Sky View

a poem inspired by God’s artistry

WOW, What A View

Of God’s splendid hue

OH, How Amazing

Heavenly artistry blazing

Lord, you make me want to write

A love song that fills the night

You make me dream beyond trees

Into the universe I cannot see

Kansas City Skies

The covering of your majestic shield

Free my emotions to wholly yield

Multiple grays in this cloudy sky

Begs the questions of the ultimate why

My Lord, how do you love so deep

From Mt. Zion’s hills that roll so steep

When I brought nothing valuable to wear

You gave everything divine covering to bear

Oh, what beautiful backdrops you give

Inviting your children to joyfully live

My, what majestic work you do

My dear God, I love your sky view

From the Rising of the Son

Jesus can relate to your feelings

Psalm 50:1

The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.

This morning as I walked the five blocks from my parking spot to my job, I was captivated by the skyline view of downtown Kansas City. It provoked thoughts of sitting on a balcony with coffee and toast, a cool breeze blowing across my skin, making me feel alive and refreshed. At that moment, I wished I was not on my way to work. I would much rather have been on a Hawaiian beach watching a vibrant sunrise dismantle the rain clouds with a bright and striking sun moving across the sky.

And what would I be doing at 6:30 in the morning under the conditions described above? I would be sitting in the early morning splendor ruminating about how life imitated nature. I would be thinking of the dark times in my life and remembering how the power of the Son evaporated my cloudy days. The beauty of the sentiment would, without doubt, cause tears to flow as I lifted my voice in praise for the rising of the Son in my heart.

Jesus does that, you know? He sees through our cloudy days, and just at the right moment, He illuminates His love to let us know He is with us in the dark. The Psalms give a divine image of this. David, the man after God’s own heart, records his emotions in the struggles he faces. Taking his complaints to God, he questions and accepts the sovereignty of the Creator. And through every up and down scenario, we see the mind of God toward David demonstrated in his faithfulness to help David. We are afforded a glimpse into the prophecies of the life and struggles the Son of God would endure on earth and his forthcoming emergence as the victorious, reigning King on earth.

Like David, we should bear our very heart and soul to God. No matter what the emotion, talk to him about it. Because of who he is, he will always bring us full circle to praise Him.

And therein lies the beauty of the Rising of the Son!

Psalm 113:3

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.

Fighting the Winning Battle

the battle is real, but so is victory

Going into the Army after graduating from Wyandotte High School (KCK) was one of the best decisions in my life. Much of what I learned was not only applicable to military standards but living in general. The physical training not only strengthened the body but taught endurance. The weapons training focused on setting your sight on a target and aiming with precision to hit your mark. The buddy system trained me to work with a partner to cover each other.

But the training that sticks most with me today is observing and identifying an enemy. Learning this skill has saved my life many times. It’s kept me from being pulled into the rabbit hole of depression. It has taught me not to put all of my trust in people; to, in fact, only share portions of the inner me until a person proves themselves to be trustworthy of the depths of me.

Even more so, it has equipped me to stay alert to the wiles of the devil. To recognize subtle signs of potential traps that he is setting up for me. It is one of the reasons I stopped watching television (news, programs, etc.). For a person like me, keeping my inner man free of bleak or wicked images and ideas helps me avoid being overwhelmed with sorrows. It reminds me that life is a journey, and to practice the following daily:

Never underestimate the schemes of your enemy nor be emotionally hijacked into forgetting the power of the Savior.

Wanda J. Murry

I wrote the below poem in my 30s when it finally dawned on me that I didn’t have to fight my battles alone. I had to train my mind to function from a place of victory instead of defeat, and you can trains yours too.

I hope you enjoy the poem!

I had to stop lying to me

Because it affected what my eyes see

It hindered my forward progress

Keeping me bound in mental regress

All the pain, the fear and doubt stayed

My maturity level was being delayed

And, the hope and love that had started

Was constantly being pushed and retarded

Burdens were adding unnecessary weight

To an already unsteady and unhealthy gait

The mind was in continual commotion

Soiling that part cleaned in daily devotion

God’s Spirit has been a part of my life

Since I married Christ and became his wife

Yet, my old lovers kept pulling me back

Forever pouncing with the newest attack

I grew tired and weary from being battled

At times succumbing, my faith being rattled

Yet, I hate losing the war that’s already won

When at my disposal is the power of the Son

So like a good soldier, I make my retreat to regroup

I check my armor, seal the cracks, and mentally recoup

Then I get up again, and go forth in God’s Spirit to slay

The enemy and his helpers who work to hinder and delay

I will recapture the things which were mine to keep

I will lay claim to victory, again awakened from my sleep

I will reclaim the reward and treasure of the Spirit’s gift

I will cause the balance of the power within to shift

When God gave Christ, His only begotten Son

The spiritual war that rages, is already being won

So fearlessly I raise my sword, the Word from above

And, I go on fighting, empowered by God’s love

America’s African Rainbow

it’s been over 30 years…

There is a saying that goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” I don’t know who penned it, but I’ve had over 50 years to recognize its truth. Even scripture speaks of the repetitiveness of the issues of life:

Ecclesiastes 1:9

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Is it possible that man is doomed to look at history and make changes that never create real change? I think it’s a good question for those interested in giving it more than a cursory thought.

I wrote the below poem in my 20’s and published it in my book of poetry, Emotionally Charged: A Poetic Journey in the Issues of Life (Amazon, 2016). I think it’s worthy of sharing in our current climate. Enjoy.

America’s African Rainbow

I am a member of America’s African Rainbow

Let our history be a reminder for all to understand and know . . .

Don’t tell me to go back to Africa, a place I’ve never been.

For, I was stolen long ago from the womb of my ancestral kin.

Don’t treat me like an unwanted visitor; America is also my home.

Content in my promise land, the choice to leave was not my own.

For years you’ve given me many hurtful & derogatory names.

Why?  When by default, your shoulders carry these shames.

I am an American African Rainbow; by your hand I’ve become.

Welcome my presence; help undo the wrongs that were done.

I’m a rainbow – intricately woven, polished – varieties of ebony.

Indeed, all must diligently labor to bring about true harmony.

The Issue (Food for Thought): Where color is an issue for some in this world, it has never been an issue with God for he created the colors of the rainbow.

*Use of this poem is prohibited without the express authorization of the author. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. First Edition: November 29, 2016. ISBN: 1530581583 – © 2020 Wanda J. Murry

I Sing Because…

(The stories behind my Voisey melodies)

*At His Word Lyrics – © Wanda J. Murry, March 22, 2020

Everything God said is true

Don’t forget he cares for you

Everything is in his hand

God has always had a plan

Don’t fear, no no no no

Don’t fret, no no no no

Just take him at his word

Just take him at his word

The pandemic hit American soil, and we ran for the safety and cover of the Stay-Home-Orders lockdown across America. Even the church had to close its doors, amid great protest. Fear entered hearts as working from home exposed the deficiencies in our picture-perfect existence. I marveled at how faith was, and continues, to be tested, especially in light of the part worshiping in a building became a defining factor for so many. The fight and lawsuits by “the church” demanding freedoms to assemble struck me as odd. Why? Because I was curious about the mindset behind the demand…

Did Jesus followers believe they needed to gather in a building to practice their religion?

Did Jesus followers believe there was a “vail” in their buildings that would protect them from the virus?

Did Jesus followers believe what scripture said about the times that would come, and that would precede Jesus’ return one day, to gather us to himself?

Had “worship” become something to be performed in a building, on certain days, in what is a Laodicean mindset?

*So Many Reasons Lyrics© Wanda J. Murry, April 2020

Lord you give me so many reasons

To lift my hands to heaven in praise

Lord you give me so many reasons

To start each day just looking to pray

Lord you give me so many reasons

To open up my heart each day

All over the world, people were experiencing isolation and confinement to their living spaces. The world was attempting to slow the spread of the coronavirus. People were going stir-crazy. Parents realized teaching their kids wasn’t as easy as they assumed. Spouses realized their interrupted routines were now under a microscope that was revealing unpleasant things they had covered up by staying busy. Domestic abuse cases rose. Loneliness and self-identity issues hit hearts accustomed to camouflaging under the outer appearance no longer on open display. Other things were exposed as well. The need for changes. The need to reconnect. The opportunity to work on the bucket list buried in the back of desk drawers. The realization of how unprepared we are for a future with diminishing social, economic, and retirement resources and benefits. So many depressing things unless – we look on the bright side; the right side. That place from which our help comes!

*Stop Please Lyrics© Wanda J. Murry, June 3, 2020

Stop please, They mean you no harm

Stop please, Face down, surrendered, unarmed

Stop please, No more blood splatters

Stop please, Because black lives matter

I felt the pain, horror, and hatred recorded live in the George Floyd murder. It was final ignition to the powder keg that has been brewing in America. A divide supported and seemingly provoked by authorities who are supposed to be leading our country across a multitude of fronts. A mish-mesh of solutions parading across the nation. A sad example for a land touted as being the land of the free; a land of equality.

*All lyrics referenced above are the express property of the writer.

 All Rights Reserved.

© 2020 Wanda J. Murry

My Ever-Expanding Family

a bigger picture with a better view

Someone recently said of me, “if Wanda tells you that someone is her brother or sister, that may not necessarily be true. Wanda calls everybody her brother and sister.” I laugh at my friend. Guilty as charged!

I grew up with one sister, Gwen, in Kansas City, Kansas. We are our mother’s only children. At 11 years old, I had the great pleasure of meeting two sisters and a brother: Talone, Pudgy, and Tasha. They are my father’s children. I am hoping above all hope to meet my father’s firstborn, Sheila. Sidenote: Sheila, if you’re out there, I sure would love to meet you!

I am the oldest of all of my siblings except for Sheila. Biologically, I have five blood-related siblings. And if I may give a brief shout-out, they all beautiful and exceptional in their own unique ways. Love you guys!

However, I can’t count the actual number of brothers and sisters I have on this earth. Their numbers exceed my imagination; plus, I don’t know them all and, I’d probably be overwhelmed if I did. Some of them I know personally, and they are located all around the world in places like Atlanta, Canada, Africa, Arizona, Kansas, etc., etc., etc. There are many I will never meet in person in my lifetime on earth. I do know this, though… my brothers and sisters are innumerable.

The truth is that my father has a lot of children, and he expands his family daily. This ever-expanding family is global, stemming from every ethnicity, across the globe. My father is an international lover… of souls. I’m also an international lover, as I attempt to emulate my father as he’s instructed me to:

John 17:22

  • And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

1 Corinthians 10:17

  • For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

1 Corinthians 12:12

  • For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Romans 12:5

  • So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Galatians 3:26

  • For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

  • There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

1 John 5:7

  • For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

I love my ever-expanding family. If you have placed your trust, hope, and life in Jesus Christ, I hope you do too. It’s both necessary and profitable to the kingdom of God that Christians see themselves as being part of a global, spiritual family. Jesus made it clear the value he has for his spiritual family:

Matthew 12:48-50

  • 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
  • 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
  • 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love and cherish my biological family. I’m to love them no different than I love my spiritual brothers and sisters. God even commanded that we love our enemies. So loving people in general is what a Jesus follower should be known for. 

1 John 4:20-21

  • 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
  • 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Without wrapping our heart and head around this spiritual mandate, we limit ourselves to earth-bound thinking and pursuits that add no heavenly benefit to the kingdom of God. It may seem extreme but at the end of the day we are called to have the same mind as Christ, our Savior:

Philippians 2:5

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Spoiler Alert: dear brother and sister in Christ, this earth is not our home! So love the ever-expanding family of God. And while you are at it, do what you can to add to it!

I Feel Old for the First Time

age is only a number if your mind agrees…

I seem to be having senior moments lately. The reference is in no way an insult toward those who are in the age bracket of 64 and up. I’m only saying that I am experiencing mental fatigue coupled with body aches, loss of focus, and the inability to remember things. I looked up some of the causes for the term “brain fog,” and know I am dealing with at least three of the symptoms I’ve seen listed.

My pride is taking a beating because I seem to be failing in areas I always felt I was pretty steady. What I realize more than anything is that taking care of my self requires a total body, mind, and soul approach. One area cannot be left unattended without it affecting the other areas. In a nutshell, I feel old and tired; yet, I felt the total opposite coming into 2020.

I won’t blame Covid-19 or stay home orders. Solitary confinement is right up my alley. No, what I failed to do was put alternates in place to meet my basic hierarchy of needs. The need for wide-open freedom wasn’t available to me, yet, it’s a necessity for my mental stability. It’s getting out into the open, letting the wind blow through my hair while zooming down the highway going no place in particular. Or, deciding at the last minute to drop into a movie theater to catch a movie and enjoy a tub of theater buttered popcorn with jalapenos.

I took walks around my neighborhood a few times. I live in a friendly area where people wave at you as they drive by. That happens to be one of the things I love about my neighborhood. Unfortunately, with bad knees, the wrong kind of walking shoes, and heat, walking wasn’t as inviting as it could have been.

I would have loved to write more, but I draw inspiration from a combination of things I see, hear, and experience. Although I must confess, I have written several melancholy-themed short song lyrics based on beats listened to on the Voisey app. I’ve sung so many that my son says I’m addicted and need to shut it down. He cracks me up!

My whole point is we are a trinity in the same way God is (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). We have to nourish, hydrate, and exercise our body, mind, and soul, as well as detox the toxic stuff (people, things, habits) we have taken on. Toxins cause damage to the body and negatively impacts our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. And who in their right mind doesn’t want to be the best they can be?

In essence, I’m aging, but I want to do so in a much better state than I am at the moment. I want to stay young at heart, young in mind, and as youthful in the body as possible. It requires some adjustments and fine-tuning, but anything is possible when you set our mind to do it. And as an aged woman, there are things I’m supposed to teach that can’t be taught in word alone but must be demonstrated. So, I’ve got work to do to stave off this feeling of aging I feel taking place in my body, mind, and soul!

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

In A Relationship With God

The basis for all the others…

I was 11 years old when I first began to hear about the God I would later come to love. He was a mysterious stranger that intrigued me. I read the stories about him in my children’s bible. I listened intently to the lessons the teachers taught about all the things he did for me. My young mind was in awe of this invisible person who took on flesh like mine but was a Spirit-being.

It wasn’t long before I knew that I wanted what he was offering. This Jesus, who loved me so much that he died for me, drew me in. My mother loved me strongly, but I didn’t know of any man who lovely me this deeply. Plus, at 12 years old, I knew I didn’t like pain; I was sensitive to the hurts of others. So the option of not burning in hell for eternity because someone loved me like this, in my young mind, was a no-brainer.

Over the last 45 years of my life, I have been married to the Lord. I won’t lie: I haven’t been the best wife to him. But, because he has proven to me time and time again that his love for me is unwavering, my heart has desired to become a better wife. My trust in this husband has never been abused, misused, or hurtful. Every day this husband has proven himself faithful, longsuffering, and trustworthy.

Being in a relationship with God is awe-inspiring. I don’t mind sharing His love. He has an abundance of love to spread around to any and everyone who desires to join him in holy spiritual matrimony. I want everyone to experience the love I’ve found in my relationship with Christ, and it’s so simple, a child with understanding can do it.

Just repeat after me:

Lord,

I know that I am a sinner because sin was passed on to me through Adam, a fallen sinner, according to Romans 5:12, 3:23, and 6:23.

I know to become a child of God, I must be born again, according to John 3:3.

I believe that Jesus was God in the flesh and died, was buried, and rose again. I confess this belief with my mouth and ask you, Lord, to send your Holy Spirit to live within me, according to Romans 10:9-11.

I believe this in my heart, confess it with my mouth that I am now a child of God.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Welcome to the Family of Christ.

You are now in a relationship with God.

(Reach out to me if you accepted the Gift – I’d love to welcome you!)

Lifestyle Choices

[Wasting our greatest investment]

To be good at ANYTHING, we have to study and practice it until it becomes second nature. The great thing about the Word of God is that it is inexhaustible. And, when we study God’s Word, it not only becomes a part of us, but it transforms us from the inside out.

Just as a butterfly starts out as a different creature and then goes through a transformation process, so does the person who has given their life to Christ. And just as a caterpillar can end up a butterfly or a moth, a person can end up “born again” but without the distinct spiritual beauty that clearly identifies them as a new creature.

Of course, this is no sadder than a person who goes to college and gets a degree they never use. Which bears the question, “if we study a manual to learn our profession, why don’t we study the Bible to master our confession of faith?

At the end of the day, it’s about mastering our lifestyle choices.

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:9-11

Checkmate 2020

God is the Righteous Judge

The bottom line is ALWAYS THE SAME … and, IT’S NOT A GAME!

We Choose Who We Follow!

We have FREE WILL to do whatever it is that we desire to do. And, we must know, that there will always be consequences to every thing we choose to do, and to be.

There are no gray areas here, no fence to straddle, though many times we prefer the fence top on a multitude of topics. There are ONLY two options:

~ God’s way or Man’s way ~

Always keep in mind that man, regardless of his title, position, education, substance, power, ethnicity, culture, heritage, or anything else – at the end of the day – is just a man, as we all are:  born in sin, in need of a Savior, and on his way to hell if he chooses to reject the gift of Salvation offered through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

It was, is, and remains

the only sacrifice acceptable to God for mankind’s sins! If you put your trust and allegiance in any man or idol over God, you’ve made a CHOICE for your life and your eternal resting place. And, there are no…

ifs, ands, or buts about it.

~ CHECKMATE ~

Joshua 24:15 – And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.