I’m Still His (Revised) By Tammy Nicole Glover

I’m Still His (Revised) By Tammy Nicole Glover

As read on Balm for the Soul with Tammy Nicole Glover podcast.

When they said I was worthless because my skin wasn't light enough, my hair wasn't long enough
And my face not pretty enough
I was still His.

Though they laughed at me when I dared to expose my dreams and said I was crazy
I was still His.

When I was scared, mistreated and overwhelmed
And when the pain and loneliness made it difficult to breathe
I was still His.

When my pride took over and I thought I could do life on my own
When I tried to ignore His voice and searched for what I thought was better
I was still His.

There's no more denying the truth.
I have been the liar, He is the truth.
There's no where to run or hide.
I was His before I was formed in the womb.
Now, there is only the decision to either remain in Him or to be lost in the darkness.

I decided to remain in Him.
To accept and follow His commands.
To trust completely in His ways.
To stay humble before Him and grateful for His mercy.

He owes me nothing and I owe Him everything.
I am completely His
A daughter of the Most High God whose name is Jesus.

A Gift Fit for A King By Tammy Nicole Glover

A Gift Fit for A King By Tammy Nicole Glover

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

A world deep in sin, determined to live a life a part from You. Hardened hearts full of darkness and hate, never truly recognizing the sacrifice made. Yet, You still sent Your Son, a Lamb without spot or blemish. Holy, Righteous, and Loving, perfectly mirroring His Father. A love no one could ever understand.

He should have been born inside a palace and wrapped in the finest linens. Instead, He was born in a manger and wrapped in the swaddling clothes of an animal. His life was constantly threatened. His identity called into question but His love for us never waivered. The King of kings and Lord of lords was crowned, not with gold and precious gems but with thorns that dug deep inside His flesh. Instead of a robe made from the finest silk draped about His shoulders, He was covered with bruises and stripes on His back. Unrecognizable not only to the world but to family and friend, the Prince of Peace was lifted high on a cross where He took His last breath but it wouldn’t be the end of His suffering.

He was imprisoned and tortured in a place devoid of God. A place where there is nothing but weeping and gnashing of teeth. The very place He was trying to keep His beloved friends from going. He bravely endured punishment He never deserved then triumphantly rose from the grave. Jesus, what a truly beautiful name. What an exquisitely precious gift to give to the world. Who can top the gift of eternal life?

As I sit and think about the sacrifice that was made for me, I’m at a loss for the proper response. Thank You isn’t enough and Hallelujah isn’t a high enough praise. What could I possibly give in return? The most precious thing I own is my heart. It may be bruised and scarred. There may be wounds that haven’t quite healed but it is all I have and I give it freely to my Lord and Savior. I know He is the only One who can restore and keep it safe all of my days.

Lord, Thank You for making such a sacrifice for me. May my heart always remain in a fixed position of praise to You. May I represent You in my words and actions in a way that draws people to You and not push them away. Let me love not as the world does, which is conditional but help me to love like You, unconditionally and sacrificially. My celebration of Your birth, life and resurrection is not expressed through store bought gifts, Christmas trees or twinkling lights. It’s expressed by surrendering my heart and my life to You and by sharing Your magnificent Word with the world.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3 NIV

When It Hurts to Walk in Love By Tammy Nicole Glover

“Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV

Love is a vital part of being a Christian. Walking in love is one of those things we’re taught a lot about in church. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We are also commanded to do everything in love.  We forgive because God forgives us. Why, because He loves us. We give because God gives. Why, because He loves us. We have compassion for others because God has compassion for us. Why, because He loves us. Love is the currency with which everything works in the Kingdom of God. Walking in love seems like such a simple thing yet it is the most difficult things to do when we’ve been hurt. Our spirit wants to bless them and embrace them with love but our flesh wants so badly to retaliate and make the other person feel as much pain, if not more, as they have caused us.  We are constantly in a battle between our spirit and our flesh. It’s a painful battle.

We may start out walking in love with ease but as the betrayals, insults or lies increase, the more difficult our walk becomes. We may even be forced to see the person that hurt us everyday. They may constantly talk about or undermine us and hurts so much that we may want to just give up, even on God. We may think, if we could just let them have it one good time all our problems would be solved. But we don’t because it would probably get us fired or arrested. Frustration builds up and it can even become physically painful. So what should we do when it hurts to walk in love? I have five tips to share with you.

  1. Pray immediately: Prayer isn’t just asking God for things, it’s having a conversation with Him. We may be tempted to talk to our friends and that’s not necessarily bad but sometimes we go to the friend that will fire us up to respond in a way that will get us into trouble. When we pray to God we can receive the help we need to forgive, wisdom to deal with the situation and peace.
  2. Study and meditate on the Word of God: Whatever is in our hearts flows out into our lives. If we haven’t read about the love of God, that love won’t come out. We learn how to act and think by learning what God says about it, which is found in His Word. Yes, it’s great to go to church and watch ministers on TV but we need to read the Word of God for ourselves. The Word of God is our weapon against the attacks of the enemy. If we don’t study it, we have no real weapons in our arsenal.
  3. Don’t dwell on the past: Have you ever forgiven someone but find yourself later thinking about how they hurt you? You find yourself telling them off in a conversation that has only taken place in your imagination. Just me? Well, if that does happen to you, cut those thoughts off with something positive. Remind yourself that you have forgiven them and pray that they be blessed with the knowledge of God’s love for them. This requires us to pay attention to our thoughts.
  4. Surrender: This really goes along with prayer. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV says, “cast all your care on Him because He cares for you.” God doesn’t want you to carry the burden of anger and bitterness. Sometimes the only way a situation can be turned around is by God. It takes longer for Him to resolve an issue when we keep jumping in to fix it ourselves. We have to acknowledge that we don’t know what we’re doing and let Him take over.
  5. Forgive as soon as possible: In Ephesians 4:25 NIV it says, “do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” The longer we hold on to our anger, the more it grows. Eventually, it will consume us mentally and physically until it takes us out completely.

You’re probably thinking, this is a lot of work. Of course it is, nothing worth having is easy. Our peace is a precious commodity and worth more than anything on earth, so guard it well. Remember God loves you. He hears the cry of His people and He is willing and able to move on our behalf. Forgiveness is hard but God would not have commanded it if He had not placed inside of us the ability to do so. He is our strength when we are weak and He is inside of us.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 NIV

God Is Good…Yes, All the Time By Tammy Nicole Glover

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV

Someone recently told me, quite angrily, that God may be holy but definitely not good all the time. All my efforts to explain why God is good all the time came across as condescending towards them. They thought I was dismissing their pain. I was so taken aback by their reaction that it left me questioning my purpose as a writer. The whole reason why I write is to encourage the heartbroken and those who have lost hope. I felt like I had just failed an important test. Was this really what I was called to do?

As much as I tried to shake it off and not take it personally, I just couldn’t. Writer’s block set in. It was like I had subconsciously refused to allow myself to write. The longer I went without writing the more fear, anxiety and doubt took over. Where did I miss it?

After a lot of prayer and sleepless nights, I realized that my answer to the person didn’t come from a place of sincerity or love. I was angry that someone was questioning the goodness of my God. I also felt like my character as a compassionate human being was being attacked. My answer, although polite and “churchy,” was not the answer that person needed. In a sense, I was dismissing their pain. I didn’t realize that they were speaking from a place of intense pain and in their eyes the only person that was big enough for causing that pain was God. I’m sure I came across as someone who is clueless to the pain of others with my positive and upbeat response of, “God loves you and I’m praying for you.”

What was really needed was an honest answer that would probably mean I would have to allow myself to be vulnerable and share a testimony. I don’t share a lot of my personal struggles, especially on social media. I usually try to keep a smile on my face and post words of encouragement, which is probably why people assume that I never have any problems. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I say that God is good all the time, it is because I have been through something. I’m not just saying a catchy, church phrase. When I say God is good, I mean He was good when I was emotionally and physically abused. He was good when my grief was so overwhelming it felt like I couldn’t breathe. He was good when I didn’t think I would see another day and wasn’t even sure if I wanted to. He was good when I was paralyzed with fear, He was good when I was lied on, lied too and betrayed. He was good during every family drama and every moment of loneliness. In sickness or health, He is good. In lack or in plenty, He is good.

Why?

Because no matter what the situation, He never left my side. He never lied to me and promised that I would never experience hardships during my time on this earth. Life doesn’t become perfect when you accept Jesus as your Savior. In fact, He promised that I would definitely face many hardships of various kinds but He promised to never leave me. He loves me so much that He sent His One and only Son to endure unspeakable torture and death just so that I could receive His mercy and to have a relationship with Him on earth and in heaven. He has never been the cause of my pain but He has always been my solution. No matter how angry I get because I have to endure pain or I want to turn my back on Him because He isn’t answering as quickly as I want Him to, He is always faithful. He is my Healer and Restorer. No matter how hopeless my situation looks, He always gives me the victory.

The fact that no one can tell that I’ve been through the fire is because He was by my side, shielding me from the flames. I came out healed and stronger. I don’t know what you’ve been through but I know what I’ve been through. I know that God is not indifferent towards my pain. He is merciful. He is the one that created me and He doesn’t owe me anything. I’m the one that owes Him for all of the blessings He’s given me. I also know that if He did it for me, He can do it for you, if you’re willing to let Him. It may not be instantaneous and it probably won’t happen when or how you think it should but it will happen.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

My neighbor isn’t the person that lives next door or down the street. My neighbor is every single person on this planet.  Yes, I am my brother’s and my sister’s keeper.

Yesterday, we celebrated the life of Rev. Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. He envisioned a world where children of all colors would be able to sit next to each other in love. Although, today segregation is illegal in our country, it feels as if our country and our world is more divided than ever. The world feels infested with hate. It breaks my heart to know that so many good people died in order for all people, no matter what color or gender, could live in peace and pursue happiness. Yet, instead of moving towards that goal, we are moving backwards. We as human beings were called to love one another. It doesn’t matter what the other person looks like, what they believe or even if they love us back. Loving thy neighbor isn’t always easy but it’s necessary in order for our world to not fall into chaos and destruction.

There is still hope among all of the darkness and it’s inside of each one of us. Maybe if we stop looking at love as just a feeling but as a decision to treat someone with kindness and compassion, we can take a step out of the darkness and into the light.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 NIV

Know Your Enemy

Recognize the strategies of your enemy. The closer you get to your blessing, the more you will experience attacks. The more you speak God’s Word, the more the enemy will try to silence you. The more you love, the more opportunities you’ll be given to hate. When attacks come, that’s when you must pray harder, speak louder and love fiercer. Don’t let the enemy steal the blessings that God has meant for you.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

ARISE by Tammy Nicole Glover

Why so downcast, oh my soul? The Lord woke you up this morning. He kept you safe through the night. His sun shines on you. His favor covers you like your favorite blanket.

It’s time to rise and shine. What happened yesterday has past. Today is a new day, full of new blessings and new mercies. Arise and be of good cheer. There is much work to be done by the Lord’s people.

Open your eyes, the world is hurting. Open your ears, the earth cries out. Open your heart and accept God’s assignment. He has given you strength, peace and joy. There is no need to be downcast, oh my soul. For your Heavenly Father is with you today and forever. He has promised to take care of you and to protect you. Your Heavenly Father is El-Shaddai-God Almighty. He is the Creator of the Earth. There is no one and no thing greater than Him. He parts seas. He heals the sick and raises the dead. He sent His Son, whose blood cleanses you of all sin. He has conquered death surely, He can handle your problems.

Praise the Lord, oh my soul, for He is good and His love endures forever. He is generous, not only with His mercy, but with all that is His to give. You are His child. Arise!

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5 NIV

REMEMBERING WHO STANDS BESIDE ME By Tammy Nicole Glover

I woke up this morning with so much anger and frustration. I wanted to cry, scream at the top of my lungs and demand a reason for why I have to be tested this way. I suppressed my urge to have a full blown, adult temper tantrum and remembered that God is good. He has never left my side and there’s certainly no reason for me to believe He will leave me now. I serve a faithful, loving God. I may not understand His ways but I can always count on His love. He has everything under control. I just need to trust Him.

Thank You, Lord, for Your grace and mercy. Thank You for loving me even in the middle of a temper tantrum. Thank You for molding me into a better person and strengthening my faith. Thank You for Your peace and guidance during any kind of storm. I know the One who stands beside me and He is God Almighty.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1 NIV

Love Completed by Tammy Nicole Glover

Lord, You knew me before I came into this world. You knew that I would sin and rebel against You. But in spite of the heartache You knew I would cause, You still gave me life. You loved me so much that You sent Your Son to take my place to suffer the punishment that was meant for me. He laid down His life just so that I could have a chance to spend eternity with You.

Over the years, You carefully watched over me and provided for me. You patiently waited for me to turn my heart towards You. When I decided to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, You, along with all the angels and saints in heaven rejoiced. You forgave me and welcomed me into Your family. Now, I can hold my head up high because I no longer have the weight of my sin holding me down. I’m no longer ashamed of my past, it has now become my testimony.

Thank You, Lord. May the works of Your love be completed inside of me.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NIV

Walking or Limping in Love? By Tammy Nicole Glover

When I comfort a friend in pain, you might say that I’m walking in love. If my enemy is in pain and although, I don’t rejoice in their pain, I do nothing to stop it, am I still walking in love? What if I help a stranger in need but I just shake my head when I see my abuser in need, is that walking in love? How about if I see my brother or sister heading for an eternity in heal and I tell them about salvation through Christ, that’s walking in love, right? However, if a person who has stolen from me is headed towards an eternity in hell and I just say that I forgive them but I never pray for their soul or I refuse to tell them about Jesus Christ, would I still be walking in love?

Jesus is our example of love. He walked in love every single day. He didn’t refuse to help those who were considered outcasts. He died for those who loved Him and hated Him. If I am to follow His example I must truly walk in love even when it hurts or it seems unfair. Limping along just isn’t good enough because walking in love could mean someone’s soul.

“If I speak in the tongues of man and angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV