ONE Touch

I have a decent tolerance level when it comes to pain. I can bear it, but I don’t like feeling it. Whether back pain or stomach pain, headache–just about any pain, I hate it. Then again, who ever really “likes” the feeling of pain? 

Some people are able to endure pain until it’s gone while others may take a painkiller to rid it right away. Either way, we are all hoping that the pain will go away. I’m the type to take a pill to get rid of the pain. But what really does a pill do? Does it rid the actual problem or does it only temporarily subside the effect (pain)?

Have you ever had pain and took a painkiller hoping it would rid the problem, but as soon as it wears off you feel pain again? Yea, me too. So here’s a little pharmaceutical knowledge I gained in college: the painkiller’s purpose is to silence the “sensation of pain” for an extended period of time. These painkillers are also known as analgesics. When the analgesic wears off, your pain receptors start to realize that the pain is there and sends signals to your nervous system. You then begin to react because you feel the pain again. Even though there was an analgesic effect on the pain receptors, the analgesic didn’t actually “fix” the problem. For that reason, the pain may come again. In some cases, there isn’t always an easy way to attack the source of a situation. However, in most cases, there is a way. For example, catching salmonella. You may need fluids and an antibiotic to kill the microorganism causing the illness and eventually the pain.

Where are you even going with this De’Shanti? Until we fully heal from what’s causing pain, it will always come back. In regards to our spiritual life, God’s power is the only thing that can attack the source and the pain we feel from it. His touch alone makes a difference. Maybe you aren’t feeling physical pain, but did you know that you can spiritually, emotionally, and mentally feel pain? Pains like rejection, pain of neglect, pain of verbal and physical abuse, pain of anger, pain from bitter memories and so much more. It is time for healing. If God did it in my life, I know He can do it for you. He can do it with just one touch. When it’s all said and done, God would have not only taken away the pain, but He would also take away the underlying cause. What do I mean by that? Well for example. There may be a person who hates every authoritative male figure that comes in his/her life, whether it’s the doctor, teacher, uncle, boss or principal, because their own father was severely abusive, verbally and physically. Can you see how that can cause a snowball effect? One thing connects to the other. God can take away that pain, by allowing that person to face the source (their father) and dealing with it there. Maybe that person can’t face their father because he is in jail, or dead. He can take you in and be the father that you didn’t have. He can take those pains. In fact, He already did. God took FULL responsibility for the sins of every man who ever lived on earth and those who will come in the future. He bore the sins of that abusive father. Now all He wants is your healing. And let me say this, God allows us to go through pain for us to realize that HE alone is our healer. He also will let your situation help someone else along the way. Even if we suffer after all of it is over, He still gets glory. We are not exempt from suffering, because God didn’t even spare essentially HIMSELF (Jesus). He suffered by dying for our sins, and suffers everyday from us rejecting Him. Yet He still loves us and He is still sovereign.

With one touch from Jesus, your life could change forever. What pain have you been tolerating for just too long? Have you said to yourself, “I can bear this, I’m used to the weight of my pains”? Take my advice, start your healing process today. It takes only one touch. Open your heart to the Lord. He is the only God that promises love and care to his people. There’s an old hymn called Tis the Blessed Hour of Prayer that says “With a sympathizing heart, He removes every care.” He’s a merciful God. Believe when you call on His name.

Relationships

Today is the day I’m supposed to be burying my grandfather. He died a few weeks ago in Jamaica. Unfortunately, with all the craziness going on concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, I am not able to travel to Jamaica. I am sad, but to be honest, I’m not extremely downhearted or somber about the situation. My grandfather and I didn’t have the relationship that I wish we did. We were not close. The hardest part of this for me was seeing my mom the way she was. She lost her DAD! Though they may not have been on the same page sometimes, he was still her dad!

When you have a relationship with someone, their life means much more to you than when you don’t have a relationship. That’s why if one wants to be a true follower of Jesus, they should develop a relationship with Him and follow Him whole heartedly. True Christians value Jesus’s life and death because they have a relationship with Him. If you think about it, we’ve never physically met Jesus in flesh, but we get so emotional thinking about His death. We appreciate all He did in his life. Why? Because we can develop our connection with Him through the word of God and through the HolySpirit. We get upset when people talk negatively of Him or dismiss the idea of His existence BECAUSE we KNOW Him. When you know someone, you can defend them. You can talk on their behalf. You can say what the individual would do and what they wouldn’t do.

At my bridal shower, my bridesmaids hosted a game. In the game, they asked questions about things I liked and disliked; about my favorite color and my favorite food. Even though I knew everyone at the bridal shower, and I knew they all meant me well, not everyone knew those little details about me. You can know and love someone and not have a relationship with them.

If there was some way I could go back and change my relationship with my grandpa, I would. We never had an issue, he just wasn’t in my life. What matters now is cherishing the ones you love and still have life. Even if people don’t always reach out and do their part, we should try to do ours. The most important relationship however, is the one you have with Jesus. That is the only relationship that can continue in the life after this. No matter how much we love people, we won’t always be with them. That’s why we should love and appreciate them while we have them. However, Jesus will be with us forever (if we live a righteous life) and will know exactly who we are even after we put on immortal bodies. I encourage you, develop your relationship with Him. If you don’t have one, start today. He is the best friend, guide, comfort, father that anyone could ever have. Im not saying that because I know of Him, Im saying that because I have a relationship with Him. He knows you, but do you know Him?

 

Watch and Pray

I have a few friends that serve in the military–one who I am really close with–and I always admire her drive. Just the process of getting into the military alone can be strenuous mentally and physically, so I can just imagine when training is over and they are in full fledged action. They not only have to be fighting through a battle for themselves, but they have to look out for their fellow soldiers as well. They have to always be aware of their enemies. I would imagine it takes focus and the skill of multi tasking to be an effective soldier.

There’s a story in the bible (Judges 7) that deals with effective soldiers and non effective ones. God called a man named Gideon to lead His people out of their imprisonment/slavery from a wicked nation called the Midianites. God gave Gideon specific instructions on how to pick the best soldiers. First, God told Gideon to dismiss majority of the men because there were too many. God knew that if they were to win the battle, they would take all the credit for themselves and wouldn’t acknowledge God. Then He told Gideon to bring the selective few down to the river and divide them into 2 groups. The ones who cupped the water in their hands and lapped it (like a dog) were put in one group. The others who put their face straight down to the water, were put in another group. LOOK AT THIS CLOSELY…the men kneeling down with their face directly to the water, were only thinking of themselves. They were thirsty and went face down in the waters.  The other men, however, drank from their hands while STILL looking up. They were not only drinking, but they were alert at all times. There were only 300 of these men. They started with 32,000 men initially, and God narrowed it down to 300 genuine soldiers, who drank and WATCHED!

Where am I going with this? If you have dedicated your life to God fully to be a true soldier, you have to watch AND pray! It’s time to multi task. Too long we as soldiers are praying but not WATCHING. Can you discern/ understand the times we are living in? BE ALERT! God told me in the beginning of this year, that it’s time to be aware. This is an awareness time! Don’t pray in vein, KEEP Your spiritual eyes open. More times than not, God is showing us things. Are we aware? Are we watching? It’s not the time to be concerned about OURSELVES! It’s not the time to have our face down to the waters. We have to be watching. Looking out for our other soldiers. Looking at the news. Looking in the bible, looking at ISRAEL! What is going on in Israel? Where are we? Direct your prayers to your leaders, to the ones in office that they will make the right decisions. Pray for those that are starving. Pray for countries like Italy, whose having a hard time. Pray for your brothers and sisters who are not saved! The Lord is at hand.

Even though God says that no one knows the day nor the hour of when He will come, He does give us signs. Are we watching? Matthew 24 and 25 gives us signs about the rapture AND the second coming of Jesus to earth. It talks about all we need to know for this time. We have to get into the word of God. Colossians 4:2 says “Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” While your watching pray. One doesn’t go without the other. Some are watching too much but not praying. What good does that do? You will only get worried. It’s time to pray! Be encouraged. We are going to be ok. That’s what the word says. As long as we do our part. Remember, we won’t be here on earth forever. There is more to our hope, than this life.

2020 Vision

We are coming to the end of the first quarter of the year. March ends the first quarter and April begins the second one. So far, it has been an eventful year in both good ways and bad. Earthquakes, deaths, sickness outbreaks, countries shutting down and so much more; this is ONLY the first quarter! But do you still have your vision?

Last year was a year full of ups and downs. By November, most people were over the year and were eagerly yearning the new one to come. “2020 VISION” became the slogan. Every one was so happy and motivated to start the year; to have clear vision of their goals and to accomplish them. Then all of a sudden, our vision started to get cloudy. Deaths that shock the world, and more important now, a virus that is spreading across the world. Countries all over are shutting down, travel is ceasing, people are being “laid off” and out of jobs.

Now most people are ready to end the year before even starting it. Don’t give up! God is with us. One’s vision being clouded doesn’t make the object in view actually disappear. It only looks that way because of our faulty vision. EVEN if we cant see it, we know it’s there.

In this time when most people are home, let’s use the opportunity to get closer to God. Let’s begin to PRAY! If you’re not home, still pray! Soon the smoke will clear. And EVEN if the smoke comes again, the end result is still there!

God’s promise is still as true as it was the day He stated it through Jeremiah to Israel; “I know the thoughts that I think towards you. Thoughts of PEACE and not of evil. To give you an EXPECTED END” There is an expected end! You see, the Children of Israel as a nation, were disobedient to God. They didn’t listen to His commands. So they God taken into slavery for 70 years. Some of them got discouraged as time went on. There were false prophets lying to them saying “God said” when he didn’t. So God had to tell them to be content where they are. EVEN if they are in an evil land. God said to them, get married and have children. Build homes and be at peace, because you have to go through this situation, but I’m with you. Relax! Then he says to them, that He knows his plans he has for them. There will be the expected end!

Even when the good citizens of Israel had to suffer for the bad, by being taken into slavery to the Babylonians, God protected His children. Daniel had favor with God. He still was thrown in a den of lions but he wasn’t touched. The 3 Hebrew boys were thrown in fire…FIRE! But the bible says that not even one of them were hurt.

Even though your eyes are clouded right now, fight your way through! Your end goal is UNTOUCHED. God knows what plans he has for you. And He will give you your goal! Stay Focused! Read Jeremiah chapter 29 from verse 1-14! Be blessed

Stop Worrying

Every day in life is unique to the one before. We get new opportunities, see new faces, explore new ideas, and so much more. However, we are also faced with obstacles, new challenges, and new trials to go through. We can all say that we have experienced both the good and bad in life in some way or form. I also think it is safe to say that most if not all people dislike challenges. We don’t like feeling “uncomfortable” in trials.

For a long time, it was not for me to face a situation that I am not in control of. It still can be hard sometimes. I didn’t like that I couldn’t “solve the problem” right away or at all. But this is where faith in God comes in. When we pray and ask God to take control, He will take control and give us the victory. We have to just let go and trust that God knows exactly what He is doing.

Even if you aren’t personally facing anything right now, all that’s going on in the world is enough to stress someone out. I’m honestly not caught up in the drama of COVID-19 because I personally wash my hands and try never to touch my face. I also follow up with legitimate news. However, yesterday I was a little taken  back when I saw the way people were acting in the grocery stores because of the corona virus.  There I was, casually doing my usual shopping and people were just going crazy in the stores. There were no shopping carts left. Someone got upset about another person trying to cut the line. Others got upset because certain products ran out. I picked up a few things and I was in there for an hr. In situations like these where viruses or diseases become “pandemic”, it can cause a scare because we don’t have control of it. Yes, we can protect ourselves and family, but we can’t control how everyone in the world conducts their lives. This is why we need to stop worrying. Contrary to what the nation believes, we shouldn’t be worried when we are in Christ. We know that He promised to take care of His children if they obey Him. So if God is in control, why are we worrying?

God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 from the bible, “If my people,which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and PRAY, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” God is literally saying here (pray, and I will heal your land). If ever a time we need to pray, is now. Even though God gave us free will to enjoy the land and enjoy life, we also have an assignment to pray. Pray for our leaders, pray for health, pray for peace, pray for your brothers and sisters all over the world, PRAY. The only thing that can fill the void of of worrying is prayer. We don’t want “worrying” to fill that place because worrying has the power to put you into a state of depression and isolation. Opposite to that, prayer has the power to bring you into victory and give you strength and joy. It is the sweetest feeling in the world to have hope in God. When you pray, your hope with grow. Even as I am writing this blog, I can feel the joy of the Lord inside of me.

Jesus says in St John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled”. Don’t let your heart be troubled with whats going on around you. He promises that He is going away to prepare a place for us where know sickness or heart ache is. We will physically be with Him forever. This earth isn’t your final place of rest. That is what the bible says. Even though you will be comforted and protected by the Lord on earth, there is a place that is so much better and God is preparing it for you! Be encouraged! Paul also reminds us not to worry, but to pray and make our request known to God. Know that God’s wish for you is to be happy. He is covering you, just trust Him.

 

 

Happiness in Contentment

One of my biggest dreams is to travel. Honestly, if I had it, I’d be booking tickets every other month to somewhere I’ve never been. I love scenery and meeting new people. I’m confident that God will open that door for me soon. However, I try my best not to be overtaken by the desire. I don’t let it consume my mind. I learn to be content wherever I am. You can check out my friend’s latest blog for more about “destination addiction”. Reading her blog gave me all the confirmation I needed to post this one. The title is called “destination Content.” Shevmckenzie.com.

 

If you want to make the best of your life, learn to be content in every season you’re in. Believe me, it’s the best feeling ever when you are happy with the place you’re in. Happiness leads to contentment. If you are happy where you are, you would never be in a rush to leave. My mom always talks about her childhood and growing up in Jamaica. She said they were days when things were hard. Sometimes my grandma didn’t have enough money to buy them individual things (7 children), but they were ok because they had each other. They were content with the little they had. My mom says that sometimes she feels like she wants to go back to those days. Even though now she has many resources.

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 The apostle Paul said in Phil 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Meaning that if you’re on the highest mountain today and the lowest valley tomorrow, your mindset should stay the same; and of course this takes time. It’s not going to be easy for everyone at first, but practicing everyday with things in your life will help you. 

Practice being content in your job. Even though you may really dislike it. If I’m gonna be completely honest, I’ll tell you I’m not at the place of employment where I wanna be forever. I’m often stressed and I disagree with the way a lot of things are done there, but until God opens the door for something better, I am teaching my mind to be content. 

Maybe it’s the car you’re driving. It’s ok, I started in a “hooptie” too lol. My friends can tell you, I couldn’t even open my front door, I had to climb through the back door. Whew Jesus, thank you for deliverance! The doors were different colors and the gas metal would vibrate after 50 mph! I had it bad lol, but when I first got it I was so excited because it was MINE. I was content because God blessed me with a car so I didn’t have to walk for free. It took me everywhere I needed to go too! It was a Toyota Camry 1992. 

 

Whatever you may have that you aren’t satisfied with, it doesn’t have to be permanent, just be content. Don’t look at others and compare yourself because you don’t know what they had to do to get to that place. Some of them

Worked really hard, and others cheated their way. There are so many opportunities out there and your time will come soon. Hold on to the hooptie for a little bit. Smile when you open the door to your one bedroom apartment. Because one day you’ll look back and be able to tell God thank you for the change! If you’re married and just starting out, have cheesy date nights with candles lit at your dinner table.
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In the future, I see my husband and I living in a home of our own with a beautiful backyard to host events, a nice big kitchen with granite tops and big living room for family gatherings. Even though we aren’t there yet, we are really happy where we are. We enjoy every moment because it’s what God gave to us. It will also help us to appreciate the bigger blessings when we are content with the little.

You are Valuable

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Every morning at 5 am, a set of people from my church get up to pray on our conference line. We pray for and hour, but in the midst of the hour, someone exhorts or gives a word of encouragement. This morning, I was asked to do it. The lesson was from Luke 15:1-7. The scripture tells us that Jesus was sitting with “publicans” (tax-collectors), and sinners. When the Pharisees (an ancient Jewish sect) saw Jesus, they started to criticize him under their breath. They were saying, “why is this man eating with sinners?” Note, they were criticizing Jesus because of who he sat with. But they didn’t realize the value in these people. Jesus answered them by saying that he cares deeply for that ONE lost sheep so much, that he will leave the 99 that are safe, just to go look for one. They couldn’t understand why Jesus sat with sinners, but essentially Jesus was trying to win the soul of those that were lost.

Have you ever been in a place that you felt far from God? I’m not only talking about physical “backsliding” (stepping away from the faith), I’m talking about far from God in your mind. I’m talking about sitting front row in Sunday service, and still the farthest away from God. God is looking for YOU. God is sitting with YOU. Some people (like the pharisees) may not understand why God has a special love for you, but it doesn’t matter. Just know, you are loved! Other people can see it. You ever wonder why you can’t get away with some things that your other friends can? I used to struggle with that. But here’s why, YOU ARE DIFFERENT.

Toba Beta once said “Value is more expensive than price”, and if you examine that quote, it is true.When you value something, you don’t care what price you have to pay to get it. That’s why Jesus was willing to die for you. Because the price He had to pay was nothing compared to the way He valued YOU. He loves you that much. Think about that the next time you doubt how valuable you are.

Resumes are not the only thing that portray our value. Jesus’s precious blood that still runs today is proof that you are Valuable. You are so valuable, that God HIMSELF died for you.