Wisdom Fruit: A Journey in Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3:13

“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.” Proverbs‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s all about Joy this beautiful Monday morning. I’m focused on just this one verse because JOY is the byproduct of wisdom. Joyful meaning FULL of JOY- Completely filled with well-being and happiness.

It comes when we:
1 – Find Wisdom
2 – Gain Understanding

Most of the time we have to look for something in order to find something. Very rarely does something just fall in our laps, but to find anything, even wisdom, we have to look or ask for it.


When we are looking/seeking, God wants our wholehearted attention as mentioned earlier in Proverbs. We must seek Him and His wisdom with our whole hearts. ( Jer. 29:13) When we ask Him for wisdom, James 1:5-6 says we are to ask boldly in faith, nothing wavering, and He will generously give it to us.

We gain understanding as we get and apply God’s wisdom. Proverbs 2:1-3 tells us to apply our hearts, concentrate on understanding, cry out for insight and ask for understanding. Finding wisdom and gaining understanding is not passive, but takes intentional, consistent effort. But in acquiring wisdom and understanding, we experience deep abiding joy that makes everything worthwhile. Joy is one of the fruit of the Spirit and it is something that God desires us to always have in abundance!

When we have joy, we also have strength! The Joy of the Lord is our strength! When we have joy, we don’t mind working hard and it helps us endure seeming impossible tasks. The Bible tells us that Jesus endured the cross when He thought about the Joy of reconciling us back to Him. God wants us to have abundant unspeakable joy!

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

Wisdom Fruit- Journey in Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3:11-12

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor detest His correction;For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”Proverbs 3:11-12 NKJV

Many of us have heard our parents say this hurts me more than it hurts you when we have been grounded or disciplined or I’m doing this for your own good. I didn’t always believe it back then, but as a parent I know how true it is.

One again, this passage begins with an endearing salutation “My child, or my son”a very personal relational call from a beloved parent or mentor that reveals Gods heart toward us even when discipline comes. This underscores the importance of cultivating that personal intimate relationship with God.

It continues to tell us to not despise or reject the Lord’s “chastening” or correction by punishment/ discipline AND don’t get upset, impatient or hate when God corrects you. That is hard and nobody likes it! I remember having to keep my hand out when that ruler came down on my hand. It was hard not to pull away, because it hurt! Who signs up for that anyway. But it was an effective deterrent.

God then explicitly reinforces His love for us through His discipline as a Father who corrects his child who he delights in. Because God is so committed to our wellbeing, He will put roadblocks, allow us to fail, and deter us from detrimental decisions, habits that hinder or distract from our purpose. Our true close friends do the same, “faithful are the wounds of friend” – they will risk your anger, and tell you when you are going off course. Indifference means that there is no personal investment of time or value.

When these uncomfortable times of discipline come, view from the lens of Gods love.

Wisdom Fruit: Journey ion Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3:7-8

“Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8

This made me chuckle a bit, because it seems to say, don’t get the Big Head, thinking you’re all that. We often hear “ Hype yourself!” But I think every now and then we get carried away. It’s okay to feel pride in accomplishment, but sometimes we believe that we did it on our own. We may fall into self-reliance or conceit, thinking we don’t need God. One commentary (Barnes) noted “The great hindrance to all true wisdom is the thought that we have already attained it.” Staying humble keeps us teachable .

I.N.S.T.E.A.D

We are to Fear the Lord, with reverent awe and obedience. When we turn and see God in His omnipotence and greatness, we can’t help but feel how small we are. We can then turn away( and stay away) from evil.

The benefits of this is Healing! Can you imagine that when we resist self reliance, fear and worship our awesome God, we will have physical healing for our bodies and strength! Our own reservoir of strength can get quickly depleted when we do things on our own or in our own strength. When I’m feeling tired and worn down, I always know that I have not giving something over to God or tried to fix something with my own intellect. But God wants us to turn to Him and his unlimited regenerative power and strength will sustain us.

What a great promise from God!

Cast EVERY Care

This morning I woke up with a strange weariness, realizing that I had been carrying the burden of the recent tragic senseless murders of two young black and brown men/ boys at the hands of those meant to protect them in my heart. All week I was distracted – I had to fight to stay focused on work, get through meetings, and even dealing with mundane household issues that come with the new pandemic norm of everyone working or taking classes at home.

As the mother of a 21 yrs old son ( pictured above) who has already tasted of police bias against him several times ( just being a young black carefree male), I continue to draw near to throne of grace to place this burden in God’s very capable hands. In times like these, His word is a great consolation and anchor for my soul.

In I Peter 5:7 God encourages us to cast ALL our cares upon Him, not just some of them. The NLT translation puts it this way,“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” His great concern and love for us are designed to carry every worry and every care that we have. In Philippians 4: 6 He actually commands us to “Don’t worry about anything & pray about EVERYTHING. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all he has done. ”

Trusting God with my children has been a daily commitment for me as they have gotten older and especially now as they are transitioning to adulthood. Placing their protection and growth in God’s very capable hands is something that I am growing in faith, and I need His abundant grace to break free from the traps of worry that try to overtake me when triggering incidents like these recent events happen. My heart aches for these families.

May God have mercy on the families of Daunte Wright and Adam Torres who have to endure senseless and unimaginable pain. I pray that God’s promise to comfort them in times of mourning would embrace them and help them heal, restore and relieve the aching pain of loss. He is the God of ALL comfort. We are to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find FIND GRACE in the time of need.

Ps 31:19 also promises that as we come to the Lord for protection, He lavishes us with His goodness which He has stored up for us in great measure. That goodness is not just for our benefit, but so we can pour it out to others. As we are restored, we can be ( should be) that conduit of Gods grace to a world(our families, friends and community) desperate for healing and wholeness.

Praying for other parents of black and brown sons and daughters who share this concern, that God’s abundant grace will empower them also to move forward beyond worry into trust in Gods goodness. Reach out to someone with a word of encouragement, overlook an offense, give grace when someone doesn’t immediately respond, write a note of thanks. Already you have made the world a better place and eased a burden.

Now Go!

Exodus 4:11-12

Morning meditation:
I felt this “NOW GO!” echoing in my heart this morning. Like Moses, I have offered of excuses, and the Lord patiently but urgently pushes me forward with His Word! He then continues, “I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

God is with US. He has our back!

Also praying that I will NOT be like Moses who continues in this passage with imposter syndrome, telling God all his personal limitations, how he stutters etc. and further frustrating God. You know the story how Aaron then speaks for Moses. God is still with Moses in spite of his personal sense of inadequacy. Moses is many times lauded for not having a “slave mentality” being brought up in Pharoahs house. But I think this also fueled his over dependency and focus on personal strength even with the Almighty God telling him he could do it. Clearly He had more growing to do in God as we all do! And there is more! Later in the chapter, Moses wife Zipporah, saved Moses from Gods wrath, and had to circumcise their son because he wouldn’t/ couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Moses had to learn complete dependence on God – We see cracks in his trust in God throughout his story and I believe that was the root cause of His disobedience that ultimately led to his not completely seeing the promised land even though God honored him.

Joshua had that 100% pure, sold out heart ( complete trust and faith in God) needed to fight for and claim the promises of God! Ps.86:11 says “Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Ps‬ ‭86:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

#faith #NowGo #Trust #Obedience #purifymyheart

Love your Seasons of Transition

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” Ecclesiastics 3:1

Earlier this year, after the longish winter,  I fell in love with Spring as never before – and now this November baby is  back in love with Fall again.   Just a few weeks ago I lamented that a month into autumn, the leaves were still green.   It seemed August/September’s lack of rain caused many leaves to go brown and fall prematurely.  But now, in the past week – like a male peacock preening, Fall displayed its plumage triumphantly! And while there ARE less leaves, the remaining leaves have peeled off chlorophyll’s green mask and unveiled their glorious authentic colors as temperatures cool and daylight shortens.Image

The profusion of color as the leaves turn in the Fall is on its best display during rainy grey mornings.   There’s something about the yellows, oranges, reds, maroons and eggplants against that grey palette of the skies that takes my breath away.  The rain darkens the bark of the trees and makes the leaves a little translucent.  The diffused lighting of the cloudy grey skies softly passes through the leaves making them glow against the elegant dancing arches of the darkened tree branches.  Oh yes, Fall is best viewed on inconvenient slightly cold rainy days.  

This morning my daughter begged me to stop my comments about the foliage and exclaiming aloud how beautiful everything was.  I could not promise her that I could hold in my joy if some pop of red/orange color revealed itself in the landscape.   I am completely smitten again with my first love, Fall.  

Fall, like Spring, is a season of transition.  Lots and lots of change is occurring, and only Mother Nature and God who created it all  can predict the rate of change and how the transformation occurs.  After I commented about how the landscape was mostly green last week,  my daughter impatiently remarked “Mom, the leaves can change at any time – it doesn’t’ have to be slow.  Things can change very quickly.” She nailed it!  Change happens when IT is ready.   

I then began to wonder why,  if I’m smitten with transitional seasons of Fall and Spring, why don’t I embrace and fall in love with my own seasons of transitions and change.   Don’t just endure, but embrace, celebrate and flow with the transitions.   God’s grace is in abundant supply in every season.  Like the transitional seasons, it can rain too much for periods of time, or get too windy for our liking.  But the rains are necessary for all living things and the wind too!  The winds may knock off all the leaves but it is also carrying and spreading the seeds of new growth on its wings bringing new life to places that a tree’s limbs just cannot reach.   And who can deny the breathtaking splendor of showers of falling yellow, orange and red leaves as the wind blows.

So embrace and celebrate the transitions in your live – let God’s grace empower you to use every inconvenience as an agent of growth and new life. Let the wind blow you around and spread your glory.  It really is beautiful in every season. May God open your eyes to the beauty of your ever changing life. 

Under construction/Under contract

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I was driving my daughter to school today and realized that a brand new house located on a plot that we have been driving by for at least 2 years is finally under contract.   Last November (2012) I wrote a Facebook post noting that after almost a year of wondering what they were building on that once wooded plot, in about 2-3 weeks I noticed the house taking shape (first image in pic). In that post I wrote the following:

“I have been driving by this intersection for at least a year. It was a vacant lot and then it seems they worked and dug for about 6-8 months with a fence around it with all kinds of equipment. I had no idea what they were putting there. Now in the last month, this house began to take shape. First the framing and now quickly it is taking its form for all to see. I was reminded today, that this is exactly how God works. The foundation building is a lengthy process done in secret. Many people don’t know what is going on but He does. It is messy work and can inconvenience others in the process. But when that is done, our lives start to take shape revealing in time what we are becoming. Consider the cost, pay attention to the foundations for which the rest of your life is built. Jesus is the chief cornerstone. He is that rock, that sure foundation.”

In February of this year, they finished the landscaping etc and listed the house for $1.7 million (it is absolutely beautiful inside) and I thought to myself, “I sure hope they get the asking price (especially since it was not brick but that’s my Louisiana roots speaking)”  Well, after a little over 3 months later it is under contract (second image in the pic) and I was really happy!!!  I almost felt like it was my house because I used to park by that wooded lot and pray sometimes.   Yes, it took a while for that foundation to be built because something of great value was being built to last.  It was really messy  over 2 years ago, but look at it now!  I saw the time, toil and work put into it!  I realize that I have been impatient with God’s process in my life especially as I am trying to transition into another career.   People looking for value  will pay for it.  It just takes a little time for that marriage of mutual respect/values/senergy to be made.  God does not want you to settle for less than what He has for you.  Jerimiah 29:11 says

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Lessons from my mother:Real Beauty

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My mother ‘s salt and pepper hair after her first bout with cancer and my mother before cancer. Always beautiful!

Thinking about my mother this morning – about how her life continues to speak to me. One thing that I find myself thinking about is that she never considered herself to be a great beauty. She always said her sisters and many of her friends were always better looking, but that she didn’t mind at all. She said that she always focused on being the best person she could be.

She was always VERY popular because she really was a GREAT person to be around. My mother made more friends at Howard in that first week when she brought us there for my freshmen year than I did. Other freshman and students would say, “I met your mother and she said to look out for you. What a nice lady — she really encouraged me too. “

My mother was a doer… for all her glamour, she was many times the last person to get ready for an event because she was normally there putting it together. She never compromised on the hair (every week at John Jays with Wyona) but while others were getting their nails done, she was doing her own because she would have been helping make sure the arrangements were just so. That includes my wedding.

It came as a shocker that she never thought she was pretty because she was always fabulous to me whether she was a size 6 before she stopped smoking or 12-14 when she stopped smoking, when she had red/light brown hair before cancer, to salt and pepper hair after cancer. She kept pressing, moving, doing, cheering the next person on and bringing laughter in the room. In this my mother taught me that real beauty REALLY REALLY does come from within.  It is who you ARE, not what you look like..

Remembering my mother today and all that she continues to teach me.

Unmerited Favor (Musings from Spring of 2009)

This a re-post from a note I penned in Facebook in late Spring 2009.  (you can find the original post Here 

Found a brief note I had written to myself on the back of an ATM receipt immediately after arriving home from my trip to the Middle East in mid February of this year 2009. It was entitled “ The Grace of God” – unmerited favor.

I jotted down 2 distinct times in my life where I experienced a profound sense of God’s grace – a distinct knowing or acknowledgement in my heart that I was the recipient of favor that was unmerited, unearned, unsolicited and feeing greatly humbled and unworthy of it. It was a knowing that I was profoundly loved and cared for by God Himself and wondering why.

My first remembrance was when I was 16 yrs old at a retreat that my Catholic all-girl school required for rising seniors. Unbeknownst to us, they had asked our parents (one or both) to write letters to us, which we then read during a one on one reflection time with the priest. Because I was not Catholic, and not particularly religious other than singing sometimes in my church’s youth choir (AME Church)- it was more of a discussion.

The retreat was held at a beautiful simple place in the woods and we were in a peaceful contemplative room. I can’t remember how the conversation started but I remember being handed my letters – my Mom and Dad wrote separate letters as requested. The letters were not lengthy, but they packed all the love they had in every sentence. As I read the letters I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being blessed. Not in the trite way that Christian folks say it now, because I really felt that I had literally been touched by God Himself. Tears started to well up in my eyes and the priest gently asked about what was going on. I told him that I was not worthy to be so blessed but I knew I was. I told him that I didn’t have a perfect life, but that I knew I had a great life with generous, wonderful parents who loved me unconditionally. I felt unworthy of this blessing – understanding that most folks don’t have this life. I knew I didn’t deserve any of it, but for some reason God had placed me in this environment just because. Everybody knows their parents love them, but somehow I KNEW it was from GOD. Before this time, my only thoughts about God were making sure He knew I didn’t need a personal visitation from the Virgin Mary. (That was really popular back then –No thank you. )

Fast forward to 2009

The second time of experiencing a profound sense of God’s unmerited favor was just a few months ago as I traveled to the airport leaving Dubai UAE. I knew that God had arranged the trip when I least expected it, did nothing to earn it, was completely unsolicited, and yet He wanted me to go. In fact, I entered into the New Year with huge challenges before me: drying up contracts, promising job interviews that the economy shut down, finishing up school applications for my kids for next year wondering how it was going to be paid and really REALLY missing my mother. Out of the blue, I was asked by a friend to attend this conference with her in Kuwait which was starting in 3 weeks with a few days afterward to see Dubai – I thought she was joking. Did she remember that I studied the subject matter in grad school? No – God just laid it on her heart to ask me to go.

God literally took me out of my circumstances and sent me half way around the world to relax with a skyline view in Dubai – no conditions. Like the first time when I was 16, tears welled up in my eyes because I knew that God had chosen me. In every view of the Arabian Gulf in Kuwait and then the Dubai skyline, I saw the hand of God in the gift of my friend. Through her willingness to obey God’s voice, I heard His voice saying I was very dear to Him, and that He wanted to show me so in a deliberately profound way. It also wasn’t just about me either – others were blessed to by this favor toward me.

What I know for sure it that God uses us as the vessels to bless others. We go day in and day out ignoring, discounting, and sometimes berating the conduits of God’s blessings in our lives and the lives of those around us. We need to cherish and honor these relationships, everyone that we come in contact with. We need so see them for the gift from God that they are and seek to share that gift to others. Grace comes in the smile of stranger, the hug of a child, a beautiful bloom in an unexpected place, a random compliment from your spouse. It is really all around us, if we have eyes to see.

Jesus did not wait till we deserved salvation to give His life for us – He extended grace when we needed it. Unlike Will Smith’s character in Seven Pounds, He is not going through our records and proving our character to see if we deserve the gift of life, grace, healing, provision. No- He says come to Him as you are, where ever you are, however you are.—and He’lll do the work in you as we allow Him access. In fact, He says “Come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy in the time of need”

And sometimes, when you are least expecting it – He sends a fresh breeze of His grace and perhaps a fresh rain, to water and cool the dry places of our souls. Just because He can.

On the Arabian Gulf at dusk

On the Arabian Gulf at dusk