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Friday, November 29, 2013

I'm Thankful For 2004 (or today!) - 11/28/13 and 11/29/13 (updated!)

All day today, I have been singing a jacked up version of Ruben Studdard's "hit" - but replacing Sorry with Thankful.... I'm thankful for 2004! Bizarre, right? Especially because 2004 is almost 10 years ago and why am I thankful for that year? Idk, you know me and music....
Here is truly what I'm thankful for....  

I'm thankful for the basics! It's almost a gospel cliche... I'm thankful for the roof over my head, the shoes on my feet, the clothes on my back, and the food on my table. And while it may sound pedestrian, I'm thankful for even the tiniest blessings in my life! I'm thankful for the car I own now, and I'm thankful in advance for the much less expensive car I will own in the future.

I'm thankful for decent health! I was able to get out of bed today in my right mind! Cue the hallelujahs! But again, with my family's medical history, I could be dealing with a lot more than bad sinuses and migraines! God has been so good!

(Everything below was completed after I woke up at midnight LOL)

I'm thankful for my job. The stressful times, the busy times, the almost-nonexistent laid back times (smile), I'm grateful for a job that needs me so much! I'm also grateful to be part of my team. We freakin' rock. I'm thankful for my boss's health. This time last year, I remember being very worried. I'm thankful for the office where I was born, raised, and promoted. I'm extremely thankful that it will be moving in upcoming months... (For real, this time!)
I'm also thankful for my other "jobs" - my ministries at church and my responsibilities in Zeta. I love service!

I'm grateful for my family - family has always been a loose definition for me and has never just been defined by blood. But I'm super thankful for my sorors and Sigma brothers, every single one of my friends (shoutout to the bffs), my pastor(s) and all of the Bidwell family, my YaYas, my non-biological family (all the "aunts" and their families), and my real family (the Formleys, the Blackwells, the Gilliams). I'm thankful for my Daddy. God bless and keep him for becoming a single parent at 71 and thinking he would have it easy. Ha!
I'm thankful for those who I had the chance to know and love but have since gone on - Calvin, Uncle Tim, Aunt Rose, Armon, among others.
Finally, I'm so very thankful for being placed in the womb of Madelyn. My mom was an outstanding woman of God and I can only hope to be described similarly by my progeny someday....

I'm thankful for my relationship with the Triune God! Yup, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all get a shoutout bc I need them (Thee) every hour, oh how I do... There's so much to say and not say in this juncture....
To God who knew me when I was but a zygote and called me His, THANK YOU!!!
To God who has great purpose for me and is patiently waiting for me to get it together... THANK YOU!!!
To God who planted me where I needed to be but still manages to put up with my silly requests every day... THANK YOU!!!

Psalm 100
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His, we are His people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."


Thank You - Richard Smallwood

Thank You - Daryl Coley

Still Gotta Say Thank You - Smokie Norful

Until later,
Blue Lady

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Honesty, Transparency, God Sees Us! - 11/26/13

Last week, while I was driving somewhere, I started thinking about possible blog topics, almost like a confessional series about things that people probably don’t know or don’t realize about me, such as how self-centered I am or what worries I have... but then I thought nah because while this blog is about me, it’s really about God’s work in me and that should be my focus, not me. Then, my Pastor preached on Sunday from the book of Ezekiel, Chapter 8, verses 1-13. I’m not going to transcribe it here, but the essence is this – there’s a hole in the wall of the temple that reveals the secret doorway to the room where people who are supposed to be holy are doing things they have no business doing in secret, but God sees it and it is detestable to Him! As she preached, I just shook my head because wow, confession is admitting what was done in secret. So, this confessional series is probably right on track, but what I wanted to confess (the easy, surface stuff) is probably not what I need to confess… Whoo! I’m not even ready for this confessional series, but it’s probably coming soon. So, in the meantime (and given the fact that my time was limited this morning), I’m going to put in my virtual crockpot and let it stew. So far, it’s got the base ingredient in it – Pastor’s word from Sunday. Let’s see what other scriptures I can find about transparency, honesty, secrecy in the Word…

Proverbs 12:17 “A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.” 

Psalm 44:20-21 “If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since He knows the secrets of the heart?” 

Psalm 51 (all of it!) 51:3-6 “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” 

1 John 1:5b—8 “…God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we life and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 

Luke 12:2-3 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the intter rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” 

 Yikes, help me Holy Spirit. As I add these words to the crockpot, Lord, stir the pot and keep it hot in my heart until it's time to served. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Had to leave you a song (of course) Walk in the Light (1987) – an old hymn that Aretha did in 1987.
 It starts around 0:50 Enjoy!
Here’s the lyrics:
Walk in the light, beautiful light, come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.
Oh shine all around us by day and by night, Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world;
Oh we shall walk in the light, beautiful light, come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.
Oh shine all around us by day and by night, Jesus is , Jesus is the light of the world;

Verse 1:
No need to worry, no need to fret, all of my needs, the man named Jesus has met. His love protects me from hurt and from harm, Jesus is, Jesus is the light of the world.

Verse 2: If the gospel be hid, it's hid from the lost, my Jesus is waiting to look past your faults. Arise and shine, your light has come, Jesus is, I know that He is the only light of this world.

Sopranos: Jesus is the light, light of the world.
Tenors: Jesus is the light, light of the world.
Altos: Jesus is the light, light of the world.
All: He's ever shining in my soul.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall Fashion/ Photoshoot Friday - 11/22/13

On Saturday, November 2nd, I entered a blog giveaway from one of my social media friends, @Dawn GT, for this beautiful black infinity scarf. A week later I found out, I had won! Well, yesterday, my scarf arrived and here is the part where I rock the heck out of it! My thanks and appreciation to Dawn! The scarf is fabulous! Click here and check out her blog - Simply Sassy's Style Blog!

Seeking Him --> Bills to Decrease.. Blessings to Increase! - 11/22/13

Dear Lord,
Thank you for your Word that illumines me. Thank you for using it to speak to me, to encourage me, to chastise me. Thank you for everything! When I l start to look at what I don’t have, I can’t help but praise you for all that I do have. Thank you Lord for sustaining me. Lord, these bills! But all I can say is “Hallelujah Anyhow”. You’ve been with me so far, and I know you are always right beside me. You’ll never leave nor forsake me...

Y’know, for me, there is nothing more depressing than waking up on payday and having less than you thought you would have…. I’m not putting all of my business out there, but let’s just say that money is tight! So, this morning, as soon as I saw my balance, I wanted to run to the bank and take everything out that was left! But before I could actually stand up, I was convicted to not go anywhere. No, God, I’ll trust you. The situation may look bleak, but I have to trust God with it.

Matthew 6:25; 33-34a
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…”

But as I’m trusting God, I’m also have work to do. I can’t continually jump off the cliff then say “Help!!! I’m drowning!” every month.  I also have to make some smarter decisions with my money. That being said, I’ve pretty much decided DECIDED to turn my car back in. I absolutely adore my car, but the reality is, I can’t afford that car note while living on my own. See, when I bought her, I was on my own, but I had a lot in savings. So I was able to afford my bills, but only because I was able to dip into my savings… and when the savings were depleted…  yeah, I’ve been treading water ever since.  And it has to stop. So, in the next couple of weeks, I have to call my financier and voluntarily repossess her, push up on PATricia for a little while, then buy an affordable car that runs! And the most important feature of this car will not be its automatic windows or CD player. The only thing this car absolutely must have is NO NOTE ATTACHED! I’ve been thinking about doing this for months now, but I kept putting it off. Putting it off is just extending the issue.  It has to happen now in the next couple of weeks, because I am not taking this drama into 2014.  Of course, it would have made sense to do this before winter struck, but hey, it is what it is. Why am I telling the world? Because I’m going to follow through with it and written words have power.
 *Deep Sigh* I’ll be okay though.

#billstodecrease #blessingstoincrease  
In Jesus’ Name,  Amen

p.s. Happy Friday!

p.p.s. *waving at my readers* Thank you for reading! It encourages me greatly!

p.p.s. Of course, there’s a video! Let’s make it two!

 I’ll Trust You by Richard Smallwood

I Trust You by James Fortune and F.I.Y.A.

p.p.p.s. One more! Different, but related!
Richard Smallwood flipped the proverbial script and did a song called "Trust Me"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Re-prioritize – Putting God First (Part One) - 11/21/13

My church’s theme is The Year of Recovery and every month we focus on a word that starts with an R. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember what this month is, but that’s because I was in Virginia on 1st Sunday, Rev (our other pastor) preached 2nd Sunday, and we had a guest last Sunday. Anyway, yesterday, Pastor challenged me to a new R word… Re-Prioritize. She asked me to spend time thinking about my current priorities and re-order them. I think she also expects some stuff to get kicked off of the list altogether :-/
So, this morning, allow me to start thinking about it, writing about it, praying about it, so I can be prepared to receive what God has to say about it.

First, let’s backtrack. When people would ask any of the normal questions (How are you? What are you up to?), my answer would always be Work, Church, Sorority. I listed them thus because I felt time-wise, I literally spent the most time at work (something I have to do), then at church (at least 3 days per week because of the ministries I’m involved in), then my sorority because I just fit it in where I could. Then something changed, perhaps it was because I became an officer… I began to work on sorority stuff during free time at work, which at that time was a majority of the time. Then, this year, sorority stuff, by proxy began to take up more time but I think this was just happenstance. When your soror joins your church and becomes one of your best friends, I think sorority stuff tends to come to the forefront. Thus, my priorities became Sorority, Work, Church.

Which brings us back to the new beginning for this blog, where Pastor challenged me to stop focusing on what I was doing for who and actually spend some time with God every day.  Thus began the reading of His Word and the blogging. And it took me awhile to figure it out, but I can say that God is now the head of my priorities. But what about the rest of the list? Well, work has been downright crazy and I can’t even get Sorority stuff done there anymore (how dare they expect me to work at work? :-p) But in the sorority, I am holding different positions which mandate me to attend certain events. I have also renewed my commitment to the ministries that I’m in at church. So, as of today, right now at 6:15AM, I can say my priorities are God, Work, Sorority, and Church (Sorority only comes before church because of the mandatory events).

Here are some follow-up questions which I intend to answer in later posts:
What about Me Time? What about my family and friends?  How am I going to meet, maintain a relationship with, and eventually marry  my future husband with all of this going on? Why am I so committed to my sorority?

Lord, Your name is above all names. Forgive me for being so wrapped up in myself that I could barely see you. Thank you for gifting me with a way to put You first. Please continue to convict me so that I remain faithful in my daily devotions to you. Please help me to re-prioritize my life. Amen.

I guess today’s scripture is easy, right?  Seek ye first the Kingdom of God… But in checking my friend, the concordance, I found some other good ones. This was the first one listed under “Seek”.

1 Chronicles 28:8b-9
“Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever. And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.”

OUCH! Conviction hurts. Post to be continued y’all. I gotta get dressed now. Driving out to Greentree every day sucks is not fun at all!


P.S. Gotta give you a video. This song jumped in my head!
J. Moss - God First

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

While I'm Trying to Submit, Lord, Have Your Way! - 11/20/13

I just woke up from some kinda strange dreams. One of the dreams featured Mommy, but she was sick and was starting to exhibit the symptoms that would have probably come along If God hadn’t called her home as quickly as He did… So waking up, I’m just thankful for God’s Will being pervasive in her life and in my own.

Now, back to the topic at hand, Submission... In the midst of one of the training sessions that I’m “coaching” this week, I thought about how bobby pins tying my hair down does not equate submission. While me using bobby pins to get the hair back under control may be similar to God working in my life to try to get me on the path, there is one key factor missing – free will.

See, my hair is just naturally rebellious. It’s just behaving the way it was created to behave. Me, on the other hand? While naturally rebellious due to original sin (anybody remember TULIP?), I actually  have the ability of choice. I can choose to submit or I can choose not to submit.

Galatians 5:13, 16-17, 25
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

So I have been made free, but in that freedom, I continue to have a choice. Our sinful nature alone causes us to be rebellious, but I can choose to live by the Spirit instead.
This walk that I’m on is my attempt to not let my sinful nature take over. The challenge of studying God’s Word every day and blogging about it is not easy, but I have to keep trying. Every time I open the word of God, It’s a victory, even if it’s a small one.   
Thank you Lord for convicting me about submission.

Today’s song is kinda related, but kinda not. While I'm working on being obedient and submitting to God's Will, I'm asking that He take control. It's an old hymn that we used to sing and an old favorite “Have Thine Own Way”

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit ’till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

Here is a video of Morgan State Choir singing it…

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bobby Pins = Submission - 11/17/13

So, I haven't blogged in a week, and even though I didn't post anything, here's one of the topics that assaulted my mind.. Submission... See it started with my hair. My locs are in a really unruly state right now. At any given moment, they're liable to be doing their best Alfalfa impression, and each individual strand joins the act and it's just not right :-\ All that to say, I've been fighting with them for weeks now. Scarf or no scarf, product or no product, nothing really helped... Until I remembered my friend the bobby pin...
The bobby pin has been my friend and my confidant over the years, but never have I used so many as I do now. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for me to have 10 pins in my head to make 12 locs behave. This morning, I decided to wash the front of my hair (psoriasis, oy!) and when I started thinking "now what?", I began to comb it all to one side. Then I started re-twisting strands and pinning them down, and before you know it, I had a little side-swoop action going on. I non-verbally told my locs who was in charge. Yes I did! But why all this hair talk? Whelp, it struck me, that the owner of these here locs needs to submit too. Yup, I run around doing what I want to do thinking that I'm in charge, when I'm truly not. Here's what the Word says...

James 4:2b-3; 7-8a; 10
"You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you." "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."

I had to lay all of that out because it puts the whole thing in context... Allow me to paraphrase for myself... You want stuff, but don't get it and wonder why. It's because you don't act right. So stop fighting and surrender to God.

I struggled all week long with not blogging. Part of me wanted to do it, a bigger part of me didn't feel like it. And while somewhere out there, I have a reader or two, at the end of the day, I'm blogging for me. God gave me this tool so I have to be obedient with it. Blogging everyday keeps me in my Word and focused on Him.  I get caught up working for God through my church and my sorority, but when it comes to spending time with God, I want to find 53 other things to do. Submitting my will to God's will is really hard.

So, how do I do it? Honestly, I'm not sure. And to be completely honest, blogging at night is difficult. My mind is processing everything I saw, did, said, and experienced, so it's hard to do this, but I wanted to post tonight and not wait until the morning. I have to admit to myself that the desire to have my own way is a daily struggle. Every day, I need to admit my hardheadedness and pray for God to help me with it.

And this week, while I blog daily, I'm going to continue to marinate on it and I'll just have to go from there. One step at a time, until I can say "Here I am Lord, send me..." and really mean it!

Good night everyone!

It's Time To Say Yes... (revised so video is embedded) - 11/17/13

Was driving to church this a.m. and this song came on. Got me to thinking and so I shared it with you... (Of course, embed doesn't work on the mobile app, so here is the video...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sweet Holy Spirit... Thank God It's Sunday! - 11/10/13

Good morning everyone!
I love waking up to a fabulous new day to glorify the Lord! I'm especially grateful when I've had 8 hrs of sleep before having to wake up :-)

Anyway, the song on my heart this morning is Sweet Holy Spirit and I just wanted to quickly share them with you!

Here are the lyrics...

There’s a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place
And I know that it’s the Spirit of the Lord
There are sweet expressions on each face
And I know they feel the presence of the Lord
Sweet Holy Spirit...
sweet heavenly dove...
Stay right here with us
Filling us with Your love
And for these blessings
We lift our hearts in praise
Without a doubt we know
That we’ll have been revived
When we shall leave this place 

Here's a nice video:

Blessings to everyone!
-Blue Lady

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hide Me! - 11/8/13

(OMG! Just realized this never posted on 11/8/13... smh)

Psalm 31:14-15a “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands…” 

Thinking about time last night and this morning, when is it going to be my time? My time for financial stability? My time for love? How long, O Lord, how long? But faith is believing in what is unseen and knowing/trusting that God is doing what is best.

When I start to get weary and my faith gets weak, I love to pull out this song from Kirk Franklin. And I’m manually typing it out just to reiterate the lyrics to myself….

 “Hide Me”
 I know you see us
 I know you hear us
 I know you feel us when we pray
 You understand us
 See deep inside us
 Translate tears and take them away 
 I’mma be honest
 There are times
 Your ways and methods I don’t understand 
You seem so far Tell me who you are 
I know your touch, but can’t see your plan 

 I’m lost in this thing called life 
Left to me now feels right 
It’s your turn now I wanna be where you are 

 Hide me
Let me live behind you 
‘Cause I need, 
Shelter from the rain 
Remind me 
The only way my faith can grow is when you let your winds blow 
You’re making me stronger now So please, don’t go away 
Don’t go away

 I admit it’d be nice to have some light shine down on me 
Especially when what I shall be you don’t always let me see
 It ain’t easy But I’m trying 
Hard to get out of your way 
To believe what you say 
Let my change begin today 

 The road includes some pain 
And to grow you need some rain 
And when it falls I wanna be where you are 

 Hide me
 Let me live behind you 
‘Cause I need,
 Shelter from the rain
 Remind me
 The only way my faith can grow is when you let your winds blow 
You’re making me stronger now 
So please, don’t go away 
Don’t go away 

 ‘Cause there’s so much I see 
Needs to grow inside of me 
In the fire I realize 
Before I lived, I had to die 
Please believe me when I say 
I can’t waste another day 
It’s so easy to complain
 But complain don’t make a change 
Not the victim anymore 
All the things God has in store 
 If I ain’t ready don’t let the rain go away 

(chorus starts again... This is my fave part! Kirk’s ad libs though!) 
Can I just hang out behind you? 
It’s cold out here in this rain 
 You’re making me stronger now…
 It don’t feel good right now, but I had to realize 
You’re making me stronger now… 
It’s necessary; you’re trying to grow me up 
 You’re making me stronger now… 
You’re taking away everything that’s not like you. Jesus 
You’re making me stronger now… 
It’s that breaking process y’all 
 You’re making me stronger now… 
Your delay is not a denial. I realize 
You’re making me stronger now… 
You love me too much to give me too much, Jesus 
You’re making me stronger now… 
Your plan is perfect even when I’m not. I realize 
You’re making me stronger now… 
I can’t rely on my own strength this time y’all. Come on 
You’re making me stronger now… 
I cry when I worship 
 The times when it was rent money 
Forgiving my enemies 
When daddy walked out
 When mama gave me up 
Everybody that gave up on me I need to write you a thank you letter 
‘Cause you made me 
Whoo! Jesus, I thank you
 I can see clearly now 
I didn't understand it at first
 I even got mad at you
 ‘cause you were taking too long 
But I’m sorry Daddy 
Your ways are not my ways 
Whoo! I felt that, I felt that…. 
 This song, all day! Happy Friday!
Here's the video!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Just keep swimming - 11/7/13

Getting tired of whining about work, I must admit. It’s also hard to blog when I’m not feeling emotionally riled up about anything. I’m okay, just really tired of work right now, not upset about it, if that makes sense. At this point, I’m just trying to hold on this crazy part is over! And the verse from Psalms came to mind, “How long, O Lord, how long?”, so today’s verses focus on Endurance and Perseverance.

James 1:12 – “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him” 
Keep moving, keep going, keep rising, keep shining…. It’s like a mantra that plays over and over in my head. Grateful to God for my positive attitude.


Romans 15:5 – “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves…” 
This stood out to me because sometimes, it is very hard to work with people, particularly a large group of people. But we have to stand together and continually hope and pray for a spirit of unity among us. United we will succeed, divided we will fail.

Colossians 1:29 – “To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” 
Finally, in this verse from Colossians, Paul says I’m struggling, but I’m working and God gives me the energy to keep going. And it’s not a weak energy, it is God’s power working through me to keep me going while I labor at my job, but even more so labor in service to Him at church and in the community. To God be the glory for the things He has done and continues to do! Be optimistic! -BlueLady

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Diligent for Him - 11/6/13

Oh em geeeeeee. I am so sleepy this morning. Words can truly not express the mental/physical fatigue I am starting to feel right now. I woke up with a headache and began to try to work through that. Of course, I started thinking about all of the things that I have left to do this week for work (UAT, business requirements meeting, continue to work on training curriculum for new stuff, then train new hires on placement and non-placement services), for church (data entry, choir rehearsal, mime rehearsal, service project, and youth retreat), and for my sorority (attend undergrad program at Pitt, pay dues, duties at the chapter meeting, prematurity awareness Sunday). Wow, seeing it all listed like this even makes me say WOW… Yesterday, I overheard my coworkers talking about me (in a good way) and how I amaze them because I never stop moving. Meanwhile, I know the only way I can keep going is because of God giving me the strength and resources to do so. I am dedicated to the ministries that I've been called to in my church, and I’m committed to my duties in the chapter. I've been equipped by the Lord so I serve.

This morning I read a couple of passages in “My Utmost for His Highest” Devotional Bible and in one of the author’s books, he spoke about how Abraham was diligent. He pointed out how the text says that Abraham “rose early in the morning” to accomplish the task that God had set before him – sacrificing his son. Then he talked about how Paul talks about being a diligent servant but didn't give a reference, so I’m going to attempt to find it.

Hebrews 6:10-12
“God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

I love reading God’s Word, and I’m so excited to have found a way to invest myself in reading it. Thank you Lord for confirming that you see me and my work and that you know it’s for You.

1 Timothy 4:12-16
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

This one starts off a little off today’s topic, but I still think it’s important. (I think I’ll share verses 12 and 13 with my Yas, but just verse 12 as my #DailyBible for today.) Anyway,  the Word clearly says that we are to be diligent and pay attention to our witness, as seen by our lives and by the doctrine we preach/teach/stand by. My pastor often says “I’m so glad I was on my best behavior…” We often get caught up in our own stuff but it’s important to remember the world is watching. 

Well, the time has ticked away and this sinus headache is attempting to get out of control...
Here's a video, because I'm nothing without His love!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Don't Give Up! - 11/5/13

So... work kinda sucks right now. My job was already semi crazy with my unit being called upon to participate/lead the business requirements, aspects of design, sign off on the specs, test, train, and provide post-release support for this application. (Geez, that was a mouthful. 2 years ago, I would've said HUH?). But with the paradigm shift to the new stuff, we are still doing all of that but without an identified, consistent business process to stand on. So, if I were compare it to something in real life. It's like buying a bookcase from IKEA. You bring the box home, open it, and spread the pieces on the floor. Then someone steals the instruction manual and the box. So, you know what you're trying to put together, but you have nothing to go on, except that you know it's supposed to be a bookcase. Oh, and the bookcase has to be built by Friday so you can give it to your Grandmother for her 85th birthday. (Ok, so that analogy kinda sucked. Sorry!) Anyway, all that to say that for me, work is not fun right now. It almost feels like punishment. And since it's so yucky, instead of coming home and being productive, I don't want to do anything, but recreation and relaxation. My brain can't even handle anything else.

So, Maryn, how are you going to get through this? How can you take your mind off of this ongoing drama?
Look to the Word! (cue the trumpets!) 50-million-trillion examples of how God's people have persevered through difficult situations and made it out on the other side, and were better for it!

Hebrews 12:5-7;10-13 
"And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?" "Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.. Therefore strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed."

So punishment now helps us to achieve holiness later and our toil produces a harvest of good things. While my job may not really be that much like punishment, I'm confident that in the end it will still produce a reward. There's no telling where all of this will lead to. At this point, I'm pretty sure I could do anything!

1 Corinthians 9:24-26
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air."

Our work has purpose and we must keep going until we get there. Our earthly work will yield an earthy reward and eventually our overall works will yield a heavenly reward. Another point is that people are watching you. So to show up to work and just sit there and stare at the ceiling... sounds awesome to me... but alas, we must be good examples and work as if we have something to prove.

Isaiah 40:29-31
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." 

One of my favorite passages of scripture! Keep crawling, walking, running until you get there! This will not last forever!

And a video for today, because I love music and everything makes me think of a song -BlueLady

Monday, November 4, 2013

Falling In Love...11/4/13

...With Jesus! (Ha! Gotcha! Did you really think I was in a relationship and you didn't know about it??)

Anyway, I guess I should start at the beginning of the middle of my life....

Lately, I've been feeling kind of restless in my spirit and about three weeks ago, I popped into my pastor's office to talk to her about it. She finally asked me one question, "so... in all of that you're constantly doing each day, how much time are you spending with the Lord?"  Um, well, er.... all of that to say, not even half as much as I should be. So, she challenged me, spend an hour with the Lord, everyday. Read the Bible, really read it, and find yourself, your story in the Word.
This presented challenges to me... An hour? My brain immediately started wondering where the heck am I going to find an hour in my busy day? Since then, I've been struggling with it... Logistically, my schedule is a hot mess and I make other folks tired just posting about the places I go and things I do throughout the week.
Am I doing too much? Between my sorority, my church life, and work, is there something I can give up? The answer was nope, not right through here. Once I've committed to something, that's it. But in the future, who knows? But I can't wait til then to do this. So I tried several things...
      First, I tried first thing in the morning. I would get up at 5am, jump in the shower to wake myself up, then start reading my Word. Problem here: reading any book in the morning takes me right back to sleepy-town. Then I started journaling/note taking important points as I read... Nope still sleepy.
     Then I said, well, what about as soon as I get in the bed? I never immediately fall asleep, I have to wind down first. But then I decided I didn't want to give Him the wind-down. He deserves my very best!
And yet, since I still hadn't found a solution, I did pretty much nothing.*
(*Sidenote - I did start reading My Utmost for His Highest Devotional Bible in my bathroom. While it has been somewhat effective, it's FAR from being a prime location and it's not the hour I'm supposed to spending time with Him.)
So I've continued to pray about it, continued to mull over different options. (e.g. reading at lunchtime - "But then I'll get grease prints on the Bible!").
     Then this morning, it hit me! (Hello, Megan!" -- in my M'gann Morriz voice)
Girl, you have not blogged in forever. And for whatever reason, journaling has always been a special way to unlock my thoughts and focus on what was really going on with me. So, that's what I gotta do. I gotta write it, I gotta blog it. I gotta get out of my bed, turn on my mobile hotspot but otherwise ignore my phone, go into the living room, turn on my computer-TV, and write about the word of God and where it takes me.
Similar to taking notes during the sermon, this process helps me. And this gives God the first-fruits of my day, which is what I really wanted to do in the first place!
     And how do I know I'm on the right track already? I started writing and my cursor kept disappearing and reappearing so I would type two words, then click click click, then three more words.....  spent 20 minutes researching my disappearing cursor and couldn't find the answer... Decided it was probably an IE10 issue and tried writing in Chrome. Ta Da! Problem solved. Whatever devil! Nice try! And here I am writing and engaged and already have some Word to share, that I've read and pondered about.
And who knows, maybe one day, I'll find the time, discipline, focus, to come straight home, turn everything off, and sit with Jesus. But right now, that's not even feasible for my life. Busyness is in my blood. I just have to find a way to use it for God's glory and not my own gratification.

Onto the Word... (or closer to the Word than I've been lol)
I spend a lot of time thinking about my future and talking to God about it. And I'm getting better with being at peace regarding my single status. I do know that I have to put Him first then everything else will fall into place. (Seek ye first the Kingdom of God... and all of these things will be added unto you...)
So, I gotta date, go steady with, fall in love with, and marry Jesus (and be okay with it!)
Normally, the first moments of waking, I'm coming out of a dream that makes me long for my future to start now, so I immediately begin to pray, asking God to help me with that and to draw me closer to Him while I am waiting for my future husband. This morning, the words of Jonathan Butler's song "Falling In Love With Jesus" popped in my head and then I started thinking about Love and the verse came to mind, "If you love me, feed my sheep". So, as I prepared to write this post, I jumped on that and looked for it in Mommy's Disciple's Study Bible (NIV) and had to manually search for it. Sure, I could have pulled out my Bible app, but that could have led down the oft-taken road to distraction-ville (a post on Facebook, my ham musabi in Restaurant Story is finished cooking, a text message or missed call, etc). I could have searched for it on the computer and found it and even copied and pasted it. But, seeing as the whole point in this is to actually know and study His word... you get it! So, I went old school and used the mini-concordance in the back. I knew the word "Love" was in there and that He was talking to the disciples (most likely Peter) when He said it, so I knew it had to be in the gospels somewhere.... Based on the mini-concordance, I narrowed it down to John 14 or John 21, but I had to read them to be sure... .

I found this section first (and I manually typed it. Giving myself kudos because I am the queen of cut, copy, and paste!)
John 14:15; 21; 23
"If you love me, you will obey what I command..." "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him..".Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him."

Okay, so this text is almost there. It's making it quite clear that if I loved Him, I would obey Him. I would already have His commands (i.e. the Word) and then I would actually follow them. So, I read it and highlighted it. And as I type this, I'm grateful for finding that one first, because it is confirmation for this entire exercise. Hallelujah for confirmation! But alas, that's not what I was searching for...
John 21:15-17
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of  my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you. Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."

(Gosh, so where do I even start? It's 6:45 and the sun is rising (gorgeous, by the way!). Gotta jump in the shower soon.)
I've read this text, heard sermons about this text for years. And it occurred to me that I always took this to be Jesus saying to Peter, Prove it. Prove your love for me by your actions. Take care of my sheep (i.e. the people who I've entrusted to you in this world, the people who need looking after). Feed and clothe the homeless, stuff like that. But this morning, in the context of "Falling in Love With Jesus", it echoes John 14.

Jesus: Maryn, do you love me?
Me: Are you serious, Lord? Of course, I love you
Jesus: Then do what I told you to do
Me: *looks down at shoelaces*
Me: Oh

Do I know all of what He is telling me to do? Not yet. The point is putting my spirit in agreement with obedience. Not sure if you know this, but I am STUBBORN, so even saying "Yes Lord" is a lot for me. I know I have an assignment or two or three on this earth, but I can't start it if I don't know what it is. I'll only know what it is is, if I listen to the teacher. I've been so busy chatting in the back of class, passing notes, doodling in my notebook, secretly reading my favorite book, you get where I'm going with this.
If I'm not listening, if I'm not studying, if I'm not focusing, I'll never get to the point of saying "yes, Lord, it is I, send me" because I didn't hear him calling me in the first place. And Lord knows, the last thing I need, is a whale, bus, airplane taking me somewhere I don't want to go because I've been disobedient. Nope, there's no good reason why I have to be taken to my assignment against my will.

Another interesting tidbit that occurred to me while I was typing the scripture..
Duh, Peter, you denied Jesus three times before He was crucified. Why are you acting like "How dare you ask me these things Lord?". Hence, why He asked you three times in a row, hello! Yup, got a lot in common with Peter, that's for sure! Just talking our way through life smh.

Anyway, thank you Lord, for the Word today! Help me to keep this word ever before me, on my forehead and written in my heart, but especially today. Thank you Lord for loving me enough to choose me. Even me with all of my mess. So very grateful for that!

Here's the link to "Falling in Love With Jesus"
Peace and Blessings to you on this Monday!

BlueLady Out!