​The Cloud of Glory is Moving…

​The Cloud of Glory is Moving…

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“The cloud of glory is moving.
Move with the cloud, move with the cloud.
Let your spirit arise and your strength be renewed;
come on let’s move altogether.
Strength you’ll receive as you follow His lead.
Move with the cloud, move with the cloud”

I was recently on vacation in the beautiful country of Panama, Central America. While in the ocean with my friends, we looked up and saw a big cloud of smoke in the sky. My bro bro Jerome and i burst out laughing as we began to reminisce om the song we grew up hearing called, “Move with the cloud” ( I always thought this was a made up Jamaican song. But, upon doing research I discovered it was actually a song by Albertina Walker! I’ll insert it later: ) )

If you grew in a church like my Jamaican pentecostal house of worship, you would know this was a staple song. But I must admit, I sang this song for years without truly understanding the meaning behind the lyrics. ( I find we do this a lot with choruses in the Pentecostal church, because if you listen to some of these songs… they don’t make any sense. But I digress.)

I began to re-examine the story of Moses leading the people through the wilderness. This narrative is found in the book of Exodus. I particularly paid attention to where I believe the lyrics of this song came from, which is found in Exodus 13 vs 17-22.

In this particular passage, Pharoah had recently released the Israelites from captivity. They were now en route to the Promised Land. Now we discover as we read further into these passages, that it was not an easy journey. There were even points along the journey where they cursed Moses for bringing them out of captivity seemingly into the desert to die! Mind you, the journey from where they were to the Promised Land should have only taken 3 days or so. We know it took much longer than that! It took 40 years to be exact!

As I began to read the passage found in Exodus 13:17-22, I began to draw some insight into the significance of this song. Let’s break it down:

The cloud of glory is moving, move with the cloud:

Verse 21 states:  By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light so that they could travel by day or night.
This shows us that God was with the people every step of the way. Just as God provided a way for the Israelites to see the way through the wilderness, He has provided us with guidance through our wilderness moments every step of the way.

Let your spirit arise and your strength be renewed, Come on let’s move all together:

I feel like this is a direct message to the people of today. No matter what you are going through, don’t let your spirit be dismayed, because God is with you in every season. We as the people of God need to draw together in such times as these to help each other out. Be a shoulder for your brother or sister to lean on as we all navigate some challenging times. Everybody needs somebody…

Strength you’ll receive as you follow His lead…

There is nothing more empowering than knowing you are going through a journey with a competent leader at the helm. Think about your life today. For example, on your job, when you have a boss who is confident and in control, are you not more likely to follow their lead with ease? I know I am! God is the ultimate leader. If we put our trust in Him and follow HIs lead, we have no reason to fret or be afraid of what’s on the other side.

Such a “silly” song that I’ve actively poked jest at, spoke to me in so many different ways this week.

Stay under the direction of the cloud of glory that God has provided for you to follow. He provided the pillar clouds by day and the pillar of fire by night. This serves as a reminder of the faithfulness of the God we serve. He will never leave you or forsake you in any situation. No matter how long it takes to be delivered from your wilderness situation, He will always be there for you.

Verse 22:  Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

So move with the cloud!

Be blessed!
Til next time,
xoxo
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Great Things…

Great Things…

Hey loves!

Quick post tonight!

Sorry… I know its been awhile since I posted but I kinda took a little bit of a social media break while on my 21 days of fasting. Well, we are winding up this fasting at the end of this week, so it’s time to get back to the grind! Thank you for sticking with me 🙂

I was scrolling through my instagram and an  old Ricky Dillard song popped up. The song “Great Things” really had me reflecting.  The lyrics are so simple yet so powerful:

God has so many great things in store for me
Can’t you see, many great things in store for me

Eyes have not seen, nor ears heard
Great things, great things in store for me
I’ll trust His word, and believe
Great things, great things in store for me

The one part of the song that stuck out to me was the lyric, ” I’ll trust HIs word and believe…”  That’s one thing I often have trouble doing. I like to believe I have crazy faith… but in reality,  it’s more like “Hail Mary” faith :  faith because I’ve already run out of options….  so why not trust and believe??? ( smh)

That’s not the type of faith I’m walking through 2019 with. I want to journey through this year with faith being my ONLY option.

Now I don’t know about you but for the last couple of years I’ve been hearing, ” This is your year!”, and after the past 5 years that I’ve had chiiiillllleeeeee …. forgive me for rolling my eyes when I hear this. Now 2018 wasn’t a HORRIBLE year but it definitely wouldn’t have qualified as “my year”… until the last 2 weeks of the year. In my previous post I spoke about 2018 being my “refining” year, but in the last two weeks God truly showed me that not only was He listening to my prayers , He was doing His best to make sure I was prepared for what I had been praying for.

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Oftentimes we pray for things that we are in no position to receive! In order to receive “great things” you need to get yourself to a “great place” mentally, emotionally, physically and most importantly SPIRITUALLY!

One thing I’ve learned is that God will never give you anything you aren’t prepared for…

Romans 8:28 says; (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose

Everything that you have ever wanted or desired for yourself absolutely pales in comparison to what God has in store for you… if you’ll just step out in crazy faith and trust Him… and His TIMING!

pray-for-it-then-prepare-for-it-god-has-great-13295241

 

What is really helping me activate my faith this year is digging even deeper into God’s word and resting in knowing that His promises are true!

Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NKJV)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,  “No eye has seen, no ear has heard,  and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”[a]

I’m anxiously awaiting the great things that God has in store for me!
I think I’m QUITE overdo! 😉 ❤

Til next time,
xoxo

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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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Monday Motivation: Blind Faith…

Monday Motivation: Blind Faith…

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me , You’ve never failed and You won’t start now…

Hey loves!

Have you ever gone to summer camp or had to do any kind of team building activity where you had to do a “trust fall”? A trust fall requires  you do be blindfolded and for you to fall backwards into the arms of a person who is just expected to catch you…. Umm I don’t know about you, but anytime I have ever tried to participate in a trust fall, I always hesitate and put my hands down to try and catch myself or soften the blow of the floor that’s coming my way (lol) . It’s hard to put all your trust in a person, especially if you can’t see what’s coming…

Businessman catching blindfolded woman : Stock Photo

Thinking about this had me draw a correlation between trust falls and the act of faith. Faith is something  that even as a Christian, I sometimes tend to struggle with.  As a person with some  Type A personality traits (Lol) I always like to be in control. Faith requires us to give up complete control to somebody else. That person is God.

You would think as a Christian, this would be the easiest thing to do. We continually spout out scriptures like, “we walk by faith, not by sight ” and “faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen”.  But do we actually mean it? Am I alone in thinking that sometimes I would rather see what’s coming instead of having to blindly trust God?

I don’t think I am and this is a dilemma many Christians face. It has been my prayer since the top of the year to learn to trust God like never before! I decided this year that I would step out in blind faith!

As I was jotting some notes preparing to write this post( side note: I write notes sometimes weeks in advance before I actually write a post, just waiting for the right moment/ inspiration to actually post it on here 🙂 )   I was reminded of the story of Jesus and when He walked on water. After a long day of ministering  with the disciples,  Jesus went up to the mountainside to pray. When He had finished and it was time for Him to return,  Jesus used this as a perfect opportunity to teach the disciples a lesson about faith.  So instead of taking a boat back across the lake, or swimming ( as one would naturally do) Jesus stepped out onto ( yes onto) the water and began to walk across the lake! Now I don’t know about you, but as far as I know, walking ON water is impossible and the disciples thought so too! They wondered if they were seeing some type  of ghost not realizing that they were watching Jesus! Once He got close enough and they realized It was actually Jesus, Peter, one of the disciples said to Him, “If it is really you Lord, tell me to come out to you.  Jesus told him to come, so Peter, with his eyes fixed on Jesus, stepped out of the boat, out on to the water and began to walk across. Peter was well on his way…. until the second he took his eyes off of Jesus! As soon as he did and he began to look around and realize the magnitude of what he was doing, Peter began to sink! Jesus caught him right before he sank and said to him, “Oh you of little faith! Why did you doubt me?”…. (Matthew 14:22-33)

Wow… every single time you read a passage in the bible it hits you with something different each time. I’ve always only looked at that scripture in the context of how it relates to the disciples. I’ve never taken the time to apply it to me. God spoke so clearly to me while re-reading this as a wake up call to me! He’s reminded me to stop doubting Him! To not be like Peter. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the moment I take my  eyes of Jesus, is the moment I will sink! But what’s so great about Jesus, is just like He did with Peter, He is right there to catch you right before you drown.

This weekend I was having a conversation with my big bro/ friend. He is in a moment in his life that he has to trust God like never before and really step out on faith. He was sharing a dream with me where at one point in the dream God told him to hold on to His shoulders and that He would bring him to a familiar place.. and in classic God form, He spoke so clearly to me and my friends situation encouraged me to step out in blind faith myself.  To stop worrying about the destination and trust the journey! The outcome of your life is already determined.

I’m really leaning on the classic passage of scripture Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT) which reads: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Faith requires total dependence on God.
Faith requires constant communication with God.
Faith requires total trust in God.
Faith is trusting that God is leading you into your destiny not just any destination.
Faith is understanding that even when things don’t LOOK well, that they ARE well through Him.
Faith is a lifestyle…

I encourage all of you to step out in blind faith and trust that God’s got you!

I love the song Oceans by Hillsong. I think it’s so fitting for this post. My favourite part is the bridge which says,”
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Have a blessed Monday!
xoxo
©justlovethemanyway

Monday Motivation: Giants…

Monday Motivation: Giants…

Hey guys!

I hope your weekend was as merry and enjoyable as mine was! Yesterday, I got together with a group of friends to sing at an event ( singing back up for my friend and up and coming gospel artist by the name of Tyshan Knight) and after we completed that we went back to his house where we all had an impromptu game night. We were playing the game “Catchphrase” which is just like the game Taboo where you have to describe the word on the card without saying words or catchphrases that would automatically give it away. I was on a team with my bro LJ and we were facing Lyanne ( Tyshan’s wife) and our friend Isaac. Obviously, LJ and I won ( lol shade) and as we always do we began to “trash talk” each other ( All in love though, thats just how we are!) Ly made a comment about how sometimes giants ( meaning LJ and I) get defeated; and thus this post was inspired.

What is a giant? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary a giant is described as:

  1.  a legendary humanlike being of great stature and strength

  2. 2a  :  a living being of great sizeb  :  a person of extraordinary powers

  3. 3:  something unusually large or powerful

This definition leads me to think about the story of David and Goliath.  The story can be found in 1 Samuel 17. Saul, who was king, was very disobedient. So God asked Samuel to find a new king. He sought to find the king through a man named Jesse who had 8 sons. To make a long story short, Samuel looked at 7 of the sons and none of then were right. Until he met the last son; a little shepherd boy named David. The Lord confirmed that David indeed would one day be king!  Now in this time the Israelites and the Philistines were not getting along . The Philistines had lots of giants living in their land, the biggest and strongest of whom was named Goliath. He was over 9 feet tall and was constantly looking to challenge the Israelites. If he was to win, the Israelites would become servants of his people the Philistines. But if he lost, his people would become the servants.  Just looking at the sheer size of this man, understandably were afraid. Nobody wanted to challenge this giant… enter David! So to make a long story short, David, on faith that God would protect him, accepted Goliath’s challenge , and with a slingshot and stone David was able to conquer this beast!

We face problems everyday. May it be problems with our health, issues in our relationships, financial struggles, family problems… so many problems or in other words …  Giants. Sometimes we elevate our struggles to giant status( that’s not to say that we don’t face some colossal issues in our lives)  So often we have allowed our problems to become large and powerful, uncontainable! We have let our problems take control of us all the while forgetting who is really in control of our lives.

David trusted God to take care of him. The feat he was facing looked impossible to conquer. But, because he trusted God to take care of him, he approached that giant with no fear!

I urge you to stand up to the Goliath’s in your lives! If you would only approach your Goliath’s  with the heart of David. A heart that knows that no matter how difficult the situation is, He will see you through! If God can use someone like David to conquer a giant like Goliath, certainly He can use someone like you and I to conquer our issues. Something as small as a stone was able to take out a giant.  So, though it may seem small, a simple prayer, grounded in faith that God can do all things , could absolutely destroy your problems.

There is no Goliath too big for God!
Always remember, that David ( through God) as small and seemingly powerless as he was,  ended up being the victor!

What are the Goliath’s in your life?
What are you doing to conquer your Goliath’s?

There is a song by Donald Lawrence called Giants that is so fitting, that I will leave with you today.

Have a blessed Monday !
xoxo

Monday Motivation: I’m Not Subscribing To That!

Monday Motivation: I’m Not Subscribing To That!

Hey guys!

Have you gone to a store and after you have completed your purchase the sales associate asks you that dreaded question, “Would you like to leave an email address with us today?” Grudgingly you leave an address and then its like BAM…. A million emails start coming out of nowhere. This has happened to me countless times and this past black Friday shopping season had me subscribed to all kinds of foolishness! ( Bath and BodyWorks I’m looking at you with your 80,000 emails lol) When I looked at my email inbox, 60 percent was all garbage from things I subscribed to; and in that moment I decided that I wasn’t subscribing to any of those emails anymore!

What if we looked at life like that? Meaning, what if we decided that we weren’t going subscribe to the curveballs life throughs at us anymore?  To subscribe to something means to willingly enter into an agreement to participate in something. There are some things in my life that I have not willingly subscribed to (i.e  pain, suffering ,defeat.) If you’ve followed me on this blog for awhile, you would know that life has thrown me some difficult situations( and what I’ve shared on here is not even the half) and not to say that I expect my life to perfect and without hardship, but man I went through it this past few years in regards to my own personal health, the ailments of both of my parents at one time or another( it seemed like they had health issues back to back like a revolving door) death of an aunt I was super close with and 2 uncles in a short time period, a good friend los her battle with cancer, one of my best friends had some life altering health news given to them and the list goes on and on. Now, while I wish I didn’t have to deal with any of that, I understood that everything happens for a reason. What I didn’t like about myself during this time, was the feelings of doubt and fear and hopelessness !

There are so many things in life that I’ve( and many of you out here have) been “subscribed” to for a long time that I no longer wish to be subscribed

Feelings of fear… I’m not subscribing to that!
Feelings of doubt… I’m not subscribing to that!
Feelings of worthlessness… I’m not subscribing to that!
Health issues?… I’m not subscribing to that!!!
Hate and animosity… I’m definitely not subscribing to that!!!
Malice? No thank you! I want no part of that!
Mistreatment? I’m not subscribing to that!!!
Every evil plan the enemy has for me( us)?  I’M NOT SUBSCRIBING TO THAT!

Do you want to know what I am subscribing to?

Love and remembering to “Just love them anyway” no matter how they treat you
Good Health
Peace
Prosperity
Patience
Joy
Growth

And above all, I’m willingly continuing my subscription to Jesus!!!  He’s the best subscription I’ve ever agreed to! I’m subscribed to him and when He shed His blood on Calvary for a nobody like me, He in turn subscribed to me! True agape love! One of my favourite scriptures comes from the book of Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 13 and it reads; For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Being subscribed to Jesus is a surefire way to succeed !

So, everything that these past subscriptions have taken from me I want it ALL BACK!  I’m staying subscribed to God (Jesus) because God is LOVE!

Tye Tribbett has a great song ( oldie but a goodie ) called, “I Want it All Back” that I’ve been jamming on all day! Take a listen down below and have a blessed Monday!

Xoxo

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