The Greatest Love of All

Jesus

R It’s hard for me to describe how I am feeling today. Thank God for music ‘cause every word of this song expresses how thankful I am to be a child of God:

Signed, MrsMKauthor

O I just want to thank God today for His Unconditional Love. Words cannot explain how thankful I am to be His child. I am grateful to serve a God who chose to lay down His life for me. For you. For humanity.

Today, I just want to reflect on how deep His love is for us.

W Isaiah 53 New International Version (NIV)

Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him
.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all
.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

D Dear Jesus,

I weep as I write this. Every time I read Isaiah 53 I cry because I am reminded of all that You went through to obtain salvation for me. Lord, I am so undeserving of Your Love. My mind cannot comprehend why You chose to come here and suffer for people like myself. I know that You truly love us. Who else would willingly die knowing beforehand that they would be rejected and despised by the same people they came to save? That kind of love is DEEP!

Today, I just want to tell You that I love You. I adore You. I worship You. I praise You. I magnify Your name.

You are GREAT!

You died, but You did not stay there! Death is swallowed up in victory because of You! I bless Your Holy name!

You are loving. You are kind. You are beautiful.

God, I may not get it right every time, but know that my heart will always be for You. You are my FIRST Love and I am thankful that I am Your child. Keep working in and through me, so that I can have a heart to love people like You do.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

6lbs. 9oz. later

family vans“She can’t have a baby.”

“You two are a young couple… what are y’all waiting for?”

“Don’t you want kids?”

“What’s wrong with y’all?”

“You are getting older, you know…your biological clock is ticking.”

“I know you two will make some beautiful kids.”

“Oooooh, I can’t wait til’ the baby comes.”

“When are the babies coming?”

We knew we wanted kids, but we were not in a rush. We wanted to complete short-term goals, travel, and most certainly sleep in as much as possible.

But we had so many people in our ears urging us to have a baby. UGH!

Talk about pressure.

So, I started listening to all those voices pressing us to expand our family.

I started to worry. My anxiety caused my husband to worry. Which led to long, stressful conversations about having kids, doctor visits for family planning, and downloading apps to track fertility…blah blah blah.

Month after month. Year after year. Still, no baby.

Doctor visit after visit. Test after test. Result after result revealed we were both healthy. And yet, no baby.

It wasn’t happening when we wanted it to happen. Or to put it another way, it wasn’t happening when they wanted it to happen.

As you can imagine, our home went from being a place of peace to a warzone of confusion and confrontation. And granted our marriage was GREAT.

Then to add to our disappointment, one “minister” stood me in front of the congregation and said, “She can’t have a baby…come on, let’s pray for her.”

Talk about being frustrated and humiliated…smh.

black vans

(Fast Forward to today) That “can’t” is now talking and running around the house…he’ll be 2 next week.

Bottom line is, never let the opinions of others supersede what God told you. We had prayed for kids when we were newlyweds and knew God had answered us. We knew He would do it in His timing. But, doubt and fear flooded our minds when we started listening to other people.

Whole time the majority of “those people” were not around to support us when the baby finally did come. And you know what? I’m glad we didn’t get pregnant back then. At that time, we were engrossed in our careers, working long hours, and I was in post graduate school. There was no way we could have given our son the kind of love, attention, and stability that we can now provide for him.

So, what am I trying to say? Be careful who you listen to. You need to be around people who are speaking life into you! And their words should confirm what God has already told you and what you know to be true in your heart.

Pastor Stephen Robles breaks it all the way down:

“In our lives today (and in your life today), there is a chorus of voices trying to speak into your life.  Some of them good, some of them bad. Maybe they are friends, family, co-workers, social media, and the loudest voice of all culture: music, movies, and T.V. And if we are not careful we will start listening to the voices of the chorus. We will look to them for approval, validation…we will begin to doubt our calling and will ignore the voice of our Creator.”

In his message below, he suggests four ways we can overcome doubt, insecurity, envy, and fear. He gives us practical strategies to shake off the haters!

I hope you can make time to listen to this powerful message. Enjoy!

 

Want to Reach Your Purpose?

The other day I wrote about being on borrowed time and living each day with purpose. My lil’ cousin sent me this video and let me tell you, this message is a Game Changer!!!!!!

The speaker outlines 4 things we can do to reach our purpose in life. I honestly have listened to this message at least twice a week now because it motivates me to stay focused on my calling. The speaker addresses several points I made in my last post, including the one about rockin’ with the right crew as you race toward your goals (point #8).

If you are tired of surface level relationships and need explicit instructions on how to live your best life in God’s will than this video is for you, bruh!

The speaker reassures you that “you can do good things without God, but you cannot do God’s will without God.” He explains the difference between reaching your potential vs. finishing your calling! Furthermore, the pastor gives you tools to answer one of the most profound questions about life: Why am I here?

Knowing that we are all on borrowed time, we have no time to waste!

It’s time to get into purpose, ya dig?

Check out the video below! The message is powerful and the pastor is SUPER hilarious! Enjoy!

On Borrowed Time

ruuning

R I don’t have time for any drama or pettiness. If you look around, people are dropping like flies. People getting shot up, people losing their lives to cancer, people dying in car accidents…you name it! No one wakes up in the morning saying, “I am going to die today.” Well, maybe some people do and those people are the ones who decide to take their own life.

Even still, death is the inevitable for all of us. We basically live to die and then we are judged (Hebrews 9:27). That being the case, I can no longer waste time focusing on people and things that will distract me from my ultimate goal of fulfilling the calling God has for my life.

One of my cousins (who I look up to very much) asked me, “What is your greatest fear?” After much thought and contemplation, I replied, “My biggest fear is dying without accomplishing the assignment God has given to me.” With this in mind, I am focused, man! Focused on my purpose! And I refuse to be distracted!

I started 2018 asking God to help me to live every second, every moment of my life with a Kingdom mindset! But there comes a time when I have to help myself. So, I have been fasting more, praying more, reading my Bible more, fellowshipping more with other believers, amongst many other things to draw closer to God.

There is nothing else that I want more out of life than to be in God’s will. No other place I would rather be.

Time is short. We don’t know when we will take our last breath. As for me, time is a valuable asset that I can never get back. I cannot afford to waste it…neither can you!

I pray we all can maximize the time we have here on this side of heaven by living our best life in God’s will.

Signed, MrsMKauthor

O Still studying Philippians 3 and how that applies to life, I jotted down some strong points from the chapter. I hope the list encourages you to finish life strong.

1.       Always rejoice in the Lord! No matter what you are going through, give God the praise! (verse 1)

2.       It’s good to be reminded over and over again about the TRUTH! (verse 1)

TRUTH, KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, and UNDERSTANDING comes from reading The Bible! Study it every day! It will protect us from ourselves and the things that deter us from our real focus—Jesus!

3.       Never put confidence (in what we have or who we are) in the flesh because we will fail! Trust God! (verse 3)

4.       Knowing Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING! Nothing else in this world matters (verses 7-8)! This whole world and everything in it is fading away! Don’t believe me? Look at the news!

5.       Our righteousness is established in our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus paid it all when He died on the cross! There is nothing we need to do to earn our relationship with Christ! (verse 9)

6.       No one can win a race looking backwards! In sports—whether soccer, basketball, or football—the goal is to push the ball FORWARD! Lebron James would never get the ball in the basket if he kept looking behind him. The G.O.A.T., Tom Brady, would never get the ball to the end zone if he focused on the players behind him. Why? Because to win is to get to the goal! And that should be our ultimate focus—Get to the goal! (verse 12)

7.       We gotta forget what is behind and keep moving forward (verses 13-14)! I know for me that means to forget about the negative things that have happened in my past. Each day I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help me in those specific areas. I also read aloud Philippians 3:13-14, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Romans 12:2. These scriptures help me to refocus…which takes me back to point #2-Be reminded of the TRUTH.

8.       We have to surround ourselves with likeminded Christians (verse 17)! These believers will help us stay in the race! Why? Because they are racing toward the same goal! Being in community will motivate and inspire us to NEVER GIVE UP! And when discouragement comes to rob us of our joy and peace, they will point you to Jesus Christ. That’s what REAL FRIENDS do!

9.       Beware! There are a lot of people who do not believe in Jesus Christ! They are enemies of the cross! We must be mindful of the company we keep. (verses 18-19 also read Psalm 1)

10.    All of us are on borrowed time! We have an expiration date and a final destination: HEAVEN or HELL. We should live each day with PURPOSE and keep in mind that heaven is our home! (verse 20)

W Philippians 3 New International Version (NIV)

There is no supplication for God’s Word. I recommend that you read Philippians 3 for yourself and let God speak specifically to you.

D Dear God,

Thank you for life. May we enjoy it and live it to the fullest. But we need You to teach us how to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Our ultimate goal is to live our best life according to Your will. We need Your guidance to forget what is behind us. Give us the perseverance to press on toward the goal to win the prize for which You have called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. We know that we can do nothing without You, but with You all things are possible!

You are great! There is no one holy like You! There is no one beside You! There is no Rock like You, our God! May You get the glory and honor out of our lives!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Thank You Rev. Billy Graham

Billy GrahamTo Rev. Graham: I always admired you for your courage, boldness, and passion for spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. One amazing thing about your life is the legacy that you leave behind: timeless teachings centered on the Word of God. Thank you for a life well lived. Someday I will meet you in Glory. Until then, rest in heaven my friend!

Here are three of my favorite quotes by Rev. Billy Graham:

  1. “The message I preach hasn’t changed. Circumstances have changed. Problems have changed, but deep inside man has not changed, and the gospel hasn’t changed.”
  2. “The moment we take our last breath on earth, we take our first in heaven.
  3. “Believers, look up – take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.”

Check out this amazing article about the life and legacy of Rev. Billy Graham and listen to one of my favorite teachings from him.

“Belief or unbelief…still takes a leap of faith!”

lightbulbWhat up, good people?! Well, today I could not wait to share this Netflix movie with you! I am taking a break from social media and other Internet content to focus on my quest for truth and understanding. You know…trying to eliminate distractions in order to grow closer to God. Limiting what I watch or listen to—basically, only giving my attention to resources and materials that will increase my faith.

Case for ChristSearching Netflix, I stumbled upon this movie called “The Case for Christ.” After reading the movie description, I became curious and began to watch it!

To tell you the truth, the movie was nothing short of amazing! It provoked me to ask deeper questions about my faith. Inspiring me to reread the New Testament from beginning to end. It also stirred up a conversation between my husband and I, having us to revisit philosophy books from college. I could go on and on, but why should I? I think you should check it out for yourself!

As I stated in my About Me section of the blog, I want to share things that will uplift and encourage you no matter where you are in your journey with God.  So, without further ado, I would like to share the movie trailer.

Check it out! I am sure you will finish the movie inspired, motivated, and curious to know more about the Christian faith!

Peace and Blessings!

MrsMKauthor

 

If You Are Hurting Today

heartInitially, I was going to write about my inadequacies.

All the things that were robbing me of joy, love, and peace. But what good would that do? It would just bring more attention to my weaknesses, faults and shortcomings.

Instead, I am led to share resources that have really helped me to grow stronger in my walk with God. I am happy because God is really doing a work in my heart. Healing a lot of hurt. Brokenness. And pain that I have been carrying in my heart for many years.

I am a much better person because of His unconditional love. Isaiah 61:3 promises God will “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” He is true to His Word. And for that I give Him praise.

If you are struggling with self-doubt or need deliverance from hurt caused by other people, this post is for you. Be blessed. And if you need prayer for anything, let me know via my contact page.

With love,

MrsMKauthor

 Disappointment with self

  1. Study: Philippians 3:4-9, John 3:16,Romans 8, Isaiah 53
  2. Read: 7 Symptoms of a Prideful Heart
  3. Listen to: Know Yourself, Enemy Within
  4. Watch: The Passion of the Christ and/or Son of God—the visual images highlight the words of Isaiah 53 & Romans 8…reminding us that Jesus paid it all! THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE!

Disappointment with others

  1. Study: Philippians 3:17-19, Proverbs 4:23, 1 Corinthians 15:33
  2. Read: Does God Want You To Spend Time With People Who Always Hurt You?
  3. Listen to: Common Pain—If you are hurt because people keep letting you down PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE listen to this message!
  4. Failed Relationship? God is able to bring you out! He has greater things in store for you! Be encouraged! Here is my testimony!

Inspiration for this post comes from Philippians 3 and my previous post: Keepin’ It 100.

Keepin’ It 100

Vans

***Howdy folks! F.Y.I.—I will be switching up the format for this and upcoming posts. Instead of W.O.R.D. it will be R.O.W.D. to help my stories flow a lil’ betta. Ok? Cool? Now, on with the story…

R I’m not even gonna lie. Last week, I acted a complete fool. All over something dumb. Something trivial. Petty. I am ashamed of my behavior. But I am glad that it happened. Cause it was an opportunity for God to expose some dirt in my heart…things in my heart that needed to be cleansed. Let me tell you what happened…

So, there is this big Children’s Festival that happens in my city that only comes around once a year. I found out the date for this year’s festival in early 2017 and I immediately told my husband. We were so excited to take our one-year-old son. As you can imagine, we put the event in our calendar and looked forward to going in January 2018.

The big day finally rolled around on January 20, 2018. We were super pumped that morning to go…we had been talking about it all week. Punked out in our Vans sneakers, we piled into the car. (I decided that my son would wear his brand-new ones—pictured above—super fresh, right?) Yeah, so as I was saying, we piled into the car and had to make two quick stops for gas and Chick-fil-A. Suddenly, my husband realized he left his cell phone at the house. No problem. So, we turned around after Chick-fil-A to go back home and get the phone. Finally, we were on the road…headed downtown to have the time of our lives!

As we headed to the festivities, we noticed many detours along the route, making it difficult to find out where the starting point of the parade would be. We drove and drove and drove and drove around. We had our GPS navigating the way and my husband seemed to know where he was headed, but we still couldn’t figure out the location. Anxious and trying to keep my cool, I began to Google more information about the event to get a better idea of where we could find it. We drove and drove and drove and drove around some more. Nothing. (Insert annoyed face here…lol!) Okay, so we ended up in a neighborhood that appeared to be close to the festival for we saw decorated houses and families walking towards the event. But, there was a big problem: NO PARKING! UGH! Internally, I was fuming! Trying to keep my composure, I began to silently talk myself out of a meltdown. After all, it was just a stupid festival, right?

There’s always next year if we don’t make it. We can do something else. No worries, girl.

I wish I had a positive ending to the story. Nope! We didn’t make it to the festival or parade. We drove around for almost two hours, round and round, for nothing! I was angry and disappointed that we didn’t make it and that we would have to wait 364 more days to go to the next one!

Let’s just say the ride back home was a rough one! I had the biggest temper tantrum. And I would not let it go… coming up with every reason why we missed the parade. The blame game…all fingers pointed toward my husband. I was mad the rest of the evening. Went to bed angry.

In the middle of the night, I woke up crying (I don’t know why ‘cause I was sleeping good). The tears just rolled down my cheeks. And they wouldn’t stop. I cried uncontrollably. I began to feel a tugging at my heart. At the same time, guilt began to consume me. The day’s events began to replay in my mind. I felt awful. Just stupid. Then, I began to think about all the other horrible things that I did earlier in the week. I couldn’t bring myself to pray. Pray for what? I definitely didn’t act Christian-like in front of my husband and son. I was ashamed. With a heavy heart, I felt condemned. I believe it was probably the same feeling Adam and Eve felt when they ran away from God in the garden. I began to sink into the place I go to internally, when I “miss the mark”…a place of misery, sadness, self-pity and self-doubt. I knew I had disappointed God and my family. I felt bad.

In spite of this, I saw an image in my mind. Jesus sitting on His throne. Looking down at me with compassion. Instantly, I felt a shift in my heart. As if he was massaging my heart, telling me “I am here for you.” To be honest, I could feel His love. That made me weep even more. I could hear Him clear as day saying, “I never sleep. I am always with you. When you do good and when you do bad. My love for you never changes and it NEVER will. I died for you. What I did for you covers your past, present, and future sins. There is nothing that you could ever do to stop Me from loving you. What did I tell you in Romans 8? Nothing can separate you from My love. I am doing a work in you. When you are weak, that’s when you are strong. My power is made perfect in your weakness.” Comforted, I felt a release. I felt God’s presence. He began to show me some things in my heart that needed to be uprooted: living life based on performance-based standards, pride, self-righteousness, people-pleasing, anger and being easily offended. In the moment, I prayed and asked for forgiveness. After some time of reflection and journaling, I was able to fall asleep. The next morning, I apologized to my family.

All in all, I am not proud of my behavior that day. However, I am glad that it happened. God is doing a work in my heart. And for that, I am thankful. No one likes to talk about their weaknesses, faults and shortcomings, but I pray that I can help someone by sharing my journey in the next five or six blog posts.

Signed, MrsMKauthor

(This song depicts my feelings that night):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UapOiN52JY4

O I have been studying Philippians 3 for quite some time now. I now understand why. God is walking me through this chapter to show me some things about myself. I have a better understanding of where He is trying to take me and how He is trying to grow me in this season. The beginning of the chapter (verse 1) starts off by saying rejoice in the Lord! Then, the chapter goes on to explain: we serve God by His Spirit, we boast in Christ Jesus, and we should put no confidence in the flesh.

This experience has taught me how to shift my focus from looking at me to looking to Jesus. His love for me runs deep—it is unconditional. That is the ultimate reason to rejoice! And with that being said, there is nothing I can do to earn His love. For that, I can stop focusing on works and allow His Spirit to work in and through me. For this reason, I can boast all the more about Christ. I put no confidence in my flesh. My righteousness is in Christ Jesus and in what He has done. There is something good that can come out of even the smallest (pettiest) trial! (Insert smiley face here…lol!)

W Philippians 3:3 New International Version (NIV)

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—

D Psalm 103 is my prayer for this week and weeks to come.

Getting My Mind Right For 2018

target

W Philippians 3:20 New International Version (NIV)

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

O The whole chapter of Philippians 3 is AWESOME, but verse 20 is my focus for this post!

BUT our citizenship is in heaven! That portion of scripture in and of itself is very POWERFUL!

I focus every minute of the day on the “here” and “now”. What would my life look like if I focused on where my citizenship is?

My citizenship is not here in the United States—my citizenship is in heaven! My eternal home! My final destination!

What a blessed revelation!

R For 2018, I challenge myself to keep my mind thinking about how to prepare for my eternal home.

Self-Reflection

Question: What do citizens of heaven look like? Talk Like? Behave like? Think like? Walk like?

Answer: Citizens of heaven:

Look– happy, smiling, confident, etc. (the joy of the Lord is your strength—Nehemiah 8:10)

Talk– positive (let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths—Ephesians 4:29)

Behave– Christ-like (walk in love—Ephesians 5:2)

Think– constantly about things that are good (true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things—Philippians 4:8)

Walk– with their heads held high (be of good cheer: Jesus has overcome the world—John 16:33)

It is one thing to know the Word. And it is another to do the Word. As a daily reminder of keeping my focus, I decided to print this entry and post it in my home where I can see it daily. This is my goal for 2018. Fellow believers, I pray that you will have similar goals for 2018 (and the years to come) because this world is not our home! We are just passing through, my friends!

Signed, MrsMKauthor

D Dear God,

Thank You for an AWESOME Word today! Thank You for choosing me to be a part of Your Kingdom! I realize there is nothing special that I did to earn my citizenship in heaven—Jesus, You paid it all on the cross. I give glory to Your name!

Help me to live every second, every moment of my life with a Kingdom mindset! I desire: every thought, every decision, and every action that involves me to be centered on my eternal home with You! To God be the Glory! I love You, Father.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

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(Google Search-Image taken from: https://www.slideshare.net/alvanman/part-2-one-verse-copy)

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(Google Search-Image taken from: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/salvation-prayer/)