Monday, December 2, 2019

Unto Sweoster

“She [is] more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.” | Proverbs 3:15


I met a young lady once who was so kind, sweet, and honest that you couldn’t help but want to be her friend. She was cornier than most but somehow maintained an elegant grace that led you to believe that she meant well. She was a great sister, great friend, great colleague, and peer. She was blessed with the gift of support and had a way of motivating others with the way she commanded respectability politics. She had a way of endearing herself to you and giving you the space and time to do the same. Somewhere along the line she fell in love with attention, manipulation, copulation, self-glorification and set her gaze upon the things of others with envy. Eventually, she gave up those she professed she loved and decided to take the short cut to success hoping to get what she wanted faster. At one point, sis flat out reinvented herself to accommodate the expectations of others. For her a Christ-centered life evolved from a desire to please God into a desire to be pleased and adorned with perfunctory salutations. As her circle changed so did she and although it’s easy to place blame and focus on all the ways sis could’ve been a better person, it’s better to evaluate self and realize that there were plenty of missed opportunities before bad got worse to be a good sister. After-all she like me is more precious than rubies in the eye-site of the most High God!  

The interesting thing about the sisterhood is the fact that there a very few secrets within it. When a person is having a bad day or experiencing trouble there’s at least one other sister who knows about it. When there’s a sister on the verge of giving up and throwing in the towel there are signs within the bond that say, this sister is in need and here is a great opportunity to cover her and lift her up, but for whatever reason sometimes because of who it is and how we feel about them we find ourselves broadcasting information shared with us in confidence with other sisters who we already know feel a way about the sister in contention. We then stand in opposition of the faith we emotionally pressure others to embrace and wonder why our women empowerment event this year was cancelled due to low ticket sales and poor social media engagement. The sisterhood is a sensitive and sacred place that cannot be manipulated, bossed, bought, or bullied by those who stand against it in the name of shock value and patriarchal people pleasing. You must understand that fierce women were the first to share with the world that the Savior of the world had risen. 

We have a responsibility to take care of one another. We are literally in the fight of our lives against the enemy in the name of Christ who demands that we work together to evangelize to as many other people as possible, but we can not do that ripping one another to shreds. Stand up little sister, pick your head up big sister and let’s handle the business of the Lord in a way that reflects true sisterhood. Let’s love on each other in a way that says no matter what, that’s my sister one to whom I am spiritually connected with. It is my responsibility to cover her in love and prayer even when I don’t agree with her actions. Let’s be open to sisterly correction because there may be a time when we flat out get it wrong. 
It ain’t easy being a sister in the fellowship, but I believe that we can be more intentional about how we deal with and handle one another. 

May we forever be good sisters and great example of love before those of whom we say we love. May we forever remember that before we can empower a stranger we must uplift the sisters we know. The ones that some feel that they are above because… rumor has it. The ones struggling in their marriage because life happens to us all at one point or another. The one who wants you to love on her as a sister while simultaneously minding your own business because some of us can’t hold water. The one who has mental health moments but comes back better than ever every time. The one who is trying her best to balance motherhood and academic achievement because she knows that she can do it if she stays the course. The one who was in the middle of the he said she said because she’s still our sister and we have a responsibility to cancel the cancel culture that causes us to disregard one another like trash leaving little room for reconciliation. 

May our love for one another be genuine, whole, and excuse free. There’s just something about excuses that don’t sit well in the essence of true sisterhood. An excuse will always find a place amongst the insecure, unsure, and the ignorant. Excuses somehow always line up at the line of scrimmage prepared to make a play as a member of the defensive line but fail to hold the line and make effective plays because they are constantly tackled and debunked by truth, light, facts, and evidence. And here’s the truth that we all know but refuse to acknowledge, we could all afford to be better sisters. 

And finally kind sisters, may we never stop rooting for one another even when our season of friendship has come and gone. There is no measure of sisterhood that demands that we all be friends. Some personalities work better together than others. Some characteristics just mesh and complement one another for year and years no cap. Some make seasonal appearances and are gone faster than you can recite John 11:35, but that shouldn’t diminish the beauty of the time shared nor yield an insensitive campaign of subliminal jabs and cheap shots. This battle is so much bigger than small minded drama and confusion, we literally need one another to survive. A sisterhood is nothing without the prefix, our unity gives it context. 


Let us pray:

Lord, 

  Help me to be a better sister. Touch my sister where she may stand in need of thee. Allow us to walk together side by side encouraging one another every step of the way. Teach us oh Lord how to love on one another in a way that reflects compassion, kindness, light, and authenticity. Show us oh Lord how to respectfully disagree, aide us as we desire to walk close to thee. Guide us as we work to overcome personality differences learning to embrace one another for who it is that you designed us to be. Remind us when we are weak Lord that your strength is made perfect. Remind us that as sisters we have a responsibility to care for one another in a way that pleases you. Remind us that you intentionally created us and gave us gifts for the edification of your kingdom. Give us the strength to keep going, keep running, keep striving, keep goal-setting, keep praying knowing that you are all powerful. Touch us oh Lord, that we might salt and light in a world desperately in need of more of you, for it is in the mighty, marvelous, and matchless name of Jesus the Christ we pray, Amen. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

What's next sis?

Therefore, to one who knows the [a]right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”- James 4:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Facebook live, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat didn’t make it hard to find her. And I will be the first to tell you that she is a beautiful sister who seems to have an amazing support system. During a phone conversation, she shared with me that she met a man who pursued her fervently. She said that he told her that he was divorced and that his wife (you’ll catch that on the way home) was dying of heart complications. She said, he said, he said, she said, he did, she said, he did, she participated, they said, she said, she said, she said, he said, he did, and what they did, I now know. I now wrestle with, I now take the broken pieces of my heart to the altar and I pray for them as I pray for myself because a covenant with God is a covenant with God and those who endorse its severance must too stand before the Father. 

Sometimes the rumors are often worse than the reality and the pain of a broken heart. Such lies result in irrational, quick, and illogical actions that equate to more pain, more suffering, more shame, and even more betrayal. Who wants to share with the world that their husband and spiritual leader had an affair outside of the marriage? Who wants to admit that that same husband orchestrated phone calls from his mistress to his wife to really cement the reality that the end of what could have been a beautiful story has come? Who wants to acknowledge that something that originally began as a dream became a nightmare, and who wants to take the blame? Who actually wants to say that something that I said, didn’t say, did, didn’t do led to a series of events, that led me here to the cross road of reconciliation and retaliation? Well sis, today I’ll start, and I’ll begin with this. Even in this, God’s grace is sufficient. 

No matter how I look at this pitiful situation I see God’s grace. I see how God allowed me to accept the opportunity of a lifetime and allowed me to link up with one of the greatest fellowship of believers on the planet. I see where God has given me the space to sing with all my might to him in worship day in and day out because he’s God and he’s Good. I see how God removed me from a situation that took more from me than it ever gave, and God allowed me to maintain in a safe place amongst those who love me the most. God gave me a family full of wise individuals who constantly share affirmations of positive love and healing for me because they know that it is one thing to lose your husband, but it cuts a little deeper when you lose both husband and spiritual leader. 

In the Epistle of James, the writer uses his pen to articulate the need for specific separations. He spells out the expectations of mature Christians as they walk with Jesus Christ and tells the reader to live out the conviction by which they say they believe. Poetically enough, in the 4thchapter of James the writer tells us how to deal with drama by encouraging us to dedicate ourselves to God and right around the 12th verse he tells us that we mess up, when we only consider ourselves. Selfish decisions lead to corruption. As believers we know that trying to please the flesh is a no go as one never quite feeds the flesh so instead, we should work to deny the things of the world and dedicate ourselves in action to the God of our salvation. 

However, not every person who claims the father knows him personally. And not every person who states that they are called by God, has actually been called to preach the gospel. You see, YouTube, Facebook live, and various commentaries have made it so much easier for individuals who show no sign of the call in their daily life to preach impeccably stolen and plagiarized work without the inspiration of the spirit of God. Years and years of practice and eloquence can at times substitute for discipline and the actual time it takes to dive into the word of God for fresh revelation. For a life of worship is one that pleases God, but a life full of deceit and using sex to bring people into the fold, is an abuse of power and it is absolutely wrong. 

To live a life where you stand behind the sacred desk to preach the Gospel on Sunday, but alternate women Monday through Friday, yet you’re a married man is not a reflection of Jesus the Christ. To mislead people through messenger and try to use your position in church to take advantage of them sexually is wrong. To threaten suicide every time one of the said women decide that they no longer want to play games with you is manipulative and very far from a reflection of God’s command that we be both salt and light in this world. Who will stand up against the wolves of this world to say you have no place here? Souls hang in the balance and you are hindering the sons and daughters of God from being able to see God because you refuse to control your flesh. 

Theologist Candice Benbow says, “it’s about the belief that “godly” men can do whatever they want and suffer very few consequences. It’s about an ideology that suggests the closer a man’s ministry is aligned with David (not Jesus), the more anointed and impactful it will be.”

Today, I stand as a human being still processing the fact that I am one of many. One of many sisters who loved a man who is also a spiritual leader, who lied, cheated, and lied some more. I stand as a sister who still believes that God’s grace is still sufficient for him too. I stand as a sister who acted out of frustration and disappointment as she learned of new life as a result of poor choices, but as a sister who believes that in all things, God has a plan. 

Therefore, I also stand to wish my sister (the other sister) a beautiful life and a new beginning. I wish her well in this new phase of life and her transition into what could potentially be the title of first lady in the fellowship of the Lord’s church. I pray that she is a light for other young women and that she transparently shares with them that God can heal any wound, save any soul, and change any life. I pray that she remembers all of the exciting qualities that make her special and that she becomes a force in the faith community advocating for the discarded sisters of the fellowship. The ones who are victims of abuse, manipulation, the sisters who are ostracized because of the call of God upon their life, the sisters who are homeless, the sisters who will walk away from prostitution after hearing the word of the Lord, the sisters who are single mothers, the sisters who are survivors of rape, cancer, and all other illnesses because we serve a God who can do anything. 

I’ve learned more in three weeks, than I’d ever imagine, but above all else I’ve learned how to depend on Jesus even more, by calling a spade a spade and standing flat footed against the powers of darkness. Satan gets no victory here as today is a new opportunity to love both in and on purpose. So many women facing similar situations have asked the question, what now sis? I’m so glad they asked because today, I get to decide how I let the actions of others impact my life. Today, I choose to move forward sharing this glimpse of hope with all of you hoping that you will learn from this and move forward in God’s grace. 

1.    No matter what listen to the voice of God and follow his instructions
2.    Count your blessings
3.    Don’t be afraid to tell your truth and call demons what they are: Demons 
4.    Be Blessed in Jesus, don’t ever let anyone’s actions toward you convince you that God doesn’t love you (John 3:16)


Live your life sis, don’t turn back. Don’t turn back!

Let us pray:

Well Lord,

  Here I am a servant of yours and I feel that my heart is broken into a range of what might be estimated to average around a million pieces. Here I am oh Lord, open, honest, transparent, and weary asking that you create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. I ask oh Lord that you take the things in me out that are not like you oh God and that you restore the joy of my salvation, like only you can. I ask that you bless him, her, and everyone else as we’ve all got faults that need your touch. Forgive us oh God, for not always being shining examples of your truth and your light. Help us oh Lord to be better. For every brother and sister in need of reconciliation oh God I ask that you grant it. For every brother and sister seeking peace I ask that you grant it. For every person still overcoming the harsh reality of pain, suffering, and loss of any kind God I ask that you wrap your loving arms around them and heal them in Jesus name. If there is someone that has walked away from you oh God because of a bad experience in a relationship oh God I ask that you restore them. If there is someone with hatred in their heart for another as a result of broken promises Oh God, I ask that you mend their heart and open them up to forgive others as you forgive us. Work on me Lord, that I might be all that you desire me to be and please oh God don’t let my life and my experiences be in vain. For it’s in the Mighty, Marvelous, and Matchless name, of Jesus the Christ I pray, Amen.  



Monday, December 29, 2014

A Dreamer's Dream

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. (Genesis 50:20 NLT)

Our friend and beloved brother Joseph (introduced to us in Genesis 35:24 as a son of Rachel) knows rejection. Joseph, son of Jacob who had been sold into slavery by members of his own family knows isolation. Joseph according to scripture (Genesis 39) was traded by the Ishmaelite traders and purchased by a man named Potiphar. From there Joseph worked diligently, but was falsely accused of rape (by Potiphar's wife), and sent to prison. If that wasn't enough, while in prison he was forgotten by those he helped and in a sense punished for doing the right thing.  No matter the wrongs Joseph continued to hold fast to his integrity. He stayed steadfast in his faith and soon found favor with Pharaoh. Joseph's life in more ways than one seemed like a roller coaster. When it was up it was way up, and when it was down is was way down, but no matter the placement Joseph knew that God would provide. Eventually, Joseph was in a position to help those who hurt him starting with his family. If it were you, would you have a heart to forgive those that hurt you and help them? 

No need to beat around the bush, you know what you've been through. You know the extent to which you've been hurt and you know the pain that you've endured. You can recall those who set traps before you by name and you remember how much it hurt. You recall the dream killers and you remember the ones who stuck around to see you fail. All of those feelings in one space can easily cause anyone to be angry to the point of lashing out, but I encourage you to rise above it. Stay true to who it is that God has designed you to be. Hurt and pain come with the territory, because even in your lows God is working on you that someone might be inspired by your testimony. It's time to dream big dreams and see them through, but you can't see dreams through trying to bring yourself the justice that only God can provide. The cycle of hurt people hurting people must stop now. The bible is full of the testimonies of people who were small in the eye site of man, but Great in the eye site of God. Which is an indicator that only God has the final say. 

Therefore, I encourage you to stop keeping track of the wrongs done to you by those who say they love you. Remember that with God's help any situation can be used for God's glory. 
In this faith journey it's very easy to get discouraged, but I dare you to dream. Have faith and know that even in your suffering and discomfort, God has a purpose and a plan for your life. It's in faith that miracles happen and in works that our dreams come to pass. So let's work! 

Let's pray: 
Lord, 
Search our hearts that we might live according to your expectations of us. Give us the courage to shine our lights in dark places and help us to realize that you will never leave us nor forsake us for it is in the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen! 

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:20 KJV)

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Reflection: Bloggerversary Edition


Sometimes everything within me says, QUIT! Stop, what you're doing and give up! Is it really worth the effort, time, and trouble? Feeling as if you're the only one giving 100%. Feeling as if, if you're not the one to do it, things won't get done. By myself, I'm expected to be this super human because so many people are watching me. I'm expected to never make mistakes, to never be seen sad in public. It's my responsibility to make life look easy. In the presence of mom and dad, I'm just as anointed, gifted, saved, sanctified, fire baptized, and filled with the spirit of Christ as I want to be. However, in their absence, who am I? What do I stand for? When I'm with my church friends we talk about Jesus. But, when I'm with my friends that aren't so churchy, what type of spirits do I allow into my personal space?

You thought that when you got saved that life would be so much better than this. You figured that since you gave your life over to Christ that he wouldn't allow your power at home to go out, or that you would ace a test that you didn't have time to study for. You thought that life would become perfect and that you would feel as if you're on cloud nine. Yet, it seems as if it's become the complete opposite. It seems like life has turned a cold shoulder. You're in a place where your back is literally and spiritually against the wall. You've called on God in despair, and you're trying to figure out whether or not he's heard your cry. You've done everything possible, exhausted all of your options, and still you feel hopeless.

When your school work is piling up and it seems like teachers begin to assign work in which you have a lack of understanding, and you're ready to throw the towel in. When your friends and people you trust begin to start acting funny, like they lost your phone number when you need them the most, but miraculously find a way to get in touch with you when they need something. When your mother and father begin to respond to your indirect cries for help in a manner that does not reflect that they understand. When you look in the mirror and can only see what God did wrong and not what he did right in your eye sight. When the young man you like, likes your friend. When you didn't get accepted into the school you thought you would get into with your eyes clothes. Where is the God that you serve, and why does it seem like his plan is working against you and not in your favor?

It may not look like it, smell like it, or seem like it, but everything will work in your favor. Don't get frustrated. This is an opportunity for your patience to grow. You can only soar like an eagle if you wait on The Lord. Everything is not meant to be solved over night. Understand that when God moves, he moves, and the word of God says that if you trust him he we lead, guide, and direct your path.

Today's marks one year of a conversation that we started 52 weeks ago here on the Survival Guide. Here we are one year later a little better, wiser, and spiritually stronger. Together we've talked about everything from haters to healing and it's been one crazy ride. We've seen good times and extremely bad times, sometimes we experienced great victory and other times we felt so defeated that we didn't feel like waking up in the morning, but here we are still making it.

This blog was birthed out of a strong desire to connect with other kingdom minded individuals to uplift, encourage, and enlighten. To let somebody know that their life is worth living and that trouble won't ever last always for the scripture tells us that, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning"(Psalm 30:5). Letting us know that every attack against our progress and well-being has an expiration date. The Survival Guide has been a digital journal where you've allowed me to be as transparent as God would allow and the growth has been tremendous.

I don't know what's next, but I know that God has it all under control. I've enjoyed sharing with each of you on a weekly basis and I ask that you continue to pray my strength in The Lord as I pray yours. Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing, thank you for inspiring me and pushing me to stay on my knees in prayer and to stay in the word of God that I might continue to grow in his grace. I love each and everyone of you.

Let us bow:

Lord,

As you've guided our conversation that we might grow in your word. As you have blessed us beyond a reasonable doubt. As you have loved us when we failed to love ourselves, kept us in spite of out carelessness, and protected us regardless of our bad decisions; we just wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you for your son Jesus. Thank you for your word. Thank you for understanding and a heart to want to understand more about you. Thank you for your peace, thank you for eternal life. Thank you thank you thank you. Lord we know that if you decide to do nothing else for any of us, you've already done enough. Therefore, we say thank you yet again for it is in the mighty name of Jesus that healing occurs, breakthrough is experienced, life is restored, and we pray, Amen!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Don't Get it Twisted

“You shall have no other gods before me.” — Exodus 20:3 (NIV)

We often find time, spend time, and waste time on things that will not benefit us in anyway. Things that will only take away and not add to our character. Things that will tear down what was built on the inside of us because we don't realize that any exaltation whether good or bad takes energy. We publicly and openly acknowledge our personal particulars and privately and quietly acknowledge God within reason. We believe that a Facebook status here and there about his goodness is enough to suffice. We tell ourselves that the bare minimum of giving is enough. We tell ourselves that reading a passage of scripture every once in a while should be enough, we believe that we are doing just enough to get by and that's far from the truth.

Idolatry simply put is placing anything in the place of or before the only true God. In many cultures it's either widely accepted or strongly prohibited. In the body of Christ through the studying of the word of God we see that all throughout the Old Testament God told his servants to tell the people of a God to humble themselves, put the idol gods away, and acknowledge the true God for who he is. Here in the book of Exodus, God was getting the children of Israel ready and preparing them for the fulfillment of a promise that He had made which was to deliver them into a land of abundance once they understood and agreed to a few ground rules that we call the Ten Commandments. In this particular verse, we see that God has addressed the issue of idolatry and  although this is a historic text, don't let the translation fool you, it's just as relevant today.

We're all living lives of worship, but if you're life were to come together on paper, who would your action say that your god is? Could it be that we've not reached the promise land of God's promises in our lives because we don't acknowledge him for who he truly is? We'd rather spend hours on end on Instagram and not even five minutes in the word of God. We can't go twenty minutes without talking to someone on the phone, but we can't give God two minutes of our time, yet we want God's abundance and favor.

We put everything before God. Sometimes our social obligations, other times our personal wants and desires. Sometimes our thirst for attention, other times our personal desire to be physically involved with someone that God has not ordained to be in our lives. It's time to tap into our discipline. We've idolized the idea of a dream relationship to the point that we'd rather get beat up in private, just because of how glamorous our relationship looks in public. We've idolized physical nakedness so much so that we'd pay more for less clothing material because it's the in thing to do. We've idolized social media gods so much so that it's the first things we log on to in the morning and the last thing we log off of at night. We've become lovers of ourselves seeking God for nothing, but elevation, emancipation, and a flashy life full of perfection and flawlessness, but that's not real.

In real life you don't like what you see when you look in the mirror. In real life you're unsure of yourself so you use social media to validate you. In real life papa was a rolling stone so you're not happy, but you want people to think you're happy so you put on this front. You idolize the new thing because being hip and I'm the know is the only way you know to appear unique and unmoved by your current situation because you no longer recognize the voice of God. Yet, our scripture today tells us to have no other god before the one true God and so it's time for us to humble ourselves and get back to the place that we know that we should be. Anything is acceptable in moderation, but we're not living that reality because our lives are off balance. We've turned our backs on God and it's time to do better. It's time to cut the television off for a moment, shut the account down for a minute, cut some people off for a while, get on bended knee, and go to God in prayer that we might hear from heaven and receive God's direction and purpose for our lives.

Let us bow:

Heavenly Father,
We thank you for the grace you've granted us by allowing us to see another day and we thank you for the goodness, and mercy that has met us every step of the way. Father, we've forgotten our purpose because we've forgotten you and we apologize because we know better. We didn't realize that we were spiritually off balance and that we were in need of an extreme spiritual makeover from you Lord, that we might know what it is to put you first and honor you. Lord we've placed value in places that are undeserving and we apologize Lord. We acknowledge you Heavenly Father as the only wise God full of grace and truth. We've invite your Holy Spirit in to take complete control in our lives, clean our spiritual house from the inside out, and restore unto to each of us the joy of our salvation, helping us to understand that the only true validation comes from you. Thank you Lord for everything for we know that if you do nothing else in our lives Lord, you've already done way more than enough. We bless you and we praise you oh Lord our strength and redeemer for it is in your mighty and matchless name we pray, Amen!

Monday, June 2, 2014

FYI


Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. Matthew 21:21

Sometimes all you need to know is that everything will be alright. All you need to know is that things are working out in your favor. All you need to know is that God loves you and that he's concerned about you. So much so that he put a time restraint on your pain and problems, so much so that he put an expiration date on your trials and tribulations, so much so that he thought of you, created you, and preordained you to do the things that he has set you apart to do. Never give up, keep pushing, and hold on to Hope!

Be encouraged, and understand that the first step to your progression is your faith. If you believe that you can do it, anything is possible; so why not expect the great from a God who is more than able and more than capable? It's not about who said you can't. It's not about who said that you will never amount or be able to do anything. This has everything to do with the voice inside of you. This has everything to do with the fact that God has given you the power through this verse to command your situation by one speaking life and two believing that it can happen. It can happen! All the things that you dreamt and all of the things that you have seen by way of day dreams and visions shall and will come to pass, but you have got to have faith. You have got to try faith. Take a Leap!!!!

Let us bow:
Jesus,
We need you to help us on this our journey called life. We need your strength to carry on and your patience to withstand the test and trials that have come our way. We need your power to operate with a supernatural instinct that we might always bear the fruit of the spirit accompanied by the whole armor of God. Increase our faith that we might continue to trust you. Thank you for everything. We know that we are undeserving of your love, grace, and your mercy, yet you look beyond our fault to see our need and you provide and make ways constantly. Thank you for being God. Thank you for your loving kindness. Thank you for the marvelous work that you were doing in our lives. In the Almighty & matchless name of Jesus we pray, Amen!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Good Bye

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
There's a house and you own it. Within your house you pay the bills, you buy the groceries, your name is on the deed and so you decide who can come and who can go, all because it's your house. You invite a few friends into town to come and fellowship with you in your new fully furnished abode and they gladly except the invite. Because of your hospitality, welcoming spirit, and generosity your guest become comfortable in your home, so much so that they began to get comfortable with their originally temporary living arrangement, and begin to wonder what it would be like if they were permanent guest in your home. Therefore they began to extend their stay in your home and although it seemed like a good idea initially, it turned out to do more harm than good. You had no idea that they wouldn't offer to help purchase groceries, wash clothes, clean up around the house, or contribute financially. You had no clue that they intended to live off of your success and ride your coat tail until they were no longer welcome.  Now your caught in a bind, all while mentally tossing the idea around about the best route to handle the situation because you bit off more than you could chew. Without question your friends have got to go, but how do you say good bye?

Ok so not many of us own homes at this point in life, but for symbolism sake let's make life your home. Life is your sacred place through which your reach others and encourage them to follow Christ. The life that you're living right now periodically invites others to come and be apart, to come an dwell in a variety of roles designed to motivate you to be the best person that you can be. Life is your humble abode as it is so expensive that it is priceless and so intricate that you're only able to live one. Those friends (for the sake of your success) are the people in your life right now who abuse you, mistreat you, lie on you, run your name through the mud, call you everything, but a child of God while simultaneously using you to get ahead. Those people who you set your personal needs aside for, the people that you go out of your way to impress; for them to still treat you bad, those people who you know don't care for you, yet you allow them to dwell in the living room of your life. Something has got to give, it's time for you to move forward in life, but first you must leave a few things and a few people behind.

It's rare that a homeowner carries old furniture into a new home. Simply because it takes away from the newness of new home. Today is the day that you leave some friends behind and in the past. You can't focus on your future because all they wanna talk about is the past. You can't move forward because they keep holding you back. But you own this house, this life God gave you was bestowed upon you for a reason. That you might live it to fullest. You can not move on to tomorrow's success if you refuse to relinquish yesterday's mess. You have within you the power of God, which is more than enough power to turn your situation right side up. Trust God, and let some people go. There are four seasons for a reason and not all flowers are made for every season. All to often we miss interpret the people placed in our lives. We trust people that we shouldn't, and mistreat those who love us dearly. We hold on to relationships that mean us no good. We compromise our faith for fifteen seconds of media exposure. We break bread with any and everybody and have sex with the first guy who tells us that we're beautiful all because we allowed our friends to stay a lot longer than they should have.

As children of the most high, no longer can we live our lives on other peoples terms. No longer can we afford to carry the burden of groups of people telling themselves that they can't do better for their own lives. God didn't call us to save anybody (that's his job), he called us to share the good news about how he's able to save and do anything, but fail. The time has come for a little spring cleaning, the time has come for a little life feather dusting that we might truly get our house in order. Not only should we know when others have over stayed their welcome, but sometimes we ourselves have over stayed our welcome in the lives of others.

Let us bow:

Heavenly Father,
Grant us the strength that we will need to tell those that you have not ordained to be in our lives, Good bye. Open the eyes of heart that we might be able to see things for what they really are. Touch us with a finger of love that we might understand that working outside of your will is unacceptable.Teach us to trust you that we might learn your ways and become one again with your word. Remove those in our lives who mean us no good, remove those in our lives who have over stayed their welcome, remove those in our lives who are not meant to be there so that we can continue to do your will. Bless those individuals that they too might grow in your grace, turn their lives around like only you can. Have you way Lord, for it is in the mighty and matchless name of the Christ we pray Amen!