The Sweet Tea Principle

As a southern lady, I was from infancy grounded in the knowledge that as a woman from Florida, migrating slightly north to South Georgia, USA (following a wonderful man), that if you wanted to keep your family happy, keep them fed. The only way to keep them fed to the gills was to incorporate a mass amounts of comfort food recipes written by southern women available by the internet, cookbooks, T.V. shows, and the best way “by word of mouth”. If you are unaware of this, Find a woman from the south and ask her. I would tend to stick to AL, FL, GA, TN and the Carolina’s for the most accurate information. If I did not include your fair state, this was not an oversight, I was merely speaking from my personal experience. I would also include VA, just because I have a sweet sister in law, who also migrated north also from her SC roots.  In all these ramblings, I must say that the “comfort food” should be accompanied by its most lovely companion, Sweet Tea, which is often spoken of in hushed tones, and always with a smile!

Some southern “sweet tea” souls know the best ratio from sugar to tea. Some may engage in anywhere from lightly sweetened to heavy “let’s pour it on pancakes” sweet. I have, however, in an effort to be more healthy over the last couple of years engaged in an effort to switch from sweet to unsweetened tea. I have not totally succeeded in this adventure as I still have to add to my unsweetened tea a zero calorie sweetener. I know most of my southern girls would say, “Girl, if you have to do that, just drink water!” I would, but I can’t totally let go of my tea. It is what mama served us, it is what I know!

So my dilemma remains! I guess you need to decide if you are going to stick to your roots, or press forward in a way that is different than what everyone else is doing. I will say that some traditions serve a purpose and leave a legacy for us, but we also need to consider that just because it has always been done that way does not mean you cannot find a better way for you. In my reading about Jesus, He seemed to be doing things differently than the way it had been done. I think that is why the religious crowd had so many problems with Him. In my own efforts to pursue Christ, I am seeing things in a new way. I know I need to follow Him in the way He wants me to, not in the same way I have always done it. Someone once said that the definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again in the same way and expect different results. So if I want to pursue Christ with my whole heart it requires some sacrifices on my part. This includes my will and my want to. To be filled with the Spirit means letting go with what the flesh wants to do. They are in direct opposition. Pursing Christ means stepping out beyond what others may think or what they may be doing, and following Him alone.

I would say “in conclusion”, but I won’t. This is a work in progress. I am a work in progress, and that is okay! I may not have it all figured out, but I have faith in One who does. If I stay close and continue to pursue Christ, He will show me the way.  So where ever you are in your Christian walk consider pursuing Jesus every day. Your relationship with Him will be ever so much sweeter than the aforementioned “nectar”!

Stayed tuned, my friends, it only gets sweeter!

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; ‘ Colossians 1:9 



The Needs of the One

As an avid Star trek fan, I am always moved by the scene at the end of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn”. Spock tells Jim not to grieve because He is doing what is needed, “For the good of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one!” I suppose if one were to think logically this may apply, yet God thought that the needs of the one, me, was worth sending His beloved Son to be born, live, endure hardships, die, and be raised from the dead. As He did it for me, Jesus did it for you too.

God thought we were important enough when ties were broken with man, God chose to pursue a relationship with us. He chose us and in return we have the choice to choose Him too.  The truth I am looking at is that although God is the God of the individual, He can also be (and is) the God who loves and cares for the masses. We read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” God loves everyone! In the New Testament, Jesus also had compassion on the multitudes. God cares about everyone! NO ONE is excluded from His compassion and caring heart! He gave His Son to the Masses (the World); He gave His Son to the individual (Me). How is this possible? The answer is very simple, He Is God!!!

I know my brain may be going in a circle right now, but what brought this train of thought along is the fact that I have needs every day. What can I say besides, “I am needy!” I need Jesus! This year our church’s theme is “Pursuing Christ”. As we have been studying the Scriptures I am realizing that I need to pursue Christ as He pursued me in Salvation. Our salvation begins our relationship with Christ. As God pursued me in having a relationship with Him, I need to pursue that daily fellowship that deepens the relationship. I need to meet with God every day. I need to fill up with Him in the mornings and pursue Him all day long. Psalm 70:4-5 reads, “‘Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. But I am poor and needy: make haste unto me, O God: thou art my help and my deliverer; O Lord , make no tarrying.” We need to pursue Him because He alone is our hope, and peace. We need to go after Him joyfully and cheerfully. We do not do this because we feel we ought to or because someone will realize if we don’t. We pursue Christ because of the love we feel for Him. We need to be so wrapped up in loving Jesus that it is our main focus and concern. Because we know that whatever we face during the day, He is there with us to face every challenge, to walk every step, and to overcome our weaknesses. We are needy, but God is our help and our deliverer! Why would we not want Him with us through the day?

So this is where we live, knowing we have needs that far outweigh our ability to handle in a day. We know also that God wants us to reach out to the world. We can only do this in a strength that is not our own. It is Christ living in us and reaching out through us. Through our obedience, we reach out to the individual, and by doing this, we can reach the World. The needs of the one, me, must propel me forward to meeting the needs of the many, the world. The significant Truth is the need is the same, JESUS!

Blessings to You!

And So It Begins…Again

What is it about new beginnings that inspire you? The prospect of starting fresh really appeals to me. I have often tried to accomplish many things over the years. Sometimes success reigns, and I am glad I decided to push past my feelings of doubt or inadequacy. Sometimes the new thing excites me in the beginning,  and I have every intention of following through to its conclusion, but I do not make it to the finish line…Epic Fail.  Do you see yourself at the beginning of the same journey and wonder if this will be the time it will be different? I find myself in this place this morning. I know that the task ahead of me is great. I know that if I can push past the doubt, and let fact not feeling dictate my mindset, I know I can succeed. The fact that I am clinging to is that in whatever I am facing, God is there! He is my biggest cheerleader! God wants me to have abundant life in Him. (He says so in His Word!) I cannot measure my success by the world’s standards because they have a whole other set of rulers to measure success. So I must ask myself, who are you going to please with this one life you have been given. At the end of the day are the choices I made today going to please or displease my Heavenly Father.

Galatians 1:10, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” My husband is fond of saying He is serving an audience of one. The more I think on this statement the more I believe it to be true. May God be pleased with me today, and as I face this day may He be pleased with every effort. May God be pleased with my new beginning!

Torn Between Mary and Martha

The stage is set. Jesus was coming to the home of Mary and Martha. I can imagine the thoughts racing through Mary and Martha’s minds (Who will hereafter be referred to as M/M) as I know what races through mine when I hear company’s coming. At first, the Joy of the occasion prevails. People are coming to my home. We are going to be so blessed and have a wonderful time. Then the reality of the situation sinks in, “Company’s coming and I have a bunch of stuff to do to get my home ready!” I’m not sure how M/M felt. Maybe they had time to prepare or maybe they didn’t, nevertheless it did not matter. Jesus was coming to M/M’s House!

One thing we know from Scripture was that when Jesus came to M/M’s Home, He was not alone. Wherever Jesus was there was always people with Him. Many wanted to see what He was all about, while others wanted to know Him intimately. The disciples followed Jesus to assist Him in any way they could. So on behalf of M/M as we southerners say, “They had a house full!” So now that the stage has been set and the characters revealed, the plot is ready to unfold.

M/M’s story is found in Luke 10:38-42, “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” While we could discuss all the ends and outs of this story,  Let’s look at how Martha handles this situation. She is trying so desperately hard to make sure everything is just so. I mean someone has got to prepare the food and make sure everything is ship-shape! However, when she began looking for Mary to “give a gal a hand” she did not find her serving, but resting and learning at the feet of Jesus.  Though she didn’t realize it, Martha was more focused on the performance rather than the pursuit of God. One of the dear ladies in my Bible study brought out a great point on this. Janice said, “the performance is a one time thing. You do it and it is over, but the pursuit of God is something that is ongoing. You continue to do it day after day.”

The Lord told Martha that Mary had chosen the thing that was needed, the good part. Mary chose to focus on Jesus. Often in my life, I run around like sweet Martha. She was a good woman, and I believe she loved Jesus, but she began focusing more everything else rather than to take a breath and sit at the feet of Jesus focusing on Him alone. We need to be able to balance the tasks ahead of us each day, but never forget our first priority is sitting at His feet, and focusing on Him. When this occurs, we will find we can take Jesus with us through the rest of the day, and when life gets out of sorts, He is close beside us guiding us.

If you find yourself torn between Mary and Martha, follow the words of Jesus, and choose to sit and let Him teach you. You will have chosen the “good part”.

Until next time, Blessings to You!

Why Do I Put So Much Pressure On Myself?

Good Question? Maybe. Why do I put pressure on a gal like myself? Let’s face the fact that there are indeed times when we all put to much pressure on ourselves. We feel the drive and pressure to perform in a certain way. Many times we take on things that we were never meant to take on because of pressure. “What will the family say? What will my friends say? These questions and others like them may swirl around your head like they do mine. It sometimes starts when we are kids and other may have put expectations on us that we never seemed to live up to. Sometimes it may start in the workplace, society, or even dare I say it at church! When and where it begins is not necessarily the issue though, is it? If it comes to a place in us where we feel overwhelming pressure to perform, we have to deal with it.

Usually I can tell when I am at the brink of letting it get out of control. It is in those times when I hear a voice whispering in my heart, “Girl, it’s time to be still, and come and walk with me.” My heavenly Father who knows me best wants me to step back from the performance and begin a pursuit of Him. “Be still and know I am God.” Is the first verse that comes to mind, yet there are so many others that can help us in pursuing after God. In Isaiah 51, we read, “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.  Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.  For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. As we seek after God, He will lead us to a place of comfort. The performance we cling to can leave us dry and wanting a better way. He will lead us to a place like Eden. A place to daily walk and talk with Him, and be satisfied with all He is and all He will do. It is in this place where we find joy and gladness, and gives us a new song. 

Satan wants you to perform rather than pursue God. He will try to tell you if say you are letting all these people down by not doing all the things expected of you. However is it more important to pressure yourself into what others think of you or what God thinks of you. We all need to realize that we are serving an audience of One, Jesus Christ!  Performance can be exhilarating for a time, but performing over and over again will eventually lead us to a dry, empty way of living. It is time to take the final bow and began seeking God with all of our heart. He is waiting for you!

Until next time, Blessings to you!

Resting on the Run

Today, my friends, begins a new chapter in my life. After several years of working two jobs, I find myself at a new place. I didn’t have to go into work this morning. Whew, thought it would be a very long time before I would say that, but that is my reality this morning. I wrapped up my job as church secretary at First Baptist Church and I am getting ready to move to a new town, to a new house, and a new ministry.  Back in November, My husband was called as pastor at a new church about 40 minutes from where we live. So today my first official day not having to work and I have a to-go-do list a mile long. I have to catch up on all I have been putting off. So before I literally run out the door. I stopped to take a breath, and check in with the faithful few that have been with me and this blog since the  beginning.

I heard a phrase this weekend at the Minister’s Wives Retreat that I go to every year and this morning it resonates with me. We, Minister’s Wives, probably will have very few days that we are not off and running from the morning to the evening. Rest comes mostly when we crash in the evenings with our Minister husbands. So how do we really find the rest that we need to make it through the days until Jesus comes back? This weekend was all about rest and renewal. I thought excellent that is just what I need. I need to rest. I have found the true rest that can only satisfy our souls is rest that we find in the Lord. “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” How many verses have been written about resting in Jesus? Probably more than I can count are available to us. I digress. The phrase I grabbed on to this weekend. We need to learn to “Rest on the Run!” There will always be running involved with our lives so take time to carve out some minutes on the run to stop and rest. Carry verses with you to read over while you are waiting in line. Stop and pray while you are going to the next place on your list. (Disclaimer: Keep your eyes open if you are driving. lol) Just Kidding. This is something we all can do. Learn to rest on the run. It will take discipline to train your mind. To not do this is to let the devil distract you while you are on the run. So My Friends, take a moment to take a deep breath, “Be still and Know He is God”, and find sweet rest in who He is and His promises.

See you Soon! I will wave in passing!


Strength for a Weary Soul

Here it is! Wednesday they call it. This day is also known as “Hump Day”. It’s time to get excited, folks. We are halfway through the week, and, yet… I am tired. I need a great dose of strength. In my ramblings, I am reminded of a story I came across several years ago. Let me share it with you!

A young boy was on a hike through the woods with his father when he came upon a mid-size boulder.

“Dad,” he asked, “Do you think I can move that boulder?”

The father replied, “Yes, son, you can move that boulder if you use all of your strength.”

The boy pushed with all that was in him. He pushed and grunted and pushed some more, but the boulder would not budge. Frustrated, he said, “You were wrong, Dad, I can’t move it.”

The father replied, “You could have moved it if you used all of your strength, but you didn’t use all of your strength because you didn’t ask me for help.”

Many times in life we get weary, tired, and weak in God’s service. In my own life, when I become weary I have to go to the One who has endless strength. God is the only One who never tires, or grows weary. He has strength readily available to lift us up and sustain us. We can find rest for our body and soul at His feet. I have to admit that when I feel myself growing weary many times it is because I have not leaned on the Lord and gained the strength I need from Him. So I go! I go to Him. I sit beside Him and let Him teach me. I find comfort in His words and strength to continue with Him through my day.

Psalm 18:1-2 reads, “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.”

Why do you suppose that David began this Psalm in this way?  By reading in the forward of the Psalm, you will find that this Psalm was written when David was being pursued by an angry Saul who wanted to kill him. David was living on the run, hiding in caves, sleeping on the ground and just trying to survive.  We can certainly see how weary and tired David had become physically and emotionally.  In this state, He chose to praise and declare his love to the one who was his daily strength. David may have been running, but he knew who to run to for the strength and encouragement that he needed.

Are you weary today? my friend. I know someone who has strength for your weary soul. Don’t wait. Sit with Him. Jesus has all the strength you need.