Real Confidence

Sometimes, you can lose your self. And even your confidence. Sometimes, the enemy’s lies start getting louder than the truth of God. Or your confidence never fully bloomed from the start. May you see yourself through the eyes of God. May you come to love yourself because God first loved you and His love for you is beyond measure. May you remember your worth is not predicated upon what you do or what titles you bear. May you heal and exhale in the presence of a gracious and patient God. May you remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made. May you walk into the room with the brightest smile, a persevering and resilient attitude, and a peaceful heart as you learn to trust God through each day.

Here is a snippet of my poem, titled Real Confidence.

…When my confidence enters the room

May it be quiet, regal, and signaturely pleasant

As a sweet, elegant perfume

When I put on the shoes I can fit

I will walk confident

I too have fallen short of the glory of God

But I was heaven sent

…I am heaven sent

To read the beginning of this poem and more, get your copy of Bring It To The Surface Poetry & Journal. Available on Amazon now!

Survival Kit

Survival kit. Yes, I bought one.

I have been wanting to buy one for years. It is apocalyptic, zombie-esque movies, etc. that prompt you to think how would I survive if I was in that situation or movie.

So, let me start by saying a thing or two. Never, have I been a conspiracy-driven person. I don’t flock towards conspiracies. Is everything a conspiracy? No. Can some conspiracies have some truth in them? Possibly. However, I am not a person who are into conspiracies. Let me also say, I also do not believe in zombies. 😆

I do believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I do believe there are emergencies, catastrophies, and having survival skills.

Lastly, I do sense an urgency (like many have been prophesying) to be prepared for some hard times ahead for our nation. I have been saying for years that something is coming down the pike. And what we are experiencing now is probably what I have been feeling in my spirit a few years now.

Currently, gas prices are exponentially high. Food cost a grip. Shortages are being reported. And crime is at an all time high. And to mention the countless other things going on and that Covid is still here. We, as believers know the signs of the times or should be recognizing the signs.

And we should always do our due diligence in preparing for each season, each time. But unfortunately, even some of us are still trying to gain our footing and get ready.

This season, we should be getting our households in order. Spiritually, financially, physically, etc. We should be decluttering physically, but also spiritually, mentally, and financially. Often times, I feel a cluttered home represents a cluttered heart. I also believe, because these are the last days and the enemy is causing so much pain and turmoil, we have to protect our hearts and minds. So many people are in so much despair that many can not see a glimpse of hope. And if we are distracted, cluttered, and losing hope, the devil, our enemy can disarm us or slip through the cracks of our foundations and cause havoc and even crippling despair.

So, I reiterate that we must prepare physically. Declutter your spaces, have stuff for emergencies as well as an emergency fund. We are to prepare for our families but also God will bless us to be a blessing to others that’s not just in our immediate circles.

We are to not just prepare physically but WE NEED TO REMEMBER OUR SPIRITUAL SURVIVAL KIT.

And that is to:

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING,

PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD,

AND SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

We are to also get Godly wisdom and pursue God greater than anything or anyone else in this world or universe. We are to love God with all of our hearts, minds, bodies, and strength. We are to love others as we love ourselves. We are to saturate in the Word of God. His Word is alive and active, sharper than any double edged sword! And His Word cannot return to Him void. We are to live in the presence of God and remember the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Now, to end this, I remind you to not fear. Oh I know that is easier said than done for many of us. But let us focus on Jesus who is our the author and finisher of our faith. Also God did not give us a spirit of fear, but that of power, love and a sound mind.

So, don’t fear and don’t panic. Don’t give up. And prepare. We reap what we sow. So, plant your seeds of faith, of hard work, of preparation, of encouragement, of love, of time, of whatever it is God says to do in each season and for each season ahead.

Check out the emergency kit! It has so much stuff that I may not have all displayed here. I got mine from Amazon.

What other things do you think a survival kit needs? And what do you think that, as a believer of Christ Jesus, we also need?

Scriptures for this Post: For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1‭-‬8 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/ecc.3.1-8.NLT

“Therefore, Pharaoh should find an intelligent and wise man and put him in charge of the entire land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh should appoint supervisors over the land and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years. Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses. Store it away, and guard it so there will be food in the cities. That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. Otherwise this famine will destroy the land.”
Genesis 41:33‭-‬36 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/gen.41.33-36.NLT

Ephesians 6:10-18: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Have Mercy

Loving others can sometimes feel difficult, and not just because we have our own free will, our own personalities and our individual issues. And not just because sometimes our experiences with others can be rocky and full of anxiety or stress. We can tend to love from our emotions, intellect, strength, and within our own lens and conditions instead of with an agape love, God’s love, love that comes from and is God. God’s love is not limited. We may not set out to love in a limited way but it can happen. So when a loved one takes too long to change, grow, respond to the love, or receive the love we have for them, etc., we may understandably get frustrated, afraid, sad, angry and more.

Think about it. As a parent, you may love your child with everything you got and gone get. You want the best for them. You want them to do their best and be their best. You want them to have a healthy, great future. But they may be disrespectful, making poor decisions, and letting everything you teach them go in one ear and out the other. They keep driving you crazy and you feel defeated. Or maybe you are patient and nothing they do can shift your hope or peace. But if not, maybe you like countless parents who feel like throwing up your hands or letting them know they can catch a hand lol.

Same thing with a spouse or friend (or even a colleague), your patience may be running low and you are beyond frustrated with them. You want them to pay for what they are doing or aren’t doing.

I remember I was frustrated at my child and one of the messages that hit my heart was have mercy. I believe that message was one from God. The Hebrew word for mercy is rachum and it means compassionate. Within mercy, there is forgiveness and there is compassion. When we deserved God’s wrath, He gave us mercy. When we deserved God to turn His back on us, He gave us His ear and His heart. And there are times now when we may deserve punishment or a certain type of consequence, but God gives us mercy. He may not remove every consequence, but He will give us His kindness, His compassion, His forgiveness, His patience and his unfailing love.

And so maybe someone in your life needs you to have mercy upon them. Maybe you need to give your own self mercy. God’s mercies are new everyday and we are definitely to have mercy upon others and ourselves.

Now this doesn’t mean to enable or to make excuses for someone’s poor behavior or choices. Nor does it mean to fail to set boundaries. This doesn’t mean to not give consequences or allow someone in your life that is not respecting your boundaries or that may be a danger to you or someone else in your life. So use discernment, stay alert and be proactive. Seek God’s wisdom in your relationships with others: family, friends, colleagues, children, spouses, etc.

Moreover, have mercy. Forgive and bear compassion to others around you. Not only because they need it, but because it serves your heart in so many ways and also because God forgives and shows compassion to you daily.

Remember to love others as you love yourself. Whew, Jesus, give us grace and teach us how to love ourselves.

Read this scripture below on mercy and forgiveness:

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
Matthew 18:21‭-‬35 NLT
https://bible.com/bible/116/mat.18.21-35.NLT

Things To Not Say…

Someone may be experiencing a loss, burnout, anxiety, depression, consistent stress. And when someone expresses his/her heart, issue or struggle, offer compassion and a listening ear. (If saved) Let the Holy Spirit lead you from there.

But do not say these things:

Just pray about it.

Stop saying that.

Everyone has anxiety.

Be strong.

These statements can sound dismissive. They can sound insensitive. How do you know the person isn’t praying and that fight to get out of the bed or talking with someone was the answer to their prayers. Yes, sometimes a person saying things out of habit or unloading on another can be frustrating or even overwhelming. When it is too much, you have the right to protect your boundaries and your own mental health. However, don’t leave your compassion to the wayside.

Don’t tell someone “everyone has anxiety or depression right now”. You took the focus off of the person needing someone to listen and put the focus on everyone. It seems dismissive and one can be left feeling that they should have never said anything. Even moreso, one can feel like what he/she feels doesn’t matter or isn’t of concern. “If everyone else is dealing with this why I am complaining. Just deal with it.”

“Be strong.” As if expressing yourself and struggling is a sign of weakness. And one must learn to process everything they feel instead of ignoring it.

In any event, let us show compassion. Not every time someone needs advice but if you must, use wisdom, preferably Godly wisdom. And most importantly, listen. Sometimes, people just want to be heard and some of us are doing the work to overcome. We just need perhaps a hug (upon permission), a prayer or encouragement, patience, or just to be seen and heard.