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.

 

 

 

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

Play Your Own Tune

Play Your Own Tune

Like playing an instrument, conversing with people takes practice. Once you learn the basics, you can spout off your own “tune.” Although, you will soon find out that some will perceive it with enjoyment; whilst others will detest it. Don’t chase after the ones that walk away and don’t try to copy their tune just to get them to stay. No, for there are others who will like your own unique sound…and you know what? Get out of your head. Stop thinking about each “note” and how it could be received. Hey, if the Conductor directed you, play your tune the way He uniquely made you to play. You might just be surprised how lovely your sound is without overthinking every “note.” Harmonies may clash, but the Conductor brings people together to make beautiful music.

So remember…

Be real.

Be honest.

Be you.

Play your unique tune.

P.s. The Conductor loves your uniqueness.

Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror

 
Trudging through thorny weeds (to avoid paths), dehydrated, and skin cooked well over-done by the sun’s rays, the woman looked as if she was on her last breath. When bystanders beheld this sad sight, they tried to help her, but the woman always kept her head down and denied any helping hand…until today. A boy came up to her and asked, “Why do you walk off the path?”
The woman stopped and turned to the boy (perfect that she didn’t have to lift her head to talk to an adult…this was the first child that had ever confronted her).
Woman: “Because if I set a foot on the path, it will appear.”
The boy looked at her with big eyes.
Boy: “What will appear?”
Woman: “The mirror.”
Boy: “What is so scary about a mirror?”
Woman: “This mirror reveals more than just a mere image…it shows you all the wrongs you’ve done in the past; unveiling your true self. I have been running from it for quite some time now. I don’t want to be reminded of who I am.”
Boy: “I know what to do! Stay right here.”
The woman usually grew antsy by staying too long in one place, but from pure exhaustion or from meeting a kind child, she decided to stay.
The child came running back with glass cleaner and a rag.
Boy: “I know what to do, I will stand here and wipe away all the wrongs.”
Woman: “Why would you do that for me?”
Boy: “Because no matter what you’ve done, I like you and you are my new friend.”
Woman with tear-filled eyes: “No one has every said that to me before…”
No one ever had, for when people saw the damaged shell she is, they wanted to help her out of pity…and when they learned of her past, they spat at her. No one had ever truly wanted to help her due to liking her.

 

The boy took the woman’s hand and she allowed him to lead her back on the path. She caught a glimmer behind her, knowing the mirror was there. Looking at the boy, he responded with squeezing her hand and nodding in encouragement.
The woman straightened herself up (with help from the boy) and turned to face the mirror. Sobs from deep within her soul began to shake her body; causing her to use the mirror as balance (thinking the boy had left). She sunk down, letting her hand slide along the full length mirror, when suddenly, a hand touched her shoulder. Looking up and instead of seeing the boy, she saw a man and then she noticed the mirror. The man was taking his pure white sleeve…and wiping her mirror clean! Her past reflections disappeared!
After the man was done, he bent down and got to her level. All the kindness (that was not of this world) was set upon his brow and all the love was in his eyes and all the warmth was in his smile. He helped her stand up and turn facing the mirror.
The man then wrote “I loved you at your darkest, I love you now, and I love the future you. You are loved for you.”
The woman laughed and cried at the same time. She was so joyful! She was free! She was loved. Every time she looked back at the mirror, she saw love.


When she twirled, something caught her eye. The boy was walking toward her.
Boy: “No more fear of the mirror?”
Woman: “Nope. I am free. The man wiped my mirror clean.”
Boy: “Isn’t he nice?! He’s my best friend.”
Douse of Encouragement 

Douse of Encouragement 

​A “douse” of encouragement for today…

“Have you lost your joy? Paul sensed that the Galations had lost the joy of their salvation because of legalism. Legalism can take away joy because (1) it makes people feel guilty rather than loved; (2) it produces self-hatred rather than humility; (3) it stresses performance over relationship; (4) it points out how far short we fall rather than how far we’ve come because of what Christ did for us. If you feel guilty and inadequate, check your focus. Are you living by faith in Christ or by trying to live up to the demands and expectations of others?” -Endnote for Galatians 4 (Life Application Study Bible, NASB)
Legalism:  strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, especially to the letter rather than the spirit. (Source)
Faith: strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp. without proof or evidence (Source)

At a Glance

At a Glance

As I scroll through Facebook at finger-swiping speed on my iPad, and glance at articles of information flying by, I stop to realize that I have misread a piece of info COMPLETELY wrong. I then, scan my eyes over the short write-up to make sure I am grasping the Facebook post correctly.
Me: “I have noticed that when I quickly scan through a short online post, I am not reading the same words that were originally typed. It’s like they get twisted into something else when I don’t really care to take the time reading.”


God: “Have you not glanced at people in the same way and misread them? Too quick of a look and you judge their character wrong.”


Me: “What should I do?”


God: “Get to know them. Truly read them.”


Me: “Read them?”


God: “How do you read a book that you want to spend time getting to know its story?”


Me: “I study the cover and its summary to find hidden storylines that give hint to what’s inside the book and then I read its contents to verify the cover.”


God: “And you do guess right by what you saw on the cover?”


Me: “…not always. At times, I have been assuming the opposite of what the truth really is but with people…I have been wrong about them on many occasions.”


God: “What’re you going to do about it?”


Me: “Well, I know Someone with x-ray vision Who is willing and able to see through fleshly covers and dive deep into the pages of people’s characters.”

 

 

End thought: “Put on your ‘Jesus X-ray glasses’ and see deeper than the cover…the Facebook post…and other social media outlets.”
Pebble in the Shoe

Pebble in the Shoe

 

“I cannot go on like this,” said the girl, overwhelmed by life itself.


God: Trust…in Me. Take day by day for life is full of sorrows by waiting and yearning for tomorrow. When people drain you, do not wallow in your dehydration. I am the living water; I will fill you up. 
When people suck the air out of you, I will breathe into the breath of life. When people are like a storm threatening to break and beat you down, remember that you are built upon the rock. Do not let the enemy deceive you into believing you are built upon the sand! 


Take off your spectacles for I have already given you sight…do not believe that you must earn all my blessings. I am not like people around you. I give freely…you just have to open your present and don’t let the enemy steal it from you.


Do not fear in what you may lose, but hope in what you will gain.


Inadequacy is a lie. You are made perfect in the Greatest Sacrifice. I will call you accordingly to how I made you. Do you not believe that your interests are important to Me? Far from it! I love you and I will use you…use you in your uniqueness. Trust in Me.

 

Side note: You may talk to God about the pebble in your shoe, and He will address the rocky area where you traveled. He knows what you’ve been through…what you’re going through. The pebble will become heavier the longer you hold onto it.


Take time to speak to God…go for a walk by a stream and skip rocks across the water (throw your pebble out while you’re at it!).