Love Letters Sent to God: Patience

Above all, Trust in the slow work of God

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

By Juarlyn Gaiter

Beloved is there something that you have been praying for, wishing for, and waiting for with all your heart and still it tarries?  Perhaps the healing of an almost unbearable grief has robbed you of your peace?  It may be that the comfort of knowing that your dear one will remain in remission from an illness remains elusive.  Whatever the matter that you have waited on the Lord for, an answer to your problem has not yet come.  And the good book says: “Ask and you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7 (The Living Bible)

What if, during all of your time of praying and waiting, that the Lord of all creation has been waiting for you?  The Lord may be waiting to see that you trust that He will work things out in His time.  We, of course, want big problems to be solved on our time table – that is, without delay.

God’s delays are often mysteriously frustrating.  We can, however, rest with the assurance that our prayers have been heard.  God always answers the prayers of those who earnestly seek Him.  Even when it gets difficult, let us strive to keep the faith and always be thankful!  The answer we seek will usually find its way to us right on time!

“For Jehovah God is our light and our protector. He gives us grace and glory.  No good thing will He withhold from those who walk along his path.”

Psalm 84:11 (The Living Bible)

And, we have hope because the good Lord has promised us.

“I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you, and you can give me glory.”

Psalm 52:15 (The Living Bible)

Remember that we are God’s only representatives here on earth.  We are God’s children, so that when the going gets rough, we must stay focused on thanking God for His goodness.  In and out of season, when life for us is wonderful, and also when shadows come and rain falls too, we praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,
We trust your timing in moving our lives forward,
Help us to be patient.
Thank you for knowing the answers
to all of our problems.
Your goodness and grace assure us of victory.
We give You all glory and praise.

Photo credit: Two Women Teaching a Child to Walk, Rembrandt


“It’s All About the Love” / Lamar Campbell & Spirit of Praise


I’m in love, I’m in love,
I’m in love, with a man named Jesus

So good to know when you’re going through,
there is someone who really cares for you.
His love is precious,
more than the world to me,
and without it, I would be nothing.

Now I’ve got a feeling,
that I can’t explain,
It makes me happy
when I call His name.

When I’m in trouble,
no one’s around;
I call on Jesus,
He never let’s me down!

  • It’s All About the Love
  • Lamar Campbell & The Spirit Of Praise
  • I Need Your Spirit release (1999)

Love Letters Sent to God: Joy

“The joy of the Lord is your strength”

Nehemiah 8:10

“We already have perfect compassion, wisdom and joy.

We only need to settle our minds so they can arise from deep within us”.

Heart of a Buddha, 2003

By Juarlyn Gaiter

There are times when the Spirit speaks to us so clearly that it is impossible to miss the message. I imagine that you have experienced an awareness of times like that in your life. Think of when your much too ambitious “To Do List” got done with little effort, or when what seemed to you to be a problem was accomplished with ease and everything just worked out. These are examples of every day miracles. God makes these good outcomes happen for us because God delights in bringing us joy.

Sometimes we can genuinely feel joyous, but we identify joy as all about being happy. Are we aware that happiness can walk into a room, suck out all of the oxygen, and leave joy over in a corner?  Why is it that we have an easy going, warm comfort level with being happy while giving joy the cold shoulder?  I think that happiness has become our default setting, even though it comes and goes at the feeling level.  For example, we say that we are happy to finally get rid of cable television.  We are happy for a clean bill of health -after a long and dangerous illness- and we are very happy to go on a long vacation.

Happy tends to get all of the mention while joy stands close by waiting to be acknowledged. The truth is that Joy is our spiritual birthright.  It is ever present in all of us.  Joy resides deep inside our hearts and stays with us always and forever.

“These things have I spoken unto you,

that my joy may remain in you,

and that your joy might be full.”

John 15:11

We can endorse this truth, no matter that in our daily round we hear reports of cheating scandals, acts of senseless violence, and tragedy.  Remarkably, we can still find the joy in our lives despite all that we may experience as children of God.  A scripture verse, Psalm 30:5b, is a faithful rock for some of us, who have heard it recited time and time again: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  I cannot recall how many times that I have quoted this verse to myself and to my friends.  We can realize how blessed we are to express joy, because as children of God we are assured that: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

A Christian author talks about joy in this way:

“To be joyful in the universe is a brave and reckless act. The courage for joy springs not from the certainty of human experience, but the surprise. Our astonishment at being loved, our bold willingness to love in return— these wonders promise the possibility of joyfulness, no matter how often and how harshly love seems to be lost. Therefore, despite the world’s sorrows, we give thanks for our loves, for our joys and for the continued courage to be happily surprised.”

Molly Fumia, 1994 from A Grateful Heart by M.J. Ryan

In this Lenten season, as we pray and seek God’s guidance and forgiveness, let’s bypass “happy” and show up for joy because we know the truth — Easter is coming!

Dear Precious Lord,

Thank you for joy that You have placed deep down in our hearts.

We remember your faithful promise to keep watch over us no matter

what is going on in our lives. Thank You for assuring us that You are our

ever present help in every need.  Let it be so.


Photo credit: markuso/

My Providence, My Providence

While I spent four years in Providence (R.I.), my relationship with Providence (God, my Heavenly Father) left a lot to be desired.  Smile.  I was a Brown University student pursuing an undergraduate degree.  While I was raised in an African Methodist Episcopal Zion church in Long Island (NY), in 1979 I dropped being a worshipper.  I remained a God believer who retained my moral compass, but chose -unwittingly- to toss my religious compass in a ditch!

Ironically, it wasn’t until the 3rd weekend of September 2018 that the New England city earned a spot on my Spiritual Journey.  38 years after I first stepped foot on Brown’s campus.

  • In this post I’ll share what happened that Fall weekend in Providence. Several things that occurred were spiritually fulfilling.  One has resulted in my meeting a fellow alum who will be this blog’s first guest blogger.  Like the Sermon I heard last August, and shared in a post in January, when I experience something in my spiritual soul, I consider sharing it with others on this blog, 66 Assurance Way.

Being on campus in Providence last Fall, for an all-class Black alumni reunion, I expected that being on the Choir that sang at the Sunday worship service would be a joy.  I wasn’t disappointed!  If you’ve ever sung in a choir, or currently sing in one, you understand the fulfillment I found in singing with about four dozen men and woman – with just one practice.  Some attended Brown in late 60s; some were young recent alum.  As we sung “Pass Me Not” that Sunday morning I realized how blessed I was.  I thought, beyond God granting me travel mercy, my blessings from Providence would end when I left the anointed service in Sayles Hall.  Boy was I wrong!

While I did get from TF Green Airport to the Charlotte airport safely, the person that God providently had me cross paths with -waiting for the same plane- was more than I could have imagined.  Her name is Juarlyn Gaiter.

While we spoke for only a few minutes at the airport, we exchanged mobile phone numbers.  I had heard her speak at one of the events at the Brown reunion, so I had more to go on than the reunion bag that I noticed next to her.  After a few text message exchanges with Juarlyn later last Fall, a voice in my head said: You need to ask her if she’ll write a blog post for 66 Assurance Way.  I’d sensed, even in her text messages, that there was a spirituality about her that intrigued me.  As we spoke, and I learned more about her (from the biographical profile I requested), I knew Providence had delivered to me -in Providence- a true Christian disciple!

In this Lent season, a series featuring her poetry and writing will be spotlighted.

I pray that Juarlyn’s health, creative energy, and spiritual voice will remain strong.  I’m confident that she will allow God to use her fully.  I pray that the Lord will -after allowing our paths to cross in Providence- allow our collaboration to be fruitful.  Look for the first post in her Series in a few days.

  • I can now say that my Spiritual Journey has a new city on it:
    • Providence (Where I attended college – and returned as an alumnus of Brown University many times since)
    • Greensboro/Winston-Salem NC (Where I’ve resided and attended church since 2007)
    • Great Neck, NY (Where I lived and attended that AME Zion church I mentioned above, 1966 – 1979)
    • New York City (where I was born)

In future posts on this blog I will return to the role of Providence, the place and my Provider, in my life.  For many years I’ve been reflecting on the irony of making the choice to attend a university -in a city named Providence- and not seeking a new church too.  I envisioned doing one longform post (3,000 words?) on this and then celebrating.  That vision frankly intimidated me.  A few weeks ago, a voice in my mind said: Why don’t you break up writing about your spirituality, since you graduated from high school, into pieces?  And focus on that one Providence weekend (last September) as you introduce your blog’s first guest blogger?

And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work2 Corinthians 9:8 NRS

In this Season of Spiritual Renewal, this blog will highlight:

  • “Love Letters Sent to God” (A Series written by Juarlyn Gaiter)
  • How I came to meet her (this post)
  • The vital role of Joy in the life of a Christian

Look for the first post in Juarlyn’s Series next week.

In case it wasn’t obvious, I have a new reason to love Providence.  To God be the glory!

Peace be with you,

   Greg Silverthorne, 66 Assurance Way

Photo credit: Craig Fildes/flickr(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

He set me free, on Calvary (Jesus)

I’d rather have Jesus

More than anything

“He brought me out, without a doubt

He saved my soul, He made me whole

He set me free, on Calvary

He paid the price, for you and I

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 
Romans 8:5 – 6 (NRS)

Jesus Christ Was Born: “Go Tell It on the Mountain”

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2: 6-14 NASB

Merry Christmas from 66 Assurance Way