Scanning the Psalms – Part III

As I read Psalm chapter three, focusing on verse six, I began to empathize with the Psalmist, David. Friends, the children of God have been going through “hell” from the very beginning. David’s daughter was raped by her brother, his own blood (Absalom) came up against him to try to take over the kingdom and his enemies were real men and women with swords. I wish to add that David committed some sins against God that often makes me wonder, how a man of God’s own heart can stoop so low. However, that’s another topic! Today, I am just considering that David went through a lot. Just as you and I do, we all experience rough times.

I mentioned earlier that I read the entire chapter, but my focus was verse six. It says – “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.”
This was my take-away from this verse. In my mind, if David, who had men with swords seeking for his life could say this, I can. If David, who had to flee his own Kingdom for his safety, because his own men were turning against him, I can. If David, as a youth, was attacked by a trusted adult who wanted to kill him as a result of jealousy, I can. If David, could grieve God’s heart so deeply and still rise up to enjoy his protection, I can.

David demonstrated a faith in God that was unshakable, unmovable and worthwhile.

He said “I laid me down and slept”. This speaks of peace of mind and confidence that everything will be ok, even as he sleeps. Then he says ” I awaked; for the Lord sustained me”. As a result of his confidence and trust in God, he awoke as he expected, feeling satisfied having slept in God’s promises. He immediately acknowledges that it was God who kept him through the night.
I love this commentary by Albert Barnes, it says;
“For the Lord sustained me – He kept me from danger; he preserved me from death. And it is as true now as it was then, that God is the supporter of life when men sleep. He guards us; he causes the action of the heart to be continued as it propels the blood through our frame; he secures the gentle heaving of the lungs, both when we slumber and when we wake.”

For each of us our circumstances are different or challenges vary. But, we can all identify with the need to comfortably sleep at nights knowing that God will keep us safe. I acknowledge that some of you reading this article have not enjoyed such rest because you may be living in fear, guilt, bitterness and regrets or maybe your experiences have lead you to hate God. Once you learn to let these emotions go, your faith in God and His ability to give you true and complete rest would grow.

Featured picture: Grenada Craft Centre – Located just out of Kirani James Boulevard into Port Highway, St. George’s, Grenada.

Scanning the Psalms – Part II

Psalm one is really a simple comparison between the man seeking to walk uprightly and the man who wants nothing to do with God.

Let’s look at the differences:

The Upright

Finds pleasure in reading and studying God’s word.

Bears good, wholesome and healthy fruit.

Anything good he does is likely to be successful.

He is firmly planted and his roots run deep.

When being judged, God will be pleased with him.

The Ungodly

Has no interest in the Word of God; does not respect it.

He may seem to prosper but does not enjoy good success. He “prospers” at the expense of others.

His life of disrespect towards God is marred with pain and regret.

He is like a chaff easily blown away by the wind.

If he does not repent, when being judged God will sadly condemn him.

Now, even in preparing this comparison when I got to number five, I felt a bit uncomfortable.   No one likes to speak of judgement and condemnation.   But then what do you do if the Word of God speaks of it?  Compromise?    It is better to say it as it is, well at least if you want to be called put God first.   It does not mean that you are “speaking the hate language”, it is simply that you hold God’s word above anything else. 

The Word of God contains lots of positives, many passages speaks of his protection, his love, his forgiveness and his grace and it is much easier to accept.   But we must understand that the God of Love is also holy and cannot tolerate sin.  His grace extends to all, but we must expect that if we continuously reject his Grace, there will be consequences.  You see his Grace is that space he gives us to repent and submit to his ways.  Remember though, that it’s our choice to submit to his authority or not to submit, but choosing the latter comes with serious negative consequences.

MY PRAYER:   I pray that anyone who is living a life against God’s principles and guidance would realize that they are travelling a dangerous road and sense his overwhelming love drawing them to his side. I pray they would desire to taste of His everlasting water and abundant life.  I pray that they would truly drink from the well that never runs dry.  IN JESUS NAME, AMEN!

Wish I can speak about God’s love and grace only, but I can’t!  Psalm Chapter one is the Reason!

Featured Picture taken by InspireMe – The Lagoon – Kirani Boulevard, St. George’s. Great place to chill!

Buildings overlooking “The Carenage, St. George’s” – The Cathedral (with clock & tan roof), immediately behind is the St. Joseph Convent (Girls Secondary School) and one step higher is the Presentation Boys’ College (Secondary School).

Am I scornful? Do I take the things of God lightly? Part I

Please enjoy this journey with me as I scan through the Psalms and share snippets of the well written poetic pieces inspired by God himself. Because I love photography so much, I would crown each post with a lovely picture of my homeland, Grenada.

The goal here is to remind us that the Word of God is beautiful, exciting and still true, still relevant and necessary for good success. We all have great dreams but what are great dreams without the purest of knowledge and wisdom?

So let’s begin chroming the Psalms. Today, when I woke up I felt a spark of excitement as I reached for my big black bible. Yes, It was another heavenly idea strolling my way: “I am going to scan through the book of Psalms and look for truths that would remind me of how precious this Book is!”
I reached for my B.I.B.L.E and started at the start, the very beginning! Psalm Chapter 1. It has been a while since I read Psalm Chapter one; such a great Psalm. Thinking about it, it is quite poetic!

Psalm Chapter 1:
God’s word says I am blessed just because I decide to discipline myself by rejecting ungodly advice; advice that is questionable, advice that is contrary to God’s instructions, advice that would lead me outside of God’s plan for my life. I am blessed just trying to be wise! Here is verse 1:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

I researched the word “scornful” before, but my memory needed to be refreshed so I checked it out again. Then I realised, I didn’t want to stop researching the word, but I needed to get ready for work.

Nevertheless the scornful represents someone who rejects God’s authority, scoffs at godly truths, practices and principles. The Scorner makes light of the things of God and the people of God. If we associate too much with the scornful or the scorner, we can be negatively influenced and begin to take God and his principles lightly as well. Imagine you claim to love God and you are sitting with your “friends” sharing demeaning jokes about his servants, about his church and about his work? Scary, right? But it can be easily done.
Sometimes we think we are so liberated and educated that we become puffed up and begin to look down on the faithful, the upright and the man or woman who is still willing to talk about Jesus!
So here is the question? Are you walking or listening to wise counsel, drawing your boundary lines so that you are not influenced by the Scornful?

Featured picture: True Blue Bay Resort – overlooking the St. George’s University, True Blue, St. George.

My Imagination

(Written as a writing challenge inspired by a picture prompt which is the featured picture above – google images)

Maybe it is just a dream, but I would continue to bask in the beauty of my imagination! What I see is pure beauty, tranquility, lush greenery and freedom. Is it really just my imagination? I take a deep breath with my eyelids shut and feed my imagination even more.

My body slips into a trance and every single muscle softens into complete stillness. Then I see the stream, the surface as pure glass, capturing the smile on my face, surreal! My Imagination plunges on desperately to satisfy its desire.

I see a white castle, a mystery to behold. I would love to explore its chambers, its highs and its lows. Maybe, there are dozens of mirrors lining the walls, chandeliers and classy staircases. I am totally consumed by what I see and I think to myself “No, it can’t be my imagination!” I am torn between my fantasy and my reality. My imagination refreshes me.

Happy New Year!

My new year started off with me chilling with family, Mom, Dad, one of my brothers, my dear husband and my kids. I am amazed how the company of my family can give me so much energy, so much comfort, so much refreshing. Happy New Year to my family!

I slept in late and probably awoke some time after 8:00 a.m.; two hours after I was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. I am always excited about cooking for family; there is nothing so fulfilling as when food is served and there are rich discussions, and hearty laughter all fitting together perfectly with the choice dishes of the day. You later glance at their plates and you are pleased to see that the food you prepared, with such passion, was devoured. Good food, good times.

I love cooking for my family! 🙂

Among the many dishes I prepared, with the help of my kids, was a Lasagna dish. This time I did a few things differently and I really loved the outcome. Usually, I would place a layer of shells first before adding a layer of meat, then cheese. This time, I placed minced meat with the sauce at the bottom, as the first layer. I then applied the first layer of shells followed by a second layer of meat & sauce and another layer of cheese. Another thing I did differently, was to mix chopped celery leaves with the cheese. In all I had three layers of cheese and 4 layers of meat with sauce.

My family really enjoyed my Lasagne!

Later in the evening, I was sitting on my porch in the company of my family and I started to think of how important food is to a family affair. The reality is the big family moments were big because good food was a part of the occasion; it is important that we understand the connection between food and great family moments. Food can make or break the occasion; food makes it better. Or let me correct this statement by saying tasty, attractive, well prepared food, makes it better.

I am sure many of you are right this moment cherishing great moments enjoyed during the Christmas Season and on New Years Day. Cherish those memories and treasure family and friends.

The next time you are having guests over, plan your menu well, cook with heart, passion and love. Be sure to prepare more than enough, honour your guest with good food.

As the New Year unfolds, go all out and do your best for the upcoming birthdays, anniversaries and all those special occasions to come.

My wish for you is that “2019” will be a year when you would invest more into seeing great family moments happen. It may require you to up your game or improve your cooking skills. My desire for you is that you would cherish your family and your friends even more in “2019”.

Happy New Year All!

Work towards creating fulfillment in your marriage! Believe it can happen and it will!

When you believe that your marriage could be better, you are willing to exercise patience with your spouse and you are willing to invest time and money towards seeing your faith come to life.

In my own experience, I have been the victim of boring cycles which are created by life’s rat race; sleep, wake, prepare for work and school, go to work and school, return home and if there is any energy left, prepare for the next day.   If no energy left , well…….we’ll figure it out right?  Something or someone is neglected.

However, the sad truth is that we do get comfortable with those cycles and getting comfortable is not really good or healthy for our marriage or our family.    But the glowing truth is that, deep down, we never stop loving each other and we really desire more.  What happens is that many of us don’t try hard enough or make the effort to ensure that the quality of our marriage improves. We succumb to the pressures of life and rather than see it as an opportunity to become more disciplined, we throw our hands up thinking “I can’t do any better”. “I am so beat”, “He/She understands”.

In this article my aim is to encourage you to constantly work towards a richer, fuller marriage, amidst the rat race.    Take control of your day, your activities and your time and don’t forget that it is ok to have limits.   Decide, when you have put in enough extra hours at work and it is time to head home. Constantly keep in mind, the need for balance and the need to give attention to your spouse. Yes, your spouse needs attention to.

Let’s look at a few practical ways to enrich our marriage even when there are crazy schedules coming at us:

  1. Regularly update your spouse: Every moment, whether you are just calling to say hi or to remind your spouse of an errand, or you are at home in the kitchen fixing something  to eat, update. Maybe the gardener had to postpone his appointment to clean the yard this week-end, update.  Maybe, your sister said she would pass by tomorrow, update.   Maybe your Pastor invited you to attend a meeting at the church on short notice, update.  If you both have a habit of updating each other or mentioning “stuff” through-out the day, you would most likely know the same thing, most times, and it is less likely that either of you would feel left out, or get upset as a result of not being in the know.   This can avoid conflict and clashes of events and activities.   If you practice updating regularly you are actually helping to strengthen bonds and trust between you and your spouse.   Tell him what’s on, all the time; tell her what’s on, all the time. Leave no room for your spouse to wonder “What is she not telling me?” Do you remember when we were younger and we were excited about sharing everything with our best friend? It’s the same thing actually!
  2. Do not alienate your spouse; make him or her part of your work-life as much as possible.    For example, if your Employer is having a staff party and you are allowed to invite your spouse, do not hesitate to do so.   Many employers today are beginning to understand the value of recognising  and showing an interest in the families of their employees.  This would allow you and your spouse to share work-related experiences together, while he or she is allowed to get to meet your co-workers and build an appreciation for the caliber of persons you work with.
  3. You must sacrifice your own personal time for time together.  Put off the beauty regime or the lime with the guys, ignore the phone, the television, the personal projects and just do nothing but chill with your spouse.   If he or she is eating, chill on the chair close by, if he or she is enjoying their favourite TV show, get comfy next to them and enjoy it too.   If he or she decides to read, grab a book and read too.  :).   It does make sense, try it.   Just being in each other’s company is enriching and provides companionship. Companionship in Marriage is always a need to be filled.
  4. Create life and memories around your spouse’s favourite things and people; for example, if your husband loves barbecue, plan a barbecue and invite a few of his close friends, if you wife loves popcorn and movies, select a good movie and get that corn popping. Maybe your husband enjoys walking the dog, join him. There is so much we can do to enrich our lives and our marriage; many of them are also simple activities that cost nothing or very little. Each one of us have the responsibility of creating life, fun, happiness and adventure. Here are some other ideas: prepare a tania-log pot under the moonlight, play table games, go bowling together, go driving, or on a road trip and visit family and shared friends, go to the grocery together, attend events together, yes, get all dressed up and go out. Volunteer to manage the Sunday School Ministry together, or the outreach programme, or the Youth Ministry. The list is endless; I am sure you may have ideas of your own.
  5. Finally, seek to understand where you spouse is at in their development and support efforts to grow, develop or rise to a higher level. The worse thing we could do as married individuals is to discourage our spouses from starting that new project, whether it is to pursue higher education or to learn a new sport or to start a bible study group or reach out to someone in need; whatever it is, if it is pure and healthy, support, support, support.

I hope these few thoughts encourage you to take steps to ensure your marriage exerts life, energy and a healthy positive spirit that would be contagious, giving hope to other married couples, who are desperately in need of it. It takes commitment, discipline and sacrifice but it is doable. Aim for better, richer and for greater. Don’t settle for mediocrity and boredom in your marriage! Be honest and admit that your marriage is not at its best and desire better always.

I love aiming for better, I love aiming for “best”. It is also part of God’s purpose for our lives; he wants us to reflect his character in how we live with our spouse daily. God is an awesome God of life, beauty and joy!

Featured picture taken from Google images.

Worship Expressions

Psalm 145 verses 1 & 2:

“I will extol thee, my God, O King; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.”

I think of you every day, I think of you when I awake, as I am engaged in my daily duties, in those moments when I feel overwhelmed and in those moments when I am soberly in control of my thoughts.

Daily, my hand reaches out to you, desiring your attention, your blessings, your wisdom.

My desire, like the Psalmist David, is to bless you everyday. I want to know, without a doubt, that my heart is pursuing you as a Deer pursue’s water in a dry land.

Sometimes, I think life is so unfair, corrupt and complicated, but then I remember you and there is that safe place, there is that safe place when I lay down my burdens and I look up to your face.

“Everyday” speaks of discipline, loyalty, commitment and true adoration. That’s what you deserve, all the Glory, all the Honour, all the WORSHIP, DAILY!