Hardship/t

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Wrote this thinking about a son in ministry going through medical challenges:

I talked to God about you this morning.

I started to ask Him why His children experience hardship, but in frustration, I dropped the “p” and a used a “t”.

I’m not sure He was pleased, but I’m sure He understood.

Why we are allowed to encounter challenges?
And yes the scripture comes to mind.
Yeah,
I believe it,
But some of us love you and live for you,
Read of you
And
Depend on you,
Desire to be like you,
And point others to you!

Are we that hard headed, that we have to experience pain?

Are we that stubborn that we must face struggles?

Are we that unfaithful that we must feel hopeless?

It’s still quiet!

I guess I’m talking to myself?

Even amidst my thoughts,
I know He’s there and listening,
Compassionate and not just Concerned.

He is God!

And while we understand in part,
He understand in total.

I prayed that God would speak to you in a flow
Like you displayed (he was an excellent freestyle rapper).

I saw Him taking memories and holding them up one by one,
Just like you used to freestyle,
Displaying random things,
And sticking together verse after verse,

Masterfully,

Creating a hook by accident,
Making verses out of nothing,
Adjusting His cadence to life’s beat,
While we sit eyes and ears open
Waiting for what’s next,
Knowing that the verse that had been spoken,
He’s not spitting off the dome,
But recounting pages of lines in one breath.

I breath in
And asked Him to not only fill your lungs,
But to fill you with the hope
And the faith that allowed you to pursue your passion to inspire others!

Love you!

#PastorJDO3

Love is not Rude

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Love; “It is not rude,” 1 Corinthians 13:5 says.

What an important revelation this is.  It would seem a little unnecessary to state on paper, but upon watching and listening to the state of married couples everywhere, it has been determined that instruction is very needed.

Marriage includes many ups and downs, and amidst these highs and lows, couples are still interacting with each other.  During these times, men and women will continue to communicate, and must be careful to watch and measure each word, especially during the lows.

Rude is a default setting for many.  When covenant has been broken or strained,  it can be challenging to restrain the old man, and respond with the new man.  Our relationship is defined by love, which is compassionate, and considerate, selfless, and refreshing, not rude and or destructive.  

Why then is rude an options?  Because covenant requires trust, and trust requires one to have a level vulnerability with the covenant member.  It is this vulnerability that makes the pain felt and the frustration experienced more intense, and stirs passion and damages and destroys hope, which extinguishes faith.

This abrupt shift can cause one to swing from the left to the right; leaving one pendulous between love and its opposite pole hate.  Swinging between these emotions can cause one to guard their tongues in the morning and loose it at night.  God warns us about the power of the tongue, and instructs us about the purpose of our words.  A broken heart, left without a filter, can relive and release emotions from the past enough to cause one to bypass forgiveness and place all their chips on vengeance.

Worse, many continue forward in covenant, with the wrong guard over their heart.  As opposed to guarding ones heart against offense, one can because to guard against hurt and pain.  One hurt in the past can place barriers in place to keep them from being vulnerable again.  This prevents not only forgiveness and healing, but wont allow for love to exist and to thrive.  One can not rest and find peace in trust, if their heart is protected by being removed from the equation.

We must understand that a heart removed for the equation is broken covenant.  In addition, a tongue and actions seasoned with the spice of rude, will lead to further offenses.  One can not maintain covenant and can not heal hurts where there is either an abundance, or regular actions.

 

#PastorJDO3  #DrQDO  #TQAYMYM

It is not Self-Seeking

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This is from a blog my wife and I write together.

“…it is not self-seeking.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

Self-Seeking is defined as “having concern for one’s own welfare and interests before those of others; self-serving.” 

Our love is to model Christ, and what characteristic to adopt more than being selfless.  God’s love for us is infinite, and was displayed to us by death on a cross.  He stepped down from heaven and walked the earth with us, as it was in the beginning with Adam.

God created a man that He could display love too, and aide in experiencing creation and the creator.  In this, He did not hold back, giving man the freedom of choice, and a mind that could process, create, communicate, serve and most of all love.  He gave this, knowing that man could and would be selfish with the allotment of power and freedom.  In any love relationship, vulnerability is created because there is the potential for pain and disappointment.friendring

This is why this instruction to be selfless is a large pill to swallow.  When one enters a covenant and chooses not to have concern for their “…own welfare and interest…”, one makes themselves even more vulnerable.   This, because our instructions are to always place the needs of those we love in front of our own.

So what is your place in the relationship?  Sadly, because most of us would say first, we find the national divorce rate at 50%.  This is not new!  In the beginning, the adversary pressed Adam and Eve to make a choice: God First?  You First?  They chose to put themselves first, forever changing they relationship dynamic.

This continues today.  Couples continue making decisions as though they were individuals; choosing to please themselves, rather than to consider their partner.  Like God, we must face the partaking of the forbidden fruit from one another.  Even in this pain, God demonstrates to us the power of love by entering into a quest to build up our relationship with Him.  He makes the sacrifice to restore the relationship, giving opportunities for repentance and pouring grace and mercy where their should be judgement and punishment.  And because He made this type of sacrifice, so should we.

To keep our marriages healthy and whole, we must model God.   If we approach our relationships in an abusive manner (abusive; using the other person), then our marriages will suffer the strain of selfish behavior.  Our minds must place our individual will aside, and consider the will of God and the desire of our spouse.  Though this could lend one to abuse, if both individuals would seek to serve one another, we could experience balanced unions that reflect the divines love in and for us.

 

 

#PastorJDO3  #DrQDO  #TQAYMYM

Love is not Rude!

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This is from a blog I write with my wife…

Love; “It is not rude,” 1 Corinthians 13:5 says.

What an important revelation this is. It would seem a little unnecessary to state on paper, but upon watching and listening to the state of married couples everywhere, it has been determined that instruction is very needed.

Marriage includes many ups and downs, and amidst these highs and lows, couples are still interacting with each other. During these times, men and women will continue to communicate, and must be careful to watch and measure each word, especially during the lows.

Rude is a default setting for many.  When covenant has been broken or strained, it can be challenging to restrain the old man, and respond with the new man. Our relationship is defined by love, which is compassionate, and considerate, selfless, and refreshing, not rude and or destructive.friendring

Why then is rude an options? Because covenant requires trust, and trust requires one to have a level vulnerability with the covenant member.  It is this vulnerability that makes the pain felt and the frustration experienced more intense, and stirs passion and damages and destroys hope, which extinguishes faith.

This abrupt shift can cause one to swing from the left to the right; leaving one pendulous between love and its opposite pole hate.  Swinging between these emotions can cause one to guard their tongues in the morning and loose it at night. God warns us about the power of the tongue, and instructs us about the purpose of our words.  A broken heart, left without a filter, can relive and release emotions from the past enough to cause one to bypass forgiveness and place all their chips on vengeance.

Worse, many continue forward in covenant, with the wrong guard over their heart.  As opposed to guarding ones heart against offense, one can because to guard against hurt and pain.  One hurt in the past can place barriers in place to keep them from being vulnerable again.  This prevents not only forgiveness and healing, but wont allow for love to exist and to thrive.  One can not rest and find peace in trust, if their heart is protected by being removed from the equation.

We must understand that a heart removed for the equation is broken covenant.  In addition, a tongue and actions seasoned with the spice of rude, will lead to further offenses.  One can not maintain covenant and can not heal hurts where there is either an abundance, or regular actions.

#PastorJDO3  #DrQDO  #TQAYMYM

Love is Kind

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This is from a blog my wife and I write together:

“…Love is Kind…” 1 Corinthians 13 says in the 4th verse.

This descriptive word actually seemed pointless to a dialogue about love, but in the course of time, one can find that it is key to survival, and doesn’t always exist in the covenant relationships.

Though love itself is kind, relationships themselves experience trials of many kinds. Kindness is easy when it’s roots are firmly planted in the ground, and drinking from a generous water source, but might prove challenging when denied sunlight and facing a drying water source.

When streams have dried and resources are scarce conditions emerge, relationships face desperate times and often enter survival mode. Absence of resources force the plant to extend its roots and redirect its stem in search of water and sunlight. Stems slowly slump, and blooms close and wither away.jnq2018

Love, once fueled by sacrifice and selflessness is slowly spoon fed by offense and fear. Offense and fear begins to dictate our actions and responses; and too often, these interactions move from kindness to “kindless”.   Kindless is the diminishing administering of Kindness towards each other.

Amidst our pain, it is easy to forget the love and sacrifices one has made and to focus on the pain caused by the offense.  Offense is like an irritating sibling, untying your shoe laces, and tying them together while you sleep, offense has caused many to trip, stumble and fall.

Though the disappointment is real, and offense is inevitable, “…Love is Kind…”, and must so.  Kind is a benevolent or generous disposition.  It is a way of being.  It is to be unwavering, and consistent in nature despite circumstances.  Being Kind does not mean that all situations are to the liking of the one experiencing them, but that the person responding to them is consistent in choosing to respond generously. 

This generosity is not always drawn from excess, but is sometimes drawn from sacrifice.In all relationships, sacrifice will be needed to promote and restore relationship.  Being Kind is not to be subjective, but is reflective of the Love we receive from God.  Its His love that allows us to look past what one deserves, and administer to them what we have received ourselves.

 

#TQAYMYM  #PastorJDO3  #DrQDO

Love is Patient

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This blog is taken from a blog I write on with my wife.  We thought to write a bit on Love to inspire, instruct and encourage all who are married and thinking about entering the marriage bond.

“Love is patient…” we find in the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians.

This chapter is often looked at in premarital counseling for couples. What we have found in 20 plus years of marriage and 25 years of friendship, is that “patient” can only be defined as it is lived out.

While we all know the frustration of being in a long line at the local grocery store with one cashier (or in self check out with one working station [these days]), we have the option of shopping at a different time, different location, and different date. However, in marriage, there is one line, one cashier and as God would have it, it often seems like its their first day on the job.worship-fast

Yes, 21 years into marriage, and both of us still have to be patient. One would think that failing and shortcoming would cease because of growth, and often times they do, however, new challenges emerge.

Patient is what we must live out as we wait for change and or growth. This up close view is like watching a flower grow. Change happens in such small increments, that it can bring more discouragement than it provides joy. And yes, the flower is beautiful once its fully grown, but watching it evolve from the seed, grow roots, break the ground, bud and bloom in a marriage can take years or even decades.

Having said this, one of the most challenging people in a relationship to be patient with is yourself.

Often, its the frustration of not being who you desire to be and who you know or believe the other person needs that can be the most frustrating part. There are times when you can see growth across the table, and sigh because you can’t see it in the mirror. And in these cases, Love yourself! Love yourself, knowing that you too are growing, and in becoming, you must give yourself room to fail and falter.

But for those waiting on our mate to break the ground, we must be patient, knowing that God will complete the work He started in them; and be at peace, knowing that they are watching the same process completed in you. Nope; you aren’t the only one being patient!

In conclusion, God say, “Love is patient”. In other words, its characteristic are one in the same. Our love for one another leads us to be patient while the other grows. Our love for one another, nurtures each other as we emerge, and protect each other from the weeds that would try to choke us out. Our love for each other is extended whether we are slumped over, or reaching towards the heavens. It is willing to wait, and though it might not understand, it is understanding while change occurs.

TQAYMYM

#PastorJDO3   #DRQDO

Valentines 2018

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I am blessed to be surrounded with beauty.  Our home is filled with gift and talents beyond what I can thank God for being entrusted with.  Each year I try to write my ladies on their b-day and v-day to speak into their lives a word for today.  Here are the inspired words given to me this year for my wife, and the oldest 3 girls of our 5.

Wife

The challenge of loving me,
far surpasses any classroom you will ever lead.
More challenging than leading,
I have found is the challenge of being a leader;
and being willing to follow.
As a leader,
Good leadership can be challenging to follow,
Because each leader leads in a different way.
But you allow me,
With all my imperfections,
Mistakes in judgement,
Accept me as your covering,
Choose to follow me,
Bringing to my feet,
The gifts of respect and honor,
Which are not deserved or earned,
But prescribed.
It is humbling!
While you choose to follow,
I have chosen to serve,
Through love,
With humility,
Laying at your feet,
Gifts of love and sacrifice,
Washing our feet from your travails,
Cleaning you with The Word,
The words from my heart,
Pointing you towards a mark that I have yet to reach,
And supporting you,
As we both stumble into God’s perfect will for our lives,
I love you!
May our days be numerous together.

Girlie #1

The feeling of holding you,
Has not been recreated.
In that moment,
Like God,
I was able to hold all of you in my hand.
Though a physical shape,
I was charged with programming you.
I gave you a screen name,
And a password,
Even designed your home screen,
And installed all initial programs.
Yes,
I was your source,
Amidst many trees,
I held the choicest fruit;
But time fades.
Our walks in the garden aren’t as frequent,
The first voice your heard each morning was mine,
And time passes.
I miss those days,
But I look forward to the ones ahead.
I’m so proud of you!

Girlie #2

You came into this world surrounded by love,
Propelled by faith!
Hence your name,
You remind me,
Each day,
God answers prayers!
He listens to me,
He responds to me,
And even when my request is not granted,
I am honored that He listened
And heard each word with compassion.
You are the answer to my prayers,
And will one day be the answer to the prayers of another.
As I prayed for you before I beheld you,
I am assured that the name you will bear,
W
ill be achieved the same way!
I thank God for you daily,
And appreciate your many layers.
You truly have an eye for capturing beauty,
Developed from beholding it each morning!

Girlie #3

Before the sun touched your skin,
The Son touched within,
He guided me to a name,
Assuring me of its claim,
A prophecy,
A declaration,
A statement to the world of His faithfulness,
And the beauty that is within Him,
You changed the entire song (wake up song),
Introducing a new melody,
Adding harmony to a home,
Created balance with your presence,
Life has been your stage,
And though it may seem to be one mic,
You never stand alone!
You only stand out!
And at times;
This feels alone!
Stand firm and know,
You are loved beyond which you can understand!

#PastorJDO3