Thursday, July 21, 2016

In the World, but not of the World

Our world is such a persuasive place.  Everywhere we turn, something or someone is trying to convince us, sell us something, change our opinion, or get us to join them.  It can be overwhelming to think for yourself and shut all the battling opinions out.  It is even more difficult to seek silence and listen to the Holy Spirit speak truth to power.  It is so easy to let the noise overcome us and be brainwashed by the screaming voice of the world.

We must remember to guard our hearts and minds against the ungodly influences of the world.  We must live in the world, but not be of the world.  We must participate in community, be guiding lights in the world, be advocates, protectors, protesters, empathizers, and defenders; but God should always be our guideline, our moral compass, and our biggest influence. 

It is not God’s desire for us to be hermits who are oblivious to what is going on.  Knowledge is power.  Yeshua (Jesus) told us in Matthew 10:16, “"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”  We are know the street, but not be in the street! We are to be social activist, spiritual leaders, economic powers, and simply extraordinary people to be around.  People should be drawn to the light within us and we should always walk among all people, regardless of their cultural or socioeconomic lot in life, so that light can be seen.

Romans 12:2 which tell us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Conformity to the world deteriorates the soul.  Death is its only reward.  Our minds must be locked on God so that we can discern the will of God in our lives.  This will prevent confusion and feeling hopelessly lost.  For our purpose on this earth is to live an abundant life that is obedient to the will of God.

Love hard and live free! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Oh Mama!

The human body is such a fragile thing.  It doesn’t seem like it when everything works as it should or until you are faced with the idea of your life being changed forever.  It can be taken for granted that we will always see or walk or dance or be able to take care of ourselves.  Youth makes us feel invincible.  Middle age makes us feel confident and comfortable. Then there is the winter of life when deep reflection takes place.  Where do the years go?

My mother injured herself this week and it dawned on me that she is elderly now.  She’s a beautiful woman whose face looks a decade and a half younger than she her seventy four years. I call her vampire because she looks exactly the same in all of her pictures.  There is a family picture circa 1978-1980 where her looks are indistinguishable from today!  My mom truly proves that black don’t crack. 
She is always out and about doing activities from art to exercise, from church to babysitting. She loves shopping, and is always involved in family business.  Because she is always so busy, I never stopped to realize that she is getting up in age.  When I saw her unable to help herself, I wondered, how did mom get old that quickly?  When the paramedics rushed her to the hospital, the worst possible scenarios entered my mind.  My heart almost stopped.  I don’t know what I would do if my mother was no longer a part of this world.  She is the rock of my family.  She is love personified.  Not only does she depend on us, we all depend on her.  I can’t even conceive of a world existing without her.  I praise God that she was released from the hospital.  Now, we have to keep watch over her and make sure that she does not injure herself again, and that we keep her in our prayers and support her as she faces impending surgeries.

Times like this I have to take a deep breath and trust that God knows what is best for us all and that everything will work according to God’s purpose.  That is the only peace that I can stomach at the moment.   I pray that God will heal my mother completely and grant her many healthy happy years to come. I look to Jeremiah 17:14 which says, “Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”  I ask that God heal her and save her in every possible way a person can be saved.  I also look to Psalms 30:2 which says, “O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.”  Lord I cry to you for help at this moment and I ask that you hear me and heal my mother.  For your son Yeshua said to the ailing woman, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:48).  I ask that the Lord extend the same proclamation to my mother.  We all have faith that there is nothing impossible with God.  Now is the time to utilize this faith and keep our outlook completely positive.  I do not know what the future may hold, but I know that God will get us through it.  Faith, hope, love, I’m depending on all three of these to help God’s spirit to move.  Keep us in prayer and remember to love hard and live free!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Heal the World!

                We look around the world and see all the suffering, pain, joblessness, broken hearts, violence, abuse, neglect, injustice, racism, sexism, perversion, and frustration.  We ask, why God?  Why do you allow so much ugliness to exist?  Why does a good God allow so much evil to prevail?  Why don’t you intervene and help us?  Why do you leave us to our own understandings, misguided plans, and flawed thinking?  Why God? Why?

            The apostle Paul answered this question perfectly in Romans 1.  Paul explains how we have abandoned God so God has given us over to ourselves.   Paul explains how we traded creation for creator, how we put our perversions over what is natural, how we not only revel in dysfunction, we teach others to be dysfunctional as well. Romans 1:28-31 says, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious towards parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” 

The sad truth is, it is us who have corrupted the world and it is us who have the ability to set things right by turning back to God.  God has given us all choices and unfortunately our choices can affect the lives of others.  We all are a part of the circle of life.  We can do good or evil. We can help or hurt.  We can uplift of tear down.  Everything we do affects those around us.  EVERYTHING!

Evil can pour over into a good life and leave destruction in its wake.  Good can bring light into a life of darkness and change the path of the hopeless to the hopeful.  Our actions matter.  Our words matter.  Our thoughts matter.  If we want our world to be a better place, we have to become better people.  We’re in this together.  The unity of humanity is our saving grace.  God commissioned us to love one another.  It is impossible to love God if we can’t love each other.  1 John 20-21 says, “If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”  It is impossible to please God if we live destructive, unproductive, maladjusted lives.  It is not God’s desire for us to suffer.  Contrary to false religion that teaches that there is nothing good about this life, God wants us to be happy while we’re still on this earth!  Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  God sent Jesus to teach us that God wants us to have an abundant life, a happy life, a good life.  We must take responsibility for ourselves and live in a way that is pleasing to God. 

God is not hard to please.  We make it hard.  It takes less energy to be happy than it does to be sad.  It takes less effort to be kind than it does to be hateful.  It’s easier to forgive than to hold a grudge.  God did not make us to torture us.  Every temptation, struggle, or weakness we have can be overcome.  We are not deficient creatures.  We are beautifully and wonderfully made; mini-gods created in the image of God!  Psalms 82: 6 says, “I said, "You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High.”  We are intelligent spiritual beings blessed with freewill.  We are the masters of our own fates.

We must remember that God is not some tyrant that makes us compete to get to heaven or live in fear of hell every moment of every day.  To please God means to love God truly and to love people.  It means to wake up each day in gratitude for life.  It means to forgive, nurture, and grow in God’s divine goodness each day.  It means that the fruit of our faith should be nourishment to all around us.  We are imperfect, but we should always strive for perfection.  Be holy because God is holy.  Be forgiving because God is forgiving.  Love each other like God loves us.  Leave the judging to God and only give meaningful correction.  When we are weak, we must lean on the one who is able to keep us from falling.  We are never ever alone!

This is our world to heal!  Let’s love God, love hard, and live free! Be a blessing!

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Monday, February 1, 2016

I Can't Help Myself!

Photo Credit: Leland Francisco

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we fail ourselves.  We give into our base natures and temptations.  We fall into the wanton arms of the forbidden and many times take deep pleasure in its embrace.  We find ourselves like Paul who says in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”  With each kiss, sniff, swallow, spoonful, or violent outburst, our sins wrap more and more chains around our bodies.  Our eyes become dimmer to the light and we begin to relish the darkness.  We seek the very things that are eating us from the inside out like a copious cancer.

At times, our sins are looming over us screaming like banshees making our heads thunder with every thought of our indiscretions.  Guilt suffocates us until we are aching and begging not to draw breath.  Our weaknesses can sometimes overthrow us.  Our addictions to food, drugs, sex, drama, or whatever vice that we secretly savor cripple us from walking in our divine purpose.  At these times, it is important to humble ourselves before God and ask for our hearts to be made right.  Jesus tells us in Mark 14:38 and Matt. 26:41 that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak so we must plead for forgiveness and be truthful about our short comings.  

God does not desire for us to walk around being bruised and beaten by guilt nor does God want us to give into things that will eventually destroy us.  God is a God of second, third, and fiftieth chances!  God wants us to grow stronger and to be better people.  We were created to be more than conquerors. True repentance and transformation is the way to conquer the things that make us weak. When we are able to face the mirror and look at ourselves in our true imperfect glory, this is when God gives us the ability to do better.  This is the first step to transformation. It is the first step to conquering the sins that enthrall us.  If we come to God and ask for a clean heart and a right spirit, God will not deny our request.  We will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit so that we will be able to walk away from the negative things that call to our vulnerable flesh. 

When I am overcome by my weaknesses, I find strength in Psalm 51.  It is a prayer of pure humility and an earnest pleading for forgiveness and redemption.  There is no greater prayer that a repentant heart can utter.  Psalm 51 helps me to center myself and to really prostrate my heart before God.  I realize that during praying this prayer that I am loved unconditionally and that no sin is too great to not be forgiven.  I also realize that I have power over sin, that I am the master of my own fate, and that I have to want God to help change my heart. I hope this prayer will help you find peace for your souls.  Remember to love hard and live free!    

Psalm 51
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
   blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
   and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
   and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
   and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
   and blameless when you pass judgement.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty,
   a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being;
   therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
   and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and put a new and right* spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
   and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
   and sustain in me a willing* spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
   O God of my salvation,
   and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
   and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you have no delight in sacrifice;
   if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God* is a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
   rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then you will delight in right sacrifices,
   in burnt-offerings and whole burnt-offerings;
   then bulls will be offered on your altar.

For more about Violette L. Meier, visit

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy To Be Debt Free!

Sometimes in life we are backed into a corner.  Every bill is due. Creditors are snapping at our heels.  The repo man is circling our block.  The bank is threatening to take our home.  Maybe our problems aren’t financial.  We are emotionally or physically overwhelmed or have a spiritual deficit.  Happiness is always out of reach. Whatever it is, it seems that we do not have enough to keep the stresses of life at bay.  When these moments come, we must learn to use what we have, and have faith that God will make ends meet.

When we read about a widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7 who goes to the prophet Elisha in desperation because a creditor is threatening to enslave her children because of her late husband’s debt, we see a woman who knows the power of God.  Instead of hustling on the street; instead of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul; instead of selling her sons, instead of stealing or killing, she took her problem to God and consulted the prophet Elisha.  Elisha asked her what she had of value in her home.  She had nothing to her name but a jar of oil. The prophet tells her to go ask her neighbors for empty jars and go lock herself and her boys into her house.  Without protest, questions, doubt, or hesitation, the lady did as she is told and the jar of oil multiplied until it filled up every borrowed jar.  She sold the oil and paid her debt.  Faith and obedience brought her from ducking and dodging to debt free!

When life has us teetering on the edge of a cliff, we must know that we serve a God who is able to set our feet upon stable ground.  We have to learn to use what little we have and trust God that it will be enough.  Jesus told us not to worry because if God takes care of birds and flowers God will certainly take care of us.  If we seek God first, all things will be provided for.  It doesn’t matter if we can’t see it or feel it at the time.  All we have to do is believe that God can and will fill our jars, increase our oil, multiply our possessions so we will always make due.  Keep the faith and continue to be fruitful and productive. Strive perpetually. Have a healthy happy blessed new year! 

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

God Ain't Listenin'!

There are times when God seems completely silent.  We feel abandoned. Our prayers go unanswered.  Confusion and indecision encompasses us.  Doubt and despair fills us. We scream, “Speak Lord!” and there is still silence.  We feel so far from God that our very faith seems foolish.

We must learn to accept silence at times.  In a word of noise, that is difficult to do, but sometimes God works in silence.  Sometimes silence is God’s verdict, and we refuse to accept that the answer is simply no.

When Jesus trembled with fear in the garden of Gethsemane, he knew that his life was coming to the end.  He was depressed and frightened.  The realization that he was going to be tortured and killed filled him with dread.  Jesus asked God to change his fate. God was silent.  Jesus asked again to be delivered from mortal torment. Face to the ground, prostrate before the throne of God, eyes filled with tears, sweat drenching his body, Jesus asked that his bitter cup be taken away.  God again did not answer.  Jesus prayed thrice and thrice the result was the same.  God did not answer because God’s decision was final.  Jesus was to be the great sacrifice.  Crucifixion was a certainty. There was no way around this.  Jesus did not curse the Father, but Jesus accepted his fate and said he would obey God’s will not his own. (See Matt. 26:36-46)

When God does not answer, it does not mean that God does not hear.  Sometimes God’s will is not our own.  When this occurs, we must accept the will of God and let the cards fall where they may.  This is hard to swallow for many, but life is not all about what we want.  We have to realize that the will of God, the greater good, consequences for our actions, and life choices can outweigh what we think we may deserve. Therefore, we must remember to keep the faith when we can clearly hear the voice of God and also keep the faith when we think our prayers are falling on deaf ears. 

God is always with us and always will be. Learn to let God’s will be done because “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) 

May the peace of the Christ, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God always rest upon you. Be blessed and remember to love hard and live free!

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Walk In Your Truth

Don’t allow people to dictate your life.  As long as you are living according to the Word of God, you are just fine.  Sometimes people like to criticize your personal beliefs, the way you worship, or your worldview.  If the light of God shines through you and it is evident by the way you live your life, the opinions of others are irrelevant.  If you love God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and love others as yourself, you are doing the will of God.  Yeshua (Jesus) said all of the commandments are built upon these two things.

The world will always find something to criticize.  Keep in mind that Yeshua (Jesus) was accused of having a demon (Matt. 12:24, John 7:20, John 8:48-19), being crazy (Mark 3:20, John 10:19-20), and being a glutton and a drunkard (Matthew 11:19).  The religious leaders of the day called him blasphemous (John 10:33).  Yeshua (Jesus) didn’t worry about the doctrines of the day or what was popular.  A matter of fact, I would steer away from what the masses think is popular because Yeshua (Jesus) warned that broad is the entrance and wide path that leads to damnation (Matthew 7:13).

So walk proudly in communion with God.  You are unique and so is your relationship with God. God created you as you are.  As long as you are living in harmony with the Holy Spirit, love hard and live free! 

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