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…

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

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

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!

Are They Bleeding?

I posted the below image today (August 1, 2019). My heart has been a little heavy lately, much of which I chalk up to watching news channels!  Ughhh … there was a reason I unplugged from TV 10 years ago.

But, I’d like to start some conversations about what Christians, and any decent human being with a compassion heart, can do to help those who struggle to get past hurts and wounds to their spirit, their mind, and their souls.

I believe in the power of Prayer – yet, I know there is something to be added to that. So my question is:

  • How do react to a wounded soul?
  • If you are one who runs for the hills after such an encounter, do you leave the “why” behind as food for thought?
  • If you are one who willingly sticks around in hopes of applying some type of healing antidotes, what are some of the methods you use to administer the wound care?  

Maybe something you do or don’t may help another think of other options.

080119-Bleeding

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