Mountain Top

Chain Reaction

 

Methodical lies, theft, manipulation and false accusations were the tools of my opposition. Now I laugh. Through spending time in quiet, releasing the cares of the situation and relying on the Almighty God, I’m beginning to see breakthrough in the areas I have been fighting in, and for, by faith. Seeing is believing. My walk has been one of believing without any sensory evidence. Continuing in the fight for my cause day in and out without observing what I believed to be true has been a place of growth. There were many stumbles, but babies have to crawl and stumble before they walk with confidence.

I possess a burning desire. The desire to recapture what was first given to me in word, then stolen. Though my motivation has always been to fight the good fight, I have to admit, I tried the various methods of the opposing team. My emotions betrayed me, every move seemed to fail: I cursed people, wrote nasty letters, threatened, and even destroyed material goods, eventually, the light began to shine. I am not condoning my behavior. After all, these are the very things that brought me into a place of rage with my opposition. However, when my back was against the wall, what was hidden inside came to the surface. Finally, exhausted, I merely passed out from exhaustion. Only then, was the surface skimmed and elements of my true self came forth. Patience, mercy, love in the face of hatred. To God be the glory! Of myself, I was on the verge of destruction and couldn’t see it.

There are ways that seem right, but end in destruction. When I came to myself, I realized I had fallen into the trap that had been laid for me. The plan of the opposition seemed to be in full swing, I was like them! I cried out! I asked the Lord to forgive my antics and lead me in His way. Any long battle. . .is a long battle. I am human. I get tired. Tired of believing. Tired of being good.

When I was tired, I released hell, and hell was waiting to drag me right on in. So I just stopped everything and reflected on all that happened. In clarity, I was able to see the way of truth and wisdom. Also, truth and love has in turn infuriated my opposition and caused a great release of my goods. My stuff!!! Being nice, being humble, being good, using wisdom caused my stuff to come to me!

Again, this is only the beginning. We aren’t entirely there yet. Nevertheless, I will continue in goodness, faith and love believing for the full return of all that was stolen. There are many things of which I am uncertain. The more I know, the less I know. One thing I know for sure, my thoughts are more powerful than anything anyone can ever throw at me. I become what I think about most. Think on that.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

The Big Move

 

When I first realized I was moving, I failed to take my spirit into full consideration. I believe humans are tripartite beings: we are spirit beings, living inside of a physical body, possessing a soul. The spirit is the part of every man that never sleeps. He lives eternally and has always been in the mind of God long before we were ever placed into the womb of our physical mothers. Being body, our flesh eventually wears to death. Our souls are what dictate the realm of our mind’s will, imagination, emotion and intellect. So, when I heard, “It is time to move,” in my spirit, I immediately began thinking of a physical move. I failed to realize what was actually said to me. I heard it through the filter of my soul and flesh. However, it was later that what I heard accurately register acutely in my spirit.

Since I heard those words, much has happened. Though physically, I may seem to be in the same geographical location, I have indeed moved. The Bible tells me that I am to move from “faith to faith.” I mention faith often in these logs for one primary reason. Faith is the only way to believe in God, therefore without it, it is impossible to please Him. Everything in my spiritual walk begins and ends with faith.

Of late, more has been accomplished in my life by faith than I ever achieved without it. I have intentionally focused my energy on building faith, like a muscle. There are times of weariness, and bouts of fear, which must be overcome and moments where, intellectually, I have to remind myself (soul) that I am no longer choosing to live by the dictate of my flesh and I am dying to its demands.

I have to go with the Spirit. I have frequently thought, “What must Abram have felt when he chose to set out in search of a Promised Land without his family?” and “After twenty years of waiting for a son, being physically unable to reproduce, what must he have thought?” Then I am quickly reminded, “He did not waver at the promise. He believed that what God had promised, He was also able to perform.”

Man! I see why this man who is later called “Abraham” is named the “Father of Faith.”

Though I am beginning to grasp my move physically, I am not there yet. I have chosen to continue to stretch my muscles and attain as much faith strength as possible until the promise is fulfilled.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Commitment: Dealing with Broken Promises

 

People are imperfect by nature. Allowances can be made whenever we encounter a new person or someone who really means well, but falls short of his or her word.

I have found people get really excited when amazing things are happening and seem to think,”How can I be involved (in this amazing happening)?” Typically, if they feel so inclined, they may make a commitment, of some sort. Time, ability, and finance are all types of commitments people regularly make to whatever cause they deem “worthy.” That’s all fine and dandy. It’s all gravy when those committed individuals fulfill their promises. The challenge lies in the unfulfilled promise. What are we to do when people break promises to us?

Recently, having encountered the latter matter, I felt I should assist those who lean towards being disappointed, condemning, and hater-like.

Forgive the person who broke the vow. Often times, people are overextended in some other ways and simply didn’t account well for whatever commitment they made. I know it sounds simple, but that’s typically what happens. Don’t hold it against them. All types of things happen in people’s lives. I know this can take time, but being willing to forgive helps. You never know when you may need a measure of the same grace.

Never bring it up again (if it can be avoided) after forgiving them. When we forgive someone, we restore the standard to whatever it was before the commitment was broken. Now, I’m not saying we blindly trust the person again if we endure significant hardship or loss because of their unfaithfulness. Nor am I suggesting we forget. However, if we really forgive, we release them from all consequence of their poor judgment. (Please use your discretion as to whether or not they can be trusted again). Most people aren’t out for our lights.

Set boundaries. We have to be responsible for our own emotions. We own them, so no one can “make us feel” any particular way. We have responsibility, authority and power over every emotion we feel, so let us not unscrupulously give our power away. Understanding that whatever is going on with the unfaithful individual, is going on with him or her. Not you; and makes no mark against how awesome you are. You are still awesome! Don’t forget it.

Judge Character. Often times, people tell us exactly who they are through word and action. If we are objective, deliberate, quiet and employ the skill of observation, we can often avoid situations with the unfaithful. Not always, but frequently enough.

When all else fails, ask God what to do. He always knows. Sometimes, the commitment breakers are in our lives to teach us important spiritual lessons and sharpen us in ways we would not have otherwise been sharpened, so trust God. Always ask Him.

He’s always able to heal and recover whatever was broken by the careless or unfaithful people passing through our lives. With Him, anything we lose was never worth keeping.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Busting Stuff Up

 

I’ve entered a two-stage housing remodel and working with a lean budget. A few rooms, floors, walls, fixtures, foundation repair, contractors and plumbing issues quickly run the register tape into the +$20,000. What’s fun about this project is I don’t have that kind of money! It could come. But I’m feeling like I am learning to be resourceful and I am stretching my faith in a whole new arena. Water walking starts in…3-2-1.

I held a yard sale a couple weeks back to clear my spaces of clutter, in preparation for the changes abreast. Only four people came over the three days. . . maybe six, if I count the Craigslist shoppers who answered ads in the days leading up to the event. Of those six people, four have become significant resources: labor, talent, time, and knowledge. I have seemingly amassed a ragtag crew of able-bodied, willing people to come into my home and bust up stuff and refurbish my spaces.

I have decided to release the general contractor and enter negotiation with the foundation repair company. I have become a general contractor over my project. Granted, my father is a general contractor and artist, and I am good with my hands (so I know the juice is in me somewhere). But I have never handled a scope of work of this magnitude. This house is big. To my benefit, I have nothing but time and a generous timeline with which to work. I’ve been spending lots of time in quiet, peaceful rest to combat fear and the feeling of being overwhelmed. In theory, I have squinched a $25,000 job down to $7,500. Nothing the Holy Spirit, YouTube and a ragtag crew of creative DIYers can’t handle.

I’m excited to tabulate the final numbers and see how we fair in actuality with our theoretical budget. From my perspective, an entire elephant can be eaten one bite at a time with a tasty sauce.

Kwjuana Thomas

Mountain Top

Faith: An Anecdote

During this time in 2012, my sister informed me she was going to Vancouver, British Columbia to graduate school. A few months later, she boarded a plane to move to the city she had never visited and entered an academic program. In a couple of months, she will be graduating, with honors, from that same program.

This anecdote comes to mind because, like her, I am facing a big move, one that will define my destiny.

When she boarded the plane to leave, only twelve hours prior, we had no money ($0.00). All she had was an agreement to live with some strangers and some scholarship money. No plane fare, no ticket, no rent money or deposit, only a dream, and the reality―a portion of the tuition was better than none. She literally took flight on that. We went to dinner to celebrate with family and neither she nor I could afford our meals. I actually did not eat. Twelve hours later, she was on a plane flying to Vancouver, BC.

Faith. Faith. Faith. It is defined in the bible as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” I like the definition, “the stuff dreams are made of.” Whichever definition you prefer, I think we can all agree faith is invisible. It is a belief in what does not exist. I have met many people in my life over the years who do not believe in what cannot be calculated, seen or held. They need explanations for everything. If someone mentions God, Jesus, or Holy Spirit, they may become violent or abusive. That’s their issue. I love them no less; many of those I am mentioning are people who I have called friends. However, the fact remains, if you want to believe, you don’t lose.

At 7am the next morning, my sister came to my room to say her flight left at 11am. I needed to begin to rise to send her off. When we went to bed, all she had was a promise and resolve! I am still not quite sure how all the money got into her bank account. I remember telling her she needed to tell our family she was without a ticket. The image that sticks out most in my mind was the “faith initiative.” She had a portion of a scholarship, housing lined up had been accepted into the university, she was helped. However, if she had not moved forward on those things and merely asked for the fare, her request would have most likely been denied.

Really, I am just encouraging myself here. If you get encouraged, that’s fantastic! Ask God what He has for you and believe whatever He says. Go out and believe for something! Sometimes we all need a boost of faith, I have been called faithful, so, what I have, I give it freely.

Kwjuana Thomas

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