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

Valentine’s Eyes

© Speak True Life, January 22, 2020. All rights reserved.

I dreamed of you in the twilight of sleep;

I heard you call my name.

I felt no anxiety or fear;

I knew you would find me in time.

Covered in experiential bruises healed by divine love,

I walked with assurance toward the sound of your heartbeat.

Excited by the knowledge of you seeking Him to guide me into your path,

I move in contented pace knowing we’ll meet

in the process of time under His beautiful light.

For now, we’ll keep our eyes focused

on the source of our eternity together.

Worth the Wait

like fine wine, the best takes time

My pastor’s sermon on Sunday, December 8, 2019, was powerful. I wasn’t able to hear it in person since it was my Sunday to teach at the jail. The subject was “Loving One Another.” He expounded on Matthew 22:36-40 and John 13:34-35 for starters. In my notes I wrote down a statement that resonated with me:  love embodies all the commands of God because it is the summation of His commandments.

The bottom line is those who believe in Jesus Christ are called to demonstrate a higher standard of love towards one another. I highly recommend you listen to it for yourself and I’ve included the link in the subject title in the previous paragraph. I encourage you to jot down a few notes to gauge your spiritual maturity in this area. I’m convinced you will find the need for adjustments like I did.

man tattooed praying
Photo by Ric Rodrigues on Pexels.com

After listening to the message, I couldn’t help thinking about how it would benefit anyone struggling in a relationship with others. Many people want a relationship with others. My sons and daughters are in their prime, and many of them are considering marriage. Some are struggling in their current marriage or relationship. Too many of them lean on their perspective of relationships instead of praying from God’s perspective.

Unfortunately, the problem is too many think rushing into someone’s arms or bed is a springboard for the love they seek. Yes, genuine love doesn’t automatically materialize out of brokenness. Fast-tracked relationships don’t create the type of permanence desired. They are rush jobs forged by unplanned events or circumstances such as pregnancy or loneliness. To attempt to form loving relationships out of these couplings seldom work out well, though there are exceptions.

broken heart love sad
Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

There has to be a way to convey the work required to mend broken vessels. A broken vessel can’t repair a broken vessel. God works hand in hand with his Word to rebuild the brokenness in man. Underneath all of the layers of emotional trauma or baggage, people desire to be known. In spite of their shortcomings and flaws, people want acceptance wrapped in love, respect, protection, and guidance. My sons want wives to reverence them. Likewise, my daughters want husbands who know how to love them as Christ does. It starts with God, the master who makes beauty from ashes, who gives the oil of joy for mourning and a garment of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness.

The truth is Christ-founded relationships require 100% commitment to work from both parties on both sides. Love isn’t for the lazy of heart and spirit. Without heartfelt dedication to the relationship, it becomes a sinking ship that will go under at some point. The person in the relationship who understands this best is normally the one who ends up doing most of the work. My prayer is that the one whose stronger in faith learn to pray for their mate until they grow in their relationship with God.

For my single children, my prayer is they learn to be content in their singleness for a time. The practice of enjoying being single and alone constitutes perfect timing to allow God to work through the damage without distractions. When Christ is the primary focus in our lives, trust in God grows as the creator of marriage weaves an integral part of the creation story found in the book of Genesis within us. We then come to have faith in his capability to bring the right type of love into our lives. Because God’s timing is the right timing, no one misses out on anything in the quiet time of being loved fully by him.

It’s worth the wait!

But Your Heart

You are a wonder to watch day after day and night after night. How I long to hold you in my arms. You are so beautiful. You are so handsome. Your daily routine, impressive. Your goals are attainable. You demonstrate consistent willpower and keep your focus on the rainbows in your view. I marvel at your strength and tenacity in these times of ever-changing roles and lifestyles.

You are a feast for the eyes. You are always well-dressed. You model thrift store purchases as one endowed with riches. Your poise is full of humble confidence. Stylish by all standards. No one would deny you have earned it. Your climb up the corporate ladder is inspiring. Turning your business into a household name noteworthy. Every promotion deserved.

We find you remarkable. We know what you sacrifice to do what you do to give what you give. No one can attest to the time you obligate to others. Many miss how you extend your hand to serve others. Watching you willingly add to your already full plate exhausts me. You lend all of your talents to those around you. Your service in ministry is well-pleasing. You are faithful and so blessed.

I have spent lots of time and words expressing the debt of my love and appreciation for you. I know at the end of the day you returned my love the best way you knew how. It makes me love you even more. I know you have given me everything you feel you possess.

Everything … but your heart!

COMMUNITY

woman near window
Photo by Martin Péchy on Pexels.com

I have been in personal hiatus lately, meaning, I’ve spent lots of time alone. There are a few reasons for this need at this moment. Life has been a little topsy-turvy and cumbersome over the last few years. Trying to find my footing through events, circumstances, hills, and valleys requires personal reflection. I am grateful for the journey, and the lessons being learned. For times such as these, the growth and outcomes generated are profitable, leading to the place of much-needed serenity and peace.

Some people look at being alone as something taboo. For me, it’s one side of my personality I have to indulge in and balance. I’m an introvert who has learned to socialize like an extrovert in various settings. Being quite reticent, I spend time internalizing life (mine, others, the world we live in, etc., etc., etc.). Summoning memories of my youth confirm writing as a natural place to dispose of my uncomfortable thoughts. Writing has become my road to sanity; a place I can’t deny to extinguish the ugliness of negative emotions. I chose to empty my thoughts on paper rather than wreck my limited relationships through verbal carnage.

This weekend I learned something in my hiatus important to me as an individual. As much as I enjoy my alone time, I still need my community! I googled the word community for the relevant definition and found it – the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common [1] Although I enjoy my periods of alone time, I don’t want to be alone all the time. Socializing provides laughter and deep conversations about God, family, and all things life-related. In those times, I feel a part of something intensely gratifying. My heart warmly enthralled with God in knowing I am alone only when I choose to be.

grayscale photography of people worshiping
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Being a part of a community of like-minded people who care for you creates a sense of connection. A church community joins like-minded believers into a body that guides and cares for your salvation, spiritual growth, and servanthood. In a job community, some people help you develop skill sets for career elevation. The community of family fosters a place of unconditional love, encouragement, protection, and treasured examples of leadership.

This weekend I joined another community. An affinity of writers and would-be writers called to tell their stories. Memoirs, poetry, non-fiction, fiction, devotionals, bible studies, etc., an amazing expanse of creativity. I needed this community with whom I could share this part of my life. They host my passion to share and enthusiastically celebrate life on its terms. In this place, encouragement and support abound. Without hesitation, it is the solid ground upon which to plant my author’s feet as I grow into the writer I am destined to become.

At the end of the day, we all need COMMUNITY.

[1] https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/community; 2 [mass noun]

Cry Not, My Sistah

Some wonder…

When does the bleeding stop?

When does the ache fade?

When does the memory disappear into oblivion?

I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. All I have is a heart that prays, and a pen that showers words upon pages … waxing poetic upon the mind … and Emotionally Charged:

 CRY NOT, MY SISTAH!

Cry not my Sistah, for you are not alone.

The hardships in this life were not made for you to own.

Cry not my Sistah, for I’ve seen your many tears.

I know your weeping in the night has been for many years.

Cry not my Sistah, for I know how hard you continually try.

Yet, no matter your will, some things still pass you by.

Cry not my Sistah, for your inner strength remains.

The broken dreams cannot deny what you have gained.

Cry not my Sistah, for I also hear your prayers.

How I wish to convince you that somebody out here cares.

Cry not my Sistah, for the burdens that weigh you down.

A beautiful smile is waiting, in time, to replace your frown.

Cry not my Sistah, for your best is never in vain.

Our God is a witness to the scars of your pain.

I tell you to cry not my Sistah, for it will be okay.

A time will come when all your misery will wash away.

The strength of your character will provide all you need.

Time will come be the rewarder for all your good deeds.

And all your troubles will vaporize into the distant past.

Just continue with faith in the Lord; remaining steadfast.

The JourneyWomen are expected to multi-task (family, work, & more). Though equipped helpers, remember, even God rested from his labors.

~page 16, from my book, “Emotionally Charged“~

 

Sisters, in those moments when you feel most unloved, alone, or afraid, encourage yourself with the words of this song by Switch, and KNOW that you are GOD’S:

SYMPHONY

I Want You, Jesus!

A father of the fatherless … is God in his holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)

There are times when I want to revert back to childhood and run to the arms of my mother. That place of security, comfort, and reassurance that all will be right with the world again.

Today, I feel that way in my spirit. I just want to run into the arms of my Father. I woke up with the words from Cody Carnes – Nothing Else playing in my head.

My God, who is ever faithful, immediately began to minister to me in multiple ways.  That’s just who He is. The relationship I have with Christ eliminates my need for anything or anyone else in my greatest times of need.

I just want JESUS!

The above post is the Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry, May 24, 2019

Enjoy This Video.  Cody Carnes – Nothing Else (Official Lyric Video) “Nothing Else” – Available Now: https://codycarnes.lnk.to/NothingElseYD

 

 

One Way Remains True

Only One Way!
John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I fully understand how confusing it can get with so many versions of what it takes to please God, become a child of God, and to be eternally secure. But, the truth is that it is really a simple matter that has been told and has not changed: JESUS CHRIST IS STILL THE ONLY DOOR TO SALVATION & BEING ACCEPTED AS “God’s Child” — we are not all God’s children; and none of us were born in His Image nor with His Likeness. However, the DOOR IS ALWAYS OPEN FOR ANYONE TO “BE BORN AGAIN!”

Enjoy Still God by Elevation Worship

 

Body Strengthening

Set your affection on things above – Colossians 3:2

A brother-in-Christ, Dedrick Abbott, posted the below comment on Facebook. It’s a topic that me and my boss talk about all the time!

Dedrick Abbott  1 hr  Followers of Christ should be more interested in building each other up than tearing each other apart. It is easy to be critical, but when we bear with others we enter into their story and the little things that cause them to act the way that they do. This is an opportunity for the church to be counter-culture to the world around us. We should try to value others for who they are and not simply for what they can do.

It’s true … the body of the church has played a pretty good role in causing this growing lean toward disdain for “church” followers of Jesus Christ. It’s true … a lot of churches have to make a greater effort in drawing the hurt, abused, fearful, confused and lost into our bosom (a familiar source of protection, security or affection) in our bodies of worship.

It starts, however, with INDIVIDUALS who truly love the Lord and who purposely DEMONSTRATE that LOVE person-to-person. It requires both the church-goer and the Believer to come to understand that not everyone is mature enough to operate in the will of God’s command that we love each other. Loving others in spite of their faults is a learned heart attitude that can only be grasped by those who truly have allowed God full access to their heart.

In all the years I attended church from my youth up into my young adult years, it took me until I was around 37 yo to recognize that not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, does God’s will. I learned that not everyone who attends church is a “Believer” who practices godly living. At the end of the day, I had to make up my mind to put my focus on God and not people. I had to stop allowing people to be the deciding factor in how, why, when and where I worshipped the Lord of my salvation.

woman writing in white board

 

The lessons taught me to make a personal choice to walk with Christ and focus on Him instead:

  • I choose to learn more about Him for myself – not accept second-hand knowledge
  • I choose to know Him – not just accept someone else’s experiences of Him
  • I choose to seek Him – not through a preacher or teacher but through His Word
  • I choose to serve Him out of my heart belief of His deity – not look to flesh for His image

I learned early in life that man was a sinful creature, flawed, and in need of a savior. It was in my immature and infantile stage as a Believer that I allowed the fallacy of man to cripple my relationship commitment and dedicated service to Christ. God kept reminding me through situations and circumstances that I needed His umbrella of love and protection more than man’s. Because of God’s patience, I was able to grow into the Woman of God I am today, firmly committed and settled in heart, mind, and spirit to stand firm in Christ alone. Christ is the umbrella that keeps me from being overtaken by the desires of my flesh and the enemy’s destructive vices.

I can tell you I spiritually feel like a young 20-something in Christ! My faith continues to grow stronger every day; I see the world for what it is—a battlefield for a spiritual kingdom that has already has been designated as the inheritance to the One who sits at the right hand of His Father – Jesus Christ.

It is true, there is much work to be done within and without the church, and it’s sad that those who need to make their standing in Christ sure are still busy looking outward instead of inward. For those doing their part, I say God Bless You and Keep You Strong on the path of His righteousness. The greatest prayer the Body of Christ can utter continually is that God would help us individually examine ourselves:

  • How is my relationship with Christ?black and white blackboard business chalkboard
  • Who am I sharing Christ with?
  • What is my service lane in the Body?
  • Where do I exercise my servanthood to Christ?
  • When has my light brought others near to Christ?

Attitude is a huge deal when it comes to operating in the world as ministers of reconciliation and Christ representatives. It’s crucial in these last days that the Body of Christ gives more focus to redeeming the lost from the hand of our enemy and incorporate more of sharing Christ into our areas of purpose. Remember, the most important call on every believer’s life is the call to witness – to share the gospel of Christ with a lost world and bring sinners into the saving grace of Salvation.

Let us gather the spiritual tools that enable us to strengthen the weak and draw the hurting. I was hurt in the church many times. It took finding one person in the Body to love on me. My need for Christ helped me consistently get back up and go back into the Body. I came to understand by-and-by that at the Judgment Seat of Christ there is no finger pointing. Each of us will stand alone before our sovereign God while a panoramic view of our life showing the good – the bad the ugly, and the abominable flashes before the heavenly hosts. That should make you shiver.

Church Body, we definitely need to get our act together so we don’t do more damage to the Body of Christ and God’s name. It might be better for some to become or remain “uncover Christians” so we don’t scatter those with a real desirous need of the Savior. What my brother-in-Christ spoke today should give all of God’s children reason to pause—consider their ways—and GET RIGHT CHURCH, because we will soon be going home!!

To my weaker brothers/sisters-in-Christ, to the hurting, and to the lost who have judged the Body of Christ – I’d like to make this suggestion: Find one person in the Body who demonstrates God’s love and care and then draw near to them. Most of the time this is called Discipleship in churches. They’ll help you grow in your relationship with Christ. I’ve seen process in action and everyone benefits, including the Church Body.  The only way you’ll learn to stand in Christ in the midst of the spiritually immature is for you to seek to know Christ intimately yourself. Doing this will help you stand by faith as an individual while operating in faith corporately.

women watching gray tablet computer

Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry, February 1, 2019

[Eternal security is found “in Christ” and there is a plan already in place to guide you to that road:  Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:12, 10:9; 1 John 1:9]

 

 

War Cry

What battle cry echoes in your spirit?

We all need a war cry that makes us rise up, plant our feet, and STAND against whatever may be attacking us physical, or our faith, spiritually.  Every battle differs one from the next, so adding (2 Peter 1:5-8) to our spiritual arsenal is necessary (Ephesians 6:13-17).

Today I added this song to my arsenal of praise and worship music.  It resonates even stronger as I think on the story of Joseph who endured a lot before reaching the Vision State given in his youth by God.  May this song echo in your heart to cast out every thought not of God.

Song:  Your Promises                                                                                                                                       Artist:   Elevation Worship