Rest Well, Sweet Papa

Hello Dear Friends,

It has been a while since I have written anything. Honestly, my life has been going full speed ahead, and a lot has happened. This past Friday, my sweet Papa was laid to rest after being sick for the past month. Everyone who knows me knows the profound love I had for my Papa. He was the man who raised me as my father. God using him in my life is why I am who I am today. He taught me so much and sacrificed a great deal to take care of me. My grandparents also sent me to college. For that, I will forever be grateful. The Lord blessed him to live 89 years. I thank God for me being able to spend my 45 years with him. He was always an active part of not only my life but the lives of my three children. Even in his old age, he was still a very present figure in our lives and was very intentional about it. Being a part of all of our lives was indeed a joy of his. So, believe me when I say his loss has impacted our family.

My grandfather’s life started tough. He lost his parents as a young child, had to live with his grandparents, and started working very early to take care of himself. So, he never finished school. Yet, he was very adamant about us getting an education. He was the one who took me to the library for assignments and made sure I was at every school or community event. Although he received very little formal education, he made it his responsibility to ensure that I was not only educated but excelled academically. He worked in construction my entire childhood and met our needs. His sacrifices fueled my ambition and motivated me to do my best at everything I set out to accomplish. I am sure there were things he desired to do with his life, but instead, he chose to take care of not only his children but his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He and my grandmother raised three generations under their roof. Although they were not perfect, I believe they did well with what God gave them.

Ultimately, my heart is broken by his loss. Yet, I can’t help but praise God for my Papa’s life. He lived a blessed life. He was tough on us, but I knew it was because he loved us. I also knew he had battles he was fighting as we all do. So, he didn’t always make the best choices or say all the right words. Despite his struggles, one thing remained the same, his love for children. Because of it, he would do whatever he could to make sure any child was taken care of and protected. As the years progressed, I saw the hand of the Lord changing and working on his heart. The more time passed, the sweeter he became. I started calling him, “Suga”, because the older he got, the more I could see the gentleness and deep love that comes from growing in the Lord.

It was evident that he knew God and that God knew him. Amid his inner turmoil, he never neglected to tell God, “Thank You”. Sometimes, I would listen to him through the kitchen window because I would hear him talking to himself while working in the yard. To my surprise, he would be talking to the Lord. He knew that it was only by the grace and mercy of God that he was still in the land of the living after all these years.

While he was sick, I would sit and watch him when he wasn’t communicating with us. There were times when he would have a fixed gaze upward. I would often wonder what he was looking at. I believe that he was looking to where his help came from because I could feel the peace of God upon him. One day, his cousin came to visit. She told him that God was taking care of him. He stared intensely into her eyes and smiled with a confidence that was evident that he knew her words were the truth. Papa had accepted the Lord’s will for his life; he knew The Good Father. It was well with his soul. He knew the Lord had kept him. He knew that he didn’t want for anything because his soul had a Shepherd that supplied everything he needed, who had walked with him through many valleys and had taken him over many mountains.

Although this is a tough time, I can’t help but rejoice about all the wisdom he shared with us and the lessons he taught us. I can’t help but smile when I think of all of his sarcastic remarks and witty comebacks. He was one of a kind, a character, and rare. His transparency was admirable because he was honest and shared his mistakes with us so we would learn from them. Even though he didn’t tell us he loved us, it was evident in his care for us. He would always say, “Thank you for all you do.” I would reply, “No, thank you. I can do what I do because of all you did for me”. It was true. He laid the foundation. Now, it is our job to continue to build upon it. He showed us how a father loves and provides for his family. He showed us how a father chastens those he loves. He showed us that real love is sacrificial and covers us in all things.

So, I say,” Thank you, Sweet Papa. Take your rest with the Heavenly Father. You did your job well.”

How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by Him

Hello Dear One,

How are you today? I just wanted to remind you that you are loved beyond measure. Infinitely. Undeniably. Certainly. Passionately. Guess what? You didn’t have to earn it. His love isn’t based on your performance or your ability. His love is not generic or one size fits all. His love is tailored specifically to you. His love pursues you even if you have no idea about who He is or desire to know Him. He is your biggest fan and thinks the world of you. His love is so intimate. He’s so In-to-You. You don’t have to look any further. The one who longs to have your heart not only wants to be close to you but wants to live within you. He wants to be so close that your intrinsic rhythm is His and your heartbeats match. He serenades you with the songs of birds at the dawn of each new day. He lights up your world with the sun and breathes through your very lungs with each breath you take. His arms are always open for your embrace. His ears are inclined to your worries, fears, and prayers.

Oh, how sweet is His peace. Oh, how sweet are His words.

Oh, how sweet is His presence.

Oh, how sweet. Oh, how sweet.

Oh, how sweet Dear One. Will you dare to taste it and see?

How Sweet it is to be loved by Him!

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He Heals Broken Hearts

Lately, several of my closest friends and I have felt the pain of grief. My heart aches from missing my friend who courageously fought cancer and won her reward of Heaven. It doesn’t help that her birthday is in September and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October. Although I know her suffering has ended, I still grieve the idea of her suffering and the pain left in the heart of all that loved her. Several of my friends have lost loved ones and attended funerals over the past few weeks. We have all felt the wave of emotions that comes with losing someone.

Today, I was talking within a group chat with a some beautiful ladies. We talked about grief and how we have dealt with it. We prayed and encouraged each other as we usually do. Then, I opened my devotional to find that the Verse of the Day was Psalm 147:3. I read the lesson and shared the verse with the group. Afterwards, the same verse popped up in my Facebook memories. Later, it was the opening verse for Pastor Jarrett’s message today. What was God saying? I believe He was reminding us that He heals and repairs broken our broken hearts. I believe that He was reminding us of His humanity and how He too grieved when the very ones He was sent to save rejected Him. I believe He was reminding us that He had walked in the agony we feel, so that He would be accessible to us and be our help during our seasons of pain or sorrow.

Since He loved me enough to remind me of this today, I wanted to do the same for you. Is your heart broken? Are you experiencing loss and grieving someone you loved dearly?

Well, He is here to bind your wounded heart and restore it. Let Him do it for you.

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Forgive Yourself

Romans 8:1-2
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

I have always been very analytical. That can be a good thing but it can also be a bad thing because I can over analyze a situation in a heartbeat if I am not careful. By the time something has taken place, I will have broken it down about 10 times and put it back together 20 different ways in my head. Now, that works if I am working or trying to solve a problem but it can become quite problematic when it comes to relationships. There have been times in my life where it has been just that. I’ve caused myself to think about things so much that it placed guilt on me because I began to harp on what I should have done in different situations. God wants us to be free. He wants us to be free in our minds, bodies, and spirits. As believers, one of the greatest ways we can is forgiveness; the forgiveness of others and of ourselves.

Over the years, I have allowed myself to hold on to regrets. Due to me being a person who always wants to be reflective and do what is right, this has occurred quite often. However, I have learned that the enemy will use the smallest thing to steal our joy or hinder us. He will use our care and concern. He will use our love and loyalty. He will use whatever he can to get us off of the path God has us on. Therefore, we have to learn how to move forward when unfavorable situations in our lives occur. Romans 8:1 says there is no more condemnation for us because Christ has set us free. This is one of my favorite scriptures to go to when I find myself in a place of guilt or shame. I have to remind myself that I am human and imperfect. I have to remind myself that Christ died for my mistakes and sins. Therefore, it is not my job to make myself pay for them over and over again. I don’t have to allow the weight of the things I’ve done to consume me. If I do, that pain is self-inflicted because Christ didn’t come to condemn me but to set me free. That means if we are experiencing guilt, regret, and shame it is coming from Satan himself because he is the accuser of the brethren.

I’ve also learned that if I ask for forgiveness and the person doesn’t grant it; that’s no longer on me. My responsibility is to ask with a sincere heart and commit to doing better moving forward. Then, it is out of my hands. Sometimes, people will try to project their guilt and shame unto you. If you are a feeler as I am, you will tend to carry the burdens of others on you which can become unhealthy. In times like these, you have to discern and recognize what is going on. Once you do, set guidelines for yourself and boundaries that will allow you to maintain your emotional health. Also, pray and ask the Spirit to show you those areas and guide you on how to steer clear of them.

The enemy wants us to remember our sin and mishaps constantly because he knows the destructive power that it has. In Jeremiah 31:34, we are told that when God forgives us, He remembers our sins no more. Therefore if He is the one whom we have transgressed against and He can forgive us, why can’t we forgive ourselves and move forward. Furthermore, when we reject the forgiveness of God, others, or even ourselves, we make room for spiritual traps such as pride. Proverbs 16:18 states that pride comes before destruction. When we become prideful and fail to forgive ourselves, we set ourselves up to fall and rob ourselves of the peace that comes along with true forgiveness. Not only do we steal our own peace but we rob those connected to us because we can make them targets for the hurt we are experiencing within ourselves. The longer we harbor those feelings and try to punish ourselves, the more likely we are to act out on others and hurt them.

Friends, it is so important for us to understand that we cannot take anything back that we have done or change anything bad that has happened to us. However, we can make a conscious effort to do better moving forward and live differently. Personally, I’m grateful that I have been able to release myself from the mistakes I have made. It has made me a better person and has allowed me to love the people around me in an even greater way. What the enemy meant for bad, God turned it around for my good. Where the enemy tried to tear me down and make his lies about me echo louder than God’s truth, the Lord has made His voice even louder. What have you not forgiven yourself for? What have you allowed others and the enemy to hold over your head? Beloved, there is so much more life for you to live on the other side of your mistake. When you forgive yourself, the enemy can no longer use those things against you. Will you be free and made whole today?

Forgive Yourself!

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You Are on His Mind

Lately, I have been meditating on the mindfulness of God. I am just awestruck by the fact that the God of all creation cares about little old you and me in all of our fault and weakness. How could He know the mess we are and yet still desire to know us intimately? He is not like man. He doesn’t delight in our error or sin. He doesn’t highlight our imperfections and criticize our every action. The fact that He knows all of that ANYWAY and still cares very deeply about us amazes me. He knows our thoughts from afar even when they are farthest from His and our actions aren’t in alignment with His principles. Yet, the lens through which He sees us remains focused on what we shall become in Him. He loves us into our purpose and concerns Himself with what concerns us. Who are we that He would love us so profoundly? Who are we that He would go to such great lengths to pursue us and restore us unto Himself? I don’t have the answer to that question. In fact, I think our inability to quantify and fully comprehend the magnitude of His love for us is what makes His love story so beautiful. Nevertheless, I just wanted to remind you today that you are on His mind and He loves you dearly.

Be blessed.

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In the Morning

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Psalm 30:5 KJV For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

In the midst of the darkness,

After the passing of the day’s light,

When all is still and no one is in sight.

When my body is tired from the work of the the day,

And my mind is restless, void of words to pray,

When I am overwhelmed, feelings in the way.

When my soul is weary, worn, and torn,

And I question the very reason I was born.

Searching for life’s meaning and the choices to make,

Pillow wet with tears, telling the Lord I’ve had all I can take.

Is there a way out? Is there anything I can do?

To stop the pain that overtakes me and leaves me without a clue.

Then, a still voice whispers, “My child, lift your head”.

“Have you so quickly forgotten what I have said?”

Your weeping may endure but only for a night,

Because I am the one who will carry you until you see the of morning’s light.

“Hold on, Beloved. I know it gets tough. Yet, remember you have a Father who loves you very much.”

New grace, New mercies. New faith, New days.

New Beginnings. More Strength. God’s making a way.

In the Morning

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You Are Valuable


Isaiah 43:4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Exodus 19:5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 John 4:9-10  God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Matthew 18:12 MSG Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the ninety-nine who stay put? Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers.

You Are Blessed


Deuteronomy 28: 2-14 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

Numbers 6:24-26
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

You Are Redeemed


Isaiah 43:1 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

Titus 2: 13-14 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Romans 3:24 “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came through Christ Jesus. t

1 Corinthians 1:30 “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.”

Ephesians 1:7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.”

Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

Psalm 111:9 “He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.”

Ephesians 1:7-8 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”

1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

You Are Chosen by God


Jeremiah 1:5, NIV Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

John 15:16, ESV You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Ephesians 1:3-4, NLT All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.

Isaiah 43:1, ESV But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Romans 8:28-29, NLT And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Deuteronomy 14:2, NIV for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession. (Amen!)

 1 Peter 2:9, KJV “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shewed forth the praises of him, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”

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