Black History

Black history is a history to be honored by society. It is true that when we forget or don’t know our history we are doomed to repeat it. We have struggled to keep the puzzle of our history intact. Many other culture have a different view of their history. Also, it wasn’t trampled on and attempted to be destroyed throughout societal history.

No matter whether society acknowledges it or not black history has been being dismantled across generation after generation. I would like to hope we can sustain a puzzle with so many missing puzzle pieces.

The power of putting the missing pieces of black history together is education. We must not let the legacy of black trail blazers die. This generation and the generations behind us are the legacy of black history.

Telling the stories of black culture is always a sensitive narrative to tell. We grow as a society when we acknowledge that it is a broken narrative. Black history will always be important to our society no matter how broken our stories may be.

The more we celebrate black history the more it keeps our history alive. Remember the generations now and after us are our legacy.

Black History Month 🖤🤎

God Opens Doors

When doors close in our lives we may wonder when God will open the door He promised. There is a desire for God to work in our lives how we see fit. The problem with that is we limit God or put Him in a box. God is limitless. It can seem like the door He promised us will never open. That’s the time He pushes us into what He had in mind.

Time after time God shows us through His word that He opens doors. He gave Abraham the ram in the bush (Genesis 22:13). He rose Joseph to power after a trail of unfortunate circumstances rooted in the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers (Genesis 41:39-41). He made David king when many felt David was just a little shepherd boy (1 Samuel 16:13). Jesus was crucified and now He is our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16).

God’s will in our lives is about Him closing doors that hinder where He is trying to take us. The doors that remain open may keep us from the path He has for us. His goal is to position us into the purpose He has for us.

Waiting is another important piece of the puzzle. We do not want to get ahead of God and wander aimlessly around. There is a need to be patient enough for God to move.

There are no popcorn answers with God. Which is something today’s generation is hindered by. Getting fruit out of season doesn’t have the seasoned taste we love. With this said getting things out of God’s timing can be a hindrance and we can fail to maintain the things we acquire.

It’s not just about opening doors, but allowing God to close doors that no longer benefit us spiritually. In order for doors to open some doors must close. We want to move forward but fear God closing doors. It is a part of the process.

Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you”.

It’s important to want God to open doors in His timing. It may take a while but like fruit picked in season oh how good will things work out for us (Romans 8:28).

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Embrace God This Year

Embrace is defined as; to take in or include as part, item, or element of a more inclusive whole (Merriam-Webster, 2022). We need to partner with God and include him in all that we do. God should be our anchor. This does not mean we won’t face challenges this year. When we face them we will be grounded by God.

How much better would a year be; if we started it allowing God’s will to manifest? We should put down our carnal wants and desires. Each year is an opportunity to allow God to move in our lives.

No one wants to struggle, but the reality is that in the struggle there is growth. It never feels good but it works out for our good. In the mist of going through things God has His way and He moves us into position for what He has in mind.

I must talk about struggle because people on social media talk about I want a blessed year. I want a year without going through things. The truth is that your not being realistic when you say that or believe that is possible.

God grows us through unfortunate circumstances. We need to stop allowing these so called influencers paint a perfect picture of their lives. It ain’t all unicorns and roses for them. They just have mastered hiding behind a mask of perfection.

Stop believing challenges should stop. There is no perfect life nor perfect people so stop looking for a perfect year. Embrace what God wants to do in your life and be open to growth and change. You can have a blessed year even with obstacles.

Life comes with challenges. God made life that way so we would grow. Through our struggles we would have a testimony so other people could grow or be encouraged.

You embrace God in a new year when you let Him lead. You surrender what you want and had in mind and allow him to order your steps.

Believe as a believer God has a plan for your life because He does. Believe that you have been redeemed and there are no chains holding you down. You are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). Greater is he that is in you than he that is the world (1 John 4:4).

Embrace God this year. Trust that God has a plan greater than you. Let God be your solid foundation. Surrender this year to God. It’s not easy, but give Him a little day by day.

Happy New Year 2023.🎉🥳🎆🎊

Jesus Is the Reason for the Season

Christmas time is more than all the presents, gifts, and money spent. These things are okay, but the reason for the season is Jesus. Let us remember He paid it all so we would not have to. It’s about His coming in, but also knowing He is a risen Savior.

His birth bought an eternal life we really don’t deserve. It’s ours because He came into the world not to condemn it, but to save it (John 3:17). He laid His life down.

Are you the light Jesus was (John 8:12)? I know it’s hard shoes to fill. He doesn’t need perfection. He needs the willingness to be the difference the world needs.

I could never do what Jesus did. No one can. He finished it so there won’t be another. He gave the great commission to go out and spread the gospel to all who will listen, even those stubborn in their ways (Matthew 28:16-20). Planting God’s word in someone leaves a seed.

As we prepare to break bread, give gifts, and enjoy this season remember Jesus. He was perfect so we don’t have to be, but we become complete in Him (Matthew 5:48). He is our example. Do you show people light or darkness? We all miss it. I sure know I do but even in the struggle, there should be some evidence of your walk with God.

Remember this season is about Jesus. He is the light of the world. Let your life be a reminder of the light of Jesus.

To all my blog readers I make these posts for you and to glorify God. I have not arrived, but I fight to be the difference.

Merry Christmas 🎄

Finish Your Race

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

In this thing called life, our journey does not end until we leave this world. God has a plan and work that He will complete in us if He has called us to be His children.

The road gets hard, but God is faithful to moving us into position for His glory. No matter what comes your way strive to finish your race. Obstacles are in our lives to make us more refined even though it may not feel good. Over the course of life, you realize it worked out for the good (Romans 8:38). You understand that the doors that closed should have closed.

Sometimes you may lose friends on the journey. You may lose them because you changed and they wanted to remain the same. They may leave you because offenses came and tore the relationship apart. No matter who leaves you on the journey keep moving.

You may lose close friends and loved ones to death, but remember God is close to the brokenhearted. Don’t get stuck in the maze of grief. Stop and remember you are not to blame we all are not here to stay. When it’s our time well it’s our time.

As this year comes to a close remember we all have not arrived. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else. The road we are traveling is all unique. Lean not on your own understanding (proverbs 3:5). Remember nothing is for sure. As soon as you think it’s all figured here comes God refining your path. Next year will have its own lessons and circumstances. May we all approach with caution but trust that whatever it brings God is in control.

May the new year bring blessings and of course lessons. In this thing called life run your race with God at the forefront and finish it. Complete your assignment so your eternal rewards are great.

There is Greater on the Other Side

Sometimes we wonder what God is doing in our lives. I wrote a message earlier this year entitled “He is pruning you for better”. We may not understand what God is doing, but it will work out for our good. Remember God’s timing is not our timing (Habakkuk 2:3).

This year has been a roller coaster for many of us. A lot of the world is still picking up the pieces from the pandemic. This may be making you question God; which is understandable.

Trusting God can be hard when there seems no way out (Proverbs 3:5-6). You may wonder if things will ever change. The good news is that trouble doesn’t last always. The sun does come out after the rain.

God’s ways are so much higher than our ways as it says in His word (Isaiah 55:8-9). You can make it with God on your side. There is greater on the other side.

Two years ago I felt God had deserted me. I felt lost and abandoned. It was scary picking up the pieces after losing the things I worked hard to establish. I learned that God had so much more in store for me. I realize now it didn’t feel good, but it worked out for the good.

Living in this unpredictable world where unfortunate things happen can be stressful. We can be at the end of our rope looking for better. I’ve been there and wondered how would I make it. I thought how could I live for God and endure so much. God reminded me that my suffering was setting me up for greater.

You are bigger than what you are going through. You can win each and every battle you face. There is more on the other side of the pain. Climb your mountain and run your race. Leave no stone unturned.

Stop looking back and go forward. God said to Moses “why do you cry to me tell the Israelites to go forward” (Exodus 14:15-16). Go forward. There is greater on the other side.

Cloud of Pain

The clouds of pain held so much hurt that it seemed to always be storming in her world

Pain etched in her mind was as deadly as the tornadoes that came through tornado alley

She tried to remove herself from the hurt

Then the clouds brought the rain of trauma unresolved

What do you do when hurt seems to be the language you are most comfortable speaking

Words could never describe how deep the pain goes in the lives of traumatized women across thee globe.

Some would say get over it is the fix for the pain

The truth is healing is a process and the mindset about one’s self and the identity found in the pain must change.

The cloud of pain won’t remain a cloud if we learn to release the hurt and allow God to do the healing.

The pain etched in her mind and your mind would change, and you can heal from the cloud of pain.

Poem by: Shakera Williams

Praise is What We are Called To Do

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Land with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name” (Psalm 100:1-4).

We are called to worship God. It is what we do to honor Him. Our praises to the King of kings and Lord of lords is our way of giving the Highest of high thanks for all He has done for us. We go into the house of God and we are to offer up our praises and worship to Him. There are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people, but when you find a church where you can worship and be accepted you have found a church home.

Some people find it hard to lower themselves or submit to praise and worship. When we worship it is not about us but it is all about God. We are allowing His holy spirit to flow through us as believers. I am not perfect and I deal with a lot of shame and guilt because of the mental health challenges I face. When I worship God He does not see any of that. He sees me in submission to Him and offering up praises to Him and no matter how other people see it God accepts our praises.

Remember, He does not need perfection and with God, it is all about our heart. If our heart is in the right place the rest will follow. That was satan’s problem he was too full of pride to submit to God and for that, he was cast out of heaven.

A songwriter wrote, “praise is what I do when I want to be close to you”. This is true when we worship and praise God we feel His spirit within us and we often feel closer to God. When you enter the church and it’s time for worship remember you are offering up your worship to God. You are allowing Him to be glorified.

There are seasons in our lives where what we need to do more than anything is praise God. Do not wait until the prayer has been answered to praise God. Praise in spite of what you see. Praise because you are thanking God that you will get the victory. We owe God our praise. No need to hold back because when God answers our prayers He is not slack. He answers them with our cup always running over.

Those who believe in God understand the value of praise especially if you have ever needed God to bring you out of a circumstance that was bigger than you. Praise is our way of saying to God “I thank you” or “God I love you”. It takes us into a deeper relationship with God. It took me a while to understand praise is for me and God. It allows me to release the things I am holding and it allows God to be glorified.

No matter what anyone says about praise. The word teaches us that praise is what we are called to do. Be a worshipper in all seasons of your life and watch God touch every circumstance and get the glory He is due.

When It Hurts God Understands

The storms I’ve faced in my life have weighed heavy on my spirit. I have had times where I thought God had forgotten about the troubles I was facing. I watched doors close and the pained piled on. Being misunderstood was an understatement through the maze of hurt.

As I face new struggles I have learned that God is with me and He understands. I often ask God why do we face challenges and as only a Heavenly Father could answer “How would you grow spiritually? How would you be able to lead others to Christ? How would you have a testimony? This is why you face challenges”.

Sometimes we must realize that the suffering we face may set someone else free through our testimony. It may help someone else to understand that they are not alone in the struggles they are facing. God is glorified when we face challenges and He is the only one that can bring us out.

It’s time to stop wrestling with the things you are facing. It’s time to give them to God and let go. The sooner you give it to Him the better you will feel. If He is truly the only one who can bring you out; give the situation to Him because it is bigger than you.

God knows you want to try and fix it but it’s time realize you are making a mess. The situation is getting worse. God does not need your help. He is God all by Himself. He needs you to surrender. As I illustrate this to you it is a reminder for me to surrender and stop wrestling with what is out of my control.

Come to God angry, hurt, offended, frustrated, misunderstood, lied on, rejected, broken, or scared because He understands. Let go and let God do what you can’t. He is our Abba Father. He loves His children. He knows you are hurting. Will you surrender whatever you are facing to Him sooner rather than later? He understands.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”(John 4:4).

God already gave us the victory as believers. We have it because the Holy Spirit lives on the inside of the believer. We may face challenges and people may come against us, but the Spirit in us is greater than the carnal evil spirits in people. It is also greater than the struggles we face in life.

God understands when we have been hurt or wronged that we get angry and become frustrated. His word says “Be angry but sin not” (Ephesians 4:26). God knew we would feel fear but we are to not allow it consume us. God knew we would be anxious. His word says “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your request known to God”(Philippians 4:6). The word, prayer, fasting, and godly counsel is how we overcome the struggles we face.

When life seems uncertain find refuge in God because He understands.

“I will say to the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God in Him will I trust” (Psalm 91:2).

“Domestic Violence Awareness: God never intended for us to be manipulated and controlled by anyone”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is symbolized by the color purple or purple ribbon. Domestic violence can happen to anyone. It is most often women and children who become victims of domestic violence. Men are also affected by abuse.

Each year the number of domestic violence cases continues to rise and claims the lives of women and children in record numbers. Being a victim of abuse is highly likely among women of color who live in poverty. It also claims women victims who come from wealth and prestige. Many women and children who are victims endure the abuse in silence, feel helpless, and think there is no way out.

Domestic violence is about power and control. The abuser inflicts his or her will on the victim. It usually starts off with verbal abuse, mind manipulation, and later turns physical. Some abusers never use physical abuse but they verbally assault their victims to establish fear and control.

In the Christian community, many women believe they are bound to domestic violence due to the obligation to their marriage. This is untrue. Being unequally yoked is a sin and a marriage that was not called by God in the first place. God never intended for us to endure an abusive spouse that could one day end our lives.

Domestic violence affects the survivors often for a lifetime even after they are no longer being abused. It changes how they view themselves and how they view relationships. It alters their self-worth and dignity.

Abuse can happen in many relationship dynamics. Parents can abuse children. Children can grow up and abuse elderly parents. Employers can abuse employees. Relationships can appear friendly and then turn into abuse, manipulation, and control.

Many people often view domestic violence as partner abuse. Domestic violence can happen in any relationship dynamic where there is control, manipulation, power, and abuse. Know the warning signs. You should be able to maintain full control of your actions, will, desires, and identity in any relationship. You should never have to change how you carry yourself or be in fear of being you because of being controlled by another individual.

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, as to being together of the grace of life that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7)”.

“Husbands love your wives and do not be bitter toward them” (Colossians 3:19).

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

God never intended for anyone to be a slave or bonded to another person. Life is sometimes unfair, and people are under the influence of evil spirits and do not see themselves. God loves us unconditionally and when we face these situations at the hands of others, it is not God’s doing, it is the enemy.

Speak up and speak out, especially if you are a survivor. I am a survivor of many forms of abuse. We need to understand many people suffer in silence, think no one cares, and feel they are alone. Help is out there. You can get out. You can survive.

No one has to remain a victim of domestic violence. No control. No manipulation. No abuse. There are no chains holding you or me. Jesus came to set the captives free. This is freedom from all forms of bondage. This is spiritual as well as physical. You are meant to be liberated and free.

Resources:

Domestic Violence Coalition

North Carolina Domestic Violence Coalition

In the United States, there are domestic violence shelters. Each county in each state will have domestic violence resources and law enforcement work with these agencies. Some agencies provide legal aid but they are limited. Seeking legal assistance can be costly but getting out of an abusive situation is possible. Be encouraged.