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. ♥️

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

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

 

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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

Needy Vs. in Need

Needy Vs. in Need

We can do Godly things for people, but we should not become “God” to them.  There is one God and He is the only One who can truly supply every one of our needs.

 

Yes, there are needy people, but there are true people in need.

 

People in Need:

  • Rarely ask for help.
  • Are gracious for your help.
  • Don’t expect items, money, gifts, time, etc. from you.
  • Are usually wanting to reciprocate the kindness in some way.
  • I have noticed that these are the people that you feel drawn to. Like God has put something on your heart to help them.
  • Do not always appear like they are in need…but like I stated on the previous bullet, you feel drawn towards them. God usually tells you what they need.

Needy People:

  • Demand things from you.
  • Expect you to give money, clothes, anything that they see around your house.
  • Expect you to come to them at the “drop of a hat.”
  • Want you to take care of them when they are unwilling to take care of themselves.
  • Usually use “guilt” to get want they want.
  • I have noticed that this type of person will use you and abuse you.

 

By becoming God to the needy people, we are trying to supply their every need. Whether it is physically being there (helping with deeds around the house, etc.), supporting them financially, or even supporting them emotionally. We can be there for them, to some extent, but we cannot always be there. That is God’s place.

Example:

  • If we did try to take God’s place and supply their every need…what purpose would they need the one true God for? By being overly giving to the needy person, we could become a stumbling block to their walk with God.

o   I don’t know about you, but I have found God in the darkest times of my life; when He was the only One that could supply my needs. If someone stepped in and took that place, would I have found God on such a substantial level?

Discerning when it is time to lend a hand or point them to the direction of God.

  1. Sit down and pray about the situation (It’s time to use that “walking and talking relationship with God”).
  2. Remember, God doesn’t condone guilt. It doesn’t come from Him(Paul).
  3. Don’t let people guilt you into giving.
  4. When you have that urge from God to give to a certain person at a certain time, do it. You will never know what giving to someone feels like until you do it with God’s guidance.

 

Have a good day, brothers and sisters, and may we never stop learning and listening in our walking/talking relationship with God.

-Nikicks

Works Cited

Paul. Romans 8:1. n.d. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8%3A1&version=NASB&gt;.

Image

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?