Posts Tagged ‘love’

Written in support of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month:

GOD’s glory is so overwhelming, we can sense Him all around us– if we just take time to perceive it. Welcome back to the 6th installment of ” Yep…I See You Jesus.” May your senses be more attuned to His presence day by day.

She looked vaguely familiar, but on further probing, we discovered we hadn’t met before. As she prepared to leave my office, her hand on the doorknob, she casually mentioned she was looking forward to going to Atlantic City for a few days with friends. Me wishing her a good time seemed like a welcomed opportunity to vent her feelings and share her story.

You see this beautiful gracious woman was one of a few siblings. Let’s call her Ms. Betty as an anonymous name. Yet she is the primary caretaker of a sister with Alzheimer’s disease – we’ll call her Ms. Lou. Alzheimer’s is a disease that mostly affects the brain and leads primarily to problems with memory, judgement and other high functioning intellectual activities. To have a loved one with this terrible disease is to witness them slowly slipping from your grasp on a steady decline right before your eyes.

With the family not recognizing the early stages of the disease, they mistakenly took her offensive and aggresive behavior as personal insults. Consequently, harboring fresh wounds from her uncontrollable tirades in times long passed, children and grandchildren had largely abandoned her. Furthermore, Ms. Lou had a boyfriend who endeavored to stand by her side, but in the end the devastation of her condition proved to be too much for him. Ms. Lou even has a twin sister– surely the genetic and spiritual bond that twins share would draw her almost identical counterpart to never forsake her. But riddled with fear that Ms. Lou’s fate would be her own, Ms. Lou’s condition pains her twin to see her.

Which leaves my patient Ms. Betty– who does everything for her sister short of living with her. Whether it’s cooking, overseeing her medical care, simply being present or a listening ear, Ms. Betty is her sister’s light in a very dark and devastating world, despite having her own marriage, children and grandchildren. In her times of mental clarity Ms. Lou questions her sister about her family. An innocent victim of Alzheimer’s, she doesn’t comprehend how she has hurt them. But on good days she laughs, jokes, wonders about her past and seems like her old self.

Despite it all, she knows her sister is her rock. Her constant grateful utterance “I don’t know what I would do without you” tells us that Ms. Betty’s love for her sister has transcended the walls of this disease. Sometimes it’s not enough to just act like Jesus. For some we must literally become like Jesus in someone’s life– bringing His presence, love, joy and hope.

Well done Ms. Betty– yep I see you Jesus.

The glory of God is all around us if we would just take time to perceive it. I hope to share with you when time allows how I see God’s beauty, love and glory shining in my life and the life of others even in the most seemingly ordinary ways. Here we go…

A time of silence, solitude and sitting before God was in order. So I booked a quick solo island getaway to do just that. Excited for the warmth and serene environment, I headed straight to the beach shortly after checking in. Passing the tour desk I quickly glimpsed a couple talking to the tour agent. I honestly thought to myself: “that’s an odd couple” and continued on.

She was at least a foot taller than him…. and mind you that was in flats. She was black, while with him being olive skinned it was hard to tell his origins. With her height and solid build she seemed to overpower him. Seeing them a few times over my stay I wondered what things they shared in common, what other non apparent differences lie between them and what was the story behind their love?

On my final night at dinner they happen to be seated next to my table. In my curiosity I peaked over a few times.  The connection, chemistry and camaderie between them was undeniable.
In the end after seeing their apparent happiness throughout the weekend, their differences didn’t matter. His obvious reservedness was a compliment to her more outgoing nature and for now they just seem to “fit.” The other couple I saw on my last day before leaving paradise— the 4 foot little person with his 5 foot 8 partner– served to reiterate the point.

God has made us in our own unique beauty, but in His love for all of us we should all fit together in love for one another. Whether that love is romantic, familial, neighborly or just as fellow human beings, let us all live connected together despite our differences…. in the adhesive of LOVE… yep I see you Jesus.

Some of the best advice I’ve heard on several occasions is to intentionally try to meet God daily. In other words we must become attuned to where He is active, present and very much at work in our lives and the world around us despite the negativity that threatens to overshadow His glory and bring discouragement on our respective journeys.
Hence in my attempt to adhere to that wisdom and keep my eye on Jesus, I would love to share with you (whenever time allows, I’m not too lazy to write and for as long as I feel I should do it lol) an example of where I see God daily, especially through my encounters with people and in the lives of others.
So here we are at entry #3.

We started out as ordinary coworkers—she was my medical assistant to be exact. She is an immigrant from Bangledesh while I am an immigrant from Jamaica. She is a devout Muslim, while I am a devout Christian. Between us there is about a 7 year age difference—no need to venture into the specific numbers. Yet despite our differences in just a few short years she has become a dear friend. It was one day at work that I broke down in tears and shared with her some heavy burdens I had been carrying in my personal life. Sure I had plenty of people to talk to and as a matter of fact I had confided in some close to me. But that particular day it was too much. That day, my Muslim friend from Bangladesh in the middle of a slow work day was a safe haven where I could be real, raw and vulnerable. She provided a space where I could bare my soul and receive the truth, comfort and gentle love I needed at that moment. Two people from very different worlds, yet God used her to minister to me about FAITH in a way that few people ever have– Christian or otherwise.

It’s easy to expect support from the likely staples in your life in the form of family and longtime friends. But only God can use the most unexpected circumstances and unlikely people to reach you just where you are when you need Him most. The light of Jesus shone through my new confidante that day despite our seemingly vast differences….yep I see you Jesus.

Side note: Thank you sis Sharon D. Highland for holding me accountable to keep posting after getting lax during the holiday. Lol. I so appreciate you. Iron sharpens iron. Blessings to you 🙂

Some of the best advice I’ve heard on many occasions is to intentionally try to meet God daily. In other words we must become attuned to where He is active, present and very much at work in our lives and the world around us despite the negativity that threatens to overshadow His glory and bring discouragement on our respective journeys.

Hence in my attempt to adhere to that wisdom and keep my eye on Jesus, I would love to share with you (whenever time allows, I’m not too lazy to write and for as long as I feel I should do it lol) an example of where I see God daily, especially through my encounters with people and in the lives of others.
So here we are at entry #2. This particular encounter took place at work where a fellow associate in another department tends to eat poorly and sometimes neglect his health issues. It’s not uncommon for us to lovingly scold him in regards to his poor management of his health.

On this particular day in his absence, a superior comes to me and says that the employee looked pretty sick earlier in the week and he was very concerned. With passion and intensity came the plea: “You gotta talk to him doc. I’m really worried about him.” The look on this man’s face and the concern in his voice was one like a father who is concerned for his son.
I don’t know about you but how many bosses would seize the opportunity to talk to a medical professional for the benefit of the employee simply because they care so deeply? Wouldn’t our work environments be more efficient and productive if it were filled with such love, selflessness and positive energy across the board?
The love of God is definitely in that relationship…yep I see you Jesus.

 

Stillirise323

The way I sleep with my eyes half open, sometimes snoring if I’m really tired– He loves that. The way I suck my tongue ( ask Caribbean people what this means) and squeeze my pillow– He adores it. That fiery side– yep He loves that spice. My funny looking second long toe– He thinks its adorable. My singing off key in the shower– melts His heart. The way I come to Him after avoiding Him–  arms are always still open. Nappy or natural, dressed up or dressed down, overweight or slim, toned or flabby, smelling stinky or sweet, on my A game or a hot mess, walking righteous or straying off course, getting it right or when I’m way off the mark– God loves me, Jesus adores me, the Holy Ghost embraces me. And they love you too. Just as you are, right where you are. It’s a love beyond comprehension that we often forget, never truly embrace and fail to understand. It is that love that when I contemplate the reality of it, let go and  receive it and allow myself to be washed in it, that love  comforts, motivates and lifts me. And I sincerely pray that you, that I, that we will all be free, refreshed, healed, complete  and empowered in His love.

 

Love lifted me…and yet still I rise

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always

 

Stillirise323

Good morning friends,
This morning I was sharing this message with a friend of mine going through a difficult time where she has been mistreated and I felt led to share more globally. It is something I am sure many of you have heard before and already know. However, sometimes as we go through our difficulties, we are feeling low or people make us feel like we are less than we are, we forget and take God’s love for granted. I pray this will minister to someone and serve as a reminder to us all. You are loved!


Jeremiah 31:3 New International Version
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

Roman 8.26 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Good morning! This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in this day! No matter what we are facing we are alive and God is for us! So we always win!

God is so amazing. The scripture is saying you don’t have to have fancy words to pray. Just talk to God sincerely. And sometimes when we are so distressed and don’t have the words, the Spirit of God that is in us will go to God on our behalf. Even when we don’t have the words to speak God understands when we groan, cry out or just send thoughts and prayers to Him in our mind. He knows our heart. And He has compassion for us. No matter what we do God loves us even in our flaws. Don’t try to compare God’s love to human love. Although it is hard not too. God loves us in a way that is hard for us to imagine.

He loves you when you do well or even when you mess us. He loves the murderer, the robber and the thief. He loves the liar, the prostitute and the con artist. He may not love our actions but He loves us. He loves us all. He just wants you to surrender to Him, let Him take control, heal you and change you for the better. So you can be the very best you can be.
Even when people don’t love you or treat you right remember God loves you! You are loved! You are His beloved! You are His daughter (or son), His princess (or prince), His masterpiece, His treasure, His joy! Receive and be healed in God’s love.

Everyday wake up, look in the mirror and say: I am God’s , masterpiece! God loves me! God loves me and I love me! I am loved!

With peace and blessings may you be restored and renewed in God’s love!

Stillirise323

It is never easy to lose a loved one. We miss the sound of their voice, the warmth of their embrace  and the very scent that defines them.  Yes even for those of us who trust and believe that heaven is our final destination, in our humanity, the grief of loss is a pain that is comparable to none.  A verse that is often used for comfort or is commonly used in times of grief reads “to be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). In other words, we can find some comfort in knowing that death takes us from the  perils, suffering and devastations of this world and brings us to an unimaginable place of joy and ecstasy, as we stand in the very presence of God.  

But as I read this verse a few weeks ago, The Lord would show me a different perspective. We don’t have to wait to be literally absent from the body through death to be present with The Lord.  We can be present with The Lord in this life. How?  By choosing to be absent from the body of our “fleshly ways” and walking in the power of the Spirit.  Besides the literal meaning of what our bodies are, that being the physical aspect of ourselves, metaphorically the “body” or “flesh” biblically represents the aspects of ourselves that are earthly, sinful, carnal. It is through the medium of the sinful flesh that we lie, steal, cheat, hate, walk in pride, lust, anger and indulge in all things sinful.

When we have a carnal or fleshly mindset it separates us from God. How could this be? Simply because the carnal mind is enmity(hostile) against God; it is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can  be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:7-8, NKJV). So not only does the flesh or a carnal/fleshly mindset offend God, but it literally causes us to be hostile toward God. If not put in check, it pushes us away from the very Source of our life. That’s why every day, every minute, every second, we have to make the decision to be “absent from the body, so we can be present with Lord” even in this life. This however cannot not be done with sheer motivation or will-power. We alone, in our limited sinful human capacity cannot overcome the “flesh” on our own. We must accept the free gift of salvation through making Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Then God’s Holy Spirit, through our cooperation and submission, will transform us to become more like Christ. Just like Jesus willingly gave up his flesh to be crucified, through the power of the Holy Spirit fortifying and empowering our own spirit, we can crucify those fleshly ways. We can deaden that fleshly mindset that is hostile and contrary to God. We can begin to walk in holiness, righteousness and become all who God has called us to be. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can have access to God’s presence and all the benefits that it entails–indescribable love, peace, joy, wisdom, guidance, supernatural power and everything we need to endure the trial of this life.

It will not happen overnight. I’m not saying it is alway comfortable. The flesh to be sure does not go down easily or submit willingly. It will fight submission to God. You will even fight yourself. You may still say an unkind word when the Spirit says to hold your peace; you may still lie sometimes when you know it is wrong; you may still feel some bitterness when God says to love. Transformation is a lifelong process. But know that through the limitless power of the Holy Spirit it can be done. You can adapt the mind of Christ. You can the enjoy the presence of His Presence in the present…..and yet still I rise.

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,
Stillirise323