JUST KEEP LOOKING UP

Each day, we face trials and tribulations of various kinds. We face issues within our families. Marriages and relationships are in turmoil. Friendships are being torn apart. We have difficulty on our jobs. It can be difficult to hold your head up high in spite of all that is going on around you. But if you can just look up to Jesus, He can carry you through no matter what is going on. I don’t tell you what I think or what I heard; I am telling you what I know. He will carry you through! “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go” (Psalm 91:11 NLT).

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GOD IS SO GOOD!

Today, I am in my emotions a little. This is not bad thing but a good thing. I am in my emotions because God has been so good to me. I am just truly thankful for all that He is doing in my life. I don’t have the most expensive things in worldly eyes; but in spiritual eyes, I am totally rich. God didn’t have to wake me up this morning but He did. That is proof that He still has more for me to do. My children are alive and well. That is, indeed, a blessing. I have a full-time job to go to. God made that happen. I can afford summer childcare for my three small children. That is God, too. We have a place to call home and there is food in my refrigerator and pantry. That is God as well. I go through a lot each day as far as different situations but when I think of the things that really matter, I can’t help but to give God all of my praise. As a single mom, it gets hard. It gets trying. I remember that, at one time, a while back I didn’t skip a beat crying myself to sleep at night. I would get up from my desk at work and go to the restroom just to cry sometimes. I felt so left behind on the times back then. And at one time, I didn’t feel that I was even worthy enough for a man to be faithful to me or to make me his wife. I got used to being lied to and cheated on. I was just lost. But God found me! I am worthy of so much in His eyes!

God came and started working on me – mind, heart, body and soul. He is still working on me and I thank Him for never leaving my side like many people who I thought loved me did. I find myself now hungering to read His Word more. I meditate on His Word more. I can see changes taking place in my life because God’s Word teaches me how to cope. I can feel change inside of me. I don’t care about materialistic things but I do care about my walk with the Lord. If He says I can have materialistic things, then so be it. And as far as a mate, I know that He is preparing the right one for me. I have faith in that. I will continue to follow Him. I will continue to strive in being that all God wants me to be. How has God been good to you?  -S.L.M.

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SMILE THROUGH IT ALL


Mastering the art of smiling through it all is strength. I have almost mastered it. There are some situations that are simply beyond our control. There are some people who will never understand you, accept you or love you. There are some places you just can’t go. There are some things you just can’t do. There some things you just can’t have. Why get mad about the things when you simply have no power of them? Why make your days long and dreary? Why allow your face to carry a frown? You can’t control everything! You can’t control everyone! I can’t control everything and everyone! But we can control our reaction to these things. We can just smile. We all know that a smile goes a very long way. Smiling is an action. Since actions become habits, that means smiling can turn habitual. Smiling on the outside should shake what’s on the inside and prayerfully, you will begin to smile on the inside, too. Frowning or having a displeasing look on our faces because of certain situations does us no good. Just let it go and put your smiling face on! It is going to get better. It won’t rain forever! You are going to be alright! I am going to be alright! Smiling through it all shows strength. Smiling places you in a better mood. Smiling relieves stress and tension. Smiling lessens the pain. Brighter days are head! We just have to focus on the good and let go of complaining. Job stated in Job 9:27 (NIV), “If I decided to forget my complaints, to put away my sad face and be cheerful.” And many of know the story of Job in the Bible. He went through a lot of suffering. So surely, if Job can smile so can we. Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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THE MIRACLE IS IN THE FIRE!!

Can anyone recall the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3? I certainly do! They were not going to bow down to the rules of King Nebuchadnezzar, who had threatened to throw them into the fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had faith in God and stood on His promises. In Daniel 3:17 (NIV) these three Hebrew men told King Nebuchadnezzar, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.” King Nebuchadnezzar became very furious with these three men and requested that the furnace be turned up hotter than the normal temperature. He had soldiers to tie the men up and throw them into the blazing furnace. The flames were so hot that that they even killed the soldiers who threw the men into the fire. But to King Nebuchadnezzar’s surprise he saw four men walking around in the fire! They were not tied up or harmed! The fourth man was the Son of God! Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was promoted by the king because of this.

You may have fire in your life right now. You may be battling with a lot right now. You have been praying that God will rescue you from the fire; yet, you are still in it. This is where you must activate your faith in God. The enemy may turn the fire up in your life, but God will turn His fire up higher! While you are in the fire, God will get in the fire with you. When you hold steadfast to His promises, no harm will come to you. You will not be defeated by that illness! You will not be defeated by that breakup or divorce! You will not be defeated by financial issues! God is going to bring you out in victory! God is going to promote you! The miracle is in the fire! You get stronger in the fire! You get wiser in the fire! The miracle is, indeed, in the fire! Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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ACCEPTING AN APOLOGY & FORGIVENESS YOU MAY NEVER RECEIVE

In situations where two parties have wronged each other, apologies and forgiveness need to take place. Depending on the situation, there may be difficulty in both apologizing and forgiving. But one must do so because it is right to do so.  The Bible teaches us that when we repent, we are apologizing for our sins and God forgives us. Hebrews 8:12 (NLT) states, “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” When God forgives us, He remembers it no more; however, some people aren’t so quick to forgive nor apologize if they have wrong you. You must be prepared for forgiveness you may never receive as well as an apology you many never receive. But if you did your part in apologizing and forgiving, learn to be okay with that. God knows your heart. When the other person chooses not to ask for or accept forgiveness, pride and bitterness has their heads up. Hand that individual over to God and pray for them. You have done your part and there is nothing else you can do. Never let another’s person pride or bitterness make you feel bad. There is strength in living with an apology that you may never receive. And there should be comfort in knowing that you apologized and forgave in spite of. Blessings are in your favor because of that. Let God take of those who do not forgive or accept forgiveness. If a person chooses not to do so, God doesn’t forgive them for their wrongs. “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15 NLT). So, there may be times you will have to accept an apology that you will never receive. But God knows and He sees. You do your part, give the rest to God and He will do His part. Just move on. It will be okay. Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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WHEN SILENCE IS BEST

A woman once told me, “I feel bad for you because your mate cheated on you with me.” I don’t know what the intentions of these words from her was for me but I remained silent. A wise woman does. I could have retaliated but the Holy Spirit alerted me of a truth. About year ago, an older and wise Christian woman told me that a man does not nothing for a woman until he places a ring on her finger and makes that woman his wife. Until that moment comes, that man can still do what he wants to do. That man is not yours and you do not belong to him until he marries you. These words in which this Christian woman spoke stayed with me. So when I was told that this other lady feels bad for me because my mate cheated on me with her, I remained silent. He wasn’t mine. And he wasn’t hers. I didn’t wear a wedding ring on my finger and neither did she. This man simply didn’t belong to either one of us. So why even attempt to defend someone who isn’t yours? And the truth was that NEITHER ONE OF US BELONGED TO THIS MAN….EVER. This man was basically free to do whatever he wanted with whomever he chose to do it with. So basically, if she was feeling bad for me, she should have been feeling bad for herself as well. Obviously, neither one of us was the “chosen” one for him. Sometimes, when you know what you know, it is best to just remain silent.

Silence speaks volumes. In many situations in life, silence can be a powerful source of wisdom. It is my experience that when God shows you things and you begin to understand these things, you will know when, where and how to react to these things. If you don’t take heed to what God shows you and don’t attempt to understand, you can end up making yourself look like a fool by the way in which you react. Silence is sometimes, the best reaction in certain situations. Silence is by no means weakness but it is a sign of strength when used wisely. Wisdom is the key. We can know all we want to but we must apply wisdom with our knowledge. On that day the woman told me that, I was silent because I recalled what that older Christian woman had told me which was pure truth. Yes, that truth hurt but it was the absolute truth. I had knowledge of what the older lady advised. I then applied wisdom to that knowledge and remained silent. When the truth was staring right at me (neither one of wearing a wedding ring), I didn’t need to say anything.

The Holy Spirit is a great Traffic Light when dealing with situations like these. The Holy Spirit will speak to you and let you know when to speak, to slow down and think, or to be silent. Listen for the Holy Spirit. “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues” (Proverbs 17:28 NLT). Be Blessed. – S.L.M.

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LET GO OF REGRET

I use to regret doing a lot. I regretted being kind when others mistreated me. I regretted helping others when they turned around and backstabbed me. I regretted being faithful when I found out I was being cheated on and lied to. I regretted hugging people who literally hated me. I regretted smiling when I really wanted to cry. I regretted keeping integrity when I really wanted to turn into beast and destroy everything that ever hurt me. I regretted being naive so many times. I regretted loving others in spite of. I regretted a lot. But one day, I had to sit down and think about these regrets. I acknowledged that I simply withstood the storms that came into my life. I withstood in the right way. I gave out good while I was receiving the bad; therefore, I planted good seeds. God spoke to me and told me not to regret being good but be thankful. I sowed good seeds and I will reap goodness for doing so. I have to keep persevering in goodness, not with the expectation to please others, but because it is right to do right. I must persevere in goodness because it’s God’s way. So I now look at the things I regretted so much and give thanks to them. Although these things hurt me, I still give thanks. Although I have been lied and cheated on, I still give thanks. Although tears flooded my pillow many of nights, I still give thanks. Although I can still hear many laughing at me, I still give thanks. I know that goodness will fill my days very soon. I have faith in God that He will supply that great harvest for me! If you are feeling regret for anything in your life right now, begin to give thanks. Yes, I know it may be hard but have faith that God will turn that thanks into something great. Let go of regret and hold on to faith. A great harvest will soon come. Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Be Blessed! – S.L.M.

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THE SUN WILL SHINE AGAIN

It may hurt right now – all that you are going through;

You may even feel that the whole world is against you.

But look to God for He is an everlasting friend;

With your hand in His, the sun will shine again.

I know people took your kindness for granted and used you;

They stepped on your feelings and emotionally abuse you.

But God knows and He will stick by you until the very end;

With your hand in His, the sun will shine again.

There have been many nights in which you cried many tears;

You developed frustration, confusion, insecurity and fears.

Place your trust in God and never allow in to grow thin;

With your hand in His, the sun will shine again.

Yes, I know that are laughing at your kindness that is now pain;

I know you feel like you have lost and that there is nothing to gain.

But call out to God because He will free you from distress and sin;

With your hand in His, the sun will shine again.

When you grab hold to God, you win;

Confusion, frustration and pain will come to an end.

When you grab hold to God, a new life will begin;

With your hand in His, the sun will shine again.

**Written By Stacy L. Montgomery**

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FORGIVE THEM FATHER: MY TESTIMONY

I was in a relationship for eight years. We all know that a relationship involves two people. The relationship I was in had so many other people in it. Some were invited and some invited themselves. When it ended, I called it a LOST; but, actually it was a GAIN. I gained much wisdom. I gained much strength. I gained THE LORD. In these eight years, I grew. Although I didn’t grow the way many wanted me to, I grew in a powerful way. I would write about God, talk about God and do my best in staying in the walk with God. Yet, I was condemned. I was criticized. I was called a phony. I was laughed at by others and still am. Those who I helped out of kindness only took it for granted. Those who offered me encouragement turned around and talked about me like I was nothing. They called me weak and dumb. But I feel that God allowed me to go through all of that so that I can know the true power of my strength. And my strength is in Him. I, too, had to acknowledge my selfish ways in regards to thinking I could change a person when that is God’s job. I reaped distress because of that. Only God helped me to hold my head high. Only God truly comforted me during the time that lies encircled my ears. Only God dried my tears when the truth was exposed in such a revolting manner. God kept me and He is still keeping me. Everything that I came to know about God and wrote about God in these past eight years still stands. I have talked it for so long and now God is allowing me to walk it. And with my hand in His, I will walk it. I don’t have to worry about revenge because God will take care of those who did me wrong and played a part in doing me wrong. I don’t have to worry about the care of my children because God is THEIR FATHER as well. God knows my heart. He knows that I am good. I am His Daughter. His Love, His Protection and His Comfort surrounds me. I am reminded of how Jesus hung on the cross with His hands and His feet nailed to it. I am reminded of how the crowd was blaspheming and mocking Him. I am reminded of those words that Jesus spoke as he looked down at all of these people. He said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). I asked God’s forgiveness of my efforts of trying to change and please others. I asked God’s forgiveness of my weakness when others began to mock and criticize me. And because there are still some who choose to be arrogant, bitter and evil, I pray to God, “Father, forgive them for they do know what they are doing.” – S.L.M.

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