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Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div.

Visionary Strategist Faithful Innovator Inspirational Essayist

Salvation and Stilettos Blog

Blog

Facing The Truth... You DO NOT KNOW IT ALL!!!

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 10:59 AM Comments comments (0)
Blog 5-12-12 Facing The Truth.... You Do NOT Know It All! John 21:25 NIV
 
 
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
 
 
 
 
Greetings!
 
 
Blogfam.... I am attempting to maintain my commitment to blogging daily by practicing blogging on the go via my cell.... Please bear with me... I pray this turns out better than I expect... :-) Friends, I have made it very clear since the inception of my blog that this is not the space for the latest gossip or news headlines. My primary purpose for writing this blog is to create a space online where people can come and reflect on scripture so that they can be inspired to love God, Self, and neighbor even more deeply. I have no intention of telling you where you should stand on hot button issues or other less publicized concerns of the day. However, I do recognize that because of the many lessons our Lord taught and the prophetic claims of the prophets of old, and the many other teachings we glean from the stories of male and females in the bible, I am clear that i will be compelled at times to reflect on issues of life, love, liberty, equality, and justice for all people. With that being said, I must also tell you that I do not profess to know everything about this book I love. I do not know everything about its origin, its contents, its expanse or its limitations. Actually, I do not know anyone who does. I do know many who are quite familiar with the text and quite comfortable perusing and sharing what they have read and discovered about it but I do not have a relationship with anyone who knows everything except the One about whom the bible is written. Furthermore, I do also appreciate that the word is not static. It is a dynamic, living expression that i accept to be TRUE by faith and by doing so, I must also accept that - Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. My sistas and brothas, it is time to face the truth... YOU DO NOT KNOW IT ALL! The bible admits this about itself and before you get up in arms, re-read our verse for today... John 21:25 NIV Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. So where does this leave us? Do we walk away or avoid what we do have because one of the writers of the texts that have been compiled as a part of the bible explicitly and so very honestly admits that there is so much that is NOT included? How do we, as people of faith,begin to have conversations about the hot topics and news headlines that are not explicitly - or possibly completely - addressed in the bible? In what way do we approach every conversation, debate, conflict, controversy, etc. that is NOT prescribed in scripture? How do you search the bible for answers to 21st century ethical, religious, social, political, moral challenges when it is silent on certain issues or scenarios or illustrations or whatever else we look for in the bible as answers to tell us what to do, where to go, how to think? Blogfam, this is what we are compelled to face on today... Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. Well, I hope you did not think I was going to answer all of these questions. Nope! That is NOT my responsibility on today. I am simply inviting you to a time of powerful reflection and thoughtful conversation. I also hope that you would discern the guiding spiritual principles that help you to make the decisions and take a stand in a way that is consistent with your faith in God as best as you can because let's face the truth... YOU DO NOT KNOW IT ALL.....and neither does this book I love. God LOVES you and I do too!!! Delesslyn [email protected] Kids Korner Radio Program Listen ONLINE every Sunday at 5:15 est - www.wigoam.com Purchase my books... STEP OUT OF THE BOAT THE POWER TO BE PERFECT www.amazon.com www.barbarnesandnoble.com www.booksamillion.com

Facing The Truth... You DO NOT KNOW IT ALL!!!

Posted on May 13, 2012 at 8:23 AM Comments comments (0)
Facing The Truth.... You Do NOT Know It All! John 21:25 NIV Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. Greetings! Blogfam.... I am attempting to maintain my commitment to blogging daily by practicing blogging on the go via my cell.... Please bear with me... I pray this turns out better than I expect... :-) Friends, I have made it very clear since the inception of my blog that this is not the space for the latest gossip or news headlines. My primary purpose for writing this blog is to create a space online where people can come and reflect on scripture so that they can be inspired to love God, Self, and neighbor even more deeply. I have no intention of telling you where you should stand on hot button issues or other less publicized concerns of the day. However, I do recognize that because of the many lessons our Lord taught and the prophetic claims of the prophets of old, and the many other teachings we glean from the stories of male and females in the bible, I am clear that i will be compelled at times to reflect on issues of life, love, liberty, equality, and justice for all people. With that being said, I must also tell you that I do not profess to know everything about this book I love. I do not know everything about its origin, its contents, its expanse or its limitations. Actually, I do not know anyone who does. I do know many who are quite familiar with the text and quite comfortable perusing and sharing what they have read and discovered about it but I do not have a relationship with anyone who knows everything except the One about whom the bible is written. Furthermore, I do also appreciate that the word is not static. It is a dynamic, living expression that i accept to be TRUE by faith and by doing so, I must also accept that - Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. My sistas and brothas, it is time to face the truth... YOU DO NOT KNOW IT ALL! The bible admits this about itself and before you get up in arms, re-read our verse for today... John 21:25 NIV Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. So where does this leave us? Do we walk away or avoid what we do have because one of the writers of the texts that have been compiled as a part of the bible explicitly and so very honestly admits that there is so much that is NOT included? How do we, as people of faith,begin to have conversations about the hot topics and news headlines that are not explicitly - or possibly completely - addressed in the bible? In what way do we approach every conversation, debate, conflict, controversy, etc. that is NOT prescribed in scripture? How do you search the bible for answers to 21st century ethical, religious, social, political, moral challenges when it is silent on certain issues or scenarios or illustrations or whatever else we look for in the bible as answers to tell us what to do, where to go, how to think? Blogfam, this is what we are compelled to face on today... Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. Well, I hope you did not think I was going to answer all of these questions. Nope! That is NOT my responsibility on today. I am simply inviting you to a time of powerful reflection and thoughtful conversation. I also hope that you would discern the guiding spiritual principles that help you to make the decisions and take a stand in a way that is consistent with your faith in God as best as you can because let's face the truth... YOU DO NOT KNOW IT ALL.....and neither does this book I love. God LOVES you and I do too!!! Delesslyn [email protected] Kids Korner Radio Program Listen ONLINE every Sunday at 5:15 est - www.wigoam.com Purchase my books... STEP OUT OF THE BOAT THE POWER TO BE PERFECT www.amazon.com www.barbarnesandnoble.com www.booksamillion.com

Mind Your Own Business! - John 21:20-24

Posted on May 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM Comments comments (1)
Mind Your Own Business!
 
John 21: 20-24
 
Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
 
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
 
This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
 
 
Click Logo to LISTEN NOW!!!
 
 
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, The Lord has just made clear to Peter his assignment for the Kingdom of God – to feed the lambs, to care for the sheep, and to follow Jesus.  Peter and Jesus have just had an intense exchange between the two of them and no one else was invited into the conversation.  No one else was given such a prophetic word about how their ministry would cost their life as it would Peter’s.  No one else dared interject their opinion about Jesus words, Peter’s response, or anything else in the exchange we just read in the previous verses. AND in our passage for today, Peter is feeling the pressure of his Kingdom assignment and He is now pointing the finger at another disciple asking –“What about him?”
 
 
 
Now, on one hand, one might think that with this question, giving Peter the benefit of doubt, perhaps he was simply showing concern for his fellow brother in Christ. Perhaps Peter was genuinely concerned about the ministry and commitment about the other disciple.  Perhaps Peter wanted to make sure Jesus did not forget that there were other disciples as well who could feed His sheep and take care of His lambs.  Perhaps Peter was trying to express that he needed help with this assignment or maybe that was Peter’s way of telling Jesus that he did not think he should be the only one who had to die for the sake of this righteous cause.  So he asks, a seemingly valid question, Lord, what about him?
 
 
 
Friends, if we are honest, we have many of the same concerns.  We want to know about the status of the other disciples in the Kingdom of God.  We want to know what their assignment is.  We want to know where they will be sent.  We want to make sure they have something to do.  We want to be clear that we are not the only ones.  We do not want the Lord to forget that there are other men and women who just might be willing and able to do exactly what He has called us to do. And so we ask the Lord, we ask ourselves, and if we are bold enough, we might just walk right up to those other saints and ask them – What about YOU?
 
 
 
When I was a child, as I have mentioned in the past, I was the oldest child and at the end of the day, I was held responsible for the actions of my siblings whether I was directly involved or not.  In addition to the weight of that responsibility, I was raised in a pretty conservative Christian home environment and so there were many things that were off limits for me that were privileges for some of my friends and classmates.  Thus, out of both of those experiences, I have asked Peter’s question a countless number of times.  When I was disciplined because of something my siblings did or when I was prevented from going places where others were going or wearing clothing that my friends and classmates were wearing, I asked myself, my parents, my God – WHAT ABOUT HIM or HER or THEM?
 
 
 
Now, there were moments when I was genuinely concerned about the well-being of the other person to whom I was comparing my own situation.  But, I also admit that the majority of the time, I asked that question because I recognized that the responsibility I carried or the limitations that were imposed, were different from my sister, my brothers, my friends, and my classmates.  I recognized that we were either around the same age or in the same household, or members of the same church, or lived in the same community, or went to the same schools. I recognized that there were so many similarities to our situations and I wanted to know why the same responsibilities or limitations appeared to be different for me than for them. I asked myself, my parents, my God – just as Peter asked about that other disciple -  WHAT ABOUT HIM or HER or THEM?
 
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?
You must follow me.”
 
 
In other words, Peter, Delesslyn, BlogFam, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!  Jesus basically informs Peter that the assignment I have given unto you is for you to focus on and how I choose to use others in my Kingdom is none of your business.  Your priority is to do what I have told you to do.  Your assignment is to follow me.  YES, you will die for my cause but how I choose to use this other disciple is NONE of your business especially if their seemingly lack of responsibility or limitations will distract you from how I want your life and ministry to unfold. 
 
 
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?
You must follow me.”
 
 
 
BlogFam, what is it to you that you do not know what the other disciples are called to do? What is it to you that you have different responsibilities to focus on?  What is to you that your assignment will demand that you are confined to certain limitations in your behavior for righteousness sake?  What is all of that to you? At the end of the day, the bottom line for all of us is Jesus final words in this Gospel, to Peter and to us, YOU MUST FOLLOW ME.
 
 
 
Friends, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS...AND FOLLOW JESUS!  I am not saying that we should not care about others. I am not saying that we should not have a desire to see others active in the Kingdom of God. I am not saying that we should ignore opportunities to help others discover their gifts and how they can be used for the glory of God.  However, I am saying that we must be so intensely focused on our own assignment that the inactive participation of other disciples in the kingdom of God should not prevent us from moving forward in the ways we KNOW that the Lord has commanded us, called us, and commissioned us to serve.
 
 
 
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Peter, Mind your own business.  The ways in which I have called him or her to serve is my concern and not yours.  All I need for you to do is focus on following me in the ways I have just spoken.
 
 
 
BlogFam, The same applies to all of us.  If you do not know what your own assignment is, you have enough on your plate to figure that out.  If you do know what your assignment is, then it is time for you to get busy.  If you have already begun, then stay focused until the end.  If you have completed that assignment, then it is time for you to be in prayer about the next one.  All in all and through it all, FOLLOW JESUS and trust that whatever God has for the other disciples in our lives to do, to go, to have, to be as they, too, FOLLOW JESUS – TRUST that our God has ALL of our business under control.  Besides,What is that to you? MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!
 
 
God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine
***MY LATEST BOOK***
The Power to be PERFECT:
A Collection of Reflections on Spiritual Perfection
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!
THANK YOU for your support!!!
 
 
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
P.S. - BlogFam, I NEED your prayers and support - KIDS KORNER Radio program - It is a moment to spotlight the children and youth [and youth ministers] of our community! PLEASE tune in ONLINE at http://www.wigoam.com at 5:15pm EVERY SUNDAY AND let me know you are listening!!! Also, VISIT us at www.facebook.com/kidskornerradio OR shoot us an EMAIL at [email protected] if you have any suggestions for guests, topics, or would like to be a sponsor! [sponsorships are only $25]
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by sight!

Do you Love Me... until DEATH do you part? - John 21:15-18

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM Comments comments (0)
 
Do you Love Me... until DEATH do you part?
 
John 21:15-18
 
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
 
“Yes, Lord,”he said, “you know that I love you.”
 
Jesus said,“Feed my lambs.”
 
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
 
He answered,“Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
 
Jesus said,“Take care of my sheep.”
 
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
 
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
 
Jesus said,“Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
 
 
 
Click Logo to LISTEN NOW!!!
 
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, Do you remember the days when you were a kid and you would write or receive a note from a potential suitor and the note read something like this?
 
DO YOU LIKE/LOVE ME? CHECK/CIRCLE YES or NO or MAYBE
 
I am smiling as I write this because those notes were so uncomplicated and so innocent and so real which is so not like the way things are when you get past elementary school and you are trying to navigate the twists and turns of relationships.  I will save further discussion about relationships for another blog series but I had to at least mention this to get your mind in gear for today’s reflection. 
 
 
 
In our scripture for today, Jesus basically sends his disciple, Peter, a note asking him to declare the depth of his love for Jesus and the extent of his commitment to the ministry that he is being called to do. However, unlike the indirect confrontation of passing a note to your potential special friend, Jesus directly confronts Peter in a conversation that I am sure he never forgot.
 
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
 
Let us stop right here.  Jesus does not simply ask Peter in this first question if Peter loves Him. He asks Peter does he love him MORE than “these.”  These, being the fish he had just caught, and some of which Jesus had just prepared for their breakfast.  Peter, do you love me MORE than these – more than these fish that represent who you have been your whole life as a fisherman?  Peter, do you love me MORE than these – more than the income that is pretty much guaranteed if you were to continue in this profession?  Peter, do you love me MORE than these – more than the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to, MORE than the people with whom you have lived and worked, MORE than the goals and dreams you have set for yourself as a star fisherman?  Peter, do you love me MORE than these?
 
“Yes, Lord,”he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said,“Feed my lambs.”
 
And I think Peter gave Jesus a blank stare as he began to think about how he could possibly do both, and. As Peter began to think about how he could continue to be a fisherman and serve in ministry as well.  Peter began to think about how he could fish for himself and feed the lambs of Jesus.  And Jesus interrupts Peter’s thoughts -
 
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
 
And Peter is now wondering why is Jesus asking me these questions?  I thought we had gotten past me cutting off the soldier’s ear.  I thought we had moved past my denying him three times.  I thought Jesus was over me and the rest of the disciples deserting him at the cross.  I will say it again so that He is sure.
 
He answered,“Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said,“Take care of my sheep.”
 
OK. So, now I can only imagine that Peter is getting puzzled, possibly frustrated and the intensity of Jesus conversation with him is building.  Peter thinks - Jesus does not only want me to feed the lambs but to take care of His sheep. How in the world am I going to fish for myself, feed the lambs of Jesus and take care of His sheep?  I told Jesus that I love Him and now he is asking me and telling me to do more – to feed AND to care. 
 
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
 
And NOW Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said,“Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
 
But with these words the conversation was beginning to sink in.  Jesus was not simply asking Peter about His love for Him.  Jesus knew that Peter loved Him.  Jesus was not merely asking if Peter would serve Him.  Jesus knew that Peter would serve Him.  In this moment, I believe that Jesus was calling Peter to give and to express a love he had never known.  Jesus was asking Peter to give up his life – not just his livelihood - for Him. Peter, do you love me until death do you part?
 
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
 
Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
 
This conversation was not to give Jesus an assurance of Peter’s love for Him. NO!   This conversation was to clarify the call upon Peter’s life to love and to serve, to feed and to care, to live and to die for the glory of God.
 
Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
 
My sistas and brothas, when we would give or receive those notes:
 
DO YOU LIKE/LOVE ME? CHECK/CIRCLE YES or NO or MAYBE
 
We cherished the option of MAYBE.  Maybe was a safe place to be.  It wasn’t Yes.  And it wasn’t No.  It was Maybe. Maybe was hopeful that a relationship was possible.  Maybe was buying us time to figure out if we really wanted to go there.  Maybe was no pressure on either side.  We may have had more questions but at least the answer wasn’t yet No.
 
My friends, a life fully committed to Jesus does not include the option of Maybe.  You MUST check Yes OR No.  Yes I am a disciple and I will feed and care for my neighbor OR No, I am not a disciple and I will not feed or care for my neighbor. 
 
Jesus asks Peter, and those of us who say we love Jesus –
 
Do you love me MORE than these?  YES or NO.
 
Do you love ME?  YES or NO.
 
Do you love me until death do you part?  YES or NO.
 
If your answer is YES, then know that your call is the same as Jesus said unto Peter, Feed the Lambs, take care of the sheep, and FOLLOW ME.
 
If your answer is NO, then it is NO.  Maybe is NOT an option.
 
Let us pray...
Holy One, on today I pray for my sistas and brothas who do not love you.  I pray for those who love you but are resisting the call to feed and to care for others.  I pray for those who are waiting to respond to your call.  Lord, give us all the courage to say YES we love you.  Give us the courage to respond to your great love for us - to love and to serve, to feed and to care, to live and to die for the glory of God.  IN JESUS NAME, I pray... AMEN.
 
 
God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine
***MY LATEST BOOK***
The Power to be PERFECT:
A Collection of Reflections on Spiritual Perfection
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!
THANK YOU for your support!!!
 
 
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
P.S. - BlogFam, I NEED your prayers and support - KIDS KORNER Radio program - It is a moment to spotlight the children and youth [and youth ministers] of our community! PLEASE tune in ONLINE at http://www.wigoam.com at 5:15pm EVERY SUNDAY AND let me know you are listening!!! Also, VISIT us at www.facebook.com/kidskornerradio OR shoot us an EMAIL at [email protected] if you have any suggestions for guests, topics, or would like to be a sponsor! [sponsorships are only $25]
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by sight!

Breakfast with Jesus - John 21:1-14

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (0)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, I have been consistently writing my blog for nearly six months now and I am clear that writing makes me vulnerable to sharing pieces of myself that I might not otherwise share in casual conversation with strangers.  Now, that does not mean that I will choose to expose to you my deepest and darkest secrets.  However, it does mean that my BlogFam will be privileged to learning some details about my life and my testimony as I daily reflect upon the words of scripture.  So, YES, I take every post personally and most of all, I pray that the few words I share with you will inspire you all to live even more faithfully in this world.
 
 
 
And with that being said, let me share something else with you.  Those of you who know me outside of this sacred space are quite familiar with my LOVE for breakfast foods.  I am one of those kinds of people who has no problem with eating breakfast ANYTIME of the day.  I do not think that breakfast must be limited to those early hours of the day.  I can eat breakfast for lunch and for dinner and not think twice.  What about you?  I know lots of people who actually skip breakfast or who would prefer not to have omelets or pancakes, biscuits or bacon,cereal or oatmeal for breakfast or any other time, but I am not one of those people.  Give me breakfast anytime and I will be pleased.
 
 
 
And based on today’s scripture, I am glad to see that my desire for breakfast is biblical.  My passion for breakfast foods is in line with scripture.  For the text says that Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” I know that you might think this is a stretch of my imagination but that is what the text says.  After a long night of fishing and coming up with empty nets until instructed by Jesus to cast their nets over on the right side of the boat once more and then filling their nets to capacity, Jesus invited the disciples to shore to come and have breakfast with  Him.  He had prepared this early morning meal for his disciples.  This does my heart good.  Not only because Jesus justifies my culinary obsession with breakfast but because I am encouraged to know that Jesus cares about the ordinary details of my life.  Jesus cares that I eat and that I receive the nourishment I need for my body so that I might continue in service of the Kingdom of God. 
 
 
 
Friends, I know that Jesus serving breakfast may not be a big deal to you but I am encouraged by this.  As I go and go and go and go on with my life, I am reminded on today that it is OK to stop and to take care of life’s most basic necessities – including enjoying my favorite foods at my favorite time of the day.  Jesus wants me to eat breakfast and I will not argue with His invitation to do so.  And I most especially will not argue with His invitation to spend my breakfast time with Him.
 
 
 
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” 
 
 
 
Friends, can you name one simple thing that you enjoy having or doing and when is the last time you had the pleasure of partaking in it?  When is the last time you took a stroll in the park or sat and listened to the birds sing?  When is the last time you played in the rain or watched your favorite movie?  If it has been way too long, then I challenge you to enjoy Jesus in the ordinary things of your life.  BlogFam, set a date to enjoy Jesus and your favorite things and by doing so I pray that you are nourished in body, mind, and spirit and that you, too, will THANK GOD for God’s presence in the most ordinary details of your life.
 
 
God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine
***MY LATEST BOOK***
The Power to be PERFECT:
A Collection of Reflections on Spiritual Perfection
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!
THANK YOU for your support!!!
 
 
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
P.S. - BlogFam, I NEED your prayers and support - KIDS KORNER Radio program - It is a moment to spotlight the children and youth [and youth ministers] of our community! PLEASE tune in ONLINE at http://www.wigoam.com at 5:15pm EVERY SUNDAY AND let me know you are listening!!! Also, VISIT us at www.facebook.com/kidskornerradio OR shoot us an EMAIL at [email protected] if you have any suggestions for guests, topics, or would like to be a sponsor! [sponsorships are only $25]
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...

I Could Go ON and ON...but the Bottom Line is LOVE - John 20:30-31; 1 Cor. 13:12-13

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 9:47 AM Comments comments (0)
 
I Could Go ON and ON...but the Bottom Line is LOVE
 
John 20:30-31
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples,which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God,and that by believing you may have life in his name.
 
 
 
1 Corinthians 13:12-13 [KJV]
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity/love, these three; but the greatest of these is charity/love.
 
Click Logo to LISTEN NOW!!!
 
 
Greetings!
 
 
BlogFam, Have you ever been in a conversation, confrontation, discussion, or debate that seemed to go on and on with no end in sight until you or both of you just stops talking?  If you have never taken part in such bouts of the ego, perhaps you have at least observed two people go on and on about whatever the topic is that has them so fully engaged.  I admit that I have been a part of these types of encounters and I have learned to just stop myself because at some point, I get to the place where I even ask myself – What is the point?  What was the point?  Has anybody made a point?  Can we forget about this point?  However you might answer these questions, it is often not until after the conversation, confrontation, discussion, or debate that you can reflect on the entire experience and realize that some people do not get you and you do not get some people and life goes on! 
 
 
 
I do not mean to belittle your opinions or values that you felt and continue to feel compelled to articulate whether or not someone has asked for that from you; yet, I do intend to make the point that there are conversations, confrontations, discussions, and debates in which we choose to engage where the points from either side – good or bad – will never converge and when we go on and on, and on and on, in these verbal exchanges without at least one common point from both sides, well, we will begin to sound more like sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.
 
 
 
I appreciate the honesty of the Gospel writer for today.  He acknowledges that he really could go on and on, and on and on about the life and ministry of Jesus and those who fought and followed Jesus. He admits that what he has chosen to write is not the complete story and his ending does not mark the conclusion. However, he has come to the place where he knows that people will choose to either believe or not to believe.  And whether they believe it or not, Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and those who believe may have LIFE in His name.
 
 
 
I do think that those who are so insistent upon making or proving their points about the existence of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost could take a lesson from our verses on today.  I also think that those who look at the lives of people who have gone through hard times, seen some dark days, travelled through desert places, and carry the stench of a tumultuous life can do the same.  And the lesson is this: It ain’t over UNTIL God says IT is over! 
 
 
 
The Gospel writer is clear that what he has written is not the end and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ continues to live beyond the words he has chosen to share with us.  He has merely given us a glimpse of Jesus but humbly acknowledges that there really is so much more to say.  He could go on and on because Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.  But the bottom line of all that he has chosen to write is that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and those who believe may have LIFE in His name. God’s story, our story, does not end just because he laid his pen down. 
 
 
 
 
Furthermore, in our own lives, just because others may have gone on and on and have written us off or ignored what we might have to offer, or insulted our potential, or incredulously dismissed our values or opinions as irrelevant and unworthy of their consideration, It ain’t over UNTIL God says IT is over! Our story does not end just because somebody else says so.
 
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
 
And now abideth faith, hope, charity/love, these three; but the greatest of these is charity/love.
 
 
My sistas and brothas, on today, I pray that we would accept that just like there are limitations to what the writers of John and 1 Corinthians 13 could see and know and share about the mysteries of our faith, there are also limitations to what we are able to see and know and share about the mysteries of our faith. But at the end of the day, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about LIFE and LOVE. 
 
 
 
Furthermore, I also think the principle can be applied to how others may look upon us. They look at our lives and they go on and on about what it is and what it is not, how we should live, and how we should not live, but the bottom line is it ain’t over until God says it’s over! “They” – whomever “they” are – do not have the power to pronounce the final word over your life.  There are many performances that our God has yet to do in and through you so that “they” might believe in Him.  So, BE ENCOURAGED!  “They” can only see through a glass darkly.  In other words, “they” cannot see the full picture of all that our God is doing to fulfill God’s purpose in your life.  “They” only know part of the story and while they may go on and on about the ugliest parts that “they” know, I want you to know and walk in the confidence of Christ that it ain’t over until God says it is over!  And...
 
 YES, our God is willing and able to use your whole life so that “they” might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and by believing “they” may have LIFE and abide in LOVE.
 
God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine
***MY LATEST BOOK***
The Power to be PERFECT:
A Collection of Reflections on Spiritual Perfection
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!
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I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...
 

Believing is NOT Seeing!!! John 20:24-29

Posted on May 8, 2012 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (1)
Believing is NOT Seeing!
John 20:24-29
Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said,“Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
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Greetings!
BlogFam, I know that some of you read my blog post title for today and you thought I got my words twisted.  You are correct in recalling the phrase: SEEING IS BELIEVING.  That is usually how we read and articulate the phrase but NOT on today.  For our reflection on today, I am choosing to turn this phrase around or upside down, if you will, because that is exactly what Jesus did.  On today, I invite you to consider the phrase as stated in my title: BELIEVING is NOT SEEING!
It is hard for us to reasonably accept anything without having seen it first. We need to look at IT, examine IT, probe IT, sometimes even pull and pick IT apart BEFORE we agree, accept, confirm or even deny that IT is or IT is not whatever IT claims to be.  IT is hard for us to just go along with anything just because somebody said IT is what IT is.  I do not care who they are or how much love or respect you have for them, there are many things that we just need to SEE for ourselves. 
Besides that, we like to make up our own minds about things.  We do not like to be in positions where people are just telling us what to do, how to be, what to believe, where to go, and so on without at least putting our two cents into the decision making process.  Even if we were to go along with IT, we like to at least feel like IT was our choice to do so. 
Furthermore, it is not so far-fetched to have the desire to want to SEE before you believe.  We are actually taught to check things out,inspect, review, give it a once over in advance of expressing any kind of commitment.  That is the wise thing to do.  It is what we might call being thorough, covering all of our bases, dotting every “I” and crossing every “t.”  This is how we operate when we truly take to heart the phrase: Seeing IS believing.
Obviously, this phrase is not a recent phenomenon.  Thomas, one of Jesus’disciples, embraced this line of thinking in our text today.  For reasons that the text does not disclose,Thomas was not present when Jesus came to visit the disciples.  So when the disciples excitedly shared their news that they had ALL seen the Lord, Thomas was totally like most of us would have been: Really?  You saw a dead man walking?  Really?  And shaking his head, he said I will believe IT when I see IT.  “Unless I SEE the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will NOT believe.”
Now as much as I have heard teachers and preachers criticize Thomas’ unbelief, the truth of the matter is that MOST of us would have truly been the same way. And if you think you would not have sided with Thomas on THIS issue, what about the other lingering prayer requests that you have NOT yet seen manifested in your life?  How is your belief in God when it comes to that husband or wife you do NOT have, the call for the job interview that you have NOT received, the healing that has NOT yet taken place, the deliverance from drugs of your strung out loved one who has NOT yet come home?  How is your belief in your personal life situations – especially those testimonies that you have NOT yet been able to share?  Is it enough for you to KNOW God, to BELIEVE through the testimonies of others, the reading of scripture, the moves of the Holy Spirit that you have NOT seen for yourself?  This is where we find ourselves on today.
A week later, Jesus comes back and Thomas is present this time.  He greets them with PEACE and then he wastes no time in helping Thomas to SEE what he needs to see so that HE, too, can believe.  Jesus spoke directly to Thomas: “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Friends, Jesus knows exactly where our mindsets are.  You might be able to hide your lack of faith from all of us but you can NEVER escape the ONE from whom NOTHING is hidden.  Jesus knew that Thomas did not believe the disciples but more than that, He knew that Thomas did not believe in Him.  Jesus addresses Thomas’ doubt because until Thomas was able to SEE and TOUCH Jesus for Himself, He did NOT believe.  He needed an experience, an encounter with Jesus for Himself because Jesus words pre-crucifixion and the disciples testimony post-resurrection were NOT enough.  As soon as Thomas SAW and TOUCHED, he believed and he exclaimed: “My Lord and My God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
BlogFam, BELIEVING is NOT SEEING!  This is our challenge for today. 
When we walk by faith, we MUST trust that God has everything under control and that there is not one detail that the Omniscient One will neglect when it comes to His plans for our lives. 
When we walk by faith, as Evangelist Rita Twiggs puts it, we must trust God when we cannot trace God. 
When we walk by faith, we will not always be privileged to the entire unfolding of God’s plan in advance. 
I know that this might make us uncomfortable and I know that we would prefer to have God to clear everything with us beforehand but that is not how faith works. We must trust that EVERYTHING is working together for our good and in God’s time. 
When we walk by faith, we BELIEVE God.  Period. 
When we walk by faith, we may NOT SEE anything but our one next right step ahead and that is it. 
When we walk by faith, we must rejoice over the testimonies of others who have already had the privilege of seeing God move on their behalf and be encouraged by their testimony. Because Thomas was so caught up in what he needed, he missed an opportunity to rejoice with his friends and to be encouraged by the testimony of his friends who had already seen Jesus.  Instead, he deemed their testimony not good enough and he chose rather to rest in his own doubt than to BELIEVE that the same could happen for Him, too. 

My friends, when we walk by faith, believing is NOT seeing. And because our Lord is so gracious, He just might confront our unbelief by giving us a sign to assure us of His presence but on today, I pray that you would be amongst those of us who are supernaturally blessed, those of us who BELIEVE and DO NOT SEE.  For the Lord says:
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
 
God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine
***MY LATEST BOOK***
The Power to be PERFECT:
A Collection of Reflections on Spiritual Perfection
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!
THANK YOU for your support!!!
 
 
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
P.S. - BlogFam, I NEED your prayers and support - KIDS KORNER Radio program - It is a moment to spotlight the children and youth [and youth ministers] of our community! PLEASE tune in ONLINE at http://www.wigoam.com at 5:15pm EVERY SUNDAY AND let me know you are listening!!! Also, VISIT us at www.facebook.com/kidskornerradio OR shoot us an EMAIL at [email protected] if you have any suggestions for guests, topics, or would like to be a sponsor! [sponsorships are only $25]
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...

Do you have BAD BREATH? - John 20:21-23

Posted on May 7, 2012 at 7:11 PM Comments comments (1)
Do you have BAD BREATH?
Scripture:
John 20:21-23
 
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Greetings!
 
BlogFam, As we continue through our AFTER HE ROSE Series, I hope that you are making a mental note as to the differences between each of the four Gospels.  Each Gospel offers a different perspective for our consideration.  There are some similarities but there are several very clear differences as well. Today and for the next few days, we will read few encounters and conversations that John records which are not included in any of the other Gospels.  As is customary of my BlogFam, I pray that you would remain open to how the Spirit speaks to all of us and trust that even when our own life experiences do not resemble those with whom we are in relationship – friends and family – that God is able to speak and to move in the midst of our lives in the same way.
 
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
 
Do You Have BAD BREATH?
 
BlogFam, it is time for a Breath Check!  YES, that is exactly what I said.  Take a quick second and check your breath because I do not want my BlogFam walking around offending folks nostrils because your breath is foul!  Check it out and if you do NOT pass your own breath test, then please be considerate enough to correct your breath issue before your next face to face conversation!  I can wait a few seconds... but come back and join us!
 
OK.  Now that we all have fresh, fruity or minty smelling breath, we can talk! LOL! Have you ever been in a conversation with ANYBODY who has bad breath?  I have and I could not hardly stand their hot, foul smelling breath coming at me.  But I will admit, as uncomfortable as I am in those kinds of conversations, I do not think I have ever just told someone,that their breath is truly offending me in the moment.  I always carry gum or mints because I like to keep myself in check but to check someone else on their breath, that, I have never done.  I do not know why.  I will tell people when they have a hair out of place or when their clothes need to be adjusted or when a crumb or sauce is in the corner of their mouth or resting on their chin but telling ANYONE about their bad breath, that, I have NEVER done!  I just try to cut the conversations short or avert the direction of my nose and try to keep my face from disclosing my discomfort with the proximity of our conversation due to their nasty breath!  Yes Lawd, it is time for a breath check! Do YOU have bad breath?
 
My sistas and brothas, did you know that bad breath is a symptom, a clue that something else is not in order in your own system? Bad breath, medically called halitosis [this word would start with an “H”], can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
 
Basically,all the food you eat begins to be broken down in your mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odors(such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing -- even mouthwash-- merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.
 
If you don't brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue.This causes bad breath. In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned.
 
Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can also cause bad breath, stain teeth,reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate the gums.  Many other diseases and illnesses and medications may also cause bad breath.*
 
Again, I ask, do YOU have bad breath?  Because if you are not honest with yourself, well, I am clear that everybody is NOT like me who will suffer through our interaction. Your next conversation may just be with someone who is not as tolerant. 
 
And this brings me to our scripture for today.  I wonder if Jesus had bad breath.  It says He breathed on the disciples and I can only imagine what His breath might have smelled like having just come out of the grave and all.  I wonder if it smelled like death.  I think this is a valid inquiry until the verse continues to say that Jesus tells the disciples to “Receive the HolySpirit.”  So, maybe not!  But, who knows, except those who were there? 
 
Jesus breathes upon the disciples and He speaks words of peace, life, hope, and wisdom.  He empowers them with every breath and He prepares them for their life of ministry as He sends them forth just as God has sent Him forth.  He also encourages them to forgive and to reconcile broken relationships.  He warns them that if they do not forgive, the offender will not be forgiven.  Jesus had already taught the lesson on forgiveness so they are aware that when they do not forgive, they also put their relationship with the Holy in jeopardy for they will be forgiven as they forgive. Jesus knows that if they do not receive the Holy Spirit and the grace of His love and peace which He speaks in this moment, that spiritual halitosis will set in. If they do not receive what He breathes upon them in this moment, thedisciples’ ministry will be stifled because the Holy Spirit as teacher, corrector,leader, cleanser, will be inoperable which will then expose spiritual halitosis as a symptom because the disciples did not receive and do not rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit.  
 
BlogFam, Do you have bad breath?  Perhaps the physical halitosis that we avoid socially should be the way we approach the spiritual halitosis that is made evident when we speak words that are offensive, ugly, mean, and nasty!  Your breath just might be fine physically but what kind of air are you breathing out spiritually?  If any of the words you speak stir up strife, justify your jealousy, harp on hatred, manipulate the ministry, obstruct another’s purpose, then your spiritual halitosis is clearly an issue!  It is time for you to check your breath!  It is time for you to receive and rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to perform a work inside of you so that as you go forth as a representative of the Kingdom of God, your breath is sweet – full of peace, life, hope, and wisdom.
 
Do you have bad breath?
 
*http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/bad-breath
 
 
God LOVES You and I Do Too!!!
Delesslyn

PEACE! - John 20:19-21

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 9:32 AM Comments comments (0)
PEACE!
 
John 20:19-21
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “PEACE be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
 
Again Jesus said, “PEACE be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
 
 
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Greetings!
 
BlogFam,
 
PEACE!
 
PEACE be with YOU!  This is such an appropriate greeting from our Lord in our scripture for today. On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
 
Jesus did not scold or insult or fuss at them.  Jesus did not state His disappointment with them or express any anger toward them.  Jesus did not even remind them of all the lessons He had previously taught them on trusting in God and walking by faith.  NO!  Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
 
In other words, Jesus says, while I know that you deserted me when I needed you most, I greet you in PEACE.  While your present fear has you locked up in a room instead of continuing to do the things I taught you before my death, I still love you and I greet you in PEACE. I know that you need to know that things are OK between us, so I greet you in PEACE.  I know that you have lived beneath your identity as disciples of mine but I still invite you to love and to serve in my name.  My friends, PEACE be with you!
 
BlogFam, there are so many of us who are locked up spiritually, emotionally, socially, financially, psychologically.  We are locked up because we are scared of what others might want to do to attack us.  We live in fear of what might or might not happen and we keep ourselves locked up instead of walking in the authority of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Jesus found His disciples locked up in a room because they were scared of what the Jewish authorities might want to do to them.  AND Jesus appears in the midst of their self-created jail cell and declares the PEACE of God. PEACE be with YOU!
 
My friends, today, PEACE be with YOU! Our Lord is speaking PEACE into all of the ways you have locked yourself into a corner because of fear of what others might say or do to you instead of walking by faith and doing the work that our God has assigned for you to do.  TODAY, may you be released by the PEACE of God to do the work of the Kingdom of God.  TODAY,our Lord will meet you where you are and bring you out of hiding.  TODAY, our Lord will assure you of His presence in your life.  He will show you what you need to see so that you will know that it is Him.  To the disciples, Jesus showed them His hands and his side and the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. AND –
 
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” In other words, disciples, it is time for you to come out of hiding!  I greet you in PEACE in order to assure you of our relationship and I now send you forth in PEACE in order for you to complete the assignment of this next season.  My sistas and brothas, whether you need PEACE to assure you or PEACE to clarify your next assignment, I pray that on today,PEACE be with you!
 
I know that you know that having PEACE is a desirable state of being.  I also recognize that some of you are wondering how PEACE can exist in the midst of all the drama and confusion, heartache and pain that seems to be the rule in your life in this season.  And to all of you, I declare the words of our Lord again – PEACE be with you!
 
PEACE!
 
PEACE is not simply the absence of chaos or confusion, drama or disarray.  PEACE is not simply the lack of chatter or clatter, heartache or heartbreak.  PEACE is not simply the nonexistence of pain or pressure, storms and rain.  PEACE is more than that.  PEACE be with you!
 
PEACE!
 
PEACE is the stabilizing presence of the Almighty God that soothes our doubts and calms our fears.  PEACE is the internal rest of the soul that is one with God and one with self.  PEACE is the blessed assurance that comes from surrendering to the will of God in our lives.  PEACE is the signature of the Holy Spirit.  PEACE be with you!
 
BlogFam, on today, I pray that the presence of our Lord would show up in unexpected places and in surprising ways and that His PEACE would overwhelm you.  I pray that the PEACE of God would release you from the self-created prisons you have grown too comfortable in so that you can be free to walk in the center of God’s will as the Lord sends you forth to do a great work in this world.  I pray that on today the PEACE of God would greet you and grant you the courage to be sent forth by God.  I pray that you would seek and share the PEACE of God as you go and if you ever find yourself or someone else imprisoned by fear, I pray that you would speak PEACE and by the grace of God may you all be set FREE!
 
 
God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine
***MY LATEST BOOK***
The Power to be PERFECT:
A Collection of Reflections on Spiritual Perfection
Click on Picture of Cover to Purchase TODAY!!!
THANK YOU for your support!!!
 
 
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE on the left to get email updates,SHARE it with three people, COMMENT below, and click here to GIVE a donation of $5.00 or your best gift to keep it going!
 
 
P.S. - BlogFam, I NEED your prayers and support - KIDS KORNER Radio program - It is a moment to spotlight the children and youth [and youth ministers] of our community! PLEASE tune in ONLINE at http://www.wigoam.com at 5:15pm EVERY SUNDAY AND let me know you are listening!!! Also, VISIT us at www.facebook.com/kidskornerradio OR shoot us an EMAIL at [email protected] if you have any suggestions for guests, topics, or would like to be a sponsor! [sponsorships are only $25]
 
 
I WRITE by Faith and NOT by Sight...
 

When Jesus Calls YOUR Name... - John 20:11-18

Posted on May 5, 2012 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (3)
When Jesus Calls YOUR name...
 
 
 
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John 20:11-18
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated whereJesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
 
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
 
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said,“and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
 
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
 
Thinking he was the gardener, she said,“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
 
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
 
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
 
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
 
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
 
 
 
Greetings!
 
BlogFam, I do not know about you but when certain people call my name, a smile comes across my face.  I realize that I do not have the easiest name to pronounce and many people have boldly, though unintentionally mis-pronounced my name as if they had said it correctly. I do not have a nickname except for the one my daddy has called me since I was a little girl and that is not for public disclosure because it is ONLY to be used by my daddy.  I am not one of those people who asked what their parents were thinking when they gave them their name. Nope!  I LOVE MY NAME!  And I LOVE my full name, all 23 letters –DELESSLYN AUDRA KENNEBREW!
 
 
DELESSLYN {De-less-lyn} is a family name.  I am actually named after my mother, whose middle name is Delesslyn and my mother’s grandmother, my great-grandmother,gave that name to my mother.   So, I take great pride in my name and it does not bother me to correct those who mis-pronounce it by adding syllables or ignoring letters that are apart of my name.  I have even ignored people who have mis-pronounced my name because what they said was incorrect – though I do have a little sympathy for those over 60.  I,like many of you, enjoy hearing my name called correctly and in tones of love,appreciation and admiration.  I will admit that I have heard my name called when I needed to be corrected, and out of anger and disappointment for reasons that are not important enough to recall or mention in this moment.  However, I will say that I do not like to hear my name in those tones or called with negative attitudes.  I hope that when my name is called, it is worth every effort to pronounce because it most certainly is worth every muscle to smile when the sound of my name reaches my ears.
 
 
I can only imagine that this is how Mary Magdalene felt when Jesus said unto her, “Mary.” My my my! “Mary.” She had come early to the place where her Lord had been laid and He was not there! He was missing and she had no idea where He was!  She ran and told Peter and the other disciple.  They came running to find that what she said was true.  They left and Mary wept at the tomb.  She peeked in again after the disciples left and saw two angels.
 
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
 
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said,“and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
 
 
I am sure Mary’s eyes were so filled with tears and her mind racing with all kinds of thoughts about what might have happened to her Lord’s body.  She probably was just not seeing or thinking straight so much so she did not realize her Lord was standing right in front of her.
 
 
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
 
Thinking he was the gardener, she said,“Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
 
 
She wanted some answers.  Tell me where Jesus is.  Please tell me where Jesus is.  Sir, I just want to care for His body and if you know where He is, PLEASE SIR, tell me where you have put Him and I will get Him!  BUT Mary was not talking to the gardener.  Mary was not talking to a stranger.  Mary was not talking to some random straggler.  In her distress, her eyes deceived her and her heart was so broken that she could not see that she was already in the presence of the Lord. 
 
 
Friends, have you ever been so stressed out, so overwhelmed with grief, so overly concerned about a person or a situation or yourself that you overlooked the gift of the presence of the Lord that has never left you nor forsaken you? My sistas and brothas, the presence of the Lord comes to us in our lowest points and we can miss the many ways that our Lord will make His presence known to us.  But because of the Lord’s abundant grace, in the midst of the ugliest situations of our lives, the Lord will call our name like no other person can.
 
 
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
 
 
MARY – I am here.  I am here. I am here.  Friends, sometimes ALL we need is to hear the Lord call our name. All we need is to be comforted by knowing that the Lord KNOWS our name.  All we need is to be raised by the Lord speaking our name.  For when the Lord calls our name, it means so much more than the affirmation of the creativity of our parents.  It means so much more than the validation of our own selfish ego.  It means so much more than the saturation of the atmosphere with some random mouthing of a name amongst names.  NO! When the Lord calls our name, He means to call our name!
 
 
Jesus said to her, “MARY.”  And when He called her name, I believe that in that moment, it resounded in the depths of her soul.  Her name had never sounded so sweet as when the Lord, spoke it in that moment.  I can only imagine that Lazarus felt the same way when Jesus said – LAZARUS, COME FORTH! - about ten chapters earlier when Jesus called his name to come forth out of his sleep of death.  I believe that Lazarus could relate to how Mary felt in this moment after hearing his name called, calling him out of his own grave and into life again!  My friends, I believe that when Mary heard her name called in that garden by her Resurrected Lord, it changed her life forever!  She had a relationship with Jesus before he was crucified and she loved him then BUT today was a NEW day!  Jesus is calling her name with the power of the resurrection undergirding His voice. “MARY.”
 
 
And when he called her name, she turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).  She immediately recognized her name and His voice.  There are certain things that the Lord can say to get our attention and the Lord knows exactly what will work.  And in that moment, He knew what would really get her attention – not what she saw but what she HEARD. And when she heard Him call her name, she KNEW it was NOT the gardener.  It was JESUS! Nobody could say her name like Jesus could say her name!  And when the Lord called her name, He meant to call her name!
 
 
She must have reached out to touch Him, to hug Him, to hold Him but -
 
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
 
 
Now, I have no idea why Jesus did not allow Mary to bask in this moment just a second longer to enjoy His presence all by herself but Jesus has always been focused on the larger mission at hand.  He knew that holding on to Him in that moment was not as important as spreading the word that He was alive AND that it was His time to ascend to His father.  There was still work to be done and He could not allow their emotional reunion distract Him from the completion of His work on earth. And she understood.
 
 
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
 
 
BlogFam, on today, I pray that you would listen for the sound of the Holy Spirit calling your name.  Hush! Hush!  Somebody’s calling YOUR name!  Somebody takes pleasure in calling YOUR name and the ONE who is calling your name has a name that is above every name.  Hush!  Hush! Somebody’s calling YOUR name! I pray that YOU would listen and that whatever He tells you to do after He calls your name, I pray that you would be quick to obey and trust that when it is time for your name to be called again,He will call and You will answer. 
 
 
Friends, I know that, like Mary, you may have missed seeing the presence of the Lord BUT I pray that the grace of the Lord would be extended to you on today so that you can HEAR your name called in Holy and heavenly tones and then when this life is all over, I pray that YOUR name is called to receive your just reward!
 
Hush! Hush!  Somebody IS calling YOUR name and He means it!!!
 
God Loves You and I do too!
Delesslyn
Twitter - @AudraSunshine
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