God Has Not Forgotten You…

God Has Not Forgotten You…

Hey guys!

I was in a moment of quiet time with God this week and I was reminded of a song I hadn’t listened to in many many years; God Has Not 4Got by Tonex .  ( I know Tonex has made some life choices that no longer coincide with the word of God but this song of his speaks volumes still!)

The song led me to go back and look at the story of Noah and the Ark.  I’ve often wondered how Noah must have felt during this process.  Noah was living in a time where  the people God had created were at their utmost worst. God had had enough with them and was going to destroy them. However, Noah found favour with God because of his blameless behaviour. God established a covenant with Noah  and his family.

However, God had a few instructions for  Noah. First off, He was told by God to build this huge ark for this supposed flood that was going to happen one day. Although he was ridiculed and ostracized by the very people God was set to destroy , Noah persevered and did what he was told .  He was to bring his family, creatures of the earth, sea and sky aboard this ark and then await God’s instructions.

So for years on end Noah built this ark always remembering the promise God made with him. He was mocked mercilessly  but one day….finally, the flood waters came down, raining non stop for 40 days and 40 nights. Now if I was Noah, I would have been starting to get a little stir crazy at this point.

Then, after that 40th day the rains stopped…. but the earth was still flooded and for an additional 150 days. 150 days is just about 5 months.  Personally,  5 months cooped up in a boat with my family and animals and creatures of the land, sky and the sea…. is frightening! (lol) Even though God had saved us, I would honestly be thinking, ” Has God forgotten about us in here?”

But Noah still had faith and he waited patiently to hear from God. However, after the initial  5 months there was still almost a year before the waters receded completely.

Still Noah waited.

He sent out a raven and the raven came back confirming that the earth was still flooded…. Noah sent out a dove several times…

The earth was still flooded…

Finally after over a year of patiently waiting on God, The earth was finally was dry and God commanded Noah and his family to come out of the ark.
In the end, is where we find the covenant that God made with Noah and His people that still stands today. It is here that we learn the significance of the rainbow

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.

The bible doesn’t specify if Noah and God had any communication during this time but what I love about  this whole story   ( and what ties this whole story into the song) is in the beginning of Genesis chapter 8 verse 1 which simply states:

“But God remembered Noah….”

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Through all of this, God remembered Noah.

No matter what you are going through or where God has placed you, He has not forgotten you!

Just like God made a covenant with Noah, He also made a promise with us . He promised to never leave us or forsake us. You may be going through some serious hardships, but remember  God has not forgotten you. As we see with Noah, It took what seemed like  a long time for God’s promise to come to fruition. But what did we see? God came through!  Everything that God has predestined and planned for your life will come to pass! Why? Simply because He is God and He has yet to break a promise.

Don’t give up.

Keep pushing.

Keep persevering.

You are not forgotten! Sometime promises take time to be fulfilled…

So just like Noah stay faithful, stay humble and be patient!

GOD

HAS

NOT

FORGOTTEN

YOU

Till next time,
xoxo

©justlovethemayway

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Make Room

Make Room

Jonathan McReynolds has a beautiful song called “Make Room” that really speaks about making room for God in your life. About preparing your heart for God to dwell there. This is the song that really inspired this post. During my summer travels, as my friend and I drove through the lush greenery that is the state of Tennessee, God dropped this song right into our laps and for 3+ hours from Chattanooga to Memphis this song was on repeat. We worshipped, we meditated on the goodness of God and for me… I felt convicted…  I need to make even more room for God.

I am a LOVER of schedules. I have a planner that each week is updated with my plans and commitments for the week. Colour coded so its easy to see what things are a priority and what things can be shuffled around and done on another day.

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It seems that time is something that we never have enough of. Somebody will mention that they need help with something at the church, or your neighbour may need a hand moving and out comes the classic line, “Oh I don’t have any time to do that.”  Yet oddly enough if its something that we feel like doing or are super intrigued by, magically the hours for productivity suddenly appear? Funny how that happens!

Recently, an acquaintance of mine and I were making plans to hit up the gym together, I suggested we meet up in the evening after work and she wanted to meet up in the early morning . While I’m not particularly fond of getting up early, my body wakes me up at 6 am rain or shine, sleet or snow, vacation or work day. So naturally, knowing this , she thought that  going to the gym in the early morning would seem to be of no problem to me right? Wrong. It’s in that early part of the morning that I like to spend my quiet time with God in prayer and bible study as it’s the time of day that I feel that I can give God my  undivided attention and frankly I’m the most alert. When I explained this her she responded,  “Well can’t you just do that later?” Ok I thought, just this once I’ll move things around  and spend time with God later. And you know what happened, Later on came… and so did the sleep….  a day of sweet commune with God missed, never to be regained.

In that moment it dawned me; it shouldn’t be so easy for me to rearrange my schedule when it means bumping God out of the priority spot.  We often rearrange our time with God for something as trivial as a television program.  I can vividly remember in junior high and high school being so mad at my parents for making me go back to church on a Sunday evening when all I wanted to do was stay home and watch the Grammy’s or the BET awards ( remember this was in a time where live streaming and PVR weren’t an option, so if you missed it you missed it!) where as now I could care less!

What if God rearranged His schedule to only be available for us when He felt like it? This society would be even more in shambles than it already is ( hard to imagine!)  We oftentimes take for granted the gift that is Jesus. Someone who is always available morning, noon or night to hear our EVERY need. All He wants from us is for us to make room for Him in our heart and in our lives.

How many times have we prayed this prayer: ” God if you just give me one more day, I promise to  be better to You than  I was today. To give you all of me not just the leftovers?” Then tomorrow comes and again out of mouth comes the exact same words? I don’t know about you, but there are only so many times I can eat leftovers before getting sick of them and before they get stale. In the same way we don’t want to eat leftovers everyday, we need to stop giving God our leftover worship and our reheated praise! Come guys we have to give Him something new to eat once in awhile! There is nothing better than fresh food!

How do you make room for God in your life? Here are 4 ways to make room for God in your everyday life :

Make time for Him:
Make God a priority. The new Netflix series will wait. The phone call will go to voicemail. Give God your undivided attention.

Get rid of and negativity:
Make your heart comfortable for God to enter in. It will be hard for Him to navigate through negative space.  Release and let go of anything that is holding your heart and a prisoner to anger or resentment.

Physically create space for Him:
Find a room or a closet; perhaps your bathroom. Create a space where you will not be surrounded by any distractions, where you can have some personal alone time with God.

Meditate on His word:
Seeking out and studying the word of God is a good way to get to know Him, to learn from Him and to hear from Him.

Where I live, the children are heading back to school today. I am an Educator so this means back to work as regularly scheduled for me as well. ( farewell leisurely summer days 😦 lol )  This is a challenge and reminder to me ( and you) that no matter how hectic life gets, how busy our schedules may seem, make room for God FIRST!

 

 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. ( Matthew 6:33)

Have a blessed day!
Til next time…
xoxo

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©justlovethemanyway

Monday Motivation: Be Lifted…

Monday Motivation: Be Lifted…

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus…..

Hey guys!

It’s been a rough few weeks… scratch that it’s been a rough year… you know what.. let’s be completely honest, it’s been a rough few years 😦

2015 and 2016 respectively have been especially hard because I have experienced so much loss and had bad news coming from every direction it seemed like. For example:  this year alone, my mom had to have two minor surgeries on her hands, my dad experienced multiple seizure related health scares( along with other health issues), I watched a friend lose her battle with cancer (RIP Shan), I watched another be diagnosed with other life altering health issues, I had ( and am still having) health issues in regards to  my ears,nose and particularly my throat,  my godmother was hospitalized and diagnosed with life changing health news and most recently my cousin ( who I love dearly) had a heart attack and  last week my uncle died…

Doesn’t even sound believable right? But that’s the reality of my life right now. I always get asked, “How are you managing?” and honestly… it’s only the grace of God that has kept me strong and even more importantly… positive.

I could lay down and wallow in despair and given my circumstances, I don’t think anyone would blame me! But, despite the horrible things that are happening to me and those around me, God is still good. It’s pretty bad but it could be a whole lot worse.

I’m a Christian and because of my relationship with Christ, I am able trust in the fact that He knows what He’s doing. That’s not to say I  understand or even agree with they way He has patterned my life and the lives of those around me. It’s not easy! One of the misconceptions of being a Christian is that when you choose Christ to lead your life, your life will never have any bumps again. Life will be perfect…. WRONG! What being a Christian does is equip you with the tools to deal with what comes your way. He gives you His words which is the bible and He sends you a Comforter for the tough times which  is the Holy Spirit.

I personally have had to draw from these tools a lot this year and in my quiet time with God he kept showing me the scripture I posted above.

1 Thessalonians is book in the bible I had read but not ever really looked into and then all of a sudden I was seeing parts of chapter 5 EVERYWHERE! As I read I began to understand why. This book is full of everyday life instructions on how to live a life pleasing to God even in adversity .

Verses 16-18 really spoke to me :

Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus…..

Always be joyful.  Faith in Christ allows me stay joyful in all situations and on the days when I don’t feel joy, in the back of my mind I always remember that this situation will pass.  Never stop praying.. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to pray 24/7/365 because let’s face it, that’s virtually impossible. What is does mean is that prayer should be something we do continually, it should be something we do without thinking about it  just like breathing. It should be as natural to you as breathing!  Prayer is essential to staying positive in tough times. Be thankful at all times. It’s hard to be thankful when times are tough, but despite the rough times God is still God and faith requires you not only to trust His plan but trust the process and wait for the lesson in the situation.

One way I combat the issues of life is through praise,  and the song I want to leave you with today, allows me to do just that! ( Shout to my girl Jen for putting me on 🙂 )

In spite of it all Jesus Your Name be GLORIFIED and LIFTED HIGH!!

Have an amazing Monday!
Be encouraged!
xoxo

Monday Motivation: First…

Monday Motivation: First…

Hey guys!

Happy Monday! First and foremost let me say Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers! I hope you are surrounded by family / friends and loved ones today!

Let’s think back to elementary school. Can you remember a time when in gym class, the teacher picked two captains and those two people got to choose the teams? Do you remember the anxiety you may have harbored not wanting to be picked last? Thankfully, because of my stellar athleticism (lol) I was hardly, if ever picked last . However, even now in my career and in my ministry I have become the teacher who sometimes makes captains and lets the children pick their own teams and I have seen the emotion on the faces of the ones who seem to always get picked last. It’s actually heartbreaking! So I tend to stray away from that method of team picking!

That really got me thinking about how something as trivial as that can relate to God. Just as we don’t like being chosen last, neither does God!

God desires to be first place in our lives. Often times we put other people and things before Him and that sometimes can lead to unnecessary disaster.

Proverbs 3:5-6 it reads,  Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight… I love this verse, especially the part that says and he will make your paths straight. When we put ourselves first in lieu of God, our paths sometimes tend to become crooked. Our plans for ourselves may not be the best option !

Here are my three benefits of putting God first:

  1. He’s the author of your story:  He wrote every line of your story. He created you. Don’t you think that the author knows the best direction of your story. I’m positive He does!
  2. He is the most genuine friend you’ll  ever have: He absolutely has your best interest at heart. He wants to see you succeed… He created you to succeed ! He won’t lead you astray.
  3. Your life will have direction: With this however we need to remember,just because we are going in the right direction doesn’t mean that there won’t be roadblocks along the way. Life isn’t perfect. But choosing to put God first in your life will make it easier to navigate through those roadblocks.

Another scripture I love that really brings this post together is Matthew 6: 33 and it reads:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV)

Seek….
God….
First….

Contemporary artist Lauren Daigle’s song “First” really inspired this post. I was privileged to see her in concert  last year as she was opening up for Hillsong Worship. She is an artist on the rise! Her voice is hauntingly beautiful and really encapsulates the true essence of worship. Take a listen to her the song “First” down below and remember in all things to make God a priority and put Him First!!

Have an amazing Monday!
xoxo

 

Monday Motivation: You Deserve It…

Monday Motivation: You Deserve It…

Hey y’all!

After a much needed vacation, ( spent a lovely week in Cuba with friends and friends like family) I am back again with another edition of Monday Motivation!

While sitting on the balcony of my hotel room throughout the week, I spent a lot of time in reflection . See, I am an early riser ( no matter how late I go to sleep) so I had many an opportunity to watch the sun come up, hear the birds chirp, and listen to the calm crash of the ocean.  During my time of reflection, along with reading something uplifting ( I’m currently doing a study of the book of Exodus using a awesome devotional that I’ll link down below) I also liked to listen to music. One song that kept resonating in my spirit and I kept on repeat was “You Deserve It” by JJ Hairston . I stumbled across this song while catching up on my sister girl blogger friends’  blog (No strings Attached here on  WordPress) post.

I really began to think,  how often do we actually give God our praise and unadulterated worship simply because He deserves it and not because it is required?

When you enter into a relationship with Christ, it kinda goes without saying that He requires your worship and praise.Oftentimes, I find we as Christians( me included!) get stuck in a rut where we simply go through the motions! Where we attend services and lift our hand in worship because its “required”.  We tend to forget all that He has done for us. The mere fact that He sent His son to die on a cross for simple sinners like us, that we might have life and have it more abundantly ( John 3:16-17, John 10:10) is reason enough to give him praise!

We sometimes lack worship because its almost as if we expect Him to come through every time,  with no intention of giving honour to whom honour is due! Have you ever done something wholeheartedly and received  not even a thank you? Even though you probably weren’t doing it for the praise, gratitude feels really nice. Think about how God feels, He does everything for us with only expectation being that we worship Him in spirit and in truth

23 But a time is coming and has now come when the trueworshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth,for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”… )

Take some time out to give God some praise simply because He deserves it!
If He woke you up in your right mind… HE DESERVES IT!
Took you out of a bad situation?… HE DESERVES IT!
Restored a broken heart?….HE DESERVES IT!
The fact that he is simply the “I AM WHO I AM” creator of everything, healer, doctor, lawyer, friend is more than enough reason to give Him praise!

Give him praise not only because you’re supposed to,but because you want to and simply because He deserves it!  This is the cry of my heart right now!

My hallelujah belongs to You
You deserve it
You deserve it
You deserve it
You deserve it

All of the glory belongs to You
You deserve it
You deserve it
You deserve it
You deserve it

Call &Resp;: Hallelujah
All the glory, All the honour,
All the praise
You deserve

(link to the devotional: http://kristinschmuckershop.com/)

Have an amazing evening lovelies!
xoxo

 

Monday Motivation: All I Have To Give…

Monday Motivation: All I Have To Give…

Hey guys!

Sorry that I have been missing in action for this past week. Lots of health issues plaguing me and my family so I had to handle business! Now that we are on the mend for the most part, I’ll be flooding your feeds once again. 🙂

I was scrolling through my Ipod awhile back and I came across the song, “All I Have to Give” by an artist called Mali Music. This was the first song I ever heard by this artist many many years ago and I instantly fell in love with it. The song is so simple, but the message so real!  I had an opportunity to meet Mali and sing as part of an opening act at a concert held in my city a few years back. He was so humble and down to earth!  He has since deviated from the gospel industry but this particular song will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Me and Mali Music after the show!

What does it actually mean to give your all?  To give your all simply means to put all your energy and time into a task or a person. To give completely of yourself, unselfishly with no holds barred.

Now, I have some great friends and family who I am quite certain would be ( and have been) there for me whenever I needed them, but even that has its limitations.

Speaking as a person who has entered into a relationship with Christ, sometimes as Christians we don’t give God our all .  It’s almost as if we use Him at our leisure or convenience expecting everything  from Him and giving less than our best in return.  Hmm, that doesn’t seem fair does it?  Put yourself at the short end of stick? How would you feel?

God has already given us the greatest gift when He sent His son Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice to atone for our sins. All He asks in return is that you love Him with all your heart, soul and mind.
Matthew 23:37 reads, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

To love anything with you heart, soul and mind, you really have to commit to the process!

 The Heart: Proverbs 4:23 ( NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Keep your heart pure. Don’t harbour malice or hate. Love people as God loves people. Strive to have a heart of compassion as Christ does. Don’t let  life and it’s many follies turn your heart away from God.

The Soul: Matthew 16:26 (NLT)  “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”  The last part of that scripture really resonates with me . Is anything worth more than your soul? I certainly don’t think so. Keep your soul aligned with God’s plan for your life. How you ask? Dig deeper into His word ( the bible) spend time in prayer and seek guidance and direction from the one who created you. 

The Mind: Romans 12:2 (NLT)  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”  This world we live in  has so many distractions and things that can leer your off course. But learn to stand out and go against the grain! You don’t have to do what everybody is doing. Through Christ Jesus, you are a new person.Don’t let your mind be manipulated into deviating from the course set before you!

This song All I Have to Give, is truly a love song to God. The author ( Mali) proclaims that everything he has, he will offer to God and that his whole embodiment belongs to God.

That’s how I feel about God. If you haven’t had an opportunity to encounter God and build a relationship with Him, I pray you do! It’s truly a wonderful thing!

Take a listen to song and read the lyrics down below. I hope it blesses you like it has blessed me!

Have a blessed week!
xoxo

[Verse 1:]

Lord if I could buy you a gift to show you my love, tell you how I feel.
It wouldn’t matter what I’d have to give. I would find a way to get it for you.
But fortunately that’s not the case and we both know I don’t have bank anyway.
But I won’t let it affect my presentation to you ’cause this is what I bring…

[Chorus:]
Here is my heart, my mind, Lord here’s my life, my everything. Take it. It’s yours oh Lord.

[Verse 2:]
I’ll give you my all, my everything, every song that I write,
Every song that I sing, every day of my life, every breath that I breathe,
You gave to me and Lord I rededicate it right back to you. Love of my life, so faithful, so true.
I get goosebumps just thinking about you and there’s nothing I will not do for you so

[Chorus:]
Here is (my) my heart (yeah) my mind (Lord here’s my life)
Lord here’s my life (oh oh oh oh oh oh) my everything (yeah) take it (take it) it’s yours oh Lord It’s all I have
[Repeat chorus and end with “to give”]

[Bridge:]
I give you my best ’cause I love you… I’m yours
[Repeat chorus till fade]

 

What I’m Reading This Week…

What I’m Reading This Week…

Hey guys!

This week I managed to finish ” A Walk Across the Sun” by Corban Addison ( see synopsis in last weeks blog here) I absolutely loved this book. This was a heart wrenching tale of two sisters separated by disaster and reunited with the help of a hard-working lawyer who was on a personal journey of his own. The author really brought his characters to life. His captivating rhetoric way of prose made me feel like I was right there with the characters in the brothels of Bombay. I’m usually not one for the thriller genre of literature, but I have had some great experiences with my choices as of late. I’d give this book a 4.5 out of 5! Probably one of the best books I have read all year! If you enjoyed books like “The Lincoln Lawyer” or anything by John Grisham, you’d probably really enjoy this one!

4.5 out of 5. Great Read!

I also continued with my “Women of the Bible” devotional. The girls and I finished up the story of “Jael” ( read about her in Judges chapter 4 and 5.) Jael was a little bit ruthless! Sometimes you have to be ruthless in order to bring God’s plan to fruition. Jael is someone I never really studied before, so it was interesting learning more about her (and Deborah and Sisera.) This week we are continuing our study with the story of Delilah. 

Now, for this weeks reading goals, I’d like to try to complete 2 books if i can . I’m being quite ambitious as it’s virtually impossible these days to spend lengthy amounts of time dedicated to reading 😦  ( #busylife)  But, I was browsing the library recently and came across the book, ” The Whitney I Knew” by Bebe Winans with Timothy Willard.

Here is the synopsis:
BeBe Winans met Whitney Houston in church 28 years ago, and they quickly developed a close bond. They considered each other family in the deepest sense of the word—hanging out in each other’s homes, singing backup vocals for each other on albums, touring together. BeBe was with her when she was onstage and far from the spotlight, on the set and in the studio, through good times and the worst of times—and this very personal book takes readers inside all of those places to give a real and intimate picture of the Whitney he knew. Here readers will discover new information and insights into both Whitney’s heart and her world—information that they will not find anywhere else. From profoundly moving moments to eye-opening accounts of triumph to the heart-breaking realities that led to her ultimate defeat, the stories are here, along with links to never-before-seen private videos of Whitney and a full-length photo section. In his moving tribute at her funeral, Winans reaffirmed that she will be remembered for her warm, lavish generosity, her faith, and her lighthearted humor—those positive truths that overshadow any negative missteps in recent years. “In my heart and in my mind, I have memories of so many great, great moments,” he says. “She will live in our hearts forever.”

As a long time Whitney Houston fan ( as well as a Bebe Winans fan) I was interested to read his view of their relationship and the troubles she faced over the years. It’s a relatively short read so I should be able to breeze through this one  quickly.

Also I would read one more book. I have quite a few options like:
The Ultimate Betrayal- By Kimberla Lawson Roby
  Half of a Yellow Sun- By Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  Mudbound- By Hilary Jordan

I will pick one of those hopefully and try to power through it!

Have a happy reading week!

xoxo