“What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops”
One of the biggest lessons that I have struggled with is why Jesus seemed to turn His back on His family and called others to do the same. He refused to do miracles in His hometown. He refused to see His family when they visited (Luke 8:19-21). He even called a hopeful disciple to follow Him without being given the time to say goodbye to anyone (Luke 9:61-62) or another to bury his father (Luke 9:60:61). Why are we instructed to distance ourselves? The truth is that we have to be willing to let go of our earthly ties in order to fully embrace our Father above. Jesus warns that those closest to us will be the last to believe the truths that God reveals within us (Luke 4:24). They are also the ones close enough to hurt us and keep us from becoming who God is calling us to be. I’ve witnessed the dangerous cycle of those striving to serve God, while continuing to be hurt and held back by those closest to them. God calls those that love to serve Him and many times that love is taken for granted in this world. Walking away protects our hearts. Walking away solidifies our trust in God as our distance isn’t about losing hope in them, but instead placing that hope in the only One that can truly help them. We walk away to put ourselves in the best environment for our healing and growth to ultimately help more people. We walk away hoping that God will send a messenger to show our friends and family His love and the correction that we may have been too close to do ourselves. Sometimes loving from a distance is what’s best as we trust in God to heal our wounds and reunite us in time according to His will. If I ever have to love you from a distance, please know that I am doing it with a hope in God for our best growth, healing and eventual reunion. Mother Mary was ultimately by Jesus’ side during His crucifixion. This isn’t a call for anyone to depart from their friends and families based on my word (which means nothing), but once again a call for us to seek the Holy Spirit for guidance and understanding about how this all is to be applied in our own lives. All of the Bible’s instructions are meant to be discerned individually through the Holy Spirit.
God recently revealed to me the similarities between the french word for gratitude (merci) and mercy. He explained to me that the mercy that I extend to others is how I show my gratitude to Him. It is grateful grace. It is our power to forgive beyond what ourselves would allow as we pull that strength to forgive from God and learn to leave the pain at His feet. Jesus already died for the forgiveness of not only our sins, but everyone’s sins who believe. The more that we recognize this by forgiving others, the more that we can forgive ourselves, and the closer that we can ultimately draw to God as we seek His guidance in our lives. It is grace that spreads His love into the world. It is grace that breaks the cycle of us being hurt and then hurting others in return as we learn how to better respond with love. I for one am so grateful to be able to extend that grace to others. If you have wronged me, I forgive you and encourage you to seek that forgiveness from God as I left it at His feet. I love you and hope that you too can leave your pain at His feet to undo the cycle of suffering in our world. All that any of us need is a deeper relationship with God to find healing through His love. #grace #giver #ThankYouJesus #grateful
Judgement is a mechanism for us to protect ourselves. It is us setting our own expectations on those around us, instead of learning how to just love and help them heal. When developed in a group setting, it creates communities of similarly minded people set around those expectations. While this can help to create a sense of security, it does not help us to break away from our sin. Sin is defined as one’s disconnection from God. When we become part of a community that is led by judgement, we allow ourselves to be led by others in this world instead of learning how to be led directly by God. Anything or anyone that takes our focus away from God is a gateway to sin, no matter how it may appear. This is how many Christians end up living a double life. When we fall short of our community’s expectations, we attempt to hide our shortcomings instead of learning how to run into God’s loving arms for His grace and guidance. This is not anyone’s fault as we were led astray early on by a compromise to co-exist with the Jewish community. This was further solidified through Paul’s writings that intermixed Jesus’ messages of love and grace with Paul’s beliefs stemming from his own past of judgement. Paul’s way is not Jesus’ way. God calls us to live life differently. Jesus teaches us not throw stones at each other, because we have all sinned. Our call instead is to focus on our own journeys and forgive each other for our wrongdoings. He took it a step further by commanding us to love and blessing all who believe with the gift of the Holy Spirit to be our guide through this life. That is meant to be the foundation of Christianity. One of love and forgiveness. One of empowerment as we each find our connection to Him directly from within. We must find a way as a whole community to revert back to Jesus’ path of salvation and freedom. Once we learn that we are each to live for God, we can learn how to better answer to Him alone until we are solidified in the freedom to properly navigate this life learning and growing with gratitude for His grace and guidance. I call this going God’s way. #Godsway #HolySpirit #Jesus
1. I LOVE EVERYONE. Hate and bitterness are sicknesses to one’s Spirit. It is a weight meant to keep us from living joy-filled lives in connection to God. This is why I am so grateful for God’s grace and strength, which allows me to lay those burdens down at His feet and keep my focus on Him. This gives me the strength to keep on forgiving and keep on striving to love. It gives me the strength to focus on extending the mercy that God has extended to me. We have all harmed others. We are all unworthy of God’s grace on our own. And yet, Jesus still died for our salvation and the forgiveness of our sins. 2. I LIVE BY THE SPIRIT. I laid my life down to God and started seeking to be led by the Spirit over two years ago. It has been both the most trying and incredible journey of my life. The gift of having a personal relationship with God is the greatest blessing beyond anyone’s imagination. I trust in His guidance. I trust in His care. I trust in Him. Just as so many characters demonstrated in the Bible, it takes a certain amount of defiance to refuse the world’s authority when it misaligns with God’s authority in one’s own life. We are each walking our own journeys with our own battles to face and lessons to learn. If this ever seems to be in conflict with anyone else’s guidance, please remember that we are each at different phases of a very complex process custom-made by God for our own development. Each of our focuses’ must be kept on our own journeys, while still connecting with others to support their journeys. 3. I AM HEALING. Healing is a process. We are all in a cycle of being hurt and then inadvertently causing damage to others through that hurt. This is why I am once again so grateful for God’s grace and presence in my life. The only way to overcome this cycle is to trust in God to reveal us to ourselves and then work with Him to heal our wounds and guard against further damage. Please accept my apology if I have ever harmed any of you.
Shining Down by Swoope
It’s ok to be healing... Christ came for our salvation. #Jesusloves #grace #kindnessrocks #Mark217
Watching the water fountain show, while eating a Strawberry Lemonade Margarita Water Ice from @detroitwaterice. Such a cool business to find and such a great way to enjoy the summer! I’m so grateful to be a part of this city. #IloveDetroit
Start Over by Flame feat. NF. - Blinded by Your Grace pt. 2 by Stormzy feat Mnek
Behold (Then Sings My Soul) - Starts and Ends - Oceans (Where Feet May Fall) #United
Words of wisdom from my girl, @tayagaukrodger. - Whole Heart (Hold Me Now) #United
Grateful for a wonderful night of worship with @hillsongunited and family. Good Grace - Another in the Fire - What a Beautiful Name #Jesus #United
To my LGTBQ community, I would like to write an apology. It is not my place to judge your path, but to love you. It is through this love that each of us can best encourage others to seek a relationship with God as our love is meant to be a reflection of Him. Personally, I am sorry if I have ever fallen short of this… Please be patient with me as I heal. Please help me learn how to better love you. I’d like to start by simply saying Happy Pride Month. You are beautiful. #loveoverhate
I took these signs down from a freeway bridge last night… it saddens me to see Christianity represented in such a way. God is the Light and Hope in our world. It is His love that we all deeply crave, yet so many of us instead opt to spread fear and doubt. This world needs to see God’s light in us, it needs to hear us praising Him to all that will listen. We are here to proclaim salvation through Christ. We are here to show the world God’s love and truth. Ultimately, who do signs like these best serve? Is this really how God is calling you to love your neighbors? If you were trying to better trust in your relationship with God, would a sign like this help you open yourself up to Him or would it make God’s efforts to reach you even harder? We are all healing. We are all in need of repentance. We are also blessed to be wrapped in His mercy and grace through Jesus Christ. Let’s celebrate that. Let’s celebrate Him. We shine and serve through love. To whoever wrote this, I love you and wish for you to find the healing that comes by spreading God’s love and grace into the world. God loves you and wants you to enjoy your relationship with Him more. Embrace His love. Peace and hope. #loveoverhate
Bravery + Strength + Love = Inspiration. This song speaks beautifully on the need for love over hate in our world. Thank you @taylorswift for your courage.
I honor this day in truth and respect. Jesus will always be my Lord and Savior. www.shoestringdetroit.com/openletter
Good Friday is the saddest day of the year as we reflect on the suffering that Jesus willing went through for the forgiveness of our sins. Moving forward, I would like to better honor it as a day of silence to better reflect and pray.