Month: February 2024

Grandma’s Wisdom

Grandma’s Wisdom

Grandma’s Wisdom

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long-life bring understanding?” Job 12:12 NIV

December 18, 1991


 In the time when you are weak God is strong. Take up the Whole Armor that you may stand in these evil days. Gear up with the Belt of Truth, then put on your Breastplate of Righteousness, on your feet is Peace shield yourself with Faith, protect your head with the Helmet of Salvation, and in your hand is the Sword, which is the Word of God.

 Love your Granddaughter,

 Jannie V. Cudjo

 I was twenty-two years old when I wrote this loving message to my grandmother. I found it in her Bible, still neatly folded between the pages. My grandma, Madea, Jannie V. Taylor Green passed away March 16, 2013. When I found the forgotten note, I took my time reflecting on those sweet memories of her and I laughing together, as I drove us to the grocery store. I would push the buggy as she went from isle to isle with her list in hand. And the cooking she would do, yep I just kept my plastic bowl in my car, cause I was gonna want to take some of whatever she cooked home. Even after all these years, I still get sentimental when I think of her. But I focus on those sweet memories that bring a smile to my face. I was blessed to have had her to share in a great many of the milestones in my life. She was always there with love and support for me.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the wisdom my grandmother shared. She taught by example. She took care of business, stretching every penny. She always took the time to show me how to do thing. It was never a bother. I think she enjoyed teaching us kids. My grandmama loved me like the rock of ages, she loved me. Grandma knew God for herself and reminded me to keep Him first. Her selfless acts of love and prayers made room for my family’s dreams. She encouraged us to live life, and the importance of pushing through to fulfill our goals.

If you are blessed to have your grandma, show her love. Make the time to go by and see her. Don’t put off what you can do today. Give her those flowers so she can smell them right now. She needs to see your love in action: kindness, gentleness, joy, and laughter. Let there be no regrets of what you should or could have done. Friends, if we keep living, we too, will be those seniors needing all the love, understanding, and compassion others can give.

Allow me to share this short exert from my first book, Out of the Belly:

As I wiped the tears from my eyes, I took my finally loving look at my grandma, who was sleeping in the bosom of God. I knew he would take good care of her for the family and me. In my few moments standing there alone, I spoke in just a whisper, “I will carry the love and memories of you as long as I live. It will never be goodbye, and one day, if I live my life half as good as you did, I will see you face to face. Oh, what a reunion that will be. Until such a day, I will smile when I think of you. Oh, one more thing, could you do me a favor? While you are up there singing with the angels, can you keep an eye on me?”

Did I tell you she looked beautiful in pink?

Remember Friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.

Samson and Delilah

Samson and Delilah

Samson & Delilah

“Sometime later, he fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “see if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” Judges 16: 4-5 NIV

Their story had all the drama and intrigue you would expect from a lifetime movie. Let’s start with a quick overview of our main characters. Samson was born a Nazirite, meaning he was “separated” or “set aside” for God. This meant that he was not to drink wine or fruit of the vine. He couldn’t go near or touch a dead body, human or animal, nor could he cut his hair. He was set apart for special service to God. Samson ignored his Nazirite vow of godly devotion and relied upon his own strength and abilities rather than upon God’s. Although God empowered him with supernatural strength to begin the deliverance of the people of Israel from the Philistines, however it was his weakness for the Philistine women that did him in.

Delilah lived in the Valley of Sorek, which lay on the border between the territories of the ancient Philistines and the Israelite tribe of Dan. The Philistines were always trying to understand Samson’s strength, he was just too strong, and they needed to find a way to defeat him. Seeing that Samson was catching some feelings for Delilah, the Philistine leaders saw an opportunity. They came to Delilah with an offer: “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and for your trouble each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” In today’s money, that 300.48. It was an offer she couldn’t refuse, so she went to work seeking the answers to his strength. This clearly had nothing to do with love, right? Learning the secret to his strength, when he fell in her lap, she had his hair cut, and the Philistines to bind him, gouge out his eyes, and took him away as a slave.

Despite all of Samson’s weaknesses, he did turn back to God before he died. God in His sovereignty used Samson to fulfill His purpose. Samson’s destruction of the temple of Dagon was a major factor in their downfall at Mizpah by Samuel and the children of Israel some 100 years later. Perhaps the greatest lesson we learn is that God would rather forgive than judge. More importantly, Samson let himself be used by God. You know who else he can use? You. God is willing to meet us right where we are now. I dare you to step out and see what amazing ways he can use you.  Amen.

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.

Caravan of Love

Caravan of Love

Caravan of Love

“And let’s consider how to encourage one another in love and good deeds, not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10: 24-25 NASB

What does the word caravan mean? According to the Merriam Dictionary, it means, a company of travelers on a journey through desert or hostile regions, or a group of vehicles traveling together in a file. You know this got me thinking of when I was a kid, how we would travel as a church to different cities for various programs. Look out the back window, I could see all the cars following one another along the journey. Even then I loved traveling with my family.

Also, friends, it’s nothing like family or friends coming together to share what’s been up since we last graced each other with our presence. I have family and friends who I need to meet and greet with RIGHT NOW. We have a lot of catching up to do. What better way than to breaking bread together, along with plenty of talking, laughing, listening, love, and support. But isn’t how it should be?

There are a lot of good things that can come from meeting together. It gives us a chance to listen or to be heard, support, comfort, and understanding. It can be that gentle push of encouragement that gets and keep us moving toward our goals. It can be a hug, as we are reminded that God is working everything out for our good. Day to Day fellowship is an essential component of Christian growth and perseverance. Did you know early believers were devoted to meeting daily in their homes for teaching, fellowship, worship, eating meals, and praying together. These things were done with a glad and sincere heart.

Before Jesus was crucified, He gave His disciples a “new” command: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35) This call to love one another is repeated multiple times in scripture. The demonstration of love allows the world to see who God is and what a transformed life in Christ looks like.  Love is the key.

The scripture says, “ If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 KNJV).

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper, and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.