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 are 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 neither give or allow that person to face their consequences nor also to 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
This year went by quick but seemed so long. It is like 2021 copied and pasted 2020. The struggle was real. And we are continually learning to deal with the new normal. I was going to do a post about my year in review with more pictures, but naw. I don’t need to post anymore selfies or photos or make it all about me. This year was stressful and blessful at the same time for me and I bet for many of you all also, and that’s that. I just pray as we approach a new year that the things we need to fall off fall off so we can walk lightly and respond well in this new year as well as receive what God has for us. And learn what we need to learn to pass some tests and overcome some more things. I pray for those of us struggling with anxiety and depression to pack on courage to keep going and to take one day at a time, trusting God all the way.
Anyway, I am elated to say if you are reading this that you and I both made it to December and we are close to a new year. Although our finances may not be where they need to be, we still have a roof over our heads and food on our tables. Although we still have some more healing to do along our healing journey, we have come a long way. This year was not easy. It was stressful and heavy. This year also, I anticipated feeling depressed again on my birthday (12/10), but I actually felt ok. I even looked better despite having Covid and being in quarantine. My entire immediate family had Covid with mild symptoms and towards the end of our quarantine, we believe we also got food poisoning. But we are well today and grateful.
I know the holidays may be hard for some and many are going through right now, but I pray you have a joyous day. I pray you hear laughter, feel loved, and reach out to someone that God has just for you to touch your heart and lift your spirit and vice versa. I pray you have enough to eat. I pray that you remember those lost loved ones with a smile and that you understand that it is okay to grieve too. I pray that you are healthy or getting well. I pray that you start new traditions like watching a Christmas movie that you will watch every Christmas. Or cook a new dish and share it with your elderly neighbor or single mom. I pray that you embrace yourself through your healing journey and take one day at a time. I pray you won’t be so hard on yourself and know that you are worthy and loved by God, the Great I Am.
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
Christmas In The Winter Available Now At Amazon
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, godfathers, father-figures, spiritual fathers, uncles who bring a father’s presence to a child’s life. May you feel honored and loved on today.
And Happy Father’s Day to the Greatest Father of them all, God, my Abba!
Like boiling water in a lid covered pot
And I ask myself
Who would love me
If my father would not
Who would see my worth
If he disregarded it from birth
Who would be the first man to love me so
Who would, with love, care, and patience, tend to his seed to help it grow
Who would wipe my tears
And calm all my fears
And give me faith
That the little brown girl in me can too be loved and safe.
That she is worth more than a rare gem
Who can fill the void of a fatherless child
None other than Him
The Great I Am.
Nothing like a father’s love.
Yet no one can fill my void.
Only He alone.
–Written by Tannika Moore
Check out this beautiful song by Jonathan and Melissa Helser
Bring It To The Surface Available Now at Amazon
I don’t play sports at all and I know nothing about football. Yet, I have seen a football in the hands of an athlete, held tightly like it was a gold nugget, and being carried through the hustle and bustle of other players serving as obstacles aiming for a chance to steal the ball and thwart the player’s chance to make it safely to the opponent’s end zone. And so I think about what if the player, who is carrying the football, fumbles and drops it. He must carry the ball and protect it with his force, focus and perseverance.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
How much so must we guard our hearts, not our physical hearts (which need taking care of too) but the part of our being that carries our souls. Our hearts are more valuable than a football. Our hearts are the breeding grounds for thoughts and seeds to be planted, and prayerfully the right seeds. They are the epicenters of our emotions, wills, desires, intellects, goals and dreams, etc.
Now, I am no expert on the body, soul and spirit either but I do know we are a three part being (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We possess all three: a spirit, body, and soul. All three must be tended to with care in order to function in this earth realm and live a quality life. And moreso to fulfill our God-given destinies.
So back to our hearts. Just like our bodies, our hearts are so vital to our existence here on earth. Our hearts exude our perspectives on things and direct our actions. It is crucial that our hearts our cared for and guarded because they are just as precious, valuable, and imperative to who we are and how we impact the world around us. So, let us protect and care for our hearts. And remember every part of our being matters to God, our bodies, souls and spirits.
Our thoughts, our self-esteem, our goals. Everything concerning our hearts concerns God.
So, why must we guard our hearts. Well, first we must remember that if we have to guard something, it is because it is valuable. We guard our hearts because our hearts are:
2. Necessary for survival
3. Will impact others in some kind of way.
Our hearts and we in totality are valuable to God and to each other. Moreover, relationships are imperative for our survival, relationship with God and relationship with others. We were all created with purpose, talents and gifts that are to be operated in good stewardship, wisdom, and according to God’s will to help and bless others. We are valuable and we are here to make an impact in the lives of others. And we as the Body of Christ especially should be impacting others through the wisdom and love of God.
Now lets look at the second reason we must guard our hearts. We must guard our hearts because we have an enemy.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
1. We have an enemy, the devil, to protect our hearts against.
2. The enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy.
3. The mind is often our biggest battlefield.
Anxiety, depression, and suicide is on the rise. The minds and attention of our youth are gravely under attack. Parenting is difficult more than ever. Marriages are crumbling. Perversion, lovers of self, and haughtiness are growing rapidly. Destinies and dreams are also going to the graves. And a person with a wrong perspective, unguarded heart, and one wrong decision can derail his/her future. Some of us are courting secret sins and shame, and I am talking about those of us in the Body of Christ. Some of us are in despair and straddling the fence with God, losing hope and zeal for God. Let us guard our hearts. Let us repent and draw close to God.
So, let’s look at that again:
We must guard our hearts because they are valuable epicenters that house our thoughts, emotions, intellects, wills, etc. that not only affect us but others. And we have an enemy that sees this and wants to distort our epicenters, derail our destinies, steal how we see ourselves and others, kill our hopes and dreams, and destroy the very things (like relationship) that God created us to use to impact the world around us.
Guarding our hearts mean to protect and care for them. Plain and simple. And now we know from who and why we must guard our hearts. So now how?
Guard your heart by protecting its gates (eye gates, ear gates, etc.):
1. What are you watching?
2. What are you listening to?
3. What are you saying to yourself or others?
4. What are you meditating on?
Guard your heart by taking every thought captive.
We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NLT
Catch them thoughts and check them?
Is this a thought lined up with the beliefs of God? Is this a thought from God or the enemy? What are you rooting your belief system in: witchcraft, conspiracy theories, what they say, or God? We cannot serve two masters. Are you feeding your spirit with the Word of God? It is so easy to just let your thoughts slide. But we have to have discipline over what we allow in our heads and what we allow to dominate our thoughts. People who are anxious tend to worry about the future. They tend to overthink and worry and struggle with a spirit of fear. People who tend to struggle with lust need to address when they tend to lust and what does the lust feed on. Pray that God destroy every proud obstacle that keeps us from knowing Him and that He captures our rebellious thoughts and teaches us to obey Him.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 NLT
Guard your heart by reading the Word of God and meditating on it.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12 NLT
His Word cannot return to Him void. Get His perspective, His views, His thoughts and His wisdom on the matter, about you and the world that surround you.
Guard your heart by developing discipline and obeying God’s word.
It is not enough to just hear and read God’s word but we must obey God. Trust His intentions and purpose for us are good. Do not harden our hearts when we hear God’s voice. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. Seek God for help. Rely on His grace for it is sufficient. His strength, power and Word enables us to develop the mindset and discipline we need to live pleasing before God. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 NLT
Read these relative chapters also.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. James 1:22-24 NLT
Now mentioning seeing yourself, guard your heart by seeing yourself the way He does.
It is so imperative to see yourself the way God does. If we are unable to see ourselves the way He does then I wonder if we are truly able to live, act and respond from the most authentic place. Can we really dwell richly in God’s love, that is unconditional and pure? Can we wholly communicate and impact from the Creator who created us with such a zeal and impact that is necessary? If we are unable to see ourselves the way God does, are we leaving cracks in the epicenter that let the enemy slip in?
So there you have it! It is not easy to guard something right? We have to have sharp focus. We have to persevere through countless obstacles and not give up. We have to be vigilant in watching and praying. We have to discipline our thoughts and that alone takes work and surrender to God. We have to not naively guard our hearts because we have a constant enemy. We have to remember the value of that which we are protecting. And we have to guard our hearts as we allow God to prune us and develop us in the fear of the Lord and wisdom of God as well as help us to bear fruit and subsequently more fruit, showing ourselves to be disciples of Jesus. Listen. Moreover, every human should not be guarding their hearts to restrict love, but guarding their hearts so that they can truly love. But to guard our hearts we need Jesus and His grace to be able to do so. We need God’s wisdom and Helper to direct us and heal us to guard our hearts and to also be able to walk in His love and receive His love. That is the last reason why we should guard our hearts. To walk in God’s love and receive it. Let us break it down further; we should guard our hearts:
1. to not be hindered in receiving the love God has for us and
2. to be able to love others as we love ourselves, and lastly but not least
3. …”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
Start today in guarding your heart by asking God for wisdom and grace to do so. Gather some scriptures to post on your wall or mirror and meditate upon them daily. Set a plan in place to guard your heart and seek to draw closer to God who loves you with an unfailing love.
Happy Thursday! This throwback originally published on September 9, 2016 is a must read for this season. We must remember that we are in a battle whether we want to be or not. Please read this throwback and make sure you put on daily, besides your mask, the full armor of God.
I am so excited about completing my new book. I didn’t know it would lead to the theme it has now, but God has me on a healing journey and the title change was so imperative. This healing journey has been one that has been lengthy, uncomfortable, challenging, yet imperative, enlightening, and such a blessing. I have discovered, thanks to the Holy Spirit and His grace to not abandon the process as well as so many things about myself. I have learned some triggers to my anxiety and where certain fears began. I am also learning to trust God and receive His unfailing love. I am learning to see myself the way God does. Moreover, prayer, learning to be transparent with God as well with others, facing my fears (one at a time), the Word of God, therapy, learning to be more present with myself, others and God are some things that have been crucial to this journey. (Note: I am still a work in progress.) Writing is another component of this journey and it has served as an outlet to express myself, learn, and cope. I have realized that my writing also serves as a tool to encourage others. My book, Bring It To The Surface, is not only full of poetic inspiration and encouragement but a journal to help you too to start your journey of healing and provide a space for self-reflection.
If you are feeling empty or lost, hurt or hopeless, stripped or depleted, know God who began a good work in you shall continue to perform it until the day of Christ Jesus. Know that He will also never leave you, nor forsake you. Whatever it is the enemy has killed, stolen, and destroyed in your life, God can revive, recover, and restore. And in order to heal and receive the abundant life Jesus came to give us, we have to allow God to bring some things to the surface. We can trust God who first loved us and gave His only begotten Son in order for you and me to have an eternal love and life. So, let the healing begin. Confess it, express it and then address it. God can handle your pain and God can provide the answers you need. I am so excited for this book to reach your hands and heart, and I pray you allow God to bring some things to the surface.
I am so excited to introduce to you my new book!!!! I have finally finished it and it is now available in the Kindle Store. The paperback version has been updated and is now available on Amazon. So, please get your copy or your ebook version now. This is my fourth poetry book and this one is different from my others. Watch the video and found out how!
This morning I was led to reflect on and search the scriptures about the following:
God is more than enough.
Thoughts of insignificancy ravages many of our minds. They repeat over and over again that “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t have much”, “they have more or it all”, “I won’t make it”, “if only I had more of”, “I am nothing without him/her/this career/this title”. We are constantly being delivered messages from the enemy, our pasts, our fears and failures, those around us and from what we see on television or on social media. Our past and present can bombard us with reminders of what we need or think we need, what we lost or what we are losing. Moreover, those messages we get from television or social media try to convince us, and often times succeed, that we are only somebody when we have this or that. However, those things will never be enough because those gratifications may satisfy us and give us a temporary fulfillment but not a lasting, deep fulfillment. I have learned that true fulfillment can only come through the One who created us and first loved us–God.
When I started pondering about “God is more than enough” and searching the scriptures, the chorus or hook of a song popped into my head. It is a Hip Hop song, titled You’re All I Need, whose hook was based from a greater oldie titled You’re All I Need To Get By by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The Hip Hop song is rapped and sung by Method Man and Mary J. Blige. This is one of my Hip Hop faves.
“You’re alll I needddd…to get byyyy iii iii.”
I began singing this to God noting that God is more than enough. He is the Source to my resources. He is my Father, my Maker, my First Love, my Present Help in the time of trouble. My Shield, my Protector, my Provider, the One who breathes life into me every day. The One who gave His only begotten Son so I could have true and eternal life and reconciliation back with Him. He is the only One that brings stability and certainty to my life in a world that is broken and uncertain. He is the One that apart from Him I can do nothing. He is the One who loves me unfailingly and beyond measure. He is the One who gives me mercies daily, forgives me, and nurtures me through life and a world that can break me and discard me.
I researched scriptures to see where in God’s Word it confirmed God is more than enough and these are some scriptures that stood out:
- Genesis 33:11 reminds me that because of God’s graciousness I have more than enough. How has God been gracious to you? Find the glory of God displayed in also the small things. What spiritual gifts, talents, opportunities, blessings has God given you that give God glory and exude God’s nature as well as His love for you and others?
- John 3:16 reminds me that God sacrificed so greatly for me because He thought I (and you) was more than enough. We were of such great worth to Him that He would give someone of such great worth to Himself, His only Son, to die for you and me. For that God is more than enough. His love is unmeasurable, unmatchable, and unfailing. How has God’s love and sacrifice made a difference in your life? Why may God’s love be more than enough in your life? What would life be like without the blood of Jesus?
- The entire Psalms 23 reminds me that God is more than enough. This psalm helps identify how much of a blessing and necessity God’s existence and presence is to me and my life. He’s all I need to get by. He’s all I need to survive. God is not just my provider but resting place. My shield, my present help in the time of trouble, the source to my resources. What needs of yours has God met this week? Why is believing and embracing God as more than enough than seeking fulfillment in things and others? How does Psalm 23 reassure you that God is with you and more than enough?
- I found other scriptures that reminds me that God is more than enough but I don’t want to be too lengthy. What scriptures can you find that remind you that God is more than enough?
I leave you with these other words from the interlude verse of Mary J. Blige. Sing these words today to the Lord. He is more than enough. He deserves your quality time, worship, and full surrender.
Like sweet morning dew
I took one look at you
And it was plain to see
You were my destiny
With you I’ll spend my time
I’ll dedicate my life, I’ll sacrifice for you
Dedicate my life to you
Happy Saturday loves,
Put your shoes on honey, our journeys await!
The devil wants me to believe
God’s purpose for me will never be achieved
So he whispers in my ear
he tells me things my flesh wants to hear
his plan is to destroy me
he is at work day in and day out
he walks around and maliciously about
When I was born, he immediately placed a bet
he told Jesus, “I bet I ruin her yet.”
“While she’s young, I’ll make her forget
Why she needed You in the first place.
Her world is perfect and her dreams are ripe;
Jesus, when You’re ready, let me tamper with her life.
I’ll mess it all up, send my demons disguised her way.
She will duck and dodge and forget to pray
And how about her teens?
Let me give her depression
Send her confusion
Fill her with anger
Break her heart and disappoint her too
As she moves one step forward, I’ll push her back two.
I bet You Jesus, she’ll curse Your name
Then run to me and give me Your fame
You protect her too much
and You gave her too many gifts
What will she do then, if she had so much to miss?”
Then the Lord, my God said, “you just wait devil
Stop your ranting
Shut your mouth; you didn’t win with Job
And you won’t win now.
I know my Father’s children, Their weaknesses and strengths
They are not like you
And this one here will remain true.
This faithful soldier of mine I trust her so
More than you will ever know.
I see her faith in Me and attentiveness to My Word
In addition to the prayers I’ve heard
you can take from her But I’ll give
you can try to kill her But I’ll let her live.”
The devil wants to destroy me And take my life
But the devil has already lost the fight
It is God’s strength, grace and mercy
That sustains me
When I am weak
In God’s love, I will suffer no defeat.
Written by: Tannika Moore