An ode to $AMC
If I get rich
With all this
That’s the poem.
An ode to $AMC
If I get rich
With all this
That’s the poem.
A message from Lana Michele Moorer aka MC Lyte on her Instagram account.
My divorce what not a battle. My ex-husband, John Wyche, has never attempted to take any assets from me at any time before, during or after our marriage. Anything that is written or said that states or implies otherwise is untrue and unfair. I do not agree with or support anything that aims to secure clicks and views by crafting slanted messaging at the expense of the reputation of innocent parties.
While I made public comments related to the delay in signing papers, I can state that any delay may have been connected to his desire to save the relationship; never to take any of my property.
Since this matter appears to be of concern to so many, I will use this moment to share a few lessons:
I love this post. Over the years, I’ve often said the end of relationships deserve as much care and consideration as the beginning. Begin as you intend to continue and end as if you care. Be blessed.
Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
New Revised Standard Version: Matthew 6:1-34 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Matthew%206:1-34&version=NRSV
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
~ John 13:34-35
The third week of January 2017 will long be remembered. From the beginning of the month, I had planned to join the Women’s March on Washington. At the beginning of the week of the March, I thought it best that I also join my congregation in three days of fasting and prayer for healing for our nation. I’ve never been good at church-led fasts. In the past I fell off quick and felt loads of guilt for low will-power and focus. So, this is probably the first fast I joined a congregation in in nearly a decade. Three days, liquids only. During the work week. Within the first 24 hours, at the end of the first work day, I ate a bread roll my manager put on my desk. She shares her lunch with me every day and I usually pass on what I don’t eat. I put the roll in my cabinet but could not stop thinking about it for the next few hours. I eventually gave in to temptation and ate it. The next day when my cube mate shoved her lunch in my face to show me the delicious options in the cafeteria – one of my favs, Indian fare with red lentils, samosas and mango chutney – I blurted out, “I’m fasting! Since when do you shove food in my face?” She apologized profusely since she had no idea. I had no plans to share. But I quickly realized the open sharing environment with my office chums dictated that I declare my goals for the week. I survived the remaining fast with no further incidents.
I attended each of the three nights of prayer service as well. Honestly, I thought I might fall off of that too. Attending service in person has not been one of my preferred activities over the last couple of years. I’ve streamed or played back far more services than I’ve shown up for. The general shallowness of interaction with congregation members has left me disenchanted and uninterested in showing up for “fellowship” that doesn’t last beyond a greeting and a song.
Inauguration week was different. I felt compelled to join my prayers to those of my congregation and lift my voice in praise and supplication. I didn’t want to go protest without first girding myself in worship. The third night of prayer service was the first night of inaugural protests and I was euphoric. I left work early to head to a rally in Columbus Circle that was essentially a call to action. The theme was 100 Days of Resistance. The goal is to get people to reach out to their representatives every day to voice their concerns and express their hopes for the direction this country moves in. I didn’t want to leave the rally but I didn’t want to miss prayer service either. After an hour and a half I high-tailed it down the street to my church. It was the perfect ending to a great day and a great send-off to the Women’s March on Washington.
The Women’s March was phenomenal. Overall the energy was amazing. Except for one instance. There was a Christian group posted up on Pennsylvania Ave down the street from the Capitol. In a space where crowds representing every imaginable issue in America today stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction, this was the only spot of contention, anger, disrespect and hatred that I encountered. I stood there observing for a bit, spellbound, trying to hear the words that were being shouted and chanted. Looking around in a daze to read the signs people were holding up. I walked around the circle of people to get a better vantage point and perspective on what was being said by whom. My heart ached. I wanted to grab the bull horn from the man in the middle and simply say to the angry crowd: God loves you! Ask me how much!
Jesus didn’t come to us to tell us how horrible we are. He didn’t walk through the streets pointing out people and calling out their sins. Where in the Bible does it say Jesus told people they were going straight to hell? Jesus has never been about condemnation. He is, and always has been, about hospitality, welcome and acceptance. He is a teacher. His lessons enlighten us as to our true nature and purpose in Him.
So, I stood there listening to protesters shout at the evangelists, “God Loves Me! God is about love!” To which the evangelist responded with a verse about love. Then there were those protesters who were mocking and cursing the evangelists for which they received further judgement for the evilness of their hearts.
I debated just walking up to the speaker and just pulling him aside. In the end I walked around to one of the men encircling the speaker and holding a banner. My conversation. With him can be heard on this video.
“Condemnation vs. Love”
Condemnation vs. Love from LaShawnda Jones (NS) on Vimeo.
I approached him with the words, “As a Christian Woman, this is hurting my heart. We are to proclaim God’s love to people. There has to be a softer way for you to deliver this message.” He brushed me off with, “We are each called differently. This is how we serve.” Yet when the speaker got tired of getting shouted down, he walked over to the man I was speaking to and essentially said, “I’ve had enough, your turn!” To which the man who was adamant about his service, declined with a sharp shake of his head and refuse to enter the center of the lion’s den. I called him out for that to. He wasn’t interested in anything I had to say.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
~ 1 John 4:16-21
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your re- quests to God.” Philippians 4:6
You have invited us to give you thanks, and this is what we wish to do. We are living in a time of great anxiety, but you have offered us a way out of anxiety. We long to know your loving care.
We pray to you because there is no one so good, so high, so holy, and so merciful as you. Thank you that you have invited us to bring our petitions and our requests to you. Who else can we go to for wisdom, or for hope, or for guidance?
We pray for the victims of violence wherever they may be found. We pray for those in authority, that they would seek and find the wisdom that comes from above. We pray for peace in the world.
We pray that you would help us live in obedience, with integrity, based on the dignity you have given. And we pray for peace in our own hearts, a peace that proceeds from your forgiveness, the wholeness that comes from your restorative touch.
We thank you for creating a world you called “good.” We thank you that despite the evil that has entered the world and still wages war in our own souls, your own goodness is undiminished. We thank you that we have seen
honor that is bolder than shame;
mercy that is wider than cruelty;
truth that is straighter than deception;
faith that is stronger than treachery;
hope that is deeper than desperation.
We thank you for the ordinary things: the bread we receive today, the breath by which we live today. And we thank you for the extraordinary things: the strength we didn’t know was possible, and the discovery of truths we didn’t know we didn’t know. We thank you for the immeasurable grace shown to us in the coming of Jesus Christ, the hope of the world.
In His name, Amen.
(from Prayers for Our Lives: 95 Lifelines to God for Everyday Circumstances)
The Brook Network is an exchange of ideas and a growing set or relationships.
Now when the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, the Lord heard it and his anger was kindled. Then the fire of the Lord burned against them, and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. But the people cried out to Moses; and Moses prayed to the Lord, and the fire abated. So that place was called Taberah,[a] because the fire of the Lord burned against them.
The rabble among them had a strong craving; and the Israelites also wept again, and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we used to eat in Egypt for nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”
Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its color was like the color of gum resin. The people went around and gathered it, ground it in mills or beat it in mortars, then boiled it in pots and made cakes of it; and the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil. When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna would fall with it.
Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, all at the entrances of their tents. Then the Lord became very angry, and Moses was displeased. So Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? Did I conceive all this people? Did I give birth to them, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a sucking child, to the land that you promised on oath to their ancestors’? Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they come weeping to me and say, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I am not able to carry all this people alone, for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you are going to treat me, put me to death at once—if I have found favor in your sight—and do not let me see my misery.”
So the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them take their place there with you. I will come down and talk with you there; and I will take some of the spirit that is on you and put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people along with you so that you will not bear it all by yourself. And say to the people: Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wailed in the hearing of the Lord, saying, ‘If only we had meat to eat! Surely it was better for us in Egypt.’ Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall eat not only one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you—because you have rejected the Lord who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, ‘Why did we ever leave Egypt?’” But Moses said, “The people I am with number six hundred thousand on foot; and you say, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat for a whole month’! Are there enough flocks and herds to slaughter for them? Are there enough fish in the sea to catch for them?” The Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s power limited?[b] Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”
So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.
Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men,[c] said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!” And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
Then a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quails from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, about two cubits deep on the ground. So the people worked all that day and night and all the next day, gathering the quails; the least anyone gathered was ten homers; and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague. So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah,[d]because there they buried the people who had the craving. From Kibroth-hattaavah the people journeyed to Hazeroth.
Thank You, Lord
For bringing me to this point today.
Thank You for not leaving me where You last placed me.
Thank You for keeping me and loving me.
Thank You for peace.
Thank You for the storms.
Thank You for the fire and cleansing.
Thank You for pain and healing.
Thank You for my assignment.
Thank You for the many battles in this warring world.
Thank You for rest.
Thank You for victory.
September 29, 2015
Reaching for the Real by Gwen Smith
He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. (Daniel 6:10b, NLT)
Friend to Friend
The mug in my hand was filled with warm, dark roasted incentive. I cozied in on my favorite couch corner, breathing in the quiet. Settling my heart before the all-loving One, my whispers rose to heaven. I was desperate for God’s presence and power to fuel another busy day.
To my surprise and great delight, as I cracked open the Good Book a tiny distraction flew into my peripheral vision. A hummingbird had made its way over to the orchid arrangement on the side table of the deck outside. The artificial orchid arrangement. The nourishment that little flyer sought could not be found in a plastic and silk imposter, so the humming bird flew away.
I smiled and shook my head at the very notion that the little bird was looking to be fed by a fake flower. But less than five minutes later the hummingbird hovered near the orchid again.
You’ve got to be kidding me! I thought. What about plastic and fake did you not understand the first time, little guy?
And just like that I was humbled before God.
Yes. I do this too, Lord.
I do this when I look to the approval of others to validate my significance. I do this when I’m upset and I reach for something salty-crunchy instead of reaching for the Bread of Life. I do this when I find my security in the success of my children, in the numbers on the bank statement, or in promotions or positions at work.
Jesus is not our fast-pass to get through the pearly gates. He is our Sustainer, our Strength, our Comforter, our Deliverer, our Hope, our Defender, our Provider, and our Healer. He is behind us and before us. He loves us perfectly and. He is the very-real, very-alive, and very-able Lord we are all hungry for.
When I need soul-strength, nourishment, that will get me through the next few minutes, hours and days, it is vital that I go to the living source. To the unending power, perspective, and portion of Jesus.
The Bible shows us many great examples of this. Daniel found himself in an impossible-by-man’s-standards situation when a decree had been passed that violated and compromised the very core of his beliefs. He didn’t freak out. He didn’t run to talk to his friends about it. He didn’t post or tweet of his frustrations with the government. He turned to his Lord.
“But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God” (Daniel 6:10).
Not only did Daniel pray, he gave God thanks! In the middle of a life-threatening situation, he focused his heart with prayer and gratitude. I should too.
Hannah was another great example. She had real problems with fleshy, prickly people. Hers was a long-term situation with no simple solution on the horizon. She didn’t pretend she was okay or distract herself with things that didn’t matter. She got on her knees and got real with her very real God. She poured her soul out in the presence of the Lord and was met with the provision of His grace.
“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly” (1 Samuel 1:10).
Just like Daniel and just like Hannah, I need to turn to Jesus with my worries and my woes. I need to pour out my heart to Him when I am feeling empty. I need to turn to Jesus continually, remembering to give thanks.
“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
You give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”
When I turn to the Word and to His presence, I am nourished in unfailing love. I am hidden in His shadow. I am invited to the feast of His goodness. My eyes are illuminated to see beyond my struggles by the One who shines brilliant as the Light of the World.
No more fake flowers. I’m reaching for the real. Jesus is the sweet Rose of Sharon. He is the Lily of the Valleys. (Song of Solomon 2:1-2) He is the Vine that is vibrant with life. (John 15) He is the Living Water that flows eternally and quenches every thirst. (John 4)
And He. Is. Mine.
Dear Lord, You are faithful and kind, and all that I need. Thank You for every trial that leads me to pray. Please keep my heart from wandering toward fake flowers and help me to turn to You instead.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What fake flowers do you often fly to?
CLICK HERE to spend a few moments in response and reflection as you listen to the song “You Are Mine” that I’ve posted on my blog.
More from the Girlfriends
Gwen Smith is a co-founder of Girlfriends in God. She’s also a popular Christian speaker, author of Broken into Beautiful, co-author of Trusting God and Knowing God by Name, a songwriter, and worship leader. Connect with her on social media here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. (And, YES… she’s on Periscope too!)
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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070
Source: Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2004)
Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.” Selah
Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will perform my vows to you,
that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah
Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on[a] my tongue.[b]
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!
English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.