Lots of folks love the following scriptural account: Matthew 14:28-32 – KJV And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. How many times have we faced boisterous winds in our lives and the Lord saved us? Challenges of various sorts confront us, but when we cling to Jesus, ways out are always made. We are repeatedly saved. Yes, salvation is ongoing. Day by day we experience forms of it. Immense gratitude flows for how the Lord rewards our love and faithfulness withContinue reading »

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:40 – KJV. That scriptural section is a favorite of many. It says so much. Yes, the emphasis is on love, caring and sharing — attributes that are deeply necessary. Jesus represents all of that and more. I’m immensely grateful for the people who cheerfully help “the least of these.” Truly, doing so does it unto Jesus. There are countless homeless people who yearn for arms of love to embrace them with generous actions. It matters less how they arrived in those circumstances. What really matters is to wisely help them by showing them Jesus through reaching out in ways that penetrate spiritually, mentally and physically. James 2:17 –KJV tells us, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” Elderly people often need help navigating during their golden years. Continue reading »

In Part One of this, I expressed about pastors who were drug addicted. Those struggles can take tolls not only on the addicted but on their family members, as well. Drugs involved aren’t always illegal ones. Scores of folks are hooked on prescription drugs, some of which are sold on the black market. I recall learning about Christian parents with adult children who are/were addicted to drugs. The accounts are steeped in sorrow. There are parents who do the best that they know how while being faithful to gospel truths. Treatment centers certainly do help. Often, though, years of yo-yo actions occur with numerous relapses. Many prayers and works go into measures of help. It’s wonderful news to know that addictions are conquered. Families are elated to overcome the enormous hurdles in addictive circumstances. Of course, we know that addictive behaviors aren’t limited to drugs and alcohol. There’s a reality based cable program dedicated to situations relative to hoarders. Extreme cases boggle the minds of some folks. I’ve seen onlyContinue reading »

Once upon a time, a mother was walking down the street with her little boy. Not anything unusual, except that the little boy had had polio and could hardly walk and was struggling along with his iron braces. A pitiful sight, but not to the mother; she was full of radiant joy and encouraged her son to keep going. “Good boy…It’s going so well,” she exclaimed jubilantly. Then the boy looked up and said, “Maybe, I can still learn to run after all! Would it be all right if I try?” A difficult question; of course that boy couldn’t run. Anybody could see that. He would fall and hurt himself. But the mother was confident and encouraged her son. “Come on son… give it a try. You can do more than you know.” The boy sighed and then took a few steps forward. He didn’t in any way resemble a seasoned runner, participating in a trial, but the boy did move, and for a few steps, it went well. ButContinue reading »

Millions of folks marveled at the strength of character demonstrated by Nelson Mandela who was incarcerated for twenty-seven years as a political prisoner. In 1985, he was offered a conditional release, which, on grounds of principle, he refused. His unconditional release was announced in 1990. It was indeed a grand view to see Mandela humbly but confidently walk outside to freedom for the first time in twenty-seven years! Globally, we profoundly admired the African man who went from prisoner to president. Mandela didn’t re-enter society with bitterness as an emotional attachment. He was firmly for reconciliation in his region, a region that had long been one of racial and economic turmoil and unrest. Worldwide, Mandela spread his message of the need for reconciliation. Yes, certainly, he made an international impact. Millions of folks hold deep love, respect and gratitude for the man, Mandela and the love, humility, respect, wisdom, and knowledge that he shared and demonstrated. Folks who haven’t lived through such circumstances have no in depth awareness of whatContinue reading »

I wonder how often folks pause to do introspection. Isn’t it more likely that people “inspect” the conduct of others more quickly than we do introspection? Self-evaluation is indeed necessary to tune in to where we need to adjust and alter what is within us. Yes, sometimes spiritual “housecleaning” is something that we should do. When we engage in that healthy exercise, it not only benefits us but also those folks with whom we engage and encounter. Certainly, we do well to make changes in our personal and professional lives. Regular quiet time with the Lord sure helps us to recognize, understand and to know what’s necessary to address. God reveals what best pleases him. When we line up with the guidance of our Lord, such wise choices are always a plus. Years ago, I worked with a guy who regularly complained about the conduct of others. One day as we rode the bus, seated next to each other, he proceeded to inform what, in his estimation, was wrong withContinue reading »

Moments of awe occur when we receive comfort from our Lord. There is no signature style that’s comparable to how God renders comfort. We can visualize lying our heads on the shoulder of the Most High, and unloading our burdens with no misgivings about unreasonable judgments relative to our conditions. We can rest in the care of our Lord — confident that we’ll get the aid that satisfies our needs. Nothing is too hard for God, and that knowledge is among many comforts that provide solace from the Almighty. Psalm 71:21 – KJV Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. Jeremiah 31:13 – KJV . . . for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.

Sorrow came to our spaces but we know it’s a temp. Oh, what a relief to have that awareness. Sadness has a role in our journeys so we’re mindful that sorrow will fill its appointments, and that’s okay. How long will sadness stay? Our Lord holds the time card on that play. We nestle in the comfort of truth that sorrow is temporary, and won’t elevate to the status of permanence. Yes, grief has a place, but when we’re anchored in Christ, it can’t uproot our positions in righteous security, safety and calm. Psalm 42:5 – KJV Why art thou cast down, O my soul: and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Years ago in the Olympic Games, there was a woman swimmer who gained a gold medal. Afterwards, she was interviewed by a reporter. The swimmer shared about her journey in the sport of swimming and how, as a youngster, some people teased and taunted her when she trained. Those taunts didn’t stop the swimmer’s forward progress. She steadfastly persisted in her practices. I imagine that, at the time, she didn’t know that her persistence would lead to a gold medal in the Olympics. The reporter asked what she had to say to those who, years earlier, had teased and taunted her. I will never forget the composure and class that she exhibited in her response. She didn’t display even a hint of arrogance. Calmly and simply, her answer was, “Thank you.” I so love how that was handled. Yes! In the 1992 Olympic Games, runner, Derek Redmond, tore his hamstring, which took him out of the competition for a medal opportunity. Derek, though, made a choice to finish the race,Continue reading »

How many times have we waxed lamentable about what we perceived were failed relationships, job opportunities, deals, and projects? Relationship endings can be some of the most challenging hurdles to overcome. They often penetrate to the core of our beings with gut wrenching emotional attachments. Whew! A friend of mine was widowed and awhile afterwards, she began to date. She was compelled to end two relationships for a few reasons, but one of the main reasons was because the men didn’t sufficiently respect or appreciate her. Ceasing to engage further with those two relationships provided an advantage because eventually she met a prize of a fellow who adores her. Years ago, an employment agency sent me to work for a woman who proved to be unsavory in her employment practices. I clearly remember my first day there. She read from the Bible to me. Witnessing that action gave me measures of peace that all would be well in her employ. Admittedly, I was gullible back then. In time, I gainedContinue reading »

For many folks, who, overall, live in constant solitude, loneliness can be a beast that grips their hearts. The elderly and shut ins readily come to mind. Also, especially sorrowful can be those who are typically surrounded by people but loneliness is still often in residence within them. My thoughts go, too, to the many lonely wives and husbands. They have spouses but the marital disconnects have become so large that they often feel alone. The reasons for loneliness vary. How wonderful that our Lord always has remedies and “repair kits” available. We can believe that matters are insurmountable but we can sure snap out of such false beliefs. God is a present love, comfort and help in the midst of everything. Christ is the cure for maladies small and great. Truly, there’s nothing too hard for the Most High and Christ. Psalm 18:2 – KJV The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and theContinue reading »