Strength of your Heart

Wait on the LORD. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the LORD! Psalm 27:14

During morning devotion – and no – that doesn’t mean I was sat on a beach front, watching the sunrise winging on a hammock in blissful silence. . . More like sat at my desk, in front of half eaten breakfast taking the few minutes I had between my 7 year old asking me to locate his left shoe, my 12 year old needing to be reminded to use deodorant today and me remembering to pack my lunch.. that I was caught by the scripture. 

You know when you are sat minding your own business and all of a sudden there is a flurry of activity and its like someone hit the download button and all of a sudden there is a surge of information and encouragement. Scriptures are just flying through your head, thoughts are being lined up that are then being layered up with more scriptures.. You don’t.. well I don’t.. even know where the scriptures are taken from but they are coming thick and fast. Almost like the Clark Kent to Superman transformation in a phone box. Often times I don’t even know what to write on which is why I have pens and post-it notes all over my home.. these moments of inspiration just take off and I need to be able to write them down as they come.. I don’t want to miss a single crumb..

So this particular morning, back to the half eaten breakfast – I hear “Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord”. I asked myself one question.. – Why, when I am waiting would my heart need strength? Why would it be promised that in my time of waiting that God would be the one to strengthen my heart while I am waiting?

I was reminded of Proverbs 13:12 that states that “Hope deferred, makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life“.

There is something somewhat sickening about waiting..There – I said it.

There is just something about waiting that is unsettling when it has been going on for some while. The proverb suggests that your heart becomes sick when something you have hoped for is delayed, and this is fact. Whether you are waiting for a bus, a delivery, or the microwave – something happens to our hearts in the state of delayed expectations. A strange mix of anxiety and confusion takes us. We know something should be happening about now, we are looking for it, listening out for it, but it’s not turned up. Then here comes the questions – Why has it not turned up? Where is it? When is it coming? How much longer will I be without? what’s going on?

All these are valid questions when waiting, however, after having asked yourself the same question for 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks, maybe 5 months, or the last 5 years, for some decades..(you get the picture) – something happens – literally – something damaging starts to happen. The questions that were once logical and rational have morphed into swards of furry that poke holes in our once whole and sound heart. Turning joyful hope into a toxic slurry of confusion and doubt if we are not careful. Having waited “too long” our heart has become sick..

broken heart.PNG

Proverbs 4:23 states this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it“. When your heart has become sick – believe me – its evident in almost every area of your life. Jesus while talking to a group of Pharisees notes that “..out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks..”(Mthw 12:34). Our heart and its contents are directly linked to what we do and what we say. A sick heart can lead us to do and say some out of Christlike-Character things.. Proverbs 15:13 tells us “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit”..

heart and mind

And this is why our heart needs strengthening – and reinforcing while we are waiting. God in His wisdom lets us know that if we can do the waiting – He will do the strengthening. This is His promise to us. He is well aware of the potentially effects of waiting for a promise given. He knows we have the tendency to become impatient and flustered and loose hope while waiting. Doubt is both toxic and hazardous in the life of the believer. As is fear – and guaranteed where you find one.. the other wont be far behind.

We owe it to ourselves to check the content of our heart and mouth in relation to things we are still waiting on God for. Have we started speaking negatively about that deferred hope? Have we sided with doubt and decided that maybe God cant? Or maybe you haven’t taken it as far as God can’t.. because that would be unheard of to find something God cant do.. so that cant be it – maybe we have consoled ourselves with the thought that God simply wont..we’ve sold our hopes because they cause us too much pain to bear. I dare not get my hopes up..

I’ll share a thought process I had concerning a wait of mines .. “I can’t, in fact I refuse to go to another wedding without a husband of my own…At LEAST a boyfriend.. and dare anyone ask me to be a bridesmaid… again.. in fact, please don’t even invite me to the wedding.. I don’t really want to know – I just can’t. I don’t want to hear how you wasn’t even looking for a husband .. “but look what the Lord did”…. No .. I’m not shouting with you, put down my tambourine and go away please.. and thank you.. #truestory .. one I’m sure a few of you can relate to. My heart had become so toxic in the season of waiting that I found it difficult to honestly (the key word there) and genuinely celebrate others who had received the answer to MY prayer…  err – excuse me!! – Anyways.. we thank God for deliverance.. I’m still single, but my heart isn’t toxic about it.. !

Now, He didn’t promise to speed things up, or put an automatic end out our wait. That wasn’t the promise. He promises to give us the ability to endure. Not something we do ourselves – something He says that He will take care of. However, should we become weary in the waiting – trust me – it happens.. Psalm 147:3 reminds us that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”.

You’ve still got to wait though. I know.. hardly the happy ending you were looking for – but know that God has prepared strength for you in His presence and His word that will strengthen and reinforce your heart while you are waiting. Even if doubt turns up with it’s BFF fear – God has the remedy for both of those.. and its usually wrapped in the demonstration of His love towards us.

Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage .. and HE WILL strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord..

Until next time..

 

 

Doubtless: Spiritual Adoption #2

A Happy New Year to you all..

We have to give God thanks for being noting but Faithful towards us all. Believers or not, none of us could say we have made it through on our own strength. Great Are You Lord.

So.. the 2nd in my Spiritual Adoption running …

Today’s scripture is taken from Isaiah 63:16 lets us know that the Fatherhood of God is not about hereditary decent, neither is about nationality but something that is available to all mankind – it reads: (KJV)

Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting

NIV put it this way: But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

I love this scripture, simply because of the level of assurance and certainty it holds, and encourages me to have in the knowledge of God being my father. SO.. Lets eat.

The scripture opens with a big word. Doubtless. Doubt – Less.. it means certainly.. without a doubt.. The opening statement makes a declaration – that certainly, without a doubt – you are our father. There is no “who’s the daddy?” issues going on, no questions, no confusion about who the daddy is!

Though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: Now this part made me think. How many of us have fathers and even blood family who are ignorant of us, by choice or otherwise. To be ignorant is to lack knowledge or awareness of something. There are some children in this world who do not know their fathers simply because their fathers are ignorant of them. There is a lack of knowledge of the fact that the child exists. This leads to a distance none the less. The child does not know the father and the father does not know the child. Much like Abraham – who was to bring forth the promised seed by which all the nations of the earth would be blessed – however Abraham wouldn’t know me.. Abraham is of no help to me in my time of trouble. So even though the Jews were deeply connected to both Abraham and Jacob, they were both dead now, and of no direct connection or support to the people of God!

Many of us who have a distance between our fathers are via ignorance or a refusal to acknowledge us. Both hurt. Israel acknowledge us not. This to me is position of choice. There are some of us who have fathers who make the choice not to acknowledge us. It’s not a lack of knowledge or awareness – this is a refusal to accept or admit the existence or truth of something. Again, Jacob in all his power would never look up and claim me. Candace Clarke.. I would have been born not a Jew.. but a gentile. Far from the common wealth of Israel.

Many of us feel that way – abandoned by those who either out of ignorance or a refusal to acknowledge are missing from our life. Leaving gaps in our upbringing, leaving voids in our hearts, misconceptions and miss-connections in our processing.. but keep hope alive – it’s not even about them!

Thou.. pause.. O Lord.. Pause.. Art our father. Read it how its been written. You.. O Lord.. Art Our Father. Feel the emphasis in how it has been written. YOU.. O LORD.. Are My Father. Despite who wants me, despite who accepts me, despite who wants to acknowledge me as their child.. despite all of that – You.. Oh Lord.. Are my Father.

Our Redeemer is your name for everlasting. Forever and ever our father will also be our redeemer. To redeem means to compensate for the faults or bad aspects or something, it also talks of regaining possession in exchange for a payment. This we know that God has done in  such an extreme way with the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. The price was paid for Him to reclaim us to Himself and His family.

Doubtless  – Thou – Art – My – Father.. they are not just words, it’s an assured declaration that we have every right to make over our lives. We have the ability to make this statement with as much assurance as the people of God did when they were faced with problems and crisis beyond their comprehension. They were making a statement that we are your children – you have to come through for us.

DOUBTLESS – THOU – ART – MY – FATHER !

Bless you Loves x

 

 

 

85yrs ago today..

Dear Daddy..

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR..

85yrs ago today.. in a home in Manchester, Jamaica.. Hilda and John Morgan laid eyes on a miracle.

85yrs ago today someone truly amazing came into the world. 85 years ago today someone absolutely and categorically spectacular steped into this world.

Your parents probably had no idea of the impact you would have on this world. Probably a good thing that they didn’t, how would they handle such an amazing gift from God? One who would be a great child, who would turn into an amazing man, who turned into wonderful father and grandfather and later become the well seasoned Great Grandfather.. who knew!?

It’s your birthday, highly unlikely you’re aware, but thats ok.. it’s us who need to celebrate you.. I FaceTimed you to wish you a happy birthday.. always an entertaining experience as I dont think you get the concept. Pictures..that talk..and move..and I have to talk back too.. lol ..But to look at you.. looking at me.. I Bless God to be looking at you at the ripe age of 85 and not laying flowers at a grave side. Bless God forever!

Your eyes light up when you see Noah. You’ve always had a special bond with that one..

Sir, you’re simply amazing. You’re more than special, you’re more than unique. You are all man.. all gentleman..and all father.. I couldn’t have asked for a better person in my life.

Love you..

#VascularDementia

I forgot to ask about the fried dumplin’ !!

Daddy,

I forgot to ask about the fried dumplings..

Ive not tasted, seen or smelt any like yours in all my 31 years. Your fried dumplings make up some of my earliest memories and I cant believe I forgot to ask about them.. the smell, the taste, the texture..

How do you get them so perfectly golden on all sides..? No milk.. no butter but still the softest centre ever known.. how comes they never burn in the dutch pot.. the edges dont touch the pan but they too are just as perfectly golden as the rest..how do you do it?

Flour I have, water I have, salt I got.. but..  but it’s just not quite right..

Was it the time taken to kneed the dough.. maybe it was the perfect balance of water to flour or maybe it was just the perfect mix of you and anything you put your hands to that did it.. I’m going with the latter..

I figured out soup of many varieties.. stew peas.. curry goat.. I even started frying fish.. I know you’d be proud since I was adamant I would never. That was undeniably and categorically your job.. but I guess you cant now..

But Im gutted I never asked about the fried dumplings! That will be one culinary experience I cant pass down to my children. One the world will miss.

Till next time. X

#VascularDementia

I know you’re still in there..

A letter to my (Gran) Dad…

I know you’re still in there.

I can see it in your eyes. Your condition has you locked like a prisoner in your own body. Present and yet so absent, but I know you’re in there. The odd times you smile and remember who I am. I cherish each time you say my name. I know you’re still in there.

I’m sorry I force you to talk to me, almost nose to nose with you, invading your personal space.. I’m just making sure you’re still in there..

It pains me to see you like this.. now I know why you were such a story-teller. And would tell a story for the 20th time like it was brand new. Because God knew that, one day, a day like today..there would be no more stories.. well not that I can always make sense of..your stories now mix present with the past and make me stop and think.. but I guess it makes sense to you. You always want to know what shift Im on, or tell me about your urgent need to get to the office.. but I know you’re still in there.

My daddy, my friend.. I know you’re still in there..

#VascularDementia

Frontline Service

In the last two month my church lost two of the original founders of our organisation. The church has been going for 50 yrs and these are the first of the pillars to be laid to rest. One a mother and one a father to the church. One a sure Deborah of her time.. full of the word WITH fire.. the other a Jeremiah of his time.. he didnt need a mic or a conference to preach sinners to repentance, often found on the high roads and town centres preaching the gospel.

I was asked to write my thoughts for a project and this is what I came up with. It fell in line nicely to tribute my Mother Flowers and Elder Clarke

What does it mean to be on the Front Line.
It’s a position our elders held for Some Time.
They took it serious it was not just for the Sunshine.
This was a call in to fight Big Time.

Their stories started often in the Night-Time. Singing songs like when His wounded hands Touched Mine.
When they were converted and took on His Bloodline.
Making Jesus Christ their Saviour took No Time.

Sin became a Past Time and automatically it was Crunch Time
This was No Time for the Sometime but High Time to fall In Line.

Being on the Front Line wasn’t always Fun TIme. But the reward of the righteous was looking Sublime
Singing songs like Jesus is on the Mainline Comforted by the fact that their God was always On Time

The lives of our forefathers that Brush Mine, taught me the importance of staying In Line Praying always and developing my relationship Over Time
Because the crown of Glory surely won’t go to the Unsigned
And between heaven and hell – just a Thin Line.

So to the young and the Old who remain on the Front Line
You stand fast and remain Online
Don’t be afraid it’s gonna be a Tough Time
But know your reward was settled in Heavens way Before Time