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Remember when…

The other night my son was over and we were all on the back porch talking about “back in the day.” The conversation consisted mainly of the early years which included the stupid things we all did as kids, teenagers and early adulthood. It also made me think of when I took care of Mama during her last two years of her life. Even though she had dementia and her short term memory was not its greatest, she had no problem remembering even the fine details of things I did growing up that even I forgot! Hahaha! Not to mention she had no problem reminding me of them as well…

It’s interesting to look back at who you were and who you are now. Hopefully, everyone sees growth in themselves. I love thinking back in childhood years about good family times we had and my friends growing up. Even though some of us went different directions, there are still some that have remained true and by my side that I know will be there forever. It’s so neat when we talk and reminisce years gone by and laugh so hard about the mischief we got into.

Ah…but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about heaven. How wonderful it will be to have an eternity with no pain, no sorrow, and no problems. I also thought about what it would be like to be sitting with Jesus and how the conversation might be. One aspect hit me ~ to look at Him and say “Remember when…” and His reply before I would even finish my thought would be “No.” Wow! That was quite a realization. In the Bible we are told that when we ask for forgiveness for our sins it is thrown as far as from the east to the west and remembered no more. So, that ends that conversation right there. The conversation may continue with Him saying “Remember when…” and pointing out something good you did that helped someone else, but it will never be about your mistakes if you have asked forgiveness.

I urge you to think about this concept for a while. Do you ask for forgiveness daily? I know lately I have come shy of asking for forgiveness in my prayers. In Corinthians 13 we are also told that love doesn’t keep count of wrongs. Just as our wrongs will not be thrown up in our face we need to try to live a life where we don’t throw up someone else’s wrongs in theirs. May all of our “Remember when(s)…” be positive and of good times when we speak to each other.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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Bumps and Bruises

Growing up as a child my parents found it easier, and cheaper, to buy a pair of crutches for me. If anyone was going to get a broken ankle, sprains, stitches, etc. ~ I’m the one. Actually, Peter has informed me that shins were created to find furniture. So, I can honestly say at my house there are always a lot of bumps and bruises between Peter and myself; not to mention when the grandkids are here! We both have scars from everything from stitches, broken bones and again ~ finding furniture. Luckily, not every scrape has left a scar and not every bump caused bruising; just most of them did.

This reminds me a lot about life itself. Most of the time, the bumps and bruises we have as kids are from playing; there is always a little doctoring and most of them go away. Later in life, we realize that not all bumps and bruises are physical ~ the ones that linger are the ones that hurt the most. These scars are left from words and actions of others. Emotional bruising and scarring, no matter what happened, is the hardest to deal with. Many times because we have survived something we think we’re fine; only to realize years later how these scars have affected our lives many times over. As a survivor of rape and abuse I speak from experience. It wasn’t until I realized I haven’t dealt with it did the healing begin.

Now the question, how do we heal from deep emotional scarring? Step #1 ~ forgive. What? Forgive someone who did that/said that to me? Yes. Forgive. Read in the Bible and you will see over and over where Jesus tells us to forgive. It’s not an option. You need to realize that when you hold onto anger, bitterness, etc. the damage that it does to you physically as well  can be devastating. Forgiveness is for us, not the ones who caused the damage. They go about their everyday life while you sit around hurt as a ‘victim’. Once you have forgiven your status will change from ‘victim’ to ‘VICTOR’!

Also, remember that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. That’s what He’s there for; for you. Step #2 ~ pray. (Ok, so step #1 and 2 are linked together.) Ask Jesus to help you forgive and give this battle to Him. Paraphrasing here, but in Matthew Jesus tells us to come to Him and he will give us rest. As a child, the most comforting feeling was in Mama’s arms. We’ve all experienced that. As a child of God, the time you feel that same peace is when you go to Him, cry on His shoulder, and let Him do the healing.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

In One Moment

paul walkerThe holiday season is here and everyone is rushing all about trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone. Happiness tends to drift in the air as lightly and gently as snowflakes and in most cases, continuing to layer only to add to the feelings of the holidays. At least that’s the way we picture it and for most of us it is a happy time of the year ~ but not for all.

My heart is heavy tonight as I think of the tragic death of Paul Walker and his friend. I intentionally leave it as ‘his friend’ because that is what you will find in the media. The continuous efforts of Paul Walker to give to the needy, especially those victims of natural disasters, shall never be forgotten. His friend ~ even though we haven’t read a lot about his contribution to the world while he was here ~ was just as valuable, we all are. Some people are famous while others are the backbone of what keeps everyone going. Then again, even that can change quickly ~ in one moment.

In one moment someone can go from poor to rich (lottery) or from rich to poor. In one moment another death is added to the statistics and another life is brought into this world. In one moment you can say something that slaughters even the hardest of hearts. In another moment you can say something that mends the deepest of wounds. We all go through our lives moment by moment, taking for granted that there will be another; not considering how much of a difference we could be making for someone else. God did not give us another day to live for ourselves; we are given another day to be here for someone else.

Do you stay so busy you aren’t having much time to pray or read the Word? If so, you’re busier than God intended you to be. Remember, we celebrate the holiday “Christmas” as the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord. Throughout this holiday season try not to rush so much that your moments don’t count. Be a blessing with your actions and your words. Make every moment of your life meaningful.

~ In Memory of Paul Walker ~

Thank you for making your moments meaningful for others.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Gains and Losses

In the world of business decisions are made by looking closely at the gains and losses of investments. Analysis, budgets and many other reports by specialists are constantly being run and rerun before any action is taken. Once in a great while someone goes by their gut instinct, some call it a hunch, and ignore all of the numbers in the reports and go for it. Sometimes it turns out, sometimes it doesn’t. There are cases that companies have gone bankrupt only because of making that one decision; although, sometimes it has nothing at all to do with any decisions. After 9-11 happened the amount of businesses that folded were numerous which shows how it’s not always the business owners fault if it goes under.

This is not just in the world of business. We find ourselves always checking the numbers to make sure the bills can be made. The wonderful budget that lies in front of you always looks great ~ that is until life happens. We are not always prepared for emergencies and find ourselves re-working the numbers, otherwise known as “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.” When it comes to having to purchase a new car, another home or any big investment, like major business owners we consult the numbers over and over to make sure it’s doable. Going into such an investment with numbers on the paper that support the decision doesn’t guarantee it will work out because once again, we have no control of the future.

The one thing that doesn’t fit our logical sense of profits, investments, gains and losses is a decision to do something when you know ahead of time you’re going to lose. To complicate it more is the thought of doing something that causes you to lose and someone else to gain. How many of us would be willing to give someone else everything we have and walk away with nothing? None of us would, not one. We would be willing to share as long as we would still have something but to walk away with nothing and give it all to someone else? Not! We are greedy by nature.

One person did the unthinkable ~ Jesus. He knew from the beginning of time that he would have to give his life for us to have salvation. Not just that, he also knew HOW he would die and how he would be treated. To top it all off he knew that even after he died on the cross he would still be rejected by most men. That decision doesn’t make sense when we think of gains and losses. Jesus was the Son of God and didn’t have anything personal to gain by his decision. He died on the cross out of love so we could have ~ His loss became our gain.

I will close with a short thought. The next time you don’t feel loved, you feel like you’ve done so much for everyone else and are forgotten by others; remember ~ Jesus thought of you when he made his decision.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Comparisons

How many times do we continuously, whether conscious or subconscious, compare ourselves to others? It is so human to do especially in this competitive world we live in today. The sad part is when our self esteem is affected by this. Being a woman I can so relate to this!!! Peter is always getting onto me about comparing myself to someone else when I see their figure, smile, and the list goes on. Once again I am reminded that God has made each of us the way we are for a reason and we need to be happy with ourselves. That doesn’t mean not to do the best you can to improve but it does mean don’t compare yourself to someone else.

Now since we’ve touched comparing on the outside and how that can affect your self esteem let’s bring it a little deeper, shall we? How about how we think of whether we are successful or not? Once again, another comparison. Usually people will consider themselves successful by the amount of money and/or assets they have. Even in that sense how do you compare your success? For example, do you compare where you are this year compared to last year, last month, last week, etc.? We need to be careful with how we compare our success but especially by what standards as well. Compare yourself to Will Smith and his success – yeah, well – you see where I’m going with that. As long as you know at the end of the day you have done your best that is success no matter what ‘category’ you think you’re in.

As always there are layers so now we’ll touch real deep ~ thrashing deep. How many people are glorifying themselves as Christians by comparing themselves to others and talking about how they aren’t “stand-up” Christians? There are many that proclaim to be a Christian because they say they believe in God and know the Scriptures. OK, my turn to compare. Satan believes in God AND knows the Scriptures so now, compare yourself to that thought and what makes you stand out differently? Oh, I get it, you go to church. My friends, going to church doesn’t make you a Christian or open the doors to Heaven. Does it help? Of course! It always helps to surround yourself with like-minded people. Also, we are instructed to be around other Christians worshipping. Just always remember though, we are instructed NOT to judge others and where they stand.

You want a real comparison? Compare yourself as a Christian to Jesus. Are you forgiving? Do you love others unconditionally? That list definitely goes on. Being more Christ-like is a goal but also unattainable for we are human and have many flaws. For improvements we compare ourselves to Him but never get discouraged when you do. You can also compare where you are now in your Spiritual walk to where you used to be for a closer look at yourself. Just make sure you’re honest when you do because He already knows the truth.

In closing, I urge you to only compare yourself to you, where you were and who you were to now. Don’t make the constant mistake of comparing yourselves to those of the world or even those you consider Christians. Focus on you for you are the one who will answer to Jesus about your life. One last thought ~ if you truly want to feel and be successful, make a difference in another’s life. Then you have succeeded.

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

Can I Get a Witness?

Of course, as a musician songs always come to mind when a subject does and the title not only describes what the topic of the day will be ~ but also shows how songs always come to my mind. I will start by quoting the last sentence in yesterday’s blog ~ “We need to make sure our words and actions are a witness and not a warning.” So ~ can I get a witness?

Most of the people who aren’t believers will always speak of the actions of “Christians” that really turn them away; especially those that hold the Bible in one hand while pointing their finger judging with the other. Actually, most ‘Christians’ are the worst example of what Christianity is all about! We are told in the Bible we should be loving, forgiving, nonjudgmental, caring, giving, and the list goes on. Not to mention how we are to be slow to anger. Does this remind you of anyone you know? Does it even remind you of yourself? Oh, not me…most of us think. But take a deep, closer look at yourself. Are your words and actions being a witness to others? Does anyone ask you why you are always positive and how can you be so forgiving? Speaking of being a witness, when is the last time you spoke to someone about Jesus and salvation? That is also our job too, not just the pastor’s. These are just some thoughts to think about going into the weekend that maybe just might cause a few to start their week out differently and make a difference in someone else’s life – possibly their eternal life. Just keep in mind ~ if you were the only Bible someone would ever see would they truly see Jesus?

This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.

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