Can’t Get No Satisfaction

no satisfaction blog post

“I can’t get no satisfaction” was a song written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Although the lyrics refer to sexual frustration and commercialism, they are true of human nature. Our flesh is never satisfied! The more we are given or receive the more we want. We are always seeking after or chasing after that that we think will make us happy. Happiness is temporary pleasure based on situations.  And when we find our ‘happy place’ usually it is built upon foundations that we worked hard to achieve or are awarded based on our knowledge, skills and abilities. Unfortunately, once the situations change, our ‘happy place’ crumbles, and we are often more miserable than before because we can’t get lasting satisfaction from temporary situations.

The truth is God never intended for our satisfaction to come from external sources. Certainly, He has graced us with gifts, talents and intellectual prowess, but they are like tools we use to do good works. And to a great degree, self-gratification is the result. However, the dilemma is when we pursue self-gratification and become addicted to the good feeling that comes from doing good works. Still there can be no true and lasting satisfaction.

We are created for God and for His pleasure and delight; we are to live to the praise of His glory. Therefore, our contentment must be in Him. He is the only One that can satisfy our longing soul.  There is a void within us that can only be filled by His Presence. Yet, we seek for other people to fill our emptiness and our need to feel significant and loved. When others cannot meet our expectations, we look for fulfillment in other places and things that are potentially harmful to us physically, psychologically, and spiritually. We become addicted to the temporary satisfaction a few minutes or hours of pleasure bring—good feelings.

Everything in this earthly life is temporal—will not last. The breath of life that is breathed into everyone born of a woman makes us a living soul. And that soul longs for God’s presence!

“My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2).

In essence, our whole being yearns for satisfaction that only comes from the living God.

In this earthly life, Christ desires to live His life through us.  When Christ lives His life through us, we can learn how to be content in whatever situation we are in because we trust Him completely. This is what Paul said, “…I have learned to be content and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy regardless of my circumstances.”  We can learn contentment and become satisfied by maintaining an intimate relationship with God the Father through faith in His Son Jesus the Christ and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). This is a promise that He keeps. When your appetite is whet by God’s Presence nothing can compare—nothing is more tasteful and satisfying. What God designed to bring satisfaction and pleasure is comparable to a man and his wife’s satisfaction during intimacy and intercourse. Even that is temporary ‘happy place’. However, intimacy with the Lord God is designed for eternity!  Crave God. Chase after God! He will quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger!

Only in Christ can we get lasting satisfaction that fills the longing in our soul in which God placed there. It is our “happy place” because our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

 

“Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.”

-Thomas à Kempis

 

 

© 2018 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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From self-will to God’s will

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I sat in the prayer room on the National Day of Prayer read many prayer requests and prayed. I noticed one common thread. The requests were all centered on personal, self-will—what ‘I’ want, what ‘I’ need for God to do. The emphasis was on ‘me’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’.  Please keep reading so that you don’t misunderstand the inspirational enlightenment of this article.  None of the requests had anything to do with God’s will, plan or purpose. There were no requests for ‘more’ of God. There were no prayer requests for spiritual growth, to know God, to have a deeper relationship with Christ, or revival.

Yes, I know the Bible says “…let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6)

Yes, Jesus said, “… ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:8-11; Luke 11:9-13). These passages both speak to the infinite Fatherhood of God and His faithfulness to answer His children who persist in prayer.

However, within the context of Luke 11:9-13, Luke is specific about the infinite Fatherhood of God and what the Father will give if we ask, seek and knock.

11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13 NKJV)

Conclusively, the character of our Father is such that we can always trust Him to give what is good for us according to His sovereign plan and purpose for our lives. Sure, we should let our requests be made known to God. Ask! However, we must refocus and make sure that our will is not the object of our prayer requests based what we ‘think’ is good for us. Sometimes God uses adversity and painful times in our life to bring out the ‘good’ He has purposed for us and even our family. What we pray for and want God to change or fix for us is not always what He has purposed for us.  The will of God must always be the focus. For example, I know several of my Christian sisters who have been healed of cancer as well as some who transitioned although we prayed for their healing. When we look at this from God’s perspective, we can conclude that God’s will was done. He answered our prayer, nevertheless, not according to what we “wanted” (our will), but what He wanted (His will). Still they were healed! The ones He wanted to continue in this life for His purpose were healed.  The ones He called to their eternal home were also healed for His purpose. We do not get to dictate the purpose of God, who works all things according to the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11).

I admit, I do not like the challenges of life.  I am sure you don’t either. We do not like to ‘go through’ the process to get where God is taking us.  Yes, we pray asking God to change the situation—make things comfortable, take the pain away. But the more appropriate questions are: Is the situation working for my good? Does the pain have purpose? Is what I am facing for my good although it hurts? What lesson to be learned?  The psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statues” (Psalm 119:71). We must take the focus off us—our need and our will. We must refocus on the loving, infinite Fatherhood of God. He is the Sovereign Lord! He is our all-knowing and all-powerful God! He is our faithful Father, who loves us unconditionally. He wants us to ask, seek and knock—be persistent in prayer. However, we must trust Him to answer according to His will, plan and purpose for our lives. He is more concerned about His children than any earthly father and will give the most precious gift of all—Himself, His Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

©2018 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

It is finished: Personal Application

Jesus cross

The Easter Bible study at my local assembly last evening was extremely enlightening. Each presenter shared messages on these five topics: The Upper Room, The Garden, The Trials, The Crucifixion and The Grave. Each one of them was outstanding and biblically sound. However, the one that shifted me and my perspective on Kingdom assignment was The Crucifixion. Elder Anthony Eagleton focused on Jesus’ three words on the Cross.
You probably guessed them…

“It is finished!”

Elder Anthony shared with the audience, in essence, that Jesus made a public declaration that everything His Father had assigned to Him was completed. Every task on Jesus’ “To-do” list was checked, “Completed.” IT IS FINISHED!

This morning, those words were still in my spirit. During my meditation and devotion, I pondered Jesus’ words more deeply— “It is finished.” My perception was challenged as I thought and prayed about my Kingdom assignment. As I sat in the presence of the Lord, I asked: Will I be able to say, “It is finished?” I had to refocus and continue assessing my life in regard to God’s purpose, basically why I was born.

Am I doing what has been assigned to me?

What am I doing that has nothing to do with what God has purposed for my life in this season?

If I lose focus on my specific assignment, I risk incomplete tasks assigned to me because I am doing something that is not on my “to-do-list” from God. When we are graced with natural skills, talents (gifts) and abilities, it is easy to get distracted by just doing good works, even church activities. But is it what God has assigned? Does it have eternal purpose? Yes, every good and perfect gift, our talents and abilities are from the Father of lights. However, they are given to use in collaboration with our perpetual call and Kingdom purpose. For example, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John were skilled fishermen by trade. However, their assignment was to become fishers of men for the eternal purposes of God—leaders and builders of Christ’s church.

Elder Eagleton’s message about Jesus’ three words on the Cross before He gave up the ghost reminded me of the importance of being focused and committed to my Kingdom assignment and the perpetual call of God on my life. When we are chosen by God, sometimes we are so focused on our inadequacy, weaknesses and imperfections that we become so fearful that we settle for the busyness of church activities. Truth is Kingdom assignment is not about our weaknesses and imperfections. Kingdom assignment is what we are supernaturally anointed (empowered, enabled, equipped and qualified) by God to do. Kingdom assignment is about God’s power, faithfulness, grace, and our obedience.We just have to say, “Yes, Lord” and trust Him to work through us.

If those of us who know our specific calling and assigned area of ministry are not careful to discern Kingdom assignment from church activities, we can become comfortable with  doing good works and activities instead of being focused, consistent and driven by God’s purpose and specific assignment. For example, the 1st Century church was doing a good work—serving food to the poor in Acts 6:1-4. A complaint of discrimination arose by one group against another. Although it was a good work, the apostles discerned it should be administered by others, so they could focus on their specific assignment. They assigned serving tables to others qualified to handle that responsibility. They understood that it was not appropriate for them to neglect their specific assignment—teaching the word of God. In verse 4, they said, “…we will devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Amplified). Please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am not demeaning church activities.  They are necessary in the life of the church and must be done. However, busyness in church activities should not become a comfort zone or a substitute for our Kingdom assignment.

While I sat meditating and listening, the Holy Spirit reminded me of how I was directed to Acts 6:1-4 years ago when I was working a 9-5. After six years, here I am a retiree refocusing and redirecting my attention to my specific assignment—prayer and the ministry of God’s Word. Everything else is now secondary.

To complete my assignment, I must also say what Jesus said:

I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).

I must work diligently to declare as Jesus did, “It is finished,” I completed the tasks that the Father assigned to me.

 

 

Copyright 2018, Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc.

Everyone Will Take a Knee!

 

Las Vegas thoughts_prayerHere we are, the United States of America, mourning again because evil has raised its ugly head and used someone vulnerable to carry out an attack that massacred 58 lives and injured over 500 people. 

 

Once again, lawmakers are bracing for politics on gun control! We’ve been here before, many times. When does it end?

 

“And once again, a stunned nation was left to grapple with a city riven by tragedy and a resurgent debate over gun control and gun violence. The White House and many Republicans insisted it was a time to mourn rather than launch into political battles, while some Democrats renewed calls for gun safety legislation.” -The Washington Post

The question why? Law Enforcement will investigate the shooter’s background and dig up his past, including his family history. They will interview family members who had no clue their relative was capable of such violence. That’s the norm after the fact of the act of violence against fellow human beings. What could have been done to prevent such a tragedy? Sad to say, probably nothing.

Only a few days before, the media coverage was about NFL taking a knee.  However, immediately after the Las Vegas tragedy social media timelines and tweets were trending with spiritual sentiments and requests that suggested our Nation assume the posture that symbolizes a religious ritual—take a knee (pray). How ironic!  Different messages, but same motivation—a nation that desparately needs a cure for its social ills.

kneenflWhy is it that, as a Nation, we only come together in solidarity to express our care and concern when faced with tragedy, whether natural disasters as with Hurricanes or mass murders caused by gun violence?  Pain is not prejudice. We all are emotional beings regardless of the color of our skin.

There is an innate part of humanity that connects emotionally when there is tragedy and inhumane acts of violence.  We all have feelings. Unfortunately, when those feelings are uncontrolled along with deranged thoughts people behave in the worst ways.  When hearts and minds are darkened by evil, demonic forces seek to destroy lives and maim humanity by using those vulnerable mentally and emotionally. Although time is spent looking for an answer as to why, it just may be there is no logical answer only a spiritual one, which many will dismiss as nonsense.

 

The Word of God speaks truth to power and offer a solution to our dilemma:

 

22 “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 43:22)

 

What God Almighty, Creator of the heavens, the One who formed the earth and established it has decreed in righteousness shall be fulfilled.  Unfortunately, one of the most effective ways that a generation can see God’s word manifested is by experiencing troubles, tragedies, and judgment.  Unrest, threats of wars, natural disaster, destruction, and desperation have a way of redirecting our wayward thoughts so that we cry out to the Creator for help, although we have consistently rejected Him.  AND the Good News is He will help us although we have not known Him.

 

23 I have sworn by Myself;
The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness,
And shall not return,
That to Me every knee shall bow,
Every tongue shall take an oath.
24 He shall say,
‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength (Isaiah 43:23-24).

 

Whether we deliberately twist the message about taking a knee or debate our beliefs that it is disrespectful of the flag and our country is irrelevant at this point. What is relevant is the Word that Almighty God has decreed – To Him every knee shall bow (Romans 14:11). The ultimate disrespect is a nation that is blatant about its irreverence to the Creator of the Universe, our Maker.

 

God’s Word will make us all take a knee regardless of differences, backgrounds, beliefs, prejudices and preferences, religious rhetoric and ritualism, intellectualized opinions, or opportunists with political agendas.

 

As we, the “great” United States of America mourn once again because evil raised its deceptive head, I pray that we let the innate likeness of our Creator within humanity bring the healing we desperately need.  I pray that we look to God for the salvation and hope that can only come through faith in Jesus Christ.

May we take a knee and pray, “God Bless America.”

 

May we really live out this slogan, “In God we trust!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©2017 Queen E. Phillips, Majestic Ministries, Inc.

 

They Killed the Man, not the Message!

The timeliness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth was an appointment predestined by God for his assignment in the earth.   Therefore, his growth and development into manhood, and his advanced matriculation in education were necessary to meet the urgency of mankind’s need to hear what God had to say and do for generations to come.

To the unenlightened Dr. King was just an intelligent man with great oratorical skills and a public platform.  Many honor him only for his fight against segregation and inequity in the Deep South.  For many, observance of the holiday simply means recognizing a great Civil Rights leader.  Yet, for some, he was a voice that condemned the ugliness of racism smeared in the faces of nonwhites and Jews.  To others he was the voice of greatness— an icon to the rise of “black power.” To the degenerates, he was a dangerous threat to the kingdom of darkness that must be annihilated.

However, I know for me; he was ‘the voice of the Lord’ back then, now, and in the future! It was the voice of the Lord back then because segregation and injustice were worn like badges of honor, and celebrated with pride. Although public segregation is no longer, Dr. King’s message is the voice of the Lord now because the seeds of segregation are still being harvested in soils of ignorance, and injustice is a mockery. We see it acted out in the judicial system like the characters in a Broadway production. We see crimes of injustice committed by law enforcement agents, who are the very ones sworn to uphold law and protect the citizens.

I was only sixteen years old when the news of his brutal assassination was announced at the small segregated school I attended in Louisiana.  To this day, I recall the emotional upheaval this news brought throughout the school as well our small community of underprivileged “coloreds.”  In particular, I remember my own emotional outbursts.  It was a ‘gut-wrenching’ queasiness I’d never felt before.  Perhaps, it was like that of receiving the news of my father’s death, if I’d had a relationship with him.

I believe the prophetic anointing within me (not yet recognized or released) grieved for a true prophetic voice silenced by a nation rebelling against God’s will for humanity, addicted to hatred and committing heinous acts of violence against its fellowman.  I didn’t know then, but I know now that the spirit of heaviness overshadowed me because the resounding affects of an audible voice inspired by the Holy Spirit would be silent forever.  This man was the voice of the Lord for all times!

I’ve read the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. several times.  But each year, it becomes clearer that this man was born for such a time, even as this.  His messages still echoes throughout the portals of time, and reminds us of the need for change—change that results in spiritually transformed hearts and minds—changed lives that conform to the standards of GOD ALMIGHTY, and attitudes that align with biblical principles.

His messages, his courage, and boldness to speak out against the ills of society were in alignment with righteousness.

Dr.KingatMicrophoneDr. King’s messages were focused on man’s greatest needs.   And 43 years later, the needs are still great— justice, equality, and peace. 

God created all men equal, in His image and His likeness. Yes, we have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go until we all come into the knowledge of God’s will concerning justice and equality for all men.  There are still too many subliminal messages, innuendos, jokes and jesters, which reveal the secrets of an evil heart overflowing with hatred. Therefore above all, man’s greatest need is a new heart.

Dr. King preached peace and nonviolence.  This message is relevant today because man longs for true love and spiritual peace. Wherever there is war and violence there can be no true love.  God is love!  Therefore, there’s an even greater need today—a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He preached peace because Christ paid the ultimate price for our peace—peace with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  When men are not at peace with God, there can be no peace with his fellowman.  Consequently, wars, crimes and violence are inevitable in a depraved society.   But, there is hope because with God all things are possible.

In a message on Peace, in 1964, Dr. King said, “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.  This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”1

Dr. King understood that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because Christ is our hope, he declared boldly and with tenacity, “Let freedom ring.”  He understood that freedom is the reward of knowing Truth.  Dr. King knew that when America embraces the Truth, we would be free at last.

He was confident in his mission and sincere in his message.  He was not intimidated by men to conform to their systems of injustice, ungodly beliefs, and immoral values.  He stood courageously in the face of opposition to deflect the darts of unrighteousness that penetrated the concrete walls of pride, hatred and selfishness. 

On nonconformity, in 1963, he said, “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists.  Dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless Calvaries.  The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”2

Ultimately, Dr. King’s mountaintop experience afforded him a privilege few will have in their lifetime—to see the Promised Land.  Seeing the Promised Land gave him the assurance, confidence and hope that we all must live by daily—that God’s kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. King said, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now.  We’ve got some difficult days ahead.  But it doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land.  And I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”3

I believe this spiritual encounter enabled Dr. King to release everything and everyone into the Master’s hand—his life, his family, his work, his country, and this world.  He had answered the call of God.  He had done the will of God. He had lifted up his voice like trumpet in Zion, and sacrificed all for the Master.  He had fought a good fight and finished his course.

He had presented his body as a living sacrifice time after time.  He was pressed on every side, and oftentimes felt forsaken; yet,   he did not conform to this world. Instead, he was transformed by the renewing of his mind.  He understood the good and acceptable and perfect will of God; therefore, he proclaimed it to the world without compromise.

Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon this man of God would be to submit our lives to the will of God as he did; yield our members as instruments of righteousness for the Master’s use as he did—denying all for the Kingdom of God.

I ask, “Lord, will there be another voice that will take up the cause of Your Kingdom without expectation of human rewards?

Who will be the voice of the Lord?  Let it not be the voice of one man alone, but many that will be heard as one voice.

I pray that we, the body of Christ, be the voice of the Lord.  Though we are many members, let us declare as one, “I am the voice of the Lord.”

Copyright 2014 Queen E. F. Phillips. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only.  Credit must be given to copyright owner. Revised and republished.

Power: How important is it, after the storm, Part 2

Photo By SHANNON STAPLETON/Reuters

After the storm, I pray that all will have hope and grab hold of the visible and colorful reminder that God keeps His promise.  Like many of you, I watched the news and read about the destruction and devastation caused by Super storm Sandy throughout the eastern coast, which impacted some twenty-three states.  Sandy has been classified as an unprecedented storm by those who have covered storms in the past and weather related news for many years.

As I watched and prayed, I was saddened because many will write it off as “Mother Nature” doing her thing…it’s just something that happens.   I am certainly thankful for man’s giftedness to provide a scientific explanation of how storms are formed, to track them, and give warning to prepare and evacuate, if necessary. However, I believe preparation should go beyond the physical.  When the warning to prepare is given, it’s the perfect time to prepare spiritually— where are you in your relationship with God? Pray. Repent. Ask for forgiveness. Do you even believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? What if there’s a real heaven and hell, where do you want to spend eternity if you die in the storm? Are you ready to go, if you must? Ask God to save you, rescue your life to fulfill your life purpose if you know your heart is wicked and evil. This is the essence of spiritual preparation.

While systems are in place to track and trace a storm, no man can stop it! No one can change the course of its winds powerful enough to uproot huge trees, or stop the fifty-foot waves and floodwaters from breaking through dams and levees.  Storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes should help us put life and power in perspective.  Only God can speak to the winds and waves and they obey His voice. Psalm 107:29, “He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.” Mark 4:35-41, records this unprecedented power that Jesus demonstrated, which gripped the attention of the disciples.

Knowing this is reason enough to give greater consideration to how important is man’s power and authority in comparison to God as being all-powerful and all-knowing.  It’s something about being vulnerable or in a life or death situation that raises our awareness to what matters most.  Usually it is in times of disaster and tragedies that we personally and as a nation realize pain is not prejudice, and death does not discriminate.

Consequently, my prayer is always that people ponder and give deeper thought to the spiritual implications or supernatural aspect of storms that sends a message about power and authority. A storm reminds us of our human frailty, our vulnerability, and speaks to the power and authority that’s totally out of man’s control.   Storms should get our attention. They should make us to search within, change our actions and attitudes, look at life differently—its sacredness. After the storm, we should seize the opportunity to regroup and reevaluate our priorities.  Those greatly impacted by a storm should forever look at life differently; it should never be taken for granted, if you survived the storm or even if you lost loved ones in the storm.

Kurt Wilberding, a fashion and street photographer, snapped this Instagram photo in lower Manhattan, after Superstorm Sandy made its way through New York City.

The destruction and devastation our fellow Americans are experiencing as a result of Sandy should remind us all of what matters most—love for one another, promote justice for all, and to walk humbly with our God.

Once again, disaster reminds us that division is the greatest downfall of a nation that “supposedly” believes in democracy.  But,, even after the storm, there is hope.  The LORD God always keeps His promise amid the destruction, devastation and sorrow for the lives lost.  After the storm, I pray that all will make the decision to have hope and grab hold of the visible and colorful reminder that God keeps His promise. You are not alone.

Praying for peace after the storm,

Again we mourn

Here we are again, a Nation mourning the loss of our fellow Americans.  We have been hit with another tragedy that pierces our heart, redirects our focus and reminds us of what matters most.

My thoughts and prayers are toward Aurora, Colorado, the family and friends of the victims, the survivors, and yes, the family of the suspect apprehended by law enforcement.   I can only imagine in part the grief gripping those who are trying to comprehend this atrocity.

As in the past when tragedy struck,  many are asking why. My question is not so much as to why this happened.  After all the mass shootings we’ve had, my question is when will we as a nation and a people come together before a tragedy shock into reality…stop us in our tracks for a day, bringing political agendas to a halt…when will we as a nation fall on our knees crying out to God to save our lives before innocent lives are snuffed out, or when will we hold prayer vigils in our neighborhoods and churches before a massacre.   It’s obvious sadistic crimes and unimaginable violence have transferred from the big screen, and video games into minds of our children, youth and young adults. It’s reality with real guns and ammunition that kill innocent people—young and old.  It is not the figment of one’s imagination penned in a script to be acted out on a stage. It’s being played out in real life by real people in desperation.

Life is sacred and fragile, and death is a reality.  But that reality can be even more painful when it leaves us wondering what could have been done to prevent such a tragic outcome; or are we doing everything we can to save lives, or are we doing more to destroy lives and promote hopelessness among our own people.

Tragedy is not tailor-made for certain class of people.  Pain is not prejudice.  We are all human—we all bleed red blood; we all hurt regardless of the color of our skin,  religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation.  Death does not discriminate. And evil is ever-present lurking to lure any unsuspecting soul into the abyss. Moreover, God is always present to help us get through any tragedy when we open our hearts to receive His comforting strength, believe His Word and obey it. I choose to believe that we are still blessed and that He mourns with us, again.

Jessica Ghawi, aka Jessica Redfield is just one victim that has been identified and her story is one we should take notice of. Her life was spared last month in a mall shooting in Toronto, but today her family mourns her loss.  We mourn with you.  On June 5, 2012, she posted her thoughts on the Eaton Center shooting in Toronto on her blog.  Her story is one that should redirect our focus, and change our perspective on what matters most.  Here’s an excerpt from her blog:

I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.

I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.

I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.