Tag Archive | Soul Food

Discipline and Destiny


Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” —1 Corinthians 9:24-27, NKJV

I’m currently re-reading a leadership devotional that I have read two previous times—Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God.

This was one of the books on my reading list, along with a leadership Bible, when I first began my doctoral program. Although some classes had biblically based texts, I don’t recall having assigned readings from this particular devotional during the three years of classwork. Superficially, it would appear that the school wasted our money with this book and others like it, but I never interpreted things that way. I interpreted the requirement of the leadership devotional and the Bible as an implication that the college supported individual cultivation of our spiritual characters. They provided us with the tools, but in the end, it was up to us to use the material.

I enjoy reading the devotional. Sometimes it challenges me. Sometimes it confirms something I have been contemplating. Other times, the devotional acts like a commentary by helping me better understand a Biblical passage or concept.

Week 14’s theme was self-discipline. The authors defined this concept as “that quality that allows a person to do what needs to be done when he or she doesn’t feel like doing it” (Boa et al., 2007, p. 144). The definition is simultaneously simplistic and powerful. 

Think about it . . .

How often have we skipped doing something because we didn’t feel like it? I have noticed that a continued lack of discipline in one area will lead to a lack of discipline in others. This is a truth that I learned early in my adult life. If there is an area (or areas) in your life where you struggle with discipline, take inventory of your spiritual life. “Our spiritual lives form the core of our character. . . . Paul trained for his daily spiritual journey like a world-class athlete. Why? Because he wanted to have the self-control to finish the race without being disqualified” (Boa et al., 2007, p. 138).

God only wants the best for His children. Without discipline, progress on anything will remain stagnant. What can you learn from Paul’s words to help you move into your destiny?


There is Still Time


“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”— Philippians 1:6, NKJV

Have you ever felt like a new year has come, but your plans and dreams have been stuck in the past years? One, two, maybe even ten years later, there has been no manifestation of what you thought would surely have come to pass by now.

It can be easy to feel discouraged and lose hope when such happens. It’s not abnormal to question whether you’ve heard God correctly . . . or at all! Doubt begins speaking loudly, overshadowing everything. Suddenly, the confidence we had about our assignment fades. Discouragement worsens when seeing someone else who is “successful” in doing what you desire. You might wonder if it’s too late for you.

Earlier this month, I saw a post that read: “Don’t believe the lie that time is scarce. The Creator of time will give you enough for what He’s stirred in you to pursue.”

I meditated on that post for a while. During the years that I was in school to complete my dissertation, I did not do much creative writing. I managed to get a short story or two completed. Still, those novel ideas I sketched out before beginning my doctoral program in 2018 remained unfinished in 2022 when I graduated. I’d been so focused on scholarly writing the last few years that I wondered if I should pivot and only concentrate on scholarly writing because it might be too late to get back in the creative groove and pursue those other ideas.

After seeing the above-mentioned post, I thought about Philippians 1:6 and smiled.

God doesn’t leave His work unfinished.

It doesn’t matter how much time has passed or if you’re on the back end of your “prime,” according to worldly standards. If you still have breath in your lungs, there is still time to finish whatever you have left to do. So, if you’ve given up or stopped trying, get back to it. This may indeed be a new year. It’s also a new opportunity for you to make progress. Our time schedule and God’s are not on the same level. His is always perfect!


Friday (1) (1)


Stability Amid Change

change ahead

Excerpt from Connecting with Christ: 52 Weekly Devotionals to Nurture Spiritual Growth

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”—Hebrews 13:8, NKJV

Every so often, life brings about a year that we never want to relive. I know that for many, 2020 is the year you’ll choose. For me, 2017 stands out. January of that year started off painful as I navigated through the emotions of a disappointing choice made by loved ones. Then, March was marked by the passing of my favorite aunt whose death I couldn’t totally grieve because I was worried about my mom. My aunt was her last living sister, and the two of them were close. To add to a year that had already started rough, in May, my mother took her last earthly breath.

On top of all this, my daughter was finishing her senior year of high school, playing her last season of club volleyball, and deciding where she wanted to pursue her collegiate studies. My hubby and I were on the verge of being empty nesters, but in April, we got a puppy! (I referred to him as my emotional therapy dog at that time.) By May of 2017, my life had drastically changed, and there were more changes to come. Below are just a few.

• The painful realization that some friendships were not as strong as I thought.
• The start of a new business venture with my hubby.
• The launch of an annual event with a new friend.
• Preparation for a doctoral journey that would begin the following January.
• Receipt of news from my son that there would be a new addition to our family in 2018.

Although 2017 had a mixture of good and bad events, the bottom line is that all events indicated change. No matter what, life would never be the same.

The first part of that year was straitjacket-worthy for sure! Physical pain is much easier for me to handle than emotional pain. I love hard. 

Consequently, I also hurt hard, so the events that transpired in January, March, and May, broke my heart ten times over. That was a lot of change in a short amount of time. Yet, there was one constant upon which I could depend…Jesus.


The above is an excerpt from Connecting with Christ: 52 Weekly Devotionals to Nurtur Spiritual Growth. In what ways has Jesus proven to be dependable in your life? 


Moving Forward Despite Fear

The Concept of the Way to the Cross of Christ

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”—2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV

2 Timothy 1:7 is easy to quote but sometimes difficult to internalize.

Even the most mature Christian has been afraid at one time or another.

Many things perpetuate fear.

Mass shootings




Lack of Resources

Something happening to a loved one


The above list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. The list of fears can go on forever.

Recently, fear arose in me. I was presented with a huge opportunity, and I almost said “no” because I was afraid of failure. I prayed and asked God for a clear sign about what I should do. Yep, I needed Him to make it plain. For several days, I toiled about the decision, and God kept reminding me of His word. I made excuses about why I probably should say “no,” but my spirit was troubled because the only issue in my way was fear. The moment I said, “yes,” I was at peace.

Nearly a week after I’d already said “yes,” I listened to a sermon where the pastor addressed fear. He mentioned how we must put aside our fear and “get lost in the purpose of God.” His point was that sometimes things don’t go as we’d desired, so we become afraid to pursue God’s plans for us. (My summary does not do his message justice!) I laughed and cried when I heard this message. It was confirmation that I’d made the right decision.

When I’d asked God for a sign earlier in the week, He led me to His word. That was it. Once I internalized the Scripture and acted congruently with it, I received confirmation through the sermon I heard on Sunday. Here’s the thing: I’m still scared, but I refuse to allow fear to paralyze me. I’m moving forward by faith. I don’t know all the ins and outs of my new path, and I’m trying not to get caught up in what I think or hope it will be. (I’m a planner . . . sometimes to a fault.) Instead, I’m trusting that every step I take has already been ordered with purpose and precision to lead me where God has prepared.

In what ways have you been held back by fear? How can you move forward in faith?


“Uprooted” (Working Title) by Frances J. Tibbs


“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”—Hosea 10:12, ESV

From Yolonda:

I don’t have a green thumb.

It’s not even green-ish.

My hubby bought me a plant decades ago when we were dating as a gift for my new apartment. I gave it to my mom to resuscitate after I nearly killed it.

Several years ago, my daughter bought me a bamboo plant for Mother’s Day. I cherished that plant. Sadly, I recently had to remove it from life support.

Over the years, people have sent me flowers for various occasions. Those flowers only saw a full life because my husband eventually became their caregiver.

Despite my own history with plants, I have gleaned wisdom from someone who finds solace in gardening. Below is a piece written by my friend Frances J. Tibbs from her unpublished collection, Lessons From the Garden.

“Uprooted” (Working Title) by Frances J. Tibbs

When I was weeding an area in my garden, it took a few different tools to get the deep-rooted thistle out. Those roots of that weed had grown deep, and they were not coming out of that soil without a fight.

I walked back into the garage to get a manual tiller, one of those tools that will involuntarily help you build upper body strength. See, I’m increasing my upper body strength, doctor!

Okay . . . back to the soil and the thistle. Like the roots of a pulled tooth, they go deep. Only when twisting the digger, alternating to the right and the left, was I able to dislodge the thistle.

I reflected on the soil, the weeds, and the tools.

After my hard work, the soil became rich and pliable, ready for a plant. The plant would easily thrive. It would get the morning sun. That beautiful plant would not have been able to blossom to its fullest potential if the soil hadn’t been tilled . . . broken up, weeded to be ready for planting.

The soil had been allowed to do what soil does best . . . be the base that holds the new plant, nourishing it from the bottom where the roots are. Good soil allows the roots to spread out and get stronger, producing a beauty that will cause the eye to feast and get full.

How is your soil?

Do the roots of your habits grow strong?

Will they need more tools to help new growth begin?

Did your spiritual muscles get stronger?

Have you become a beauty . . . a feast of the eyes?

Are you positioned in the Son?

Is the light of the Savior shining upon you, nourishing you?

Are you growing upward toward the standard the Father has set forth?

As a result of your weeding, your dirty work, as you were digging deep to get your thick roots of that “besetting sin” out of the soil of your heart, are you planted firmly in the soil of the Savior?

Are you blooming where you’re planted?

Are you propagating? Increasing your territory?

Ready to be put in a bigger garden next year and outgrow that space to one even bigger?

Most importantly, are you opening your heart to the Master Gardener?

Get your gloves on because your hands are going to get dirty!

Yolonda’s Reflections:

Reading this made me ask myself, Are you ready for God to till those places where it may hurt for the soil to be disturbed? We all have those areas in our lives . . . the places that we might prefer remained undisturbed for whatever reason. Maybe we’re not ready for the work involved. Maybe we’re not sure what all will need to be uprooted, and the unknown scares us. Here’s the thing . . . if we are to be like Jesus, He will need to uproot and replant some things within us. So, with a deep breath, closed eyes, and lifted hands, I say, Okay, Lord. Have Your way with me!  

 About Frances J. Tibbs

FRANCES J. TIBBS is a creative educator, mentor, and coach from Columbus, Ohio. Her passion for working with children began when she was in her youth and worked as a babysitter. Frances enjoys advocating for young children and the teachers who provide positive learning experiences for them. She
delights in nurturing children, adults, ideas, and everything green that grows in her garden. She began her journey with the Lord in elementary school and continues to walk out her faith, believing passionately that God will never leave or forsake her (Deuteronomy 31:6). Her greatest blessings in life call her “MoMo.”

Frances is also a contributor to Connecting with Christ: 52 Weekly Devotionals to Nurture Spiritual Growth.


“When God’s Way Hurts”

love concept - red paper broken heart over white background

“But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases”—Psalm 115:3, NKJV

“Dear Lord, this is how I would like you to fix the situation.” Then, with the utmost sincerity, I began to offer a solution. I mean, we have not because we ask not, right? So, my request was clear. There was no ambiguity about what I wanted to happen. Things were bad. Really bad. If I would have any peace of mind, this is how God would have to do it.

His response . . . Not!

Not only didn’t He answer the prayer how I wanted, but it didn’t seem like He was answering at all. The situation didn’t get better. It actually got worse! Meanwhile, the enemy whispered in my ear that praying was a waste of time because God wasn’t listening!

I wasn’t the only one praying. I’d called on a few of my most trusted prayer warriors who also blew up the main lines of Heaven to intercede. And still . . . nothing. Well, at least nothing that resembled my overall prayer requests. Like I said, things were going from bad to worse, and the enemy went full speed on my mind and emotions. I was at a spiritual crossroads. One choice led to a journey of disconnecting with God. He wasn’t listening, so why not stop talking to Him altogether or believing that He even cared? The other choice meant that I would need to stop thinking that there was only one solution, trust that He’s got this, and lean into Him like I’d never done previously. Well, I’m writing this devotional, so whaddya think I chose? While I cried, prayed, and prayed and cried, I remembered one simple fact: God is sovereign. I may think that I had the solution based on my limited knowledge, but He saw the big picture. I had to trust Him.

As I write, the situation is still a burning hot mess and not resolved in a manner that I prefer. Yet, I have peace. I still trust Him. Sometimes when I think about things, I get teary-eyed. When my emotions begin to get in the way, I go to the Word and recall my beliefs about the Lord. I cannot base my response to God on my feelings but on my faith.

We all encounter situations that can emotionally and spiritually cripple us. Things can get especially difficult when the answer seems clear to us, but God does something different, or from our perspective, nothing at all. Remember, the enemy’s job is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). If you give him the power, he’ll sap any faith or hope you have in God and leave you with only thoughts of despair.

When people walk away from the Lord, most times, its’ because of unmet expectations. He didn’t do something, or He allowed something beyond our comprehension. I wish I could make sense of things that God allows. Ultimately, it’s not God’s job to justify His responses to me but my responsibility to trust Him. If you are a Christian, you have that same charge.

We’ll never fully understand God, and sometimes His ways hurt. Job knew this truth more than any of us. If we read through Job’s story, we also see that his end was better than his beginning. Whatever your current situation, it’s not how your story ends. He’ll do what He wants when He wants and not a moment sooner. Meanwhile, you can rejoice in the fact that whatever is happening will ultimately benefit you in the end (Romans 8:28).


Check out Connecting with Christ: 52 Weekly Devotionals to Nurture Spiritual Growth


“God’s Timing”


“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”—Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Nike popularized the phrase “Just Do It” when the company adopted it as a motto. Many of us have said those three words a time or twenty when speaking with someone who seemed to procrastinate moving forward on something. When we use the phrase, we’re really saying, “stop making excuses and get busy!”

Procrastination is not a word that people would use to describe me. It’s not even how I would describe myself. Yet, my most recent book project only came about because my hand was “forced.”

For at least a decade, I’d been thinking about putting together a one-year weekly devotional, but I put it off, thinking that I had too many other things on my plate. I wanted this to be a collaborative project, and I wondered how I would gather everyone together for the work. Eventually, I talked myself out of it. Years would pass before I gave it any more serious thought, even though the idea never left my mind.

In 2020, the devotional idea again gained momentum when I aimed to help an organization publish a devotional with its members. Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out for several reasons, but the ball was already rolling, so I began creating the devotional as a Yo Productions project. The end result was a final compilation of works that outweighs my best imaginations.

I now wonder if the delays over the years and with the other organization were simply part of the process that propelled me to complete the project at this appointed time. Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps” (NIV). When I finally began executing the plan for the devotional, things were delayed a year because of situations outside of my control. What I thought was a delay turned out to be “perfect timing!”

I’m sure that many others have such testimonies of things not happening when you wanted them to but happening at the time they were supposed to. Of course, real procrastinators will use God’s timing as an excuse to not do any prep work at all. As I look back on the years that I “put off” this project, I now see how God was preparing me. I wasn’t aware of such at that time, but now it’s plain as day through the connections I’ve made, things I’ve learned, and resources I’ve acquired to put the plan into action. While we can and should plan, we must also submit our plans to His will and give Him ultimate authority to do as He pleases when He pleases. His timing is always best!

Check out Connecting with Christ: 52 Weekly Devotionals to Nurture Spiritual Growth


“Go, Jesus!”


“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20, NJKV

When my son was in third grade, he played football for a league through one of the local recreation centers. The football team and the cheerleading squad would practice at the same time, and I would listen to the cheerleaders, smiling and bopping along while they did their chants. One particular cheer stood out to me. The girls would insert the name of each squad member, and then that particular member would respond. For example, if one of the girl’s names was Lisa, the cheer would go like this:

Squad: Show me whatcha gon’ do, Lisa. Show me whatcha gon’ do. Go, Lisa! Show me whatcha gon’ do, Lisa. Show me!

Lisa: I’m bad. I know it. I got the skills to show it.

I got a kick out of watching each girl say her lines with confidence (and some with much attitude). I would snap my fingers and bounce along as they continued the cheer, calling out each squad member’s name.

My son is now in his mid-twenties, and I still remember that cheer like it was yesterday. Sometimes, when I’m faced with a situation that I know only Divine power can fix, I’ll start bopping and doing a revised version of that chant. My version is below:

Show me whatcha gon’ do, Jesus. Show me whatcha gon’ do. Go, Jesus! Show me whatcha gon’ do, Jesus. Show me! He’s bad. He knows it. He’s got the power to show it!

I will say those words repeatedly, smiling each time. I appreciate that when faced with an obstacle, I don’t have to rely on my own power. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried to do something in my own strength a time or two hundred. This faith walk is a lifelong journey, and sometimes I have to re-learn to get out of the Lord’s way and let Him do His thing!

If you hang around me for any length of time and something happens that’s a testament to the Lord’s power and glory, you’ll likely hear me say, “Go, Jesus!” I am constantly amazed by Him and how He works in my life, even during difficult circumstances. The Lord is good, plain and simple. As church folk would say, “All of my good days outweigh my bad days!” (Oh, I know that somebody knows that song!) I hope that you will read Ephesians 3:20 several times and let the Scripture resonate in your spirit. If saying, “Go, Jesus” is a little too out there for you, then praise Him in whatever way makes you feel most comfortable!

If you have a fun way to praise Him, feel free to share!

Motherless on Mother’s Day


Dear Motherless on Mother’s Day,

This time of the year can be rough for us who no longer have our mothers with us. Seeing others making plans with their moms can evoke all kinds of feelings—jealousy, grief, sadness, etc.

My mom died on May 9, 2017. It was the Tuesday before Mother’s Day. The void didn’t really hit me at that time because I was still in shock. Plus, in the days immediately following a loved one’s death, we’re inundated with phone calls, texts, and visits. Grief is often truly felt in the days when everyone else’s life goes back to normal and those immediately impacted by death must learn to adjust.

I get it. I live it. And just when I think I’ve gotten a grip on grief, it throws me a curveball.

This past week, the grief about my mother’s death and the dread of Mother’s Day have been worst than in previous years. Maybe it’s because her death date and Mother’s Day are the same this year. Who knows? I could speculate all day long, but the bottom line is that things have been emotionally tough lately.  

Whether you’ve recently lost your mother or she died years ago, if you find yourself struggling on this day, I want to offer words that I hope will help you.

It’s okay to miss her. Deep folks like to comfort us with Scripture about how our loved ones are in a better place now. “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). They mean well, but sometimes those words are just that . . . words. Of course, it’s good to have the assurance that our loved ones are with Jesus after they die. That doesn’t negate our feelings of missing them. Don’t feel bad or guilty because you do. My mom was sick and in pain. I am glad that she’s no longer suffering. Yet, I still miss her, and I refuse to feel bad about that.

Tell others how you are feeling. I struggled all week. Actually, the struggle began several weeks ago as I knew of this day approaching. The closer this day got, the worse I began to feel. I cried off and on all week, sometimes without warning. When I first recognized the struggle of this day, I shared my feelings with others and asked them to pray for me. Despite a very rough emotional week, the heaviness began to lift yesterday. Today has been filled with laughter and joy. No tears, although tears would have been okay, too! I know that the prayers of my family and friends got me through this moment. Don’t be afraid to tell people how you’re feeling. Compassionate people will not tell you that you should be over grief by now. They will pray you through it! Everyone may not understand, so seek God for discernment about those with whom you can share.

Reminisce. My mother has left me with plenty of memories. I think of things that she said or did, and I’m filled with joy, laughter, and life lessons. Let’s be real. All memories aren’t pleasant. There were times when she made me mad or hurt my feelings. I even cherish those memories because they are a testament to the unconditional love that she taught me. There are times when my mother worked my last nerve. (Best believe that she’s telling Jesus the same thing about me! Lol.) Nevertheless, there was something about the love we shared that overrode any less-than-pleasant experiences. No matter what, we looked out for one another.

I remember the day she died like it was yesterday . . .

“Hey,” I said to my mom as she lay barely conscious. “I hear that you’re about to go see Jesus. I don’t like that you’re leaving, but I’m happy for you that you’ll no longer be in pain.” I tried to keep my voice steady, although tears raced down my face. I told her a bunch of stuff, such as how it was an honor to be her caregiver, that the kids and I would be okay, and that I appreciate everything she ever taught me. “I love you, lady,” I said.

She opened her eyes. Although she couldn’t talk and I know she was in pain, she mouthed the words, “I love you.”

That was the last time she opened her eyes or attempted to say anything. Later that afternoon, she passed.

Four years later, I am still grateful for that moment with her. It gives me such peace to know that I did everything in my power to care for her. I appreciate my husband who never batted an eye or said a negative word when she had to come live with us. I am thankful for my children who adjusted without complaint. I am glad that she didn’t have to take her final breath alone. I was there along with other family members. As I reminisce about life with her, I think about her death. Although I don’t think I would have ever wanted to let her go, I am glad that she went peacefully in the presence of her family.  

I realize that every motherless person may not have gotten a chance like that. Maybe your mother passed suddenly and unexpectedly. Maybe your relationship with her was strained, or perhaps you didn’t treat her as you should have or vice versa. If your mom wasn’t good to you, forgive her. If you weren’t good to her, forgive yourself. Such scenarios are sure to only exacerbate your grief. My advice to you is not to live in the land of woulddas, shoulddas, and coulddas. Ask what you can learn from past experiences to make your current and future ones better.

I am still learning from my mommy, and I always will. Sometimes when something happens, I think, “Wig would have . . . .” (Wig was her nickname.) I even find myself saying things that she would have said. Her fingerprint is very much imprinted on my life. I am who I am because she was who she was.

To the motherless on Mother’s Day, although your mother is not physically with you, part of her still lives on in you . . . you are her legacy! Continue to make her proud!

Jesus, I ask that You be with all who have a difficult time with the loss of their mothers. Only You know the depth of their struggles. Only You can help them through these tough times. Thank You for the gift of my mother. I know that You are caring for her better than I ever could. Give her a big hug and kiss for me, and tell her that I said, “Happy Mother’s Day!”

The Wait

hour glass

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God.”—Micah 6:8, NIV

“Do to others as you would have them do to you” comes from Luke 6:31. In verses 27–36, Jesus is speaking about how we should treat our enemies. He says that we should bless them, love them, and give them the very clothing off our backs, among other things. Even when people mistreat us, Jesus says that we should treat them right. It’s easy to be kind to those who deserve it. The challenge comes when we must be kind to those who don’t. As I awaited the verdict of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, I wondered how I would react if the decision wasn’t one with which I agreed.

Would I be kind to Derek Chauvin if he was acquitted and somehow our paths crossed? I want to think that I would dig deep into my faith to treat him kindly if he was not held accountable, but maybe I’m giving myself too much credit. After all, I’m still bothered by George Zimmerman’s acquittal and his lack of contrition ever since. The nerve of that man to sue Trayvon’s parents after causing them so much pain irks me. Yeah, I think I would struggle a bit with kindness.

I couldn’t watch any footage of Chauvin’s trial. This season is already an emotional one for me due to my own journey of grief. I didn’t want to induce an emotional roller coaster by watching the ping pong match between the defense and the prosecutor. I knew the defense would make claims that would incite me. So, I didn’t watch, but every day, I checked the internet for the latest update. When I saw the announcement that the jury had reached a verdict, I was nervous.

In Micah 6:8, we learn from the prophet that the Lord requires us to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly.” One definition of justice by dictionary.com is “the administering of deserved punishment or reward.” I wondered what the jurors would consider just. Would they be fair, or would there be differential justice? I was literally sick to my stomach as I waited to hear the verdict.

As the judge began reading, I held my breath. Guilty. I cried. I screamed. I was relieved.

The verdict doesn’t stop the pain of George Floyd’s loved ones or those who mourn with them, nor does it erase the many other injustices that have taken place before or after George Floyd’s death. I’m optimistic that the verdict will bring hope for others who are dealing with injustices.

Meanwhile, those of us who follow Christ have Biblical charges, whether or not we like them. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say that treating enemies kindly isn’t something that I can do on my own. Wanting justice is the easy part. Loving mercy for myself is easy as well, but not so much when it comes to others when I feel they have “gotten away” with something, especially something that has caused someone a lot of pain. How prideful of me, right? Guess I need help with walking humbly as well. I’m sure I’m not the only one. As we go through this journey of life together, let’s encourage and pray for one another. I need you. You need me. Together and separately, we need Christ!

Father, we are living in a hurting world. Evidence of brokenness is all around us. Sometimes it seems like evil is winning. The emotional fabric of our society is fragile. Although what we see can be discouraging, help us not give up hope and trust that You are and will always be in full control. May You grant wisdom, give peace, and bring healing as only you can!