My intent was to post a beautiful encouraging devotional about joy. I had it all eloquently written. The message was wrapped around symbolism comparing two candy bars, a Mound bar and an Almond Joy bar. The gist… the analogy was the almond being joy in the center of all the gooey and darkness surrounding it. The gooey substance (our mess) was the creamy coconut filling and the darkness was the chocolate that covered it. Basically, the almond is the firm center beneath the surface, and a stand alone, with or without the stuff. The Almond Joy bar cannot even exist without the almond. As with our Christian journey, it cannot exist without JOY! Without the almond (joy), our live’s would be just like that Mound bar, simply a gooey mess covered in darkness. Jesus is our joy and without Him as Lord and remembering Him being our Savior, our lives will be ‘all that’ without Joy. Jesus is the center of our lives and the Center of our Joy!

Your question… what happened? Life happened, I did not feel like I was in a joyous place! Life has it’s twist and turns. James 1:2-4 reminds me to count it all joy when I fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of my faith produces patience, and patience must have its perfect work, so that I will be perfect(mature) and complete, lacking nothing. I went to bed frustrated, prayed…slept, woke up frustrated, prayed, spent time in Numbers 25:1-13. Well, guess what? Yes… still frustrated. But there is more, I can add joy to my frustration. Joy is not a feeling, it is my position.

The situation that is causing my frustration has not changed, but I know God in His time will change me and my response toward the situation. I do not have a warm and tingly happy feeling about it. It is going to be a struggle to work through the frustration from yesterday. I left the situation at the Lord’s feet, hoping not to go pick it back up and carry it. However, the feelings associated with it is like an ache that has to wear off and be massaged out. The Holy Spirit is my masseuse.

We cannot operate in joy & peace by allowing our feelings to guide us or dictate negative responses. I recognize that the situation is frustrating and that I will have to operate in love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, Gal. 5:22-23, to experience joy and not just have the head knowledge of knowing it exists for all believers in Christ. I want to experience all that God has for me. SO, yes I am still frustrated, but I have joy in the midst. I choose the Almond Joy bar and will pass on the Mound bar. I do not want to experience the mess and dark days without the Joy, after all James says, “when we face or fall into trails and various temptations“. That day will come, but joy is center and beneath the surface. Take a bite!

Heavenly Father, thank you for the trials and temptations that accompany life. We thank you that you have worked them into our journey for good and your glory. We thank you that joy is ours and it cannot be taken even when we face challenges. We thank you that you do not condemn us for feelings, but you guide us through them. Thank you for being with us in all things, even the disappointing ones. You are faithful! Your mercies are new every morning and in them we are not consumed! GREAT is your faithfulness!! Amen!

I believe I will run on… enjoy your blessed day!

the journey flows…

Through the Eyes of Eternity

There used to be a saying, “what you see, is what you get”, and it was even a song. The sentiment behind the saying and the lyrics is basically, our eyes are not deceiving us because what we experience is real and true. I am sure life-experience has taught you that this is not a factual statement. And as for the spiritual mature, not only life-experience has been a great tutor but also experiencing life in Christ and spending time in God’s word has shown to school in the arena of life most expediently.

When we fix our gaze on situations in 2-D with the notion that we are making sound judgments, we deceive ourselves and could cause irretrievable harm to ourselves and others. Especially when we make decisions regarding our present circumstances that we think will last forever or are final and there is no hope for change. One of my favorite life verses, 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:18.

This verse is comforting during situations that cause me to doubt regarding my future or even present. Any time doubt creeps in, it distorts vision causing distraction and discouragement from my eternal viewpoint.

Simple examples: 1. Someone may have a a son or daughter, who is not measuring up to God’s standard. God’s standards are based on the essence of God’s Word, not on human/carnal expectations that are based on our perception of ‘personal best’. 2. Along with praying, at times, we may worry and imagine a plan to fix things or make people better; It can be something as innocent as helping them along in God’s plan for their lives. At times, we do not see past our problems, even after we have prayed. Shouldn’t we have faith in our prayers and respond toward answered prayer not toward the problem or situation.  Faith is required. If we respond otherwise, then our gaze is out of focus.

A focused gaze is calibrated by eternal perspectives found in what God says through the Bible, Holy Spirit, and others God use to speak His word, but not based on what we think we see. This can be difficult when living with a spouse who is not living up to God’s potential or working with a colleague who thrives off substandard living or viewing self with negative comparisons or waiting on healing. We should ask ourselves “Is God finished?” Since, there is still life and Jesus has not returned and God is not a quitter, then the answer is “NO” … God is not finished! We leave the completion stage up to God. We do our part… pray to God, trust God, and believe in the power of Jesus’ resurrection. God has power to raise anything that we see as dead/no change. Temporal vision kills, but eternal vision brings life.

Eternal vision: Being confident of this very thing, that He who begun a good work in you shall complete/perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:13-18

Remember we cannot trust our eyes, because what we see and call finished in the natural, God turns right around and calls it unfinished… then again, He not only considers it unfinished but has finished it in future eternity. I know… I know…, its mind blowing. Even more reason to look through the lens of eternity by faith while allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us and not trust our vision.

Pray with me: Heavenly Father, Lord, help me to be discerning in all that I see. Help me to look through the eyes of eternity and not with self-centered motives. Help me not make life-altering decisions that can affect others and myself negatively but help me seek you in all matters. Help me to respond to situations with faith in my prayers and your word. Make my prayers align with what you have spoken in your Word, not a wish list for comfort. I am guilty at times, oh Lord, forgive me and show me my conscious and unconscious ways that hurt others and displease you. Help me to be long-suffering as we face discomforts and disappointments in this life. Help me love more like you and show more grace like you but be discerning. Only you can help me fix my gaze according to your Word. This is my prayer, Amen.

The journey flows…


As I was commuting home from work, I began to think and pray concerning my next article. I was formulating and visualizing the draft in my mind. Then my mind started to wonder. I began to think about my friendships. They are precious to me. I value them on a greater level than I did when I was younger. Then, I would analyze the worth of each relationship on the thought of ‘what have they done for me lately’. Not realizing in my younger years, I was keeping score of what I would receive based on how much I thought I gave. Looking back on that, it makes me sick to my stomach to admit the depth of my self-centeredness. I thank God for His sanctification process and His purification. Oh the blood… Thank you God for wonderful change.

There is more, I began to think about facebook friends. I started to ponder about the limited bonding of facebook friends. I asked myself, how can they connect on a deep level when there is no face-to-face time. Facebook friends are just a number, I thought. Are they truly connected? Some people have almost a thousand facebook friends, how could they really call themselves friends? Still, I am writing my next article… in my mind. There is so much I want to say, “Lord guide me” was my prayer.

It is so nice to know that the Lord knows my thoughts from afar. It is so beautiful when He interjects a precept that stretches my faith and shut down my brain with humility all in one thought. This is what the Lord said, look at how many friends you have on facebook. I thought not many in comparison. Here comes the Lord’s love, “What if for every friend, you took the opportunity to share my gospel with that many enemies.” I thought, Lord, do I have THAT many enemies? He said, maybe not, but I do! Talking about humbled, quiet, and no more distracting thoughts, just silence and praying for grace, strength, and courage to witness to not only family and friends but also to my enemies. At that very moment, I realized that some people that I may have been referring to as friends, were actually my enemies and vice versa. After all, if they are enemies of God, then they are enemies of mine. Get busy Zephany!

Another reminder of John 15:18-25, 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ NIV

This helps me with my perspective when it comes to counting friends. It is nice to have friends, but it is even nicer when our enemies can soon become our friends, now that is worth counting.

Pray with me: Heavenly Father, Lord, give me the discernment to recognize our enemies, so that I can befriend them with the gospel. This is the only true measure of friendship. Help me oh Lord, to not look selfishly and inwardly at friendships, but help me look at them outwardly toward you and not what they can do for me, but what they can do for you, oh Lord. I can only do this greater good by your might. Share that with me Lord. Refresh me with 1 Peter 1:3, Lord by your divine power, you have given me everything that I need for a godly life through my knowledge of you, Lord. Help me in my personal weaknesses, and challenges to make them all opportunities for your kingdom. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.

The journey flows…

Temple Maintenance

Whether it is early morning, midday, or late evening, there are always thoughts toward temple maintenance. The thoughts range from: when will I be able to exercise and fit it in today; maybe I will get a walk in during lunch; I have to make sure I take my medicine; how many carbs was in that dish; did I have enough protein or water today; how much do I weigh this morning; or I have to make sure I ‘do’ my insulin shot. Then there is a temple to-do list: brush the teeth, comb the hair, moisturize the body, clip the ends, shave the legs, pluck the chin hairs, wax the axilla (armpit), etc., etc. Whew! That’s enough, but certainly not all. Did you experience a level of exhaustion at the thought? Well… I did!

With each passing day, the thought of one day not having to exert another ounce of energy toward this cycle of maintenance on this physical body makes me long for my new domain, my new glorified body and heavenly home. I rejoice in 1 Corinthians 15:41-49: 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory. 42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies. 45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly manNLT Hallelujah!!!

There will be no more physical maintenance with this promised splendor. God is amazing with His grace in how he has given us rest from what can seem so taxing at times. It is all well in good when the thought leads me to praise God. However, when the thought causes me to setup any type of drudgery with this temple, I must change my perspective and then rejoice over the maintenance that is needed not only to keep the temple fueled for kingdom building matters but also to keep my personal walk free of sin, either outside or against the body. Simply saying, I must keep my body healthy and free from sin.

In this, I rejoice. My body is pure because of the blood of Jesus, but I must walk in that pureness without sinning. After all, that is my God-given assignment. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God brought you with a High Price, so you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT

I pray that these words encourage you to put a spring in your step as it has mine. I am ready for a day of physical and spiritual maintenance to exert as much energy needed for me to go about whatever assignment God has for me. Maybe I can spread some cheer today along with the gospel.

Pray with me: Heavenly Father, Jesus our Lord, thank you for my body, help me not to complain about it or any activity that I have to do to maintain it. Please forgive me when I go too far in my thinking that leads me away from rejoicing about the future with you to complaining about the present. Help me to have balance in all of my thinking. Help me not spend more time cleaning my earthly house than my/your temple. After all each activity for your temple is to honor and glory you. Oh Lord, give me the energy needed for this day and every task called to do today. Help me not drag, but put a pep in each of your ordered steps and if I should misstep, slow me down or trip me up to keep me on the straight and narrow. Help me to honor and obey you, especially when I am weak, disbelieving, and disobedient. Thank you Lord for your forgiveness and your grace. In Jesus’ might majestic name, I pray this prayer, amen.

The journey flows…


Can you stand being blessed? Often times, we either glaze over or forget the fact that Jesus defined blessings in a way that are contrary to personal comfort. It is not that Jesus had no interest in our comfort, but Jesus’ priority was to delight in God’s purpose. This manifested in His obedience. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the multitude and his disciples, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” Matthew 5:3-12 KJV

I want to encourage you today that on our Christian journey when we are humble and contrite and even at times brokenhearted, we are blessed. Those times when we long for God and wonder is He listening and ask, “Where are you God; are you listening?” You are blessed for the asking, God will fill you. Your pureness comes from being washed in the blood of Jesus; if you are saved… you are surely blessed. What about those times when you know that you are right and choose to apologize when someone else has wronged you and you choose to hold your tongue. Instead of being right, choose to be blessed.

Finally, when you are persecuted in the forms of being disliked, talked about, disagreed with, spoken to harshly, qualified but overlooked, passed over, or even lied on because of your consistent life of obedience to God’s Word, you are blessed. You are not to only understand you are blessed, but you are to rejoice by continuing in your devotion and commitment to God and all that relates to God.

Jesus listed a few of the blessings that come with what seemingly and sometimes feel like discomfort: Kingdom of heaven, godly comfort, an inheritance, being spirit filled, mercy, presence of God, and not to mention to fellowship in the suffering of Christ. God’s grace is amazing! Jesus did not teach that a life in Christ would be easy, but He did teach that it will be blessed. Can you stand to be blessed?

Pray with me: Heavenly Father, Lord, thank you for not planning my life with only my personal comfort in mind. Thank you that you are sovereign and do not bend or are swayed based on my comfort or discomfort. Thank you for seeing into the future and mapping out my life out accordingly. Not only for your glory and my good are the rudder for my life but also the good of others. Help me to operate and walk out Holiness with not just myself in mind, but your glory and love for others, especially that they may know you. Help me to live by faith and trust that you have blessed my life by not what I get but by what I give. Help me to give myself totally over to you and let it begin again today. Help me not to desire to just be blessed but to be a blessing. Thank you for your amazing grace, mercy and love. In Jesus’ mighty majestic name, this is my prayer amen.

The journey flows…


Have you ever tried on an outfit in a department store or boutique to find that your hips….?

To finish reading, above, go to and click on the Physical tab… then click the Appearance topic and enjoy my latest article on Appearance.

….You are fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are God’s works… Enjoy God’s blessings today.

The journey flows…

Order in the Court

Picture a Civil Court case. The key players are the plaintiff (the accuser), the defendant (attorney), the judge (ruling authority), the jury (considers ALL evidence objectively), and the public (bystander, onlookers). I don’t envy anyone who has to contend with either one of these jobs or has been on either side of a court case. Hats off to you and my compassion is noted for the latter.

Back to court. Picturing this setting can be quite daunting for some. Now, try to picture this setting in the spiritual realm. Picture this in the life of a believer.

Satan is the plaintiff. He constantly makes accusations against the saints. All are lies and distorted truths. Don’t fret; although, he is an accuser of the Brethren and he will be cast down. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled/cast down. Revelations 12:10 NIV

God is the only true Judge and Jury. God is almighty and sovereign, Omni THIS and Omni THAT. He is the only one who can render a lopsided verdict and it be perfect (meaning we never get what we deserve and get more than we deserve (grace and mercy). He sees ALL the evidence then makes a biased decision and it be objective. Only the righteous shall see God. For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face. Psalms 11:7

We don’t defend ourselves. Jesus is our defendant/attorney; we can’t afford Him. He tried/tries our case ‘pro bono’ and always renders a not guilty verdict.  God’s courtroom is the only court where sinners enter guilty (knowingly) and leaves declared not guilty. Pro bono in English means for the public good and is a Latin phrase for professional work done voluntarily and without pay!  I’ll pause and let you have a praise break…. Enough said…

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2

Mankind are bystanders, witnesses and onlookers who witness sin and sinful deeds. Can be either participants, news reporters, gossipers, and or prayer warriors, even disguising themselves as a plaintiff, attorney, judge, or jury.

Question: Which one are you? Whose roll do we depict being ill-equipped and unqualified?  Only you can truthfully answer that.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Lord, help me today to humble myself before you to honor and worship you for how your death on the cross paid it ALL for me. May my life be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable before men and to you as my worship. Help me not judge people or accuse the brethren not knowing all the evidence. Help me in my weaknesses and when I am out of order. Be my strength and carry me through, Thank you oh God. In your glorious and precious name, this is my prayer, amen.

Doxology: And now unto the only true and wise God, who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen Jude 24-25

The journey flows…

Expect the Expected

Yesterday, I had a meeting with one of the higher ups and an opportunity for anxiety. The predetermining circumstances for the meeting were unpleasant and I was blindsided. The circumstances were out of my control, but nevertheless, I was ‘all up in the middle’. My desire for the outcome was a peaceful meeting and God to be glorified. This, I had plenty control. There is always an opportunity for anticipatory anxiety… “what will the first day be like on a new job”, “what will the doctor say”, “what will someone say to me about this situation”, or “how will this conversation go with my son, daughter, husband, friend, etc. etc.”. I believe you get it. Anticipatory anxiety is real and at times it enters because of the unexpected. But what I have found to be true is to expect the expected. I expected God to be exalted and for a peaceful meeting. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” I said to myself, As much that lie within me, I must live at peace with all men, Romans 12:18. I expected peace, since I am called to be a peacemaker and God had given me peace as fruit of the Spirit. I also said to myself, I must let my words be few, Ecclesiastes 5:2 then I said to myself, ” I will be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to take offense, James 1:19, and then I summed up my self-talk with I will glorify God with my actions and responses.” I knew that walking in love would glorify God. I expect myself to do so. After I had fixed my attention on glorifying God and remembered Psalm 46:10, I was confident that the meeting would go well. I expected it to be, therefore, I had no anxiety. My mind was sound and calm. In fact, I had looked forward to see how God was going to glorify and exalt Himself through the situation. Guess what? He never fails, what a blessed meeting. We were both blessed. I could not control what predetermined the meeting, but I had plenty control of what determined the end of the meeting. We walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me today, to remember these precepts as I live out today in love, being intentional with every word. Help me to have my gaze fixed on glorifying you at every crossroad today; when there is ample opportunity to walk the straight path, help me when I am weak and want to go left or right. Keep me confident in your divine power and plan. Help me to expect the expected and that is you to be glorified.

I pray that you can relate and that your journey today be a blessing. The journey flows…

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Heavenly Father, we thank you for trials that test our faith. We thank you that you allow them to strengthen us and not harm us. Help us to not grow weary in well doing and understand that if we do not faint we will reap a harvest in due season. Lord as we move through the days and nights of our journey help us to depend on your grace, mercy and love to see us through and guide us. By your grace we can trust you and grow wiser as we grow through each experience in this life. Help us today, oh Lord, to keep our eyes fixed on things eternal not on carnal matters for they are only temporal. Thank you for the blood of Jesus Christ, your son, our Savior and Lord, that continues to keep us in your ever presence and right fellowship. Bless your mighty and majestic name, this is my prayer, amen!