Monday, December 24, 2018

The Gift

Gifts don't have to come in the form of a beautifully wrapped inanimate object. Some of the most wonderful gifts are God's blessings bestowed upon you at a time when you least expect it.
He was not a Christmas baby and did not come to us in what some would consider idyllic circumstances; but, he is definitely a blessing to our family...

Approximately 12 years ago, our youngest son was excited about being accepted by a prestigious Christian college in East Texas. It was a dream that my late husband and I wanted for him, as well as our other kids, who had gone on to seek careers in their choice of fields. But this young man­- he was the one (it seems) whom we were on our knees for ALL the time. He was the one who ‘tried our patience.’ The one whose parents, the teachers knew by name because we LIVED at the school, for one reason or another. The one who was spoiled and got away with murder, as his siblings whined about him.  You know--that ‘one kid’ in the family. But he was also the child we thought we would never have because doctors gave up on him. The child they suggested, in so many words, we should abort. They said because of high-risk factors, I would not carry my pregnancy full-term. But God! 
Losing his dad at 15 was hard on him, on me, his siblings; hard on all of my family. And then one day, while he was still in high school, it was as though a lightbulb went off in his head. He said, “Mama, I am the man of the house now and I’m going to make you and Daddy proud!” Wow, my eyes teared up. He was growing up and he was determined. He graduated high school and initially went to a community college, as I’m sure he did not want to be away from home and me. Although in high school, he played sports, played piano and had other interests, his true passion was singing. So when he decided to go away to college, I was ecstatic.
He pursued and studied music. His siblings and I encouraged him to keep his focus. He was able to tour the United States with the college’s prestigious ‘Summer Tour Acapella Chorus.’ This group of talented students, from all parts of the US, toured, sang, and at the same time had to keep up their GPA to perform.  These were very proud moments for the family and me, to see him flourish.  One of his tour stops brought him back home to Texas, where he introduced us to a young lady from the East Coast, who sang with them. They were BOTH beaming!
Finally, that day came! He graduated from college.  It was the fulfillment of a dream. We celebrated because we knew his dad would have been very proud of him. The world was at his feet! Then, weeks later, with a bewildered look on his face, he made an announcement to us. “I’m going to be a father!”  I thought, WOW! I shook off initial shock and said “It’s going to be okay son. I know you are overwhelmed right now, but it will work out.” And it did. Through it all, even I had to find strength in my ‘go to’ scripture, Philippians 4:13 KJV- ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’  Finally, we were given a beautiful healthy baby boy. The blessing in ALL of this is that an extraordinary angel was watching over his young parents. This child was born on a very special day--his grandpa’s birthday, January 4th. How befitting!  As the only grandchild, he gives this family more reasons to remember him and celebrate the season with gratefulness, never forgetting he would not be here to carry on his grandfather’s legacy, had we listened to doctors and not trusted God.

And now at nine years old, when I asked him the question, “What should I write about this month Dominic? This article is supposed to be about the Christmas spirit.” He immediately responded, “Write about ME, Nemo! You always said I was a gift from God.”


PJ Payne

Thursday, December 6, 2018


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!
Well in my lifetime, I have met a few ‘Praising and Praying’ women.  But one sister, Gloria (Sally) Criswell, impacted my life deeply.
I met Sister Sally (as we all called 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, I know, 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 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 seems Sister Sally would ALWAYS say the last prayer. And 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 smile on her face, eyes closed and she would rock back and forth… a very serene vision.  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 can’t forget those days. This is for ‘The Praying Woman’ who is still in my life.  She taught by example, how a woman prays. “God bless you, Sister Sally!”
The Praying Woman

The praying woman has a prayer for every situation
The praying woman always prays without hesitation
She goes about as though her life is not one of her own
Her first focus is on others, knowing prayer changes what’s wrong

She deems ‘Too blessed to be stressed’
As a powerful endorsement
And prayer, a necessary
And essential re-enforcement 
The praying woman has no need
To keep problems on her mind
She automatically prays and heeds
To situations that she finds
She has a role in others’ lives
They don’t even seem to notice
She’s there without a visual concept
As she senses and can focus 
Without a doubt, she’s the praying woman
God has given to all indeed
In body and soul, she gives her all
Unconscious of what she needs 
She prays for you unselfishly
With a God-given gift of discernment
You see, the praying woman
Is grounded and rooted with positive refinement 
The praying woman has grace and gratitude
Not seeking praise or fame.
For she gives God ALL the glory,
Doing it all, in Jesus’ name!

PS: "In 2019, Find Your Glory." 
PJ Payne

Thursday, November 29, 2018

'You Don't Miss Your Water...'

Image result for coffee outside
There is an old saying my momma used to say all the time… “You don’t miss your water ‘til your well runs dry.”  I cannot recall if she was quoting lyrics from an old song or if it was just another one of her ‘off the tip of the tongue’ animated expressions she often planted in our heads. Either way, it was repeated enough to embed an everlasting impression. I must admit, I initially did not ‘get it!’ “A well? What is a well?”  I am sure I did one of those ‘eye rolls’ most kids do when they are lectured by their elders. But as time passed, I understood her words clearly.
Too many times we go about our daily duties and onuses without giving a second thought to how we make it from day to day. We go to jobs that we think will always be available; take for granted our good health; give and buy kids things that are well above our means, which they presuppose is a ‘given…’ and the list goes on.
What that expression means is that we cannot appreciate what we have, until we no longer have it. Even the simplest of things, like the air we so freely breathe, is taken for granted. Consider those who no longer have the capability of freely inhaling fresh air, as they become dependent on a breathing apparatus.

As I sit back with my ‘brew’ in one hand and pen in the other, I consider how blessed I really am.  I have had so many ‘water missing’ moments. And now, I think I am ever so grateful for the tiny things because this is my birthday month... A benchmark birthday!  As I embark on a new stage of this wonderful life God has granted me, I seem to have had a huge growth-spurt! Uhhh, mentally and physically! I am not embracing the physical aspect easily, but I am accepting it and claiming good health, Lol. As a whole, I’m enlightened, learned, more vibrant, and comfortable in my own skin. But most importantly, I have grown to REALLY know Jesus. I am Sooo Thankful!  He has and still sustains me. Everything I am and have gracefully endured is because of Him.
Life and those ‘water missing’ moments have taught me so much…
-To be still and listen when I’m anxious- Philippians 4: 6-7
-To take my hands off when I want to fix everything- Exodus 14:14
-When God seemed so far away- Psalm 139
-When I have lost a loved one- John 14:18
-How to let go of pain when I have been wronged- 1 Peter 5:7
-When I realized everyone around me had grown or is gone- Deuteronomy 31:8
-When I put trust in man and not in Him- Psalm 27
-When I have been taken for granted; walked over- 2 Chronicles 15:7
And if I can’t remember anything else but that childhood scripture, encompassing all, I recite- Psalm 23.

So if you are wondering, what will happen next? Why has your well seemingly dried up? How will you make it? Please remember this-

Be grateful. Be thankful
For your now
For whatever situation
That has been bestowed
For He didn’t bring you this far
So that you’d turn around
Be grateful. Be graceful
Start thanking Him.
For He is your


PJ Payne

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Unforeseen Hope

Have you ever had someone in your life that you probably didn’t appreciate at the time? Then you come to realize that it wasn’t so bad after all? I’m sure this has happened to us all at some point and time; be it male or female. See, we learn through ups and downs, trials and tribulations that we were going through, things were not just about you, it was about them too. I definitely had that happen to me and had to figure it out. 
Making this story short, I had a girlfriend in my life for many years.  We had so much in common. We both had wonderful marriages (or so we thought); both had three kids; both were Christians and members of a church community… so everything should have been fine, right? Well, it wasn’t. We were always talking, doing things together, trips with family, singing events etc. As our kids grew up and life happened, her marriage fell apart.  I tried to be there for her but felt as though we didn’t mesh anymore. She stated there was a strain, as she was all of a sudden single and I wasn’t.  It was quite hard for me to accept, and I bucked against it, stating nothing had changed about my adoration for her as a friend. I soon felt as though she threw quite a few insinuations towards me, so I resolved to fold and back away from the friendship.
As a few years, there were other devastating situations we endured… but what I remembered the most was that I felt abandoned. What I didn’t see at the time was how abandoned she must have felt, going through a divorce, feeling unwanted, unloved which may have in a way caused her to harbor ill feelings of jealousy or resentment.
As I stated, there is more to this story, but this was the beginning of understanding that we tend to take too many things personal.  Sometimes things are not what they seem... There's always hope.


I used to gripe about
My very best friend
And didn’t realize
My distinction she depended

Thought she was a mimic
Thought she was a mime
Didn’t put it together, then
What she needed was my time
I was that distinguishing part
Representative of her deficiency
Later I found, I gave hope
Imparting proficiency

She wouldn’t let on
How important to her I was
And wouldn’t give me the benefit
Of bestowing unequivocal love

I began to doubt our friendship
Had qualms about the treatment
I was receiving all but kinship
My importance, I wasn’t believing

So… I became defensive
I began to question commitment
Was what we had all these years
Fake… only a figment?

Finding later, a deeper sense
As we went through some things
Some folks just can’t accept flaws
No matter the pain it brings

See, she was one side of me
And I am who she admired
Didn’t really see the big picture then
Time apart was what was required

Stepping aside
Taking inventory
And in all things, ups or downs

Giving God the Glory

PJ Payne

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The 'Chauffeur'

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, the 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, October 11, 2018


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

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


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. 
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

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!


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!

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..."

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!

PJ Payne

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Give Me...

I’m sure at some point in your life you have heard the phrase ‘Give me my flowers while I can still smell them’. Do you truly understand the meaning of those words? I used to hear my grandmother and then later, my mother say those words and wondered what they meant by them. They would also say, ‘Just live long enough and you will see what I’m talking about.’ Well, I now understand.
I am resolved to the fact that life teaches us lessons that books can’t touch. Sure there are millions of self-help books and clich├ęs to match. So, where did it all come from? LIFE!

As I think on those words ‘Give me my flowers…,’ I can’t help thinking of the fact that so many times in our busy lives we miss what is important. NOW.  Each day we think we will have time to do those things that we didn’t do yesterday or call those people we didn’t get to call the other day. But what happens when the time we thought we had to fulfill those “I will tomorrows” turn into weeks, then months, years- and we never get around to them? Eventually, they are forgotten until, Bam! Something devastating happens. Then your memory returns. But guess what? “It’s too late!”
That is what ‘Give me my flowers…,’ mean. It is not giving real flowers in the physical sense of those words, but just doing those little things. Some things you may deem insignificant can be so momentous to someone in need. And they will remember it.

To give is receipt
Give your parent/s a hug, NOW
Tell someone you love them, NOW
Give them a kiss, NOW
Brush or comb your daughter’s hair, NOW
Physically WRITE a note to your spouse, NOW
Tell her she’s beautiful, NOW
Help a co-worker you know needs help, NOW
Play catch with your child, NOW
Buy groceries for an elderly individual, NOW
Call that long-lost friend with whom you’ve been out of touch, NOW
And yes, physically “Give someone a flower,” NOW

You will see that your rewards will outnumber your regrets. Then, there will be no need for ‘shoulda, coulda, wouldas’.

Be Blessed

PJ Payne