Tag Archive | God

Stay The Course

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend about changes in how her kids are taught math. She was saying that the changes were due to people trying to find the next bit thing to which I asked “what if the next big thing is the thing you’re already doing?” We were talking about math but it got me thinking about our walk with God.

We are so concerned about being seen. Having a platform. Writing that next book. Speaking at the latest conference. Developing the hottest podcast. Attending whatever workshop that will tell us how to have a deeper relationship with God. All those things are good but we forget to do the one thing that has stood the test of time. The thing we did when we first gave our hearts to Jesus… pray and read His word.

I’ve fallen for the trap and looked for the external instead of going back to basics. The basics that have lasted for hundreds of years. The basics that worked for Jesus. Jesus was constantly talking to His father and referencing the scriptures in His teaching.

Jesus knew that the only way to handle the things we go through is to stay close to God. As the word says heaven and earth will pass away but His word will stand. Other resources are here to help us but they should never replace the one true resource we have…God’s word.

photo of person walking on deserted island

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

Sing…Sing A Song

Psalm 137 was written when the nation of Israel was in captivity in Babylon where they were asked to sing a song-a song they used to sing in Zion. It was an opportunity to sing about the goodness of God. To sing about how God opened the waters so they could walk on dry land. To sing about how their clothes & shoes didn’t wear out during their 40 years in the wilderness. But did they sing? No. They said “how can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”The tendency is to be surprised that they didn’t sing but I really shouldn’t be because I’ve been there.

My foreign land wasn’t Babylon but it has been depression, fornication, the loss of a job. It’s been the suicide of my father. The loss of some of my aunts and uncles. And quite recently and more often than I would like it’s been my finances. Admittedly during these times I couldn’t sing. I couldn’t sing about how God kept me when I made the decision to go home with someone after the club. Or when I was walking home with my friends down busy streets at 10 or 11 o’clock at night.

As I’ve gotten older and grown in my walk with God I know that no matter what the situation it’s important to remember how God has kept you. Why? Because remembering will help bring you out of your situation. There are going to be times when we stumble along our walk and those memories of God’s grace & mercy will cause us to repent, pick ourselves up and keep moving forward. And our song isn’t just for us. How many non-believers became believers because of your song?


Our song is our testimony. A testimony that is either verbally sung or played in how we live. The nation of Israel didn’t sing their song in a foreign land. Will you?

photo credit: djwtwo <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/40761412@N00/8538647622″>Duet for Violin and Piano</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

It’s Not What You See…It’s How You Look At It

I almost fell into the trap. You know the one where you start looking at things and being to think that what you have isn’t enough. The one that tempts you into making purchases you can’t afford. Like looking into moving out of the home that you love because you want an updated bathroom or a pantry in the kitchen. Really, Melissa? Moving for a pantry? Well, it has crossed my mind but thankfully over the last few days I’ve come to my senses.

I have been in my home for 6 years now and I started to think that I’d outgrown the nearly 1500 square feet of my one level town home. I know, I know sound’s silly right? How could little old me outgrow 1500 square feet? Well, I really haven’t outgrown my home I was just looking at it with the wrong eyes. After 6 years I became complacent and I started to take everything for granted. I remember when I started my house hunting venture. I wasn’t to particular on location, except I didn’t want to be in Brooklyn Park (it takes my mother to talk about that considering that’s where I ended up) but I did have some things I absolutely had to have and God answered that prayer.

So why exactly have I begun to think my God answered home is no longer good enough? Because once again I wasn’t really looking at my home. I stopped seeing the best and started seeing the negative and worse I started to complain about the negative. No I don’t have a pantry but guess what I have more than enough space especially if I rearrange some things in my kitchen (again it takes my mom to talk about my storage container cabinet).

God wants us to think on the good things about life-not that we should live in a rose-colored world but we also shouldn’t dwell on the imperfections of life. This doesn’t just apply to homes but to other aspects like relationships, jobs, finances. Too many times we make decisions based on the surface instead of digging deeper and I for one have decided to try to look at things in a different light.


photo credit: Pascal Volk <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/65149948@N06/34354315502″>Eyes of the coffee mug</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Are you worth the ring?

16685624391_e84de79591_oI have always been fascinated by wedding rings, particularly women’s wedding rings. I like the design of them-the diamonds and the bands itself. I’m constantly looking at them on women’s fingers. My sister sometimes get irritated because I’m always taking her hand and looking at her ring. I’ve even gone onto a website and designed a ring for myself. I’m always looking at the left hand of women on television to see if they are married and if they are to see the size of their ring. On some level I’ve equated the size of the ring with the depth of someone’s love. The bigger the ring the more they are loved but as I’ve heard stories of some of these women I realize that the amount of money someone spends on you doesn’t determine the depth of their love for you.

That was even true in the bible. In the Book of Esther, King Ahasuerus showered Queen Vashti with gifts but the moment she decided to have a mind of her own and not come down to be paraded in front of his party guests, the King had her stripped of her gifts and her title to be given to another woman. Obviously that’s not love. But when the King met Esther he truly showed his love for her, not by how much he spent on her but by the respect he had for her. He listened and trusted her judgement and because of that love he righted a wrong and elevated her family to a high position in the kingdom. Here’s the thing, Esther was able to be loved in that way because she first loved herself in that way.

She had a sense of pride in who she was. She never thought herself better than anyone else but she never thought she was less than either. That’s how we should be. If we were to all think of ourselves in that way we wouldn’t feel as if someone had to “purchase” our love. We would know that by loving ourselves we would automatically show love to others and in return receive love.

As someone who hopes to be married one day coming to an understanding of what it means to get the ring is extremely important. Esther didn’t get her ring because she desired it for herself, she got the ring because she desired it for her people. Being worthy of the ring isn’t about you and you alone it’s about what the ring represents. It represents a vow between two people and God to further His kingdom.14537600144_d0f6f8ab53_q Esther understood that her position as the Queen wasn’t merely to walk around the palace looking cute. It was to do the will of God who placed her in that palace. I firmly believe that a marriage, especially a marriage that is built on the foundation of the bible should be focused on spreading God’s word. It should be strong within itself but not self-absorbed.

And as individuals we also should be strong within ourselves but not self-absorbed. Self absorption causes us to lose ourselves and others. Think about how a sponge works. If it’s dry it doesn’t pick up any water. It becomes useless. But when it’s wet it draws water toward it. It becomes useful. God did not place us here to be useless. As we live out our single lives we should strive to live it out as an honor to God. The same goes for our married lives. No matter what we do God should be able to get the glory.

Because Esther desired to please God above all else, to become worthy of His ring, The Holy Trinity, she pleased her husband, her uncle, her people and will forever be known as someone who helped save the Jewish nation.

Which ring are you trying to be worthy of? Man’s or God’s?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/90876536@N02/16685624391″>Wedding</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76186789@N02/14537600144″>Love</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;


I open my eyes and allow them to adjust to the darkness around me. I hear the sounds of nothingness in my ears. My hands feel the coldness of the floors I call my bed. I’ve been here for several years now. This 10 x 12 space has become my home. I have just enough room to move around but not enough to really feel comfortable. My crime? Well that’s not really important. What’s important is that I’ve been sentenced to serve this time. How much time? Well that really depends on me.

Everyday men, women and sometimes children are sentenced to serve time behind bars. Their crimes range in severity as do the time they are ordered to serve. These individuals are sentenced to a physical imprisonment placed on them by the justice system but what about people who imprison themselves because they can’t let go of the past? I’m sure we’ve all seen them. They are walking around just like we are going about their business day after day. Nothing really seems out of place until you sit down and have a conversation with them. Most of the topics consist of situations that have happened to them in the past. They still get angry, disappointed, hurt when they think about how someone did them wrong. The feelings are so strong one would think these are fresh wounds instead of old scars.

I’ve been one of those people. Constantly picking at a wound that God was trying to heal simply because it was familiar to me; something I could depend on. I kept myself imprisoned by holding onto hurts, slights and disappointments because I felt justified not realizing that each day I was adding bars to my cell and days onto my sentence. And to be honest there are days I visit my old cell. I’ll be sitting thinking about my life and the next thing I know I’m replaying situations that happened to me when I was in my early twenties and those old feelings start to come up again. That’s when I start reminding myself that as long as I stay locked up in that prison Satan is happy and the last thing I want to do is make him happy. See as long as we focus on the past we can’t move through to our future. It’s like we are wearing blocks of cement. We become stuck right where we are.

Jesus did not die for our sins and free us from eternal death to watch us imprison ourselves again. John 10:10 says “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (NKJV)” So let’s break out of the mental prison we place ourselves in and live as free children of God.


photo credit: “http://www.flickr.com/photos/58627294@N00/4033151794”>Freehttp://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; “https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

What Grass Do You Water?

We’ve all heard it – the grass is always greener on the other side. But how do we really know? And what is driving the desire to see the other side?

A long time ago I was at job that I didn’t really like anymore. It started out really well but over the course of three years there were changes that made it difficult for me to do my job to the best of my ability. I felt as if I was being pulled into two different directions but as I prayed and asked God to take me from there His answer was always no. I saw other people leave either to take different jobs or to start an entirely new company. I felt hurt and disheartened and I didn’t understand what was going on. I looked at the other people leaving and I just knew where they were going was way better than where I was at. I was envious and jealous of them leaving and me staying.

I’ve heard countless stories of marriages breaking up because one or both spouses “fell out of love” and allowed something or someone else to draw their attention away. They fell for the butterflies and excitement that comes with new love but forgot that they could have that with the person they are currently with.

Here’s the thing no matter what your situation is running away from it won’t make it better because you can’t run away from yourself.

When I was sitting at my desk praying to be moved into a different position the main problem wasn’t my job it was my attitude and how I dealt with the situation. I was so focused on what I thought would make me happy that I didn’t see the blessing of just having a job. It wasn’t until I started being grateful for what I had that God moved me into a better position which moved me into a better position.

When the married couple was sitting across from each other not talking or taking each other for granted they didn’t see that even if they end up with someone new they will still end up with someone different. People change and grow and the question becomes are they going to grow and change together?

When we focus on someone else’s grass we don’t think about the work that went into getting that grass green. How many hours did they put into learning and studying their craft to become better at their job? How many hours did they put into praying with one another and seeking to always remember why they fell in love in the first place?

So what grass are you going to water? Yours with the blood, sweat and tears of hard work & determination? Or theirs with the blood, sweat and tears of jealousy & envy? Think about it.