MISSION MINDED: Traveling Outside My Box

Why I Want To Take My First Mission’s Trip Abroad


February 1, 2018 – Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry

God continues to be gracious and merciful unto me.  I live a comfortable life and try to keep it that way.  My life revolves around church, work, home, family, and the occasional movies and dinner with friends.  I have enough to live on, although there is always room for better stewardship of my resources.

It’s a comfortable life!  Unfortunately, getting comfortable has its drawbacks.  I recently heard of a person who believed they had learned all they needed to learn from the scriptures and felt all they needed to do at their stage of the Christian walk was maintain what they’ve learned.  Of course, at first, some might agree that sounds good.  But, with careful consideration, you realize it’s only justifiable if you’re talking about material things.

Speaking truth to myself is a necessary reality[noun, 2.] because I understand that I am opposed by an uncouth roaring lion looking to wreck my life.  I cannot allow myself to get so comfortable in my spiritual life that I leave myself open to becoming a casualty in this spiritual war.  Every time I read the bible there are new truths being revealed that I hadn’t grasped before.  Comfortability brings about a spiritual laziness that lures one into believing they are giving God their best when, according to the scriptures, even our best is as filthy rags.

The fear of spiritual complacency is one reason I’m using the 52 Weeks of Pursuit bible study by Mark Trotter for this year’s reading through the bible.  Every year I look to go deeper into the word to get a better understanding to help me more rightly divide the Word.  There is power in the confidence of knowing what you are talking about.

I know fear is not of God, but a healthy reverence for him is a reminder that he is a holy God; there is no other (no matter how many new theories arise — the earth is flat; worship of the created things, I alone am master of my destiny, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera).  The thought of missing an opportunity to go ye therefore and teach all nations leaves me with an unpleasant feeling in the pit of my stomach.

If I were willing to remain in this current, comfortable spiritual state, I have no doubt it would render me ineffective for the kingdom of God in many ways.  I don’t want to be lured into forgetting that I will stand before God one day to give an account of what I did with his gifts!  This is one of the reasons I jumped at the opportunity to take my first Mission’s Trip abroad.

Witnessing the increasing sense of entitlement our society (young and old) exhibits is another thing that spurs me toward mission mindedness.  I find it both frightening but biblically anticipated, since we are so full of ourselves that we’ve relegated God to the backseat instead of letting him lead.  We are the modern reality and future of Revelation 3:14-22.  Pride is the attribute[noun, 2.] that gets us in trouble with God and man, and personally, I don’t need that kind of trouble in my life!

This leads me to the inspiration behind today’s postWhen the door was opened in October 2017 for my pastor, Ray Stewart, to embark on an overseas mission trip to Malawi, Africa, I was both excited and scared for him.  I prayed earnestly for his safety, Mark Trotter and all who those traveling and working together on this mission trip.  Working through the ministry of The Passion Center for Children / Passion Center for Pastors, my pastor proclaimed the gospel in the villages and helped to equip local pastors in their study of Scripture to help them “rightly divide the Word of Truth” and, to stand against Islam/witchcraft.

MALAWI, AFRICA — A place I had never heard of before, and most likely, you either.  My pastor shared some of the highlights from his trip with the congregation.  We learned of Malawi’s richness, and they are underdeveloped.  The statistics were saddening:  only 9% of the entire country has electricity and running water; only 20% of children attend secondary school; and, the infant mortality rate is high due to HIV and AIDS. [Read the article on Pastor Ray’s trip by clicking here.]

I was gracefully convicted of my own wasteful and careless spending habits.  Becoming a $40 a month donor to the Passion Center for Children was a spiritual no-brainer.  Not surprisingly, I haven’t missed a dime of it!  In fact, I was blessed instead.  As I mentioned in my first post of this year, the excitement and pleasure of meeting and talking with Pastors Mark Trotter and Malawi Pastor Pilira Chibwana was a blessing.

It’s confession time. Since making the decision to join the October mission team this year in Malawi, I have been attacked with fear.  My consolation, however, is implementing a lesson I learned to push past the fear.  I wrestle control of my heart and mind out of the grip of my flesh (our enemy), and reposition myself back under the control of the Holy Spirit.  I never forget to expect spiritual attacks the moment my heart service to the Lord increases.

I’m encouraged to enjoy the comfortable interludes in my spiritual walk with God.  But, I don’t want to stay there 20, 30 years.  God desires fruit, and my knowledge is increasing on how to be a more profitable sower.  I want to bear more fruit.  Being mission-minded is another part of the process that will help me do that so I don’t become stagnate in my Christian walk.  I am honored for the door God has opened for me to participate as part of the Mission Team.   Malawi is a spirit-led open invitation to travel outside my box!

Let the preparations begin!


Any Support You Can Give Helps Send Our 7-Person Mission Team to Malawi, Africa.

Donations are acceptable in two forms:

Grace & Truth Baptist Church, c/o 4000 SW Kamryn Drive, Lee’s Summit, MO 64082


Give as a Guest on our church app on our website:


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2018 – Enlarging My Investment Portfolio

Keys to growing your spiritual bank account!

Happy New Year!

For all who are reading this – God has graced us with another day of life, and a new year to choose to do something new or better. My new year goals are very simple – I plan to become a better INVESTOR:

  • Invest more in my relationship with God!
  • Invest more in the study of God’s Word!
  • Invest more in the things God cares about!

For a little over three years, I have been investing in quality time alone. It has been an adventure in digging deeper and unearthing the dead things lying beneath the surface. Normally, I end each year with time away from home to prepare for the new year, but that didn’t happen this year. Instead, God provided a ram in the bush that was far better than a trip away from home.

On New Year’s Eve, I had the pleasure of meeting with an African pastor and a stateside mission leader in preparation for my first mission’s trip abroad! Talk about a great ending to 2017! Our mission’s team was able to ask questions, listen to stories of needs, and how those needs are being met by mission efforts. I wanted to cry, both from excitement and of hearing some of the stories. It was definitely the fuel I needed to come into the new year with.

Today, I couldn’t wait to delve into the new year-long bible study I was starting. Titled “52 Weeks of Pursuit,” it is a 5-day, weekly reading through the bible, from Genesis to Revelation, with notes that provide wonderful insights into the bible.  I invite you to join me in the reading – it’s an opportunity open to everyone by just clicking on the title above, then scrolling down to click on Week 1-4 and begin.

Already, my investment in reading and studying has paid off. I’d like to share just a few things I have gleaned from God’s Word using the guide of 52 Weeks of Pursuit:

Mankind is foolish! Our attempt to change the interpretation of God’s written Word is insulting to His holiness. One example is the foundation set for marriage which God has never changed: One man. One woman. One lifetime. Period! (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24) [52 Weeks of Pursuit; page 1]. Although I fell short in this area, it makes God’s grace and mercy through salvation all the more precious!

God created man to have a relationship with him. The notes say: God beautifully offered man the opportunity to exercise his will by making his own choice concerning this relationship. [52 Weeks of Pursuit; page 1, last paragraph].  There were two trees and two choices. Just as the first Adam choose the wrong tree, man today chooses the world [Satan’s domain] over a relationship with God [through salvation].

We can run, but we can’t hide.  In Genesis 3:8, “…Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Trees are a picture of man. Man’s attempts to hide himself in the world [amongst the trees of the garden] is sad. The substituting of good works while outright rejecting the good news will be exposed at the great white throne

Satan’s tactics are transparent. It’s important to know how Satan operates. Genesis 3:1 reveals his tactics with these words, “…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Satan is transparent–he has always attacked God’s Word, and he always uses three effective traps against man: (1) lust of the flesh, (2) lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life. On page 2 of 52 Weeks of Pursuit, in the last two paragraphs, we are provided a great example of one who falls for Satan’s trap versus one who resists Satan’s attack in comparing Genesis 3:13 with Matthew 4:1-11. Our greatest weapon against Satan remains the Word of God hid in our hearts to help us resist his temptations!

Day One of enlarging my investment portfolio has been an amazing day to set the tone for a wonderful 2018 year!

I invite you to stay tuned and join me in the 52 Weeks of Pursuit bible study. As well, I request your prayers and our support in raising funds as I and others prepare for our first mission’s trip.

Let’s set 2018 on Fire for Christ!






BE INTENTIONAL: Honor Those Called to Duty

Spiritually empowered Shepherds understand the full dynamics of the battle & develop well-trained troops


Our nation recognized its veterans this pass Saturday. Many businesses offered free services to military persons who are serving or have served this country. It is an honor that bears year round observance.  As an Army veteran, I count it a privilege to have had the opportunity to be used in preserving the freedoms this country enjoys! To those who gave so much more than just their time and service I say – THANK YOU – GOD BLESS YOU – GOD KEEP YOU!

Today, I want to honor another group that has been called to dutyThe Good ShepherdThe PastorI firmly believe God is the only Commander-in-Chief who directs one to this very important office and God directs and guides the Shepherd in the abundance of his duties toward the sheep.  Without God operating from the very seat of the Shepherd’s heart, it is easy for the church to be infiltrated by those who have today, have crept in unawares, to cast shame upon the gospel of Jesus Christ:

Jude 1:4 (KJV) – For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Moses gives us an awesome picture of what the Shepherd’s mission is – to bring a people out of bondage. Moses was called to bring a nation out of bondage, which in itself is a far cry from just managing a congregation of 50-3000 people. His call was simply stated:

Exodus 3:10 (KJV) – 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Egypt is a picture of the world, and Moses was called to pull this great nation out the world, which is a picture of bondage.  No true Shepherd nonchalantly throws his hat into a ring like this shouting, “pick me, me, me, pick me!”  A true Shepherd spiritually discerns and recognizes that there is an overwhelming responsibility appointed to those in this position, and he bombards heaven with his prayers for confirmation. Moses was described as one who was very meek and faithful.  I wonder if in addition to his fear of being rejected by his people for his past, if a part of his reluctance was also his experience with the inherent difficulties of getting sheep to follow directions.

Today, I want to honor those Shepherds who, totally dependent on God for guidance and instruction, organize their bodies through the teachings of the bible, to the mission ministries, into a fitly joined body working together to accomplish the main goals of ministry.  I have observed some qualities I associate with good Shepherds I’ve admired and been under:

They Have A Heart For Making Disciples – Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

They Devote Themselves To Studying The Word Of God – Acts 6:3-6 (KJV)

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

They Sacrifice Their Lives For The Ministry – Acts 20:23-25 (KJV)

24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Their Ministry Is Christ & Mission Centered – 2 Corinthians 4:1-5 (KJV)

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Their Ministry Is Focused On Reconciling The Lost – 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (KJV)

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

They Strive To Maintain A Blameless Ministry – 2 Corinthians 6:1-10 (KJV)

Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:

They Build The Ministry Through Servanthood – Ephesians 4:8-16 (KJV)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Their Ministry Endures Through Hardships – 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (KJV)

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Believers are the sheep of the congregations where we worship and learn the ways in which God desires his children to develop their Christ-likeness and impact the world that surrounds us.  We stumble, we go astray, we are afflicted, but God uses his Shepherds to draw us back to the way, the truth and the life. We are no different than the Nation of Israel in the wilderness:  we complain; do our own thing; do our dirt; and then, cry out for God to deliver us from the error of ways.

If you think it is easy to Shepherd people, I question if you understand the full picture given in the wilderness experience for both the shepherd and the sheep.  I want to leave a picture from the wilderness experience in the hopes that there would be a greater honor associated and demonstrated daily to those who answered the call of duty to Shepherd God’s people, and who do so with a heart sold out entirely to building the spiritual kingdom of God; not a kingdom on earth.

True Shepherds don’t want to be put upon a pedestal and/or treated as kings. True Shepherds are Christ servants serving God’s people to expand the kingdom of God.  True Shepherds train men, women and children to be dedicated, faithful, and steadfast soul winners.  True Shepherds look for open doors in the community to serve and share the gospel message of redemption.  And, True Shepherds thrive on going beyond the four walls into the mission fields to minister in the word of reconciliation.

To the True Shepherds Called to Duty






Psalm 106

We as Sheep…

Sometimes …

  • Lack spiritual discernment – v.7a
  • Forget God’s mercy of before – v.7b
  • Provoke God – v.7c

Yet God …

  • Saved us for his namesake to prove his might – v.8
  • Leads us through dry land and valleys – v.9
  • Protects and redeems us from our enemy – v.10

We then …

  • Believe his words and sing his praise – v.12

But we …

  • Again forget his works and his counsel – v.13
  • Lust after the world’s offerings – v.14
  • Gain the world, but lack grace and spiritual comfort – v.15
  • Exchange God’s glory for other gods – vv.19-20
  • Forget yet again – vv.21-22
  • Despise his provisions & word – v.24
  • Complain more & listen less – v.25
  • Join ourselves to the unrighteous – v.28
  • Provoke our Shepherds to do them a disservice – vv.32-33
  • Mingle with the works of the world – vv.33-39

Private I

The Word of God is the perfect spiritual investigative tool known to man.


Emmanuel Otoo, a Moderator for the Facebook Group “Jesus The Only Way” posted 2 Timothy 3:1-7, prophesy of these last days we are experiencing today. This list includes not only perilous times, but a picture of mankind’s ills: lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; A call: from such turn away.  The stigma: this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. The post included as the caption: Do You Fit the Description?

In my opinion, mankind is busy with the business of living without really giving thought to how our living reflects Christ. Where someone may feel such questions come across as a judgmental wagging of a finger, we believe looking at them from a stance of pause—reflect—detect—seek remedial action is more beneficial for an individual.

Pause – Stop briefly to consider the question(s) posed. Does it apply to you? Is it an accusation, or more a question or suggestion? What this really boils down to is how you choose to view it.

Reflect – Next, give the question careful and serious thought by removing emotions so the process is not clouded by human reasoning. If it applies, then the question becomes how, why and what should be done? If it doesn’t apply, then discard it and ‘keep it moving” on the everyday journey of living.

Detect – If it applies, prayerfully attempt to uncover its origin and the depth to which you’ve been affected. Once the digging starts, the tracks may appear rather quickly, especially when one is truly open to following through. This is important as our past and/or childhood sometimes hold things we’ve buried under events, traumas or situations. Hence, prayer is a must from the very beginning, but especially at this stage.

Seek Remedial Action – This is where the hardcore work comes in; the stage where the real cleansing begins. It’s the place where humbling occurs; where the truth makes you free while bruising your ego, shaming your self-sufficiency, before building you up and providing solutions.

In all that’s going on worldwide, distractions are the handiwork of the enemy. We can see his work everywhere if our eyes are open. Yet, we can never forget that with salvation came a change, and with that change a process of sanctification. God’s children have to be honest with themselves first; wisely transparent with others. We admit God is working on us day-by-day; but, we don’t use that as an excuse to continue sinfulness.

There is work in becoming better representatives of Christ. We have to learn, and then be, who we are called to be for furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have to be the difference; the peculiar of faith-in-Christ the world sees. We have to call sin, sin, and PRAYERFULLY ask for help when there are things ingrained in us.

My constant prayer for my own private and transparent flaws remains for God’s Word to illuminate the darkness lurking within me so it can be rooted out. At the end of the day, my Private I is between God and I so others will see more of JESUS and less of I!

Copyright © Wanda Murry, September 28, 2017

[Thanks, Emmanuel Otoo, for the inspiration today!]


I’m Trippin!

For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. [Mark 13:34]


Life can be Harsh and I’ve been assaulted by it!

Life can be Unfair and I’ve been victimized by it!

Life can be Uncertain and I’ve been confused by it!

Life can be Painful and I’ve been scarred by it!

Life can be Overwhelming and I’ve been hijacked by it!

Life can be Ravaging and I’ve been devoured by it!

Life can be Terrorizing, and I’ve been paralyzed by it!

Yet …

Life can be Sweet, and I have savored its offerings!

Life can be Carefree, and I have soared upon its wings!

Life can be Deep, and I have explored its flowing depths!

Life can be Beautiful, and I have painted upon its canvas!

Life can be an Adventure, and I have found its treasures!

Life can be a Symphony, and I have hummed its Arias!

Life can be a Test, and I am its student, striving to graduate with honors!

Copyright © Wanda J. Murry, August 2017


Motivated to Surrender

Heart, Soul & Mind … Who Has You?


Song:  Withholding Nothing by William McDowell

I had to make this post today after our bible study last night, and after hearing this song this morning! The teacher spoke on Psalm 46:10.  My heart was immediately overwhelmed with a sense of confirmation, myself being in a mind space where I know I need to BE STILL and wait on the Lord more consistently and faithfully!

The teacher gave examples of how we get so busy with pursuing life that we tend to push God to the side, giving him a minuscule of our time, talents and energy.

I felt the SLAP upside my head – intuitively and spiritually!

When you are operating day in and day out on automatic pilot, going through the motions, checking off your long, sometimes extensive lists of things to be done, and especially those things done in the name of God, stop and ask yourself:

  • Am I living a life that is totally SURRENDERED to God?
  • Am I working off a mental checklist in autopilot mode?
  • Am I working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s plan(s) for my life?

Jesus left it ALL at the CROSS – For You and For Me! – He WITHHELD NOTHING from us in His defeat of death to ensure we had a clear path to salvation, free of flesh-guided works.

What are you WITHHOLDING from the Lord of Your Salvation when all he wants is YOU – Heart, Soul and Mind (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27)?

Today, and in the days following, I encourage you to BE STILL & KNOW HE IS GOD!  Make your future plans, but freely allow God to supply the final answer and direction of the path he wants you to follow!


Intentional Ignorance: An Unhealthy Option

Biblical History (His-Story) is for our benefit, while ignorance is our enemy’s deception tactic!


Ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge; especially of divine things; or, of moral blindness. The Webster dictionary says it is: Want, absence or destitution of knowledge; the negative state of the mind which has not been instructed in arts, literature or science, or has not been informed of facts. (Ignorance may be general, or it may be limited to particular subjects. Ignorance of the law does not excuse a man for violating it.)

God never intended that anyone should be without knowledge concerning the Godhead. God didn’t make the gospel difficult to understand, nor the gift of salvation hard to obtain. Sin and its origins was made known, and intentional ignorance of scriptural knowledge will provide no excuses.

I like that Paul opens 1 Corinthians 10 with these words… “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant,…” In other words, he didn’t want you (1) not to know, (2) not to understand, or (3) err or sin through mistake. 

God has intentionally given us plenty of history (His-Story) that provides panoramic views of healthy and unhealthy spiritual options. Though he at one time gave passes, this option has been eliminated as a “get out of hell free” card. Aptly written are the words found in Romans 7:24 wherein is said, Old wretched man that I am… indeed!

In 1 Corinthians 10, we are given the wilderness journey for our learning:

But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

To anyone tired of vicious cycles, there are exit signs for every situation designed to help us avoid snake pits and quicksand. We can be better, live better, act better and witness better. But nothing changes without intentionally gaining AND applying knowledge.

There is something to be learned through studying this timeless book of scriptures which contains the mind, heart and Words of God.  Anything to the contrary is an unhealthy option.

11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.


WANTED: Intentional Models

When being intentional for God is challenged against worldly standards.


Years ago, I took my then 12 year old daughter to a model agency tryout. As she demonstrated her runway walk amidst the attendees, her natural gait made her a great candidate. Both judges and attendees inquired of her training which was non-existent. She was only modeling and imitating what she had been instructed on and seen.

A pastor’s wife recently asked Facebook about the type of church body they’d prefer:  a church body of 15 with godly integrity, or a church body of 100 unconcerned about how they represent Christ. Her question spoke to a need for stronger bible-based anchors girded by sound biblical understanding. Hence, to model and imitate are defined as:

  • Model: A pattern, example: any thing to be imitated; standard by which a thing is to be measured
  • Imitate: To follow in manners; To copy in form, color or quality

Years ago, Jesus stepped out of the Godhead into flesh to offer himself as the final sacrificial Lamb. He not only modeled walking in the Spirit while in the flesh, but imitated in deed the will of the Father (John 5:19, 30). Unlike the Nation of Israel, Jesus passed the test in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). The Believers dual nature is not an excuse when we read Hebrews 4:14-16:

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

In these days, there is an increasing need for intentional “Christ” models! The Body of Christ is being exposed in our country. If you search the internet on where Christianity is growing, you’ll be disheartened to know that America has fallen behind in the Great Commission. The Body of Christ where I attend is challenged in its walk, and held accountable to not only the visions and goals of the ministry, but to the Great Commission. We are reminded that the fields are white for harvest (Matthew 9:37-38)!

If the heart attitude is truly to please God, then the heart intention should be to Model Christ!  Today is an Open Call for Intentional Models!


Intentional: Extending Energy

Working While it is Yet “Day”


On yesterday, I watched from my side and rear view mirrors as a man tried to wave down a Metro Bus that had already passed him by. I could tell this gentleman’s gait was slight, and that he wouldn’t be able to run fast enough to get the driver’s attention. My heart made a decision as I watched the bus continue on, and the gentleman stop. I pulled over by the bus stop. I waited for the gentleman to draw near, and then offered him a ride.

He wasn’t going far, and the detour kept me from eating junk food for dinner. We made small talk as he shared his love of playing the guitar. It was helpful information since one of my grandchildren had expressed an interest in learning how to play. I dropped the gentleman at his destination, and knew his gratitude was genuine. I doubt it mattered that we were of different ethnic backgrounds; we were of the same race – humanity!

My heart is more inclined and dedicated to extending my hand to LIFT UP another, than it is to simply GIVE to another (though I do give freely and willingly many times).

The FIRST – LIFTING UP – requires a DUAL EFFORT to establish reachable goals that build valuable humanity, skills, and lessons in the life of both parties. The example Jesus provided in John 5:5-9 has stayed with me over the years.

5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

The LATTER often becomes a bottomless pit that holds the GIVER ransom. The TAKER settles comfortably into victim mode while waiting to be fed, clothed and catered to as they languish in sleep and slumber. We find a clear picture of this mentality in Proverbs 6:6-11:

6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:..9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (vv. 6, 9-11)

My hope, at the end of the day, is as I lay down to rest from my labors, that God will find me worthy for the day’s hire in both the physical and spiritual fields.


Be Intentional: CHOOSE

Your preference is demonstrated in your imitation



In my parenting role, I elected to set boundaries in place to create a balance in the roles of womanhood. I compartmentalized my life into three areas:  home/family, work, self.

  • Each day, I elected to wake my children with a kiss, a smile, and a hug. I either fed them a decent breakfast at home, or used the school’s breakfast program. Junk food not allowed.
  • Each day, I elected to go to a job with people I enjoyed working with. I chose a field I enjoyed so that work was more of an extension of me than it was work.
  • Each evening, I elected to leave my job where I found it—in a building of wood, brick or stone. Occasionally, by choice and not by requirement, I brought work home.
  • Each evening, I elected to greet my children with a kiss or hug, ask about their day, and check that chores and homework were done. I cooked a full meal, and allowed them to sip from their cups only after eating at least half of their plate.
  • Each night, I elected to spend time after dinner talking, laughing, reading or watching movies with them. They took baths, said prayers, and I kissed them goodnight.
  • Each night, once they were in bed, I elected time for myself. I read a book, listened to music, or wrote my thoughts in a book. I was normally in bed by 10:00 P.M.

I Choose, therefore, no one is blamed. When a person practices looking outwardly at issues in their life, they form a habit of personal deception. They turn the mirror in the opposite direction, and attempting to dodge blame, they set the stage to be repeat offenders in the repetitive messiness of their lives; victims by their own choosing.

Unfortunately, God also gets the blame. When their plans fail to produce the fruit they desired it becomes a charge against God–why would a loving God allow hurt or harm to his children, they ask. They live by their own rules with the expectation that God should get with their program (Isaiah 55:8-9). But error is housed in darkness, where the light of knowledge shines not.  “O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing (a lie, untruth, falsehood, deceptive thing)? Selah.” 

The lesson is to learn how to CHOOSE wisely. Commune with your own heart says the author of Psalm 4. Contemplate, Meditate, Study the course of your choices. Learning to pray and be still, as you consider your past, your present and the future you desire is a must. It is considering the outcomes of each road you contemplate, and examining it under a microscope! It takes practice, quieting your flesh and your emotions, until you see the true light of the matter.

It is then that we learn to CHOOSE his way.

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Psalm 4 (v.4)