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Meeting with the CEO 12.02.2019

Woman, Raise Your Down-turned Head

 A Song of Ascent

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalms 121:1-2 (NIV)

This is the time of year when I reflect upon the path my life has taken.  I am encouraged at some things.  But, more times than not I am lamenting over what did not work out.  I feel the pangs of despair all over again.  I whip myself about the decisions that turned out to not be the best ones.  I look over my life and see more tests than testimonies.  But this time, this year, a voice reached out and said, lift your weary head and seek my face.  I looked to the heaven of heavenlies where my true help resides.  I began to cast my face, thoughts and hopes toward the light.  I moved away from the darkness of my past.  What is done is done and can’t be remade.  But the hope that resides in the present as I carve a new life brings me joy.

I am leaving a 10-year period of struggle, strife and change.  My heart has been broken it seems like a million times.  I felt lost more times than I felt found.  I wandered in myriad paths of darkness.  Many times, believing all was loss.  But when I look to the heaven of heavenlies I see the light that never grows dim.  I find hope and help for the future and clarity for all that has been.

When I examine my path, I realize all that pain and suffering made and molded me into someone I can be proud of.  I am strong while being compassionate, I am committed while being able to be flexible when necessary.  I can love through many storms. I know when to release and allow God to have his way.  I know the voice of God and trust him along my way.  What was sent to crush me made me and prepared me for brighter days.

As I look to 2020 at the ripe young age of 66 years of age, I praise and thank God for his wisdom and direction all these years.  I have been in the crucible of fire and been brought out like pure gold.  Not burnt or overdone, just right for the work a loving God has for me and the rest of my life.

After the dross, the weeds and the bugs that eat away at the root have been eradicated, my good seeds of God are flourishing and the promises he has made are coming forth.  After great suffering is great harvest and renewal.  I look to the heaven of heavenlies which comes my help and I rejoice for the journey and give thanks for the promise of the days to come.  As you reflect over the passing 10 years, where does the light shine through.  Where can you give thanks and find hope for a brighter day?  Look to the heaven of heavenlies and find your way.

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Meeting with the CEO 11.26.2019

MY LIFE GET’S HOT SOMETIMES – THE FIRE OF CHANGE

Life is cyclical in that we are destined to repeat the lessons we do not learn well.  These situations are the ones that caused us to lose our way, stumble and slip into darkness.  We may survive the journey and circle to the top.  But if we do not learn the life lesson we are destined to repeat.  In my life, I find my life lessons not new.  I refused to learn them well, the first time.  As my mother use to tell me when I was growing up, “if you put rocks in your bed, you must lay on them.” 

When the rocks were pebbles, I was very accepting of the minor irritation they would cause.  I would shift position and continue living in my darkness and stupor.  When the rocks became boulders, I had no choice because my ignorance and avarice were too large to ignore. When I lack discipline and live a “let it all hang out lifestyle,” I ultimately lose everything.  I lose my self-esteem, respect and everything.  I find myself down to nothing and not believing I can get a prayer through.  That is true desperation!

My life has been a journey like “Alice in Wonderland.”.  I have fallen through the rabbit hole many times and descended into the abyss of confusion and distortion.  In my distorted vision and thoughts, I felt there was nothing that I could not do and nothing I could not achieve if only I wasn’t scared to death to achieve them.  I was polarized and paralyzed with fear and anxiety and blinded by the darkness.  The adage calls for us to come to the light.  In abject darkness that light can’t be found.  This is because the light is behind us – we are going away from the light.  That is part of the circle of life.  We must make a full circle, to receive another chance to see and walk in the light.

We can be in the light, but we are still fooling ourselves that all that matters is what we want.  We continue to spiral away from the light again.  For example, 99% of people want to love and be loved.  But if we continuously chose to love in our understanding we spiral away from the light into the darkness.  We consistently find ourselves with people who are not compatible or good for us and can even be harmful for us.  But our ego says, “I got this.”  “I can handle it.”  “I will choose better next time; after I get out of this hot mess, I am in.”  Instead of saying “nothing is too hard for God,” we say, “I can do anything but fail.”  The die is cast, and the lie is launched.  We are destined to fall into the darkness again.

In my life as I come upon my 66-birth year, I have spiraled down the rabbit hole many times and refused to look at my life through the looking glass.  I didn’t want to know the truth.  I didn’t want to see my failures.  I just wanted what I wanted as usual.  The story goes, “if you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting what you’ve been getting.”  For me, the looking glass is the reflection of my true self as God sees me.  It is not only the image of me He created but also the reality of where I am bereft in his plan for me.  Ego tells me, “I am all that and everybody else is wrong and responsible.”  Christ says, “in Him I am a new creature and old things pass away.”

Seeing myself through the looking glass demands that I be honest with myself and face the painful transition of becoming the new creature in Christ.  As the process of change and transformation moves forward within me, there are things that must be let go to make room for greater things.  Some of the baggage and trash is more deeply engrained and entrenched, not willing to let go easily.  Another spin in the darkness of the wilderness brings the deeper things to light.

Eventually, I succumb and surrender to the refiner’s fire and allow the pure light of Christ to burn away the dross that keeps His light from shining bright through me.  As the darkness and egocentric lifestyle, I have hated but lived with such abandonment rises to the top, is skimmed off by the experienced refiner; the temperature continues to rise.  This is a continuous process as I am made more and more in His image.

The benefit of the journey is the light shines brighter and brighter within me, His vessel.  Blessings, grace and favor are recognizable by me.  These elements of a blessed life were not hidden or withheld from me; I was just too blind to see.  From glory to glory I will see my life through the looking glass God holds up before me and feel the heat of the refiner’s fire.  Eventually, through my submission to the will of God, people will begin to see me through the looking glass God has before me.  I will be a lover of man because I love God.  A blessing to others because I am blessed.  I will grow to be a lender and not a borrower.  I will know peace that surpasses all understanding that the world can’t give me nor take away.  I will become a peacemaker and not a peace-breaker.  Because God is refining me into his image, the world receives the blessings.  God is glorified.  Others will grow to seek him as well.  After all, that is the purpose of my life anyway. 

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Meeting with the CEO 11.18.2019







Moving Through Change Without Anesthesia

As we go through our times of transition and change, we pray and seek the way. We move through without the crutches of our past.  No anesthesia…no drugs, no alcohol, no sexual persuasions, no food.   It is harsh and challenges our weakened systems.  For me the army has always marched on its stomach.  As the old folks say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – a mine too, in the past.  Certain foods are called comfort foods.   Yet, we make the decision to omit and withdraw from the main thing we used to rely on in times of change and struggle.

We pay the price.  Our minds say rough times ahead.  Change is coming.  I am facing things I don’t want to face.  I need a fix.  A panacea, something to numb the pain.  Something to send me to oblivion; if I must be deprived of nirvana.  We can’t and won’t surrender to the numbing effects of our triggers and comforts whether food or other things.  Our mind says to our body…I will force you to bow to my will.  I will make you sick.  I will purge you, drain you and wrack your bodies with pain.  I will seek to bend you to my will.  You will live the broken defeated life that has always been.

But, in the early morning dawning I lift my weary head from my pillow.  I am wracked with pain and stomach and bowels are all aflutter.  Nothing in my system can be trusted.  Will I ever feel whole again?  I have set my eyes on the summit and I see dawning’s light, I smell the water of the chilly Jordan.  I feel the Spirit of God surrounding me, holding me; whispering to me.  Hold on just a little bit longer.

Like a child about to break through the cocoon of their mother’s birth canal we feel the pressure and the pain.  We wonder as we see first light.  A light we have never seen before.  Oh my, what is that?  We want to back up and retreat.  The pressure to be born, to erupt and be expelled into this new environment of sights, sounds, people and situations will not allow this.  The door has slammed behind us, the foot is at our backside…we must go forward or die.

A man asked Jesus, “What must I do to be saved?”  Jesus replied, “You must be born again.”  The man responded quizzically, “how can a man re-enter his mother’s womb?  It is impossible.”  Jesus replied, “first time born of woman, this time born of the Spirit.”   Born again to the newness of life.  Born again to a refreshing new way of living.  Born again.  Starting over as a newborn babe.  Born again standing naked before God as fresh as Adam and Eve before the sun.  Born again to begin anew.  To get some stuff right.  To make mistakes new but born again with the time left.   To repent, replace, redo and relive with new eyes, new hearts, new lovers and friends.  Battle scarred, weary and worn hearts with lacerations pressing past new rejections and fresh scorn.  Rising to new heights new joys and new hopes…we peer from between the birth veil to see a new light…a chance to be once again.

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Meeting with the CEO 11.11.2019

The Soul of a Woman

“Boss I is tired.”

I was lamenting this morning as I dragged myself out of bed. Dang girl, you still tired?  Why don’t you get yourself together? Why you depressed amid a pity party. Remember, we don’t hold pity meetings anymore.  We are whole, liberated and one “bad ass woman!  As the old tapes of apology and contrition played in my head, I heard the voice of my love, “Take care of yourself. Not only for you but because I love and need you. Go do something for yourself. Something that women do when they do stuff for themselves.”

I smile because I am loved by a REAL man who may not know what we women do to feel better and take care of ourselves but recognizes when the soul of a woman needs to be fed and cared for.  I leaned into the side of the wash machine and sighed. Then I heard a new voice. I had heard it before but usually silenced it because superwomen never fold and never quit.

The voice took a deep breath and launched into the trail of illumination and truth.  Why are you treating yourself so harshly?  Your brain played a trick on you. Your mind tripped you out into thinking you made the respite trip that has been postponed. For you see, the trip that had been planned had to be cancelled.  Real life intruded once again.  You did not get the rest you needed.  You continue to pound on weary bones, eyes, emotions and mind. Not only are you exhausted. you are more exhausted than last week.

Ah ha…the truth really does set you free. I am limping along holding myself together with duct tape and bailing wire praying for one more day of strength and lucidity. I am not a happy camper.  My superwoman suit is way too tight.  Like a too tight bra, I can’t breathe.  God hold me.  Don’t let me go.  Don’t let me fall. Carry me along the way. Lead me to the distant shore and make a moment for me to sit beside the still waters and replenish my soul and lighten my load. Today I am still tired but hope springs eternal for a brighter day.

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Meeting with the CEO 11.07.2019

River of Life

As we enter the fall and winter seasons, we reflect on the past and project for the future.  As a class project for my Leadership Plenty module we were asked to reflect.  I created a diorama of my life.  You see you can’t effectively move into the future dragging your past along behind you.  Reflection will allow you to embrace what works and let go what does not.  This release must be of all toxicity in our lives.  Negative thoughts, feelings, people, places and things. 

To grow into the future, we must be free of the past.  This diorama I presented to the class was cathartic for me and illuminating for others.  There are four parts to my life to date.  They are the childhood, middle passage, awakening and breakthrough. 

The childhood was a time of development and exploration.  As a member of the baby-boomers, I am a part of one of the most experimental, prolific generations to date. We went from party lines on the phone to cell phones.  Cast iron stove to microwaves.  Walking along dirt roads to traveling to the moon and back.  We went from acceptance of intolerance to protest and demands for civil and moral rights.  We demanded the rights promised in the constitution of the United States.  I am a part of a generation who experienced radical change. 

I made a lot of accomplishments including receiving my first call to the ministry, integrating my high school, (one of two black people), marriage, childbearing, owning and operating a community newspaper, managing entertainment groups and hanging out with the likes of Fuller Gordy, Jr. and James Cleveland.  I also experienced the turmoil of the times.  I felt lost and overwhelmed, but I was never alone.

The middle passage of my life is much like coming to America on slave ships.  I was bound, beaten and often felt defeated.  I lived through two marriages with men who suffered with addictions.  They could not love and care for me because they could not love and care for themselves.  It was a dark, dank time and seemed all would be lost.  I lost everything including my self-respect and almost lost all hope.  But I was never alone.

The culmination of the middle passage ironically was the death of my second husband.  This was the age of awakening.  The chains of oppression and depression that had bound me were broken by a loving God who never left my side.  I chose to see his death and the fact that I was left here to go on as a sign to reclaim my time.  I went on to complete two degrees. 

I began to stretch my wings and try new things.  I was like someone who was emerging from the cave of darkness.  I saw the light and experienced the light but did not know what to make of it.  I continued to struggle and wonder.  The middle passage ended with my salvation from suicide.  Still I was never alone.

The current season of life is the breakthrough.  Here there is clarity and a certain knowledge that I am and never was alone.  I live in a stage of acceptance that I am enough.  I love out loud and I boldly go where God leads me.  I know he will protect me or “beam me up Scottie.”  I am never alone. 

In this season I am living out dreams and walking into the newness of life.  The long-held desires are being manifested.  Do I still feel alone and afraid, in over my head, yes?  But I feel the hand of God in mine and his voice in my ear saying, “It Is Well.”

Today as I share this tale with you, I encourage you.  I encourage you to take stock of where you are and what season you are in.  I encourage you to reflect on your present and past.  I encourage you to boldly go where no man has gone and clear out the toxicity in your life.  Make way for the plans God has for your life.  He has never forgotten you nor left you.  Tear down the walls that box you into the narrowness of fear and rejection.  Be bold, be free, be awake and breakthrough!

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Meeting with the CEO 10.26.2019

I Am So Glad I Stayed

This week I have been stressed and quixotically overwhelmed with life.  I had a stress attack that forced me to take the stronger medicine to calm down.  My sleep has been broken.  I felt out of control and out of touch with the CEO.  I felt cast adrift and moving through darkness without hope.  I couldn’t figure out what had triggered all these wild emotions.  As I sat on the side of the bed this morning, the CEO brought to my remembrance October 2016.  

I was in Oklahoma City planning my suicide.  I was in a hotel room thinking the things people think when life seems more than they can bear.  I built up reasons why I wouldn’t be missed, why people didn’t need me, and why my life wasn’t worth living and never would be.  In the midst I had the first meeting with the CEO.  He spoke to me and challenged me to stick it out with him through the night and he would bring me through.  There is something about the name of Jesus.

Something in that moment reached beyond my wants and saw my needs and touched me at the point of my deepest hurt and pain.  At 1:30am in the morning, as I slept, there came a calamitous pinging on the third-floor windows facing nothing but air.  The sound was frightening, and I covered my head.  The pinging resounded even louder.  I gathered enough curiosity to peep through the curtains.  There was a massive hailstorm where the sun had shined brightly the day before.  I could see nothing but the hail hitting the window.  I jumped back into bed and covered my head and fell back asleep as a means of self-protection.  If I was going to die, I wanted to sleep my way through it.

I awoke the next morning and Joel Osteen was on the television preaching you will make it through the darkness.  The CEO talked me through going home and continued to shed the light that I would make it.  This is not to say there was a miraculous turn of events that everything was rosy, and all the problems hurts, and disappointments went away.  Actually, things worsened before they got better.  God allowed the buffeting, wars, struggles and defeats to bring His and my relationship closer.  He told me in 2016 to be still and learn that he was God.  From all these struggles he wanted me to know he loves me and cares for me and nothing will separate me from the love he has for me.  In God I am enough, I am loved, and he is my savior and protector.

So, this week has been my subconscious replaying some old tapes.  The current pressures and challenges I have been living through forced me to attempt to reach back into the past to use what won’t work to carry me through what I need today.  God can still be found at the Ole Rugged Cross and his blood has not lost its power.  With tears streaming down my face I have so much gratitude for his mercy and grace. 

My life is full.  I have seen and done somethings that could only come through the middle passage of my journey.  Chains have been broken.  I am learning to love and be loved.  I am learning I can be imperfect, and everyone won’t hate me and leave me.  I am learning to ask for what I need, give what I can and preserve what I can’t.  I have learned the power of No, period.  I have reached out in faith and been reached out to.  I have helped and been helped.  I have laugh and cried with others and others have come and done the same with me.  All this because one lonely night I heard the voice of a loving God that asked me to stay with him just a little while longer.

As I turned my face to the CEO this morning and he showed me life since October 2016, I saw change and growth and joy and happiness that only could have been mine because I stayed.  Choosing to live was the hardest thing I had ever done and the best thing I have ever done.  In closing I hear my mother asking me, “Aren’t you glad you stayed?”  Yes, I am so glad I stayed.  To those who are struggling with the question, will you stay, will you live, will you trust God one last time…stay. 

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Meeting With The CEO 10.14.2019

Crossing the River on Dry Land

Here I stand at the crossroads of change.  How do I know that I am at the crossroads of change?  Breakthroughs, massive shifts and changes are preceded by cataclysmic events in the spiritual realm.  There are somethings from your past that will rise again to call you to stay or return to the darkness you were once captured and mesmerized by. 

Will you break with the wilderness, which you know so well?  Will you cross over into the unknown promised land you seek? Will you trust the voice of the all-mighty God that tells you to cross over into the promised land and leave behind all you once knew?

There will be voices from your past that will call to your attention your past failures.  Those who feel you have disappointed and fallen short will call out of the darkness to accuse and ridicule who you are today.  Suddenly, you will be shown in “technicolor Facebook” all your friends are doing better than you.  They are more successful than you.  They are happier than you.  They are more in love than you.  Oh, by the way, did I fail to mention how far away you are from where you wanted to be by now.  Those last vestiges of darkness decry the next move you are being led to make. 

Those voices tell you that you are not ready.  You don’t deserve joy, peace, love and happiness.  Stay back here with us and continue to suffer.  Reject your freedom, shun your forgiveness.  Remain in your depression.  Lock your cuffs back around your hands and ankles.  Sit back down with us.

When I was lost in the darkness and could not see, God placed me on his potter’s wheel.  He placed me in his hands to mold and reshape me. He took the broken cistern called my life and reclaimed me and my life as his own.  Yes, I was bold enough and lost enough to think my life was my own. I believed I controlled everything that was about me.  What I thought was control was really being terminally out of control.  But…. before I took the final turn, crashed and burned, he rescued me from myself.

Today I stand at the shore of the Jordan River and I can see the distant shore of my future life in Christ.  I see the grapes.  I see the milk and honey.  I see the giants as they shake their fist at me and decree for me not to cross over.  I feel the tug of my past life.  I hear the jeers of those who would convince me that I am not free, not good enough, not worthy enough to leave them and receive my new life in Christ. 

I stand at the crossroads of my past and my future that are crossing and colliding.  I look up and smile and as God parts the waters and dries the muddy path, I walk on dry land.  I enter in.  I sing thank you Jesus, oh mighty king that saved me from myself —for grace and mercy came along and rescued me.

Are you a traveler like me who stands at the crossroads of your life?  Though you feel the pull of your past, press on and through.  God paid the price and forgave you.  I forced myself to remain on the potter’s wheel and allowed God to work out everything that was not like Him.  I suffered ached, cried and felt the pangs of loneliness and separation.  I allowed God to hold my hand and bolster me as I looked back over my life.  I walked through the graveyard of my hurt’s, failures and dashed dreams.  I had to see my past through the eyes of God. The thistles and weeds of my past had to feel the blade of God’s vision, grace and mercy. 

Our past is never meant to lock us out of our future.  Obstacles are meant to be stepping stones.  Pain is meant to cause us to be able to recognize the pain in others and love them through their fears.  Each day of our lives is a building block to glory.  Never a death sentence.  I have surrendered all to Jesus and I found life where there was only death.  Wherever you are and whatever you are going through there is hope and a light. Know this, the light is seeking you. 

Look up, press in and press on.  Feel the hand of God holding you leading and guiding you.  Surrender all to the all mighty God who lives yesterday today and forever more.  The best is truly coming for you and for me.  Don’t give up and don’t give in.  Cross the mighty Jordan River. Endure to the end.

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Meeting with the CEO 10.07.2019


THE LAMENTATION OF A WARRIOR WOMAN

This morning a woman sat up in her bed.  Rolled her shoulders and shook her head.  She swung her legs over the side of the bed.  She put her head in both of her hands.  She shook with exhaustion and wonder who would understand.  The pile of grief, loss and responsibility.  So many wars to fight so many people to protect, where can I find rest for me she whispers to herself. She dare not cry out loud. For, if someone hears, they will place the burden of making her feel bad because she feels bad.

It is not that she thinks she is all that, but to many people she is.  These people know she can, she will, and she does understand.  She takes on the mantle and armor of God to fight the battles that need to be won.  She digs into the unsolvable until she finds the solution.  She stands in the face of adversity, tells it who is boss and sends it packing for today.  Today adversity loss.

The strong woman knows her strength comes from God and she is not alone.  She knows he loves and understand her.  He calls her is own.  She knows he is her strength, her lover and her guide.  She knows that he protects her and never leaves her side. 

And yet, there are times she rails at the heavens and says, Dear Lord, where is my hug and kiss today.  She is met with silence and then she moves on and sighs.  She gathers up her armor and prepares to fight or die. 

Once she is suited up and opens the door to reenter the world, she looks up at the sky and says almost as an aside, what I really needed this morning was a hug and a kiss.

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Meeting with the CEO 10.02.2019

The Alabaster Box

A woman worn with cares of the world was sitting by the fire, head in hands tearfully looking at the flames.  She wondered at her very existence. As tears coursed down her cheeks, she looked to the sky to ask God, Why?  As she sighed at the silence that greeted her, she wiped her cheeks.  There came a knock at the door.  She clasped her bosom and shrank into her seat.  Her heart raced in her chest for it was late and no one ever came to her door.  She held her breath hoping the visitor would think no one was there.  The knock came again.  She shrank further down in her chair. 

Then a voice, “Mistress, be not afraid, I will not harm you.  I have a package for you, a gift perhaps.  Please trust me.”  She eased to the windowpane in the door and peered through the curtain.  There stood a wee small child weathered and worn.  The clothes were all tattered and torn.  The child had no shoes, hat or mittens.  Yet, shivering in the cold and rain, beseeched the maiden, “Please but crack the door to receive the package.”

The maiden asked, “where have you come from, where are your people, why are you out in a night such as this?”  The child replied, “my master sent me to bring this package to you.  He said only you can receive it and nothing else will do.  Please receive this package that I may return to my master and once again sit at his feet and warm myself before his fire.”

The maiden lost her fear and cracked the door a bit.  The child held out the package to the maiden but did not venture in.  My master told me to tell you, this package was made only for you.  Once you open it you will know what to do.  She gingerly took the package from the child marveling at her audacity for she should be sore afraid to let the child or anything in. 

She closed the door with her foot and eased back to the fire.  She torn the sodden wrappings off.  What was revealed was an alabaster box.  There was a note attached.  With shaking hands, she read, what this box contains is good for only one day.  You can’t save it or scrimp or be stingy with the contents.  All that it contains, you must use up or the rest will fade away. 

She opened the box and there was fragrant oil of great price.  It was golden like honey and glistened by the fire light.  She shifted in her chair and some of the oil spilled over her hands.  Oh my, she thought, how warm this ointment feels.  As she rubbed the oil into her hands, light began to encompass her.  She gazed at the window and the storm had passed.  Where there had been tears, she felt the need to laugh.  Her energy was renewed.  She jumped up quite spry.  She downed on some clothes and thought where she might share this marvelous gift of warming oil.

She went to her neighbor who she had never met and called over the fence.  “Please come this way, there is something I want you to see!”  The neighbor crept slowing toward the fence.  Everyone knew this maiden was mean and difficult when met.  But the box emitted a glow that was so enticing, the neighbor said, “Oh, I guess just once will be alright.”

All through the day, the maiden ran throughout the town and cross the lands.  When the day ended, the box was dry.  The maiden went home with a smile on her face and joy in her heart.  When she reached the door, there was a note attached.

Dear maiden, you have done your task.  Here is the secret of the alabaster box.  It was not oil that it contained, it merely stirred you to love and laugh.  For what you must learn is one day is all we have.  Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not arrived.  To weep and mourn through today is like living in an empty box.  Take the oil of life love and laughter and use it up today.  For when you empty your box, I your loving God will always lead the way. 

If you knew all you had was today, what would you do?  Where would you share your oil?  What would you forgive for the chance to have the gift of love light and laughter?  Remember the maiden, when you share your oil, you will have joy and if given the gift of today tomorrow, God will fill your box once more.

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Meeting With The CEO 9.23.2019

What Are You Going To Believe?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There is an old story that circulates from time to time.  The husband is caught cheating by the wife.  She confronts him when he returns home.  She tells him, “I saw you cheating”.  He denies that it was him.  He replies, “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes.”  Sometimes we question what is right in front of our eyes.

There is none so blind as those who have eyes to see and will not see.  When we pray for clarity, it is usually because our eyesight metaphysically is cloudy.  Or we dare not read the signs that are posted right before our eyes.  When correction and change of route is placed before us and we fight what we see; we mentally shake our heads and say, that can’t be.  What am I going to pay attention to?  What I want to see or the truth?

The devil has a method of magic sleight of hand that, if we allow, sets up a set of mental mechanizations to attempt to lie our way out of the truth of the matter.  It is the victim mentality.  We refuse to focus on what we need to change within ourselves and turn the mirror onto our life circumstances as if we are in a prison without a key.  The truth is we are the key.

Sometimes we are like Apostle Paul in that we say we have gone to God three times to remove the thorn from our side.  And three times God said, “my grace is enough.”  There are times in our lives when we want the cup of suffering to be removed from our lips. When what really must happen is to drink the cup dry.  To go all the way down into the bottom of the dregs and accept the bitter lessons they contain.  There is no other way.

This is not to say, bad things do not happen to good people. Yes, terrible things happen to good people. Unfair things that no innocent person should have to endure. Somehow, someway we survive what should have killed us. I am a living witness. There came a point in my life when I decided I wanted to be whole and not broken. I no longer wanted to hid in my past and my hurt. I no longer wanted my story to be based on what someone else said or thought about me. Yes, I had justification to live hurt and broken. I decided to change my mind and change my trajectory.

Part of character building and spiritual maturity is looking honestly at the woman or man in the mirror and recognizing the enemy is me.  When we strip away the façade of victim and honestly focus on acceptance of our faults and submit to the dry long road of correction, then we turn the key of our prison doors and move on and out.

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Meeting with the CEO 9.16.2019

What is Holding You Back

Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Dragging all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold onto, is you, is you, is you…

Source: LyricFind . Songwriters: Andre Romell Young / Brian Anthony Bailey / Craig A. Longmiles / Isaac Hayes / Nathaniel D. Hale / Ricardo Emmanuel Brown Jr. Bag Lady lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Reach
 

Part of the wilderness journey is the shedding of things that will not serve us well in the new land.  We must enter in ready to take a stand, fight and reach out to higher ground.  In prize fights, the challengers are weighed in.  The audience asks, “what is their fighting weight?”  The fighters are also categorized according to their body weight; i.e., lightweight, heavyweight, welterweight.  Racehorse jockeys are also weighed.  The weight of the rider can slow down the performance of the horse.  In all these instances, anything that is a hindrance to winning the race or overcoming the obstacle is shed.  Sometimes, the weight is referred to as “dead weight.”

What dead thing are we trying to take with us into the promised land? God does not allow what is dead to be carried in. We will continue to circle in the wilderness separated from our hearts desires until we either bury the dead or resurrect it. What did Jesus do with dead things he either said bury it or he resurrected it.  Crossing into the promise land takes dedication and a seriousness that does not allow anything to enter in but what God has equipped is with.  What sort of things cannot enter the promised land?

Unforgiveness and all the things that attach themselves to unforgiveness is baggage that weighs us down. We must be free and freed up to fight the good fight of faith.  The Bible says when you come to the altar with your gifts; if you have something against someone or they something against you, you are to leave the gift, go and rectify the issue. Either bury it or give it new life. Can it be resuscitated?  Are you carrying around dead weight? 

Doctors make life and death decisions all the time.  When they have done everything, they can to resuscitate the patient and the patient does not respond, they call a dead thing dead and cease from pouring in energy. They mourn the loss and move on.

What dead thing(s) is/are laying around your life stinking up things, sucking up all your energy and resources and taking your eyes off the prize?  Make the conscious decision today to apply resuscitation to the best of your ability and if all fails, call that dead thing dead; bury it, mourn and move on up a little higher.

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Meeting with the CEO 9.2.2019

Lord, Can You Hear Me Now?

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just want to praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you

Shackles (Praise You) lyrics @ Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc. Erica Atkins-Campbell/Trecina Atkins-Campbell/Warryn Campbell
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Sunday, September First I sat in my place of worship.  My heart cried out to the Lord.  I ached in my Spirit from the deepest darkest place that no one can see or feel but God and me.  I was like Hannah who laid at the Temple steps and cried out to the Lord to end her barrenness.  Not like Sarah who in desperation of the promise sent Hagar into Abraham. 

I wanted nothing less than what God had promised me.  I didn’t want to settle.  I didn’t want to make a way out of no way.  I didn’t want the bitter roots of; since God is taking so long, I will take care of it myself.  I wanted the pure unadulterated presence and promise of God to manifest in my life.  So, I wait at the temple gates and I pray.

Would the promise be fulfilled?  Would the gift come?  Would my heart be filled with joy?  Would what I have prayed for and longed for come to pass?  I sat in the pew and pondered in my mind as my heart and soul cried out.  Oh, heavenly Father, who can do anything, have I been forgotten? Has my time passed?  Is there no hope for me?  I know it is not an impossible task nor foolish.  Like Hannah, I see the same happiness I desire in the lives of others all around me.  It is possible and even plenteous. 

As I stood to sing praises to my sovereign Lord and King, the Spirit of the Lord descended.  He heard my cry and felt my disparaging internal weeping and despair.  I was waiting and longing and striving to be faithful and please God.  Yet I knew none of those things would guarantee the if, when and where I would receive what my heart longs for more than anything.  Nothing would bring the promise to pass but the loving timing and grace of God. 

In the twinkle of an eye, the Spirit of the Lord encompassed me, filling me to overflow.  Joy unspeakable infused my system and took me to higher heights.  I began to praise and dance before the Lord.  I knew he had heard my cry and he was moving on my behalf.  I was not forgotten and left bereft with the ashy taste of deferred dreams and wishes.  He heard my cry and he cared and sent word he was breaking the shackles that had held me so long.  He was setting me free and opening the doors of heaven to respond to the deepest desires of my heart through him. 

The shackles broke and I danced and danced and danced.  I danced in the Spirit because I danced with my eyes closed.   The Holy Spirit led me down the aisle of the church as if being brought to the altar of submission and deliverance.  Take the shackles off my feet and hands so I can praise you.  I praise you Lord, not in lamentations but in jubilation.  You took the shackles off me feet and hands so I can praise you.  Who the Son sets free is free indeed!

Just as Hannah left the temple knowing she had been heard by God and he moved in her favor.  I left the church house knowing in my heart God has moved in my favor.  I continue down Gratitude Avenue thankful for a God who cares about me and my heartsickness.  I thank God that he is a one who can make a difference and break the shackles in my life and sets me free.  I thank God he loves me unconditionally and knows when the test is over and doesn’t allow me to strive one second longer than needful or necessary.  I thank God he is my lover, friend, provider and most of all deliverance.  I thank God.

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Meeting with the CEO 8.5.2019

…Love’s in need of love today

Don’t delay

Send yours right away… (Stevie Wonder)

This week as I bleed through the news and ache with the senseless loss of life.  I weep because love died today.  Those who read these missives are aware of my thoughts regarding our mechanizations and what is good and evil.  I remain resolute good and evil are choices we make day by day.  Do we choose to love, or do we choose to hate?  Some may say, it really isn’t that cut and dried, but it is.

This week I lost a dear blood sister in Christ.  It wasn’t from death.  It was from a difference in political ideology.  She found fault with my Facebook postings on my political beliefs.  They differ from hers.  I did not place enough emphasis on her complaint or observation.  I felt all the loving, uplifting posts I share should have indicated my heart.  I thought all the loving care I shared with her should have shown my heart.  I thought love would cover the multitude of sins. 

My response was, what will political ideology mean when we get to heaven?  I also stated I always knew we differed in our political beliefs but that never caused me to love her one percent less because of it.  Apparently, it was quite a bit more important to her than to me.  I missed the cue and the death has occurred.  I mourn the loss, and call out to Jesus, not unlike Mary and Martha when Lazarus died in the hopes of resurrection.

Another conversation this week helped me understand, I am required to live out loud the lessons I am learning.  I was stumbling around in confusion on several relationship issues.  I mentally and emotionally found myself staggering in bewilderment as to why these things were happening and my feelings toward them.  My wise counselor shared; “you are being called to practice the lessons you are learning in the board room.”  It is all well and good to learn that we are to love one another.  It is all well and good to read books about forgiveness and long-suffering.  But what happens when the rubber meets the road and we are challenged to live these concepts out loud in public for the world to see.  Needless-to-say, reality of this hit me.  I fell back into the teachings I have been receiving and found the solution to my dilemma.  LOVE.

The love I am called to live is not the Hollyweird love we see on television and read in books.  It is not the happily-ever-after love of fairy tales. It is the bloody, messy died on the cross love that delivers us all.  It is the love of First Corinthians chapter 13.  I have not loved until I love the unlovable.  I have not forgiven until I forgive the impossible to forgive.  I have not joined in the suffer of Christ until I love those who spitefully use me and reject me and slander my name.  I have not loved until I love as he does.  This is my Garden of Gethsemane moment.  Do I have to, Lord?  Lord, you can take this all away and I don’t have to do this.  Can we make a deal?  I will wash all the dishes for a month and take out the trash, if you would just take this cup away from me.  NO deal.  Woman up, accept the charge.  Love. 

As I mourn the loss of a dear friend and rejoice that we will meet again in heaven and our political persuasions will not matter in the light of the glorious presence of God, I love today.  I love as if I have not been battered and bruised.  I love today as if the clock has been rolled back to another time and place.  I love the way God loves me. 

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Meeting with the CEO 7.29.2019

Whose voice are you listening to?

There are things, people and situations that come at us every day.  These things are called challenges and choices.  They require decisions.  Whether it is decisions on what to do, or decisions on how to feel about what is happening.  Perhaps it is how I will respond to and feel about the people who seem to be the instruments of my destruction.  I am surrounded by these challenges all day every day.  Will I see them as obstacles, or will I see them as building blocks.  Will I choose to allow them to weigh me down in depression or use them as bricks to my success and happiness.  Whose voice will I listen to.  The subtle voice of the Satan that tells me all is lost or the voice of my risen Savior?

There have been some things that presented themselves in my path last week.  I was challenged in my faith.  But believe me, I stand resolute the devil has only one tool.  That tool is his ability to whisper that question that causes me to doubt my faith, my path and most of all the God of my salvation.  Further, I firmly believe when I doubt the goodness of the Lord for me and snatch my life out of his hands, that is when I have sinned.   What I do after that are indicators of the extent of my disbelief in the God of my deliverance. 

For instance, I doubt the power and love of God in my life.  Therefore, I am going to hate on someone.  I am going to curse somebody out.  I am going to turn up that bottle of liquor, take a drag on that drug, shoot that poison up my vein.   I am going to sleep away the day.  I am going to host a private pity banquet.  I am going to strike out at people and show them what darkness really looks like.  I am going to self-medicate by any means necessary.  The battle is lost, and I am going to abandon my faith and my God.  Whose voice am I going to listen to?  The subtle voice of the Satan that tells me all is lost or the voice of my risen savior? 

My faith is not real until I must be faithful in the darkness of the unknown.  My believe that God is all powerful is not true until I chose without duress to trust him.  I have not even scratched the surface of loving with the love of God until I love the one who hurt me the most.  I have not been forgiven until I forgive (give it to God) the so-called unforgiveable.  I do not receive the manifold blessings of God to the uttermost in the sunshine, but amid the storm.  Whose voice shall I listen to.  The subtle voice of the Satan that tells me all is lost or the voice of my risen Savior?

There are those days when God opens doors that I didn’t even know was in the wall and doubt assails me.  When I begin to doubt the Word and love of God and a voice asks me the darkest questions of my fear.  Something happens.  Can I do it?  Is it for me?  Is this a trap?  The door slammed in my face.   The window closed on my fingers.  Somebody pissed on my head and tried to tell me it was rain.  It looks like in the natural I am done.  All is lost.  There is no good thing left for me in the world.  I hear the CEO, the almighty God, my personal Lord and Savior ask, “Whose voice are you listening to?”

OOOPS!  This pull-up in the Spirit causes an immediate course correction.  I turn from doubt and fear to looking into the face of my salvation.  I repent my deafness to his loving voice who is never changing.  I return to an attitude of Praise and Thanksgiving.  All I do is win.  What I see in the natural has nothing and I mean nothing to do with what is going on in the spiritual realm.  As Elisha consoled Elijah, “Don’t be afraid!  For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 2 Kings 6:16 NLT.  The William Murphy Project sings “Praise is what I Do.  Under all circumstances.  Through the good and the bad.   I Praise God…because praise is what I was born to do.  I owe everything to God.”  All I do is win!  My victory is in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior and the key to the kingdom is my belief and adherence in trust to the one who is my all and all.  Whose voice are you listening to?

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Meeting with the CEO 7.23.2019

Shout out from Gratitude Avenue

Everyone can identify with the darkness that can and does overtake us like a blanket that has no beginning or end.  There are times the light will blink through in small slits for brief moments.  It is not enough to break the bondage.  If we are honest, it is just enough light to make us angry.  We want a breakthrough.  We want complete deliverance.  We want happiness in abundance.  We wonder, who keeps playing with our minds.  That is more our story than what I am about to share with you now. 

I have been traveling through the Dark Night of the Soul for some time.  I can’t tell you how long, because when I am on that journey I do not relate to time or seasons.  It is just one long painful period that seems to never end.  This weekend I experienced deliverance.  The light came on in all God’s blazing glory.  He cast out all darkness and shown the light as only he can.  All the work and submission I had been putting into the change I sought reaped a harvest… love overflowing.  The seeds that had been planted broke ground.  God promised he would “…comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61: 2b-3.  He gave me love overflowing.

Lately, I have recognized God has been smiling on me.  I have been basking in his love as if I was laying on a beach in the Caribbean.  Catching the rays of his loving kindness.  I am grateful.  I have been surrounded by love on every side.  I recognize he is moving in my behalf.  He has and is showing me his promised are real.  It is meaningful and worthwhile to believe in him and obey his word and live in his way.  He is restoring what has been lost, “…And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm and the caterpillar and the palmer worm…” Joel 2:25. 

Understand, it is not that he has been shining on me like a light switch that had off and on according to how I was feeling about him and life in general.  He shines all the time because he is not ac/dc.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  I was blind and could not see.  My eyes have been opened and I have been healed enough to enjoy my blessings that have been surrounding me all along. 

All I can say is, hold on and stick with it.  Whether you go through standing, bon your knees, bowing, crawling or flat on your face.  Hang on, the light is coming.  Cry your tears, shake your fist in anger, but don’t give up and don’t give in.  Will I have dark days again.  Yes.  Will I hurt and don’t understand?  Yes.  Will I feel like giving up again?  Yes.  But join with me as I share my final instructions for the week “…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:13-14.  For today, the sun is shining, and I am grateful.

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Meetings in the Board Room 7.15.2019

In the Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion wants courage.  He is fearful.  He knows there are great things in the world but, he is too afraid to expose himself to them. So, he lives in a box of fear and procrastination. To the world he is to be feared, after all he is a lion.  The lion is so afraid he is fearful of his own image. He looks through the mirror darkly.  Whom the lion could become was so fearful to him, he rejected the opportunities to live up to his full potential.  How many of us live lives filled with fear.

The word of God says we have not been given the spirit of fear but of power love and a sound mind. Like the Cowardly Lion, when I used to look in the mirror and saw what God sees, I was afraid.  The image of greatness is cloaked in power, love and a sound mind, but I was blinded by fear.

All my life I have run and hid from the image of God in me. I rejected my potential to live a full life filled with joy while holding on to my brokenness.  The past hurts had bound me and kept me from experiencing the greatness of God.  I am learning when I live and feed from the fountain of fear and past hurts, I do not allow myself access to the gifts from God.  Power, love and a sound mind.  I stumble around, afraid of my own shadow. Reliving the pain and rejecting the joy of living in and for Christ while rejects my inheritance.  I have been given the Kingdom of God and all that it contains through my salvation in Christ.  When I am fearful, I cheat myself.  If I only had courage.


I have wasted a lot of time lamenting my past in my present life. I have bankrupted my bright today by putting a cloak of depression and fear over the light. It has been asked, “why do people stay in painful situations?”  People often reply, it is easier to live with the pain you know than to take the risk of the unknown.

This week God called home a mighty man of God, Michael Charles Nash.  I adored Michael since I was 16 years old. I was fearful to share my feelings because I feared rejection.  My feelings weren’t sexual.  They were about his beautiful mind and heart. I don’t think either one of us recognized the image of God we saw in the mirror. We just quietly allowed moments of our greatness to leak out. God allowed me to reconnect through the power of Facebook after over 40 years of disconnection and many miles traveled through this life.

We both landed in Texas after a long journey from California in God’s providence. When we eventually spoke, we realized we had been circling in the Spirit for years. Almost connecting and almost colliding. We had set up a meeting about six months ago, but I was fearful and canceled it.  We were scheduled to meet next week, and we probably will, but it will be at his funeral. I had opportunities to meet but feared I would be an interruption or irritation. For that I will always regret that I didn’t. I thank God for a precious conversation we had where we both let down our guards and ignored our fears. Wow, how much we loved and admired each other when I was 16 and he was 20.

The reason I sought out Michael Charles Nash and Earnest Little a little over a year ago was because I needed to reconnect with the little girl who was 16, brash and prickly because she was so hurt and afraid. The two people who I allowed glimpses of my tortured soul were Earnest and Michael. I asked God to reconnect us because I wondered what they saw that allowed them to love me and caused me to love them still over 50 years later. God answered my prayer through a Facebook connection.

Michael is in the Spirit now.  I promise him and myself when I see him again in heaven, I will do better at sharing my love and admiration of him. Earnest and I talked last week about attending Michael’s homegoing.  If the services are held in Texas, we have promised each other we make sure we see each other, no matter what it takes.  As we ended our call, he said he still loved me like he always had. I was deeply touched and saddened I had missed such a wonderful gift through hurt and fear. I mentioned how much it meant to me that he loved the prickly little girl that feared life so much she didn’t show how much she cared. He said, “that is what makes you Gwen and that is what makes me Earnest.”  His kind loving words, which were so much the Earnest I love and admire, watered a dry place in my soul. Thank you, Earnest.

This is a week of reconnections. I am scheduled to attend the family reunion of my deepest connected soul sister Regina accompanied by my birth sister Joyce. If scheduled, I will be attending the homegoing of my unsung hero Michael. I pray I am given the opportunity to thank Earnest in person.  The pieces of my life are coming together in the miraculous way only God can. What a beautiful mosaic he is creating through his healing love and eternal vision over our lives.

In closing, this week my mother, Arlillian shared a message Christopher Robin gave to Winnie the Pooh.  I will share it with you. “Promise me you’ll always remember you’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”  I promised myself I will muster up courage through faith in the God who loves me so, to live out loud shining the light of Christ in the World using the time I have left on this earth to LOVE. 

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Meeting with the CEO 7.8.2019

Since April 4th, 2018, I have been in a Holy Spirit-led solitary confinement.  Now, I am being led to come out and be amongst the people.  I am finding as I come out of the spirit led cocoon it is requiring greater fortitude to deal with the spirits and fears of people.  Mine and others.    Satan wants to use his most powerful tool, doubt, to snatch the wings off this beautiful butterfly.  I need strong meat to overcome and stand on the truth that he is a defeated foe.  Therefore, it is my gift, empowerment and duty to keep him in his place and walk in my victory. 

I can never forget or let my guard down because he is desperate — his time is short.  He takes no days off and doesn’t do vacations or staycations.  He is like the Ever-ready battery bunny.  Always on the case.  What say I to that?  Because God is for me NOTHING can win against me.  I strive to wear the full armor of God continuously, never taking it off — sleeping, bathing in it.  Always ready for war.  I must stand on wall, building with one hand and warring with the other.  I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.  It is up to me to acknowledge and live it 24-7.

Speaking to this need for stronger meat, I am being led to delve deeper into the Word of God.  The Word of God is our weapon of warfare.  It is effective and powerful, but only as powerful as the skill of the warrior who is applying it to the enemy.  Which sword shall I use, the long broad sword?  The dagger for close combat?  The pocket-knife of forgiveness and love?  Only by equipping myself through the Holy Spirit can I build a strong arsenal to will the war of faith.

As I delve and grow in the Lord, I am being pressured to live out loud the Word that is within me.  I am being sifted, y’all.  We are instructed with all our knowledge to get understanding (Gwendolyn’s paraphrase).  There are key foundational scriptures that I quoted, shared, preached on and memorized.  The one thing I didn’t have was understanding.  Therefore, I wasn’t remotely effective in the kingdom.  Because the scriptures were not rhema to me, I was powerless. 

I am not talking about the deeper depths of the Word.  I am talking about John 3:16, Romans 10:9 and such.  I talked about the blood of Jesus and sang it will never lose its power, but the meaning of the shedding of the blood for my salvation was a foreign concept to me.  The head knowledge did not match with the heart knowledge.  I was living a knock-off faith, crippled, crazy and defeated.  God’s mercy saw my need and is bringing me to new revelation knowledge of His Word.  I am no longer striving to be a biblical scholar.  I am a child sitting at the feet of my loving Lord and Savior.   Sitting at his table and drinking from his spring of life.  Because he loves me so and waited on me so very long, I remain on Gratitude Avenue. I can never thank him enough.  I dare not waste a moment in time.  I will not leave space for a rock to cry out to worship and adore my risen savior.

May you come to know the fullness of God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  They are “one” body with separate functions.  Just as we are to strive to be one body in Christ, fulfilling our functions and living in the power and majesty of being in the Kingdom of the all mighty God.  The Kingdom of God is here and now, and we need not wait until we die, or Christ come again to sit at the table of Grace with our Lord and Savior.  The table is set and there is a Throne with your name on it.  Come and Dine.  Leave the crumbs under the table for those who do not know him. 

Thank you for traveling on this journey with me.  I appreciate your comments and prayers.  Please sign-up for these missives, by leaving your email below.  God bless and keep you eternally.

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Meeting with the CEO 7.1.2019

Dearest Sistas in Christ:

I continue to thank God for you as you travel along this part of my life’s journey.  I continue to pray all is well with you and ask God to cover you with his unconditional, unchanging love, power, might and forgiveness.

God has been dealing with me about our inability to accept what has been freely given to us at a tremendously high price.  He gave me the analogy of designer handbags.  I know no one can love Michael Kors as much as I used to.  But, my love of Michael Kors handbags is an apt analogy for this missive. 

There are original Michael Kors designer bags.  They can be bought for a high price.  Baby, they are expensive.  There are some designer bags that are so expensive they are not even on the internet.  The manufacturer knows the little people can’t afford them.  Then there are knock-off bags.  They have irregular stamped on the inside.  Then there are the “bootleg” handbags that mis-spell Michael Kors.

For those who just want to have the status of carrying a Michael Kors bag and their money is funny, a knock-off is enough.  It doesn’t matter to them that everybody knows this is not the real thing.  They just want to be in the circus.

We as people can either be authentic Christians or “knock-off” Christians.  They both can look the same in the circus of life.  The word of God tells us -” If we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we will be saved.” Romans 10:9.

Well, the CEO said there are many of us that have a mouth confession and not a heart transformation.  We don’t truly believe that our salvation and forgiveness rests in allowing Jesus to be the Lord of our lives.  We don’t recognize, trust and live in the supernatural truth that Jesus died to pay the final, total complete and eternal price for our sins – all those nasty, foul suckers.  We don’t believe Jesus truly rose from the dead with all power in his hands and took the keys of hell and death from satan’s grasp.  As we live in the miniscule believe system, we as Christians have “knock-off” faith.

Knock-off faith will only carry us only so far in this life.  As we know eternal life is now and not something afar off as if we are in the wilderness traveling to a promised land.  We can walk around with a “form of Godliness and denying the power thereof.  We can live in a knock-off existence.  The CEO told me when I have knock-off faith and do not fully accept that Jesus is Lord and by the shedding of his blood my sins are forgiven, I walk around with bogus liberty.  I am living an irregular life and eventually everyone can see I have an irregular bag and the name of Jesus is mis-spelled.

The CEO took it to another level in our conversation.  He said to me, when I deny the power of the blood of the lamb which was shed for the redemption of my lost soul and redeem me back to the throne of grace, I am saying what Jesus did was not enough.  The CEO, my Lord and savior Jesus Christ also shared with me every time I doubt Him and carry on in my own path, thought and ways, I act as if I am demanding he be crucified afresh.  I am living a “knock-off” existence in Christ.

How many of us know, those knock-of bags don’t last?  The handle will snap off, the fake pleather will crack, the lining will tear and your grand-baby’s Go-Gurt will spill in the lining of your purse and cover everything.  Wowsa!  Eventually, we will realize our investment was a waste of time, money and a punishment to our egos.

This week I continue to learn without the shedding of the blood there is no remission of sin.  In the Old Testament the Israeli people had to make blood sacrifices to God.  The shedding of blood was the indicator they recognized their sins and failures and repented and wanted to renew the covenant of loving faith and redemption with the Lord and Savior.  It was the acknowledgement that nothing else could save them from their separation for God who was and is our all and all.  They could not, nor can we, live without him and when they recognized their loss, they repented so they could be reconnected.

Jesus came to pay the ultimate price.  He was without stain or blemish.  He was the first and only born son of God.  He was born of a virgin who had not been touched or soiled by man.  He was born sinless and he was pleasing to God in every way.  He was the Michael Kors of God.  He was not listed on the internet because no one could pay his price.  He is priceless.  Anything that comes after him is a knock-off and has irregular in their label.  Excuse me satan, you are a knock-off.

The CEO also explained to me what the problem between the sacrifices of Cain and Able was.  Cain brought veggies and Able brought a sheep.  My eyes were opened to that fact, there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood.  Veggies don’t bleed and the real analogy in the story, it seems Cain’s heart was not changed or repentant.  He remained the same and eventually went on to slay his brother.  He was living a “knock-off” life. 

Our lives have been bought with a high price that no man can or could pay.  When we reject the loving care and benefits of accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior and believing in our heart that he died and rose again that we may live with Him eternally, we as those who profess to be Christians are living a “knock-off” life.  When we are instructed and begged to turn over everything to our lord and savior, to forgive (give our hurts and mistakes to our Lord and Savior) and we continue to live life our way and not his way, we are living a “knock-off” life.  We are Cain and not Able.

We are to ask for forgiveness and give forgiveness to those who hurt us.  We are to trust the blood of the lamb that was shed on Calvary will never lose it power.  We carry around unforgiveness like a knock-off bag, never knowing the feeling and knowledge that we are living an authentic life because we know Jesus is our Lord and Savior.  Won’t you let go of you knock-off life.  Won’t you allow a heart-change and an upgrade to the original, priceless Jesus Christ.  He is waiting and your name is on the list.  No more knock-offs for me.