Stir It Up!


There are some things that should never be stirred. Like a pot of burning food, especially when all the liquid evaporates out of that pot of greens or beans you’ve been cooking. Don’t stir! It’s the worst thing you could do, per my mother, unless you’d rather render the entire dish unsalvageable. Stirring will only bring the burnt taste from the bottom and have it completely permeate the contents.

On the other hand, you do want to stir your coffee or tea after adding sweetener. Or that big pitcher of lemonade. Stirring, in this case, will release the goodness of the sugar. Instead of settling in the base of the container, you’ll get sweetness with every sip. Ah yes!

You can make a wonderful gravy out of pan drippings if you let your grease sit for a bit after cooking. Upon cooling, those lovely pieces of meat and browned flour will settle on the bottom, allowing you to pour off the grease and get to the good stuff. Try that too soon and you’ll lose some of your best flavoring. Now once you add your liquid, you’ll want to stir, stir, stir until you have that base throughout your gravy. These images, the possible benefits and disadvantages of stirring, came to mind when I thought of this scripture:

“For this reason I remind you to stir up the gift of God …” 2 Timothy 1:6

Recently, I have been extremely busy promoting my books, which is a good thing. It seems that as I do more to advance myself as an author, I see more ways I can further my cause. I’m meeting people who can help me and finding ways I can help myself. My actions are stirring up something in the spirit. I see the atmosphere now as being cluttered with opportunities. The air around me is churning with them, somewhat like a sky is full of hubris during a tornado. I’ve never sat thru one so I have no idea what that looks like up close (terrifying, I’m sure)! But in my mind, I picture it the only way I can, like the object ridden sky in the Wizard of Oz. All kinds of things were stirred up by the winds, for good or bad – in Dorothy’s case, good, but not so much for the Evil Witch.

In Timothy’s case, Paul reminded him that gifts were embedded in his DNA, passed down from his mother and grandmother. He couldn’t let them lay dormant. Several versions put it thusly: Fan your gifts into a flame! Picture ash covered coals, dying for lack of tending or purpose, suddenly being called into action! USE THEM, the Apostle urged the young disciple, knowing these gifts were given to Timothy for a reason. And don’t be fearful or timid about it! Go forth with conviction and confidence. God has called you into service. Preach His Gospel unashamedly, boldly. Stir up the smoldering embers which were entrusted to you until it has become a full-blown fire!

A lot of us enjoyed smoked turkey on this past Thanksgiving. My brother in law made his version, injected with jerk spices. YUM! It came to mind, just now, how impossible a feat this would have been without a good fire, tended and stirred occasionally, for just this purpose.

And so it is with God and my fortunes right now. The air and the sky are full, rife with promise, just waiting for me to take advantage of them. As I recommit myself to my purpose, stirring up the gift that was bequeathed to me by those who came before me, God is meeting my efforts and redoubling them. Gifts and blessings are like that sugar in the bottom of your jar of ice tea which does no good if sweetness is not distributed throughout. It cannot lie fallow if it is to be effective. Or like the fire on your grill which needs careful attention if it is to remain active. You can’t let it die out if you want to enjoy the smoky, succulent meat. Lord, I pray that you would continue to bless me, let opportunities swirl and collect about me, so dense I cannot help but see what you have made available to me. Let me pluck them out of the sky and use them to benefit me, my family and even the world. And let the fire of your purpose continue to grow hot in me.

Be blessed,


Morphin’ Time

technology-1695332_1280It’s my usual practice to check my tablet and phone first thing in the morning, to see if I missed anything. This usually leads to trolling Facebook which is pretty addictive. Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to do more with my early morning, put down the tablet and seek Him. But one morning, He pulled FB into my morning devotion. How many of us know that when God wants to speak to you, he will? And He will utilize any means necessary, from the ridiculous to the sublime. So I saw this video posted of creatures coming out of their shells. I recognized the crab and probably, a lobster. The rest were indistinguishable to me.

Then I saw a snippet of a gospel concert. I LOVE gospel singers, normally. I even purport to be one, at times. But the concert reminded me of everything that is wrong with Christianity, church and myself right now. A note of it didn’t ring true. Maybe I’m just disillusioned and jaded. She sang His name over and over and it seemed powerful, artfully crafted, but was it truly influenced by Jesus?

Besides being churched out, I am pretty fed up with Christians and I dont know how to fix how I feel. Our hyper involvement in an election, in a world that we are merely traveling through, I just don’t get. And the lengths that some of us, staunch Christians, went to in steadfast support of a man who remains inconstant (at best, or clearly governed by the devil, depending on who you talk to), I just don’t understand. Where is your righteous mind? This election we voted our fears and it became a debacle of the highest order. We have become the laughing stock of the world. How can you say God and Trump in the same sentence? They don’t go together. It recalls to mind a scripture about the last days where the people would be lead astray by a powerful delusion that could deceive, if possible, the very elect.

A friend shared a video with me once about mega churches and how they raise money but don’t give back to their communities. At the time, I defended the church. Tithing is what we do. But, and it goes against the grain to say this, I realize it doesn’t make sense to continue to give money to a system that gobbles up your money like a tic tac and next Sunday asks for more. Greedy and never satiated, they siphon money from the rich, but sadly, also the poor to sustain themselves. It becomes an endless money pit from which you seldom see benefit, except occasionally, in a shining new edifice. The members may find some benefit to themselves but what about the world around us? Would you keep pouring money into a business or house that gave similar returns? A venture that continually drained but never gave back? I think not, for that would be insanity.

After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. (Matthew 17:1-3)

Over the last few months, I’ve had much time to think, but I hadn’t. I kept getting a nagging sense that something was not quite right with me. Like I was missing something crucial. I didn’t know what it was then. But I think I’ve figured it out. Stepping free from the confines of this world, I choose to follow you, Lord. And all that entails. Not the crowd. I’ve been riding in a sinking ship, bailing water the whole time. I don’t need Iyanla to fix my life, I need you, Lord. I saw the creatures in the first video, discarding their previous covering and stepping out brand new, transformed, and realized, just like that, I was changed, too. I’ve outgrown that shell, the one that would defend the church and Christians. It no longer fits me. What I thought was a crisis of faith is really me no longer believing in the system. I can’t buy into the foolishness, so I’m casting aside what doesn’t serve me or make sense.

There comes a time when a one size fits all life doesn’t fit you anymore. Your spirit, YOU cry out for more. And that’s where true change begins. On the mount of transfiguration, Jesus met Elijah and Moses in their glorified forms. No longer bound by earthly shells and the chains of this world, they were free. But it wasn’t death that set them free, for as far as we know, Elijah did not die. They both had in common their relationship with God.

I said to God that morning, I want you, stripped down. And that’s where the worship began, my morning devotion, as I thumbed through my news feed. The words came to me and escaped with fear and awe because I wondered what new trials it would bring. But I also realized that if God led me to this place, it’s where He wants me to be. I am morphing, changing, transfiguring, through relationship with Him. Thank you, Lord, for taking me higher so that I can be closer to You. Be blessed.


Esau, the Hero?

img_20161110_095240I love Old Testament stories from the Bible. I know many of them like I know my own hand. I see myself in them at times. I think that’s a sign of maturity. Before, all I could do was look at them and think, “Wow! They did what?” And, “How could they not believe God if he said he would do it?” Oh, it’s easy to rail and condemn … until you’ve lived through similar circumstances. Some of my best loved and most encouraging tales are of those “rejected by man but later revealed to be handpicked by God.” (George Johnson)

I give you the example of Esau and Jacob, fraternal twins. Esau grew up beloved of their father, Isaac. Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite. Esau was wild and hairy, an outdoors-man and likely every thing a man could want in a son. He was the epitome of macho. But his younger brother stayed at home. Jacob grew up near his mother, attached to her apron strings, likely tending livestock as he would later do for his Uncle Laban. Jacob was not a hunter and rugged like Esau. But he was cunning. Jacob and his mother plotted to trick Esau out of his blessing (he’d already foolishly given away his birthright to Jacob). Because Esau’s anger was so great, Rebekah sent Jacob away fearing that his brother would kill her dearest son.

While on the run, Jacob found God and began to serve him. The Lord blessed Jacob, raining blessings that continue to follow his descendants to this day. But Jacob had to deal with his own thorn – the deceit of his Uncle Laban. From the onset Laban lied. He tricked Jacob into marrying his daughter Leah when Jacob really loved Rachel. Then Laban repeatedly changed the terms under which Jacob labored. Jacob reaped what he’d done to his brother Esau many times over and had a long while (at least 14 years) to think about it. Time has a way of doing that, causing us to soften our views and regret some of the decisions we’ve made. One day, Jacob decided he’d had enough of Laban’s lies, took his family and ran. Laban caught up with his daughters and son-in-law but being warned of God, merely kissed his family good bye. He and Jacob made a pact to not harm each other and Jacob promised to take good care of his wives.

Jacob returned to his homeland, after a wrestling match with an Angel of the Lord and receiving his new name (Israel), to find his brother, Esau, coming to meet them. “Oh, God,” he must have thought. Now, I have to meet the man I have so grievously wronged. Having been cheated by Laban, Jacob surely fully understood by this time what he’d done to his brother. He prepared to meet Esau with trepidation, dividing the women and children into camps to ensure someone would get away. He sent droves of animals ahead of him as gifts for his brother, hoping to soften him up for the reunion. Jacob was afraid, well and truly, not only because of retribution but because it was deserved. But when he finally saw Esau, something strange and unforeseen occurred:

But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. (Genesis 33:4)

In this, Jacob knew that his brother, with whom he’d shared a womb, missed and forgave him. Esau inquired of all the animals that came before the party. When told they were gifts, Esau replied, “Keep them, I have plenty.” You see, in all those years, Esau had done some thinking, too. He’d had time to come to terms with what happened. But also, he saw that whatever blessing Jacob had taken away didn’t prevent him from also being blessed. God had given Esau a good life, as well, just because he was Isaac’s son and descended from Abraham. And maybe because Esau, too, had undergone a change of heart.

I see now in this story two examples: both Jacob and Esau were rejected in the beginning by either parent. But they both came into their own blessing and gift with no need to be jealous of, or compete, with the other. Each had plenty. Many things are said of Esau in the Bible, not often good. He was despised of God, perhaps because of his haughty spirit. Or maybe simply because God wanted to turn the order of things on end, having the eldest serve the younger, as He is often wont to do. But I have learned something about Esau that is not mentioned in the Bible – his capacity for love. And I’m not just talking about brotherly love, I mean agape love, that love that forgives the ugliest of sins and offenses against us. Godly love. Who woulda thunk that the oft maligned Esau would prove to be such an example?

I said all that to say this: You never know what someone will do or who they will turn out to be. They may surprise you – in a good way. Donald Trump has been elected President of these United States, incredulously. Someone that began as the butt of jokes has turned the tables and is now become leader of the free world. I take heart in Esau’s example today, for he also began as a despicable man, the villain in the story. He eventually came to be a man able to minister grace and mercy to his offender. God is able to heal relationships and this country. Whatever your party affiliation, I suggest you pray for DT and his reign, and not in a negative way, because what he will do affects us all. Perhaps, he will prove to be like Solomon, who asked the Lord for wisdom to rule the great kingdom of Israel at the beginning of his reign. I believe and hope for the best but the truth is, we won’t know for about four more years just how all of this will impact us. Whether he turns out to be good or bad, time will reveal. But this I do know, if he is President, God has ordained it, for whatever reason. “We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.” (Proverbs 16:33) May the Lord bless and keep us all.


Authors Expo featuring L G Boyle

Meet me there! Better yet, beat me there, LOL! For my aspiring authors, this is a great event where you can get some of your questions answered, or some direction, on the publishing process. I’ll also have sets of Immaculate and Touched on hand!

True Confessions

But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 10:17

Just for the record, my public confession will never be anything but good! I like to encourage others with my life – I think that’s part of my purpose. It may seem Pollyannaish at times. People accuse me of always being happy but that’s not always true. And it’s not something that just happens, I work at it! Not the illusion or image of seeming happy but the actual pursuit of it. It’s a decision I must make every single morning. And whenever I awaken to thoughts of a previous day well spent, where I made the right choice, did or said the right thing resulting in a positive outcome or went to bed with my head in a good place, I’m good. But the flip side of that is torturous, LOL!

I continually torment myself over the things I could have done better. Yesterday, for example, I stooped so low as to wish evil on someone. My daughter rebuked me for my speech, as I would have done for her in the past. That’s a good thing – that shows her maturity. But that I even went there reveals the dark place my thoughts had taken me. I was surly and rebellious. I awakened this morning and chose to not dwell on those negative things, situations out of my control that are not going my way or people who won’t act the way I think they should act. I won’t re-hash them because it’s pointless. I’ll just continue to feel bad and beat myself up. That is counterproductive. I choose positivity because I cannot do otherwise. The world would not like that version of me, nor would I like myself!

So, I know what negative thoughts do for me, but today I am reflecting on the end result of positive thoughts and confessions. I don’t even have to look back in my journals anymore to realize all the good things that have happened to me. Things changed in my life, when I became conscious of the way I thought and spoke of myself. Lately, I’ve been doing that more often, to the point of fanaticism, but I can’t seem to stop it. The more I confess, the more good things I see for myself. And not just way in the future, I mean right now. It’s as if my words are stirring up the etherworld to give me my heart’s desires. The way I see it, God is bringing these scriptures to mind because He wants to give that life to me. The more I say it, the more I will have.

It may be grating to some, I’ll admit, hearing my bold statements of faith spoken so often. But my confidence comes from God. Right now, I know that it can be viewed as arrogance by others, but one day we’ll all look back and see these statements as prophetic, as the Lord himself, telling us what He is about to do. David once said, “The Lord said to my lord, sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalm 110:1) Oh, that is a bold declaration and, one day it was true. Saul was no longer a threat; David became king over all of Israel and God gave David rest from his enemies. The Apostle Peter later quoted the psalmist and labelled him prophet when speaking to the crowd on the day of Pentecost. So even though it may sound like bragging, I will continue to say what I want to see in my life.

My confessions this morning look like this:

My beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will my future be. Job 8:7

The Lord will bless my latter days more than my beginning. Job 42:12

The present glory of my house will be greater than the former. Haggai 2:9

A friend once said to me, “I believe when we look for good things to happen, they tend to happen.” That sentiment has carried me far, and kept me through much. No, it’s not always easy to “count it all joy,” that’s for sure. But I must move myself toward that end, speaking the end I wish to have and watch it come to pass. I am more than a conqueror. I am a lioness because my Father is a Lion, LOL! I expect to overcome this world and change it with my confession. I’ll say it until it’s true. I believe and know my best days are yet to come.

Be blessed,


P.S. This would be a good time “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” in your life, too. (Luke 4:19) The Cubs just won the World Series, which means, effectively, ANYTHING can happen, LOL! CONGRATULATIONS CHICAGO! I’m celebrating with you 🙂 #CUBSNATION #braggingrights