Thursday, November 30, 2017

Glory, Glory

I am thinking...
Everyone has or has had a special person in his or her life that impacted them forever.  That impact was so profound that you never forgot that individual. You wondered how they did what they did. They went through so much and seem to come out untarnished, unscathed, praising, shouting and giving God the Glory for even the hardships! These were what you considered STRONG individuals. Have you ever wished you could possess those types of strengths? 
Well in my lifetime, I have met a few people like this. The most impressionable one was a ‘Praising and Praying’ woman, Gloria (Sister Sally). She impacted my life deeply. I met her a number of years ago when I was still a ‘babe in Christ’. We were both young women at the time, but she had a special gift.  She was prayerful and humble.  I was impressionable and ‘on fire’ for the Lord. I absorbed and gravitated to every little positive setting I encountered.   I desired to work in His Church in whatever capacity I could.

I loved to sing, but also soon became a part of a group of Lady Prayer Warriors, for lack of a better title. There were a number of us, as we would go to homes and hospitals to pray with the elderly, sick and shut-in. I recognized instantly that Sister Sally always prayed hard and fervently. I thought…  ”It’s as though no one else is in the room… just her and God.” Whenever she finished, I felt as though I had been cleansed of whatever tarnishing I had and renewed spiritually. That’s how powerful her prayers were.
There was a mutual bond in this group, but for some reason, a few of us just ‘clicked.’  Soon we begin to take turns going to each other’s home to fellowship and pray. I think Sister Sally ‘literally’ taught me how to pray. We prayed for each other, as we were all married, had children, and had no shame in “Letting Go and Letting God!”  We allowed His Spirit to encompass, move and envelope our very being, remembering the scripture: Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst”. And it never failed, as we would each take a turn to pray, it seemed Sister Sally would ALWAYS say the last prayer. Time was of no essence, as we let God have His way. 
I loved watching her when we would meet. Through our initial conversations, she would sometimes sit with her hands on her lap, a broad smile on her face, eyes closed and she would rock back and forth… a very serene vision to witness.  It was like she was slowly gearing up - getting ready to exalt God through prayer. She would pray so passionately and unselfishly, we were automatically brought to tears. On many occasions, we could have easily used more than one box of Kleenex.  She would be crying and her nose would be red and runny (as did ours) and by the time we released hands and opened our eyes, we needed a shower.  “Ain’t God Good!” 
I cannot forget those days. This is for the Praying Woman, who is still in my life.  She taught by example, how a woman prays. “To God Give the Glory!” God bless you, Sister Sally!


PJ Payne

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thank Him...

Are there times when you just want to hide from everyone and everything... run away from home, from work, just run away from it all? Well, join the crowd!
At some point, so many of us want to do just that – run away. Maybe more than once, lol. Some of you may have even acted upon it. Cowards like me didn't have the courage. I would have been wondering what I was leaving behind or what was going on while I was away. But, if you had the strength to do so, okay… hopefully, you went back.
I guess that is why I spend each morning with my Coffee and Thee. Although I may have just arisen from a night's rest, that’s my unwinding time. It’s my time to be with my thoughts, my God, my space, and my coffee. To calm your ‘run away from it all’ spirit, I suggest that you pick your space and chill. Maybe, just maybe you can keep your sanity in the midst of it all.
 No doubt about it, life and things happen! There is NO escaping! But what you must do is “brace yourself for the unexpected. Then embrace it!” If you expected it, then you would not have allowed it to happen in the first place; especially if it had a negative effect on you or your livelihood. Anything you deem detrimental, you do everything within your power to block it, right?
I heard a sermon recently with a title that says it all. When you go through your trials and tribulations, realize this… ‘It Had to Happen’! Your highs, your lows, your distress, and despair – God is taking you down an unknown path and only He knows your final destination. Given the message he wanted to portray, the Minister elaborated in as eloquent a manner as possible - “Stop looking for the reason and start looking for the revelation!”  Start rejoicing and thanking Him!
What I’ve learned is, when something unexpected or drastic happens, we naturally seek answers and ask why.  Everything you deem as ‘going wrong’ is not necessarily going wrong. “He wouldn’t have brought you to it, if He couldn’t bring you through it.” Brace yourself and hunker down, because He may be preparing you for the ride of a lifetime.  But remember who is your pilot, your chauffeur, your navigator; you can make the worst thing that ever happened in your life, work for your best.
It’s hard to be grateful and thankful when everything around you seems to be in shambles. This is especially so, if you are the type of person who is the ‘leanee,’ instead of the leaner. Basically, you have been the one on whom everyone can depend … the confidante, spiritual adviser, a listening ear, the Rock of Gibraltar, the invincible one - need I go on? I’m sure you get the picture. So tell me, who do you go to when you’re in need of support? Do you deny yourself? Do you not open up? Are you repudiating the fact that you have problems or issues? Do you just hold it all in?
Well God knows us better than we know ourselves. He allows us to fall down sometimes so that we will understand exactly where our help AND the help of others, comes from when we get up. Psalm 121:1-2 KJV …from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
There is just no escaping what God’s plan is for your life. Just let Him take the reins. Stop saying ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ when your little feeble mind tells you that you don’t need to go through the hardships you’re enduring. Let the chips fall where they may. Somehow, by way of those downfalls, you really will be able to help someone in dire need of support. The comfort you will be able to give will have been through experience and the BEST teacher.
So, take your punches and don’t run away. Instead, pick yourself up, pick your space and time, and give Him thanks for it all. Yes, it’s Thanksgiving time! Thank him for what you’ve been through AND as hard as it seems, what you are about to go through.

PJ Payne

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Cost

Do you ever wish you could turn back the hands of time... to relive a part of your life? What if you were a kid again? Would you have done anything differently? Would you have taken a different path, as an adult? Would you have not made the choices that you did? If you did make mistakes, do you think you would have rectified them immediately, had you an opportunity? Or would you have been the 'bad boy or girl', seeking attention?
Do you ever wish...?
The Cost

If I had known yesterday
What I know today
How different would things be
Would I have left or stayed

If I had known yesterday
What I know today
My pace would have been a little slower
Would have paved a brighter pathway

If I had known yesterday
What I know today
The things I deemed important
Would have taken back seat to kids and family

If I had known yesterday
What I know today
I would have walked a mile for a smile
And a tear would not have donned a face

If I had known yesterday
What I know today
Living life, and loving harder
Would have been the order of the day

If I had known yesterday
What I know today
I would have struggled more, 
to give, versus to have
Realizing the rewards 
of the 'price' He paid

What I know today...

PJ Payne

Thursday, November 2, 2017

On Bended Knees...

When we open our eyes each morning, we know not what the day will bring, what obstacles we will face, or what our day will encompass. All we really have is grace and thanksgiving that God has given us another opportunity and ability to see another day. One of His miraculous works... Some were not so fortunate.
So what should we do to show our gratitude? “First, give Him the glory for it all!” Thank Him, right now! Secondly, we know prayer changes things. None of us would have made it this far had we not believed in a higher power… in something or someone bigger and greater than you or I… Believing in something as magnanimous as having the ability to watch over us as we slumbered; taking care of our loved ones… even the roof over our heads. What AWESOMENESS! And yet some have the audacity to ‘not believe’? How much more proof do you need?
That’s why I dubbed this article ‘On Bended Knees’. The bend of the knee is the most humbling, yet powerful position one can have. I consider it ‘A Stance’! There is an old saying that comes to mind as I paraphrase… ‘If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.’ Well, what I’m saying is, when you’re on your knees, you’re standing up for what you deem important…
So get on bended knee and stand up –

For Jesus
For your beliefs
For your rights
Hatred to cease

For your family
Your Ethics
Defending your character
Less we forget...
For good health
Our children
Spiritual wars

For your freedom
The ‘Little Guy’
NO Genocide

For our Leader
The Country

For there is nothing more humbling than the ‘Stance of the Knee’.

PJ Payne