid that God will leave me or no longer love me. I will not be afraid of those who show up and try to cause more problems in my life.
For thou art with me
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me
I pray to God when I need help, I can use the Bible to give me comfort and church as well.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies,
thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over
Those who has wished bad things to happen to me, has seen me be blessed. I have been blessed so much that I can not contain it all.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
God will never leave me and I will never leave Him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Faith vs. Fear

I am a person you would say has been and sometimes still is crippled with fear. I had a long list of fears, but glory be to God that list is getting shorter and shorter. I was terrified of dogs, any dogs, not just the big ones. I was terrified of swimming and roller coasters. I shivered and ran with all my might whenever I would cross a busy street. I am slowly working up my courage to drive.

The first time I realized that I was in direct conflict with God and His word was when I read 1 John 4:18. I knew God was love, His greatest commandments are to love Him and to love each other but this scripture showed me that I could not love with fear in my life. I decided then and there I had to change the way I lived and get in control.

Matthew 14 describes how the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water in the midst of an immense storm and Peter didn't allow fear to stop him from doing one of the greatest things in his life. He defied human nature, all because he wasn't afraid. Some pastors and other christians use this story to demonstrate faith and how Peter failed because he saw the storm and lost his faith. That is true, but no one really touches on the other 11 failures in the boat. They were even bigger failures because they didn't try. They missed out on something that could've been astronomical in their lives all because they were afraid.

Fear also gets in the way of the purpose that God has for you. I know I needed to get over my fear of rejection so that I can write and share the word with you. If I continued to be afraid of what people thought I would never have this blog, I would never witness. I believe Satan thrives on fear and we can't let him. You can not have faith and fear at the same time. How can you say you believe God will bless you, if you are afraid to tithe? How can you say that God loves you if you are afraid to take a step forward in life. If you believe God is there for you guiding you and helping you then you should have no reason to be afraid.

Now don't go running out and jumping off a cliff. Remember in Matthew 14:28, after Jesus announced that it was Him walking on the water Peter said, "if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." Which means if it's you, command me to come out on the water with you. Peter didn't just leap out of the boat, he wanted to make sure it was Jesus and he wanted to make sure that he was commanded. If you are drawn to do something that will uplift, edify and glorify the works of Christ then pray about it. If you still feel drawn to do it, then do it. Don't let fear stop you. If Peter never took the time to walk out on the water, he would've missed out on an awesome learning opportunity, a learning opportunity that people still learn from hundreds of years later.

Well back to me and my fears, I have prayed over everything I am afraid of. I will not let fear stop me from doing good works and to celebrate the life God has given me. If you are someone who is crippled with fear both big and small then pray about it.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Marriage Readiness

Below is an article that is currently published at under the relationships section.

Are You Ready for Marriage?
Five insights I knew I was ready for that final step.
By Telika Howard
Over half of America gets divorced. This is a staggering statistic that’s most frightening for a young college student in love. You look into your lover’s eyes and you are sure you want to spend the rest of your life with them. But is this enough? There is a better way to know, and to ensure you eventually have a long, healthy marriage. When I met my husband I was a sophomore in college. We had loads of fun dating and being young and in love but when he began giving me the signals that he was ready to get serious, I turned on my marriage radar. I wanted to make absolutely sure he was the one because I believe deeply in the sacredness of vows and only plan to marry once in my life.First of all, know the person you are dating and make sure it fits with what you want. Don’t assume you will change them because this almost always never happens and who wants to spend all their time and energy badgering someone to change? Some important things to know are religion preferences (and how dedicated), their plans for the future, their work ethic, their love for children, how they handle finances etc. Don’t just ask for this information but observe them. Keep your eyes open to how they act and react in certain situations. I know it may be hard when you’re blinded by love but you must notice things about him or her if you plan to spend the rest of your days with them.Your willingness to compromise (and vice versa) is a big key that you are ready for marriage. If the relationship is all about you then it’s best to stay single. For an example, when my husband and I was dating I wanted to spend the holidays with my family and he wanted to with his. Instead of bribing him with my good looks and womanly charm (which I definitely could have) I compromised and we managed to drive back and forth to both houses. Little things like that makes a bigger difference then most think.Can you make him or her number one in your life? Once you are married you are entitled to be numero uno to one another. If thinking about putting your current love’s needs over your best friend’s needs make your cringe or if you are a momma’s boy who just can’t let go of mommy, then married life will be a constant battle. I’m not saying you have to eliminate these important people from your life but you have to understand that once you say ‘I do’, you are in essence saying ‘you come first now’.You must give more than take. Here is a scenario, let’s say you just sat down and relaxed on your couch. Right when you get into your comfortable groove your husband says “honey I really would like a glass of water.” What do you say? If you can see yourself getting up for him then you are indeed ready to be a wife. Or let’s say it’s late and you just turned the game on (of whatever sport of choice) and then your wife decides she would like to talk about her feelings. What do you say? If you are willing to turn the game off just to spend a few moments with her then you receive an ‘A’ for the husband test.I’ve learned marriage is give more than take. You have to want to give your time, energy, and self to someone else.Finally, you have to ask yourself this last question. If this person was to suddenly change some of their wonderful ways would I still love them? I know you are probably thinking, but that isn’t fair? Isn’t that why I wanted to marry them in the first place? But a lot of the time marriages fail because their partners weren’t the people that they used to be. But people do evolve and the evolution might not be for the better. The vow says ‘for better or for worse,’ your love for that person has to exceed all things artificial and be much deeper then loving him or her because they are so neat and tidy. (Trust me, after a few years of marriage, that won’t last long.)As you can see, marriage is not the fairy tale that many make it out to be. Simply stated, marriage is hard work. It can be mind boggling, sheer frustrating and a pain in the butt. On the other hand, you will have that companion to grow with, to share your joys and fears, to hold you and love you forever-if you’re ready.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Teens View

I spoke with many teens when I used to teach bible class at Frayser Mission Church in Memphis, TN. The two biggest concerns most teens have when deciding to make God a permanent part of their lives is, "If there is a God, why is their so much pain in the world" and "With everything fun going on, it's too hard to be a Christian." At that time, I never knew how to approach these responses. But I am going to approach them now.

I believe that pain equals growth. Without pain there will be no growth. We won't be able to excel as a people without trials in our life. The fact that there is pain and we can make it through is a perfect example of God's existence. Romans 5 :3-5(KJV) says, "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." So to all those teens who has lived through tribulation in their lives or seen others go through pain and tribulation in their lives, embrace it! Take it and use it to grow closer to God, not further away. Use that pain, to learn about yourselves and the people around you. You won't become the person you are destined to become without it.

It's true, as a Christian you are sometimes ostracized and you feel left out of many things. But the only reason you feel the way you do is because you truly have not come to the understanding of the awesome sacrifice that was made for your benefit. If someone you knew sacrificed their child because of their unconditional love for you, wouldn't you do what they wanted you to do? Even if it makes you feel odd? Just think, God just wants what is best for you and your life. He wants the best for you and everyone around you. No matter what you have been through or done, He is willing to adopt you as His child and love you with a love so great no one you know can match it. He wants to heal your heart when it's broken and carry you through your struggles. He wants to give you eternal life in paradise. I think that is worth feeling left out or strange and weird. "But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. "(2nd Corinthians 6:4-10 KJV)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Our Biggest Drawback

The greatest commandment stated in the Bible is not that we become perfect or constantly righteous. It's not to preach or go to church 7 days a week. It's the easiest thing that anyone can do and yet we rarely do.

When we say we love someone it's usually because they are lovable. I would say family but there are alot of people who really don't love their family. Most people love the person who does for them. They love the person who is good looking. They love the person who is cool. When was the last time you told someone you hardly knew, who were the totally opposite of you that you loved them? When was the last time you showed love to someone that you hardly knew or just didn't fit in your description of what you think a good person is?

Christian and sinners alike have all heard the saying "God loves you" but they rarely understand the impact. Just think of how many times God has looked upon you and could've realized that you just wasn't what he thought you would turn out to be. What if He stopped loving you for that? But he doesn't. He loves the most messed up, most ugly, most miserable person, because to Him we are all like diamonds. Everyone of us is made by Him and we should treat each other as so.

I recently allowed my sister-in law to move in with us in our new home. She has been thrown out by many other family members because she simply didn't live up to their expectations. I caught myself griping about her this morning but then realized that that wasn't walking in love. God doesn't gripe about us when we dissapoint Him and I am going to show more love toward her and her daughter. I pray that eventually she excepts Jesus as her personal Lord and savior. I am going to shine my light toward her no matter how hard things get between us. I had a problem with her keeping her stuff on my porch(it's an inner porch before you get to the outside, it's large and beautiful) but I changed my mind and told my husband that she can feel free. It wasn't going to hurt any.

Anyway, Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Not only the nice neighbor or the pretty neighbor or the only neighbor that was nice to you, all your neighbors. It also says in the Bible that you can not love God who you have not seen when you don't love your brothers whom you have seen.(1 John 4:20) Makes sense? I am going to start walking in love much more then I have been and I hope you do too.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Raising a large family

This is a submission to Chicago Parent short section about raising a large family

I have four children, which to many may not seem like much but I think that its there close-together-still-a-baby ages that make it especially difficult.
My oldest is an extremely energetic, wears his heart on his sleeve 6 year old little boy, then there is my daddy's apple pie with ice cream on top 4 year old little girl. Next is my Atomic bomb baby boy who is two and last is my always smiling, imitating, and bubbling 8 month old little girl.
The most interesting thing about being the mother of all these characters is that I never have a hand free. Because of that, I have found the most unique ways to use my mouth, toes, knees and even my butt.
I have opened and poured a gallon of milk with my mouth as well as unlatching my nursing bra. I have used my toes to turn on the television, scratch a back and rock a cradle. My knees came in handy when blocking a running a child or bouncing a crying one.(Acutally I have done both things at one time) and my butt has, believe it or not, been used to pick up and carry one of my kids.
so far, I have learned that when raising a large family there are no life rules. Anything pretty much goes and the strangest things become the norm.