Monday, November 16, 2015

Where is God?




The tragedies and sorrows that occur in this world are untelling. 
We live in a world, where tragedy takes on so many faces and enters the doors to our lives abruptly, without permission, as if it were bound to us. It's as if, once we wake up in the morning, the world desires to drown us in its sorrow and dictate to us how we will live the course of our lives. Most often, after this happens, we have two choices as to how we will live our lives and that is in joy or in defeat.

We've all had our fair share of what tragedy is. Some more than the other. Some might have faced major tragedies through the death of an unborn child, loss of a family member or friend due to health deterioration or an act of injustice, getting kicked out of school due to financial issues, house eviction, parents divorce, gun violence or minor tragedies like a breakup, failing a class, missing a test  etc. 

We live in a world that perceives Christians as people who are insensitive and emotionally immune to sorrows. Im a Christian, that does not mean I'm not human, I'm not ignorant to what goes on in the world. I am well aware of its sorrows and my sorrows. My heart breaks for this world and also the downsides of what happens in my world. 

People go through tragedy and turn to atheism. Atheism is prevalent in the world and in America alone 1 in 4 unchurched adult is Atheist. Most atheist are atheist because they have a problem with evil. They don't understand how a loving God can entertain and allow evil (that discussion is for another post). Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus once stated, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence come evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" As you can see people turn to atheism because they don't understand God and and how God fits into their tragedy, and also the tragedy of the world.

There has been different prominent issues going on around the world, most recently the tragedy concerning the Isis attack in Paris, followed by the injustice concerning black lives in America, the issue of Boko Haram in Nigeria and so much more.  Also, theres a conflict on social media concerning our cares for these tragedies. People are offended that more value is being placed on Paris and less on issues in America and the other parts of the world. 

Unlike us humans, God doesn't only care about one of the worlds issues, He cares about all of the worlds issues. God does not take sides or favors hashtags. He does not place more value on team 'Pray for Paris,' while He places less value on team Black Lives Matter.  
He cares about everything and everything in between. The only team that considers all sides of the fence is His team -- team 'Bring Redemption to the World.'

So the question now is "Where is God in the face of all of these tragedies in the world?" Where was He in your personal defeats? Where was He when your mom died?  Where was He when you failed that class? Where was He when your dad raped you? Where was he where your parents got that divorce? Where was He when Matthew Ajibade was murdered in jail? Where was He when Trayvon Martin was killed? Where was He when a girl was killed in cold blood at the concert in paris? Where was He? 
 The answer is He was in the midst of it all. It says in Isaiah 53:3 that Jesus was a man of many sorrows, so God understands and knows what it means to be sorrowful. I will never know why exactly these things had to happen and there is actually no answer that will bring enough comfort to bring that loved one back. All I know is that is says in Psalm 34:18 that God is near to the broken hearted and He saves those who spirits are crushed. Where is God? He is in your circumstance with you.

 It says in the word that God was in Jesus reconciling the world back to him (2 Corinthians 5:19). The heart of God is redemption and reconciliation. His heart breaks for every inch of this world. Whether it be the popular and least popular tragedies. Whether the person that was killed was Black, White, Yellow, Hispanic, Asian. God cares. Why? Because He made the human and He sent His son for that person. 

The heart of God is for us to consider everything that goes on in the world, and pray. If your heart breaks for something in particular, that is God's way of showing you your purpose. His way of telling you to bring His kingdom to Earth in that area. 





- Grace and Peace
Nicole.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mind||Matter


So everyone on earth longs for realness; we want our spouse, sibling, friend e.t.c to be real with us right? I haven't met anyone who genuinely likes facades. 
Even Paul the apostle was real in the letters he wrote to the different churches. 
A lot of times, i notice that we christians read the word with structured and limited emotions, meaning, we limit our emotions to keenness so we miss out on the joy and fun in reading the word. 
In my opinion, when you're in a relationship with God, you're already aware that He's more than a boring Sunday service, He is fun and He has emotions, so Paul's realness spill in Second Corinthians had me laughing!

Here's the scenario - Paul intended on returning back to the church in Corinth for a visit but he didn't, why is this? Because he was going to literally kirk on them and for my readers who don't know what kirk means, it means "to flip out on someone".

"Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason i didn't return to Corinth was to spare you from a severe rebuke" 2 Corinthians 2:22-23

To all my bible scholars out there i know you all are professionals at biblical words like "rebuke"
but for people like me (lol), i'm going to explain, rebuke means to criticize sharply and Paul said He was going to severely rebuke the Corinthian church. 
How real?
He had to postpone his trip to Corinth because he was confident that the Corinthian church wasn't able to receive the rebuke well. 
Side note : The reason why Paul was going to kirk on the Corinthian church was because they started believing lies so it pained Paul's heart..as much as it hurt God's.
They were exchanging Gods truth for a lie..

Back to the topic!
So my fellow readers, i'm about to get realer then real with you on this post.
Because the same way God set me free through his truth
i want it to set you free, those of you who are "exchanging His truth for a lie"
 A couple of days ago, I was on Instagram scrolling through "The Funny Christians" Instagram page and i saw the picture below and of course i laughed, screenshot-ted it, not knowing days later
God was going to use it to minister to me. 
"For you will know The Truth and The Truth will set you free" 
John 8:32

                                             
The picture above is hilarious, but his face expression..shows more than being surprised, it shows amazement.
The person in the picture is John Salmons, former player of the Milwaukee bucks & the picture was probably taken immediately he missed his shot (or something of that nature), and that was his natural reaction to something that spontaneous, so imagine what was going through his head, it was probably "How in the world did that happen?" Think about it, isn't it only right that some genius on the other side of the world made a meme about a single female Christian that suited that facial expression?. The expression shows that he's amazed that he finally found & began to gaze on a jewel so rare, and in amazement He's thinking "How in the world...did that happen?".
 God finally got it through to me, that i'm worth something, something very far more expensive than a ruby.
 Ladies..You all are too


Whats your worth?
"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies."

"Rubies have consistently been the most valued gemstone in the world. Over time, the ruby has been considered as more valuable than diamonds of similar quality and carat weight. Rubies are graded on color, clarity, cut and carat weight. Color and carat weight play a big part when it comes to rating the full value of a ruby."  



Amazing and beautiful right?, but guess what? God says that we are worth MORE than rubies.
Proverbs 31 :10-24 was a letter written from a mother to a son 
Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

ENOUGH WITH PURSUIT!

I love the NIT Version that starts of with "A wife of noble character, who can find?" , the question posed is inquisitive, in layman terms its "man, for real who can find a virtuous woman?". One can only ask that question when what he/she is looking for is scarce.

Your love for God and how you embody Him in your character, personality, gracefully represent His excellence in your word and deed....is beyond beautiful and scarce.


 Here comes the twist.
If we are so scarce, then why exactly are we females 
 so interested in pursuing someone that doesn't even acknowledge our scarcity?
  You would know you're in this unfortunate circumstance because you're doing the pursuing 
 no he's not shy, no he's not busy, no his phone service isn't bad. 

better yet, why do we insist on dwelling on those feelings and thoughts that do not recognize that our worth that is far more than rubies.
The verse says "who can find" in all versions of the bible on purpose, in fact, even the MSG version says "She's hard to find". Why? because its like a treasure hunt and you're the treasure, & because its of the male species hunting nature, they are naturally inclined to search, he knows what he's looking for, he sees clues but not the treasure and wont rest until he finds it and once he finally finds you,  in amazement he's going to have the face expression of John Salmons with thoughts running through his head like.. "How in the world...did she happen?"


Ladies, i urge you to allow God to set the bar for you. Acknowledge and embrace your worth. You don't pursue, you attract unknowingly because you'll be wrapped up doing the will of God and Gods will is attractive to whoever God has for you, he is going to come.
I will also urge you to not wait around for someone to complete you cause that will never happen only God can complete us and he will always satisfy our every need, if you study proverbs 31 well you will notice that your spouse was just made to compliment you
I pray the truth about how God feels about you begins to renew your mind and you encounter your freedom
Start to walk in  boldness and your God-given identity and wholeness.

"The only reason why the Proverbs 31 woman can be previewed as "Perfect" is because she is a product of the God who lives within Her, the only thing perfect about her...is Him" - Unknown





- Love you all!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Diary of a Not So Wimpy Kid.

* I pray that this post will be a source of encouragement to those with sad/worried/anxious hearts.
Enjoy !*


So this wonderful evening, I've come up with two great rhetorical questions that i would like for you to think on, yes!, YOU!

 1. What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?

2. If you could change what happened, would you?

They're rhetorical questions - you kind of don't really have to answer them!. But why did i ask? well, continue reading so you can find out!


So, before Jesus went back to Heaven, he spoke to the disciples on different facets of things; from your purpose in life, to the job of the Holy spirit, all the way down to how to respond when someone slaps you, and in the book of John we meet Jesus speaking to his disciples on things that will happen to them in the future.  In the MSG (Message) version of John 16 verse 33, Jesus continues his conversation with the disciples and tells them 
  "I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world.". The popular NLT (New Living Translation) version says "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

I quote this verse because i believe sometimes were told lies about how fun every step of life is/should be. We tend to believe that life will be a smooth ride and once we encounter a bump or two or ten  we turn into wimps and our power goes from 100 to 0 (reeeaaallll quick), we begin to either doubt God or just respond to our "bump(s)" in an unhealthy way that doesn't please God. 

But Jesus tells us the reality of this life; that there will be sad times, bad times, the "i just want to give up times"...but he doesn't just leave us there, he also tells us to how to respond, he says "take heart!" in the original Greek text, "take heart" is "tharseo" meaning "good courage, good cheer and boldness." 
What is courage? courage is staring your mountain right in the face and still saying
 "One of us is going to have to move and its not me!"
"One of us is going to be shaken and its not me!"
"One of us was built to last and it is me!"


Jesus Christ wants us to respond to our bumps with boldness.
If you feel weak in this moment, i want to encourage you that Jesus Christ is near to you.(Psalm 34:18)
 Ask him to make you BRAVE.

So let me ask these not so rhetorical questions again 
1. What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?...
2. If you could change what happened, would you?...

    the mountain is right there..
FACE IT AND RESPOND.




What would happen when sons and daughters of God responded to their situations just.... like.... God? 
"The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion" Proverbs 28:1

Thanks for reading!
I Love You
- Nicole J.







Monday, January 26, 2015

"Good" People



Happy New Year Everyone!
Its 2015!!!!!
 I pray you receive everything the Lord Jesus has for you this year.

So lately, i have been pondering on the word "good"...
What does it mean to be good?
You could ask your friend if their hungry and they'd respond "i'm good" or you could ask your sobbing roommate "whats wrong?" and (s)he'd respond that their "good" when they're clearly acting the opposite, better yet you could ask someone why they'd think they'll make it to heaven and they would respond "because i'm a good person" and then go on to speak about their "good" charitable deeds. 
According to Merriam Webster good means to be "virtuous , righteous, commendable" etc. 
but..
SAD REALITY CHECK
We live in a world where "goodness" is dependent upon your own personal experience and perception. In other words, there's no such thing as absolute "good" because everyone's standard of good is different. For instance, Mother Teresa, many can state she is a good person ( i could say it too, shes one of my inspirations) but yet, on the other hand, many can also state that Adolf Hitler was a good person also, just ask both of their followers. 



So, the real question is
What will get me into heaven and what is the standard of true goodness? 
good question!
In Mark 10, a man comes kneeling before Jesus and calls him "Good Teacher" and Jesus responds, "Why do you call me good, only God is truly good"


In this moment, Jesus Christ told us the standard for goodness and it is God. If your "good" and you don't have God then you're not "good", if you do good things aside from believing in Jesus then it isn't "good". Isaiah 64:6 states that our "good" acts are like filthy rags before God.
But i have good news! 
You no longer have to be dependent upon your moral character or good charitable acts to get you into heaven (because its shaky, one day you're nice, the next you're not). God is giving you an opportunity to fully trust and  believe in what Jesus did and come into a relationship with Him then that will start off your walk with him on earth into Heaven. 
Jesus died to reconcile us to the father, He died for a relationship. 

Knowing & Jesus knowing you (relationship) is what will get you into heaven.


Matthew 7:23




Thanks for reading!
I Love You
- Nicole J. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Intimate Following

A - Loha everyone! Welcome to my blog!

Before you read the article below, Id encourage you to read at a mediocre pace so you can meditate and allow the words to come alive in your heart. 

Enjoy! 

Rhetorical Question of the day 
Do you often find yourself doing something for God (i.e serving in church)  without [knowing] the God you're doing stuff for? Or do you say you [know] God yet have a problem following & obeying him?
Well i hope this post meets you well, i pray you learn something new. 

Who is a Disciple? 
Greek word a "Mathetes" - A learner ; pupil , student , follower
  • A disciple refers to a person who is committed to following a great leader, emulating his life and passing on his teaching (bible.org) 
  • A person called to be with & follow his teacher - Mark 3:14
  • A disciple is one who believes and follows the teachings of another, and desires to learn more of his masters will (ehow)
  • One who imitates his teacher
Here are some Interesting Facts on the 12 disciples 
  • They were ignorant
  • They were unskilled
  • They were ordinary
  • They were recognized as men who had been with Jesus  - Acts 4:13
  • Theologians argue that The 12 Disciples were teenagers except Peter (Matthew 17:24-27), why? because you had to be over 20 to pay taxes 
  • "Jewish children began intensive study of the scriptures at young ages, but concluded by age 15. For those bright (or wealthy) enough, higher education consisted of studying under a local rabbi, and if they were distinguished, they could begin teaching at the age of 30. If they didn't find a rabbi that accepted them as a student (much like college entrance application), then they entered workforce by their midterms. The disciples, already must have been rejected by formal education by other rabbis when Jesus hand-picked them for further education as his disciples" 
  • God used 12 messed up, ordinary boys to turn the world upside down - Acts 17:6
When you know the heart of God then you'll understand his ways. It's good to know why & how God picked the twelve disciple instead of just knowing he picked 12 disciples.

  • "Perhaps the transformation of the disciples of Jesus is the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection" - John R. W. Stott

Two Responsibilities 

Before God appointed the disciples to do what He called them to do He gave them two responsibilities; 
  1.   Be with Him (know Him)
  2.  Follow Him
Before you can effectively live out the purpose God has for you
& be an powerful disciple of Jesus Christ you have both of those responsibilities to act upon.
Be With Him 

Matthew 10:1 - Jesus Called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness 
Mark 3:14 -He climbed a mountain and invited those he wanted with him. They climbed together. He settled on twelve, and designated them apostles. The plan was that they would be with him (MSG)
Mark 3:14 - And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach ( KJV) 

Quick Fact : This word "with"'is a preposition and the job of a preposition is to link nouns,pronouns & phrases to other words in a sentence . The preposition precedes a noun/pronoun to show the noun/pronouns relationship to another word in the sentence (let that sink in) 

So now the word "with" comes before the word "him" to link , connect or show the the relationship between "him"  and the disciples 

With means - alongside of, next to or in the company of

And the relationship between Jesus and the disciples is targeted towards them being " with him" 

God has called us to be with Him and enjoy him; I believe most times we Christians are very bent on following Gods "big" commands that we forget to enjoy his initial command -- to be with him. 

Be with Me = Intimacy 

1 Corinthians 1: 9 -  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord 
  • Fellowship in Greek means - koinonia - means communion, joint participation, intimacy
  • The bible verse doesn't indicate the fellowship of his church, or the fellowship of your brothers & sisters in Christ but he called us into the fellowship of his son .

What is Intimacy ?
  • a close, familiar and affectionate personal relationship
  • a close association with deep or understanding of a place, person , subject etc
  • An act or expression service as a token of familiarity or affection
  • A feeling of belonging together
  • Closeness, familiarity, understanding, confidentiality, friendship 
  • In- To - Me - You - See : allowing someone to look inside you and also, to know the real you 
  • taking the risk to be close to someone and allowing that someone to step inside your personal boundaries 
  • Connecting with someone on every level; physical, emotional & spiritual 
To be intimate with God means to know God 
to be familiar with him, to belong to him, to allow him to look inside of you and know the real you etc




Follow Him

               In order to effectively follow God you have to be with himYou can't follow God without being with him, because it is only when you're with him that you can truly follow him. Also , you can't be with God without following him; you develop a true desire to follow God by being with Him. 

The disciples were able to fully follow God because they were intimate with him 


Follow means;
to come or go after , proceed behind , to go in the direction of; be guided by.

I believe Jeremiah 2:5 depicts what it looks like to follow.
Jeremiah 2:5 :
Thus saith The Lord, what iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?" (KJV) 
 "This is what The Lord says: what fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me?They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves (NIT) 
"Hear Gods message, house of Jacob! Yes, You- House of Israel! Gods Message : "What did your ancestors find fault in me that they drifted so far from me, Took up with Sir Windbag and turned into windbags themselves?"  (MSG)

After reading this bible verse its evident that there's something that happens when you follow.
  • when you follow something/someone - you start to behave like that thing /person.
  •  what you follow you become.
  • What you go after - you become 
  • When you follow in someone's footsteps you become like that person 
  • Even our thought patterns displaying an act of following, Proverbs 23:7  states "as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is". There is a thought process that you have & follow and the more you follow that thought pattern the more you become those thoughts 
  • You are a product of what you follow 

God knows the power of a follow, no wonder he wanted it to become our 2nd responsibility 

First responsibility: get to know him , be intimate with him , fellowship with him. Then the second responsibility comes in : follow him so you can be a product of him. 

Bible verses on "follow me" 
Luke 9: 23 -"  Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and carry their cross daily and follow me"  

  • We always quote the "Carry your cross" part and leave out the second commandment.
  • "Carry your cross and follow me", funny thing is...you won't be able to carry your cross without following God. 

Whatever your cross is God says "carry it", but he doesn't leave you there, he says "carry it and follow me". Why?, because there's power behind a follow. As you begin to follow God with that cross on your back you begin to see how God handles the cross and you start to walk in his footsteps.Your thought process becomes transformed and you begin to see the joy behind that cross, so you're furthermore encouraged to carry that cross and endure that cross and the end product is becoming like Jesus... as you're carrying your cross.

 Follow God and Find Purpose 

John 15 :1-5 states that we are the branches. The purpose of a branch is to hold out the leafs to collect water and sunlight.
In relation to this, we the disciples are the branches & the purpose of is to be naturally effective, what does this look like?  Picture making disciples & teaching them to obey Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20)

God is so creative to the point that there is no specific surrounding to make a disciple (let that sink it) 
                                                  Peter


Peter is an example of a disciple who was with God & followed Him in spite of the mistakes he made, and through that avenue he was able to live out the life God had for him.

No matter how many times peter failed his tests, no matter how many times he messed up; he still followed & remained in God .
Peters purpose was to become the rock in which the disciples and the rest of the disciples were gonna make & build the church on. 
If peter stopped fellow-shipping with God, if he stopped following God, if he stopped remaining in God, he would have not been able to produce fruit and live up to the meaning of his name 

                            Take care of your 2 responsibilities 
  • Be with God 
  • Follow God 
& then you can become like God while you achieve the purpose God has for you 

Selah...
Love you all!
- Nicole 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Jesus Is Loving Barabbas"



Jesus Vs. Barabbas
The story is found in Mark 15
I don't feel the need to write about much on this post because the video below sums up everything, i would strongly encourage you all to watch this 8 minute clip from Pastor Judah Smiths sermon titled "Jesus is Loving Barabbas" 
 enjoy...


*Kudos to the person who made the video too!, awesome Job* 


Monday, August 19, 2013

QuoteMeal of the Week


"Do not buy into the messages and promises of peace and prosperity in the new year without any reference to holiness, repentance, reconciliation and sanctification. These false messages and messengers fail to address the sin that engulfs your life by making you believe that peace and prosperity is yours even in your backslid-den condition. These are just like the last days of Judah. Don't be fooled by the hype" - Cornelius Lindsey 



*The sign says "Christians Beware"*