Monday, August 12, 2013

To Know Him is to Love Him

I can’t put into words totally the way that I feel right now. But I will try. Simply put, I have this overwhelming sense of God’s grace. Like, truly, nothing I have done qualifies me for the grace that has been given to me. I didn’t work for it. I didn’t pray for it. I didn’t fast for it. I didn’t give for it. Yet, God showed me mercy. And when I think of that grace...its sufficiency and power, I am equally humbled and afraid. I am humbled by the greatness of His love; and afraid, not with torment but in reverence of His Majesty and of His Eternity. He is forever…He is always…He is never ending.

Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

The fear that I have is the very thing that makes me fearless. It is the reverence for God that makes me unafraid. It is in the secret places of my heart that God has uncovered, in these troubling times, that grace has been applied, and I no longer see myself as undone; but finished, not according to perfection but according to grace. And I am in awe. I am in awe of His great wonder. I am in awe of His majesty.

Reverence for God, sets The Eternal God above every temporary thing and is the starting place of wisdom (the ability to apply knowledge.) And what we find out about The Eternal God, when we receive of His grace, makes us sensitive to His light.To know Him truly is to love Him.

It is in these fearful times, when we are met with our darkest and deepest fears…when we find it difficult to see …that God’s grace begins to shine so brightly. It is in that intimate place, behind closed doors where what God says manifest in us. He shows us a picture of who we are, and it becomes clearer than the day before.

It is a new day and a new season; and I am truly grateful. I am grateful for the grace that has been poured out on all of us. I am grateful for the life that has been given to us and excited to see His Majesty manifesting before our very eyes.

Monday, July 29, 2013


The spirit of the anti Christ hates your faith and despises when you put action to your words; and will do anything to discourage you from believing God will do anything good for you. The last thing that the anti Christ spirit wants is for you to believe that God is Unfailing Love and that Jesus Christ died for your sins. The spirit of the anti Christ does not want you to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. Period.

The thing that messes up most people’s faith is the image that they have of Christ, whether it is His natural image or functional image, people will equate the reality of God with the image they have of him. What does Christ look like? Is he savior? Is he lord? Is he white? Is he black? Is he able? Can he heal? Can he provide? The spirit of the anti Christ wants you to believe his image of Christ. Powerless. And as long as the image of Christ is presented as powerless people will continue to equate faith in him as mere religion, mere words and mere nothingness. If the people of God, simply believe with no persuasive actions Christ continues to have this dull and powerless image. But when, the people of God, decide to believe Him and put their faith in to action despite the negative and false images of Christ, our emotional makeup and dire situations, then we will see Christ manifesting with power in us and around us. Many will scoff. Many will ignore these words. But some will hear. Some will eat and be nourished by this bread. Do not be ashamed and do not fear. Be shamelessly aware of the power of God at work within you and around you. Take courage for the Lord our God has overcome the world. Fearless Nation, arise!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fisherman's Catch

I woke up this morning anxious to begin the day. I have “work” to do. A project came to me that I am both excited to begin and intimidated by; but nevertheless I am going to move forward in it. But yesterday was different. Yesterday, I was tripping and flipping out over the L word, Life, which is that wonderful and sometimes chaotic experience between birth and death. I am habitually a great starter. I get inspired. I have faith. I move and then I start looking at what I have and I immediately want to recant.

Me: “This is a stupid idea.” “It will never work.” “You can’t do that.” "Who would want to pay you for that?”

The Father: “Ahh, Jesus. Here we go.” My Father must be having an SMH moment. “Let me talk to her.”

Surely, I can’t be the only one who has schizo confidence and polarized faith. One moment, I’m like, “Yeah, I can do it. I can’t help but succeed. I am blessed and anointed for this.” And then I’m like, “I’m the suckiest, blood sucking sucky person that ever sucked!” But then, my Father says, things like, “It is not what you do, it is who you are.” And reminds me that, “You are a fisher.”

When I get stuck thinking that I’m a writer. Or I’m a mom. Or I’m a wife. I feel all this pressure to perform. I feel like all eyes are on me and I’ve got to do a little dance, like when I was 5, so everyone could tell me how good I was. It wasn’t that I loved to dance, I loved the applause. My testimony isn’t that I was a horrible sinner (which I was) or that I hit rock bottom (which I did). My testimony is that Jesus died for my sins (little ones, big ones, seen ones, hidden ones) not because of I what I did, but because of who I am. When I look at my life, it is easy sometimes to see all the things (really just 1 or 2) that I wish I could change. But the truth is that I have so many things (innumerable) to be grateful about.

Yesterday, my husband made a commentary on my “situation” and he made me laugh really hard. In his discourse he told me that he had once felt like a homeless man sleeping on the ground covered in leaves. He said, “I thought my situation was that bad, in reality, I was sleeping in a bed next to my wife who loves me. My kids are healthy. We eat well, good, healthy meals. We watch TV on a flat screen. We have a pool in the backyard, soap and facial scrub, cologne…I have Coconut oil for my skin…c’mon. Coconut Oil!” He was right. He told me, “If you are fisherman, it is never a waste of time to fish. Eventually, you are going to catch something.” Right again.

My problem, lately, has been focusing on the future. I have been wrestling with whether or not every decision I seem to make is a waste of time. I have felt like if I don’t catch the metaphorical fish, then I can’t be a very good fisherman. But it isn’t what I do that makes me a fisherman, it is who I am that makes me a fisherman. Matthew 4: 18-20 paints a pretty nice picture, it says,

“And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets.”

I see two things in this scripture. I see one group casting their nets and another group mending their nets. Both of whom, were called, not because of what they caught or did not catch but because of who they were, fishermen. Whether you find yourself casting your net (which is what you should do because that is who you are) or mending your net (because like me, you always try to fix things and make them perfect before you do what you know you wore born to do)…YOU ARE STILL A FISHER OF MEN! You are called by God to impact the world with the gifts that He has given you, and that gift is irrevocable. Whether you see value in it or not doesn’t change who you are. You will naturally, be drawn to do what you were born to do. And those, who are drawn to you, will be drawn to you not on the basis of your perfect mending or net casting; but by your graceful acceptance to be who you are…a fisher of men. A fishermen doesn’t predict what he will catch or when he will catch it, his only responsibility is to be ready. It is God who decides our lot, and he promises that it will be full and complete.

I encourage with these words as I encourage myself, “For he who has begun a good work in you is faithful to complete it.” Philippians 1:6

“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

In His Love, Natrietia

Saturday, July 06, 2013

You Shall Not Pass

I admit I am sort of a film nerd, No Etiquette Regarding Drama. My husband and I both, enjoy watching American and foreign films with subtitles so that we can absorb all of the beautiful language being said. We are guilty of pausing a movie just to discuss the use of language, lighting and or acting in a scene. We are guilty of using quotes from films we watched in our everyday conversations. In fact, we love to throw each other off with random quotes to see if the other picks up on the origin of the quote. One of our favorite films is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. They are quite long and filled with beautiful messages about friendship, faith, good and evil. One of the best quotes from the film is “You shall not pass!”

“You shall not pass!” is infamous both historically and as a part of literature and film. In short, the French translation, “Ils ne passeront pas” meaning “They shall not pass” was used in the Battle of Verdun in World War I by a French General named Robert Nivelle. It was later used on propaganda posters and added to military badges in the same war. But,“You shall not pass” is more widely known by our present day culture, as the phrase Gandalf the Grey, makes in the 2001 film “The Fellowship of the Ring”, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Gandalf and his companions are being pursued by a Balrog (a demonic entity) and he makes the bold declaration that this enemy cannot pass beyond the place he stands. With his staff in hand, he breaks the narrow ground to allow his companions to escape. It is his boldness and courage that makes this scene so riveting to me. In the face of a big, scary demonic force, Gandalf does not cower and he doesn’t try to be brave. He is reacting based on his knowledge of things. He is conscience of his companions and of the mission they have set out to accomplish and makes a decision. He draws a line in the middle of the chaos and his fears with his words, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Eventually, his companions escape and he is swept into an abyss where he wars with and overcomes the Balrog. His companions fear him dead but he arrives at an opportune time glowing and effervescent, no longer Gandalf the Grey but Gandalf the White.

I hope that wasn’t too grueling for you, and thank you for tolerating my nerdom. I was recently reminded of the phrase in conversation with my husband. He reminded and encouraged me, that if we (he and I, and any believer) ever intend to see the manifestation of God’s promises (no matter how extreme or farfetched the idea), we must draw a line somewhere. We must essentially say to any opposing views and even our so called common senses…“You shall not pass!”

Problem is we have a tendency to forget things especially in the heat of battle. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve been in the middle of the storm, asking myself, “What should I do? Which way should I go?” Some months ago, 8 to be exact I was laid off from my job. I have been on a number of interviews. Some good opportunities and others, let’s just say, I was OVER qualified for. I have at times felt confused about my future. What shall I do? What should I expect? Should I be looking for another job? Should I be focused on my writing? Should I go back to school? Last week, I had an interview that I knew I was over qualified for and I knew that I wasn’t going to get it because I knew that it wasn’t God’s will. And I said, to myself, “Self, what are you doing?” I love God because even when I talk to myself, he answers me.

He said, “Confusion occurs when you stop believing what you first believed. What did you believe about your circumstance when you first got laid off?”

I answered, “I believed that it was your will. I believed that I was being promoted.”

“Then draw a line.” The words that my husband had spoken reverberated in my soul.

You see, everybody was born with a purpose. Everybody is good at something. Every day of your life according to Psalm 139, verse 16 was recorded,

“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

So I am drawing a line. I’m taking a stand. Why should I be looking for anything less than what God said would happen in my life? Why should I be settled on conformity when God has said that I am extraordinary? "Why should I try and fit in when I was born to standout?" (Dr. Suess) We all have been met with circumstances that threaten us and make us afraid. But we can either choose to cower in the face of adversity or stand up against it. “You shall not pass!” To the enemy of your life and mine, we must be violently aggressive concerning the defense of our companions, and our mission in life. We cannot settle for what is common and expect uncommon results. It is when we are in the fire, the extremes of life that we are cast from mediocrity to sensational hero. It is where we become more of who we really are.

Gandalf the Grey was transformed when he took a stand on a very narrow bridge of hope; and confronted the evil that sought to overtake him and his companions. He contended with the enemy with these words, “You shall not pass!” For you and I our revelation of God and our expectation in him must be so elevated that we could never settle for anything less than His very best!

In His Love, Natrietia

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Bread is Good

I love bread. Bread taste good. It doesn’t matter if it’s garlic bread or a pumpernickel loaf. There is just something good about bread. If I were hungry and someone offered me bread I would take it and eat it without question. In fact I would enjoy it. I would not question the motivation behind the gift because my hunger is being satisfied. In fact, I would probably thank them for their benevolence. If I discovered, somehow, that the person who gave me the bread was an adulterer or a pimp, or a drug dealer, or criminal it would not change my hunger nor would it change the nutritional value of the bread that was offered to and eaten by me. Even if I discovered, that the person who offered me the bread was only giving it to me to manipulate me or to gain favor with me. It still would not change the taste, value or content of the bread that I received and was nourished by.

I have wanted to write on this subject for some time now. But if you have been following the blog, you know that I have been drawn to the subject of forgiveness; which is truly important and fundamental to a life of peace. But today, I felt like writing something a little different. Actually, it wasn't me. Most of my writing isn't premeditated. I have moments of spontaneous inspiration or revelation and I’m like,

“Oh, wow, that’s good. Thank you, God for explaining that to me. Let me write it down.”

Case in point, the bread is good. I wasn’t particularly concentrated on a specific aspect of my faith. I was just reading “Both/And:Ministering In Between Life's Extremes” by Benny Perez and “The Lady’s Rage” by yours truly, and I began to think about the message. The word. The gospel. And I considered a few people that I know who struggle to believe the message, the word and the gospel. And as I was considering them and myself, God painted a picture in my mind’s eye that made sense to me.

“I am the bread of life.” John 6:48

Jesus says of himself, that He is the bread of life. The bread is good. If someone presents bread to us, whose hands are unclean or whose heart is impure, it doesn’t change the quality of the bread. I know, you might say it does but you only say that from the perspective of not being hungry. Do you think a person who is starving cares where his food comes from? Or whose hands prepared it? Or why it’s being given? A starved person isn’t in a position to make these judgments because they are hungry. And the only thing that satisfies hunger is food. Not theology. Not religion. Not education. Not even money.

When you are hungry do you reach in your refrigerator for gold, money or diamonds? Do you go to your library of books and search for something to eat? No, you reach for food! The same is true of the gospel. The gospel is very simple. Hungry? Eat. Condemned? Eat. Depressed? Eat. Food is for the hungry. Jesus is the bread of life. He is the bread that we ALL need to live. Much like a starving person, there is a level of humility every believer comes to with the realization that they are hungry. Not for what does not satisfy but for Who does. Our culture is starved for real food;satiated by candy bars and chips.We make gods of mere men and idols of material; and complain that they are flawed, imperfect.

“Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'” John 6:35

The good news isn’t corrupt. It is not spoiled even by bad men. The bread is good. God is good. Leave the delegation of right and wrong to God. And if you are hungry, eat. Eat your fill of bread because there is more than enough of God to go around. As a person, who believes and has received the good news, I am obligated by passion to share what has been given to me. I have never been more satisfied or fulfilled by anything or anyone than I am in communion with God. Life's challenges. People's attitudes. The world's view. The cultures of men and women don't change the mere fact...that when I was hungry...God fed me. And the bread is good.

Friday, June 21, 2013

L-O-V-E is the Movement

Gosh, I have wanted to write on other things: relationships, my book, “The Lady’s Rage” and some of the everyday challenges and triumphs I have had recently; but I keep being drawn back to the same theme of forgiveness. Let’s just say that I don’t see myself as one who harbors ill feelings. I don’t hold grudges. I can’t think of anyone that I am mad at. However, there are people that occasionally offend me. Offenses come. We are all in this world and we are all so very different; and at times people will say or do things that are inappropriate, demeaning and all together offensive to us. And that is not to say we are right and they are wrong; but that because of the vast differences between people it is easy sometimes to offend or to do or say something that rubs another person the wrong way.

My greatest offenses come at the expense of my call…not to perfection but to righteousness. I am offended by things, conversations and actions that are clearly meant to create havoc. I like peace. I like peaceable situations. I like peaceable people. I am very comfortable in quiet environments where I can hear a bird chirp, the wind blowing, the trees rustling and the sound of my own thoughts; because it makes it easier for me to hear the voice of my Father. Chaos, ruckus and arguing are not things I enjoy. And on the occasions, that I am forced to be subject to chaos, argument and havoc I am innately bothered. I want to make peace. Unfortunately, not everyone is like me. Some people thrive off of drama. The more the merrier. And as much as I would like to make the world a happier and more peaceful place, it clearer is not. The challenge is this when the offense strikes you at your very core. Can you forgive? Can you let it go? As I said, I am not a person who harbors things. I believe that people can change. What you did or said in a moment may not be where you are forever. I know there are things I have said, things I have done in a period of my life that are the complete opposite of who I am today. My past literally contradicts my present and my present will inevitably contradict my future. I am constantly changing, moving and growing.

In fact, I had a conversation with my mom Sunday and I was talking to her about movement. I was marveling at the sound of my voice, as I was talking, and how it is that everything in my body is in constant movement. Even as I sat in the living room talking to her, blood was moving in my body. Cells and neutrons (I think), words and terminology for my biology are at movement even as I type these words. Nerves are reacting and ping ponging messages to my brain that are helping me formulate my thoughts. Movement. I was telling my mom, that God is constantly moving on our behalves. We may not see it, we may not know it but He is moving. Things are reacting and ping ponging off of the words that we speak. Whatever is abundantly present in us will emanate from us in the words that we speak. The words that we speak are the very elements that move us, change us, deliver us and grow us.

I say that because we must always be moving in love. Love is the movement. For out of love grows forgiveness. Forgiveness, if you are a believer is a lifestyle. It should be an absolute. If not, we will be stuck and grow stale and bitter with time. If I am, as a child of God, offended at the world, its system of doing things, the ignorant and ill informed opinions of people who are without knowledge of the true and living God, than I too am perpetuating the same ill advised and demented behavior that is offensive to me. I must forgive everyone. EVERYONE. Jesus lamented, “Father forgive them they don’t know what they are doing.” We all are like children. And the greatest evidence of my right standing, sonship, with the Father, My God, my creator is not in my perfection but in the acknowledgement, receipt and dispensation of His great and unfailing love. Forgiveness comes at a price. It cost your humility. It cost you saying, what you did to me, said about me is not going to stop me from loving you. Forgiveness prepares to give before the offense occurs and gives without reluctance. I challenge you today, as I challenge myself, FORGIVE EVERYONE.

In His Love, Natrietia

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Good Enough Complex

Mother’s Day was a delight for me. My children’s school held their annual Mother’s Day Tea and as usual in between the reading of original poems, off-beat songs and clumsy dance routines more than a few tears were shed. I always get emotional when I hear kids talk about how much they love their moms; even if I am not the mom in question. Some kids celebrated the kindness of their moms, while others apologized for driving their moms crazy. All in all it was very sweet and I walked away thinking that my kids love and appreciate me for me, not because I am perfect or sane…but because I am their mom and to them I am the most perfect version of a mom, because I am theirs.

Not a full 24 hours later, I was feeling down on myself. Feelings of failure crept into my little head. One worry compounded upon another. And I said to myself, “Nothing, I do is ever good enough.” It all began with a call from the school nurse. My youngest daughter suddenly had a sore throat and needed to be picked up from school. It would not have mattered if her school was 5 minutes away but her school is 20 minutes away (40 minutes round trip). Considering gas prices, we would have to drive 40 minutes to pick her up and another 40 minutes in 2 hours to pick her older brother and sister up later. Total driving for the day: 120 minutes. My husband suggested that we just pick them all up. I felt bad. Not only did I not have the Omni-mommy senses to know that my daughter wasn’t feeling 100% when I sent her to school but I couldn’t even go and pick her up because at almost 35 years old I never learned to drive. So off went my husband in 100 degree weather and I could be of no assistance. I was reminded then, of all the other things I wasn’t good enough at.

I wasn’t a good enough mother because I can’t drive. I wasn’t good enough to find a job in the six months I have been laid off from work. In fact, just a week prior, I had taken a written exam for a city job and I scored a 93%. Essentially an A, but that still had not been good enough to land the job. Mother’s Day came and went but I had nothing to honor my own mother with; choosing instead to tithe off of my 17% deducted unemployment check. Not good enough I thought. Not a good enough writer either to garner any real income off of my first book. Not good enough to get a retail job. Try and try as I might, even my best seemed to be not good enough. Slowly, I began to feel inferior in every way.

You know how one thought leads to another and everything you hear in your mind is a negative? Well that’s where I was, in this mental gloom. Ah, yes, the most pathetic of parties. You know what is really fascinating to me? Pity parties. I mean they are the lamest, most non-social parties ever and yet so many people arrive at them with the expectation that by loathing around with other people in the dumps that somehow fun will be had? Are we there yet? Are we having fun? Bring balloons to a pity party and the host pops them. Bring gifts to the party and they are immediately shoved in a corner. Pity parties suck! And while I was feeling sorry for myself, I realized that I hated this anti-social party I was having. In reality, nobody is good enough. Everyone pretty much falls short of 100%. You can be a damn good 93% but honey somebody else is a 95%. And you could be that 95% but hey, you have a 5% margin of just not good enough. You might even be a 100% but somebody else is a 100% with better credit and a family pedigree. I realize that I am not good enough because good enough never is. I admit it, Natrietia is not good enough. I’m a little good, mostly good but not good enough. And every part of me that isn’t good enough, God says, “I’ll pick up the slack. Better yet, when your very best efforts meet up with me, it’s better than good. It’s perfect”

Hebrews 11: 1-2 says, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

When we look for perfection, let us look in the eyes of Jesus; so that in Him we see the reflection of ourselves. Our perfection is not found in our efforts, skills and abilities; but in the perfecter of our faith, Jesus. Too many times, I have expected perfection of myself and others. And to my utter dismay, I was a disappointment to myself, just as much as others were a disappointment to me. There simply is no such thing as perfect; outside of grace. Yeah, I know I scored a 93% on the city test. And yeah, my Omni-mommy senses didn’t kick in at the right time. And, yes, I should be more mature in the spirit than to let a few little hiccups in the road get me so hot under the collar. And no, I can’t drive, yet. But; God has shown me grace. He gave me more time than allowed. He picked me up when I fell. He made away for me. And though I’m not good enough, I’m still the mom who gets up and irons her kids’ clothes and does laundry multiple times a week. I pack their lunches and cut the crust off the bread just the way they like. I pray for them and their peers. I take the time to oil and braid my daughters’ hair at night. I give kisses and tell them that I love them. Hey, I finished the book even though its not a best seller yet, at least I finished. I pray for people who could care less about me, and I do it not because I want recognition or a ticket to heaven; but because whether they know it or not, their lives are valuable and I care about where we all spend eternity. I am not a good enough person, but I am good enough to receive God’s grace not because I am 100% perfect; but because He (God) is 100% righteous. I realize today, that I am not valuable because I am good … I am of value because I exist. My existence is my substance. I was given breath to live and that is the clearest evidence that I exist for a reason. My life is valuable. And as long as I am living my value appreciates. I’m only getting better and the closer I walk to God the closer I am to perfection.

And you my friend, you are of tremendous value. You matter. And you matter the most to God. He loves you with an unchanging, unfailing and perfect love. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will never lead you where He is not. So if you find yourself in a valley or at the top of a hill, the Lord is there. One of my favorite Psalms is found in chapter 139, I encourage you to read it in its entirety but here are a few verses:

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Good News

I felt like writing again on forgiveness today. Strangely, or rather apparently, there is a need for me to be writing on the subject again. Last week I blogged that forgiveness is for everyone. There is power in forgiveness and I wanted to write on it once more. Forgive Everyone. And I mean everyone, and the harder it is to mouth the words and to sum up the courage to do so, the more essential it is for you to release the burden of that hatred. Hatred is a prison. Forgiveness is freedom. Last week, when I wrote on the subject I was much more focused on the process of forgiveness that brings healing to the broken or to the offender. I wanted to segue just a little to the right and write for a moment on forgiving yourself. Some of us have a difficult time forgiving and loving ourselves. We find it so much easier to forgive and love “other” people but we are hard on ourselves. We hold on to past offenses and feelings of regret. We spout hateful words to ourselves, “You suck.” “You’ll never change.” “Once a loser always a loser.” But I want to remind you that in Christ you have received (been given) FORGIVENESS of all sins. Not on the basis of your own perfection or your own righteousness; but on the basis of His free gift.

I was listening to a remarkable man of God, Joseph Prince today and he was preaching a message on grace and He said something very true and very pure. To surmise, he essentially said that there is no grace message. It is just the gospel. “The gospel is grace.” If we believe that the gospel is absent of grace, or that grace is a by-product of the gospel than we have entirely (I’ll repeat, entirely) misunderstood and misrepresented the gospel as Jesus Christ delivered it. If grace is something all together separate than we have not fully understood the good news. We have added something to it that God did not intend. My husband often preaches that the cross is not an addition sign. It is not The Cross plus what I do. It is very simply what Christ has done. Period. The good news (gospel) is that our sins have been FORGIVEN. Gone. Gone. Gone.

Forgive everyone including yourself. Let God love you and be as good to you as He wants to. Not long ago, I had a thought. I was thinking about myself and I had a few gripes against Natrietia. And the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “What would you tell someone who was going through what you are going through? How would you encourage them?” I smiled of course. And it was then, that I learned something. I learned that I have to encourage myself, minister to myself just like I would a fellow brother or sister. I have to think of myself, as God does. I have to forgive myself, just as Christ forgives me. I have to receive the good news…. Daily. Some people subscribe to their local newspaper or world news chronicle to keep them informed. But there is news, that God has delivers to you daily that will keep you in a place of liberty and is the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Forgive Everyone

Forgiveness is for everyone. I ran across a pin on Pinterest that simply stated, “Forgive Everyone.” The short statement composed of two words spoke so much to my heart and soul. It is a reminder to me, one, of the forgiveness that I have received in Christ and two of the lifestyle of forgiveness that I desire to live in. It has been said that “Forgiveness isn't for the other person; but for you.” And to a certain extinct I can agree with that sentiment. But there is a grand difference between me forgiving someone who has hurt or offended me for the purpose of me being freed; and the much more difficult exercise of forgiving a person who has hurt or offended me because I recognize that their woundedness caused them to wound me. No longer do I look through the eyes of judgment, but through the eyes of love. The unfailing love that has the bible says “covers a multitude of sins.” When we forgive everyone, father, mother, sister, brother, neighbor, friend or foe…we begin to see the pain in their eyes opposed to the offense in our hearts, and our motivation to forgive is not to free ourselves, but much rather to free them.

I think of God. He didn’t forgive me of my sins to free himself. He wasn’t bound. I was. His forgiveness gave me liberty. His love covered my sins, my wrongs, my weakness, my sickness…It is so beautiful really. The depths of God’s love and the power that He has, as Master and Lord, to forgive everyone.

Let’s pray, “Father, we thank you today for giving us a heart like you and helping us to see through the eyes of love. Help us to forgive those who have hurt us and bring with it the restoration of joy and peace. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Hurt of Relief (It Gets Ugly but it will End Pretty)

I had a conversation with my sister recently and we laughed that we never expected our faith walk to look anything like it has. We remarked that it, the walk, the life, the faith gets ugly. Sometimes there is pain we did not expect to come. Sometimes we cry tears that we did not count on crying as believers. We are faced with all manner of contradictions to the life that we were born to lead. The process of overcoming and believing isn’t very pretty, much like the birthing process we experienced as mothers. We were in our respective delivery rooms. There was no make-up (well, she had on a little---haha). There were no fancy garments; in fact, we had to get naked to give birth. We had to make ourselves vulnerable, expose our weakness and our pains to give birth to our children; and though that process was so very ugly…it got pretty in just a moment.

As John 16:21 so eloquently explains, “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.”

However long or short the labor, though it is painful and ugly, when what we had been carrying for 40 weeks or so finally pushes its way out, all of the ugliness fades away in the beauty and newness of this life. Relieved of the temporary pain, we marvel at the child, so small and innocent, pure and light. We reckon that there is nothing quite as beautiful and miraculous as this. And our joy feels complete. The reality and complexity of life has always been one of the most demonstrative evidences of God to me. Ecclesiastes 11:5 explains it in this way,

“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

We can explain and give names to things that God created but we, ourselves are incapable of creating anything that is original. If it is language where did sound come from? If it is music where did the material to create the instrument originate? If it is art who created the eye to see it? And if by chance, we were inclined to believe that life began by a spark or by a cell having no body, where then was its origin? Is it not God, the Creator all who has fashioned us all?

I began to think on these things recently, having given birth to a child I carried for well over 15 years or more. At times, I was in pain, embarrassed that my labor had been so long and that I had not given birth. I wanted to be the mom, who goes in and spits the baby out in record time. I carried the baby, The Lady’s Rage, in the womb of my heart and soul for so long that when the labor came, I barely knew it. It was a painful process carrying it, but I wanted the relief of giving birth. I no longer wanted its life inside of me, but outside of me. And so, the day came, The Lady’s Rage was born on April 1, 2013. She was a healthy baby girl, born to deliver a generation, born with purpose and born of God’s spirit. I am reminded of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her name had meant sorrow but she birthed a deliverer. While others marveled at her son, the Bible recounts her at many stages of Jesus’ life as “keeping all these things and pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 & 51)

In my heart, there had been many sorrows but God had used them all to bring deliverance. So often we find ourselves pregnant at the wrong time, in the wrong place and if we fear we will abort the child that has been given to us. We will say, “This is not the right time. I can’t be pregnant right now.” But if we allow the Spirit of God to help us through the walk, we can make it even if we waddle, even if our feet get swollen…even if we get ugly in the process…The Lord promises that it will get pretty at the end. Our responsibility is to carry it. To keep it in mind and in our hearts until the day comes.

I know that there are some people today who are feeling the hurt of relief, the pain of their labor; but I want to encourage you today to push through it until your baby comes forth. What God has given you to birth is for you and there is nothing that can stop the baby from coming forth except that you abort it through fear. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted in this moment. God is giving you the faith and the strength to push in your weakest moment and to press into the promises that He has for you. Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up now. Just keep pushing! Your relief is right before you, your joy will be full and you will remember the hurt no more!

Let’s pray, “Father, God, Thank you for your grace on us now. Give us the strength to persist and to push through the pain. Relieve us from our fears and make us willing and strong. Give us the faith to believe you at your word. Impossibilities do not limit your ability. Perform your word in us today according to your will. We believe you and we honor you with our faith today. You are the Lord and there is no other. Our confidence rest in you today and we are moved by your Spirit to declare your goodness and your mercy wherever we go. Let your light shine in our hearts today that others may witness your glorious nature. Thank you, Lord for your coming glory. Thank you, Lord for your favor. Thank you, Lord for restoration all around us. We give you the praise. For yours, is the kingdom and the glory and the honor forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen."

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Lady's Rage is Now Available...

The Lady's Rage is now available at
Get your copy Today! The Lady’s Rage is a rare glimpse into the life of a believer that is often times hidden in the shadows of private turmoil. It is a vivid portrait of a woman’s redemptive walk of faith, intricately woven into biographical stories, breath taking poems and revelatory affirmations. The Lady’s Rage is noble without being pretentious; and a work of art grafted into pages that both inspires and provokes its reader to believe again. The Lady’s Rage is more than a book. It is a movement that began in the heart of God for a fearless generation to rise up out of sorrow into the righteous faith that we have been called to in the grace and power of the one, Jesus Christ, whose blood has redeemed us from the brokenness and tragedies of life.