Sunday Sermon

“There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.” Isaiah 4:6

Today’s sermon was right on time. I have been struggling with maintaining my faith and hope in a few things I am dealing with. Not to mention, there have been a lot of storms weather wise. Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, and many Caribbean nations have been besieged. Storms, physical and metaphorical, are inevitable. 

As a result we do not know what storms or the magnitude of them that we will face however, be warned that they will come in a myriad of forms. Belief in God’s word can help fortify us against the attacks. 

As my pastor pointed out, storms can help teach us what is important in life. I want to encourage anyone currently facing stormy weather to hold on to your faith. Storms can cause depression. Depression is the result of spiritual dryness. When you don’t read the Bible, attend church, or commune with God, your spirit becomes barren. Hope cannot take root in dry places. Nothing can grow without the Living Water. 

In closing, He gave us five principles to apply during trials: 

1. Laugh in your circumstances-this reminds me of the Proverbs 31 woman who laughed without fear of the future. She was wise knowing that no matter what her future held, God would use it for good. 

2. Decide what is true-remember, the Father of Lies loves to confuse the mind and paint everything black so that life feels hopeless. 

3. Discipline your body-Take care of yourself while enduring the storm. Otherwise you are even more vulnerable in a weakened state. We need all of our energy to fight the good fight of faith. 

4. Fight for your life-you have to do your part alongside God. The Bible says faith without works is dead-so work your faith!

5. Preach your message-this resonated deeply within my core. God allows some storms to pass through our lives to shelter others. This realization is powerful. Your “mess” can be a message for someone else. 


Table In The Wilderness

“Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies.” Psalm 23:5

In one of the most famous Psalms, David writes about his valley experience. Reading this, it is evident that there is value in the valley. We learn the following things: 

1. The Lord is our Shepherd

2. He will provide our needs

3. He is a Leader who take us to a place of peace and down righteous paths. 

4. He is a Restorer. 

5. He is with us in the face of evil. 

6. He is a Comforter.

7. Even in the midst of our enemies, He will provide. 

8. He will annoint us with oil. 

9. Our cups will remain full. 

10. Goodness and mercy will follow us until the end of days. 

11. We will dwell in His house forever. 

No wonder this Psalm is so well known and loved. The comfort it offers is palatable. Is there anything that He won’t do for us?! 

Not only does He prepare, meaning to produce, arrange, and assemble a table for us, He does so in the presence of our enemies. The preparation alone suggests that it won’t be an ordinary setting. Because it has been prepared by the Lord Himself, it would be a table unlike any other. 

And He sets this beautiful table in the middle of the valley, a place of despair and woe. Imagine if you can, walking through a valley and beholding a table set specifically with you in mind. A table in the wilderness is certainly not a typical sight.

In backdrop of this table is all of your enemies-literal and figurative who serve as witness to the overwhelming, everlasting love that God has for you. He doesn’t restore you back to life in secret, He does so openly and intentionally in the presence of those who despise you. 

God is a Provider who takes care of what belongs to Him in both mountain and valley moments.  His people are fed spiritual manna known fittingly as the Bread of Life and drink from overflowing fountains of Living Water. 

He invites all who are hungry, thirsty, despairing, and vulnerable to sit at His table and get rest for our weary, burdened souls. 

Only one question remains, will you accept the invitation? Will you dine with the Lord? 

Just a Word

“…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ~Romans 10:17

I look forward to going to church each Sunday. Come that time I’m usually thirsting for the Lord. I’m tired and overwhelmed and empty. So when Sunday rolls around, I am dehydrated and in need of a drink from the Living Water. In essence, I need a word from God.

This Sunday was no different other than being joined by my beautiful friend (if you don’t have a God worshipping friend-you better get you one, lol) or so I thought. The moment I noticed that MY pastor wasn’t there, I developed an attitude. The pastor filling in for her was one I don’t particularly care for. His preaching style is not to my liking. Something about his falsetto pitch, hyperbolic phrasing, and incoherent delivery just irritates my soul! I like things neat and tidy. I suppose I am not liberal enough for the pastor to be in the pulpit free styling on the microphone, lol.

I felt bad so I tried to suck up my disdain and pay attention. I focused on taking notes and ignoring his speaking idiosyncrasies. I was also disappointed that my friend would not be able to hear my fiery, charismatic pastor preach. I glanced over to check her countenance and she was thoroughly engaged in his message. This motivated me to hone in.

I’m glad I did as I believe that God used him to speak to me. God told me to hold on to my faith and to protect it as well. I perked up when I heard this. I knew the message was intended just for me. The night before I had struggled with a few things. I was feeling so low that I didn’t want to attend church in the morning. I didn’t see the point. I had surrendered my hope for better days. I went back and forth about canceling our church date but I didn’t want to let her down. I was secretly hoping that she would offer a reason she couldn’t make it that I would have gladly accepted. I wanted to spend time in my dark and depressing pit wallowing in self-pity singing laments of woe is me. I didn’t want to be in church dressed to the nines in the garment of praise that we are supposed to clothe ourselves with to fight off the exact spirit of heaviness I was battling. But God saw differently. He made sure I made it to church and provided the right friend to join me to make sure I didn’t miss a thing. She reminded me of two truths: that I only needed a little faith, just the size of a mustard seed and that God once used a donkey to deliver His message. I realized that I was paying too much attention to the speaker and not the message. I could feel the tears pooling in my eyes that my Lord felt me worthy enough to send a personalized message.

Even the closing prayer was for me. It addressed literally everything that I had suffered the night before. The crying. The worry. The faithlessness. The hurt. The sleeplessness.  But strangely enough, I felt good and wasn’t at all tired when I woke up. This, too I believe was orchestrated by God. It is SO true that He will equip you with what you need to make it through.

After church we enjoyed brunch and stopped by the mall briefly. It was an awesome time of fellowshipping with my friend. And I got exactly what I needed, a word from the Author and Finisher of our faith.