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Archive for February, 2012

GOD IS REVEALING HIS INTENTIONS TOWARDS YOU: TAKE HEART & HAVE COURAGE!

 Photography by Linda Meadows

February is rapidly fizzling out! The end of the month is in clear sight and I can’t help but smile and appreciate how powerfully enriching the time has been inclusive of some surprising events, the delicious chocolate candy, amazing flowers, kind gestures, disappointments and yes, unfortunate misunderstandings too. My heart is heavy regarding the latter, but that too is life! Adversity is also a gift and an opportunity to grow closer to God, reflect and move forward. The Holy Spirit is reminding us to take heart.

It’s no surprise that God speaks to us through common and uncommon occurrences. It’s the aha moments-the unplanned encounters, strangers that stand in the grocery lines burdened with heart matters that are revealed in conversation, catching a glimpse of blue jays fluttering in front of our windows, and the sweet breezes that brush across our temples as we’re fumbling with our keys. All of these moments offer great revelation. Oh it’s the unexpected reach, the welcomed hug, catchy lyrics that cause us to hum and sing along; that persistent friend’s text, prying acquaintances, ______(you fill in the blank), heartfelt prayers, timely scripture and when we least expect it-words on an arch way meant to lift you and change your outlook!

I am convinced that God is revealing His intentions for us and towards us! So it is no wonder that God’s presence was evident in Sunday’s worship service: The First Sunday of Lent~ Black History Month Celebration. I am convinced our eager hearts were like flood gates-expectant and receptive. There was a deep down joyful lesson to be had for each congregant. It wasn’t exclusive to just witnessing our youth reenactors of: James Weldon Johnson, Mae Jemison, Carter G. Woodson, Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Mary McCloud Bethune and The Rev. Nelson W. Pinder, but their messages were woven with a mandate for this present day! We were urged to maintain spiritual strength, resolve, stamina and courage. Each historic celebrant exhibited grace and courage. Listeners understood that we too should grab hold of these virtues. And then the spiritual gavel dropped, one of our youth read from the bulletin, Joshua 1:1-9

COURAGE

 1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

It’s crystal clear now friends it was not just a Black History Program but an empowerment moment! Weren’t your spirits elevated by that powerfully enriching scripture? The assuredness that resonated from children as they read and sang Make Them Hear You truly struck a cord! Their presence and participation was evident that God is continually in our midst. Here are the lyrics you might wish to reference.

Make Them Hear You Go out and tell the story.

Let it echo far and wide Make them hear you.

Make them hear you.

How that justice was our battle and how justice was denied.

Make them hear you!

Make them hear you.

And say to those who blame us

For the way we chose to fight

That sometimes there are battles Which are more than black or white.

And I could not put down my sword When justice was my right.

Make them hear you.

Make them hear you.

My path may lead to heaven or hell

And God will say what’s best

But one thing he will never say Is that I went quietly to my rest.

Go out and tell our story

To your daughters and your sons

Make them hear you.

Make them hear you.

Proclaim it from your pulpit In your classroom with your pen

Teach every child to raise his voice

And then, my brothers, then Will justice be demanded By ten million righteous men.

Make them hear you.

Make them hear you.

Songwriters: FLAHERTY, STEPHEN CHARLES / AHRENS, LYNN

 

 Oscar Robertson’s Crusade for Saving A Life!

 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,

 and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6

Central Florida was all a buzz regarding the All Star Week’s festivities. One of the highlights of the week was the opportunity to meet and greet the legendary Big “O”, the history making basketball player Oscar Robertson! This wasn’t just about gaining Oscar’s signature on basketball memorabilia at the Draft Restaurant, but more importantly was a moment for attendees to gain community cancer education and awareness. Mr. Robertson was traveling with Dr. Vipul Patel, founder of Natalia Kapsalis Foundation headquartered in Celebration, Florida. Dr. Patel has performed over 5000 robotic prostatectomies and Oscar is a testament of this life saving surgery. Dr. Patel has honor of being the world’s most experienced robotic prostate surgeon and Oscar is a recipient of Dr. Patel’s expertise. Oscar didn’t tout about his stellar basketball career or even his Olympian win, nor his love for Indianapolis and helping to build homes for the underprivileged. Instead on this visit he choose to urge men, especially African American men to get their prostate exams and partner with The International Prostate Cancer Foundation to eradicate this disease.

Oscar Robertson has courageously battled stage four prostate cancer and won. He’s the one out of 6 men that beat the odds and desires that all men get examined and take their health concerns seriously. Did I mention that he’s also become a kidney donor for his daughter? That’s truly wonderful! He courageously building a platform for support and awareness, indeed he’s on a crusade for saving lives! Listen to Wisdom Watch interview on NPR at: http://www.npr.org/2012/02/23/147291133/nba-hall-of-famer-beats-prostate-cancer.

In Mr. Robertson’s words he “wishes all people would understand the ways of the world, make it a better place and understand that we aren’t going to be here forever.” We thank God for Oscar Robertson’s tenacity and courage!

It Just Gets Better!

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25 It was meant to be that as the three of us departed the park, my Sister in Christ and dear friend Ronette and I would seemingly glance up simultaneously and see these neon words in bold letters: IT JUST GETS BETTER. Immediately I yelled, “Ricky please take our photo and be sure to get the words!” Jesus we receive that message! We looked at each other and began to simultaneously laugh with joy! We did a modest dance, but our joy was contagious! A soul train line would have really been fun.

Ronette’s prior visit to Florida had been cancelled and it was disappointing. We knew she’d get to Florida, just not now (or so we believed). Many years ago we created our itineraries which included Historic Eatonville’s Zora Festival ( wearing our wide brimmed hats), venturing to the beach (the Ocean was calling), and seeing Mickey as we enjoyed Orlando’s ambiance. Nice thought, but never imagining that Florida would become my home. (But God has the details all worked out!) January’s plans fell through with her visiting, but that wasn’t the end of the story!

God does expand our territories! It’s just often not on our time table or in our immediate view. (We do realize this lesson is bigger than friends traveling from one state to the next!) Many will concur that a break from the struggles isn’t going to occur. Before long we buy that bill of goods, and our heart’s desire is a far off dream-but apparently that’s the furthest thing from the truth.

Apparently there’s a new reality, a divine truth for all of us! Thank God! Thank you Jesus! With that knowledge our spirit’s neon sign should read: “LOOK AT GOD! LOOK UP AND ANTICIPATE HIS GOODNESS!”

It’s a fact there we stood @ Downtown Disney’s Board Walk sharing about our lives and how our friendship has endured the ups and down of life! And, yes once again God bypassed our forecasted planning, and planted her here for this time. Without a doubt it was a Divine undertaking and to say the least it was sheer thanksgiving. Like friends say, “You just don’t understand.”

So many other wonderful happening, events and tell tale signs that applauded milestones of trailblazers and our just having plain ole fun occurred. Friends, each instance had an undertone of “it” being a token for our good, “it” had a divine imprint that inferred this wasn’t our doing! We are grateful, and understand that as God expands our scope/ territories of life it’s surely His intention for our good. Relish that truth. Marvel and revel in God’s good pleasure for you and yours- know that His lessons are many, intentional; just have the courage and heart for the journey! Breathe; take it in, a fresh anointing, a new life’s chapter awaits you! Jesus knows! It’s your call to go on and love boldly and live passionately!

We really do long to hear your triumphant story! Hey who’s knocking? ”

Oh it’s the month of March, Come on in we’ve been waiting for you.”

MAKE THEM HEAR YOU!

 

Extremely Grateful, The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises  by Linda Mose Meadows (Tate Publishing, Nov. 2007) http://blessednessofbelieving.blogspot.com/ https://blessedauthorlm.wordpress.com/ http://eyesoffaithmagazine.blogspot.com/

Thank you, emails are welcome: blessedbelievers1@yahoo.com

STRIVING TO TRUST

 
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
Corrie Ten Boom

Determined to write a devotional, I reached for a past article written for Urban Views Weekly, July 15, 2009 entitled : When You’re at a Crossroads, the Odds are with You. How appropriate for me at this juncture of my life. When I earnestly reflect on the stations of my life, many bittersweet, I shake my head in amazement. Lord I survived and am grateful for being transformed continually!

Yes, I am in a new place spiritually and physically. Divine growth spurts got here. At the time of my July 2009 writing we resided in Virginia and had gone home to Buffalo, New York to visit friends and family, secretly I wanted to return. For many years I was terribly home sick, I longed for a break from the numerous pain filled valley experiences, but blessed events also. Before the July 2009 article was birthed I sat at my dear friend, Renita’s home and marveled at a granddaughter whom I had only seen in photos.

This very busy little toddler so bright and rambunctious had very mature language skills which were matched with her determination and zeal. She zipped around the house searching for her princess clothes. She too was in search of something precious. Renita and I shared and caught up on past and present news- relevant to our lives. We exchanged pleasantries and then got to the heart matters that often surface after we comfortably settled into heart matters that can’t be overlooked. She said something like “Lin you’re living out your heart’s desire.” She was referencing my writing and published work. I hadn’t thought of it that way. It just seemed that I was search of what seemed elusive-peace and contentment needed to make my life complete, but yet it felt impossible in a place that was far from home.

Well let’s fast forward, now I am seated at my dining room table in Orlando, Florida with lap top open and writing now for several other publications! I’m prayerful and very thankful-not so out of sorts. I’m expecting and anticipating further accomplishments and trusting that the fruition of what I long for will happen. Imagine my husband and I am now Floridians, feeling at home and excited about the future. It gives me goose bumps as my mind races and sifts through the numerous journeys that got us here. I am so pleased to be in this warm climate, a place of respite that seems to just swallow me in and assure me that change is surfacing.

My spirit is lifted and the heaviness that was so familiar has been disrobed like a heavy wool coat. Not that long ago, I was wondering do we pay the mortgage for this month or should we just pay the utilities instead and try to catch up in the following month? Too much anxiety! Yes, not that long ago I wondered (feeling bewildered) should I pack up my belongings and just retreat for home where familiar surroundings and an assured comfort zone of reliable family and friends could be counted on. But truth be told I would have missed out on the struggles, challenges and victories that were meant exclusively for me, for us. Living and surviving this life is not for the faint-hearted! I believe God is communicating with us this day my friends. As shared initially I thought I would submit an article I’d previously written but thank God I thought better of that! Instead I grabbed my devotional (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young) and then referenced scripture (Holy Bible New Living Translation). Here are the words and text that resonated in my spirit. The words spoke to my heart and gave me the direction needed:

STRIVE TO TRUST ME…. “I am sovereign over every aspect of your life; it is possible to trust Me in all situations. Don’t waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been. Start at the present moment-accepting things exactly as they are-and search for My way in the midst of those circumstances.” Psalm 52:8; Proverbs 3:5-6

              But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
                          I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.

Psalm 52:8
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6
So my friends I trust that your spirits are encouraged that as you look-searching for your things, you too are living and writing new chapters! Go on and live your authentic lives as you trust God’s unfailing love. Troubles don’t cease, but your life line of grace and mercy are more than adequate. We will survive.  He’s orchestrated your route and has given you the heart to navigate your paths, just be sure to lean on God’s truths not your limited understanding.
 
You very well may be at the cross roads looking over from this to that, but we know that seasons come and they go! Yes indeed change ultimately occurs generally for our good. And finally, connect with some loving souls-new and old friends you’ll be amazed at the revelations revealed and shared, that you too are reaching or have reached more of your heart’s desire than you could have imaged. Be sure to whisper a prayer of thanksgiving to our Lord and Savior as you acknowledge his omnipotence! Now get where you need to go and boldly strive to trust Him all the more.
 Hope to see you at the cross roads!

 Written by Inspirational Author, Motivational Speaker, Blogger & Columnist: Linda Mose Meadows. She is married to Rev. Richard D. Meadows, Jr., Pastor of  The Episcopal Church of St. John The Baptist located in Orlando, Florida. Learn more about her endeavors of celebrating ordinary days with extraordinary promises through her devotional, blogs, and columns by visiting:

The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises by Linda Mose Meadows (Tate Publishing, Nov. 2007)
http://blessednessofbelieving.blogspot.com/
https://blessedauthorlm.wordpress.com/
http://eyesoffaithmagazine.blogspot.com/
Emails are welcome: blessedbelievers1@yahoo.com

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