I’ve been on a Isaiah 43:18 and Philippians 3:13 kick lately. See, as an adoptive parent, I’ve watched my son struggle with his past. The “why me” thing, and things that have happened to him cause him to seemingly get stuck in a rut. And, it’s not just him… sometimes we all struggle with working with bad hand we’ve been dealt, but God says we can all rise above. And when we do, our victory can be our testimony!
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to pre-screen a movie called Unconditional featuring the very yummy Michael Ealy (Think Like A Man, 2 Fast 2 Furious) and very talented Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 50 First Dates).
What I didn’t expect was to become emotionally attached to the message: You can use the pain of your past to heal the pain of others. This movie is inspired by true events in the life of “Papa” Joe Bradford who helps at risk communities in Nashville, Tennessee through his “Elijah’s Heart” ministry. Additionally, Unconditional should be used as a ministry tool to get others motivated to make a difference in their own backyard. As a matter of fact, the movie can get you involved with organizations that could use your past for someone else’s future: Unconditional The Movie
What person doesn’t want forgiveness, reconciliation… a second chance (for some of us third, forth and fifth chance!)!
Check out the trailer and make sure you see the movie which opens this Friday at a theater near you!
Yesterday, I was almost in the middle of a major pile up on I-96 as I tried to fight traffic getting my son to my sister’s. As cars started to accelerate near an exit ramp, someone slammed on their brakes. So, a chain reaction of brakes happened and thank God I was far enough behind the car ahead of me (she came to a complete stop), to slow my car down by using the shoulder.
The music was loud in the car, I grabbed my son’s arm and we slide over to the shoulder as I watched car after car behind me do the same. Like Marvin Sapp sings, “Thank God, I Made It… I Made It Through!” When I finally got off the freeway, I was in tears just thinking about what could have happened. The music was still loud and all my chile’ could do was snicker and say, “oh wow.” Teenagers are a trip I tell ya! That ticked me off so bad that I turned the radio off and shook all the way to my sister’s. It took me about a half hour to calm down before I went to my next destination but the negative thinking still invaded my spirit.
See, it doesn’t matter what causes it… traffic, the news, political rhetoric (a biggie with me right now… ugh!), someone else’s bad mood… once that chain reaction happens, it takes time to calm down. And that’s exactly how the enemy wants to knock you off your square; that is unless you, “Think On These Things.”
When I was younger, one of my most favorite ministers, Brother Andrew Carney, made us memorize and recite Philippians 4:8 at the end of each service; in the King James Translation none-the-less! I thought that was so corny back then. Hesitantly I would mumble, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
But now I find that when I recite the Apostle Paul’s timeless words, there’s a shift in my thinking. Though I didn’t understand what Brother Carney was doing back then, I certainly get it now. So when I got home, I blasted some praise music from Israel Houghton, danced around my room, made the dogs crazy and the devil mad!
But you know what… It worked. Praise God I was reverted back to my Westside Church of Christ days, sitting on the pew, kicking my feet as I grumbled out the words; True, Honest, Just, Pure, Lovely, Good Report, Virtue and Praise.
Instead of dwelling on the negative today… Think On These Things! Oh, and try rocking Philppians 4:8 in theGod’s Word Translation… good stuff! Thank you Brother Carney!
Rest In Peace Sister Bettye Carney and see you on the other side.
As I struggle with some physical issues and with the hurt of watching some of my father’s side of the family lash out at us in pain, I asked the Lord to reveal something… Anything on how to deal with it. I asked God to remove the layers that I have to be missing. He did…
The Lord reminded me of an accident I was in as a teen. I had a really bad injury that required stitches in my forehead. My sisters witnessed the whole thing. It was painful. The doctors sent me home with instructions not to touch it. I had to be careful not to get an infection. I was wrapped like a mummy.
After the wrapping and stitches were removed I was left with a scar, so I covered my forehead with bangs for a year. Time ticked by and I healed from my injuries. From time to time I will get a weird sensation in that area and there’s still a bit of a scar. But the thing is, I went from raw pain to a whole and healed person.
God can do that. You can go from raw pain to healing. You just have to give that pain over to God and trust that He will do it. Cover and stay away from things that will infect your healing until you can remove the bindings and be free! Oh, and those weird sensations you get afterward… a reminder of how far you’ve come with God’s Love Grace, and Mercy.
Peace and Blessings! ~Randi
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”