Mustard Seed Size Faith

Biblical faith is believing God’s word. It is trusting God to fulfill His promises in spite of circumstances. Biblical faith gives one the will to withstand the fiery darts of every attack (Ephesians 6: 16). Biblical faith gives one the assurance that God will fight his or her battles, so long as the one attacked remains steadfast, unmovable, and doing the work of God (1 Corinthians 15:58). Biblical faith knows that a little bit of faith, even as tiny as a mustard seed, goes a long way with God (Matthew 17:20).

Biblical faith gives one the courage to stand for what is godly, good, and right, even when such a stand is unpopular (study the lives of the Apostles and other early believers). Biblical faith gives one the courage and confidence to confess one’s own shortcomings, and to trust God for forgiveness and deliverance.

Biblical faith

  • is God centered and concerned about restoring wholeness- physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being (James 2: 14 – 26)
  • helps one remain focused on the power of God, not mired down by the problems of the present (Proverbs 3: 5 – 9)
  • gives hope that there is light at the end of every tunnel (Psalm 30: 5)
  • gives one the confidence to confess his or her sins knowing God hears and forgives (Mark 9: 21 – 24)
  • is a tool used to request deliverance from distress, protection from the powerful, and to uplift broken spirits (James 5: 17)
  • wants justice for all (Micah 6: 8)

Keep faith in God!

 

Limited Faith: The Power to Move Mountains

Biblical faith is not perfect; it is often limited. It encompasses a range or degrees of belief in God. It can be compartmentalized, situational, and evidenced by lapses of trust in God to intercede in specific ways to shape human affairs. It is often formed and restricted by the perceptions one has of who God is, how God interacts with creation, and how one sees one’s self in relation to God and the rest of creation.

Biblical faith is a link between God and humankind that unlocks barriers that hinder one from fully experiencing God’s love and amazing grace. One who has biblical faith possesses complete confidence in God’s existence and God’s love. However, one may not fully trust God in every situation. That lack of trust no matter how brief is an example of limited faith.

Limited faith shows up when one is fearful, confused, or uncertain. The strength of limited faith is it allows one to acknowledge the gaps in his or her faith with the confidence that God will honor the admission and respond with loving- kindness.

One of the best example of limited faith is depicted in Mark 9: 21- 24. In the passage, a father demonstrated limited faith when he said to Jesus, “help us if you can (v. 22).” Jesus seized the opportunity to show that the love of God operates despite limited faith.

Jesus responded to the man’s gap in faith by replying, “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

The father replied, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Jesus honored the man’s gap in or limited faith by healing his son.

God, like the father in the text, we pray for you to help us overcome limited faith!

 

Keep Faith in God

A miracle occurs every time the tiniest amount of faith intersects with God’s great love for humankind as demonstrated by His amazing grace. The miracle one receives may not be the one for which one hoped and prayed, but it will be the one needed at the time it is manifested.
Pray for the grace to recognize and appreciate every miracle

Faith is

  • the shield that protects the heart, mind, and soul (Ephesians 6: 16)
  • believing that God will work all things to the good of those who love the Lord (Romans 8: 29)
  • the seed of hope- it reminds us that “trouble don’t last always” (Psalm 30:5)
  • the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1)
  • believing God will not withhold any good thing from those who love God-                 (Psalm 84:11)
    Keep faith in God!

Road Trip Detours

I don’t know about you, but when taking a road trip, I occasionally end up detouring. Sometimes the detour is forced because of construction, inclement weather, or a bad accident. Other times, a wrong turn or taking the wrong exit off a highway causes the detour. There are times a detour is intentional. I need to use a bathroom, find a safe place to rest or the place by which I am driving looks inviting and interesting, and I am not in a hurry.
Whatever the reason, depending on the weather, the time of day, and location, detours offer opportunities for exploring. There is always something new to experience or to see something old presented differently.
Without exception, people in small towns and rural communities capture my interest. My presence captivates their attention. People stare shyly at me; children usually do so openly. Most teens and young adults make eye contact and politely greet me, or they completely ignore me. Eventually, if I’m there long enough, I exchange greetings with an older person who usually asks one of three questions. “What you doing in these parts?” “Where you from?” “Where you headed.”
I answer the question, and a conversation ensues. Either the person with whom I’m speaking or a passerby recommends a local place for me to eat and points out a venue of which they are particularly proud, or one the person thinks I will find meaningful.
I thank them, and when time permits, I follow their recommendations. Wherever I end up eating, the establishment serves a heaping large enough to feed two or three people. Typically, the food is terrible, but the service is great.
When a detour becomes more than a brief departure from the planned course and turns into a day trip or a weekend getaway, I leave with a meaningful and memorable experience.
Thank God for road trips and for some detours!

Life’s Enhancers

Beginnings
engaging literature, entertaining films, meaningful melodious music, and live theatre
parks and other open spaces
long days of sunlight
warm weather
the vibrant diversity of nature
people of goodwill
kindhearted people
opportunities for growth
time to relax and enjoy the adventures of living and the gift of life
the ability to seek, find, and bask in silver linings
reconciliation, redemption, and restoration
the Internet and social media
the marvels of modern medicine
happiness, harmony, hope, and humor
the will to keep getting up, cleaning up, and moving forward and up
the resources needed to tackle and overcome obstacles
life’s unexpected detours and rest stops
Endings!

 

For Those Adversely Affected by War

Almighty God unto whom all hearts and minds are open and from whom nothing is hidden, we pray that You will comfort and deliver the innocent and convict the conscious of the perpetrators of violence.

Help those living in and near war-torn countries. Our human limitations hinder us from personally bringing about immediate relief for them. So we ask you to intercede.

We pray for the children who long to play outdoors but can’t because of the dangers of war.

We pray for the children who see sparks from ammunition and huddle in fear instead of gleefully rejoicing at watching a planned fireworks display.

We pray for the children who long to go to school to mingle with classmates and to learn, but can’t because of the destruction caused by war.

We pray for relief for them from the shortages of clean drinking water and food; the lack of indoor plumbing and lack of electricity;  dismantled transportation systems, and a collapsed economy; men are without meaningful work.

We pray for them because of the losses that are consequences of war: loss of life, loss of liberty, loss of peace, in some cases, the loss of hope.

We pray for the people whose lifestyles are completely disrupted and forever changed for the worse by war.

God, in Your mercy, hear our prayers and help Your creation.

Deliver us all from evil.

Remove from power those who recklessly declare war by the stroke of a pen or by word of mouth and send others to die fighting or to be killed. Such people are warmongers, unfit to rule. For they are like children playing war games at the expense of the lives of others.

Remove from power those who live in relative peace and comfort, but quickly declare war and deprive others of the privilege of pursuing the same luxuries.

God, have mercy upon Your creation and deliver us from evil.

Help us, Lord.

 

 

Insight into the Black American Experience

10 Terrible Things Likely to Happen because One is Black in America
• Stopped by a police officer because of the color of your skin and where you happen to be walking, driving, or sitting
• killed by law enforcement even though you are unarmed and non-threatening
• Killed while walking in public holding a bag of candy and a canned non-alcoholic drink
• Killed in your backyard holding a cell phone in your hand
• Shot laying on the ground with your hands in the air while trying to protect a non-Black autistic child from getting hurt
• Having the police called on you because some people are suspicious of your non-threatening black self
• Stopped by a police officer at a traffic light because you look suspicious,  you’re Black
• Killed for unlawfully selling cigarettes
• Arrested for asking to use a restroom
• Having a school official ask you to say the dehumanization of your ancestors was not all bad: they were just raped, considered less than human, sold on the auction block; forced to procreate; packed in ships like sardines in a tin can, lynched, tarred and feathered; falsely arrested, convicted, and incarcerated unjustly for years; branded