What Makes Faith?

A friend and I were talking about a situation recently, one that is stretching me to grow in an area I thought I was already fully grown. After stating my “claim”, this trusted sage said, “Oh, and here I thought you were a Christian.” Huh? What?!?!?! I blinked my eyes and said with southern sarcasm, “I am!” The response…”Well, you’re not acting like it. Where is your faith? You talk all that talk and now that this is happening, and you’ve been waiting on it to happen you’re acting like a little chicken. This is nothing new to the God you say you believe in. Gone way from here with that!” And just like that I got “read” like a Housewives reunion on repeat.

read-not-read-nene-leakes-gif-rhoa

So I pose this question to you all. What makes faith? I think it’s the situations we face which cause us to stretch and grow, especially when we thought we were already fully grown, think we can’t go another inch, think we’ve already made it through, push us out of comfort, knock the wind out of us which make our faith. It’s the times we (rightfully) believe we deserve a break, have just come out of battle and face another way,  have had success in that area already and thought that “class” was over, can’t figure out the solution to save our life, have to daily battle fear within our flesh and HAVE TO HAVE absolute, total reliance on God as the only One to see us through which make faith and make the best testimonies of God’s great, great power.

2194b4490ba99b02f4553143239e6e77

@AngelaMMoore316

You COLD Busted!

One of my favorite songs from the 80’s was Oran Juice Jones’, “The Rain”. In that melodic tale of love gone astray he belted out an often falsetto-esq tune about catching his unfaithful lover “walking in the rain”. With an infectious beat and a hypnotic hook, as if the song couldn’t get any better, mid-way through it goes into an all-out hip-hop inspired bridge (as in take me to the bridge), with my favorite line being “Now close yo mouth cause you cold busted”. When I tell you the middle school me loved that part! I loved that part, and suppose as indicated by the fact that I’m incorporating it into a blog post today, at 43-year-old the same must be true.

 oran_juice_jones_-_juice_a1

So what does Mr. Juice Jones have to do with my life? Glad you ask. I’m headed in a different direction with this one so hold on tight.

Yesterday, after leaving work and before going back to work I decided to ride by a place representing something for which I was believing God. I’d only seen it online and wanted an up-close, “I have to see it for myself” view just to, well, see it for myself. After surveying what needed to be surveyed I began to head back to my destination of home before returning to work. I was focused on studying the environment I was in, when out of my peripheral view I noticed a car that looked like one of which I was very familiar. I reduced my speed to examine the cautiously moving black Mercedes with tinted windows. I slowed to an almost turtle’s pace. The driver of the other vehicle didn’t see me as they too tended to surveying what needed to be surveyed. And boy, there was some surveying going on. I used power from my right “lymphadema” wrist I didn’t know I had and laid on the horn, probably startling the driver as I now recall. Like a scene from a gansta-style, B-movie, we met window to window, pressed our buttons to roll down those said windows, stared and glared in disbelief then both broke out into a laugh that lasted so long I can’t recall when it actually stopped. And as if it were made just for me, the words from Mr. Juice Jones came to mind and out of my mouth as I said to the driver, “You cold busted!”

Who was this mysterious person? Glad you asked. It was my Mama, doing what caring, loving, supportive humans do. In the middle of the day with dilated eyes and glasses that would have made Ray Charles look even more fly, she was coming by to “see it for herself”, and pray (even though she didn’t tell me that’s what she was doing). I shared this funny story with my sister who quickly informed me that she had already been by the day before. Wow! Now that’s what I call love, and faith. My Pastor Chris Hodges preached a message on this past Sunday from Church of the Highlands called Better Together. He talked of the importance of not doing life alone and having others in your corner in times of good and bad. That’s what that 2pm Pelham, Alabama exchange with my mother was for me. She didn’t have to be there, and I wouldn’t have known that she was there joining me in this prayer had I not been there to see it for myself. She could have been home, shopping, napping, running errands or doing any other thing a 68-year-old retiree does, but instead she was exercising her faith and joining her daughter in that same exercise to see what God has in store.

(So, I snapped a picture of her near the “Scene of the Faith”. She begged me not to tell anybody I saw here there. Of course I said I would, hence this blog post. I hope today is one of those days she’s not reading by post.)

 photo

And that, my friends, is what life is about. We all need and deserve people who are there for us whether we know it or not. I pray that everyone has those kinds of angels on earth whose faith, love, sacrifice, example, encouragement, support, prayers and kind actions toward us continually remind us of the amazingly beautiful and awesomely wonderful promises from God which are sure to come to pass…one way or another. 

May your days be filled with the best possible reasons to say #YouColdBusted

@AngelaMMoore316

Don’t Forget the Seeds

Let’s be real. It can be tough as an old Cordova’s “thickly cushioned” Corinthian leather (Google it) to think that things in life are going to change in our favor, especially when we desperately need things in life to change in our favor. This is the tea, and can be a serious struggle. Ask me how I know. The sweet-as-can-be sweetener in this tea, however, is the fact that in Romans 8:28 God promises that all the things we’re going through will work for our good if we love Him. And that He also promises in Galatians 6:9 that if we keep doing good we will reap if we don’t faint. That is some good news!

EBC13_SFD_PIN9   thCAFNGQ43

So what do we do between this and that? I would suggest remembering our seeds. Talking to a friend recently who was going through some life-changing testimony builders (as I prefer to call them) I had to remind her of just how faithful to God and her situation she’d been, and how sacrificially kind she’d been to so many people, including me. She was in a time of need and needed to remember her seed. She’d sown some major blessings, that, while the main harvest might not have been meant for her, the residual reaping sure was.

Now don’t get God twisted. He’s not in the lottery business nor is He vying for Wayne Brady’s gig on “Let’s Make a Deal”. We can’t bet, barter and finagle with him like a mid-day game show or a midnight casino run. What we can do is know that, if we’ve done things to please Him and if we’ve been a blessing to His children, like any good Father, in fact the greatest Father, He’s got our back. No, that’s not going to mean that our situations will immediately improve. No, that’s not going to mean that we will necessarily reap from the exact people or places we’ve sown into. No, that doesn’t mean that it won’t even appear (note, I said appear) that somebody “done come all up in our crop” and plundered our stuff. But yes, Romans 8:28 and Galatians 6:9 are true, and there’s nothing any situation or struggle can do about it, but succumb to it. Bow down struggle. Bow down.

So, when we’re tempted to think all hope is gone, things can’t better, there’s no way out, this is as good (as in bad) as it’s going to get, and so on and so on, we can’t forget the seeds we’ve sown. And we certainly can’t forget the works and wonders God has already done. We have to ponder on our seeds and successes for a few then get right on up and sow some more. In fact, I dare us all to sow in the very area we need it most. Need money? Give money. Need a job? Volunteer. Want children? Babysit. Need a marriage miracle? Bless a couple. Desperate for healing? Care for the sick. Family matters? Help another one. Got it? Good! Now let’s get going, and keep sowing.

Sow-a-seed-p1_j_jpg_j

@AngelaMMoore316

It Will Be Alright

I’m 6:22am in the morning, on a rainy November Sunday as I try my best to stay focused on this blog post to make sure I make it to Church of the Highlands by 8am. The semi-perfectionist part of me says to wait until later to write. The not-always-as-obedient to the voice of the Lord as I ought to be, but want to be as much as possible part of me says write right now. So I am. I’m writing this blog post, hopefully in less than 15 minutes to remind some and inform others that “it will be alright”.

So many I know, this writer included, are going through challenging things. I’m fully aware that “things” are a part of life. I watched them from a child’s-eye view in the lives of others growing up, and honestly, had no idea of the true the struggle and strength of those before me. It wasn’t until I became like those before me and surrounded myself with some dynamic men and women that I recognized the purpose of the struggle and the power of the strength of those I know and hold dear. To them all (this writer included) I say, “it will be alright”.

I have nearly a handful of close, qualified, educated, dedicated and faithful friends who at this present juncture in life are without a job. That’s got to be tough, yet they still smile, serve and sow. I have others who are facing financial battles, which, would appear to have been plucked out of a really bad Lifetime movie. That’s got to be tough, yet they still believe God will provide. Still some, are desperately seeking favored answers to prayers about their marriage, their children, housing circumstances, starting over and care of ailing loved ones. That’s got to be tough, yet they still hold fast to what the Lord says is theirs for the asking. And even others who are fighting for their lives literally, in more ways than one. That, has to be the toughest, and still, they choose to wake up each day with the intent of prayers being answered.

God_answers_prayers

As I type the final words to this post and look forward at the clock on my Charter digital box, which reads 6:47, all I have to say is “it will be alright”. It has to be. God is not going to let His best work go to waste. Some of what we’re enduring now is in line with those of Biblical proportion. Operating in the same faith they had then brings about the same results now. I don’t know how things will work out for better. I don’t know when things will change. I don’t know why things happen. I don’t care who is to blame. All I know, and I know it without a shadow of a doubt, is that “it will be alright” because God says so. And God saying so makes it certain, regardless of ANY situation. Just watch and see.

God's timing

@AngelaMMoore316

 

Please Ma’am/Sir, Don’t Cancel Your Own Order

buffet

Imagine being famished!!! Imagine walking into your favorite restaurant while famished and having the ability to order anything off of the menu that’s pleasing to your palate and fit for your consumption. Imagine all you have to do is be seated, place your order, wait on the food, eat and enjoy. Sounds good, huh? Well, imagine what the owner of the restaurant, who is offering up your all-you-can-eat, at no cost meal to you would think if, as soon as you ordered you cancelled the order, then ordered, then cancelled, then ordered, then cancelled again. Ummm, yep, I don’t think he’d be too happy with that and you’d still be starving.

may-i-take-your-order1

That’s a lot like life. So many times we choose to cancel our own orders with our own words then we get mad or discouraged when what we wanted isn’t received.

  • We’ll ask God for a good mate then say, “All men are dogs” or “Women just want you for the money”. #cancelled
  • We’ll ask God for a good job then say, “I could never get a job like that because I don’t have experience or a degree”. #cancelled
  • We’ll ask God to change our lives then say, “Well, this is just who I am. I’ve been this way all my life.” #cancelled
  • We’ll ask God for friends then say, “I can’t trust ‘nobody’. I’ll just fly solo dolo.” (as the kiddos say) #cancelled
  • We’ll ask God to draw us closer to Him then say, “God knows my heart. I’m not going to church. Church people are messy and pastors are crooks.” #cancelled
  • We’ll ask God for healing then say, “I’m so sick. I guess I’ll be like this always. My mama was like this too so…” #cancelled
  • We’ll ask God to restore a relationship then say, “He/She won’t ever change.” #cancelled

Do you get my drift? We’ve all been through too much and God has been too good for Him to prepare the table, we get there, then decide, through the power of our own negative words, that we don’t want to be there. Please ma’am/sir, don’t cancel your own order.

poster1

@AngelaMMoore316

God Promised He’d Do It, But He Didn’t Say How

images389RJOGD

God is so caring and loving, so and kind and comedic. It amazes me still the amount of times and the amount of ways He blesses us in ways that sometimes bewilder us, then often tickle us.

Nothing God does is ordinary, which should, by now, remind us that His ways truly are not our ways. But like clockwork, if you’re like me, you endure a challenge, pass the test (or so you think) then have the audacity to try to predict when and how the graduation celebration is going to be. NOT! God throws a surprise party like nobody’s business and that, my brothers and sisters, is a blessing!

images

Just because He doesn’t do it the way we want Him to do it doesn’t mean He’s not doing it BIG! Just because it feels like a burden doesn’t mean it’s not a promised blessing! Just because it’s trying doesn’t mean it’s not ours for the taking! Just because it tarried doesn’t mean it won’t be worth our time! Just because it’s frightening doesn’t mean it won’t turn out fun!

untitled

Remember, God promised He’d do it, but He didn’t say how. He doesn’t have to:)  He’s God. He runs this! We need not fret with the how, when, and why. Our focus should be on the fact that it’s already done, and done in wonderful ways better than our hearts and minds could have imagined.

God's timing

@AngelaMMoore316