Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

If trouble has not visited you, know that it will drop by for an uninvited call at some point in your life. The turmoil happens to the just and the unjust, those who honor God, and those who do not. And that adversity touches people in different ways, through sickness of body (either you or a loved one), financial difficulty, marriage problems, employment (or lack thereof), and on and on. What can be done when we find ourselves in this time of difficulty? God’s Word has an answer.

The first verse of the forty-sixth psalm is full of information regarding who to go to in times of distress. This verse tells us where to go,  what is provided when we get there, and who provides it. In Psalm 46, the first and last verse include the word refuge, defined as a shelter from the storms of life. God also addresses this in Psalm 91, David wrote in the second verse that God is a refuge and a fortress, and because of this he trusts God. What about you when you’re in dire straits?

It is one thing to be a help to someone, but what a difference it is when that help is exceedingly; that is what the ‘very’ in the phrase very present help infers. God is not only where we can go and find shelter of mercy, grace and solutions, but He is an exceedingly found helper who wants to prove his character and power to anyone who dares to trust in and relinquish the issue to Him. See, we are not alone when in trouble. God is with us. Isaiah 9:6 gives a name: Emmanuel, God with us.  God’s presence is there, but we must tap into that presence while we are in the calamity called trouble. God is a shelter, a refuge of strength and power, providing an exceeding source of help to anyone who asks for it, while we are experiencing distress.

We don’t have to experience distress and anguish alone. God’s power can be utilized in a way that only shows He is omniscient and full of power, giving the provision of exceeding help in trying times. God has provided the invitation of refuge; will you accept it?

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

 Psalm 46: 10,11



We all live life on various levels that include multiple ways of achieving goals; it is the way we do this thing called life.  It is a type of dance. For instance, when we were kids, and our parents would tell us to do something, we would then try to discover a different way of doing it,  if we do it at all. Because (and especially during our teenage years), our thought was not our parents who had the knowledge, it was us who knew what to do. They were old and didn’t know anything. It was us, the child, the teenager, the college student , who knew what was best. Then we became adults, and we started awakening to the startling fact that perhaps our parents knew a thing or two after all,  though (and let’s be honest) we did not verbally admit it to them, and perhaps we also did not want to acknowledge to ourselves that while  we strived to be independent beings, we were in fact dependent on them for our very survival.

The issue of being independent continues well into our adulthood. Through life experiences we believe we have more sure footing to handle the next problem, based on lessons learned from the past. At times that can be a good thing; in others, it can be a disaster. What happens when  the system you’ve developed and used for years in solving various issues doesn’t work anymore? What do you do when you are all out of solutions? What do you do when you say “I’m independent” has no bearing on your present situation?

Funny thing about the word independent, it is how you look at it that makes all the difference.  The dictionary defines this word as not relying on anything or anyone else; not being subject to control, showing a desire for freedom, (and here’s a good one) being self-governing. That is what we wanted when we were teens, right, wanting to self govern ourselves through life? Now that we’re all grown up, there may be a problem with that philosophy, as for many of us, including the faith-based person, many continue to self-govern themselves to no avail. Thus, the answers we come up with that may have worked in the past are no longer working. Perhaps it is our mindset that keeps us stuck in such a way that enables us to live life as we always have, not trying new solutions, but continually continuing in what we have grown so accustomed to doing. Implementing something different is scary and unknown, so we live life in the self-governing box we developed; a square-shaped quagmire, a situation that is hard to deal with and difficult to get out of. But…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,  and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways,  and He will guide you on the right paths.”  Proverbs 3:5,6

The above verses define being in-dependent. In this context, being in dependent is not the definition the dictionary. It is living in a way that is dependent on the ways, the thoughts, and the guidance of Someone Else other that ourselves.  If we commit our way to God and trust in Him, He will act (Psalm 37:5). If we do not rely on our understanding of the situation but instead lean to God’s viewpoint, there will be  a different result to the situation. Then we can say as David wrote in Psalm 124 that had it not been for the Lord who was on our side, we would have been swallowed quick by the enemy.

So it is all about perspective regarding the word in-dependent. For purposes of this blog, it means living life in the realm of dependency in God, not in the governing of self. It may be difficult at first, but keep trusting, waiting and leaning on the God of all sufficiency, and you will soon be doing the happy dance of independance… be strengthenized.



In Time

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” 

Ecclesiastes 3:4

This week has been a bit difficult from two extremes.

A time to weep…a time to mourn,

First my friend Janie (name changed). During the summer her father, who had been cancer free, was now deemed terminally ill, as the cancer returned. Sometime this year he would be gone, her family was told, which may take a few months or a few weeks.  As the summer wore on, Janie’s father stopped eating, and he lost a lot of weight. Mentally he just wasn’t there. Then came this week. He went into a deep sleep and within two to three days, he was gone. Janie  told me  that she had accepted his passing, but when I saw her the next day she was tired as she got no sleep the night before, saying she “had to get out of there.” My thought: it is one thing to say you accept loosing your father, but quite another when you witness your father is no longer in this world, but of another. As I texted her to see how her day was going, she responded by saying it was okay, and she was “just taking it a day at a time.” Weeping and mourning…

“…and a time to laugh;…and a time to dance”

It had been a year in the making, but today would be the last time I would be working with John; after today he begins enjoying retirement. I noticed that as the time came closer to his last day of work, John was more relaxed, showing ear-to-ear smiles as the time drew near. A man full of wisdom, I will miss the end of the work day, when there was just him and me, and we would have deep conversations. Today we left the office together and got into our cars, left our parking spaces at the same time, and as we parted ways, I put my hand out the window  and waved to him, as tears came to my eyes; I will truly miss a coworker that I trained to do the job but actually he taught me so much more. OMG, the tears are coming again, as I know John is laughing and doing his happy dance…

In a space of time, this has been an emotional week for me, seeing two people react in different ways for different reasons. I mourn with Janie and rejoice with John, crying through it all.


In listening to a message recently the minister spoke of the issue of being noncomplimentary. For example, if someone yells at you, the response would be to yell back. Or if you are cut off by a driver perhaps you would do the same to them. It’s complimentary.  But what happens when one is non-complimentary?

In the fourth chapter of Mark Jesus said to the disciples to “go across to the other side.” And then while all were in the ship, Jesus went asleep. Then in their attempt to get to the other side, a storm came, tossing the ship back and forth, water filling up the ship, and fear enveloped them. But the majority of them were professional fishermen, and they were disciples. They had received teachings from Jesus. They were chosen, people of The Way, and yet, they were acting in a noncomplimentary way, as though they were never taught to believe, to have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed, to say to the mountain to be removed in faith believing and it will be cast into the sea (Matthew 17:20). In the midst of the storm, their focus was not on faith, but on the storm. They needed to speak to the storm, because Jesus had given them authority to do so; that would have been the complimentary way of living life in The Way. The speaker of the message I listened to said after the disciples woke up Jesus, complaining that he didn’t care that they perished or not, Jesus looked at them as though they were unrecognizable. What Jesus saw were cloaks of fear, not clothing of righteous, and certainly not of faith. Do we wear the same type of clothing from the Fear brand (false evidence appearing real)?

If that is what’s worn, it’s no wonder Jesus doesn’t recognize us, and in fact, we don’t recognize ourselves. This noncomplimentary way of existence causes us to not to go forward, but be consumed with fear that has no factual grounds of authentic truth. But, like the disciples, we can go God and ask for help. But after Jesus calmed the sea and the storm ceased, he asked them why they were so afraid and still had no faith? After what the disciples saw Jesus do, he outwardly wondered aloud why it was that still faith was not being activated. After many a time of your seeing what God has done in your life, is God saying the same about you? Are you unrecognizable in your noncomplimentary ways?

So here is the challenge for those who claim to be believers. The following is complimentary:

  • Decide whose report you will believe:  the one full of fear or the report of the Lord. God will be please if you chose the latter.
  • When fear presents itself, make the complimentary choice of not wearing the fear brand
  • “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Mark 9:23


I know this word is not in the English vocabulary, so please allow me some creative freedom.

Have you ever experienced something and just accepted it? Perhaps you have not questioned it, or wondered why it is happening, but just went with the flow of it. Here is the problem with that: when it’s something that interferes with your normal daily living, it needs to be addressed, particularly when the experience is against what God’s word says.

Let’s take for example the lack of getting restful sleep. God would not have you being tired during the day and awake at night when his word says the following:

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down,

and thy sleep shall be sweet. Proverbs 3:24


Where in this verse is there any indication that this means your sleep shall be full of turmoil, that has you tossing and turning, waking up full of frustration, and more tired than you were before you initially laid down to sleep? This is an indication that what you are experiencing is not of God, but of the enemy. I can speak of this because I have been going through this for years. Last night I prayed for help…the sleep lasted for 3.5 to 4 hours, and I woke up, full of frustration. That was coupled with pain in parts of my body that had me turning from one side to the other trying to get comfortable and back to sleep.

This morning I felt no different than I did when I went to sleep the night before. I acknowledged to myself:

  • I have accepted the lack of sleep, the not being able to turn my head off when it is time to go to sleep. This has caused me to just exist. I acknowledge that eating candy in an attempt to get some energy doesn’t work, that just eating to get some energy does not work, and I am tired of being tired.
  • Things don’t change because of my acceptance of the way things presently are. Why should anything change when I am not doing anything to change?

Something has to change. No more acceptance, I will incorporate a plan of disceptance.

Disceptance is defined in my dictionary of the English language as a verb that does not accept what is not helping me. It involves being radical, in that one is saying that acceptance is not working will no longer be tolerated. It acknowledges that in order to make disceptance work one must no longer just think of wanting to change but act regarding change, and in essence one accepts the concept of disceptance.

From a spiritual standpoint, disceptance is like what Jesus did when he  overturned the moneychangers’ tables (Matthew 21:13), and said the church should be called a house of prayer, but the people had turned it into a den of thieves. He was not accepting of the normal way people did things, he was discepting of their ways. Likewise when he healed people. But what is interesting is that the people were no longer accepting their illnesses and acting on their faith that Jesus could do something to make their life more than one of mere existence. We could all learn something from that.

So I am starting to make the change which includes more prayer, reading scripture on healing (and sleeping), and acknowledging that perhaps I am closer to breakthrough than I have ever been, which is probably why the enemy is attempting to block me with lack of sleep. I don’t want him to win, and hope in your struggles the same is true. So:

  • What is your struggle (what you have accepted), that you have accepted instead of discepting it?
  • Devise a plan of change: a) What you want to change   b) Find scripture that is the basis for change, and that can encourage you to change c)  Pray to God to give you the power to make the change, and be violent in taking back what has been stolen from you. Reclaim it and don’t accept: discept!  Be strengthenized in the process…



Faith on Trial

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing                          of Jesus Christ: I Peter 1: 6, 7

Have you ever felt heavy emotionally, mentally? This is what describes my present circumstance. It’s an environment I don’t wish to experience, yet it’s a place I am presently residing in.

I thought of those who exuded not just faith, but great faith, there’s a description of them in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews in the bible. When their faith was put on trial, they passed with flying colors. Based on their level of faith, they acted on their belief system, and God was pleased and rewarded them. Let’s not forget Jesus, who through the enemy was put on trial in Matthew chapter 4. Each time the temptation was presented, Jesus acted by giving the Word, which only makes sense as he is the Living Word of God (John chapter 1).

If Jesus was put on trial, and we are his followers, the same will happen to us. But there is something to keep in mind. In court proceedings, the prosecution and the defense each present their case, and it is the way they present it that will determine the outcome. I call it the foundation. Which side has the stronger or more firm foundation that proves the guilt or innocence of the defender? For the believer, when your faith is put on trial and goes through the fire, how firm is your foundation? What tools do you have in place that will get you through the ‘season’ of manifold temptations? As Jesus did, may I suggest the application of the Word of God. But in order to use that, you must know that, which means you must read the letters that form words, sentences, commands, and promises that are found in the bible. That book sitting and gathering dust will not help you during your trial; opening the book, reading the book, and immersing your mind and spirit in the sacred text will aid in getting through the season of heaviness. And here is the good part of it all: not only will your faith be stronger, your foundation will be firmer, and what God will bestow is blessings upon you, informing you that you have passed the test and won the trial. Be encouraged, and be strengthenized…



Mental Madness: Addendum

This is day two of discoveries. There was something I really had my heart set on. I felt it was from God, the timing seemed to be spot on, and I was waiting to receive it.

But it didn’t happen.

Initially I felt really disappointed, and the opportunity to do my usual reaction of going downward presented itself to me. As I was at my desk yesterday regarding discovery, I was at my desk today when I got the news that what I thought was going to happen had come to a screeching halt.

I remember sometime last year a similar situation occurred with the same result.  That was fine with me, as I was felt like there was something better that was waiting for me. But yet about a month ago, I was still trying to make my present situation work for me. I hope you are reading this correctly: it was I who was trying to make things work. Have you ever been there? Have you ever been in a situation where you don’t particularly like it, but at least you know what to expect, know what is going to happen, and you accept it and continue with it. The problem is there is so much more to experience, more than being in a stuck atmosphere of mere acceptance of the mundane, living a below average life instead of living and experiencing freedom.

That is the word that has been ringing in my head this week. Freedom, Freedom              where are you?  Cause I need freedom too! Strong lyrics in Beyoncé’s song Freedom. But as I continued to think,  getting what I wanted would not give me freedom, but put me in deeper bondage, mentally, financially, and physically. I had to admit once I realized what I wanted was not going to happen, somewhere within I felt a bit relieved. Am I still where I am that I don’t want to be? Yes. But what is great about all of this is there is still a door just waiting to be found, waiting to be opened, and it is the door where there is true freedom as God would want it.

And if you are a believer, wouldn’t that be what you want, which is what He wants? I hope your answer is yes. This and much more came to mind as those who care about me said there is something better. I learned today that there is a door I need to locate and open, not being afraid to walk through. As my minds eye opened to that possibility, I discovered there was no mental madness as I described yesterday: no feeling bad about myself, wanting to indulge in the downward spiral of negativity with its close friend called depression. The enemy may have sent me a mental invitation to wallow in self-pity, but I turned down the psychological email. Instead I determined to continue on knocking until the right door presents itself.

The response to negative news does not mean you have to inwardly respond in the negative. Your glass is not half empty. There is something better out there. How we respond actually may make your glass more than half full. I thanked God I didn’t get what I wanted (a new and different reaction far different from the why-didn’t-this-happen-for-me syndrome I usually suffer through). That usual thought has been replaced with well God, what’s next?

So I will continue to find my door that God wants me to walk through, and if I allow him in faith believing, he will present it to me, for I

“Won’t let my freedom rot in hell…Hey! I’m a keep running                                                  Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves!”*

*lyrics from Freedom by Beyonce

Be strengthenized




Mental Madness

Things aren’t ever the way they seem, as I learned today. The response to a situation (in thought) may be one way, but in reality it is quite something else. And that something else realism may be one of a gifted surprise.

Take today for example. I was not aware my manager was meeting with someone whose case was mine. Without going into a lot of detail, this person was not happy with the way things were going, and the way he responded, um, let’s just say was not positive. When I got to work the manager’s door was closed, and I later found out from my coworkers who was in the meeting. At that moment, I started to pray that whatever the outcome I wanted to keep my cool and I asked for peace. Inwardly was another story. I knew what I asked for, but afterwards I started thinking about what was being said, what the manager was going to say to me, and I surmised (with no indication it would turn out this way) that it would be confrontational, she would not be happy with the case, and on and on I thought. Then, upper management (who was already involved) would write me up, I’d lose my job, and then what would I do? It got to the point that I had to mentally stop the madness of pointless thoughts that were not solving anything, that had no basis of fact, but  continued to keep me mentally in an atmosphere of conflicted unrealism. Then something hit me. Could it be that that is what I like, being in a state of conflict? For a few moments as I sat at my desk as that thought had me at a standstill. Though I just asked for help, at the same time do I want the mental madness to be my reality so I would have a reason to manplain, starting the downward spiral of being in a world of “things as usual aren’t going well for me” mentality? There’s nothing positive with all of this.

Still at my desk, I decided that was no longer where I wanted to be, nor was it the place where I wanted to mentally reside.  I went back into prayer and asked for deliverance from this mental trap that has kept me in bondage, keeping me harnessed in a negative cyclical medium of not going forward to new ways of thought processes and implementing new responses. In other words, I asked for His power to change.

In order to move forward, one has to acknowledge there is room for improvement that will open the door to change and invite the paradigm shift to the new. While at my desk, it was kind of refreshing to acknowledge to no one but myself that something had to give here, the negativity of thought has to pack up their bags of discouragement and move elsewhere. I have been in this battlefield of the mind far too long, and the madness has to end, and the response to it has to be one that has to connect to a new way of not only thinking but doing.

Later this afternoon, I noticed my manager’s door had opened. As I walked past the door the eyes of the persons who were meeting with my manager and mine met. My smile was genuine as I greeted them, and we exchanged some pleasantries. To you, that may not seem much, but to me it spoke volumes. I did not experience any animosity toward them, and as I left the office I noticed there was no inner conflict. At that moment I realized I had started down the path of change.

Does any of this resonate with you? Take a hard look at how you react to situations. What do you do to yourself that causes you to stress out, particularly when there is no indication that something horrible is about to happen? Then give it over to God who can, in an instant, open the door that leads to the possibility of thinking and acting in His realm of being new.

Be strengthenized…


Patiently Waiting

 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.           Psalm 37:7

How many times have we seen people who seem to get what they want by doing it in the wrong way? When have you seen someone who will do and say anything to get what they strive for, while at the same time you try to move forward but in the right way and it doesn’t seem to work for you?  Do you feel like someone has told you to go sit in a  corner as you watch those who are undeserving continue to progress while you remain in a static state, not going backwards per se, but definitely not going forward? In the fifteen verses of Psalm 37, David offers some suggestions on what to do during this time:

  • verse 1: don’t be irritated or envious of the unrighteous
    • (verse 2) here’s why: for they will soon be cut off, clipped
  • verse 3: instead trust in the Lord, and while you’re trusting, do good, and you will be fed in the process
  • verse 4: while you’re trusting and doing good, delight (or be happy) in the Lord; when you do you’ll be rewarded by receiving your heart’s desires.
  • verse 5: so commit what you do (and how you do it) to the Lord, trust in him (I guess we have to be reminded of that verb again), and he will bring the “it” you’ve been asking for to pass.
  • verse 6: God will acknowledge your uprightness and how you live.
  • verse 7: So rest in God, wait patiently, don’t be irritated by those who prosper through wicked devices. And verse 8 adds not to be angry nor do something to get the evil one; the rest of the this psalm describes what God will do and how he will handle them.

What can we do that will help us while waiting on God? Here are some suggestions:

  • Know what God’s Word says about waiting – find verses on wait and what those of the bible did when they waited for something to happen
  • Pray without ceasing; review I Thessalonians 5 that includes this command.
  • And here’s another verse to consider as you are waiting: Psalm 52:9 that includes some commands:
    • Praise God forever, because he has done it. We have to believe that it is already done…

God yet abides faithful, for faithful is he that calleth you , who also will do it.                           I Thessalonians 5:24

Be strengthenized while patiently waiting…


Being Prepared and Letting Go While Waiting

 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. Psalm 62:1

Waiting is a process that does not include shortcuts, and if you are like me, I would love to have a shortcut, as it would take less time and effort. I don’t like the process of waiting.   Ordering a shirt online and waiting for it to be delivered in three weeks is one thing. You order the size, the color, punch in the needed shipping information, pay for it and the process is done, being told the order will be shipped in three weeks. Waiting for an extended time for something is quite another (months or maybe even years). The type of waiting I’m talking about here I wish only took three weeks or less, but that is usually not the case. So what do you do when you have prayed, anticipated, prayed some more, and not much is happening? The following is not all inclusive, but consider the following:

In order to wait in weightless mode (see last blog entry) there has to be a mental shift. That shift is a de-emphasis from what you are waiting for and more toward an emphasis to the One whom you have placed your expectation in. In other words, stop thinking so much on what you have prayed for (and its solution) and instead think on God and his promises. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee (Isaiah 26:3). The time you are waiting for God’s wisdom and direction is also a time for you to learn as much as possible about what God has already done for you, what his plans are for you, and who he is and forever will be…regarding you. How many times have we stressed out on the issue and  its solution when all we need to do is cast our care upon him and leave it to him for the detailed direction on what we should do? The problem is we tend to make  misguided attempts to create solutions (what if that could happen or what if that doesn’t happen) with no evidence that God never told us to make such creations. Instead he commands us to give it over, which means our hands (and minds) have to let it go.

  • Let go of the concern and place it in the hands of God, the faith author and finisher
  • Trust God will handle us and the request
  •  Read God’s Word, allowing what we read to come alive and give us the power to continue in the process of waiting while God does what is needed in front of  and behind the scenes.

Could it be that while we wait there is actually something we could learn from the experience? That’s next time, but in the meantime be strengthenized, till we “read again”…