The greatest of the commandments instruct us to love God and each other. The Bible defines love in many ways; however, love is never defined as is easy.

Love never fails. God never fails.

Love suffers long and is kind. God suffers long and is kind.    

It is difficult to suffer long and be kind simultaneously. It can be trying to bear all things and always give those things required of love—generosity and sacrifice.

Love rejoices in truth. God rejoices in truth.

Love does not rejoice in iniquity. God does not rejoice in iniquity.

The truth about ourselves and the people we love is sometimes painful. Even ugly. We fall and we fail. Yet, God continues to love us, pick us up, and grant new mercies each day.

Love bears all things, such as a cross.

Love endures all things—even the crucifixion.

We can never replicate God’s love for us. Still, what if we allowed His Spirit to continually manifest even a fraction of that love in us?

Collectively, we could change the world.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

God is love…

Still Searching for a Real Love, Baby?

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:9-12 NKJV

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39 NKJV  

 WHITE ROSE PETALS 2015 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

May God’s love surround you and manifest through you this day.

B Blessed!

In the World, Not Of It



When listening to my Father’s call

the world attempts to use disguise

to lead me into my downfall

when lies are truth and truth are lies.

The Gospels lift me up to soar,

and daily mind and heart restore.


The words of Jesus free my thoughts

and bring me back to God’s embrace

to focus on the things I ought;

on love, compassion and His grace.

He came not to condemn but save

and all my sins expunged, forgave.


Abiding in the Spirit shows

me how to be and how to live.

Christ’s light from Living Water flows;

this fact holds no alternative.

The truth from fruit’s essential seeds

is God’s great source from which He feeds.


Because I sustain nourishment

from my Savior’s bread of life,

His voice of love is sweet assent

which melts and calms the daily strife.

God always is my Number One;

His wisdom never is outdone.


So say your truth, but I know His.

I am to open heart and hands,

to welcome all, and more than this;

to care for orphans, widows and

to reconcile the world, employ

God’s grace and wisdom, love and joy.


“I guarantee this truth: every believer has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” (John 6:47-48)

“For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who cares for the truth hears my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38)

And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

…and Justice for All

When you see me, who do you see? A Black face?

Someone who evokes rage or fright,

Undeserving mercy, grace?


When you see me, who do you see? Blind and white

and deaf; loath to step into shoes

of your pain, color, grief or plight?


When you see me, when will you see that I am

a child of God blessed by the Lamb?


I have been rocked back and forth this year by the violence in our country over race relations and a serious lack of understanding, grace and communication between us all. To be frank, it reminds me of another decade.

In the 1960s we faced a country horribly divided by racial tension. We watched in revulsion scenes on our televisions of federal marshals escorting young, black children into white schools for the first time while being spat upon by angry white housewives.

We saw Black folks being attacked by dogs and fire houses, arrested for sitting at a lunch counter, and heard about the murders of three young civil rights workers. And at the end of 1964, the first Civil Rights Acts passed, which outlawed discrimination in voting and segregation in schools, at work and in places that served the public.

In 1968 we watched the Freedom March – a five-day walk from Montgomery to Selma, Alabama where thousands of non-violent demonstrators of all races faiths walked to the steps of the capitol building. State troopers attacked the unarmed marchers with tear gas and billy clubs. We mourned the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and two months later of Bobby Kennedy. The second Civil Rights Act was passed which outlawed discrimination in housing.

I cannot, even now, get those images out of my mind when I see Black men shot down by police or when I view disturbing videos of police officers clearly out of control. And I don’t understand if just and righteous police officers can wound and capture a terrorist in New Jersey, why it’s not possible, with 3-5 officers present, arrest a man of color without a fatality – particularly those who are unarmed, who have their hands in the air or who are already on the ground.

We need the courage to have public discussions because this is not about one man or woman – a possible offender or a survivor of racism or a police officer. It is about our justice system which does not apply the same justice toward all.

I reached out to my friend Lilka Raphael, a sister in Christ, to ask if she would engage in this discussion with me. Because while I can sympathize and step into her pain and frustration for moments in time, she lives it every day. Because Lilka is a Black woman with a Black husband and two sons for whom she worries each time they walk out the door. And she said, “Yes.”

So beginning next Friday, Lilka and I will begin to write letters to each other, begin to ask and answer questions, begin to talk openly about our own perspectives, our responses, and our hope. Because we each derive hope through Christ, and we each see all our brothers and sisters as clay molded in love by our gracious Creator.

We pray you will look forward to our letters, read them, and engage with us in conversation to create healing and reconciliation in this online community and in your own communities.

In love and prayer,

Susan Irene Fox and Lilka Raphael

Pretty Girl!

Last night I lost my pretty girl.

One moment she’s clearing her throat. The next, she is gone.

She was not a young dog. A cataract was slowly growing in one eye. I suspected her hearing might be waning (though she could hear a bag of chips opened in the kitchen from the second floor!)

She woke me each morning with her “dog breath” and tail wagging. She slept in our bedroom, often annoyed when we turned on the lights after she had retired for the evening. She faithfully greeted me when I came home, giving me a look that the “guys” had forgotten to let her out!

I knew she would not live forever. I thought I would have time to mentally prepare.

That did not happen.

A couple of minutes of increasingly labored breathing followed by a trip to the doggie ER would reveal cancer. Her lungs were full of it. By the time the vet could figure it out, she was leaving us.

I bawled like a baby.

A very ugly cry I’m sure. My husband held me tight through his own tears. The people in the waiting room probably thought we were crazy.

Or not.

Anyone at a Vet ER in the wee hours of the morning probably “gets it.”  In our waiting, another pretty girl came in. A black Chow. Within minutes her owner was told she wouldn’t survive the necessary surgery. She was fifteen. They had to put her down.

The tough guy owner cried. I cried. Again. I suspected we’d be next.

For about an hour it looked like she was “recovering.” It gave me and my husband time to hold her. Hug her. Love her. One last time. She had our undivided attention, just as she liked.

The labored breathing began again. And then I knew.

Really knew.

I read somewhere that the most important lessons in life you can learn from a dog. She taught me much.

The value of a nap. Unconditional love.  God’s love for me even in the “smaller things” in life.

You see, we lost her once. She got spooked and took off running.

She was gone for nine days.

We put up fliers. Put ads in the papers.  Offered a reward. Searched shelters.

My prayer was that she’d been picked up by some nice family and not hit by a car.

We got phone calls of sightings. We just missed her several times. Even customers from my pharmacy searched for her.

One night it stormed terribly. My girl was out there. I lay in bed sobbing.

Just weeks prior, we received news that my oldest son had a clean bill of health. We had gone back and forth to the Aflac Cancer Center after receiving a very rare diagnosis. So grateful, I figured I shouldn’t mourn my dog because God spared my child.

Grace came via a local mail carrier. She saw our dog and knew she didn’t live at that house. The mailman called the number on our flier. My husband rushed over.

I waited. No phone call. I resigned myself that she was gone. The garage door went up and my hubby came in holding the most beautiful, matted, tick infested bundle I had ever seen.

God gave me my dog back.  last happy Noel picture This picture was taken just last week.  She never liked having her photo taken. I guess she decided to humor me one last time.

Two wags of a tail and her smile made all her bad deeds go away.

She stole the cat’s food. Ripped napkins on the floor. Dumped her food out so she could pick out the prime pieces she wanted!

Noel, was my Christmas gift in 2004. I’ve been blessed with many gifts in my life. Many “expensive” gifts.

But she by far, was one of the best.

That day we rode to Ball Ground, Georgia and she let my young boys love all over her, I knew she was The One.

My pretty girl. Sabrina Noel. We love you. You Blessed Us!

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 NKJV


“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NKJV

“You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others [do], but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.” Mark 14:38 NKJV

Abide in The Light

“Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.

He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”  1 John 2: 8-11 NKJV

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

This weekend I was extremely fortunate to attend a reunion with some extraordinary women all of which I met in college. It had been over a decade for many and in some instances more than two since I’d seen most of them.  Yet, our love for each other appears to have actually increased as the years have gone by. 

I believe we were all surprised at the overwhelming love and fellowship we felt as the years melted away, our memories awakened and the support we felt for one another renewed.

Our joy allowed us to laugh and sometimes cry as our affection surpassed the years we’d been apart.  Some of us have experienced exceptional losses. Others are in the midst of amazing blessings. No matter where each of us stands at this point in our lives, we encourage each other very much inspired by testimonies that celebrate gains and mourn losses.  Twenty five years after our first “meeting”  we have survived and even triumphed through the decades.

The speaker for our banquet was one of our own, an exceptional woman touched by God who is walking out the vision planted deeply within her. The Sister Accord by Sonia Jackson Myles is an example of how we are to love, celebrate and encourage one another. Sonia’s testimony spoke of overcoming fear and walking by faith into the future.

Sometimes, what we believe we need, God has already provided for usSomeone who will listen, empathize, support and even pray for us is often readily accessible and often more than willing if we would only open our eyes to the people who are gifts that lie untouched before us. 

We all need a little help from time to time. A hug, a kind word, the experience of someone who has “been there” can help us along life’s journey. Sometimes when we feel we can’t make it on our own, God has already provided people in our lives to help us. Unfortunately, we often don’t recognize the people we’ve been blessed with and fail to open the door and let them in!

I believe our reunion this weekend allowed us to not only reconnect based on memories of the past but also to bind us together for whatever the future may hold.

We were reminded of the love that connects us. The years have taught us that people are important and we can never take them for granted. We’ve lost some of our sisters through the years which makes those who remain all the more precious. We’ve learned since college what life really is and how valuable a gift friendship can be.  Like a special gift wrapped up so perfectly, you have to first tear through some paper, pry open the box and work around the packaging to get to the treasure that lies within. Sometimes the love and laughter you need is readily available if only you would dare to pick up the phone, shoot someone a text or even answer an email.  

God loves us for sure, yet sometimes He extends His love for us through other people.  

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” John 13:34-35 NKJV 

“[Let] love [be] without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. [Be] kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another,” Romans 12:9-10 NKJV 

***Happy Anniversary Pearls of Opulence! 

Love thy neighbor!

Well, I finally got that snow day I’d been waiting for.

I realize a couple of inches of snow is no big deal to the rest of the country, but in the Metro Atlanta area we just don’t do snow. We may see it three to five times in a decade. We can readily stand the heat. Snow? Not so much! I think next time the governor will just tell people to stay home.

In light of the horrid conditions many were forced to endure, it was actually quite uplifting to watch and read about all the good things that took place during such a trying time. I love it when the worst of conditions brings out the best in people.

There were several stories about people who opened their homes and businesses to strangers offering shelter in the storm.  I watched on television as one guy walked from his house and stood for hours in the cold to offer sandwiches and hot coffee to those who were stranded and starving in their cars. One local group of people who owned Jeeps made the rounds towing and pushing cars out of ditches.

Likewise, in neighboring Alabama, a group of Chick-fil-A employees closed up shop to go out in the cold and offer hot food and drinks to people stranded on the highway. They also made their restaurant available to those in need of shelter. The employees worked non-stop. The cash register did not. They made a very deliberate choice not to take a dime for their efforts.

Random acts of kindness.

With all the negativity continually displayed in the media, it was nice to see acts of selflessness and love receive the attention so rightly deserved. I heard one man say in a news interview that the snow was a great “equalizer.” It doesn’t care if you are rich, poor, educated or not, nature will ultimately bring us all down to the most basic of common denominators.

The first of which is people who are dependent on the assistance of others.  Or alternatively, a second group being the people who can help other others in need. The funny thing though is you never know which one of these two categories you will ultimately fall in. You can be a “helper” one minute and on the “receiving end” the next. That’s just the way life goes.

The first book of Corinthians teaches us the importance of love. As a child I thought its instruction was to make us more loving for the benefit of others. Yet as an adult I believe this instruction is vital to us that we may “reap what we sow,” allowing us to receive love as we have displayed it to others.

It isn’t so much about taking the “high road” in life situations as it is creating fertile ground now that will  yield a good harvest later. The people who can live this premise of loving others don’t give of themselves for what they will receive later. They already know they will be taken care of when needed. These people don’t keep count of their good deeds. They don’t have too. They have a faith that overrides cynicism. Their trust is in God, not people.

We are already into February, a month associated with hearts and love. In this month, let us all make an effort to be offended a little less and love a little more.  A little care and compassion can go a long way toward opening the door for the blessing  you’ve been waiting for.

 “Let all that you [do] be done with love,” 1 Corinthians 16:14 NKJV

“And now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love,”
1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV

“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 30-31