Throwback Thursday: Go To War

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.


Recently, while reading the bible, I realized this wasn’t just my daily routine reading (which it should never become just “I read it just to say I read it”). I was reading Deuteronomy 20. This chapter details Moses teaching Israel the laws for going to war. I realized God was speaking to me. In fact, He was teaching me and revealing to me things I had not come to understand until now.

GOING TO WAR

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. 4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

5 The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it. 6 Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoys it. 7 Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.” 8 Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.” 9 When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.

10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.

19 When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?[b] 20 However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.—Deuteronomy 20

BATTLING

Plenty of times in my life, I’ve let the devil intimidate me. I start to focus on the problems, storms, and the SIZE of my God-given assignments and subsequently my weaknesses and insecurities to keep me from fulfilling the things God has for me to do and overcome. I have went to the battlefield trembling and unprepared to put up a fight. I have had battles at work, in my relationships, and with anxiety and fear. Yet, we all have battles and you probably either just came out of a fight or going in one. Real talk, this is life. No journey is all roses and beautiful green grassy fields. Sometimes, your fields become brown and your grass becomes flat because Goliath stepping all in it and messing it up. But God!

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.—Ephesians 6:12 KJV

As always, here are some Tools to encourage you along your Journey!

You have to remember that although some battles you may lose and some fights may wear you out, Jesus won the war and every believer is on the winning team. You are more than a conqueror and God has given you every weapon you will ever need to beat the devil’s behind and walk victoriously. Here is what I learned about going to war:

  • Don’t be afraid.

Naturally, you begin to assess your opponent’s strengths as well as your weaknesses. The devil gets you to do that—focus on the problem, focus on how he can retaliate, and what can further go wrong. He loves to intimidate.

God will neither leave you, nor forsake you.

God will fight for you.

Jesus doesn’t just have the solutions; He is the SOLUTION!

  • Talk with a spiritual authority and especially JESUS FIRST.

A spiritual authority/mentor such as your pastor will help you to get some clarity on the situation.

They will encourage you.

They will intercede for you and pray with you.

  • Get your affairs in order.

Put things in perspective.

Pray for God’s perspective so you can see it the way He does.

Assess how and when you should be “fighting”. Do you just pray and be quiet? Do you seek outside help? Is this a preparation period or a go period?

Have you forgiven others and have you mended what God has told you to mend? Are you walking in love? Are you providing for your household?

Is this really a battle or a diversionary one? The devil loves to distract us.

  • Are you pessimistic?

Do you have disbelief that God can move and do what He said He will do? Are you surrounded by other believers like this?

If you are pessimistic, those fears, disbelief and negativity can rub off on others.

Get with people who not only will help you to search God’s Word on the matter but believe and fight with you and vice versa.

Get with believers who remember that they already won because they are on the winning team.

  • When you are struggling with someone, be a peacemaker.

Don’t go looking to fight naturally.

Handle any wars period spiritually for we wrestle not against flesh and blood. Right? I know some people TAKE you there. Sometimes, I too have to catch even my thoughts because that is where the suggestions of giving someone an old fashioned butt whooping starts. Jesus, help us!

Perhaps that person is too struggling with something and cannot see clearly. Perhaps they are not. In any event, ask God for wisdom.

God will make your enemies your footstool, but the key is to LOVE and don’t be so proud. Love them anyway no matter the outcome.

  • Check the sin in your life.

Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus.

Cherish sin no more.

Ask God to reveal the root cause of any sin in your life and give you grace to repent.

Repent wholeheartedly.

  • Be a life-giver and a fruit-bearer.

When you are hurt and wounded, sick and frustrated, tired and fed up, you can do and say things you regret.

You can make decisions that you would later regret.

You can take every innocent thing a person does and think it was meant for harm, become easily offended, and want to retaliate as well as cut people off for good.

Don’t destroy others around you. Don’t stunt the growth of your love walk and yourself.

  • Finally, OBEY GOD and saturate in His Word.

His Word is synonymous to His wisdom and His will. You need all three: His Word, His Wisdom, and His Will.

God’s Word is a weapon.

Obedience is better than sacrifice. Obedience to God protects you, helps you and brings you prosperity.

JESUS used the Word against the enemy when he was tested. Jesus won! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+4

  • Bonus: Pray and Praise! Talk with God and praise His Holy Name! Prayer and praise too are weapons!

Now GO TO WAR!

Put your shoes on honey, our journeys await,

Tannika

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To check out my new book, Bring It To The Surface, click here!

Flashback Friday: Mother’s Day–A Daughter’s Prayer

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10th and although celebrations of our mothers are limited, we can still make sure our mothers feel appreciated in the simplest ways. What are you doing for your mother to show your appreciation and love? Check out this flashback poetic prayer originally posted on May 7, 2016 and from my book, Setting The Captive Free Poetry Book.

A Daughter’s Prayer

Lord, I pray for my mother

By first thanking You for her

I acknowledge that You created her for a reason

And it wasn’t just to be my mom

So, I pray Lord that she seeks out her gifts and purpose from You

For You are her creator

Lord, I pray that she realizes

That she is fearfully and wonderfully made

And that she was set apart for Your use and

Your use alone

I pray, Lord

That You will grant her the grace

To reject all negative and deceptive comments, beliefs and thoughts Satan tries to inject in her mind

I pray, Lord that You will bind up

Every critical spirit that tries to pollute her mind and her emotions

Lord, I pray that she will be filled with joy and peace

Your peace that surpasses all understanding

I come against fear that she may have, for You did not give her a spirit of fear

But that of power, love and a sound mind

I pray, Lord, that she will see herself the way You see her

And that she surrenders every area of her life to You

I pray, Lord, that she believes without a doubt

And she prays without ceasing

Give her strength, Lord, to move forward

And be what You have called her to be and do what You have called her to do

Grant her Godly wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Your Word

Help her exude holiness and virtue continually so that her girls may imitate these attributes that You possess

Help her to trust You and depend upon Your strength

For only with You there is stability and security

Give her direction for her children

Help her to be anxious about nothing even when it comes to her children, but to pray about everything

Lord, help her to forgive and love even when it becomes difficult

Build her up and encourage her

And let her learn to encourage herself when others won’t

Let her not lose sight of the visions and dreams You have placed in her heart

Let her have time to devote to You

And let her experience Your Presence in her devotion time

Help her to take time also for herself as well as to reflect and laugh

Let her identity be wrapped up in You

Lord, Let her know that her prayers are not in vain

Her praise has not gone unnoticed

And her tears have not gone unseen.

Now Lord, I pray that your angels encamp round about her, protect her, guard her heart and her mind

Lord, I pray that she develops the fear of the Lord within her heart

And the joy of the Lord always

In Jesus’ name, Amen

And thank you for my mother’s love

Because of a mother’s unconditional love, I know how you feel about me

Repost: Can’t Move Forward

Originally posted on February 27, 2017

After reading the first six chapters of first Samuel, I am beginning to understand how God’s presence and God’s glory are important to the believer, the Body of Christ.

The glory of God, which is seemingly difficult to define, is basically the external manifestation of God’s presence (http://www.biblestudytools.com).

The presence of God is also difficult to define. However, the Hebrew term for presence in the scriptures is translated as “face”. Dwelling in the presence of God means to have a deeper closeness and fellowship, close and personal encounter, a response of worshiping in spirit and in truth as well as a total surrender to God, His sovereignty, and His love.

We can’t move forward without either God’s glory and presence. We need God’s glory in everything–not our glory but His. We need His glory during decision-making, good times, special events and family time, travels, and during trials and tribulations. Where the glory of God goes, there is power, deliverance, and victory.

Living in the presence of God ensures safety, joy, sustainment, and the blessing.

Please read 1 Samuel 1 to 6

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, The Great I Am,

I worship You today! I ask for forgiveness of my sins, disobedience, and even my fear that keeps me focused on my circumstances, frailties, and man. Help me to overcome the fear of man and to have the fear of the Lord. Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of my faith. Help me to remember that You have all authority and power even over the devil himself. Forgive me for living my life contrary to this. Now God, I ask You also to help me and the rest of my siblings-in-Christ to seek Your presence and glory. We want to live in Your presence and we want Your glory to accompany us daily, even going before us. Have Your way, Holy Spirit, and thank You, God for answering our prayers in Jesus’s name, amen!

Trust God & Set The Captive Free,

Tannika

Do You Have A Chip On Your Shoulder

Not often do I hear men say, “ladies first” when it is time to board the bus. So, on one particular morning this week, I was elated to see one guy lead by example and let the ladies on first. But after a couple or few of us proceeded onto the bus, commotion broke out behind me as I walked to my seat. When I turned around, there was an older gentleman who was already on the bus with the bus driver when we boarded trying to stop an altercation from escalating. Even moreso, he stood in front of a young lady, who I believe was a teen, and was trying to block and stop a man from hitting her. The man was the same one who had just let the ladies go first. Why they were fighting, I do not know exactly. He said that she hit him first and she said something about he said ladies first and something about tapping her bus card against the machine.

As security from the transportation station stepped in, it calmed down a bit but the argument started back up as the man boarded the bus and he went to the back. Both the man and the young lady were angry but I noticed his voice sounded more emotional. As their argument continued and the man got up out of his seat and moved forward towards the young lady, the older gentleman who had helped prior came to the back, blocked him again and prohibited him from going any further. The young lady remained seated although she was arguing back. The security guard came to the back too to intervene. The older gentleman kept telling the man, “bro, let it go.” The man turned on the older gentleman saying something like “you’re not my bro and why do black people keep hurting me.”

I then realized this man not only was angered but he had been triggered. I don’t know what really started the altercation between he and the young lady but both could have acted differently for a much better outcome. However, the man, who was also Black like the rest of us on the bus, was the adult and he should have really let it go so it wouldn’t have escalated. And no way should a grown man be hitting a young lady or calling her out of her name which he did.

I know that Black men endure a lot in this world day by day. I also know that sometimes they face a cruel and unfair justice system and just as much plight and hopelessness as any other man. But some Black men must remember Black women have to endure a great deal too in this world. And we are to be protected and respected also. Moreover, with the state of this world and the fact that we are living in the last days, a lot of people are walking around angry and with a chip on their shoulder. We are beyond stressed and triggered with even the smallest things. Nonetheless, we must build our self-control and empathy. And we have to pursue and promote healing individually and as a whole. I believe God has me in a season of healing. I have discovered areas of brokenness in my life that God wants to heal me of, thanks to God.

Don’t dismiss your pain. Don’t dismiss another person’s pain either. Address it and let God provide you with the healing you need. Even if you get no closure from others, you can get it from God.

We cannot walk around with chips on our shoulders and be ticking time bombs. And we cannot move forward from something that has never been fully addressed. That is why some people don’t understand why some people can’t move forward (although there are other factors why also) from a loss or traumatic event. Some people say Black people should stop talking about slavery. But if it has never fully been addressed and acknowledged with true empathy and understanding, then how can we? So, we have to address the pain and not let it turn into a bomb. Even God addresses and acknowledges the circumstances and pain in our lives, but with the intent to heal and grow us and impact others for good.

Anyway, there is so much rage and pain in this world. Many human beings, no matter their nationality, ethnicity, social or class status are being consumed by anger. But Jesus came to give us life and life to the full and it is receivable through His salvation and your surrender. He knew we would have storms and issues in our lives. He knew this world was a hot mess and broken. But His truth, life and way are our shields. His Holy Spirit is our comforter and His Father has the last say. He is our defender and present help in the time of trouble.

I was glad that the older gentleman intervened and tried to calm the man down and get him to control himself. I reiterate that we have to pursue and promote healing. And yes God can grow you and heal you during your storm! So, where can we begin.

  • Get therapy or find a support group and build a support system.
  • Face the truth. Receive the truth. If there is a problem, are you avoiding it? Where do you need healing? What boundaries do you need to set? Do you have anger issues? What are your insecurities shouting? What in this world is bothering you? You can take the answer to this and work towards being a part of the solution and it can lead you to your purpose.
  • Embark on a healing journey. Ask God to show you what that looks like. What do you need to heal from, and work towards facing, releasing it in a healthy manner, and growing from? Get scriptures about healing in the particular areas you need healing in.
  • Make a choice to heal and to grow daily .
  • Practice self-control and feeling your emotions and then steward over them in a healthy way. If you are angry, don’t hold it in but find ways to release it in a safe and healthy way. You can also practice calming techniques such as counting to ten or taking deep breaths until you can sift through the anger, address or find the problem, and then find the solutions.

Im not a psychologist or therapist but I do know we all need healing from something.


Do you have a chip on your shoulder? Are you on a journey of healing? What does that look like for those who may not be on this particular journey now? How can you be intentional in pursuing healing and growth, and why is God leading this pursuit so important?

Wednesday Scripture-Led Journal Prompts: Pray & Be Alert

Writing is such an great avenue to take to express one self as well as to find some understanding about some things. On some Wednesdays, we will have Wednesday Scriptue Led Writing Prompts. What a great way to meditate on God’s Word, pray, and journal!

Based from these scriptures, write in your journal what is on or comes to your heart.

There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.” Luke 22:40‭, ‬46 NLT

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, Luke 21:34 NLT

Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36 NLT

Two things that are noticeable from reading all of these scriptures is that Jesus wanted us to do two things (and not just these two things but foremost) in these times and times to come. He wanted us to PRAY and BE ALERT.

Prayer connects us to the heart of God, invites dialogue between us and Him, yields us to Him, exudes a posture of humility, and is a way to come boldly before His throne. Prayer is seeking His Will. Prayer is a chance to remind Him of His Word, to listen to Him, laugh with Him, get instructions from Him, pour out our hearts before Him, and be transparent with Him. Prayer is accompanied with worship and meditation of His Word and His goodness. Prayer is coming to Him in faith and getting Him involved in every area of our lives.

Being alert is being aware of what we have, who we are, and who our enemy is. Being aware is coming out of slumber and and being woke enough to pray and remain focused upon our Savior, Christ Jesus. Being alert is being cognizant of the enemy’s devices and fully arming and suiting up in our armor to defend and protect our faith, hearts, and relationships with God and others. It is walking in love and seeing things the way God does. It is being in the presence of God consistently and tuning in to His voice.

Journal Prayer:

Father God, help me to pray without ceasing and in faith. Help me to pray for grace and mercy when temptation comes so that I may discern Your voice and Your exit strategy. Help me to be alert; arrest the slumber in my life. Help me to love others as I love myself and help me to love You with all my heart, mind, body, soul and strength. Help me to relinquish my idols and forgive me for even putting myself far above You. And help me to not get weary in well-doing even when it seems like the wicked and unjust seems to prospers. Help me to submit to You and not my flesh. Help me to resist the enemy and flee from temptation. Help me to submit to You and not to things that oppose You. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Faith it Through

This poem/prayer is dedicated to those who may be suffering from anxiety. I understand how hard it grips you and how as a result you feel hopeless. God sees our tears and He can erase all of our fears. Trust Him. 

Mountain of anxiety be lifted up
And thrown into the sea
And Don’t come back with more fear
To terrorize me.

Body, and mind, and spirit too
Believe that God can deliver you
And Be healed by His stripes
Tired of these attacks
I’m losing my strength to fight.
But I’m not turning back

God, hear me and let my tears fall at Your feet
Anchor my faith in You
And let Your healing wells run deep.

You did not give me a spirit of fear,
But of power, love, and a sound mind
You have not left me, nor forsaken me
You are right here.
And every thing will be fine.

So Lord, I praise You even in the valley
I praise You even though it’s hard
I praise You with the queasiness in my belly
I praise You for what I can’t see naturally
I praise You in advance
For complete healing and the unwavering faith stance

That I will have joy in the morning,
I will rest in You,
I will be delivered from all my fears,
I will continue on with hope and a future penned by You,
And I will survive today and continue to faith it through.

In Jesus’ name, amen.
Love,

Tannika

Five Things I learned From My Mama

This Sunday we celebrate our mothers. We thank God for them and honor them for their selflessness, sacrifice, and unconditional love. 

I love my mama and I make sure I express it as much as I can. But before I move forward, I am going to stress that we take the time to pray for children (of all ages) who have lost their mothers as well as for mothers who have lost children. Comfort them Holy Spirit and uplift their spirits during this time, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

In honor of my mom, I want to share five things she has taught me and told me:

  1. You can’t please everyone.😊 Be okay with that. 
  2. Work hard. 💪My mom has worked faithfully for her job for more than 18 years. I have learned and strived for longevity and commitment in my professional and personal life through her example of hard work. 
  3. A man is not going to fall on the couch. 🛋 Sorry ladies, God isn’t going to just plop him right on your couch. Don’t go looking for a guy, trust God, seek God, but get out there and live your life. And God will help him find you!
  4. Treat yourself. ❤Be kind to yourself. Make sure you matter to you.
  5. Trust God! 🙏🏾My mom always reminds me to give it all over to God. Hearing and seeing her testimonies lets me know that she too had to learn and trusting God never fails because He doesn’t fail.

              Happy Mother’s Day Moms!   

                ____________________________

What are some things you learned from your mom? Please share below!

Writing Tip Jar: Be Concise

Writing Tip Jar is a series to help encourage other writers and inspiring authors along their journeys. Happy Friday, and pull out your notebook or click on your cellular notepad! It is time to write.


My flaw as a writer is that I sometimes overwrite. I, too, had to learn to write concisely as well as learn to show and tell and not just say.

Here is a tip from Shrunk & White. I kept my little Shrunk & White book from college because it is an awesome resource for writers. Thanks to my former professor, Dr. Aghahowa, for introducing her students to this resource.

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all sentences short or avoid all detail and treat subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.”–Shrunk & White: The Elements of Style

Do you write concisely or do you tend to overwrite? What strategies and tools do you use to write concisely?

Wearing Someone Else’s Shoes 

For those who have read my latest book, you are most familiar with its leading poem, Wearing Someone Else’s Shoes Ain’t Never Been Me, for which my book was named from.

For those who have not, here is a chance to read my poem which centers around coming to the realization of one’s one-of-a-kindness and purpose. It details the confidence that God created you with a destiny in mind and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. If your DNA wasn’t proof enough that God wanted you to take off another’s shoes and embrace the destiny and being that He purposed for you, then your individual spiritual gifts, and talents, and His setting you apart unto Himself has got to be further clues.

So enjoy this poem and be encouraged!
Wearing Someone Else’s Shoes Ain’t Never Been Me

I was meant to be free/Wearing someone else’s shoes ain’t never been me/With whom I carry on the inside, I shall find my way through the dark/I was meant to not only shine, But carry His spark/By allowing God’s Word to take root in my heart

Don’t limit me with your small beliefs and hindering measures/And don’t block the path to my destiny, my heart’s treasure

Don’t assume that I am through/When I am down and nothing’s new/Keep saying “I’m not going to make it”/Before you know it, I’ve made it, And made it past you!

Keep spreading lies ‘cause you can’t handle what’s true/Get back, Get yourself out of the way ‘cause I am coming through/Some of you trying to latch on Might have to let go/‘cause I have to let go too/

I was meant to be free/Wearing someone else’s shoes ain’t never been me

Those shoes don’t fit/And forcing them to doesn’t seem legitimate/The shoes that were framed and molded for me/Will help me embrace my own destiny/I am set apart and unique
No longer conformed/And I took off my uniform/That kept me fitting in and walking the same/I took off my complacency and no longer walk in shame

No longer seeking the approval of man/ Took some practice and stumbling In these shoes/But now I can stand

I was meant to be free/Wearing someone else’s shoes ain’t never been me

Tannika Moore

Visit http://www.stcfpoetrybook.com for more information on Wearing Someone Else’s Shoes Ain’t Never Been Me or my other book.