Blessings left and right…

Has this ever happened to you? You prayed for this to happen, or for it to happen smoothly. And then you simply put one foot in front of the other, all the while believing (and reminding yourself) that God is who He says He is, God can do what He says He can do, you are who God says you are, you can do all things through Christ, and God’s Word is alive and active in you (thanks Beth Moore!).

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This is for you today. Because I really wasn’t ready for all this. My mom and I moved here to Norfolk last Saturday, the 8th. Both of us landed great jobs within days. We didn’t really get to see our new home beyond pictures and through a relative who lives nearby. We didn’t foresee that front lawn, picket fence, little porch and lush bush that was in my last post. We didn’t foresee all the colors our home would have, our cute kitchen, our cuter bathroom, and a gorgeous backyard with more lush bushes, a little swing and a nice-sized deck.

I didn’t foresee or imagine the surrounding neighborhood would be both peaceful and diverse. I had an idea that we were going to be living in the suburbs (thanks Google Maps) and had no doubts I’d be bored certain expectations. And these folks here? Let’s just say that there’s a spirit of love, power, and self-control that is overwhelming – and I can’t fight it. At all.

But there’s always something that tends to happen, and there’s always a need that increases whenever I walk into great things. What tends to happen is a little voice from the pit starts speaking, saying that now that I’ve got this and/or am experiencing this, it can’t get any better from here. I can let God go now. He was my stepping stone.

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This is a lie always and only from the pit that needs to be rejected. Always.

The need that increases when I start hearing lies from the pit and am tempted to believe them, is humility. Beginning with running to God when I seem to be winning, not just when I have a request, anxiety, or some type of growing pain (long-suffering anyone?) God has not, is not and never will be circumstantial and conditional like my heart can be. Nope.

“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:16-17 (NIV)

I’m grateful. We’ve had a really smooth transition from South Carolina to Virginia in the past week and a half. And there’s still so much work that has to be done by us and in us, by Christ. And I thank and praise Him!

At the moment I’m still waiting for a church. In the midst of all these blessings and settling into a new physical home, I need a spiritual one. Please keep me and my mom in prayer as we continue to follow God’s direction for one.

One more thing to remember,

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News!

I’m here. In Norfolk. In a beautiful home. Even more beautiful neighborhood. Just wondering what else God’s got to surprise and challenge me with. But tonight I’ll rest, and tomorrow as I watch a stream of my SC church service I’ll be believing even more that He’ll give me a home to grow and serve. Cause I can’t stop and I won’t stop.

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Last Semester. Last Week. Today.

My Nana and a couple of people on Facebook can’t be only ones to witness my joy. Remember back in 2012 when I wrote about a young woman that gave a painful testimony in one of my classes? What I didn’t write about was the day I waited after class (for a REALLY long time)  to give her a pocket-size New Testament w/Psalms & Proverbs bible. I also didn’t write about the phone conversation I had with my Nana after following this little victory. From this conversation came a simple correction that today is anything but – because I no longer have a simple mind. I no longer have a simple mind that believes what it wants to believe because my flesh is DYING!

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Amen?

Amen. Let’s get into it.

While I was gabbing to her about this serious first step – giving a bible to a non-believer – I told Nana that we are all God’s children, to which she replied “We are all God’s creation, but not all of us are His children.” I was like, “But we all sin…”

“Yes,” she agreed. “But as believers who have accepted Christ , we are children of God that sin.”

My grandmother of 77 years (over three-quarters of which was spent ministering locally and globally) gave me something here that I didn’t and couldn’t receive like the gift it was. Correction was never something I considered a gift. And even in this moment, where two were gathered together (by cell) in His name, I wasn’t ready to trust the correctional officer with the experience. Nana didn’t quote any scripture to prove herself and her words true, she just spoke it. Weeks later, I found scripture (especially #s 37-39, 43, and 44) to back up what she spoke.

This afternoon when we talked, I told her that I wanted to thank her for that then but thank God that both of us made it into 2013 so I could thank her now! And then I shared an experience had Friday at a bible study.

A young woman was sharing her views, one of which was the exact same thing I said to my grandmother on the phone in September. I shared our conversation with the young woman with the hope and expectation that she’d be enlightened (and encouraged) to receive it. And why wouldn’t she? It was the Word of God that corrected me so she should take that Authority and be convicted in the same way, right?

Wrong.

The young woman responded with “Yes, but….(many words which I fail to remember except the following) I see everyone as a child of God.” Yikes! This could have escalated into an argument. And I don’t get into arguments over the Word of God. Why? Because we abolish all arguments that set themselves up against the power and authority of Christ. The Word of God is the Authority. And at that moment the young woman didn’t seem like she was putting her views into proper context, rather than simply refusing correction. At that moment I took my thoughts captive and kept it moving.

I thank God for this moment because of the Word that kept me and renewed my mind. And the reminder that I got from a Facebook friend’s status this afternoon:

“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” -2 Timothy 4:2-5

My patience almost slipped completely at that young woman’s words, but it didn’t. God is certainly raising me up with His Spirit. I pray that He continues to do the same for this young lady.

This isn’t a write-up to show up, show-out and show-off. This is the Grace and Revelation I’ve received that I refuse to keep to myself. Stay strong Family.

Everybody else, we love you and can’t wait to introduce you to our Dad!