Sunday’s Thought: Following Peace Is Not Easy Peasy…

A little over a year ago I left a church. It was a church that I truly loved, it wasn’t big, it wasn’t too small but as Goldilocks said as she said ate, sat, slept and finagled her way into baby bear’s things “It was just right” – I mean I’ve been to other churches before but this one allowed me to really express myself and use the gifting that God gave me. I mean, while there’s no perfect church. I felt as if this one was the perfect fit for me. Well as you know anytime you get comfortable with someone or some-thing –  the enemy has to come in and play his dirty card hands to make sure “your perfect sunshine” turns into doom and rain and that is exactly what happened in this case.

All I will say is, there was something heard, a whole lot of wrong communication said, my emotions took over and went into overdrive and I became very sarcastic, distant and said a bunch of things I didn’t mean (I never said I was an angel). I ended up leaving that church as fast as I had become a part of it, I vowed that I would never step foot into that place again. While I didn’t share what happened with anyone outside of the people in whom were involved; the incident left me very bitter towards them and a silent grudge within my heart.

So what does the bible mean when in Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) when it says:

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.

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You see?, following peace is really about maintaining relationships with people, because as funny as life is, we never know whom we might need to reach out to in order to ask for a favor, we also never know whom may need us, so we must maintain a peaceful spirit and character as well, I mean think about it, if you say you’re a Christian (and most people have their different meanings as to what this means to them) and you’re supposed to be repping Christ, do you really think you should not have a good, peaceful, approachable attitude? I mean how would Jesus look if every time someone approached him with a question, he gave you the Ice Cube look…..

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Ice Cube pic courtesy of Bing

Not only would you not want to approach him but you’ll be afraid to ask him for anything. You should think about that the next time someone steps to you, are you giving them the Ice Cube look? (nothing against Ice Cube by any means =)

But following peace with all men is not an easy thing to do as they definitely wouldn’t care if you have peace concerning them. My mom used to tell me often, “Roshonda, it’s not what they do but what you do that matters.” And while I couldn’t understand what mama was saying at that time; as I became older, her words of wisdom became perfectly clear. When you’re representing a higher power it really does matter how you carry yourself. When we took the charge to be a Christian, we took an oath to not only be a follower but also a doer of his word, which means we have to represent him no matter what others do or don’t do.

Don’t get me wrong, this “following peace” way of handling things sometimes is not the most popular stance to take as I want to get my Ice Cube look on and break some necks and dare somebody to say something but I took an oath to follow Christ and with that, that means that I must follow peace. That also means that I have to apologize, even when I don’t want too – even if it wasn’t my fault. I have to forgive people, even when they laugh in my face and I know they talking about me behind my back. I have to do good to the people that just last week, threw me under the bus just to cover their tracks and I have to pray for the ones that I don’t want to pray for because I feel like they’re evil and don’t deserve God’s mercy, but then again, None of us do….

In prayer the other morning – God laid that church strongly on my heart and I reached out to the pastor….not expecting a response because it had been over a year, I imagined all the things they could have said to me, but what I got in return was love and a warm welcome. I was so elated and grateful that God put on my heart to go back and make amends and I was glad that I was still in the land of the living to do it. A lot of times we don’t want to admit when we’re wrong because we want to shift blame and refuse to humble ourselves, but if Jesus can forgive the people that done him wrong and still die for their sins inspite of their attitudes toward him, What about you? What about Me? Are we any different or above the law? NO, we’re not.

Listed below are a couple of tips to help you follow Peace more Easily…

 

Forgive and Move Forward, Literally

I can’t tell you how much time we lose trying to get people to respond to our plea for forgiveness. Listen, they’re not God and their opinion of whether your forgiveness was real or fake will not put you in heaven or hell. It’s not what they do or don’t do, it’s what you took the courage to do in spite of. The only person you should ever worry about is God himself, you know the one who actually created you? Yeah, him. Don’t waste no more time on people – whether they forgive you or not is their business and between their God, do what you were asked to do and Move On…

Expect Nothing In Return

Just because you had a come to Jesus moment with yourself doesn’t mean others have taken out the time to have that same conversation with him. God dealt with you about what you needed to do – don’t expect anything more from them. If they are true believers, they’ll come around otherwise again, do you and move boo.

 

So, What is a Christian Again?

Being a Christian means doing things as Christ would have and you have to ask yourself, would Christ hold a grudge, would he be upset at someone for years and not speak to them or bless them? Just as he wouldn’t, you shouldn’t either. Being a Christian means being Christlike even when we don’t want too.

Sometimes Peace Is Hard – Forgive yourself for your actions

Romans 12:18 (NIV) says, If it is possible as much as depends on you live peaceably with all men. When the Apostle Paul wrote that scripture he was referencing that the believers aim should be to live peaceably, but knew that sometimes peace would not be within our control. People will be people, while some will forgive – others will not but you’re not responsible for their actions and can’t help the feelings that they may have toward you, just know that God forgives you and once you’ve forgiven yourself? Feel free to move forward. When you’ve done your part, then you have to step back, let go and let God do his.

 

See ya in the next Post!!-1

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Love Hard & Inspire Often!

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Sunday’s Thought: Will You Please Listen To Me??

Image above is courtesy of blog site by: Moïcani – L’Odéonie

Early last week, I became annoyingly frustrated at my 13yr old daughter. Ever since she’s crossed over into “TEEN-VILLE” I’ve noticed her attitude has changed tremendously, every time I tell her what she’s going to do, the first thing that comes out of her mouth is “I Can’t Do That” or “Why??” or “That’s not for Me” or “Mama, but I” I mean don’t get me wrong, I understand when the crossover happens, everything goes haywire in their minds. Their bodies are changing, their attitudes are unbearable and their mindsets are totally different.

What happened to that 5Ib little cute baby I brought home from the hospital, the one that would stay seated when I said too and when I talked, she listened. The girl that once used to smile brightly and be grateful for everything she got, has now become the teenager whom gives me such looks as this one….

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As mama used to say, “When children are young, they’re on your lap but when they get older, they’re on your heart.” and she couldn’t have been more right. So, while I gather my heart strings together, let’s move on shall we to what I really want to convey. Every parent glories in the fact when their child comes to them and asks for advice, at that particular time, that’s our moment to shine. It’s our moment to give our kids the good, solid knowledge and wisdom that we obtained over the years. However; once we give that information to them, it hurts when they don’t take the advice and decide to do it the way they had planned in their head all along.

This was the dilemma I faced with my daughter. She came telling me about the lockers at school and how they were hard to get into. The teacher showed them how to unlock them, but they only showed them one time. My daughter went on to explain how she has been having the hardest time getting into her locker, last year was easy because they had to bring their own locks but now the 8th grade halls are filled with lockers that already have pre-set locks on them. So, she was complaining about how she didn’t have anyone to help her with her combination. “Mom to the Rescue” I said – Why not ask your friends? “They’re all busy and I don’t want to bother them” (puzzled) but they’re your friends…., okay, well what about asking your teacher for help again and so forth and so on, each time I came up with a possible solution – she kept coming up with excuses as to why my plan wouldn’t work. The more scenarios I came up with the more she debunked them…

Finally she said, “I’m just going to carry my stuff around, It’s really no big deal” By this time I had gotten a little frustrated and just told her to do what she wanted to do. But at the same time, I thought – Okay, so why did you come to me again?

As I walked on the treadmill that morning – I began to think about the situation with my daughter and how it related to God. I began to wonder how God must feel when we come to him with an issue and he gives us a solution but we make excuses as to why his way wouldn’t work and why our way is better. And I’m sure like me, he wants to say – But, Would you just listen to me?

Shunning my daughter away after a failed success of listening etiquette, is exactly how God does us. When we refuse to listen to his way, he let’s us go to do it our way and when our way fails?, unlike our so-called friends whom shame us by saying such lines as “I told you so” or “See, you should have listened to me” or “You feel crazy now, don’t you” and in most cases, they wash their hands of you altogether – All because you didn’t “listen” to their instructions. But if you’ve suffered or paid the price for not listening to God (and I believe we all have) Get ready to be celebrated because God in all his mercy and grace doesn’t do us like that, he’s not the God that’s going to make you feel badder than what you already feel, instead he accepts us back with forgiving arms.

And that’s how I did my daughter when she came back to me that same day to apologize. Just as a good parent would do, God is available to give you his wisdom and instructions for you to have a good life, what seems like the right choice in our head at the moment; may not be the same way in which God would like for us to handle the situation. I promise and it’s not always popular – But getting advice from God is the best way, it may take you longer to get through it, but you can rest assured that the end result will be a “sweet success”

While I continue to work on my patience with my daughters up and down ways, God wants to know from you today “Would you just listen to Me?” – Are you listening?…

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Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

All other images used were courtesy of Bing ~

Sunday’s Thought: Let Me Introduce You to My Friend “TIME”

clock_000000When I was 20 years old; my mom told me that my aunt Sally and my uncle Edward and his family were coming to visit us. It was during the summer of 1999 and I had just gotten a job working at a local nursing home in town. I was ecstatic that my aunt was coming, but I knew I had to work and didn’t really foresee a way to get off of work. I was a little afraid to ask for the day off due to a couple of girls getting “let-go” the week prior. The boss was really watching and monitoring everyone’s time and I didn’t want to be on the next one on the chopping block.

My aunt was really special to me. When my mother got pregnant with me when she was 16, it was my aunt that convinced my uncle Edward to allow her to have me. It was my aunt that kept me until I was two years old; allowing my mother to finish school and receive her High School Diploma. It was my aunt that worked scrubbing floors and washing windows to make ends meat for myself and her. I loved her so much, she had a son but he was grown and out of the house, she never had anymore children until she kept me, in which she treated like her prized possession. Mama would tell me that she would see my aunt on Sunday mornings, walking in 5 inch heels, carrying me on her left hip with her purse, bible and other items on her right. She said my hair was twisted up in knots (my aunt didn’t have girls, so she didn’t know how to do hair) but she did the best she could. She would walk 3 miles every Sunday from her house to church and back home again. So when I heard that she was coming, it broke my heart that I wouldn’t get the opportunity to see her. “Tell her, I love her and I’ll see her next time” I told my mom as I hurried out the house and went to work.

Work was long and got crazier and I never got the oppotunity to go and visit aunt Sally, but was looking forward to seeing her the summer of 2000. But that day never came; my mom received a call telling her that my aunt had been in the hospital for 2 weeks and we needed to come right away. We traveled over an hour to get to Little Rock, Arkansas. Once we got there, my mom was exhausted and re-assured us that we would go in the morning to visit aunt Sally. However; I was looking to hitch a ride from anyone that day who was going that way. The next morning as we were getting ready for church, I just happened to look out the window and seen my aunt’s son, it looked as if he was being consoled by his wife. As he came into the house, my heart dropped. He told us that my aunt had passed away in the wee hours of the morning. My moms scream is something that I had never forgotten…..I was inconsolable.

Why couldn’t we go the day before? Why didn’t I take off work that summer before? It was then that I realized that as time ticks away each day, we have to make the most of every opportunity. We fuss, curse and abuse time but we don’t stop to think about the gifts that it gives or provides to us daily. If we fail to take advantage of it, then it’s not time’s fault. It’s ours…clock_000000

Yesterday, I seen two co-workers that I hadn’t seen in a long time. As we hugged and embraced one another, one asked about my children. Her face was shocked when I told her my daughter was going to the 8th grade and my son the 5th. I asked her about her girls and she told me that they were doing well and that they now were 26yrs old now. OMGosh!!! Really?? I remember her talking of them getting ready for prom, I remember when they graduated high school and starting their first year of college….now they are four years from being 30. The other co-worker shared that her daughter was a senior in college this year, it seems like it was just yesterday when she was leaving work to go to her high school and watch her play basketball. Where does the time go?

Time shows us everyday that it keeps on moving – whether we want it to or not, it’s the only thing that never stands still. Time is the most underappreciated word in the dictionary, a word that’s always there with us but we seem to never realize it’s true worth until it’s too late. I don’t know how you’ve been spending your time lately, but I’m here to tell you to enjoy the small moments and cherish everything around you. Take a little longer to hold a hand, a little longer to view a smile, take time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, a moment to visit someone, take time to spend with your best friend or a parent because time shouldn’t be wasted and the best-est gift you can give to anyone.

Sunday’s Thought: You can always change your life but You can’t change Time. Use it Wisely…

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Roshonda N. BlackmonCreator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

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