31 December 2011

2011 'Year in Review'

Well, it is the last day of 2011! Now is the time for the somewhat customary 'Year in Review'. Therefore, I offer my year in review. And, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then this would sum up my description of 2011.

I don’t know about you, but the year 2011 – from beginning to end – absolutely kicked my tail!  And while I know that I have victory through Jesus, it does not change the fact that I took quite the beating this year.
  • It began in January with the worst Lupus flare-up I have had in some time.
  • Followed by a foreclosure at the end of May, a stay in the hotel and then on to my sister’s house since we could not get into any of the homeless shelters that I contacted. I have had four addresses this year – after fourteen years of consistent residency in the home that my children grew up in.
  • My minivan – which was having some challenges and had a non-functional A/C – worked like a charm (even the A/C) right when we had to move - which was a true blessing since it was ‘hot as blazes’. Then it failed inspection; I was without it for all of the summer, finally got it back and working (somewhat miraculously), only to have the transmission start acting up and then ultimately having to sell it to avoid homelessness for a second time this year.
  • And, somewhere in the mix of all those things, there were some parenting challenges, some broken down family relationships, praying for friends struggling with illness, heart breaking with pain for others going through their own 2011 wilderness experience and some disappointed dreams – namely the publishing of my book. And these are just the highlights ...
Yet through it all, He has walked with me and carried me when necessary. He has kept me from being utterly consumed. Hence, I can claim victory – bloody, battered, tattered, tired victory – but victory nonetheless. After it all, I am still standing -  stronger, wiser and much more patient. Praise God!

And I can find just as many blessings as there were setbacks.
  • Although we were without a place to call home for several months, we were never without a roof over our heads.
  • Despite the flare-up, all of the scarring on my face cleared up.
  • The children issues, however trying, worked out for the good. Still believing for complete healing for my son's back.
  • The family relationships are on the mend, being reconciled by the power of Christ.
  • I got back to full-time work, although I am still praying for something permanent and with better compensation.
  • I met two ‘earth angels’, a good-hearted woman named Glenda and a kind gentleman, with a wealth of godly wisdom, named Eddie.
  • Breezed through a hurricane and earthquake, in the same week, without incident.
  • I have been blessed with a very dear friend - who is more like Christ than she realizes - one who has 'stuck closer than a brother' throughout this year. And I have the joy of other friendships that have blessed me in ways that went beyond my imagination.
  • My two eldest sons received generous grants for college and my youngest got to stay in his same school despite the moves.
  • We had a roof over our heads for Christmas - our own space, our own home/place (however humble) and we are all in good health (including my sweet pup Chico).
And I even got to see some of the things that I was imagining come to pass in 2011...
  • My church’s building is up – expected to be complete by late spring.
  • I have definitely seen the fruits of the spirit developing in my life.
  • And I pray that you all have had a wonderful journey with the LORD this year – that it will only get stronger and go deeper as you enter into 2012. 
'Amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Christ who loved us.' Romans 8:37 

I am praying that you will be safe, that you will prosper and that 2012 will welcome you with abundant blessing and favor from the LORD. 

Happy New Year!
Much Love in Christ, Zenobia 

28 December 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 'Journey's End?’

Well, it is the last JOURNEY 201¦1 message. It is hard to believe that the year has gone by so quickly. This journey series comes to an end but the journey with the LORD does not. And it remains essential that we seize every opportunity, knowing that the next years, days, hours and even minutes are not promised.

I was hoping to have something profound to share on this last journey message. But it is a very basic message and one that I have touched on, in part, in the past. Sometimes the best message is not the new message but the most fitting one. So, journey back with me to a subject I covered this past spring – right after the unexpected passing of my cousin. The subject? Now –

Why mention this as part of our last journey message? Because now is the time of year where people start thinking about everything that could have, should have and did not happen. It is the season where the mind replays all the things that did happen – filled with regret over some things and filled with longing for some others. Now is the time of year when people start focusing on resolutions for the New Year. Yet, now is the only moment we definitely have. Now is the moment we can impact – not yesterday and not the unknown possibilities of a tomorrow which may or may not ever manifest.

Missing someone? Call them ... now. 
If you have wronged someone ... Apologize ... now.
If someone has wronged you … Forgive … now.
Do you love someone, really love someone? Tell them … now. 
Has someone blessed your life? Thank them … now.
Want to bless someone’s life? Pray for them … now.
Longing for time with loved ones? Make it a priority ... now.
Concerned about someone’s salvation? Share Jesus with them … now.

Do you want to be closer to God?
Seek Him … now. Trust Him … now. Draw near … now.

Do you need a change in your life?
Are you uncertain about your eternal destination?
Accept Jesus and His free gift of salvation now.

‘Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your heart …’ Hebrews 3:7-8

Whatever God is telling you to do, in your relationship with Him or with others – do it now.

Ecclesiastes chapter three tells us, ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.’ Yet often times we pray to God to change our season and we wait patiently for it to progress, not realizing that there are some seasons that we have the power to change. The season of weeping can be transformed into a time of laughter if we will but reach out past our own pain to embrace joy or reach into someone’s abyss of sorrow to share love and give hope.

Whether you are living, loving, sharing, growing -
Giving, forgiving, caring or serving …

Whatever you do … do it NOW!

The Journey's End is Just the Beginning ...
Keep Enjoying the Journey!

stand ready ...

Good Morning!

This is not the weekly journey message ... I will post that this evening. I'm on my way to work but I had to share this. I was dreaming about singing this song with a group of fellow Christians and woke up singing it.

'You must worship Christ as Lord of your life.
And if someone asks about your Christian hope,
always be ready to explain it.'
I Peter 3:15NLT

'For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes ...'
Romans 1:16

Have a Blessed Day!

26 December 2011

Everlasting Glory

The day after Christmas – for many it is one of the saddest days of the year. Somehow, all the wonder and joy fades away with the setting of the sun on Christmas evening. Whether it is disappointments over family gatherings gone wrong, the friend that did not call, the gift that did not manifest, the engagement that did not happen, or just the sheer exhaustion of parties, shopping and decorating – the day after Christmas can prove challenging for many. But it does not have to be that way.

Yes there is a sense of awe associated with the Christmas season but it does not end with the day that His birth is acknowledged. His is an everlasting glory...

  ‘… the LORD will be to you an everlasting light,
and your God your glory.’
Isaiah 60:19

His miraculous conception and birth are worthy of celebrating. But His life, death, resurrection and current position as reigning King of kings instills a joy that is not dependent upon a season, songs, gifts, decorations or even relationships. He was and is a precious gift to us all and ‘we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.’ Romans 5:11

The festivities can continue all year long as we remember, ‘to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.’ Daniel 7:14 

Everlasting Glory …
What a mighty God we serve!

25 December 2011

Chrstmas Blessings...

Merry Christmas!

There are so many blessings to be thankful for this Christmas. I am thankful that the good LORD has walked with me through this year. I am thankful that His Holy Spirit has equipped me with wisdom and strength. And I am most thankful that Jesus was born, lived, died and rose again so that I might have direct, personal fellowship with the Father and confidence of an eternity with Him.

There is something about this season that just fills me with joy and causes me to consistently reflect on the true blessings in my life ... and to give thanks. I absolutely love the Lord! I am thankful for my sons and my family, for my friends and even my little dog. And my aim is to carry this feeling of hope, this spirit of gratitude, this discipline of recounting the goodness in my life with me all the days of my life and not just during the Christmas Season. 

I pray that you will celebrate Jesus today – and all of the unique blessings that He has placed in your life.

Praying you have a wonderfully blessed day ...

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! 
How great is the sum of them!  
If I should count them,
they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake,
I am still with You.
Psalm 139:17-18

24 December 2011

born to die ..

come & worship...

Just had to re-post this from last Christmas Eve ...

Merry Christmas!
During this season we,
Celebrate His birth
Reflect on His life,
Remember His death
Rejoice over His Resurrection
Proclaim that He Reigns
Come and Worship,
Jesus Christ, our LORD and King!

No One ...

'But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.'
Romans 5:8

21 December 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 ‘Merry Christmas!’

Merry Christmas! 

Just wanted to take this journey message to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Hard to believe how quickly this year has gone by.

I finally got my tree up and decorated this past weekend. And, even though it is the same traditional snowflake winter theme, it warms my heart just the same. This year’s new ornament was a music note – reminding us that we always have something to praise God for and serving as a symbol of remembrance that, despite a grueling year, we have not lost our ‘song’.  

I have my children - three wonderful sons who I love dearly. They are my heart!

I have my faith which keeps on budding ... no matter the circumstances or surroundings.

And I have peace, health and joy. I am truly blessed!

Praying you will have a blessed rest of the week and a joyful, Christ-Centered Christmas day celebration.  Much Love!

20 December 2011

God is God ...

Men as Men; God as God   
"I, even I, am He that comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; you have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?"   - Isaiah 51:12-13 

Let the text itself be taken as the portion for today. Read it, believe it, feed on it, and plead it before the LORD. He whom you fear is only a man; while He who promises to comfort you is God, your Maker, and the creator of heaven and earth.
     "Where is the fury of the oppressor?" It is in the LORD's hand. It is only the fury of a dying creature, fury that will end as soon as the breath is gone from the nostril. Why, then, should we stand in awe of one who is as frail as ourselves? Let us not dishonor our God by making a god of puny man.  Let us treat men as men, and God as God; and then we shall go calmly on in the path of duty, fearing the LORD and fearing nobody else.   
from Faith’s Checkbook by Charles H. Spurgeon 

God as God ... and why?
Because God is God - The One True and Living, Great and Mighty
And, since we are His - purchased by the blood of Jesus and indwelt by His Holy Spirit - we can walk in confidence no matter what we face.

This song by Chris Tomlin has been a sort of anthem for me this year and seemed to go perfectly with this devotional I read today. I hope you enjoy…

Have a Blessed Evening!

18 December 2011

His Will ...

‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice – recall the wondrous things which God has done in and through your life and experience being ‘re-joyed’ all over again as you give Him praises.

Pray without ceasing – the call is for continual prayer to God. Yet, too often we can become preoccupied with praying for ourselves instead of praying for others. But the Word of God give us these confidences:
  • The LORD Jesus Christ intercedes for us (Lk. 22:32)
  • The Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Rm. 8:26)
  • The Father hears (I Jn. 5:14)
Therefore we can focus less on ourselves in prayer and more on the needs of others. So often we have no idea what is going on with neighbors, with brothers and sisters in the LORD, with natural family. So many are facing situations and circumstances which have them bound, imprisoned by tears and fears. Yet, there is something we can do and that we are called to do: ‘Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.’ Hebrews 13:3 NLT

In everything give thanks – give thanks in everything. There is a reason for thankfulness in every situation, in every season. Thankfulness does not say that everything is good – rather it searches out the good in everything and honors the Giver of ‘every good and perfect gift’. It understands and acknowledges that ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.’ James 1:17

I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to who have wondered what the will of God is for their life. Yet our lead verse tells what the will of God is:
  • Rejoice always
  • Pray without ceasing
  • Give Thanks in everything
May God bless you richly today and always and may you make the time to bless someone else, in word or deed or prayer!

16 December 2011

Psalm 33:21

Our hearts shall rejoice in Him,
for we have trusted in His holy name.
Have a Blessed Day!

14 December 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 ‘Believe’

BELIEVE :to accept something as true :to have a firm conviction

‘Believe’ is simple to speak …
‘Believe’ is challenging to execute ….
And yet, ‘Believing’ is critical to living, to experiencing all that God has for us.

I am convinced that part of the wonder of Christmas is the fact that the impossible was made possible. God with us - coming to us through a virgin. After receiving such a wonderful promise, Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was in the midst of her own miraculous situation. And Elizabeth's words were every bit as much an encouragement to herself as they were to Mary: ‘Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.’ Luke 1:45

Elizabeth understood the simple concept that you can dispel your fears and increase your faith – your ability to believe – by helping others to believe. In that instant, I am certain that, despite any doubt or intimidation that might have been trying to creep upon her, Mary was reminded of the words of the angel, ‘With God nothing will be impossible.’ Luke 1:37


I do not know the exact situation that you are faced with, but I do know: All things are possible! By all human reasoning, your situation and its remedy might appear impossible – may in fact be impossible. But, with God, all things are possible! (Mk. 10:27)

From a practical standpoint, it becomes easier to believe when we make a decision to stop rehearsing our unbelief. Growing up, I often heard the phrase, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ Well, the same is true when it comes to believing. If we cannot get our words in alignment with God’s promises, it is better to be silent. Take some time to read about the miracles that God performed in His Word and then recount all of the impossible situations that God has made possible in your own life.

May God Richly Bless You!

13 December 2011

True Star Power

A Star 
“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and batter the brow of Moab, and destroy all the sons of tumult.” Numbers 24:17    

His Star 
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”  Matthew 2:1

The Star
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16

Still shining the way for those lost in darkness –     
Dispelling Fears –
Inpsiring Hope –
Instilling Courage –
He is the light of the world!

12 December 2011

Power of Praise!

Christmas – often described as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’
Yet for some, it is anything but. For too many, the season brings with it regrets over broken relationships, memories of loved ones who have passed on and even recollections of times past – wondering if the joy-filled moments will ever be experienced again.
It can be challenging and sometimes you have to make a decision to encourage yourself. Psalm 188:24 states, ‘This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’  Yes, there will be times when we have to ‘will’ ourselves to focus on the positive, to count the blessings instead of rehearsing the shortcomings. One way to do this is through music.
Psalm 27:5-6 tells us, ‘in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.’
‘Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
Sing to the LORD, all the earth’
Psalm 96:1 
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.’
Psalm 98:4 
‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
because the Lord has anointed and qualified Me
to preach the Gospel of good tidings
to the meek, the poor, and afflicted;
He has sent Me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives
and the opening of the prison and of the eyes
to those who are bound …
To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn …
to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
the garment [expressive] of praise
instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--
that they may be called oaks of righteousness
[lofty, strong, and magnificent,
distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God],
the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.’
Isaiah 61:1,3 AMP  
‘Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!
Psalm 150:6

11 December 2011


We celebrate His birth this season.
He can be born in one’s heart
any time, any day of the year.

'For God so loved the world that
He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life’
John 3:16

'... God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us
by the fact that while we were still sinners,
Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.’
Romans 5:8

‘Seek the Lord while He may be found,
call upon Him while He is near.’
Isaiah 55:6

Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!’
Psalm 105:3