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The Domino Effect

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Look at the dominoes in this picture. Now imagine each domino is a person who has been hurt by another (the pieces, one-by-one, knocking into each other). We have a choice to either let the hurt be harvested and continue on by pushing our neighbor down…or we can rise above the hurt and chose to let the vicious cycle end with us.



It’s our choice (and what a difficult choice it is).



Bitter or Better?

~ Toxic Christianity ~

~ Toxic Christianity ~

I have known many Christians who:

  • set the bar of “perfection” when they themselves have yet to reach it…
  • speak greatly of conflict resolution, yet their family is divided…
  • speak of being kind to one another, yet they yell and mentally abuse their family at home…
  • speak of love yet have physically abused their spouse behind the scenes…
  • use the verse “Children obey your parents” but belittle and bully their kids whilst ignoring the verse “Fathers don’t provoke your children to anger.”
  • are church leaders that speak of helping others but were absent when their own family had a crisis.

These toxic “Christians” put such heavy burdens on others whilst refraining from walking in that path themselves.

And they tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as their finger. And they do all their deeds to be noticed by other people; for they broaden their [c]phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garmentsAnd they love the place of honor at banquets, and the seats of honor in the synagogues…” Matthew 23:4-6

When it comes down to it—bring this heavy burden that the hypocrites have put on you and lay it before God’s feet. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring truth and revelation to you.

Let me add this—a toxic hypocritical Christian and those with narcissistic traits will tend to side with the accuser and abuser because they are one and the same. They will even use verses to back their belief (as stated below). You may ask, “Why would I accept a toxic Christian’s advice in my own life?” Well, you might at first, because they appear good on the outside (like previously mentioned). The revelation of their true character will arise eventually and/or if God reveals it to you.

“For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17

Yes, the hypocrite’s words can be in tune with what the Bible states, but did not Satan use verses to tempt Jesus in the wilderness? Does not the enemy appear as an angel of light? What seems good and right may not be in accord with what God is telling you in this moment, in this season you’re in.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I believe that the Bible is like a map, and one that we can reference to our lives, but we need the Holy Spirit as a compass to guide our ways in it.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

As an example, let’s talk about conflict resolution. There is a time for it, but there is also a time to kick out the scoffer, be absent from the reviler and run from someone who is bursting forth with temptation—it all depends on the season and predicament you’re in.

  • “Drive out the scoffer, and strife will leave, Even quarreling and dishonor will cease.” Prov. 22:10
  • “But [a]actually, I [b]wrote to you not to associate [c]with any so-called brother if he is a sexually immoral person, or a greedy person, or an idolater, or is verbally abusive, or habitually drunk, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a person.” 1 Corinthians 5:11
  • The verses that really stood out to me about temptation was Joseph and Potiphar’s wife…how he didn’t stay and attempt conflict resolution with her about her tempting him—he ran. “She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.”

In addition, we should always be kind to one another, love one another and those who are parents and married should love and respect their children and spouse as they expect their children and spouse do in return, and so-on.

End thought: Take everything that someone may tell you, with a grain of salt, for they don’t know the season you’re in, but God does. They may not be living-up to their own standard of Christianity and may just be projecting their own mistakes, horrid behavior, insecurities and flaws on you. Don’t allow that burden to be put on your shoulders, lay it at God’s feet.

To all the Nice People Out There…

To all the Nice People Out There…

To all the nice people out there…

You know you’ve been raised to be a nice person, when you tend to keep your opinions to yourself due to not wanting controversy or due to the fear of hurting a friend’s feelings or even due to the fear of being shut-down and bullied for your beliefs.

First of all—a friend might believe you agree with them if you don’t state your opinion. This could lead to an unbalanced friendship—and the uncomfortable situation of having to sit and be silent while they continually bring up a topic/dislike/etc. that you disagree with. It creates a wedge rather than a bond, as you would by trusting a friend with your opinion as they trusted you.

Second—there is a gracious way to bring your beliefs forward. Such as the following: “I totally respect you, and I’m grateful that you are comfortable enough with me to share your beliefs and opinions. Although, I do disagree and here’s why…” This will help identify that you are not disrespecting your friend—just giving a different opinion to theirs. This is how iron sharpens iron—for we all have walked different paths and have different difficulties in life that influence our ideas on different subjects and matters—these views can help us both grow.

LastlyIf they put you down and bully you—they are not your friend.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times.”

What is love?Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Also, I like to look-up definitions of words that bring a whole other understanding; thus, the definition of the word “friend” via Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is as follows:

  • one attached to another by affection or esteem
  • one that is not hostile
  • a favored companion

Affection: a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something tender attachment: fondness
Hostile: marked by malevolence having or showing unfriendly feelings : having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature
Favored: providing preferential treatment
Companion: one that keeps company with another

And here is the best part about being open with your opinions in a kind manner—those who are respectful of them, no matter if they agree or not, prove that they are truly friends. The ones who are bullies and irate—will dislike you and possibly leave and that is totally fine. You and your opinion matter. I truly love the saying, “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”

Stay kind, friends, and remember you can have your opinion and still be nice.

Scoffer

Scoffer

Scoffer
By: Nicole Kent

Your words ring truth but your actions prove lies
Leading those in a round-about—a path they will soon despise

You speak sweet things but cause inner turmoil
Playing Satan’s game—the snake ready to spring from his coil

Why do you drown others with the burden of implied imperfection
Yet pushing those away who try to help you with your own soul’s flawed reflection

You believe the lie that you are never wrong
That God has deemed your path correct—your eternal life’s song

But the God I know would never treat someone that way
Looking at the heart instead of what you put on display

Your path confuses those who wish to know God more
For your words turn lies by the actions never sought—just ignored

You play the victim in your own reality
But many have come to know that this pretentious view is only skin deep

I pray for you and the detrimental path you have chosen
For God didn’t want this for you either—that you wouldn’t be bound to it—frozen

Wake-up, wake-up dear scoffer—oh Pharisee
That there is a wonderful relationship with God that you have feigned to see and believe

The Unfitting Puzzle Piece

The Unfitting Puzzle Piece

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~ We are the body of Christ—of one mind ~

Have you ever felt like you were the puzzle piece that was shoved into the wrong place—never truly fitting in?

Well, there’s a chance that you weren’t meant to be there.

Many times, there are people with opinions who speak on what you need to do in life—how to live and especially how to serve (Don’t get me wrong—serving is important but there are many outlets and God has a specific one for you). They do believe that they are helping because they’ve had such amazing experience with what God led them to and through—but there is a chance that God is calling you to something different.

Okay, let’s consider this term, “Body of Christ.” We each have a potential role like the parts in a body—the eyes for seeing what others do not, the much needed listening ears, the voice to speak to millions, the helping hands behind the scenes, the feet that guide us in the right direction, etc. and the head—that should always be Christ’s position—guiding the eyes, the ears, the voice, the helping hands, and the feet to be of one mind.

We all have a purpose and just because it may be different than yours, does not mean it is the wrong path—it might just be different than others. It may be a path so unique that you are paving a way for others with the same unique calling.

The hand needs the wrist and the wrist needs the forearm and the forearm—the elbow. These body parts work together wonderfully…just like the puzzle piece finding the right spot to fit with others of similar calling.

Yes, we all work together in the body of Christ, but I want you to know that if you feel that nudge on your heart from God—calling you elsewhere—pray. There is a chance you’re not in the right spot.

Hey, and let me just say, you are doing great. You got this because God has got you and knows where you’re supposed to be—question is, will you let Him?

Love is…

Love is…

I recently asked God what areas of my life I specifically need to work on and instead of dumping all the “fine tunings” that my imperfect self needs, He led me to the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB

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Me reading: “Love is patient—”

God: “Stop right there. I want you to break-down this passage and focus on one aspect of love each day. Today, look at your personality towards others. Is there an area that you are lacking patience? Maybe it is with someone who has a trying personality or maybe it is yourself—maybe you need to give yourself time to grow and continue to transform to whom I’ve called you to be.”

Patient: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
: not hasty or impetuous
: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to read through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and am going to break-down and meditate on each part of what love truly is and should be. Follow along on my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/onthecliffoflife/

Side Note:

This last weekend, I read these verses with someone I know, and they stated, “In all my life, I have NEVER met a person who has succeeded at all of these testaments of love.”

My response: “Maybe it was meant for us to meditate on before we speak or respond, so that our words would be spoken through the filter of love. Maybe it is something for us to strive for—a goal.”

Their response: “I like the verse, ‘Cease striving and know that I am God.’ So, we shouldn’t be ‘striving.’” (Psalm 46:10 NASB)

My response: “I do believe that we are not to strive to a point of self-condemnation or guilt, but shouldn’t we try to be better than who we were yesterday?” (If God didn’t believe in change, then He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die for us, in the hope that we all would one day come to know Him and be transformed in the forgiveness that He so willingly gives)

Their response: “That is true and a different version of the Bible—the Amplified—translates Psalm 46:10 to ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

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I find it interesting that “strive” has two definitions…

  1. Strive: to devote serious effort or energy; endeavor
  2. Strive: to struggle in opposition; contend

So, the “striving” in Psalm 46:10 is most likely to struggle in opposition. “Cease struggling and know that I am God” or “Cease contending and know that I am God.”

The amplified version says to “be still” and I just had to break-down that word as well.

  • Still: calm, tranquil

“Be calm and know that I am God.”

It is amazing to dive more into the definitions of what we once imagined the true meaning of a word or verse. Where I was considering that we should strive to be better, as in, “devoting serious effort or endeavoring,” the person I was conversing with considered that Psalm 46:10 meant the same thing—which endeavoring and contending are opposite in meaning. #HearIGoAgain

  • Endeavor
    • to work with set purpose
    • to attempt (something, such as the fulfillment of an obligation) by exertion of effort
  • Contend
    • to strive in debate: argue
    • struggle

 

Sources: Word definitions from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, Bible verses from NASB & AMP

Walk with Me Again

Walk with Me Again

Walk with Me 2

Walk with Me Again
By: Nicole Renee Kent

God asked me to take a walk with Him
And as I took a step forward–He led my gaze within

He removed the blinders and opened my eyes to see
Of who I am–compared to who I was meant to be

Stripping the walls I’ve built around my heart
From past wounds–where I pushed others from me–far apart

God revealed errors of my past without condemnation
To help me better understand the meaning of salvation

As I looked at my heart, bare before my God, my friend
I asked Him what areas He desired to be–to touch and mend

He responded, “I want it all and every bit
And for you to use My Word–My heavenly first aid kit

For all has been given to you to walk in this world of woes
To see beyond the false pretention and to truly know

Grasp my hand, dear one, and continue to walk with Me
For I will always be with you and help you to see”

An Ageless Lifetime in a Day

An Ageless Lifetime in a Day

An Ageless Lifetime in a Day
By: Nicole Renee Kent

If we lived an ageless lifetime in a day
Would we care about what people say

Would we follow God without doubt or dismay
If we lived an ageless lifetime in a day

Would we know that everything would be okay
Would we stay the course and not be tempted to stray

Would we not put stock in the petty things people display
Would we place the worries aside—far away

Would we see life as vibrant colors and not a subtle grey
Would we know it’s never too late to be something new—molded like clay

Would we notice that life is something more than a mere cliché
Would we understand that there is hope amongst the disarray

Would we catch a glimpse of a magnificent ending that is underway
Would we open our hearts now, instead of waiting someday

Would we change our ways to prepare ourselves for heaven’s résumé
If we lived an ageless lifetime in a day

An Ageless Lifetime in a Day

 

© Nicole Renee Kent and On the Cliff of Life [2013-current year] Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicole Renee Kent and On the Cliff of Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

Life is Not a Straight Line

Life is Not a Straight Line

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Me: *Draws a straight, perfect line*

Me to God: “There we go. This is my life plan, a straight path.”

God: “You do realize that most paths wind around different objects and obstacles, like mountains, trees and other landmarks…”

Me: “But how can I see the end goal—how can I follow the path where I cannot see where I’m going—like a straight path would allow? Also, if there are many turns and bumps in the road, how can I keep-up my speed…and what happens if there is a fork in the road⁈”

God: “Just begin at the path and take a step forward. Do not presume or worry about what may be around the next curve, for I am with you. I am with you the moment you take a step—till the end—where we will meet face to face…then into eternity. There will be bumps in the road, warnings of loose rocks, forks along the path—but that’s what life is. Life will have its difficulties—but you have Me. I can guide your steps, help you over those ‘bumps in the road,’ shield you from the falling rocks and help you determine which way to go when multiple paths come before you.”

Me: “Sometimes, I wish you’d just fly my family and me on a private jet to heaven and forget this curvaceous—annoying path.”

God: “You do realize that planes and jets have a path set for them too…and there are storms and turbulence in the sky, just as below.”

Me: “…but You would be the captain and tell the skies to be still…”

God: “Yes, either I would calm the skies or help you to fly through them and guide your landing. It is not the path but your perception of it. If you look at the trial in your path, you can either be overcome by it or be an overcomer.”

Me: “Okay, is there a ‘fast-pass’ for this said trial?”

God: “Maybe the trial is a part of the refining…”

Me: “I feel pretty refined already—if I were a rock that was being sanded down—I would be a speck. Although, I admit that I do know of others who have had more tribulationsworse ones at that—and some seem to even be smiling through it.”

God: “It’s their perception of their circumstances. Some see their trials as just a small detour on the journey of a greater destination.”

Me: “How do I acquire perception like theirs?”

God: “You focus on Me. You see, you have been focusing on the undulating path and what could go wrong, instead of turning your eyes on Me. You didn’t give Me a chance to bless you through it for I give you My peace. Think of the times when trials have come your way…what were you focusing on when you were most stressed?”

Me: “I focused on the issue and how it could be handled or should’ve been handled. At that time, I couldn’t hear Your voice.”

God: “You didn’t seek Me first in your trial.”

Me: “I tried, but had to move on in life.”

God: “And you continued to try handling it on your own…”

Me: “A burden I never want to bear again…”

God: “A burden you were never meant to have. So you see, the trials you’ve tried dealing with—were on your own. Don’t be afraid based on your past experiences—it is time to live.”

Our Country

Our Country

Background

Our Country
By: Nicole Renee Kent

What has our country come to be
Is it still the home the brave—the land of the free?

With basing laws and regulations on how we feel
Are we losing what is moral—what is real?

What is right—what is wrong
Division, strife—will we ever get along?

Debates turn to tearing one’s character to the ground
Not fighting with facts—cutting with lies that the media spreads around

Have we forgotten to listen to both sides
Using our own brain—thinking for ourselves—no longer letting the falsehoods abide?

We were meant to have two parts of government—showing different views
To see each other’s sides without the vision becoming askew

As iron sharpens iron—the two parts were meant to debate
Finally coming together in a compromise—not in an unrelenting hate

But has our government become engorged with wealth and status itself
Being bought beneath the table—turning their own views by being paid in stealth

Freedom of speech has been choked from what is viewed as wrong
But is that not what thinking for ourselves is—what makes our country strong?

The Sea of Life

The Sea of Life

Waves by Jessica
Watercolor waves by Jessica Yee @Calligraph.yee

The Sea of Life
By: Nicole Renee Kent (Onthecliffoflife)

There was a girl sailing a boat on the sea called “Life”
When suddenly, the waves became turbulent, pushing her into an unrelenting strife

After the water finally calmed and settled down
She realized a plan should be in place or next time surely she would drown

The girl prepared and overthought every potential possibility
Believing she had to do this alone—her own responsibility

Suddenly, a voice came softly over the wind
Bringing peace to the water as her broken boat began to mend

“You do not need to worry about the storms on Life’s sea
For I bring peace and healing—plans that will give you prosperity”

“No, no” she said, “I have to be prepared”
She spoke out of fear and utter despair

“I cannot trust in what I do not know
Planning for every outcome—especially when the Life’s waves seem to grow”

So, the girl continued on this self-destructing path
Carrying her own burdens and alone, dealing with the sea’s torturous wrath

By going along in this burdensome way—she built-up anxiety
With the potential outcomes filling her head—threatening the girl to her knees

It finally became too much for her to bare
Finally breaking under the weight of Life, no longer could she plan or prepare

Lying crumpled on the deck of the boat
She became too weak—unable to try and stay afloat

Suddenly, a the voice reappeared
Stronger than before and oh, so near and dear

A man dressed as a captain crouched down next to her
He touched her face and spoke more than the previous whisper

“Dear one, you were never meant to carry this burden on your own
Let me help you and let My love be ever known

You need not plan for every possibility
For I will steer you in the correct direction—just trust in Me”

The girl fell into his arms, feeling the weight of Life go
Putting her faith in the Captain and letting His trustworthiness show

Soon the next storm came upon them
But it was no match for her ever-present, knowledgeable captain

He guided the boat over one of the giant swells
Commanding her to focus on Him—from then on she knew all would be well