Wisdom

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Wisdom

The Wisest Pearl

Only fifty out of ten thousand pearls made it to the strand I wore around my neck. They were exquisite! I ran my hand over them as I looked in the mirror wondering if they were freshwater or the crème de la crème of all pearls, Hanadama Akayo pearls. As an uneducated consumer, I was read more

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Called to Serve

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Called to Serve

Looking for a Credible Witness

Calling all those willing to work. Training provided for those chosen. This is a salaried position.

  • Overtime is always required.
  • ou must be available to work nights and weekends read more

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Called to Serve

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Called to Serve

What is Your Mission?

We sometimes blithely think, “Well, if I don’t do what the Lord wants me to do, there will be someone else to take my place.” But, there was no one standing in line to take your place. There are sometimes a task is reserved specifically for read more


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Spiritual Warfare

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Spiritual Warfare

Why You Can't Go a Single Day Without God's Protection

You can’t afford to go a single day without integrating His Word into your life, or conversing with Him in prayer. There are six weapons to wield when facing adversity: worship, self-control, perspective read more

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Pride Proof

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Pride Proof

You Can't Sit Here: These Seats are Reserved

“Excuse me, but you can’t sit there. These seats are reserved.” Slightly embarrassed (or at least I was) we moved our seats. We barely settled in our next seating before we heard, “You can’t sit there either.” To my chagrin, we were asked to move a second time. After all, we were visitors, how read more

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Grief and Loss

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Grief and Loss

Good Grief

Coverage of celebrity statuses is typical for social and other media outlets: especially when their actions result in something salacious. It was shocking, but not unexpected to hear of Lamar Odom’s possible life expiring health crisis. Media reporters scrambled for the sordid details that allegedly led to the incident and provided frequent updates for his condition.

There have been appeals for him to be in our thoughts and prayers to preserve his life and recovery. And many of us are praying. However, I dare to say, his troubles emanated from events that occurred prior to his current tragedy. His inability to effectively deal with the death and loss of loved ones, including losing his Mom to colon cancer at twelve, seems to be the core ill for his psychological and spiritual health.

“Death always seems to be around me, I’ve been burying people for a long time.”   Lamar Odom

A lot of us may feel this way, but it is important to have strong support systems in place when experiencing loss or multiple losses of loved ones. Some of us even struggle with the day to day reality of mortality.

Some use drugs as an escape to the void of nothingness: albeit it a temporary and dire escape from feeling pain. When we have not experienced or seek the peace of God, as believers or the non-confessed, the paths we chose for comfort can inevitably lead to escalated despair. Lamar Odom received notoriety because of his celebrity, but like many of us, he seemed to suffer in isolation and anguish that could have been prevented.

No one has a plan set in stone for overcoming grief. However, understanding the stages of grief can help us navigate the journey for the process of healing. According to authors Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, the five most common categories for these stages are:

1.     Denial – a coping mechanism to reject all we must face when we lose someone, especially those who were close to us or an integral part of our lives. We are in a state of shock merely trying to get from one day to the next.

2.     Anger – when we emerge from the numbness and began to feel again, we often choose to experience anger. It seems a bit more manageable than coming to terms with the hurt you are undoubtedly experiencing. Blame placing emerges during this stage and dissipates as you enter the next.

3.     Bargaining – post loss is primarily associated with often miss-placed guilt. We further burden ourselves with thoughts of “what if” and “If I only had…” Somehow we think our actions could have prevented these inevitable events from occurring.

4.     Depression – refusing to be ignored any longer, the realness of what has transpired surfaces. Along with it comes sorrow, regret and sadness that seems to last an indeterminate amount of time. Without the help of God and His overshadowing, rescuing love, we can get stuck here for what seems like forever.

5.     Acceptance – is not that you are good with grief or the grief becomes good. It is the acceptance that your life will go on without this person or persons as a part of your life. Going on without them is now your accepted reality.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy (Psalm 126:5).

This seems like an impossible truth. As believers, we do not have to sorrow as the world (those who feel hopeless and abandoned) sorrows but, sometimes we do. You may not turn to drugs or alcohol abuse but maybe you escape from the pain of reality in other ways like: over-indulging, distancing yourself from relationships or working excessively to the point of exhaustion. 

Seek spiritual counsel and grief counselling even if you think you are okay. You may be able to provide support for someone else who is stuck. Whether you are sympathetic or empathetic you can offer comfort of the best sort: your presence and wise words of encouragement. Grief can be a good step toward healing.

As you navigate through your process and help others, you can be an example of honoring your loved ones the same as you honor God: by the way you live your life after you’ve known them.

See also:
Psalm 32:10

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

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Life Challenges

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Life Challenges

You Want Me to Surrender? I Thought I Did Already!

When a demand to surrender is made it usually means there is a struggle of some sort in progress. I’m not a soldier or a member of military forces, but I was certainly in a war! However, this particular encounter required a different kind of reply read more

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Life Challenges

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Life Challenges

The Contender: Down for the Count

Unbelievable! He went down again! All eyes were riveted to the man on the mat. Impervious to the hush over the crowd, his concentration was elsewhere. What could be more important than the count to determine the winner of the bout? For him, all that mattered was his count and how long it would take read more

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Goodbye to Negative Emotions

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Goodbye to Negative Emotions

Dear Rejection

Dear Rejection, It has taken me a while to write you this letter. I have put it off because I had a hard time sorting out exactly how I feel about us. I know we have been together for a long time, but I must break up with you. When we first met, I did not like read more

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The Good News

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The Good News

All Things Gospel and More

The “Gospel” has become a subjective term; kidnapped by interpretive geniuses that turn its message into a commercial commodity. It is a common marketing tool to start with bestselling features for a product, in this case the gospel, to entice consumers to purchase goods or services. It seems the hook of grace and promise of prosperity draw read more

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Forgiveness

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Forgiveness

Forgive and Forget Me Not

When we say “I forgive you,” perhaps the subliminal under-cursor is “I forgive you but, don’t expect me to forget about it.” For many of us, the phrase “forgive and forget” does not exist and there are no exceptions to the rule. We know forgiveness is the right thing to do, but does Christ also read more

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Discipleship

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Discipleship

Make Room for the Millennials

What proactive measures can we take to remain serviceable and relevant? The following are five things young adults are looking for in their search for God read more

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Faith

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Faith

Is Your Faith a False-Positive?

Focusing on someone else’s flaws is always easier than admitting our own, right? So, let’s talk about Peter. Peter was bold, passionate, and often spoke beyond what he was capable of or prepared to conquer. When faith required an accompanying action to match the loftiness of his affirmation, he still did not get it. On one read more

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Faith

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Faith

Fast Breakers

While attending a Prayer and Breakfast event, Pastor Alice Hemmeian declared, “Break Fast on Your Faith.” She eloquently expounded that “breakfast” was a compound word that suggests the commencement of an action that had been previously discontinued. On this particular morning, what it meant to break fast was indelibly written on the tablet of my read more

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