Thursday, October 11, 2018

'Emotional'

Ever had one of those days when everything goes wrong? Everything you touch turns to mush. You can’t make sound decisions. All you want to do is crawl back into bed.
Well, get up! Brush yourself off! Exhale! Make a fresh pot of coffee and drink up! Go to your quiet place… Whatever it takes to get back on track, do it! Don’t be conquered.  You are the conqueror. You set the standards. You set the pace. You don’t know who is watching you. You don’t know who is looking up to you. You don’t know who is thinking “I want to be like her/him when I grow up.” You just don’t know.  Therefore, seek and find the tiniest thread of hope- tie a knot and hold on. Push forward.  Find the strength you need to continue. This slump you’re feeling is only temporary… just a block, not a bombardment. There is a difference.
Find that passion you know you already possess. You haven’t lost it… only misplaced that fuel, fire, energy, the oomph to forge on.  
Also remember it’s okay to feel this way, as we are all human and have ‘those days.’ Just don’t wallow in self-pity.  We all go through it. Don’t lose your focus. Don’t let anyone hamper or dampen your spirit.

So mixed up,
So confused
You’re hoping your heart
Will not be abused
Putting your trust
Yet again in man
Forgetting that only
One Man can
Fulfill your hopes
Fulfill your dreams
Lord, please help
Set us all free
From doubts
From fears
Remind us of possibilities
If we’d listen and hear
The words… Your words
Over and over again
‘I can do all things…’
And we know we can
If we block out all
The negativity of man
If complete faith and trust
Is put in You
Piercing our hearts
Through and through
Freeing the mind
Freeing the spirit
Of distrust when
We can’t get rid of it
And remind us too, that
‘This too shall pass’
When the fog clears,
Free at last!

Remember, the things
You go through
Are trial and error
You can’t let it control you
With fear, with terror
Let go, give Him
The okay to teach
Again, lessons you have
Already heard preached
That you are not alone
He’s got your back
That you are not infallible
And that’s a fact
That we are all human
Emotions will come
Even if we can’t identify
Where they’re coming from
…just Emotional

Blessings,
PJ Payne


Thursday, October 4, 2018

For Me...

What do you do in the early mornings when you can't sleep? These are the very moments our Father is waiting for us… the quiet moments when intimacy is so important, no interruption.
So why do we become so annoyed when someone is hovering around us especially kids? Kids, normally do this when they are making an attempt to get our attention or our love in that lonely moment. YES, they need reassurance as well. This is exactly what God does with us. So the real question is who has taken up residence in your home?
Consider a marathon that you had no idea you had entered… not to lose weight or to change our outer appearance, BUT to make us remember who the ‘I Am’ really is. He is Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep’s voice. He is the one who will open doors when we knock. He is the Son of God, He is the Light of the World. He is the Living Bread. Remember how we take the Lord's Supper? He is The Vine and we are the branches, He is the Way, the Truth and the Light! He is the Creator of ALL.
Expressions of who HE is, become more personal for each of us depending on our needs for the moment.

For Me…
He is my Strength.
He is my Protector.
He is my Provider.
He is my Burden Carrier.
He is my Guide.
He is my Healer.
He is my Love.
He is my Friend.
He is my Teacher.
He is my Doctor.
He is my Judge.
He is my Forgiver.
He is my Pilot.
He is the air I breathe.
He is the gleaming sun.
He is the sand on the beach.
He is the one who gave freedom.
He is the one who calms my storms.
He is the one who suffered for me.
He is the one who will never leave me.
He is the one who will wipe away tears.
He is the one who never sleeps.
He is the one who gives me peace and shows me mercy.
He is the one who calms me in frustrating moments.
He is the one I seek.
He is my example of how ‘I Am’ to be.
He is who He says He is.

All we have to do is whisper His name and He is there. So, I ask you again, “Who is living in your residence?”

Have a blessed day!

(From the meditating mind of my beautiful and spiritual friend, Cindy)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Scared...

Ever been so afraid that you just had to let the circumstances surrounding a situation, work itself out? I’ve learned that is called ‘Letting go and letting God.’
Several years ago my daughter was going through some medical issues. As moms, we instinctively want to take care of our children, no matter how young or old. Being a young adult, of course, she didn’t want Mama hovering over her. BUT me, knowing my daughter, knew the real deal. Her voice said she wanted her Mama! So after I got the ‘I’m sick’ call and the ‘unsure’ reassuring phrase, “but, I’m ok,” I decided to pay her a visit and told her so. She hesitantly agreed.
I packed up all of my ‘mommy remedies’ and started the tedious journey to her place. On a good day, the commute was about 40 minutes.  That day was NOT one of those days. Midday traffic was horrific and it didn’t help that I was already anxious, knowing she was sick.
After about an hour’s commute, I made it and began my irksome tread up 3, yes I said T.H.R.E.E flights of stairs. “Why daughter, why do you live on the third floor?”  Panting and feeling ‘I’ needed to call 911, I walked to her door and literally leaned on it as I knocked. I waited a couple of minutes and knocked again. No answer. Okay, so I am telling myself not to get excited, so and I knocked harder. After this third time, I decided to call. No answer. Maybe she fell asleep. I then proceeded to walk to what I thought to be the closest wall to her bedroom. I knocked really loud a couple of times. By now, I am also trying not to disturb the neighbors and bring any attention to what was going on, but I am beginning to panic. She didn’t sound completely coherent during our last conversation. What was wrong?
I ran downstairs to see if I had or could see any office contact info where she lived. Meanwhile, I had already called her brother who lived near but wasn’t home. Great! I found an office number, but it went straight to voicemail. Now what? I raced back upstairs and felt no pain in my sprint. My heart was beating out of my chest, not from the run, but because I was so scared. Approximately 40 minutes had passed since I first arrived. What happened? What if she was unconscious, fell, couldn’t move, comatose… Nooo, I needed answers. With knuckles hurting, I bammed on her door, not caring who, what, or where. Nothing!
“Oh, God, let my child be alright,” I fervently prayed. Teary-eyed and with trembling hands, I pulled out my phone to dial 911. As frantic as I was, this was my last resort.
Then I heard the latch on her door as it slowly opened. She stood there, looking totally bewildered and weak. I walked in with questions on my face.  She asked, ”What’s the matter?”  After I told her about the goings-on of the past hour, she explained that she had taken the meds she was prescribed, fell asleep, and the rest was blank…
I could only hug her in relief, and thank God. 

After getting her settled in, this was my write...

Fear- knowing something is wrong
Fear- a void; The unknown
Fear- the ultimate sense of being alone
Fear- the unexpected, you can’t prolong

Fear tears away at the strongest of us all
Fear saturates the mind; you make wrong calls
Anxious to know about the notion
Anxious to see positivity in motion
But God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear
Anticipated results are why we adhere

Stop negations
Stop that train of thought
Have positive expectations
You shouldn’t and you ought
Not think of things
That kill the spirit
Because God is on it
Listen carefully- hear Him

There’s nothing to fear
But fear, itself
Mind over matter
Just the mind 
…Nothing else

Trust Him,
PJ Payne



























Thursday, September 6, 2018

Coffee Thoughts

Have you ever just sat back and thought deeply about how everything around you is really so miraculously made? “That is what my ‘coffee thought’ is about today”. It doesn’t matter how much it rains, hails, sleets or snows, God forbids, His works are meticulously done.
It is reminiscent of how I grew up in a little country town where everyone knew everyone, truly giving homage to the common adage, ‘It takes a village…,’ which brings me to this.
As a child when my siblings, cousins and I would visit our grandparents, we didn’t really understand that we were there, supposedly to help them on their farm. Half of us didn’t know what we were doing anyway and considered it a fun vacation. I remember getting up bright and early in the morning, before the sun came up, grabbing a pail with chicken feed in it and taking it to the chicken coop to feed the chickens-  the same chickens I’d chased the day before! But they laid the eggs I would eat later that morning for breakfast. The boys would ‘slop the pigs’ as they called it. But those pigs yielded the pork roast we would have for Sunday dinner. Or my grandfather would send my brother out, sometimes on wintry nights, to chop some wood to put in that old wood-burning stove. That firewood is what kept us warm when we would get up on those icy cold mornings.
But my fondest memory is those carefree afternoons when some of us, usually the girls, would wander off into the field to play. My favorite game was to see who could find the first four-leaf clover. As I look back, I don’t think it really mattered who won, but my visual is lying in the grass, usually with wild flowers we had picked; naming the shapes of the clouds. I recall laughter and staring at the wondrous beauty God had created, from the towering trees to the birds and bees…
In the beginning, He did it all! And now on my mornings, I remember. 
Gloriously!
I love my mornings
I love my days
And take into consideration
All the ways
That God has blessed me
To see another
Of His great works
One way or the other
For this could not be
Possible without Him
He did it all for me
On a wink and a whim
I’m taking it all in
Absorbing its beauty
Relishing in Him
What He does, without duty
And He didn’t have to do this
For you or me
Dirty rags are we
At His feet

I thank Him and praise
His glorious works
For mine eyes to behold
As each morning lurks 
Again and again
It never fails
Same time, descends
His Magnificence unveils
Glory

Blessings,
PJ Payne




Thursday, August 16, 2018

Back to School?

It's that time of the year and it came fast, didn't it? It seems summer just began! We've entertained children who have been eating us out of house and home for the past few months. There was never enough to do or enough time to do it, so we stretched and sacrificed... camps, vacations, VBS, swimming... you name it! Through it all, we enjoyed a long summer with our kids or grandkids. Most importantly, they enjoyed us. Some do not have the luxury of sharing extra time and bonding with parents who have to work, so when the opportunity avails, the literally 'eat it up'!
But do you realize, although they were out of school they were still in school? We don't realize this but we're teaching them all the time even when they're not in a classroom setting. We're setting examples! We're teaching them about habits, lifestyles, rights, wrongs, do's don’ts. We are a 'walking book!' So don't think just because children are out of school for the summer, they have no learning mechanisms besides phones, tablets, computers, play-stations… (some of which should be monitored). Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, their friends, even our friends set standards and our children and they heed the protocol. They are fast learners!

Children... 

They watch what you do
They say what you say
They mimic and mime
My ways and your ways
They initiate progress
Introducing new subjects
Teaching you things
You’d never suggested
Sometimes agreeable
But disagree too
Telling you’re not ‘with it’  
Saying you’re ole school

Then they remind you
Of the used to’s and would’ves
Saying you did it at their age
Why NO now? You could’ve!

Yes, they prick memories
Of you at their age
Realizing their rebellion
I just a stage
A stage of growth, maturity
Release, and lessons
And you say “Thank you Jesus”
What a blessing
That in all your teachings
Examples, preaching
They’ll remember upon return
You taught them Jesus!

Blessings,
PJ Payne


Thursday, August 2, 2018

"If it Quacks Like a Duck..."

Been there! Done that! Got the t-shirt!
As I sip my brew this morning, what goes through my mind is how conniving, devious, scheming and with all of that type of energy, how smart some people are.
Recently I experienced an online situation and had I not been aware, I would have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.  I was approached by a ‘gentleman,’ as I use the word loosely… He was ‘oh so charming.’ He was subtle, complimentary, open, spiritual… all those things a woman desires in a relationship, especially an initial meeting.  I just couldn’t believe I had actually come across an individual whom I could relate to in so many aspects. PLUS he was intelligent; loved to write also. The icing on the cake was that he professed to be a Christian. Wow! It was as though he felt me and knew my heart.
Here is an excerpt from one of our numerous communications… you be the judge.
He states...
‘I can't recall when I had a more pleasant time talking to someone. Everything feels so natural about you and you sounded so easy going. It's hard for me to identify what it is about you that attracts me so much. I suppose it might be the combination of your charming personality and your good looks. Whatever it is, I can sense its presence. You could call it chemistry or better yet, the possibility that we are on the same wavelength.
I am a very outgoing and fun loving man, with a passionate and generous heart. I try to find the lesson in every situation. Situations of joy, pain, sorrow, love etc., have made me grow emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I am dedicated and committed when it comes to a romantic relationship... I want to be in a relationship where she brings out the best in me, and I in her. I would rather be hurt with the truth, than a lie. I want a woman to see me as her equal. Did I mention that I have many different types of smiles? There's a food smile, a guilty smile, a loving passionate smile, a cooking smile, Lol.
I just find so much to be happy about and sometimes it's the littlest of things. I love surprises! I love giving presents and giving surprises. Actually, I just like giving. I have been told that my energy is infectious and addicting and that I am full of passion. I am looking for a woman who knows who she is. I've learned that communication is the key to a relationship, so she must be able to talk and not hold things in until they blow up. I do not want someone who I will control. Everyone is entitled to their emotions and feelings. I am a big cuddler and romantic. I want those things which money cannot buy- respect, love, honesty, generosity, communication, chemistry, passion, humility and tolerance---to name a few.
I want you to know all about me… I am an open book.’

And this type of communication went on for a few days… He was free with his phone number and where he lived.
Hmmm, and your conclusion?
Mine was ‘you’re full of it!’ I MUST admit that at first, it was intriguing and had my ears perked. But as soon as he began to mention traveling, not home much, working overseas… then the ultimate---MONEY. BINGO!! Good-bye.
I am a very private person, but I divulged this little chapter from my experiences to possibly make some of you, (women or men) aware that scammers and schemers come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. But God gives us ALL we need to sniff out those who don’t mean us any good. Our tool is discernment. If you're a lady and want to generically give it a label, then a ‘woman’s intuition.’ In any case, use it. 
"If it quacks like a duck..."

Blessings
PJ Payne

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Brain Power?

There are times in our lives, especially as we mature that we are so busy and bombarded with our daily goings-on, that we forget stuff. 
Yes, in the midst of what you are doing, you think, “What was I going to do” or, Why did I come into this room?” Yeah, those moments, right! Ever heard of the phrase ‘The mind is a terrible thing to waste?’ Well, I wasn’t wasting it, I had used it and it was at ‘rest’! But, what happens when you have no control over producing a product that you have worked on hard and long?
The following chain of events was the result of how we have allowed other forces to control our lives, but in reserve, God’s still got us. I endured that about a week ago. See, this wasn’t about my brain doing what it was supposed to do, to function and help me write a speech and lesson I would be presenting within hours. It did just that! But it was my technology that defined the finished product. It failed me. 
I had been working on my speech for the past few weeks. I was researching the scriptures; defining and fine-tuning different points I wanted to make.  My subject/theme was ‘When God has you on the Back Side of the Desert.’ The focus was on the children of Israel and the trials and tribulations they endure throughout their travel in the wilderness. My concentrated chapters were Exodus 15 and 16, then narrowing it down to Exodus 15: 22 through Exodus 16: 5. All of those ‘desert moments’ they suffered.
For weeks I left my document open on my computer; wrote my thoughts and research down; returning and tweaking it… then a day or two prior, I had my finished product. YAY! I thought to myself, wow, ‘I DID this’! I began to rehearse… then all that was left to do was print my work.
Approximately 9pm the night before my event, I was fine-tuning everything before printing, and then BLINK! There was a surge in power. My computer went black. My EYES got humungous! What had just happened?? “Oh my God," I thought!  My computer began to automatically reboot, but as it was doing that, I was trying to remember… when was the last time I saved my document? Did I ever SAVE my document?? I was in a panic! As my screensaver and icons began to appear, my heart was racing… Where are my open files?
There were NONE!
Now what? With less than 12 hours until my presentation, what was I going to do? Surely there was a mistake! Surely my open files would pop up any moment, right? Nope AND nope! Devastation set in.  I called on my ‘computer savvy’ daughter to help… she was in shock! Mama, you should always CTRL and S to save as you go... Okay, okay, HELP! She immediately steered me to my recovery files. Yes, that’s the answer! So with anticipation and hope, I searched for my document. I located it! BUT, it was only a paragraph I had done weeks ago. Apparently, that was my last save.  I began to pray… what should I do, Lord? I put my head down on my desk and wanted to just burst into tears… but they wouldn’t come.  My first thought was to cancel. My FEEBLE mind at that point, could not fathom going forth with a presentation that was not amply prepared.
Then my daughter said “You have to rewrite it. You can do this, Mama! You didn’t teach us to give up, so you can’t.  Put on your coffee and start writing! That’s what you do!” WOW! I needed that!
So that’s exactly what I did. As I wrote, God gave me information and drive that I didn’t possess during the first draft. My brain was on autopilot! He even allowed me to recover 100% of the research I had previously done through Google. I was able to produce a lesson that had previously taken weeks to do, in a couple of hours.
I am in awe of His power over us. My lesson had an even greater meaning to me because I had suffered through the idea that I was doomed for failure… 
See, the children of Israel had a lot of questions and doubts as to whether they would make it through.
They whined and complained to and about Moses on every hand. With the manifestations of God's power and everything, He gave them- water, food, and shelter they survived. But He also tested them. They had to keep his commandments and know that HE IS LORD! He even emphasized that He would not allow them to suffer the diseases that He brought upon the Egyptians, for He is Lord that heals.  Most Importantly He wanted them to depend on Him and know He was the One who had brought them out from the land of Egypt.

As I went through my ‘desert moment’, I realized that this was not about me and my ability to put words and phrases together to sound good, or my keen mind to remember or not. This was about God bringing me out and ME depending completely on HIM!

Blessings,
PJ Payne