Walking Amongst the Thorns

Walking Amongst the Thorns

Last night, I was just finishing-up my animal chores and came back inside, then remembered one last chore I had to do.

Heading back outside, I realized I had forgotten my shoes and stopped at the edge of the lawn—gazing at the thorny expanse between me and my destination.

A slight whisper said, “Walk through it, you will not get any thorns–for I will protect you.”

At this moment, I knew God was going to give me an analogy…but should I trust Him? Could He just tell me the punch line–without my actually crossing the foot-aching path? Because, last week, I legit tried walking across it barefoot and got 4-5 thorns in my feet (these are the thorns that seem to attack in groups–after a well thought out plan). 😬🥴 #shescoming #attack

I sighed, and with a combination of laziness of not getting my shoes and a dash of faith, I set my eyes on my destination and walked regularly across the thorny weeds, did my chore, and walked back across…and you know what? I didn’t get a single thorn in my foot. 👀

God then said, “When you are in thorny–troublesome surroundings…I will be with you. I will not forsake you. Even when you don’t feel prepared–I will make a way for you.”

You see, if I was properly prepared, I would’ve brought my sandals. I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS desire to be prepared. Especially with these last few years of absolute craziness, the stress of preparing for what may come–has, at times, been a burden…and there are moments when I am tired or may forget to “wear sandals” during a thorny path ahead.

End thought: It’s fine to prepare…but God’s got our back even if we aren’t. ♥️

Breaking before the Storm

Breaking before the Storm

One of the biggest strategies of Satan is not that he brings a storm into our lives…but that he wears us down right before the torrent comes. 🌊

He does this by disrupting our focus on God and putting it on ourselves and everything around us. Little things in everyday life that seem to force our attention elsewhere.

Soon, we may be at a point where we forgot to read the Bible in the morning or talk to God or even pray about our day or situation. 🙏

We then act and react on our own judgement, understanding and anxiety/stress as we miss God’s bigger picture.

Stress makes us react faster and demands an answer or solution ASAP. Then our own judgement fails because we are relying upon what we see and our other earthly senses.

Does God not give us peace in the storm? Does He not give us foresight about the “behind the scenes” and everyone’s hearts?

We must remind ourselves that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy…and he tends to start with the smallest seemingly insignificant things that have a rippling effect that influences how we deal with bigger trials and tribulations.

I continually ask myself that if I’m having a tough day–did I start it with God? Did I pray that morning? Did I talk to Him?

By focusing on God in a day-to-day basis, we will be like the man who built his house upon the rock. The storm came but his was set upon a firm foundation–just like we are with God. (See Matthew 7:24-27) #OnChristthisSolidRockIStand #AllOtherGroundIsSinkingSand

God will Use It

God will Use It

✨Sometimes we keep doing the tasks of what we think is Godly and good instead of asking God himself.✨

It can be an overwhelming path of seeing the needs of the world and wanting to assist in them all. We can get burned out with trying to help everyone and everything and still miss God’s calling for us. ♥️

We each have a unique calling. Some might have the calling to be missionaries across borders—and others have been called to be missionaries in their own backyard.

Do you have a gift for taking care of others?
God will use it.

Do you have a gift with animals?
God will use it.

Do you like doing art?
God will use it.

Do you like helping with kids? Do you have a gift for speaking? Writing? Listening? Photography? Baking? Being a mom? Being a provider? Helping neighbors?

God. Will. Use. It.

P.S. God needs the everyday people in everyday lives to reach everyone…for that person that you just lent a hand to…

-that person you dropped off a meal for…
-that person you reached out to…
-that person you just babysat for…
-that dog or cat you rescued that led you to a new friendship with the new owner…
-that art piece you just finished that touched someone’s soul or made them smile…
-your kids you’ve been devoting your time to and loving them with a big piece of your heart…

You have been doing God’s work in an area that you were specifically called to. ♥️

Rebuking the Storm

Rebuking the Storm

With all that’s going on in our country and world and the depressing news media, I pray and keep receiving the same story imprinted on my heart about Jesus taking a nap in the storm.
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I don’t know about you, but there are nights where I haven’t been able to sleep due to worrying about the panic that is happening in seemingly high places. 😂💃 #IllCatchUpOnMySleepInHeaven
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But let’s imagine how the disciples feared for their lives about the storm and undulating lake. I bet some of them even heard stories of being sunk by such storms and I bet their “news media” of the day (aka gossip and word of mouth) told them all the possibilities of drowning and/or dying. Heck, they probably even had the story of Jonah being swallowed by a whale–in the back their minds (there probably weren’t whales in the lake–but fear does funny things to our imagination). 😅 I’m not going to lie–I would’ve been a basket case. I may have even tried shaking Jesus awake. #SonofGodWakeUp #DoYouSeeThis #TheresAStormBro #BeamUsUpToHeaven
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And yet….Jesus slept through it. Man, I wouldn’t even doubt if he snored.
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Was Jesus trusting on his own knowledge of boats and sea? Was he listening to the people’s past stories that invoked fear?
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No, He knew the power of God. He knew God would make a way for Him. He just needed to take a stand and rebuke the wind and waves.
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“23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:23-27
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So, the beauty of this story is that storms will come…but God has a way for us. He has already given us the power through faith and through His Son’s holy name.
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God’s been telling me to work on my faith muscle instead of my worry one (which can probably bench press 500 lbs of news media). 😅🤣💪
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How do we build-up our faith?
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
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Starting the day in the Word, listening to podcasts about the Word and ending the day with the Word.
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When that storm comes knocking, may we be filled so much with faith–that fear has no entry. 🧡💪💃 May we have the courage to rebuke the storm and have that smooth sailing of peace and calm.
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P.S. I like definitions so, I’m going to put this one here.
Rebuke: to reprimand : to reprove sharply or censure formally usually from a position of authority

I must be doing something right

I must be doing something right

I must be doing something right

By: Nicki Kent, OntheCliffofLife

I must be doing something right
For the enemy to battle me at night

For him to bring-up the many past slights
To make him laugh at me in pure delight

To make my future appear to be a fright
To come at me with fiery darts a flight

To grow fear–that everything will not be all right
To feel the sting of hopelessness and its poisonous bite

But then I remind the evil one–of God–his kryptonite
Who took his legs–making him slither away after his deceptive plight

Walking the narrow path God said to follow by faith and not by sight
Whilst warning there are detours the enemy will coerce you to with all his might

Just remind the enemy of his place and he will disappear into the night
And know he only battles those who must be doing something right

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

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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”

Chasing Reflections

Chasing Reflections

 

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Chasing Reflections
by: Nicole Kent

Driving to work each and every week day
Beginning to memorize the same cars that weaved and swayed

I noticed a girl who seemed to sing with all her might
Not caring who saw her expressions…(which may have been a fright)

I got used to seeing her along my usual drive
Smiling at her contagious grin that seemed ever to thrive

No matter what day it was, she made best of it
Going to and from work, singing songs that never seemed to quit

But one day, I noticed tears in her eyes
Attempting to sing- but the sorrow wouldn’t be disguised

I waved at her and tried to make her smile as she once did for me
But her focus was on nothing, heartbreaking-urging her to flee

I followed and tried to signal her to stay
But she began to leave as if I chased her away

Soon losing track of her, I continued to drive on
When all-of-a-sudden, the sun made a revelation dawn

Looking at the lighted reflection in the window I began to see
That the girl was not someone else…but was me

I chased after the smiles and joys I once knew
Instead of focusing on the One who can heal and renew

I grasped for the happiness that was once there
But needed to look nowhere else but the One who can repair

I believe the One knew to light my way
Revealing that my reflection was here to stay

 

© 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.

Left Lane Ends

Left Lane Ends

 

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I was driving to work and saw the ever-known orange road construction signs. *sigh* One sign signified that the lane to the left would end, so I stayed on the right. Suddenly, almost all the cars in front of me started going to the LEFT LANE. I began to doubt that I read the sign correctly. After steering my car to the left, I soon came to a halt. You want to guess why? The left lane ended. The sign was right. The people in front of me were wrong…AND I FOLLOWED THEM.

While waiting for a kind driver to let me squeeze back into the CORRECT lane, God decided to bring in a “spiritual lesson” to beat some time.

Spiritual Lesson:

God: “Have I not given you directions on where to go? Have you not doubted my Word and decided to go the way of the crowd?”

Me: “This is some ‘pep-talk’ before work today. Thanks, God.” *sigh* “But, yes. I know You, yet I have gotten swayed by taking my eyes off your guidance and by going by the way of the majority.”

God: “It is easy to sway in the way of the world, but I have overcome the world. You need not look to where the group is going, for their way is a large path where many will enter…go by the narrow path where few are called.”

Me: “Technically, everyone who was in the wrong lane began scrambling to get back towards the correct lane (especially when they realized the end of the road was near).”

God: “Exactly. When the end is near, and they see their errors, they will try to come back…but for some, it will be too late. Keep your eyes upon Me and listen to My direction.”

Me: “What about the cars to the right that stop to let the wrong lane back in?”

God: “They are willing to help those be free of their wrong path. Will you be one of them?”

Me: “What if the person who wants back in was the one that cut me off earlier?”

God: “What about grace? You should be excited that they want to go on the right path and turn from their error.”

Me: “I see your point…but we’re still talking metaphorically, right? Not in handling real traffic, right?”

God: “….”

Me: “Hello?”

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End Note:

Don’t you just love when God uses those simple day experiences to teach you a life lesson? Whether driving to work, being at work or even being at home, God will meet you where you’re at. He will use those “interesting moments” to speak to your heart. Let’s just say, there are many lessons that God has been revealing to me when I drive through traffic (and I might just share a few more of the stories with you).

What and where has God been speaking to your heart recently? Please share in the comment section below.

P.S. (A nice driver let me squeeze back into the correct lane. Thank you kind sir! 😉)