Gentle Reminders

As I prayed this morning, I asked God to help me to acknowledge Him in all my ways. My mind then flashed to last night of me reciting “as I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep”. That traditional prayer often rehearsed by parent and child kneeling came to my mind last night and just before I could try to recall why it was stuck in my head this particular day, my nephew turns his bear on that someone got him. It recited that very prayer, and I remembered that he has been playing it lately more frequently. 

This morning I recognized that God gives you gentle reminders daily to just stop and acknowledge Him, not because He wants to go on an ego trip. He wants to remind us in all our busyness as well as all our daily responsibilities and activities that He is still here and still invested in us. He wants to fellowship with us and adorn us with His love always. But sometimes, we forget God, we ignore God, and we don’t spend quality time with Him. 

I encourage you to acknowledge Him now. Greet Him with a big hug of praise.

So, I thank You Father for waking me up this morning and for loving me with an unfailing love. Thank You for looking after me while I slept and for being so merciful. Thank You for You just being You, such an awesome God I serve. And thank You for Your gentle reminders of Your presence and to just stop and breathe it in. 

Love,

Tannika 
_______________________________________________

What are some reminders of God’s presence or unctions for you to just stop and acknowledge God?

Advertisements

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?

Tannika’s Free Writing & Flash Fiction: Flash from Past

Welcome to my new series where I will be free writing and writing flash fiction to have fun, to regain my discipline as a frequent writer, and to stretch and strengthen my writing skills.

This is an old story I originally wrote during college, years ago, for my creative writing class. It is a fictitious, urban story that came from I don’t remember, but it was fun to write. Editing and few changes were made prior to publishing here.

     Jackey and the Stranger at the Bus Stop

Pt 1

Jackey walked up behind the young man sitting at the glass kitchen table. Her long and thin brown legs stretched from the blue jean skirt she wore with a black shirt. The shirt read STAR in rhinestones.

She was quiet and not that that was her nature. But Jackey had a lot on her mind. He had the nerve to ask me to braid his hair, she thought. Still, Jackey neatly parted his hair one row at a time.

Although Desmond had become more of a stranger these days, he was still the love of her life. He was her best friend since high school and they always had each other’s backs. Jackey separated the row of thick, soft hair into three group strands. She overlapped the grouped strands forming Desmond’s first cornrow.

“Ah want that same style as Snoop,” Desmond said in a deep voice that carried its own bass.

“And I want that money that Snoop’s hairstylist makes,” said Jackey. But since I ain’t Snoop’s hairstylist and you ain’t any big time rapper Dez, we just gone have to work with what we got. I don’t have time to do any special styles anyway,” Jackey went on saying. “I have to leave for class in thirty minutes.”

Desmond let out a sigh and playfully jerked his head away from her hands. “Stoppp,” cried Jackey with an attitude. Although Desmond was playing, Jackey was agitated. He didn’t apologize for not making it to her dance contest the night before. All he said was, “something came up and I had to meet up with my peoples, Sean and Chris.”

“I ain’t gone braid your hair again,” said Jackey reaching for the hair that slipped out of her hands. Desmond bent his head back. His brown eyes met hers and he smiled a smile that softened his rough features. Jackey shook her head at the face that bore a long scar from his cheek to his chin. It was the scar that came a year ago from a guy who slashed his face with a box cutter. He was attempting to steal small bags of white, powdery substance from Desmond.

Jackey continued braiding Desmond’s hair. Out of the blue, an old song by Tupac began to play. Desmond flipped open his cell phone and interrupted “me against the world.” Jackey got quiet and continued braiding. “Man it’s in,” said Chris, the voice on the other end.

Desmond was quiet.

“When you coming. You know deez other fools can’t count,” Chris said as if he was speaking through a Walkie Talkie.

“Man you’re crazy,” Desmond said with a slight chuckle. “I’ll be there in an hour.”

Desmond hung up.

“You’re still selling drugs Dez?” asked Jackey who had been listening to the short conversation above his head. She let go of the cornrow she was braiding and looked down at his face. She expected him to look back up at her again to see her face of disapproval.

“You’re selling drugs and hanging with those dumb fools.”

“Man, I ain ‘t got time for this,” Desmond said getting up from the black cushioned chair he was sitting in.

“And why didn’t you come to my dance contest at my school? I don’t even see you unless you want your hair braided or you want some,” Jackey said angrily in one breath.

“It ain’t like you spending time with me,” said a composed Desmond. It’s all about you and your “I got dance practice. I got classes. I have to go to the shop. My friends and I going out,” Desmond said mimicking Jackey.

To be continued…

Can’t Move Forward

After reading the first 6 chapters of 1 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 Moore

http://www.stcfpoetrybook.com 

Can’t Move Forward

After reading the first 6 chapters of 1 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 Moore

http://www.stcfpoetrybook.com 

Writing Tip Jar: Just Write

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


Are you having trouble confidently expressing yourself in your writing?  Putting your writing out there can be a very rewarding thing but also a nerve racking one. The fear of not being politically correct, fear of offending others, fear of hearing others’ critiques, fear of not being an expert, fear of releasing too much of our business or imperfections tend to surface and introduce roadblocks to our writing. Or maybe we just dont have the courage to let our hair down and write something challenging and new, thus stifling our ability to be free in exercising and building our talent/natural gift.
I was a person who was proficient in sugar coating, people pleasing–afraid to step on someone’s toes and afraid to displease someone–(still need work  on this) and sometimes it carried into my writing.

It was sometimes difficult to organize experiences and feelings in words. Years ago, I felt blocked because I couldnt translate what I was feeling on paper out of fear.

Later, there would be times, I would hear “just write.” Trust God and just write. And when I obeyed, great sparks emitted through my writing releasing an energy, a flow, and revelations like none other. 
Sometimes we think some great big monster is suffocating our writing. But could it actually be that we may be suppressing our own writing from flowing naturally from the streams of our hearts?

Today’s tip does not condone writing that is birthed from a heart or goal of pushing immorality, unkindness, or prejudice, or tearing down others, or even heartless, undisciplined writing. That is not writing freely, but rather harshly as well as misusing this talent/natural gift. Yet, today’s tip is about just writing freely, being yourself, being authentic, being honest, letting God fully work through you. It is about using our God-given superpower to impact and bless others on paper or screen.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV
http://bible.com/111/ecc.3.1.NIV

There will be times that you hopefully put the pen down and just experience and listen. There will be times also when you have to pick up the pen and just release.

Don’t block your writing. Don’t suppress what you are feeling. Don’t suppress what needs to be said. Don’t suppress what can save someone else’s life. Don’t suppress the truth of what God wanted you to shine a light on. Don’t suppress the goofy, bubbly personality you have. 

Show and tell it on paper, and if God leads you to omit or even postpone something in release during the editing process, then hold it back or don’t release it. You have that right. But until now, let it out. Don’t block your writing because you are afraid to tap into what you’re feeling, or dont think it would sound beautiful, or because you are talking about something different than everyone else. 

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
Habakkuk 2:2 KJV

http://bible.com/1/hab.2.2.KJV

Someone needs that encouragement, that frankness, that “get yourself together”, that revelation and “aha” moment, that laugh, that realization that one is not alone, and that imperfect writing–yet full of heart and humility on its way to being beautifully and excellently skilled. 

Just write.

Start there.
Put your shoes on honey, your journey awaits,

Tannika

 _____________________________________

Come join me along my journey to learn to Trust God and Set The Captive Free. Visit www.stcfpoetrybook.com and get my books, Setting The Captive Free and Wearing Someone Else’s Shoes Ain’t Never Been Me. 


Tannika’s Free Writing & Flash Fiction: Help

Welcome to my new series where I will be free writing and writing flash fiction to have fun, to regain my discipline as a frequent writer, and to stretch and strengthen my writing skills.

Recently, I had an anxiety attack. But….I’m happy to say I fought it but not without God’s grace and strategies. Alone in a classroom with worn carpet, ununiformed chairs, desks, and tables, I prayed, sang along to worship music, recited God’s Word with as much confidence that could be mustered, took deep breaths, focused in on my breathing, texted my best friend to share my ordeal, and then I tried to face it. But when the Holy Spirit also led me to pick up my pen and grab my notebook, I was able to release it. (A couple of lines were added after the initial writing.)

Help

She could no longer run. She tried to hide but her breathing was as loud and frantic as the rain. 

As the rain pranced on the pavement and tapped against her window, she began to pray that the nerves in her stomach would relax. That the hairs on the back of her neck would comfortably rest upon it instead of standing erect in fear. That her breathing focused and grew patient.

That the intruder would be revealed. What did the intruder want from her? How did the intruder find her? She gave no permission for this being to inhabit her space.

Even if she could, she would not scream. She gripped her knees with one arm as she leaned against the wall next to her nightstand. All the while, she kept her eyes fixed on the door that was shutting out the intruder and his intensions. She reached for her pad and pen to scribble for help. 

She needed help. There is an intruder but the intruder feels so familiar. She was being dragged towards despair yet frozen in fear. Her thoughts churned, her pen moved, and the rain continued to tap also for her attention. She needed help.

Little did she realize that help was already present. He had arrived when she began to pray. He was devoted towards saving her life. She paused her pen and closed her eyes. She quieted her soul for it had grown loud with fear. She focused on her savior. “I am a present help in the time of trouble,” he said. She could no longer hear the intruder, no longer feel the intruder. Maybe this was a false alarm, but her body and soul believed it was real. 

For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV