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

Thankful Journal Entry

I don’t know if it is because of the Christmas season and day or because I am having some writing flow this week (been having Writer’s block for a while), but here is another post.

As I lie down in bed and after finishing composing my previous post, I am filled with thoughts of appreciation and gratitude. I thought of an elder who took time to teach me how to drive and pass the driving test. To this day (although unfortunately, I have anxiety and driving anxiety), I still remember the things he taught me as well as his kindness and patience. Mind you, I got my license late in the game. Another person I am grateful for is another elder who I endearingly called my god granny. Her humor, wisdom, kindness, and jazzy spirit was so amazing. I miss both of them, Elder Heath and Sister Dixon.

There are a lot of things that you may still be dealing with, but I challenge you to make a list of things and people you are grateful for. Let’s go! I just named two people. I am also grateful for a new day, a warm house, and family… The list goes on. I am thankful especially for my Jesus!!!!! Without Him, there is no me or no hope.

What or who are you grateful for?

When Love, Raising A Family Together, And Relationship Mattered

It has been so disheartening to watch so many news reports and YouTube videos of so many women of all nationalities being murdered. It is especially scary and disheartening to see the majority of these beautiful ladies are Black women like myself. And even more unsettling is the back to back stories of pregnant Black women murdered and families left wondering why. According to Nature.com article, Homicide Is A Top Cause of Maternal Death In The United States, “researchers found that US women who are pregnant or were pregnant in the past 42 days (the post-partum period) die by homicide at more than twice the rate that they die of bleeding or placental disorders — the leading causes of what are usually classified as pregnancy-related deaths” (Subbaraman 12 November 2021).

We know that this world is experiencing much darkness in these times. We also know that the nucleus of society, family (relationship), is under attack, a severe one for its value, survival, and impact on communities.

So to see women, pregnant women, back to back murdered is shocking, but not so when you remember the enemy hates mankind and our chance for reconciliation with the Father through the blood and sacrifice of The Father’s Son, Jesus. To see us alive, operating in our purpose, and glorifying God are some things the devil scoffs at like the pre-intervention Scrooge at laughter on Christmas day.

When you see or hear another story of a pregnant woman slain, you may also wonder why. You may read comments on a YouTube video of blame, shame, and assumptions. But at the end of the day, we are living in a time where social media and technology have made news of such tragedies more swiftly widespread than ever. And we are living in a time where life isn’t valued as much, and lovers of self are increasing exponentially.

So why can’t there be divine order in many of our homes where men (good, integrous, godly, provider, protector ones) will be the heads of households? Why can’t women, and if I can be frank, why can’t Black women also, be protected? Why can’t men and women value family/marriage, and one that is healthy and thriving? Why can’t bringing a child into this world be one of joy instead of dread? Why can’t wedding day be something anticipated first and prepared for just as lavishly as baby showers? Why can’t both men and women communicate their intentions, goals, and expectations honestly and thoroughly before moving forward to sex, dating, etc.? Why can’t men hold themselves accountable also when it comes to procreating? Why don’t we teach our young adults before they hit that threshold to learn problem solving and understanding consequences and accountability? Why can’t we get back to promoting love over situationships, cheating, and lack of commitment and responsibility?

NONE of us are perfect and none of us have ever made great and right decisions ALL of the time or every time. But, let us be intentional with our relationships. Let us go out into this world having hearts and minds with the intention to bring peace and not division, destruction and harm. Let us heal and grow, and value ourselves and others. Let us learn to see ourselves the way God does to be able to do the above-mentioned. Let us get God back involved in a society that is sick and hurting, needing love and healing.

The song below prompted me to think about how love, raising a family together and relationship mattered. Feel free to listen.

Forever by Jodeci

Film Review

I decided that I would catch a movie today around the same time my preteen was going to be seeing a movie with the program he is in. And this was an opportunity to take myself out. And I could wait for him while the kids were watching their movie. The movie I wanted to see was only playing in the evening time so I had to look for another movie. One particular film caught my eye. It turned out to be a documentary and I admit I seldom watch documentaries. However, this documentary was being produced by the Kendricks Brothers, and they do not disappoint. Remember the Kendrick Brothers brought us War Room.

This documentary happened to be playing around the same time as the movie my preteen would be watching. I was elated and interested in how the documentary would actually be.

I cried, laughed and expressed my heartfelt “thank You, Jesus” several times all while sitting reclined in my comfortable red seat.

The documentary is called Show Me The Father. It is a documentary from the perspectives and voices of men I wasn’t too familiar with. I was familiar with the Kendrick Brothers and Dr. Tony Evans but not the likes of Deland McCullough and Sherman Smith.

The documentary was about the impact of the fathers on the lives of these men. Some had fathers and even father figures who were either present and pouring into their children as best as they could. Other had fathers and stepfathers not present, abusive, or struggling in some kind of way. Oh and the twist at the end regarding one of the men. Ok, hope I am not spoiling anything.

Nonetheless, what the Kendrick Brothers wanted you to realize is that there is one father that can fill the void of an absent father or a negligent father, and who loves us beyond measure. And that He can also heal the hearts of men looking to change the impact they are making in their children’s lives.

Whether you are a father or mother, the child, young or old, saved or unsaved, please go see this film. Whether your father was present, a protector and a provider or not present like mine, go see this film. And bring your kleenex.

Playing Back Your Mental Tape (Bring It To The Surface)

After coming across and watching several videos lately on pretty privilege, colorism, anxiety, and a variety of life topics, I realize how brave many people are to address or express their experiences or views on such. And then I think about my own experiences in life and realize that we all have some things on our mental tape (minds and hearts) to deal with. What views and perspectives did you come to take on about yourself? How did your experiences shape how you see yourself? What patterns, traumas and events in your life fuel the way you approach life, family, work?

I thought about how certain things have been on my mental tape. Some have stopped playing. Some are rewinded back. Some are being scratched out and recorded over. But there are many things on it. And I suppose there are many things on yours. I was once asked when I was young if I was adopted or found somewhere (I am not adopted; I am my mother’s daughter). At the time, out of my mom and sister, I was the only one who was of a medium brown complexion. I don’t remember all of what I felt. But I do remember that it stuck with me and when I went home, I told my mom. And I remember a family member having my other family members laughing at me saying basically I smelled (I don’t think I did; I hope I didn’t lol, but I was a kid). I cried that night. And I forgot that when I told an adult the next day what happened that night, there was complete silence. Another time, in high school, I remember boarding a school bus to head to our homecoming game and one of my classmates came to sit by me.

Another classmate who came to sit across from him asked him why was he sitting next to me. I remained quiet but that too stuck with me. I was determined to have a good time at the game and show school spirit that I decided not to dwell on it. Fast forward to an adult, there was a smear campaign against me at work I had to endure that I thought I would never get through. I cried on a regular and was so hurt. There is heartbreak I had to endure from my first serious relationship. I remember he broke up with me over the phone. I remembered feeling like can he hurry it up. Just get it over with. I was angry and hurt. As soon as we ended the call, I remember looking out the window of the rear end of the bus. I was so glad I had chose the seat at the very back because I silently cried my heart out. Tears streamed down my face.

There are countless childhood and adulthood memories that as I typed were popping up in my mind. However, I am grateful for the healing journey that I am on and most likely will continue throughout my life. And that is okay. Growth and healing is and should be constant. I am also grateful that I don’t dwell on these things nor bear unforgiveness towards those who have played a part in these events that have left hurt or trauma in my heart.

Thanks to the Holy Spirit, the grace to do the healing homework and commitment to stay on the journey, I have learned some of the triggers to my anxiety. I have learned more about my flaws and why I may respond the way I do. I have learned some of my self-perceptions. I have felt not worthy and sometimes not pretty enough. I have felt like I have to give more, do more and be more to be enough (not all the time but I have noticed that this is how I generally feel). But God. Renewing my mind is crucial. Saturating in the Word of God is imperative. Learning to see myself in the eyes of God and love myself with His love can help me not only process what is on my mental tape but also add new things to it that will remind me I am enough. I am loved.

Moreover, this is not a woe is me message. I do have self esteem and confidence (this is growing). I do have happy moments and memories in my childhood and adulthood. I do have those who have affirmed me and supported me. But like any human, I have had and have still trauma and pain, disappointments and heartbreaks that I too have to heal and grow from. And in order to heal, you have to be able to allow some things to come to the surface. You can’t keep pain, old patterns, and feelings bottled up and hidden. Allow God to bring them to the surface. Safely explore these to see what is holding up the strongholds and generational curses in your life as well as feelings of not feeling like you are enough, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness in your heart and mind.

Have these conversations with God first, yourself, with a therapist and someone you can trust. Let the healing journey begin.

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Bring It To The Surface Poetry & Journal available now at Amazon.

ABBA

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!

Abba

Pain rises

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.

My Abba.

My Father.

My Yahweh-Shalom

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

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Bring It To The Surface Available Now at Amazon

Tannika’s Writing Vault: Christmas Play

Well, we made it to Christmas Eve y’all!!!! I am so excited to just rest, have a good meal, and reflect with loved ones. And I pray the same for you.

Not too long ago, I started a new series titled Tannika’s Writing Vault. And today’s post will be a part of this series.

This is my new series where I introduce you to some of my past material I’ve written. I have written skits for special events at church and I have also written short stories, some of which I admit are half-done. Did I tell you, I once created my own entertainment magazine in high school! But I won’t be sharing my little paper bootleg magazine. Anyway, welcome to Tannika’s Writing Vault and enjoy!

Please enjoy this skit I wrote for a church holiday program!!!!! And have a merry Christmas!!!!!!

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

What Matters Most

There are 13 days until Christmas and we all can admit that this Christmas will be a bit different. Large gatherings will become small. Some travel will be postponed. To make the most of this holiday, we must connect as best as we can. Some of us will fellowship via Zoom trying our best to spread smiles, love and cheer. Although our holidays are a little different this year, let’s remember what matters most and make the most out of this season. Here is my poem from my Christmas In The Winter poetry book. Need an awesome, encouraging gift for this year’s Christmas stocking, order a copy today. Available now on Amazon.

What Matters The Most

Is sentimental words on a card

The comfort when times are hard

Every second of a day

Listening added to what you have to say

Peace in the midst of the storm

Uniqueness in the midst of the norm

A meager meal cooked with love

Than hate mixed in with grub

The One who loved us first

The One who can fulfill our thirst

The One who loves us unfailingly

And gave His Only Begotten Son

Abundant laughter and simple fun

Patience and time

Loved ones and memories

Family and fellowship

To be kind

Journeys

And relationship

And what can’t be paid for

What shouldn’t be ignored

What can be nurtured

Little ones and present historical ones are to be protected, honored, and adored

What matters most

Is what’s simple and free

But it’s worth so much

That no economical value can equate

What matters the most is sometimes the looked over and the less than the obvious great

What matters the most

Is what’s in the heart, the mind, and the will of God

Remember to treasure such and abide within

The One for who is the Reason

For This Christmas season

By Tannika Moore

Tannika’s Writing Vault: Sunday School Blues

Thought I start a new series where I introduce you to some of my past material I’ve written. I have written skits for special events at church and I have also written short stories, some of which are half-done. Did I tell you, I once created my own entertainment magazine in high school! But I won’t be sharing my little paper bootleg magazine . Anyway, welcome to Tannika’s Writing Vault and enjoy!

First thing up is a skit I was asked to write that was to be performed for Sunday school promotion. We were studying the book Think Differently at the time so I hope you catch the reference. Ok, here it is and originally written July 2018:

Skit for Church: Sunday School Blues

Scene I:

The alarm clock blasts its sirens of wake up. Both parents sleepily arise at the sound at the same time.

Mom: (Mom glances at the alarm clock only to discover that that is the second alarm,

the one she sets for them to be getting ready to LEAVE for Sunday School. She rushes out of the bed.)

We’re late again!

(Mom goes to son’s room and she calls his name several times. He finally wakes up after a nudge.)

Mom: Get up and lay out your clothes for church.

Son: Oh mom, why we gotta go anyway. (He puts his pillow over his head.)

Mom: Just get ready.

Son: (Doesn’t get up until mom exits the room, then starts looking for clothes.)

(Dad is in the bedroom still and intensely watching news on the ball game via tablet that is to come on later.

Mom goes to the kitchen to prepare food.)

Mom: (In the kitchen starting to cook bacon. She leaves the kitchen and goes to her and her husband’s bedroom to go and prepare for church.)

Mom: (Enters bedroom.) You’re watching the game?

Dad: No, the news on Lebron. Game come on later.

Mom: Can you finish watching the bacon babe? I am about to get ready.

(The husband goes to the kitchen, still watching the news.)

(She starts fixing her hair after picking out her clothes. The smoke detector goes off.

She rushes into the kitchen. The son rushes into the kitchen at the same time as mom)

Mom: I thought you were watching the bacon!

Son: (He is in his pajamas still, carrying his phone, and wearing a smirk on his face.) Ooh Daddy, you gone get it!

Mom: You’re not dressed! And didn’t I tell you no phone on Sundays.

Son: I couldn’t find any clothes. And mom, um, you’re not dressed either.

Mom: Boy, don’t get popped!

Scene II:

The family defeatedly sits down in the kitchen chairs one at a time.

Son: (Gets a text about Sunday School.) Matthew says they had snacks, a Goliath obstacle course, prizes for Sunday School. Man, y’all made me miss Sunday School!

Mom: (Side eyes child.) We made you miss it. Baby bye, Mr. I can’t get out of bed and find my clean clothes.

And why we got to go anyway. (She says mockingly.)

Dad: We had a long week anyway. Surely, God understands.

Mom: Understands that we made it to work every day this week on time but today we decided to throw the whole Sunday away. And how did you let the bacon burn?

Dad: If the pastor preaches like you nag, I rather stay home and just netflix and chill.

Mom: We can’t keep missing Sunday School. I hear they are starting a new series titled Think Differently.

Plus I hear Sister Seeyall is teaching.

Dad: You don’t even like Sister Seeyall (dryly, and still looking at the news) And I do not want to miss that news on Lebron 2-3.

Mom: Who told you that?

Dad: You

Mom: Anyway, what’s more important: Lebron 2-3 or Luke 2-3

Dad: How long it took you to do your hair? (Dad says changing the subject.) What time is it? We can still make it.

Mom: I’m not walking in the doors this late.

Dad: Oh, you don’t want to be fashionably late?

Mom: (Rolls eyes. Looks to son.) Go get ready to eat.

Son: I ain’t eating that burnt bacon.

Mom: Get you some cereal. And say your prayers.

Son: Please, God, help my family to get up on time, help Dad not burn the bacon, help Mom be already ready when she get up, help me to not miss snacks, games, and prizes, I mean Sunday school. And help Dad read Luke 2-3 and not just Lebron 2-3 so mom won’t nag like the preacher. Amen.

(The parents look at the son at the same time, side eyeish.)

Written by Tannika Moore


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