UNCONDITIONALLY

His head bowed, and on bended knee

I hear my father praying for me

Soundless, motionless – he utters no words

His posture is strong and relaxed

Unto the untrained eye he appears asleep

But I notice the water lines upon his cheeks

I question: Am I the cause of my father’s tears?

I know that I’m not always at my best

It often seems I fail the most simple tests

Trying to be me and conform to no other

Is that the burden I’m placing upon his shoulder?

What have my mischiefs done to break his heart,

That he can’t even utter the words out loud?

I feel ashamed that I’ve made him less than proud

Disappointed in being my father’s wayward child

I try slowly to back out through the door, saddened

He calls my name, softly raising his extended hand

I tremble that he’s caught me in a fault again

For he is the man I love

I am ashamed that he cries

My own tears wet the nook of his neck

His soothing words as we embrace

I drown in his arms, my face awash

As my daddy whispers with loving care

That forever I am his and he is mine

And, I never need fear that it will change

Says he, … For you are loved of me, 

Unconditionally!

The First Lie Ever Told

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:” – Genesis 3:4

Look at where that got us. The God-created beings, Adam and Eve, were duped by the craftiness of one whom had fallen from great heights. [word to the wise: be careful around those who lose their lofty crowns… they can be venomous (full of malice & spite)]. Eve was drawn into the lie and Adam was enticed by the fruit the lie brought forth (sin).

Let’s be honest here. As much as many of us would say we hate liars, lying, and lies we, in fact, accept liars, lying, and lies because of the fruit it carries with it. We’ve even lied to ourselves to avoid facing the truth of our own character deficiencies.

So in 2020, amidst myriad lies and liars in a multitude of social, governmental, medical, and spiritual states, can we all face this truth:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 5:12

We are ALL GOING TO DIE! And as fearful and harsh as that may seem to many, it is a truth that began over 6,000 years ago in a garden where a man and woman listened to the voice of a creation instead of the voice of their CREATOR.

God’s arms are STILL WIDE OPEN and ready to receive ALL who will accept the gift 🎁 of ETERNAL LIFE through His Son, Jesus Christ. And the beauty of it all is it requires the simplest act on our part:

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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Romans 10:9-11

I have recovered from many of the lies told me and the ones I have told myself. Yet, I have grown wise enough to know there is one lie we can’t afford to leave unchecked…

Talk To Me

Do you ever think about your communication style? Or, are you content with just uttering whatever comes to mind?

In Matthew 6:7, Jesus addresses the vain repetitions that many use in their conversations (prayers) with God. The point Jesus is making is that God wants our communication with him to be more intimate versus just our much speaking. Therein lies the communication breakdown.

People have called me an interrogator for asking intimate and personal questions that go beyond the surface interaction. Of course, that is not my intention. I’m not trying to get all up in their business. I like getting to know people and equate it with gaining both knowledge and understanding that allows me to know them. The process requires a two-way street.

Accordingly, when our goal is to minister to others, there has to be an even exchange of information. It’s up to us to demonstrate a genuine interest in the person to avoid the appearance of having an ulterior motive. Otherwise, our communications may come off as intrusive.

In our current climate, while some want to whine, others want to share their lives with others to feel connected and not alone in this world. Find a way to put out a welcoming sign that beckons:

TALK TO ME

Extend An Invitation

Sometimes we struggle because we are attempting to manage our lives on our own terms. But as children of God, how often are we inviting Jesus to whatever the situation is? Or, how often are we asking God to fix the problem according to what we believe is the solution?

Have You Invited Jesus Into Your Situation?

My grandchildren give me a vivid picture of this. From the babes (under 5yo) to the young adults, their attempts at independence is both laudable for the confidence they exhibit, and fearful because of their lack of experience. Time always presents an occasion for me and their parents to interject the safety words, “…let me help you.” In these parental rescue attempts, my grandchildren far too often resist the assist, not understanding they lack either the skill or the experience to recognize the potential dangers I and their parents know are ahead.

God’s children can be like my grandchildren. Far too often, we are operating independently from God trying to figure everything out on our own, instead of INVITING THE LORD into the situation. I’ve had to gain some of my experience the hard way, but I learned. It’s taught me that it will end up working out better when we do as Jonathan McReynolds sings … by inviting Jesus into our ‘SITUATION.’

(I do not own the rights to this song or video)

Enjoy the song: SITUATION by Jonathan McReynolds at https://youtu.be/U8A1YwM_jWc

May God’s Grace Abound that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”

Philemon 6 (KJV)

Extend An Invitation

Fire and Brimstone

Love is a foundational truth in the Bible.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

However, in these last days let us not forget the ministry of reconciliation. The Christian mandate was given in Matthew 28:19-20 to “… go thee therefore…”

Accordingly, as we demonstrate the loving sacrifice of the living God, let us not forget the other truth we must share regarding God’s wrath to come.

FIRE & BRIMSTONE

I Love My Body

© Wanda J. Murry, October 1, 2020

The Body is an amazingly beautiful piece of human art. It is especially eye-catching when you dress it in fine apparel. It stands out and beckons you to take a second and third look; to draw closer for up-close and personal vetting. Someone said that beauty was in the eye of the beholder; yet, the Body invites depth that goes beyond the naked eye. It’s the only way to see if it’s only skin deep.

I don’t boast about much, but I couldn’t miss an opportunity to celebrate my Body. Let’s face it – if I don’t brag about my Body, no one will know how magnificent it is. It would be a great disservice for me not to boast about my Body when many are searching for one that looks and feels as good as mine does.

My Body is so satisfying I know if I share a little about it, you will be aroused and want to explore it. And that’s precisely my intention – to awaken an emotional desire in your heart to draw you nearer to it. You see:

My Body is:

  • sweet like sugar
  • comforting like a warm blanket
  • welcoming and protective

My Body will:

  • penetrate your intellect
  • make you thirsty & hungry for more
  • fill you with love, joy, & peace

and, My Body provides:

  • the embrace you desire
  • the truth you require
  • the home you admire

I celebrate my Body today because it has been good to me in ways seen and unseen. It nourishes me even as it cleanses me of the garbage I’ve taken in. My Body is my gift to all who will enter its doors, which I share proudly today:

Grace and Truth Baptist Church

15904 E. 23rd Street South – Independence, MO 64055

It is a Body that consistently equips the sons and daughters of God to be more than just Believers. 

I dedicate this blog post especially to my sisters in the Women’s Ministry, who never cease to amaze me as they teach me by word and deed, what it means to be a woman with a heart for God, given to hospitality. By demonstration, they are the epitome of Abigail, Esther, Ruth, Naomi, Hannah, Deborah, Mary, the mother, Elizabeth, Priscilla, Mary Magdalene, Martha, Sarah, and more. Perfecting their state as virtuous women, they are daughters in whom I believe God is well pleased.

Sisters, you are a huge part of why I love my Body!

Song of Solomon 7:1

How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

Proverbs 12:4a

virtuous woman is a crown to her husband:…

Proverbs 31:10

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Some Freedoms Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be!

© Wanda J. Murry, September 18, 2020

I have two new young adults in my immediate life – grandchildren who have hit that second magical age range of 18-20 years old (the first magical age being 13 years old and I have a granddaughter reaching this stage next month). They came out the high school gate chomping at the bits to break loose and run free. I’m watching them with a sense of excitement and joy for what they will discover about themselves, others, and this world. But, I’m also praying and inwardly fearful about some of the hard truths they will learn about how life isn’t always fair, all people aren’t inherently good, and how their free will has consequences that could set up strongholds in their lives not easily shaken.

I have one of each: a male and a female. With both, their parents and I have shared some of our experiences, failures, and triumphs. Their parents and I have warned them against making the mistakes we did in our youth to avoid the struggles we endured, some with lingering effects. They both listen, but their right to freely choose has clouded their decision in some instances. However, we are grateful there have been no mistakes thus far that has caused significant detours in their lives. Though, they both have come close to the edge of falling into a disaster or two.

I remember my time in the 18-20-year-old range. There was so much beckoning me to draw near. I got real close to some things and dabbled in a handful too many. As I look back, I know my mother’s prayers, coupled with God’s abundant grace, kept me from consequences that would have been earth-shattering for my mom, me, and my future. My curiosity and naiveté took me down some roads better left untraveled. At the same time, though, what I experienced gives me the credibility to explain to my grandchildren why they should avoid some things.

I’ve been listening to Tony Evan’s podcasts on American Idols this week, and it’s been food for thought. It got me to thinking how some of the freedoms we have as individuals here in America aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when we stop and dissect a few of those freedoms. Yes, the American dream offers a freedom that, in some ways, have led us into freely and openly indulging into things GOD clearly warned us to avoid as He laid out the laws and precepts to the Nation of Israel. The Old Testament is full of events that give a good picture of the physical consequences (i.e., bondage, enslavement, loss of GOD’s protection and provision, etc.) of doing things right in our own eyes. For example, in Deuteronomy:

  • 5:7 says – “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”  We have given GOD’s position as our authority to other gods [people, astrology, mysticism, WICCA, Atheism, earth-centered or nature worship, to name a few]. Transparency here: in my carnal, baby Christian days, my husband was my god.
  • 5:13-14a says – “Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:” I’m talking about reserving your day of worship to worship, commune, and meditate on the things of God. We are workaholics. I wonder how many who don’t have jobs that require Sunday hours leave service to rush off to work and labor because they either rested on Saturday or didn’t finish the task(s) they started? Transparency here: I struggle sometimes finding the right balance, not on Sunday, but through the other six days of work to get the things I need to get done, done. Part of that is saying “Sorry, but no,” but most of it is a lack of discipline so – I solicit your prayers for more discipline in all areas of my daily life.
  • 6:14 says – “Ye shall not go after other gods… Be honest here — we pursue a lot of things habitually. Careers, relationships, money, materials, etc., as gods in our life. Transparency here: Sadly, one of my pursuits since 1997 has been excessive/emotional eating or what the Bible calls gluttony – I solicit your prayers for my deliverance to enjoy food but not overindulge.
  • 8:5-6 says – “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.” This, my friends, could be the biggest struggle for the Believer in Jesus Christ, the Savior, who has done nothing to grow in the knowledge of GOD’s Word. A spanking from God can feel like your whole world is crashing down around you. It makes a person feel like nothing ever works out for them. It can send a person into depression, make a person turn back from following GOD, and even cause a person to harbor all the things in their heart that Galatians 5:19-21 says we shouldn’t, thereby, grieving the Holy Ghost. Transparency here: I never liked spankings and got few in my childhood. However, as I came to understand my consequences were part of my Father’s chastisement, I began to understand as an adult that I didn’t like nor want them, and that’s when a lot of things changed for me in my walk with Christ.

This is why some freedoms aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! Where our freedom isn’t a get out of jail free card from parental, governmental, or GOD’s authority and rules. Where my grandchildren and other babes in Christ get stuck and wrestle to understand why they can’t have or do whatever they want when they want, and how they want. It’s why they don’t understand they need to read the bible, listen to wise counsel, apply the knowledge, and do the right thing even when everyone else around them is doing the world thing.

Some freedoms aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and never have been outside of the authority that God set in place so very long ago. Even when that authority has been corrupted, polluted, and misapplied, there is a need to examine what any freedom will cost you.

Our greatest teacher is what God put in His Word:

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Judges 17:6 (KJV)

Additional Scriptures: 

  • Judges 21:25
  • Psalm 36:2
  • Proverbs 12:15
  • Proverbs 16:2
  • Proverbs 21:2

Trust me, my freedoms haven’t always benefited me. Have yours?

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