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DEATH

Death

deny yourself….

Dying sucks.

Clearly I’m not talking about a physical DEATH, even though that would be pretty cool since I am writing this. But I am talking about the many spiritual DEATHS we must take each and every day. Mainly DEATH to Pride.

Below is an excerpt from my very first blog post, from four years ago:

Four months ago I went on a Minister’s Retreat with my church, Blessed Harvest Institute, to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The name of the retreat was the Ridgecrest Conference Center. It was nestled in the mountains and exuded serenity. We arrived at about 10pm or so on a Thursday night and then had our first session at 2am on  Friday morning. At the first session we were each asked what has our Ministry cost us so far.

My answer was ‘nothing’. I didn’t feel as if I had lost or really given up anything for Ministry at that point. We took part in some more sessions and activities. At the end of that Friday night, right before we went to dinner, we were each offered a stack of turned down words and asked to pull one. I pulled the word DEATH.

I wasn’t alarmed about my word because I am a homicide detective and I deal with death on a consistent basis. I actually thought my word would pertain to something about work. However, we were told not to assume we knew what the word meant and to be open. As we sat at dinner, God whispered in my ear that the word DEATH did not pertain to my job, it was about me.

Huh? He said I needed to die to me. Self had to die now! He couldn’t use me the way He wanted to because of me. I didn’t realize that I had become my own stumbling block. I had become complacent and didn’t realize it. Selfishness had crept in disguised as me. Me wanting Ministry to be comfortable, me not wanting to be rejected, me not wanting to be inconvenienced, me not trusting Him, me concerned about what others thought, me wanting my desires met; me me me. DEATH to me!

When we are offended, or as we put it, ‘bothered’ with someone, something, or some situation, we hardly take the time to take a step back and see what we are contributing to the situation. And, even when we do we typically find a way to justify the stance or actions we’ve taken.

What happens when that thought flashes or someone says:

  • ‘you could have handled that a different way’

  • ‘it’s not about YOU’

  • ‘why don’t you apologize?’

  • ‘it doesn’t matter who did what first’

  • ‘stop rehearsing it, because you are keeping it alive’

  • ‘it’s not worth it’

  • ‘forgive’

It’s been a while since I wrote. Literally a year to the day. Much has changed. God has blessed our family with a new baby girl and I am truly walking in His favor.

This morning he reminded me of this word because it wasn’t just relevant on that retreat four years ago. It will be a constant process in my life. And as I draw closer to Him, He will continually show me the things that have to DIE for me to be in His presence.

Today I want to boldly tell you that it’s not worth your soul to be unforgiving. There is no need to live in strife and tension. We must address situations quickly before they start festering and then stinking. It’s not worth your peace.

We can have peace at home, peace at work, peace at church, peace wherever we go because most of all we can have peace on the inside.

So I share my word with you.

DEATH.

What do you have to die to? Be honest.

Have a blessed day.

Blessings

JC

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Posted by on August 1, 2017 in Daily Inspiration, Forgiveness

 

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Time waits for no man…..

pug

Today for my weekly post I was fairly sure I knew what I was going to write about. That is, until I happen to log into Facebook. As I was scrolling through I came across the news that a high school mate had passed.

As a homicide detective, I deal with death in some way or form almost everyday. But I felt a little shock on finding this out……a light gone out of childhood eyes 😦

Someone summed up my feelings accurately “As children we never really expect to die”

Sitting at my desk I felt this sobering nervous dread because time is really going by. You know that feeling when someone passes who was close to your age?

Time waits on no man or woman…..so

Love while you still can…

Forgive while you still can…

Serve while you still can…

Live on purpose while you still can…

Find out who YOU are while you still can……AND

Be the best YOU while you still can…..

Blessings always

JC

 

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in Daily Inspiration

 

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“Going under the Knife”…..

 

 

just a little humor......but our God knows exactly what HE is doing :)

just a little humor……but our God knows exactly what HE is doing 🙂

 It’s been a while since I have written a post, and though I could have thrown something together, I like writing from an internal compulsion when something inspires me. Well, not to say that I haven’t been inspired over the past two months, but today was different. I had an ‘aha’ moment.

Over the past month or so, God has been dealing with me from the topic “Hunger for Humility”. He has been exposing things and thought processes in me that stemmed from pride and not humility. And it hasn’t been the obvious things that we would recognize and call pride……but it was in my impatience, my irritability, my having to deal gracefully with those who have offended me. Me wanting to see a little vindication (especially if I could help out 😉 ). But hearing God say “can you let me handle it, how and when I choose to?”….and giving Him a weak ‘Yes God’.

Anyway this is the season that I have been in…..learning not only to embrace the lessons God sends my way, but embracing the multiple ‘ways’ in which He sends them.

With that being said, I was in bible study this afternoon and a lady in the session said something that birthed my ‘aha’ moment. She said that as Christians we need to be more willing to go under the knife rather than take pills and self-medicate.

As I was driving back to work, I couldn’t help but ruminate on what she said. Let’s look at it:

Going under the Knife – requires one to be totally at the mercy of the surgeon. If God is our Surgeon, then we are totally at His mercy as to what He wants to cut out, trim away, prune, sew on etc. We are totally at His mercy, totally surrendered with no objections and excuses.

Self-Medicating – We can chose to fill or not to fill the prescription. Choose to follow the directions as to how many pills we want to take, when we take them, forget to take them etc. This is where our own rationalization comes in. Our reasons, excuses and explanations come in. After all we know best right?

Always a lawyer at heart, I still have a few arguments and excuses, but next level always requires a DEATH of something that is offensive to God.

We have to stay on the table until HE's done....

We have to stay on the table until HE’s done….

So, my question to you to answer or ponder is: what has God revealed to you and about you that HE wants to cut away? Is it pride? Is it selfishness? Is it anger? Is it laziness? Is it procrastination? Is it hatred? Is it unforgiveness? Is it impatience? Is it lust? Is it mean spiritedness? Is it offense? I might have missed something that pertains to you, but if you’re like me, you already know what HE has been highlighting over the past few weeks, months or years.

Try Him and see if he wouldn’t replace it with more of HIM. More of His love, His compassion, His humility, more of HIM!

Embrace it 😉

Enjoy this beautiful day!!!

Blessings always

JC

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Daily Inspiration

 

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Death….what is your perspective?

still watersI don’t typically listen to the radio on my commute to work, but this morning I was listening because I wanted a heads up about traffic. They were talking about the passing of 53 year old Jon Richardson, the son of Carolina Panther’s owner, Jerry Richardson.He passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. They mentioned how young he was and how he battled cancer bravely.

For some reason this stuck with me. I work in the field of homicide and about five months ago I had to go to the hospital because a six year old had been brought into the ER; he had been playing and some bricks had fallen on him. I stood there and watched several doctors and nurses surround him as they tried to save his life. A little later they all walked away….there was nothing they could do; he was gone 😦

I cannot articulate the anguished cry of the mother and grandmother as they realized what this meant. The stillness in the air, the clenched jaw of each doctor and attendant.The sob of the mother’s broken heart. The struggle to not picture your own child on that table. I stood there, dry eyed, jaws clenched and locked, wanting to be invisible. I stood there as the mother asked God for a miracle. The same God I was clinging to for strength and guidance to navigate through the grief and solemnity of the situation so that I could get the information I needed.

Yesterday I was speaking to a friend whose dad is now on life support; cirrhosis of the liver, death imminent. We talked about how the gravity of these situations cause families to come together and cause people to bury long carried hatchets.

Most people don’t like to talk about death. But I will venture there this morning because it is heavy in my heart and it is the one surety we have in life. At 53, Jon Richardson was young and, without argument, the six year old was young too. My friend’s father has been in pain, struggling and deteriorating for a long time.  There are myriad perspectives on these types of situation. Anger, regret, resentment, etc. A lot of times pointed at God.

What helps us? What helps our perspective as we transition to a ‘new normal’, without that loved one? How do we comfort and encourage a friend when we don’t know what to say? What happens when no one can answer the question ‘WHY’?

I just know one thing, God is God regardless and I know that there is more depth to this topic, but I just wanted us to not take life for granted. For us not to wish we had said ‘I love you’, or wish we had not parted on bad terms with hurtful words; or more importantly wished we had given our lives to God. Tomorrow isn’t promised, and who knows what ‘young’ is.

What’s your perspective?

Be blessed

JC

 
15 Comments

Posted by on July 17, 2013 in Daily Inspiration

 

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A Heart of Worship….

deny yourself....

deny yourself….

My first blog 🙂

Four months ago I went on a Minister’s Retreat with my church, Blessed Harvest Institute, to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The name of the retreat was the Ridgecrest Conference Center. It was nestled in the mountains and exuded serenity. We arrived at about 10pm or so on a Thursday night and then had our first session at 2am on  Friday morning. At the first session we were each asked what has our Ministry cost us so far.

My answer was ‘nothing’. I didn’t feel as if I had lost or really given up anything for Ministry at that point. We took part in some more sessions and activities. At the end of that Friday night, right before we went to dinner, we were each offered a stack of turned down words and asked to pull one. I pulled the word DEATH.

I wasn’t alarmed about my word because I am a homicide detective and I deal with death on a consistent basis. I actually thought my word would pertain to something about work. However, we were told not to assume we knew what the word meant and to be open. As we sat at dinner, God whispered in my ear that the word DEATH did not pertain to my job, it was about me.

Huh? He said I needed to die to me. Self had to die now! He couldn’t use me the way He wanted to because of me. I didn’t realize that I had become my own stumbling block. I had become complacent and didn’t realize it. Selfishness had crept in disguised as me. Me wanting Ministry to be comfortable, me not wanting to be rejected, me not wanting to be inconvenienced, me not trusting Him, me concerned about what others thought, me wanting my desires met; me me me. DEATH to me!

I was horrified. I was so sorry. My heart hurt because God has been beyond good to me. There is nothing that I need that He doesn’t give me. But I knew that I wasn’t giving God a 100% of what He wanted from me. I couldn’t hold back the tears at dinner. I had to let God have His way with my life! There was no other choice.

I prayed for God to continue to walk with me and speak to me. I asked Him to continue to love on me and commune with me. But my main prayer and desire was for God to cleanse my heart, renew my mind and to let the Holy Spirit sustain me in Him. Nothing else mattered!

I was always called Jackie. And as far as I could remember, I never really gave 100% at most things since I catch on quickly and didn’t need to give 100% for it to look good. At our circle time session, my pastor’s wife said that Jackie has died. Indeed. That day Jackie died and Jacqueline came alive. When God takes the time to inform us personally of our shortcomings, we have to take heed. I now strive to give 100% at all times.

I feel hyper in my spirit most times and so excited about the Word of God and the things of God. It is spiritual energy, and I pray that it will continue to fuel me right into my Purpose for God. But it is a constant surrender to God and many days when I want to go one way, He will say “That’s Jackie behavior”, and it reminds me of the DEATH.

What has ministry cost you? What is ministry costing you? Are you allowing God to use you like He wants to, or are you bargaining with Him as if you are at a flea market. Just like me, God wants to use you in a unique way on a path that He has already chartered just for you. Every experience, whether negative or positive, has stamped you in a particular way that He planned all along. Will you surrender your independence and your rights and give Him the right of way? Will you move to the back seat and allow Him to drive your life? He wants you to.

Be Blessed

JC

 
8 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Love, Worship

 

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