Martin Luther King, Jr

Listening to the Unashamed podcast and Jase just said something very profound to me. The reason Martin Luther King, Jr. was so effective against racism is because his main goal was spreading the love of Jesus.
He simply spoke the truth utilizing the fruits of the Spirit. Success came from a Godly focus. God’s word will not go out into the world and come back void.

Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

From I ain’t to I am

So, when I was younger I was picked on a little bit. When we moved to a different town then I decided I would not be the one that got picked on. I have worked hard on this through the years. In fact, my motto has been “I aint the one!” for a good part of my life. To one extent it is good not to let yourself continually be walked on or abused. I will always beleive you need to know when to set boundaries and to even know how to defend yourself physically. But when I tell you “I aint the one”, I took it to the extreme. You wanna get an attitude with me? No, honey, I aint the one. And I would bite back and make it my mission that you never got that attitude with me again. In fact, you probably never even wanted to talk to me again. Well, of course, God went to work on me. He has been telling me “yes, you are the one.” He tells me “you are the one I put in their path. You are the one that asked for widsom and compassion and now here is your chance. Take that attitude and come back with love.” I cant imagine someone letting me have it and I geniually feel concern over what is causing them the anger instead of allowing it to make me angry. I know I am on my way to getting there. I know my responses will become lighter and more gentle. I know the love of Christ will shine through me. God has started this work in me and He will not stop until it is completed. I wont lie. Im scared to love yall like that. Odds are my feelings will get hurt. My pride will take a beating. You may see me as weak and I have worked many years to not come across that way. This will, indeed, humble me and that is exactly what needs to happen. My goal is no longer to prove how tough I am but to show the love of Christ in all I do as best I can. Because, just maybe, if you see that in me then you’ll want it as well. To His call for this change, I accept. “I am the one, Lord. Send me.”

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 6:8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Flee from a “Screw it” mentality

God has promised us a way out when temptation hits. My struggle has been how to see my way out and how to know when to flee. Recently, God has made evident my cue to run. There are times when I am faced in a struggle with temptation and two words come into my head, “Screw it!” Everytime. Whether it be with food, something I shouldnt watch or listen to, or just anything I shouldn’t do…there is a moment that my brain yells “Screw it!!”. Those two words used to send me straight into sin and regret. By the grace of the good Lord, He has turned those words that the devil uses to bait me into my cue to get the heck out there! But Monica, doesn’t running from something mean you are too weak or too scared to battle it? Glad you asked. No, it doesnt. You see, God sent Jesus to fight that battle and He won. Why waste my energy and become weary fighting a battle that has already been won? When I flee from temptation and run to Jesus then I am accepting the victory He has set before me. Not only that, but I am also accepting my reward of obedience. That reward is gained endurance, rest to not grow weary, and free from the regret/consequences of the sin! But Monica, sometimes saying “screw it” is exactly what you need to say to step out in faith. Let me tell ya, I have found times that I thought God was calling me to do something and I was hesitant and then I heard “screw it!” and it made me take a step back and reevaluate. God does not push. “Screw it” are words of defeat, not submission. “Ok”, “Yes, Lord”…those are words of submission. Those are words that show God is in the decision. They are loving words. Accepting words. God does not speak words of defeat. Ask God to reveal your cue to flee and live in victory, not defeat.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13

“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
1 Timothy 6:11

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

“For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
1 Peter 2:20-24

What are you watching?

Just a thought as I am feeling a little downish here lately. I think there is something very harmful in binge watching a drama series. Not because you may neglect other responsibilities. I can have a show running on my phone and watch it while I am doing chores. I think it is harmfull because it keeps you in a constant state of distress. These characters never catch a break! And when they do seem to catch one then it is pulled right out from under them as quick as they got it. How depressing!! Can anything good ever happen and it just be good?? Back in the day when we could only watch one episode a week then this didn’t seem to be such an issue. Now we can watch several episodes back to back and it can really affect your mood. Possibly even affect how you view problems in your own life. “My life is so depressing!! Can anything good ever happen and it just be good??” So, if you feel depressed right now or like nothing ever works out for the good….evaluate what you are watching. What music are you listening to? Are you keeping up with media coverage constantly? Having some discipline on the amount of depressing and distressing things that you are allowing in could be part of the solution to your sour mood and poor outlook. Just a thought….

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Philippians 4:8

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Romans 8:28

Wax the car

I want to tell yall a little story about anger. It was once a pretty big issue of mine. Yelling at my kids. Yelling at my husband. Yelling at my mom. Yelling at myself. Yep, all the people that should mean the most to me felt my anger. I could give you excuses. Some would sound like really good reasons for my behavior. But then I would be a victim of my circumstance. A vicitm controlled by my surroundings is not something I want to be. As I walked closer with Christ I also realized that a victim is not what He wants me to be either. So, I went to work praying on it. At first I thought I needed to focus on not yelling at my family. Seems the logical course of action, right? Well, God often doesnt use logic when He is working on you. He goes more Mr. Myagi and tells you to go wax a car. In this instance, He told me to stop yelling at people in traffic. Why God? They cant hear me. Isnt this a good way to let my anger out and no one gets harmed? But someone was getting harmed. For one, my son heard me yelling at every little mistake another driver made. Now, as he is driving he is so concerned about doing something wrong that he finds no joy in driving. He hates it. Is that all because of me? Probably not, but it sure didnt instill confidence and grace in him, did it? It also harmed me. It allowed me to react at a moments notice in a negative way to something that angered me. It let that immediate rage reaction be ok. Clearly, my first step was to practice harnessing my rage to complete strangers on the road. From the safety of my car I could hear God’s correction, seek repentance, and do better. Over time I gained wisdom on how to take a breath…just take a beat and think “how do I want to choose to react?” Because it is a choice. There is always a choice. Now, I hope my family has noticed a change in me. Sometimes these things we dont think is hurting anyone are the exact things that are giving us permission to behave badly. Currently I am working on gluttony of food. God has shown me that self control on Monday through Saturday doesnt mean I get to reward myself on Sunday with a free for all binge. That behavior allows me to remain in bondage to the sin of gluttony. It harms me. What is sin on Monday through Saturday is still sin on the cheat day. What do you need to go “wax the car” on? God will reveal it when you take it to Him in prayer and trust His process over your logic.

What if?

What if we prayed for them instead of complained about them? What if we prayed for God to soften their hearts and turn their eyes to Jesus? What if we prayed for God to give them a new spirit and stir up their souls? What if we prayed that God would allow them to feel conviction again? What if we worried more over the fate of their souls than the fate of this country?

Stay the course

I see many people worried over how this world is today. How they feel end times is near and having fear of living in a falling world until Christ comes back. How do we know what to do? Well, lets take a look at Noah. He knew the end was coming. He was also having to live during a horrible time for this world. Can you imagine how bad it must have been? Surrounded by people that only had evil thoughts and actions? How awful that must have been! How strong he was to stay so faithful while watching the world crumble around him. So, what did he do? He focused on the work God called him to do. He didnt focus on the world. He didnt freak out and worry over hoarding and surviving. He already knew he would survive. He trusted God’s protection. He took what God told him to take and not one thing more. He did the work God called him to do. And since he was faithful in doing that his family had a safe place to go. They were saved. All because God spoke, Noah listened, and he did the work even while surrounded by evil. He stayed the course.

God says His most important commandment is to love Him with all your heart mind and soul and the second is love thy neighbor as thyself. Yall, this is the work we are called to do. Do you want peace during this time? Focus on the work God has called you to do. God has already told us that we survive. Trust that, do the work, and stay the course.

Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

God’s will be done

Something God hit on my heart this morning for encouragement:
I am praying for somethings that just dont seem to be coming to pass very quickly. I know there are others out there feeling that strain. Maybe you are even on the brink of divorce, of giving up, or losing your mind over it. Look in the bible. Does your desire match God’s desire? Can you find it in scripture? If so, then you have a promise God CAN NOT break. Anything we pray that is alinged with His will then we WILL receive it. Have faith in the waiting. Lean on the strength of Christ. You are promised to receive what is in His will when you ask. Maybe not right away but God’s timing is always perfect even if we don’t understand why it is taking so long. Maybe we won’t receive it in the way we thought but we are to lean not on our own understanding.

If, on the other hand, you see that you have selfish, prideful desires that dont line up with His will then praying for His desires to be the desires of your heart is your best prayer. God will not change to align for you but He will lead you into change to align with Him.

1 John 5:14

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

James 4:3

You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.