Sonrise: Feb. 25

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

~ Revelation 3:20

I like the book of Revelation. For me, it presents the reader the unique privilege of seeing loving counsel in action. In the instructions for the letters to the seven churches, God tells each of them what they have done right and where they have faltered. He even provides insight about how they can get back on track.

This is the mark of a true friend. A loving parent. A kind ruler. His hopes for us are great even though He sees our flaws. No one is without flaws and many times it’s those errors that keep us from realizing our full purpose. Someone who loves us will correct and guide us. God is able, which is why He stands at the door waiting to teach us what we need to know.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock.

I do not have to go out to seek wise counsel. I do not have to search the internet or the stars for new information about myself. God is standing at the door and knocking.

He comes to where I am and waits for me to answer. I do not have to send Him a message or a telegram, because He’s already prepared to meet face to face with me.

If any man hear my voice and open the door…

As special as I think I am, He makes his wisdom and love available to any and every man (which includes every wo-man). If I hear His voice, I get to decide if I am going to open the door or not.

The power of choice is not lost on me. I think that is the most amazing part of it all! I have the freedom of choice to believe that God exists and that His thoughts of me are always for my good.

I will come in to him.

This is not like any other friend, who may or may not come into your home. God said He would definitely come in. He’s not judging if you’re house (heart) is dirty before He steps over the threshold. He’s not concerned with how little or much you have. He will not weigh out your net worth before he decides to enter.

His willingness to enter makes perfect sense. He stood outside and knocked. He waited for someone to answer. When they did, He was happy to enter and break bread with them.

And will sup with him, and him with me.

I know for me personally, I do not eat with just anyone. My discretion is not based on social status, economics, or race. It is based on my comfort level in their presence and some mutual understanding of what sharing a meal symbolizes.

Breaking bread is not just about eating. It is more importantly about kinship. In some cultures, eating a meal establishes a relationship. In others, it is meant to celebrate successful negotiations in business and marriage. Sitting together to share a meal removes all differences for a common human objective, the nourishment of the body, mind, and spirit. This is my philosophy and is not written in stone. But you should think about who sits at your dinner table and why.

Image: Noellie’s Place

God is not shallow like me. He said if I sup with him, He will sup with me. Whether it’s a cup of tea or string bean casserole (sorry I really want some for dinner tonight), He will sit and sup with whoever is willing to answer His knock at the door.

The benefit of inviting God in is that He will be an honest counselor. Whether we get so busy that we forget the purpose of our service to each other or we’ve allowed ourselves to entertain strange doctrines on our journeys toward enlightenment. In His fellowship, we can learn where we’ve hit the mark and where we’ve missed it. What a good friend we have in Jesus!


Open Invitation:

I know that everyone comes to the revelation of God in their own time. He calls us each individually. He knocks at our individual doors. If you’ve heard the call, but not sure how to answer, below is a way to get here. The road map is simple, but that’s what makes it so hard. Read the prayer below out loud to yourself so that your ears hear the words. Faith comes by hearing.


🌺🌺🌺🌺 Peace & Blessings🌺🌺🌺🌺

πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹


Sonrise: Feb. 18th

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” ~ 1 Peter 3:13-14

Image: Pixnio.com

Who is going to harm you if you want to do good?

A lot of people will. The world will. I’m not pessimistic, but the reality is that critics are all around us. This world preaches love and propagates hate. My country leads the hatemongers. Promoting false truths that are contrary to goodness and decency; twisting neighborly love into social irresponsibility. I have the right to express my opinion in this way, but it would be foolish of me to think that someone may not see the good in my intentions of stating it.

The Word of God is a book of love. It is a book of compassion. It is a guide to living abundantly within set universal principles that are true regardless of who uses them. A child or a bird can drop a seed on the ground and given the right conditions it will grow.

If I isolate myself and only talk about my love of Christ to others that believe just like me, then I am acceptable. If I talk to people of other faiths about why I hold strongly to the premise of a triune God, I’m seen as toeing a fine line. Perhaps too much conversation will lead to my conversion, instead of theirs. (I’ll explain later but for now please insert hysterical laughter here). What if I actually have a discourse with someone who does not believe in a God of any sort at all? My peers may fear for my life and soul, so they will insist that I come away from the edge of dark influence. I’m not making fun or taking those concerns lightly, but “Who is going to harm me if I am eager to do good?”

But even if you should suffer, you are blessed.

I believe that. I’m not out here looking for ways to suffer, but I’ve observed that it comes along with life sometimes. There will always be people that do not like who you are. People who will disagree with what you say. Entities looking to dismantle organizations that promote good. Readers that will unfollow you. These are par for the course.

A bitter tear does not dilute the ocean of goodness that I have witnessed. My feet have been washed in peaceful streams. My faith was made stronger standing against unseen currents and crashing waves. The goodness of God cannot be undone.

Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.

Your gifts and skills are uniquely matched for you and your journey to reconcile your existence with God. In the heart of every person, there is a desire to know how they are connected to the enormous systems that make up the universe. Some people focus on only what they can see and touch. Some look for meanings in relationships, ecosystems, and stars. The search, the wonder is in us all, because we are surrounded by the awesomeness of things we can’t explain.

For me, those answers are found in my relationship with God. I am awe stricken at His willingness to let me in on a secret or two. I’ve also learned to respect that some of my inquires get into things that are simply not my business and a “no access” is for my good. I don’t have to have all my questions answered in order to put stock in the things I do know.

Image: Helpful Inspiration Blog

I do not have to be afraid to share the gospel of Christ. People will listen and receive my testimony or they won’t. That is not my business. They will read deeper into the scriptures or they won’t. Still not my business. They will love me or they won’t. That is also not my business. I just simply present my testimony for those who want to know why I choose to live and believe the way I do. My heart loves to share the revelations of God as I have witnessed them; that is the blessing. So what is there to fear?

That’s the good I’m eager to do. What about you?


Open Invitation:

I know that everyone comes to the revelation of God in their own time. He calls us each individually. If you’ve heard the call, but not sure how to answer, below is a way to get here. The road map is simple, but that’s what makes it so hard. Read the prayer below out loud to yourself so that your ears hear the words. Faith comes by hearing.


🌺🌺🌺🌺 Peace & Blessings🌺🌺🌺🌺

πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹


Sonrise: Feb. 11th

Photo: Videezy

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word do I hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” ~ Psalm 130:5-6

In a world of instant gratification, I have purposed myself to wait. It is one of the hardest self-disciplines to develop. It truly takes the grace of God to prevent me from buckling.

But I wait. Not just with my mind, but with my hands and feet too. I don’t think I am the only person who has said in their mind and heart that they would wait for a situation to work itself out, but steadily researching and orchestrating a solution. I hope most of you are stronger than me in that area, because, my brothas and sistas, I am pretty darn weak. I want to control it all! My ol’ man, nature man, physical self just has no patience for waiting. Through force if necessary, I train my physical body to wait.

Image: IMG FLIP

I have to be clear that I am not saying to sit on your thumbs while you wait. That would not agree with my philosophies, so I won’t preach contrary to what I’ve been willing to live. My experience has been that when God asks me to wait in one area, He has plenty of work for me to do in another. A time of preparation gets me ready to receive the blessing.

I’ve heard people say, “Oh I’m waiting on God to bring me [insert material thing]”. When you’re waiting on God to align you with the right agent to purchase the right home, you have to work on your credit score and spending habits. Just sitting with a 520 credit score and no down payment is not practical and it shows poor stewardship. Your lack of discipline leaves nothing for the agent to work with to qualify you for programs that will maximize your purchasing power. Multiple it even! (My God is a God of multiplication not addition!)

In the time of hopeful discipline of waiting, four essential purposes are fulfilled in my life. The not so simple practice of patience works my faith. The more patient I become, the more faith in a positive outcome I will have. I am also being prepared to receive and take care of the blessing that I’ve hoped for. I will have done my necessary work so that I get the full benefit out of what God provides for me. I will have greater delight once I receive what I believed and waited for. Pure joy! Most importantly to me, I am drawn closer in my relationship with God because I demonstrate my loyal love by trusting that He was loyal first!

Image: Facing Trials


I know that everyone comes to the revelation of God in their own time. He calls us each individually. If you’ve heard the call, but not sure how to answer, below is a way to get here. The road map is simple, but that’s what makes it so hard. Read the prayer below out loud to yourself so that your ears hear the words. Faith comes by hearing.


🌺🌺🌺🌺 Peace & Blessings🌺🌺🌺🌺

πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹

Sonrise: Feb. 4th

“Let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and amen. ~Palm 72:19

This morning when I came downstairs, Big Daddy, my grandfather-in-law, was sitting listening to hymns on television. Big Daddy is 92 years old.

I made us both a cup of coffee and joined him in listening to the sweet melodies. The screen showed images of mountains and waterfalls. Valleys and rivers. Young lambs and old bulls. We sat in quiet reflection reading the scriptures as they faded in and out.

After a short while, Big Daddy began to recount the time he had gone to Haiti with a group of other pastors to preach the word of God. I’ve heard the story several times, but this is the blessing of conversing with someone 92. Each time the story reveals new insight.

The crux of the story is that he was presented the opportunity he wanted to turn it down because he was afraid of the unknown. He initially said that as a small town pastor he couldn’t afford such a trip. Another pastor said, “Well good, because I was planning on buying your ticket anyway.” There went that excuse.

“All I could say was ahhhh why he do that? I don’t wanna fly in no plane. I don’t know nothing about no planes and Haiti. I didn’t even really know where that was.”

So the truth comes out. He had never been in a plane. He was 71 years old. He wrestled with his fear of the unknown. Traveling in a plane to a foreign country in his golden years. But God insisted.

He was sitting watching television and a commercial came on with two little children discussing flying in a plane. By the end of the advertisement, the kids had decided it was worth the adventure.

“Oh Lord! The little chirren said they was gone get on that plane. So I figured God had settled it for me. If they could do it I could too.”

Needless to say, Big Daddy got on that plane to answer God’s mission call. He said when the plane got high above the clouds and he looked out the window he saw the glory of God for himself. He experienced in a new way that God was bigger than anything he had known before.

It was his first and last time on an airplane, but he relives it over and over again. He doesn’t have a church anymore. He doesn’t prepare sermons anymore. He reminisces. I just listen and learn.

We ate two tea cakes a piece while we sipped our coffee. Our morning visit was everything God would have desired for us. We shared His goodness. Oh how sweet it is!

Fatalistic Impressions

Of all the isms, I’m most annoyed by the rhetoric of fatalism. Where there is no hope for change, there is literally no hope. Period.

I am always taken aback when I hear someone ramble on about how their life is ordered by a script that they cannot alter and have no responsibility in it’s characters or reoccurring themes. It’s not that I don’t appreciate and respect each person’s right to their own life philosophies. I just don’t understand why someone would choose one in which they have no control or responsibly.

In hopes of gaining some insight, I exhausted my brain to at least be clear about the concept. My hope is that I will be enlightened as to where this philosophy could lead me to a more stable and content existence.

Fatalist Points:

  1. I am powerless to do anything other what I actually do. I do not have the ability to shape the outcome of my future or that of my society. It has been predetermined that I am who I am, do what I do, and will only experience what I am suppose to experience.
  2. Because I accept point 1, I am content with the inevitably of all my outcomes in life.
  3. My life’s energy will not be wasted revolting against things I cannot change.

Fatalistic Application:

  1. The sun rises and sets each day. This will happen regardless of what I do or don’t do. I have no control over set principles such as these.
  2. If the sun refuses to rise, it is not by my doing. I had no influence in that event; therefore, I must accept the inevitability that this could occur.
  3. How can I fight and win against the sunrise? My efforts would be futile.

I chose the sun as my fixed principle, because that is something I can agree that I have no control over. The idea of the sun not rising is so far out of my scope of experience that I believe the occurrence is almost impossible. (I said almost, because of the “if” factor. Where there is an “if” there is no absolute)

So just relating fatalism principles to a fixed event, I get the limit of my ability to influence it. I can even see that with my plethora of blood relatives (and boy do I have a lot of them!) They did not vote to choose me; I didn’t send a special request for them. We were not in control of our lineage.

With that, we did not check the high blood pressure box, or color in the lupus circle, yet many in our bloodline are sufferers. The predisposition to these hereditary ailments was and is out of our control. Yes, we can eat right, exercise, and live holistic lifestyles, but those efforts are no guarantee that we will not develop these conditions. “If” we have this gene, we could develop this health issue. The “if” means it’s not absolute. Yet and still, fatalism asks that I accept that this could occur regardless of my interventions.

So far, I’m kinda digging points 1 and 2, but 3 got me FUCKED up! I would be a stone-cold fool not to fall on my face and plead to God to help me “if” the sun doesn’t wake up one day! Would there even be day? How would I now know night from day? I know with surety that I would try to do something, even if I had a fleeting thought that it was in vain. (But that’s a whole ‘nother ismπŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ)

And what about these “ify” ailments. I wouldn’t dare just lay down and accept a revolution by my body’s systems. Either my body or my soul would submit, and my mind seems to be more partial to my soul. I would fight. I do fight. I would rather die trying to overcome enemies than lay down for a slaughter. Oh hell no!

Conclusions:

I’ve come to the conclusion that fatalism is just too dark for me. I can agree that there are things in life that I do not have control over and circumstances that I may be predetermined to face. However, I cannot swallow the lack of personal responsibility that it would take to not even try to make my life and society better. It seems to me to be a lazy man’s ism. No effort. No work required.

On an emotional level, it seems sad to just let life happen to you. Let external things impact you without opposition. Come what may with no preparation for what may come. This separateness screams NOT WORTHY! It seems to be saying we’re not qualified to participate in our own journey through life. Fatalism fails to empower and embolden. It pacifies and makes the sleepy content.

Note to readers:

I love and appreciate you all. If you are a fatalist, my goal is not to offend or belittle your choice. My mission is to always try to bring myself to a point of understanding, even if I disagree. But if you feel a pang of resentment, remember I was just writing what you were predestined to read. It was out of my control πŸ¦‹

Sunrise: Jan. 21st

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. ~ 2 Peter 1:3-4

I read this in my morning devotional and wanted to jump out of my seat. Paraphrasing what my spirit grasped “His divine power fulfills the promise that I am equipped to actively participate in divine nature because it has given me a way out of the evil desires of the world!” I can be my whole and true self!!!! Now for me, that’s a good word!

People make promises all the time that they don’t keep. Sad, but true. I know for a fact that I’ve done it. Said I would go somewhere and didn’t. Said that I would pay something on time and didn’t. Our promises are flawed. It’s not necessarily just because we’re flaky, untrustworthy mortals. It is also because we struggle against self interest all the time.

I say I’ll go when I know I don’t wanna and ain’t really gonna plan to. I say I’ll pay and then I decide to put that money somewhere else. In neither scenario am I thinking about what my broken promise does to the person on the other side.

Image: Enki QoutesImage: Enki Quotes

I thank God that He’s not like me! When He says He can, He does! When He says He will, I know that His word is our bond. It’s the glue that keeps our relationship tight. I can count on Him. He knows I struggle with wishy-washy ways and He offers me help so that I can be the best of who I am!

After I accept that the promises made to me are true and sincere, then I can trust that I will be better because of this relationship! In a very natural sense, I’ve had relationships that tore me down and I’ve had beautiful connections that increased my life beyond measure. Truly. Seeing this and correlating it to real life circumstance is me participating in divine nature! I have understanding and knowledge of what love filled, God filled relationships look like. And the wisdom to know how to apply that insight to my earthly and heavenly relationships. The proof is in the power!!!

Image: Media Web Apps

If you want to know what natural evidence you will see once you accept that God is trustworthy? I covered 2 Peter 1:5-6 in Sonrise: Jan. 7th. I encourage you to check it out so that you will know what comes next!

The doors are now open: If you haven’t accepted Christ in your life as your Lord and Savior, it is not too late. I have personally seen what the spirit of God has done in my life. I want anyone who is willing to partake in the goodness of unconditional love as well! Read the following out loud so that all of your mind, body, and soul can be awaken by the hearing of the word. Allow every part of you to have a chance to participate in divine nature! (The three are partners; let them be a witness to one another)

The Dream Fight

“I can kill your dreams, but I can’t kill a plan” ~The Tao of Reggie B. Jackson

“I can kill your dreams, but I can’t kill a plan” ~The Tao of Reggie B. Jackson

Change don’t always come easy, but it surely will come. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve heard and witnessed it enough to know it’s true.

The question is do you wait for change to find time for you or do you make it happen on your own?

Image: West Valley Consulting

I am a self-described go-getter. I try to always have something in the works on the side for extra income. Yeah, a lot of it fuels my passions too, but really I’m just a restless builder. Always needing to put my hand to something. I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re that way too πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Well I’ve been pretty transparent that I’ve cut back on some obligations in the last few months. Kinda cleared my path to see new sights. New beginnings.

It’s never about the endings; always about the beginnings.

Image: Paragon Mental Health

Are you afraid of the unknown?

I am 😩! I am! I AM!! That’s answer that bubbles up from my soul. An uneasy feeling for the warrior in my bones. Bravado, no matter how false some days, fans the flames of my desire to take hold of change.

I cannot turn around. Nevertheless, my dream will fade in the morning if I don’t plan to make it through tonight.

A control freak right?

Maybe, just maybe. I’d rather say I’m just a builder. A go-getter.

A house is not constructed without a blueprint. An enterprise is not built without a day planner. I finally bought my new one today!

I am not willing to let my dreams die a premature death, because I failed to honor the visions birthed in me. It’s my responsibility to nurture and fight for them! πŸ‘ˆπŸ½ (Now that sounds like the warrior in me!)

Peace, blessings, and encouragement to you all!

πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹ LOVE Y’ALLπŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹

Friends 2.0: How many of us have them?

Friends. How many of us have them? Friends. The ones we can depend on?” ~ Whodini (1984)

These lyrics have been stuck in my head for days. I think it’s time to mull them over, so that I can let them go.

Friends. How many of us have them?

I hope we all have two good friends. Three if you can handle that many. I have three longtime good friends, maybe even four. I don’t care to work with more than that. I guess the first question is: what’s a friend?

A friend is someone that you genuinely connect with who is just as sincere in their connection to you. Reciprocity. Love, laughter, encouragement, and support are freely given and exchanged. It’s not about how often you talk. It’s about the fact that when you do it feels like no time has passed in-between you. Friends.

It’s also important to know what a friend is not. Hurt, humiliation, and ambiguity are not the makings of a true friendship. There are people who only look out for their own gain. I know a simple way to spot them: listen to the self-praising words that come out of their mouths.

You are not special. If they demean others, they will demean you too!

Friends. The ones we can depend on.

I’ve seen friends stick together through deaths and illnesses. I’ve seen friends hold each other up after job losses. Friends are dependable.

I know my very Bestest friend (Shon is her name and traveling is her game! Cheap plugπŸ‘‰πŸ½ check her out on Instagram @shesmilesatsunrise). We have been best friends for about 29 years. She’s been with me through relationships with my other best friends (that’s why she’s the BestestπŸ‘ΈπŸ½ ). She’s always super busy, so she never gets made at me crazy schedule. I don’t even get to see her once a year. Earlier this year when Hubby has knee surgery, she flew out here a week later so help me strengthen up for his care. She booked us a room at the Ritz Carlton, ordered us massages and facials, and got me tipsy at the bar. We danced. We laughed. We cried. We slept. She took time to give me the time when I needed it the most. She’s my G.O.A.T.!

This does not mean that your friends are your beck and call girls! That what’s going on with you is more important than their own journey. They have lives too. Their lives are also filled with happiness and sadness. They need encouraging words as well. Friends should always have room to be engaged in their own world guilt-free. If you guilt trip your friend, because her new romance has kept her away from happy hour then YOU, my dear, are not a good friend. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Friends. Before we go any further.

Friendships with the opposite sex are equally important. No one can convince me that males and females can’t be friends. That’s ludacris (not the rapper; the immaturity). The opposite sex can bring perspectives to your dialogues that would otherwise be missing. The male/female approach to problem solving is not typically the same. Both sides are valuable. These aren’t mandatory, but they are beneficial.

One of my friends is a guy. We’ve been friends for about 27 years. We’ve counseled each other through four marriages, three divorces, four kids, three abortions, four career changes, and three college degrees. That’s a lot of information shared πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ but the great part is when one of us calls the other, we don’t need the whole back story about why the other one feels certain ways about certain things. We get it.

The foundation of friendship is authenticity. You have got to be able to be your whole self with the other person without fear of shame or disapproval. This does not mean your friends are obligated to agree with you, but that they can disagree and love you at the same time.

“Show me your friends and I can tell you all about yourself” ~Pastor Chris

I do find Pastor’s saying to be true. The company we keep is a reflection of who we are. Yes, there are differences between us and our friends; however, our core values tend to be quite similar. The more you walk with them and talk with them, the more you start to sound alike. Your ideas become commingled. This is why it’s so important to choose friends wisely.

🌺🌺THANK YOU FOR READING🌺🌺

βœ”οΈβœ”οΈ LIKEβœ”οΈβœ”οΈ COMMENT BELOWβœ”οΈβœ”οΈ

πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹ FOLLOW MEπŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹

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Sonrise: Jan. 7th

I’m going to go out on a limb and believe that all of us have good in us. All of us have compassionate thoughts towards our fellow man. Every reader of my blog post desires to be a light in a dark world.

Not only do I believe this is true, I see evidence of our great love for each other everywhere I go. Think about all the good you have witnessed. Not enough examples to be convinced? Proof is only a Google search away. Look up “food pantry”. I had 20 organizations near me that provide food to the hungry. Now look up “free clothes”. I found one ministry after another that offer free access to donated clothes. Some even give jacket and suit vouchers for major retailers! If you need a little more proof of our desire to do good, please look up “free clinics”. Loving their neighbors back to good health is what some of our neighbors do!

I don’t think God is disappointed that I googled proof of humanity’s benevolence. I don’t need corroboration of His existence or goodness towards me. I have witnessed His grace and mercy in my own life. However, do you think He doesn’t know what we’re being fed on the nightly news? He sees the forces against us trying to hide our connectedness behind illusions of division and derision. Are there people who hate us in this world? Yes, but they are NOT us! They are representatives of their father’s heart, just as we represent the lovingkindness of own Father in heaven. (By the way, if representatives of the opposition of Christ are reading this, please know that God will adopt and love you as well. Ask Christ to come into your heart as Lord and Savior. He will transform your heart and renew your mind, so that you can live on this Earth in peace and love~ I’m glad you stopped by and read this far. Please see the life-changing prayer below).

Peace and love are the antidotes to emotional pain, sorrow, and physical oppression. These are two gifts that our hearts open to when we serve others. And we don’t all have to start a non-profit organization in order to hold up our fellow man. We can simply rake our sick neighbor’s yard when we do ours. We can make extra room at our dinner table for our child’s friend that we know doesn’t have access to enough food. We can forgive the debt of one a long-standing client who has fallen on a tough time. Goodness for goodness sake.

“For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. ~2 Peter 1: 5-7

I will not leave you without a way to get here. The road map is simple, but that’s what makes it so hard. Read the prayer below out loud to yourself so that your ears hear the words. Faith comes by hearing.

Those of us on the other side of the former prayer continue to call out to God for help as well. We are not perfect, but we are empowered by the love of God and each other. Here’s one of my favorites:

🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺 LOVE Y’ALL🌺🌺🌺🌺🌺

Sonrise -Dec. 31

Photo credit: Ryan Cheney

Photo: Robert Cheney (Click to view artist’s Sunrise over Owens Valley collection)

2017 was quite the year of tests and trials for me and my family. We spent lots of time in the valley trying to figure out how to get back to higher ground. Our natural minds could not reason out every aspect of our situations. Each problem connected to another one. Even when one was solved, we were overtaken by the next.

Yet, we rejoice in victory! Our faith is strengthened by the miles. Our weaknesses are made less burdensome by the empowering faith from lifting the last rock or jumping the previous hurdle. Our confidence is renewed by God’s faithfulness. His word has flown like a banner before every battle we’ve faced. Praise God! We never fought alone. Our victory is in Him!

I am not vain enough to believe that we are the only family that has endured hardships this year. There may be families who did not have to work through physical healing, broken down vehicles, or financial losses, but there are families who grieved through the loss of parents, mental exhaustion, and the uncertainty of employment opportunities. This knowledge gives peace to our hearts, because we know that the trials common to man are not personal against us. Even when we have differences, the frailties of the human condition touch us all. All of this is for the working and perfection of our faith. Together with Christ, we shall all prevail!

This is good news. The best news! The hope through faith that next year we will be equipped to face whatever else comes our way. More is sure to come. That is suffering that comes with living in the world. Better still…we do not have to face these things alone! Serving along side of our brothers and sisters, we have both the spiritual and natural encouragement that remaining steadfast in our commitment brings glory to the one who never leaves us.

Peace be unto you all!

Great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23