Let me just be clear about something. As long as we are in this body we will never be perfect, however by the blood of Jesus we are perfected. Hebrews 10:14(CEV) says, “By his one sacrifice he has forever set free from sin the people he brings to God.” This means the blood that Jesus shed for us, covers us for a lifetime. We are going to have our flaws, but that doesn’t mean we should abuse God’s grace. Remember God knows the motives of our heart. 

When we decide to give our lives to Christ, it’s important to know that this means we are telling God, our lives are not our own. You see, we as people are naturally selfish. We want what we want. This traces back to Adam and Eve, and has continued from the beginning to the present age. When we truly decide to live for Christ, our desires fade and God’s will for our lives rise to the spotlight.

Carefully sinning 

Hebrews 10:26-27(NIV)

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Listen, there’s no such thing as carefully sinning. For instance: You can use a condom when having sex out of wedlock, but it’s no guarantee that you’re 100% protected from sexually transmitted diseases and whether you use a condom or not you can contract a ungodly soul tie. This is just one example, but dear friends please understand that when you know that something is a sin and you go against the will of God anyway, then there’s always a consequence. It’s not God who’s punishing you, it’s the debt you owe sin. 

You see, sin seems like freedom… but it’s always a price. Jesus did pay the ultimate price, so that we can one day be reconciled to God, but make no mistake about it, “A person reaps what they sow” (see Galatians 6:7). God does give us grace so that the consequences for our sins aren’t what they should be. Romans 6:14(NIV) “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” It is only because of the mercy of Jesus that we don’t get what we deserve and by His favor that we receive blessings we don’t deserve.

Count the cost 

Luke 14:28-30(CEV)

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? Otherwise, you will start building the tower, but not be able to finish. Then everyone who sees what is happening will laugh at you. They will say, “You started building, but could not finish the job.” 

Think carefully about what you’re going to do, and even more so about why you’re doing it. Don’t just think of yourself when you decide to do something, think about if God will be pleased with it, and how will it affect those around you. If you wouldn’t want it to happen to you or your loved ones, don’t do it to anyone else, because again, you reap what you sow. Make sure that you include God in your plans so that whatever you start, you can also finish.  Proverbs 16:3(CEV), “Share your plans with the Lord, and you will succeed.”

Good intentions, bad decisions 

Have you ever desired something that was good? For instance, love. Love is a good thing, but making bad decisions to obtain it, is wrong. Proverbs 16:2(CEV), “We may think we know what is right, but the LORD is the judge of our motives.” It makes you think doesn’t it?

Another scripture says in James 4:3(CEV),  “Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.” Listen beloved, God cares about the desires of your heart, but when your desires are more about your wants than His will, then you’ll find yourself doing just about anything to get what YOU want, even if what you want isn’t any good for you, physically or spiritually. Unfortunately we are a people of good intentions and bad decisions. The Bible tells us that, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 KJV)”.

There’s hope and His name is Jesus! Even though you may have fallen, and fallen, you are not a failure! You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, and you don’t have to figure everything out! All you have to do is trust who Jesus is, and know that God has your best interest at heart. He sees the full scope of things and wants you to have a fulfilled life, in this world and in the next.

Prayer

Father God, in Jesus name, I ask you to change my thoughts. I don’t want my life to be only about me, but all about you. Examine my heart, and if there’s anything in it that’s keeping me from fulfilling my destiny in you, I ask that you remove it. Lord for you’ve told me that you know the plans that you have for me, and they are good! I trust that, I believe that and I receive that! Continue this transformation within me, and renew my mind so that there’s less of me and more of you. In Jesus name. Amen.

So, today I stumbled across this 2002 Korean film called, The Way Home. It’s a great movie that had me crying several tears, in a good way though! Anyway, it is about a spoiled little boy who goes to visit his grandmother for the summer. His grandmother is an elderly woman, but she still gets around well. Her living arrangement isn’t what the little boy is used to, because she still draws her water from a well, hand washes their clothes and hang them outside on the clothes line to dry, and either grows her food or walk several miles to purchase it from local farmers. 

Her back is humped over from years of carrying supplies that’s necessary for living on her back, and she’s also mute. The little boy is very mean to his grandmother. He calls her a retard. He yells at her and he spends most of his time playing his game. Throughout all of this the grandmother is still compassionate towards him. 

She remains calm at all times. She makes sure he is well fed, and even takes special requests from him as to what he’d like to eat. He requested Kentucky fried chicken, and I cracked up when she brought back a chicken from a local farm, and she boiled it. The little boy cried because he wanted fried chicken, he even slapped the cup of rice out of his grandmother’s hand, but she just calmly picked up the bowl and the rice off of the floor and she didn’t say a word. I know you may be thinking, if she’s mute, she can’t say a word, well she could have showed her frustration through sign language or she could have done any other number of things, but her actions, spoke louder than any words ever could. 

She didn’t allow what her grandson did, to change who she is. She remained unbothered, and whenever the little boy needed anything, she would come to his rescue, with zero hesitation. I’m not going to lie, I wanted to spank his behind myself for being ungrateful, but I kept watching. Eventually, the grandmother’s compassion began to have a positive effect on the little boy. He saw the sacrifices she made to make him happy, and he saw how selfless she was, and it moved him to show her compassion. 

He began to help her out as needed, and even took care of her when she was sick. When his mom returned at the end of summer to get him, you could tell he was really going to miss his grandmother, although neither one of them said a word. As he and his mom was leaving, he ran to the end of the bus and signaled he was sorry to his grandmother and he waved her goodbye until the bus was no longer in sight. I believe who ever wrote this story is brilliant. The writer made the grandmother mute on purpose to teach the audience a lesson. 

Sometimes things are better left unsaid. Also, it’s better to be moved with compassion than to be moved by anger. I’m glad I watched this movie, because it was just confirmation about what God had just told me earlier this morning. Someone pushed the wrong button on me, BUT instead of reacting out of anger, I decided not to say something I’d probably regret later, and I chose to understand where the person was coming from. I just thank God for transformation, which is still in the works by the way.

I used to be a woman with no filter. I told you how I felt, and could careless how you felt about it. Now I’m more considerate of others, and try to understand people a lot more than I have in the past. I try my best to follow the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I didn’t say I’ve mastered it, I said, I try my best, but hey, thank God for Jesus right?

Anyway, I hope this has helped someone today, and if you can check out that movie, do it, and remember how you treat others shouldn’t have anything to do with how they treat you! 

Yes, it’s true. It ALWAYS rains on Thursday’s. I’m not saying it only rains on Thursday’s, that would be absurd, but you can bet your bottom dollar that if it doesn’t rain all week long, it will rain on Thursday. I’ve never noticed it until I got a job which requires me to be outside 80% of the time. The first time that I worked in the rain, it was pouring down so hard, that I had a serious talk with God about quitting. 

Mind you, I’d only been on the job for maybe two months. Before I got the job, I’d been believing God for a great job for months. I’d turned down other jobs, because I knew that God was going to give me something better. I think it’s important to remember that if you pray for something great, and God gives it to you, or even exceed your expectations of what you’ve prayed for, you need to fight to keep it. I think there’s a misconception in the body of believers that better means easier. 

Better doesn’t always mean easier. Sometimes we have to fight to protect and keep that “better” whatever it is. Anyway, after I went on a rant about the rain on the job, God told me not to give up so easily. He told me that He blessed me with the job, and He will give me strength to endure it. Maybe a couple weeks after that I got bit by a spider and a week later a bumblebee! 

Are you kidding me? I hadn’t gotten bitten by a bee since I was like ten! I was angry! God why?  Back swollen looking like Quasimodo…

First it rains cats and dogs on me, then I get attacked by insects? I was getting tested in all kinds of ways, not to mention a lot of the bugs I saw while outside, looked as if they should’ve had a role in Jumanji! These bugs were huge! I can’t make this stuff up! So my patience was being tested, but my faith was being strengthened at the same time. 

I am not an outdoorsy person, but I like my job a lot, so I make it do, what it do. Anyway, I look at the forecast every night so that I’m prepared in the morning, for whatever the weather brings my way! I believe in all things preparation is key. Prepare for the rain. Prepare for the bugs. 

Prepare for what you’re praying for. Prepare for life. Now the rain doesn’t bother me, at all. After my first talk with God, I now work in the rain as if it was sunny skies and 75 degrees. God did exactly what He said. 

He has given me strength to get through it, because personally, I wanted to give up. I can’t count how many times I’ve worked in the rain since, including today, which is Thursday by the way. It just makes me think about how often we give up on the very things we’ve prayed for. When things get hard, we think it’s not of God, but what if He allows these things to happen to test your faith? I believe He does just that, and He also does it to see if we are faithful with the blessings He’s given us. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that Thursday is my last workday of the week. I have a long weekend, every weekend, but it makes me think of how inconveniences or “rain” oftentimes comes pouring down on us when we’re so close to reaching a goal or a dream. In those situations, it feels like when it rains, it pours. However, I just wanted to encourage you not to give up when things aren’t going as planned, because we cannot see the eternal scope of things, but God can! He knows our ending before our beginning, and if He brings you to it, He will bring you through it. 

Don’t give up now, you are closer to reaching your destiny more now than ever before! Just remember when you get there, things may be better, but they will not always be easy, but as long as you fight in the strength of the Lord, and continue to trust Him to guide your steps, you will live life purposefully being everything that God created you to be.

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Love gave us free will, to choose to love or hate. He gave us the choice to trust him and be obedient to his Word, or to trust our feelings and take matters into our own hands. Whatever path we choose, we can be sure that his love for us is unfailing. Jesus died for us when we were his enemies. He loved us even when we didn’t have it all together. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a family like that?  He never gives up on us, and his mercy is new every day! Everyday we have a choice to trust the God who created us, or to trust what feels good at the moment. There is no gray area when it comes to being a child of God. Either you belong to him, or you don’t. We all know the consequences of sin, and the final result is death, but Jesus came to reverse the curse. As believers, when we leave this life, we will pass into life everlasting. This walk isn’t forced on us, we chose faith over fear. We choose to live by what we know in our heart, mind and soul, and not what the world tells us makes sense. As for me, I’ve tried him, and I know that God is faithful. I’ve taken matters into my own hands before, and have done things outside of Gid’s will, and I screwed up every time. Thank God for his grace! I finally understand what Paul means in 2 Corinthians 12:9, that his grace is sufficient! I choose to use my free will, to live for God, through Christ, simply because he’s God, and there is NO ONE, like him! His faithfulness doesn’t have anything to do with how many times I fall, and that’s what motivates me to get back up and keep pressing towards the mark, again like Paul! God’s always there for us as his children (that’s favor), and he’s promised he will always be, even until the end of the world! Now who wouldn’t serve a God like that?

Don’t cry over spilled milk.

I learned this phrase as a youngster. My mom taught me this when I would make a childish mistake being clumsy, for instance; breaking a glass vase, ripping my favorite pair of jeans or losing money! 😳💸

Those are just a few things, that I would get upset or feel disappointed in myself about. Until ADULTHOOD! Oh the good old days of worrying about minor things like breaking a vase and ripping your pants, even losing twenty dollars! Although the latter probably would still make me cry! No one likes losing money, no matter the amount!

I’ve learned to apply this phrase throughout my life and it’s something that I now tell my children. One of which, who actually dropped a brand new gallon of milk on the floor and cried. I told her not to worry about it, because there was nothing that we could do except clean it up. I think that she and her sisters were more disappointed that they now had no milk to go in their cereal, that they had their mouths ready for. Pretty sure that they could taste how good the fruity pebbles would’ve been swimming in the bowl of cold savory goodness. Their mouths probably watered as they thought about drinking the fruity flavored milk after eating all the cereal out! Now that dream of their awesome breakfast was over. We had spent what seemed like an eternity at the grocery store, and I wasn’t going back to stand in those long lines for a gallon of milk. So after getting the milk cleaned up, they opted for a different breakfast.

Grilled cheese it is! Which filled their bellies just the same, but their minds and mouths still wanted Fruity Peebles, became that’s what they’d made plans for. Eventually they went on about their day, and the tragic accident of spilling the gallon of milk, became a distant memory. It did teach all of them to be more careful when holding groceries and pay attention to their surroundings. They know now, to only carry what they’re able to handle and not to be so anxious.

I believe that when we as adults spill milk, we should take the same approach. Whether your spilled milk came in the form of a loss job, divorce, health issue, rebellious child or whatever your case may be. Instead of spending life crying about what you can’t control, improvise! Life isn’t over, and as long as God has given you life, he’s also given you opportunity! So what it’s not what you’ve planned, but it also hasn’t caught God by surprise!

Sometimes, our plans and God’s will collide! However, when things seems to go haywire and fall apart, something greater is coming together! Disappointments keeps us from settling! Think about it! You would be content with being average, had God not allowed that monkey ranch to be thrown into your world. You are at your full potential, because of the spilled milk! Your faith has grown, because you’ve experienced loss. You don’t make the same foolish mistakes you’ve made in the past, because you’ve learned from it!

So when you get cow dung instead of a wedding cake, or a packed belly instead of a six pack, don’t feel sorry for yourself! Clean the mess up, work some things out! That spilled milk didn’t happen to discourage you! It was a plan to maximize your faith! The triumph is worth the tragedy ❣️

 

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Until you heal from the pain of your past, you will go through life hurting everyone who loves you, including yourself. Moving on is not the same as being healed. Forgive others, forgive yourself and take time to heal. 

One for the reason of Love, book coming soon to Amazon, Kindle and your favorite book stores!

Read an excerpt here . ➡️ 

https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1189848 ⬅️

Be blessed.

Author Shubricca L Bell

Meet Tiffany. Tiffany is the oldest and only daughter in her family and she has a brother who is three. Tiffany brother has an illness where he has to take medication every day at the same time in order for him to perform every day activities as a normal child. Every morning Tiffany parents kisses her and her brother and tell them that they love them. Their parents always ask Tiffany’s brother if he is ok or if he needs anything, every morning. Their dad rubs his son head and smile at him every morning after giving him his medicine. Later in the day Tiffany was outside playing with her brother and her friends as they all ran around carelessly. “Your brother sure can run fast. Wait, isn’t your brother sick? “A friend asked while bending over gasping for air. “Yes,” Tiffany said scratching her head because she doubted his illness at times as well. A part of her loved her brother but a part of her was jealous that he got more attention from their parents than she did. She also couldn’t stand the fact that her friends thought that he was so awesome. “Maybe I should hurt myself so that my parents will love me like they love him,” Tiffany said to herself. The next day right before it was time for her brother to take his medicine Tiffany rolled off of her bunk bed. “Boom”, she hit the floor. Her parents ran in the room. “Oh my goodness. What happened? Tiffany are you alright?” Tiffany wasn’t hurt at all but she was loving the attention from her parents so she lied. “I think that I broke my leg,” she whimpered. Her dad tried to touch it and she screamed. “Come on,” Her dad reached for her hand to sit her up. I’m going to move it a little so I’ll know if you need a doctor .” Just as their dad helped begin to move her leg, her brother began to shake and his eyes begin to roll in the back of his head. Tiffany screamed. “He’s having a seizure,” Mom said. Tiffany ran out of the room (forgetting about her “broken leg”) and ran to get her brother’s medicine. Mom and Dad were to busy to notice that her leg was miraculous healed because they were attending to her brother. After a couple of hours at the hospital, Tiffany brother was feeling better. Mom and dad still hadn’t thought about the fact that Tiffany was walking around just fine. “Mom and dad I have a confession to make. I pretended that I was hurt so that you both would love me the way that you love my brother. This is all my fault and I am sorry. He almost died because I was selfish and only thinking about myself.” Tiffany was sure that she was going to be on a punishment but her dad surprised her with his response. He sat Tiffany on his lap and said, “Thank you for telling us the truth Tiffany. Although we are disappointed, let’s just thank God that your brother is alive and is going to be just fine. I want you to know that we are sorry for making you feel neglected and we love you just as much as we love your brother. Your brother has an illness and we have to know how he’s feeling at all times. Don’t be jealous of your brother, help him just like you did today. You showed a lot of courage by running to get his medicine because your mother and I couldn’t move. We were so focused on his condition that we couldn’t think. You are our little hero and I want you to remember that. Don’t ever be jealous of anyone in life because you don’t know what they are dealing with or what they had to do to get to where they are. When ever there’s a chance for you to get upset or to love. Always choose love.”

(Genesis 45:8 is a good scripture reading related to this about Favor)

We currently have a black Tetra in our fish aquarium. We’ve had “Fiesty” for about two years now. I remember when I bought Fiesty, this fish was always a fighter from the beginning. It appeared that as I was holding the bag, he was trying to run into my hand as if he was fighting to get out. Even on the way home he kept swimming into my cousin’s hand and her lap in a way as if he was hitting her. It was weird you probably would have had to see it to believe it but because of the fight in this fish I named him Fiesty. I bought four other fish for my daughters and they all named their fish as well. Whenever my kids would observe the fish it appeared that Fiesty was bullying the other fish by eating most of the food and chasing the other fish around. Not long after the other fish begin to die quickly. Soon there was only Fiesty and another fish. I seen for myself how Fiesty would come to the top and eat the food and the other fish would try to come and eat but Fiesty would chase the fish away. I remember one time we had to go out of town and we had to leave the fish unattended for a week. I thought about them everyday and hoped that they wouldn’t die. We were excited to get home and see that they were alive and well. After a while the other fish died… I bought three more fish and one of them was being chased day and night by another fish and I guess it got tired of living in agony so it died as well as another. My kids became frustrated with Fiesty and blamed him for all of our fish dying. I told them to leave him alone because he is a survivor and if he has came this far then he deserves to live. Today my mother and I was talking about the Lord and she referred to my fish in an analogy of how God looks at us. He looks past our faults and short comings and he still takes care of us. The same as I do with our fish. Although Fiesty is a bully I don’t look at what is obvious, I look at what he really is and that’s a survivor. God looks at us as MORE THAN CONQUERORS! Plenty of fish has come and gone but he is still here, he is not perfect but he depends on me to buy food for him, feed him and clean his fish tank. Even when I was gone for a week he didn’t give up and die, he held on. The same with us. Sometimes we wonder, “Lord where are you?” But he is right there. We just have to keep trusting and believing. Just like I was constantly thinking of my fish when I was out of town, God is always thinking of us!🙂 “The race is not given to the swift but to he who endures until the end.” ⬅️ Ecclesiastes 9:11. Keep the faith my brothers and sisters. Don’t be like some of my fish that gave up too quickly because they were tortured by their circumstances. Sometimes you may even stand alone but remember Ecclesiates 9:11. Don’t look at what is visible to the eye of man because God sees so much more in you!😊 Your current situation is NOT your final destination!💕 Love you all.

I love watching the sunset whether I’m driving home from a busy day, sitting on the patio getting some peace of mind or sharing the view at the beach with loved ones. The sunset always reminds me to take time to find the beauty in life. The most beautiful things in life can’t be bought, God gave it to us for free. I marvel at all of his creation from the sand on the beach to the birds in the air. He said it best in Genesis. “It was very good.” Watching the sunset is one of the very good things that I love about life. Watching it is like a reward to me. No matter how my day has been or what I am going through, it makes me appreciate the priceless things in life like the gift of life, love, family, nature and peace of mind. Watching the sunset is my mini getaway/vacation and although I may gaze upon it for a brief moment, I’m completely captured in time.

I look forward to this day like it’s Thanksgiving! I remember as a child my parents would get me and my brothers ready for church and mom would be in the kitchen putting on dinner. She would have everything slow cooking so that by the time we came from church we would all be ready to dig in! Oh the smell of greens simmering, a pot roast slow cooking, and when we would come home she put the corn bread on. Us southerners gotta have some corn bread with our soul food just like we gotta have grits with our breakfast. We like that good food that’s going to stick to our bones and in my case… My back 😑😑😑. Then I have to work out two months to get the back fat off.. Should have put the fat back down but no, I just have to bite a piece whenever I’m making fried corn. One piece turns out to be three pieces. Oh well. I eat it happily and pay for it happily when I work out. Maybe not as happily but still… Ok I at least I crack a smile when I’m on the bench press.. I like soul food and the spirit behind it. It brings families and friends  together to laugh, reminisce and just have a good fellowship. To this day I look forward to Sunday’s. It reminds me to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life and to sit back, relax, spend some quality time with those who mean the most to me while we enjoy some good Sunday dinner and wash it down with some sweet tea.