Chasing God

runners-373099_1280“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

“I’m chasing after you, no matter what I have to do – ‘cause I need you more and more!” Chasing after you, Bishop Paul Morton

I remember hearing Claire Huxtable sing, “Seek ye first,” with the Hillman (aka Spelman) choir on the Cosby Show years ago. It was a beautiful rendition – oh, the harmonies! I just loved the song and the message. But to the young girl I was then, the idea of foregoing all the things I wanted to do and pursue was the waste of my opportunity to have a good time. Serving God could get in the way of that. Fun and adventure awaited me, I had my whole life ahead of me. Put God first? To me that meant church, church and more church, LOL! I thought, later for that! You mean I can’t live my life, do what I want to do, go where I want to go? I gotta be all holy? Really wasn’t trying to hear it.

But as the Bible says, when I was a child, I spake as a child. After having lived half a century on this here earth, I’ve learned a thing or two. One, that I put all of that energy into doing what I wanted to do first and it got me nowhere. I didn’t do it God’s way. Two, that chasing church is not the same as chasing God. You can attend church several days a week and give all your money in the offering plate, but it won’t get you closer to God. Only time spent with Him, in the Word, and trusting and relying on Him, building that relationship will do that.

Until recently, I was still unable to fully embrace the concept of going after God, not the things of this world, and trusting him to provide and grant me the desires of my heart in the process. God is spoon feeding the revelation to me, only as much as I can handle, before moving on to the next lesson He has for me. He’s building it line upon line, precept upon precept. After An Open Heaven revealed that we have access to God, ALWAYS, it occurred to me that there was a responsibility now on me. Not so much to do more, but to turn to Him more and rely on Him only. I had spent my life in the pursuit of things – money, health, job, love. I guess I kinda just thought He would find a way to fit in there organically, LOL! But that’s not how this works, as the lady in the commercial says. That’s not how any of this works!

When God revealed to me the gospel truth that I have access to Him, it revolutionized my way of thinking. Once I realized all that He is doing for me, I asked the question: What must I do? What is my response to His goodness? Notice that I’m not trying to invoke His blessing. I already have it. But I want to be up under Him, under His wings, basking in the glow of His love, sitting at His feet and learning. I find that the more time I spend with Him the more time I WANT to spend in His presence.

And God is going to do more, even greater than He already has in my life. It’s already begun. He’s doing it right now, just in changing the way I think and pray. He’s shifted my focus. I used to pray for Him to change my situation, now I look for Him to change me. I see that the more I grow, the more my situation changes. One day I considered this scripture: Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)

Now, I took that to mean that as I grew spiritually, I would also prosper financially and physically. I visualize a set of scales, with one side representing your soul and the other ALL of the things you feel you need and want. As you add to the side that truly matters, feeding your spirit man, the other side would balance out accordingly. And that makes sense. I’m seeking a harmony of both in my life. So, all of these years that I have been chasing these things, they would have come to me, had I chased HIM. I’ve been putting the cart before the horse. I’ve been doing it all wrong.

As a matter of fact, the verse preceding the well-known, seek ye first scripture admonishes us to NOT worry about all of that – what to wear, what to drink, or where to live. God knows that we need that. That’s basic. But if we go after Him, these things will come after us. So I’ve made up my mind to be done with the foolishness, this way that does not work, and pursue God only, trusting that he will bring the things that I not only need but also desire into my life.

Ah, but there’s something else at work here. An element of SURRENDER. If I give it all to you, Lord, I’m trusting you with the outcome. And faith, too – cuz you gotta believe that He can DO IT! Oh, so many good things are coming from drawing closer to you and they’re not only tangible. Grow me, Lord, like a flower. Increase me, Father, so I can do more of Your will. Decrease me, so that I can be filled with more of you. I don’t want anything right now more than I want you. More of you, Lord, is my prayer.

Be blessed,


An Open Heaven

clouds-385290_1280So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” John 11:41

I sat in church on Sunday and listened as the pastor expounded on his topic. See, this is the Year of Jubilee in Jerusalem, according to the pastor. Every seven years God granted the Israelites a get out of jail free card, so to speak. It was a time when every man was forgiven his debt and regained his freedom if he were enslaved. He could start over fresh. (Our bankruptcy laws seem to follow this pattern.) After seven cycles of these periods of forgiveness, the Year of Jubilee was proclaimed and the Israelites were assured of additional blessings, i.e., given back property that he’d mortgaged, for example. So the pastor had a list of seven blessings that he determined were also a result of Jubilee: Presence of God, double portion, family blessings, miracles, financial abundance, restored relationships and an open heaven.

My mind fixated on that last one, considering the possibilities. I got excited the more I thought about it. I mean, I really bought into it. I believed it meant I could pray and have God’s ear always and therefore, was more likely to have my request granted. Every blessing listed could be mine, similar to how Solomon asked for wisdom and received wealth and peace, as well. The concept seemed to me a wonderful catchall. It covered everything. It was like getting a surprise bonus, a twofer, a bogo. (You should have seen me the other night when my brother got my frozen yogurt free with his purchase at my favorite shop, LOL!) I latched on to the idea eagerly. The pastor said, “Point to your blessing and call it out!” (The words were displayed prominently around the walls of the sanctuary.) Obediently, I pointed to An Open Heaven, figuring it would get me the most bang for my buck! I receive it, I cried aloud with the rest of the congregation.

But my mind said, “Hey! Wait a minute!” The entire premise is predicated on our covenant being the same as the Israelites. But it’s actually not. The covenant of Israel can seem appealing (blessed coming and going, in the city and the field, lender not a borrower and all that) but the new covenant is better. The old testament or covenant is contingent on being able to keep the law. If you break one, you are guilty of all. The new covenant, the Bible says, is a better covenant. The blood of Jesus does what the sacrifices of goats and bulls could not do. It saves and cleanses and forgives and restores continually. While we are descendants of Abraham (“And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29) because of our faith, we are entitled and can lay claim to the promises made to him.  It’s just not limited to a certain time during a specific year.

I realized that Jesus died so that I can have access to heaven every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. So in reality, I already have the ear of God, always. He hears me and answers my prayers. I don’t need to proclaim a special year to receive that. My former pastor once said of the coming new year, “Every year can’t be your year!” Au contraire mon frère! Oh, but it can! Because the veil has been taken away, I have unlimited access to God. I can come boldly, confidently to his throne and make my request as His daughter.

I was elated. If news of one Jubilee year got me excited, a lifetime of being able to claim these blessings made an even bigger impact. Membership has privileges, I thought to myself as I quoted an old commercial. I became bolder in my prayer life and began to believe God for more. And I saw more results. What if, all this time, I was only hindered by my belief or lack thereof? So I began to pray like Jesus and know I have the very ear of God. I no longer wonder now. I know this of a certainty. Thank you Father, that you always hear me. Oh, the blessings in store for us now that we know we have them! I feel I have found a treasure that is secret no longer. And that is good news, indeed!

Be blessed,



black madonna
Photo credit, Pinterest

“M is for the million things she gave me …” MOTHER, T Morse & H Johnson

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (John 2:1-5 KJV)

Thus began Jesus’ ministry of miracles, the very first being issued (prematurely) because of his mom. The things we do at our mothers’ insistence are innumerable. What lengths would we go to, what would we not do for them? Even Jesus bowed under the weight of that obligation, we see. He is the son of God, but also of man. Therefore, he was obedient to Mary in the same way we are commanded to honor our mothers and fathers. Okay, Mom. I made more wine, see? LOL!

Jesus, I believe, had a special bond with mothers. Show him a mom in distress and he was moved to action. Consider the story where Jesus came upon a funeral bier, that of a woman about to lay her son to rest. She must have been bereft, inconsolable. Her husband had died previously and now her only son, her only means of support, was gone also. What would she do? How could she provide for herself? Not to mention, she had lost her son, her light, her future and the very thing that made her a mother. She had lost her identity. So Jesus, seeing her in mourning, was moved to compassion. He raised her son from the dead and restored both of their lives. Her fortune and future were now more secure. She had her son back.

Nothing could move Jesus like a mother, I think. No other feeling on earth is so closely patterned after his love for us. He lamented the state of Jerusalem and said he often wanted to gather them under his wings as a hen gathers her chicks (Matthew 23:37). This is the very picture of motherly love and protection. His relationship with his mother was that of any man, I feel. He was so concerned with her well being after his time here on earth was over, that he gave her his beloved disciple, John, in his stead. Woman, behold thy son! (John 19:26) In other words, try not to miss me so much, Mom. John will be here to comfort you. But more importantly, just as in the case of the woman in the funeral procession, he gave her a live son. He left a comforter in his place. It is no wonder to me that Jesus so easily acquiesced to Mary’s request. It speaks to their relationship and how he felt about her.

With this upcoming Mother’s Day, I’m ruminating on some of the things that make me who I am, mother and daughter. I remember the things my MaDear has done for me. Her love has no limits. And because I am a mother, too, I now know how that feels. As her daughter, I know what it is to be moved to do something, even though objecting, but still doing it because she asked. Did I ever create a miracle for her? I suppose I must have because my own children have done so for me many times, unknowingly. I recall the first Mother’s Day my children honored me. They were so small but old enough to talk. My son and daughter were led to the front of the church, the microphone put before them and coaxed to say: Happy Mother’s Day! Tears streamed down my face in surprise. For some reason, it wasn’t real until that moment. I was overcome for some time after that. A man remarked to me later, “That was the first time you realized it was about you!” Exactly. I was a mother. I was the revered one. Wow. That still floors me.

I also remember the day my brother taught us to love and honor our mother. He took us to a store that was filled with glass things. My eyes were wide as he showed us the gift he’d picked out for MaDear. It was a glass punch bowl with little cups that hung over the sides. You know the one, LOL! But we’d never seen something so beautiful. It was worthy of our mother. We were excited as she opened it because it was from US. My brother had been gracious enough to include his siblings and I also think he felt it would be worth even more to our mom to think it was from her small ones, too. For me, giving our mother that gift was the very best feeling. In giving to her, we gave to ourselves that moment of knowing we had pleased her. She got many years out of that gift set. Each time she brought it out to entertain, I remembered where she’d gotten it from. And so it continues to this present day. We’re so glad to still have her here with us and we continue to honor her. This upcoming Mother’s Day she is blessed to have it fall on her 90th birthday. We are beyond thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion, this great coming of age with her. So Happy Birthday MaDear and Happy Mother’s Day to all. May heaven celebrate with us.

Be blessed,