Monthly Archives: November 2012

Kingdom Builders Unite!

Hide God’s word inside your heart with study, memorization of his promises and meditating on and understanding their meaning. #Internalize

When we gain knowledge of God’s word it becomes a part of us. It shapes our values and our behavior. Let it mold you into #kingdombuilders.

Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” http://bible.us/Ps119.11.NKJV

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Grateful I’m Connected

Spent the day with one of my long-time friends discussing projects we’re working on with the goal to put in motion by year end or start of next year. Its been a long time since I’ve been so inspired and motivated to move in the direction I know God’s leading. Its liberating. #ProductiveDay

God put people in our path and allow things to happen for reasons we may never comprehend. We may never understand… Its all part of his plan.

Thank you God for godly connections. It is through the divine connection you will manifest in reveal of the purpose you intended. #GodsPlan

“Sometimes answers come only after long delays, other times answers may come in an unrecognized form or manner the petitioner would not have wanted.” Its the right attitudes, reverence, humility, proper motivation, and purity in effective prayer that God will answer. #BeEncouraged

Count your blessings. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Ephesians 1: 17-18 “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” http://bible.us/Eph1.17-18.NKJV

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How Do You Handle Uncertainty?

There was a time in my life where I could not see God in anything or any area of my selfish world. A time when nothing made sense even when I thought I made sense based on decisions I chose to make. A time when I thought I was exempt from life’s challenges because I believed I had everything figured out, especially when there was doubt.

I learned much later in life that without God, my life meant nothing. Without God my life was meaningless. And without God nothing would make sense if I continued to rely solely on myself for answers. Change brought about a revelation to the things I refused to see for many years, which in turn revealed how much I needed God to live as only he knew I could.

Life presents experiences that will reveal things we choose not to be cognizant of but at some point will become conscious of when the broken cycle continuously fails. Oftentimes, it will take a tragic or traumatic event to define a moment in our lives where we have no choice but to submit or give in to the thing that defeats us. Something I can truly identify with because it happened to me.

I learned life brings about change regardless of who we are. As such, some form of suffering will exist regardless of what we see. It is the ultimate reliance on God that we shall find peace, free from suffering and the complexities of this world. Because a silent cry cannot be heard. But a cry from the heart will flow endlessly through the provision of love and support.

I realized we can no longer try to fix or solve every problem in our life based on what we’ve repeatedly tried to do on our own. Nor can we be dependent on someone else’s experience to justify what we fail to do with our own spiritually when faced with obstacles. I understood spirituality is not based on circumstances or human experience, but based in part on one’s individual spiritual experience.

When things are at its worst and there’s nowhere to turn, we have a tendency to go to God. As soon things are not in our favor we become desperate and find ourselves depicting the life of an “Emergency Christian” looking for a “Temporary Fix.” Telling God, “Lord, if you get me out of this, I will” or “If you do this one thing…I promise I will”; making false promises in order to have your way. All the while creating a life filled with void, absent of God.

To vacillate back and forth in your spirituality based on your circumstances is not good.

To continue to wrestle against God is contentious. You can’t run from God. You can’t choose times when it is convenient for you to have a relationship with Him. You cannot have a part-time relationship with a full-time problem because life will catch up with you at some point.

God has a way of letting you know who he is by what does. His WILL is evidence. He will prove to others who he is when life takes a sudden turn. HIS WILL is done. Not yours.

God will move you far away to speak to you in order to show you his Glory. God will put you in a place where he wants to get your undivided attention. He will create a situation to separate you from the things he is tired of; your dependence on someone else’s experience to excuse accountability for your own actions.

A journey is one that consist of human futility but also should be of Christian readiness. At the same time, it will require your willingness to have a personal experience with your walk.

To move in your Christian journey, you will have to have a personal experience with God.

Personal experiences create the ability to walk by faith and not by sight of that which you see in your life.

Personal experiences become the foundation of a life built upon prayer and confidence in God’s ability to do what he KNOWS is best and not what you THINK is best. Your experience with God will change your life for the good, forever.

“A contentious spirit is a sin of unbelief.” The choices you make will determine the life you will have. When you deny God’s existence in your life, nothing can prevent YOU from having a personal walk with God but YOU. When you make choices based on your own knowledge and wisdom and not Gods’, it’s futile. You cannot know God and lack confidence in the work he does. Your life must be a reflection of it.

Affirm to yourself, “I am not an ordinary Christian in your sight God. You are real in my life. I am an extraordinary Christian in your presence no matter what I see. It is by my experiences you’ve shown me. The faithful being you are. You’ve brought me this far.”

God has to be your first start. Build a relationship with Him. Don’t let the enemy win. Don’t make false promises thinking you are the only one that can bring resolve to matters of the heart. God’s love never fails. From his word you shall never depart.

God will translate your lack of sense into a language He understands. He wants to know “What kind of experience you’ve had to know who I am?” “What is it I’ve shown you not in the people you trust, but in who you say I am?” Because when you know who I am, you know what I will do. This will carry you through. And remove a life filled with never knowing what I AM to you.

Pray. Be conscious of the manner in which you pray. No one can pray for what you know you need, for where you hurt, or how you feel. You are the only one who can do this.

If you pray and pray right, God will answer right away. Pray with sincerity. Tell Him, “Lord I want to know for myself. No one else can do it for me. I need your help.”

When you respond in the right way, God will bless your life. OTHERS will see HIS will through your strife. However, when you respond in your own way, YOU will see YOUR will in the things you do. Something you must let go of and live life anew.

Believe God can do all things. Let HIS WILL be done. Remove yourself from the plan. Put it all in God’s hands. Let God order your steps. Trust him and let go because if you don’t this is what your life will show; a life filled with sin in rebellion against him.

We mustn’t strive against the things God sends in his providence. As the Lord instructs, do. It will make life much better for you.

In the face of uncertainty, handle it with care. Know that God is with you and will not let you handle more than what he knows you can bear. Know that God will instruct you on what to do. Through the Word designed specifically for you.

And if all else fails, remember what Jesus told Simon Bar-Jonah when he reminded him of who he was. It will help you to remember too. And when in doubt, know it is God you are to solely rely on because it is only through Jesus Christ you will receive divine direction.

Matthew 16:17 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”

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How Do You Confront Controversy?

385724_210319942414846_681485019_nI was reminded today of an incident I encountered with a stranger the week Whitney Houston was sent home with the angels. I thought about what transpired and couldn’t help but reflect on my thoughts that day only because I feel there is some relevancy to it today.

I was in a taxi on my way to see my doctor. I was minding my own business preparing to listen on my phone to Smokie Norful’s “Dear God” when the driver asked, “So how do you feel about what happened to Whitney Houston?” I answered, “I cried the moment my daughter screamed when finding it out on TMZ from her phone.” We were celebrating my only grandson’s birthday.

The driver went on to say, “‘Live by the sword, die by the sword.” My reaction: “Pause, brief moment of silence; clearly not expecting this.” I then said to him in no uncertain terms, “She may have had struggles but who are we to judge. God is our only judge. We all have skeletons in our closets that only God knows. It is not for us to judge another for the life they lived but instead celebrate their life in spite of how they lived.

The conversation escalated too much to discuss verbatim but after being asked my business about why I was seeing a doctor regularly and was I being treated for anxiety or depression, etc. I said, “No.” He then asked, “Are you ever depressed because of your conditions? Have you ever needed to see a psychiatrist?” I said, “No.” I explained my knowledge on the matter based on my previous education and experience working in the mental health field for years. And the fact that I did not see anything wrong with people seeking help as it pertains to this, but there was never a reason for me to do the same.

I told him God is my source. I go to Him for everything. While I have common sense about things and am prescribed medicines that I take that are required, I choose not to depend on medications doctors believe are necessary for healing. I keep it at a minimum. However, every day I pray to God for healing. Every day, I pray for strength to endure. God is the one I profess all my troubles to. I couldn’t help but think, though, where he was going with this. And out of nowhere he begins to express [loudly] his disagreement with people being in denial, telling me how he thinks it is absurd that people think God is the only answer. In no uncertain terms he let me know we NEED to have common sense about things and it mustn’t always be religious.

By this time I started to dishevel but did my best to remain calm and collected. I won’t go into details where this conversation led, but I will say this: I acknowledged his statement but let him know I understood that a difference must exist between spiritual and physical as well as know the difference between common sense and reality. However, my spirituality will never be placed under subjection when faced with a decision about my life. God always will be the priority in everything I do because it is by His Spirit he will give me guidance and direction on what it is I am to do. He is the ultimate source of my well-being. He gives me strength.

I told the driver I am not one to discount the merits of any professional when help is needed to any degree whether it’s for an addiction, for medical purposes, or whatever. I commend doctors for all they do and help with the physical healing process. But they don’t have all the answers, nor will I turn to them for all the answers. I will turn to God. For God guides the hands of the doctors to heal the sick. It is by his authority.

I also made it clear God will give me discernment and wisdom to know when I need to seek further help from a professional based on the severity of the issue I may be facing. But by no means will I ever put anything or anyone above the source I solely depend on; God. Nor will I ever deny my faith in God and what it is I know he can do, regardless whatever situation I face! I guess that was not good enough for him because he made it a point to continue this subject until I reached my destination.

He went on to talk about a friend of his who is a psychiatrist that works with mentally ill and sick people in another country and how he believes they are the ones that matter because they do not rely solely on God for healing but use common sense to seek professional help. In other words, “people like me don’t.” Hmmm was all I could say in my mind.

He expressed his dissatisfaction with people like me who feel that God should be the only one we seek when healing is required. He said, “Let the professionals do their work and let God do what he needs to do outside of that.” Although I had had enough, all I could do was look at him in disbelief and think about how I was going to respond.

My answer was brief and to the point. I told him that while I agree professionals have a job to do, it is because of God that they are in a position to do what they do. It is never up to me to discredit their authority but it is my duty to uphold the ultimate authority God has. He has all authority. He is the one who grants authority to people in their professional capacity to perform as they do. He uses us for his purpose. God does the work, we just work through him.

My second thought was as if he didn’t already know that being in his taxi on my way to see the doctor is evidence that I have wisdom and understand that I need doctors to help with the healing process as well as with keeping conditions I suffer with under control. I am far from stupid. I do let them do their work through the power and authority they possess. At the same time I allow God to do his work through the power he will give them. They are being used by him to serve a purpose.

I was so glad I was almost at my destination. As my hand held the door handle ready to jump out the car before I reverted to the old me, he said upon arrival, “It was nice talking with you.” With humility and a smile, I said, “Thank you. Have a good one!”

As I walked towards the door of my doctor’s office, I began to internalize and reflect on what just happened because I believe every encounter is an opportunity for God to work within us. There is a lesson to be learned.

I realized in a few moments I had become so frustrated and wanted to react with anger and contempt. But I didn’t nor could I let him see my frustration. I managed to keep my composure. The first thing I did was say to myself, “Thank you God. I may not be what I’m supposed to be but because of you I’m not what I used to be.” And he [Mr Taxi Driver from La La land] should be glad too! I will pray for him and for me, too.

Then I thought to myself, there’s something I need to get from this. I realized there should not be a reason to give in to people or things that don’t necessarily fit in with my beliefs. There’s no need to become argumentative, rude, belligerent, or defensive. We all are entitled to an opinion. I am not here to convince anyone to abandon their beliefs. Nor will I argue with them to justify theirs.

However, I believe as a Christian it is my purpose to defend the reason why I believe what I believe with the intent to show others the hope I have in God.

Lastly, I learned this from Bishop T.D. Jakes:

“Before you fully lead, you must withstand controversy and conflict.

A.) Leaders tend to be controversial
B.) Leaders’ decisions create conflict
C.) Leaders are persons of commitment
D.) Leaders are guided by their character

Be COUREGEOUS and accept the leadership responsibility of being controversial. You are not POSITIONED to make everyone like you! That’s God’s job. It’s called FAVOR…and…It ain’t fair.”

(WTAL  – 52 Days of Pecking Orders – Day 20)

As for me, I am a leader, not a follower. I don’t force my religion on others. I respect their beliefs. But when I am presented with an opportunity to share my faith in God, I will. A life lost should be a life celebrated. Death should not be such a travesty that we seize opportunities to capitalize, gossip, tear down, fight, hate, and judge. We all must die some day. But until we do, seize every opportunity to make a difference. Never compromise your belief. Live by what you know.

God is the way and the truth and the life. Please, let his light shine. RIP Whitney Houston.

1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

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Count My Blessings

In a split second I am not going to lie. When faced with things at unexpected times I find myself asking “Really God, Why?” But then the answer comes readily. I know; not “Why me?” But “God, what is it you’re trying to teach me?” Because I know there’s something I need to learn from this. It just takes a minute.

I know nothing happens by coincidence or by chance. I began asking him, “How should I handle this circumstance?” There is a reason for this. There’s an opportunity here that I must not miss. I’m given a chance to count my blessings and give praise. Your promise will be fulfilled. Your power will manifest through me. Your purpose will be accomplished in the plans you have prepared for me.

I fell out of the “why me” trap and walked into his “show me the way.” I learned on that day. What it was I needed to do. The very thing God expects me to. Glorify his name. Praise Him in the midst of my storm. Know that nothing or no one will bring me harm. Rejoice even when I can’t see Him in the midst of the trial. He was there all the while. I know His hand is on me. I have faith the size of a mustard seed. I know He will supply all my needs.

“Often, God asks us to make the choice to do his will before we know the specific details of his plan. That’s because part of God’s plan is to develop in us trust of his character and his benevolence.” (Jon Walker, Grace Creates Devotional)

While I may never understand my life when faced with opposition and struggles that weigh me down. I am clearly aware that God has a plan for me. Although some things in life will remain a mystery, I will lay aside every weight and run the race. Regardless of trials I may face. I may not know all the details but I trust Him with everything. In spite of, my choice is to follow Him always.

Psalm 136: 23-26

“23 He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever. 24 He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever. 25 He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever. 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.”

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Love Unconditionally

John 3 16 #There is so much ugliness I’m reading as a result of last night’s election. But we must remember as Christians it is not our duty to judge. Nor should we forget who is in charge; God.

God is not a respecter of persons. He does not show impartiality or favoritism. Nor should we. God loves us unconditionally. As believers, so should we. Regardless who others may be, the love of God should be a reflection of who we are.

If he abides in you, you will abide in Him. We must not tear down but build up one another. We must not hate but show love for each other. Follow the example of Jesus Christ. Who made the ultimate sacrifice. Even when they lied and persecuted him. He laid upon the cross. He died for us.

Let not the attitude of others persuade you to react as they do. But let the character of God reside within you. Show love. As God does. For God is love!

Be blessed and have a wonderful day in the Lord.JD

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Spiritual Maturity

ImageAs believers in Christ, we are given the task of growing in our faith. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does it come automatically. The process of maturity takes time. It requires determination on your part. You must be committed and willing to serve daily. And you must live it; FAITH.

Faith also requires endurance when you are tested. To have genuine faith means to be committed and stay true to God when you’re under attack. Trials are to be expected. But in order to sustain, faith means to be confident in God’s protection. Trials deepen our faith and builds character. “Endurance builds character and leads to victory.”

To know you’ve reached maturity in your faith is to notice change. Noticing your actions and the manner in which you handle things. You are no longer easily moved, swayed, or shaken by worldly temptations. You respond differently to conflict and confrontation. Humility becomes your greatest asset. There is no more pride. You desire more of the things of God inside.

Spiritual growth is essential. It brings true faith. Faith holds the key. It strengthens when you live spiritually. Stay true to God. Follow his commands. Be obedient. His Word will stand. Don’t forsake him. He won’t forsake you. Seek God first in all you do. Work to build character.

Last but not least, pray for endurance. Talk to God in prayer. Have wisdom. Listen for that small whisper, that small voice from Him. God will strength your heart from within. —JD

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

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What Makes Us Believe?

What we see shouldn’t determine our faith because it exists.
It’s what we don’t see that will make the difference.

Our perception of reality is what we believe.
God’s a spiritual being we can’t see.

What is it about him that makes us believe?
Is it his nature? His character? The promises he makes?
Or is it the promises he never breaks?

Is it the way he lives or reside in our hearts?
Based on His Word we hold high and will never depart?

Or is it because we grew up this way?
Because matriarchs and patriarchs led the way?
And instilled belief of God in our younger days.
That shaped our development, our behavior, our ways.

Or is it because of what you now know?
As a result of the fast life you lived then slowed… down.

Whatever the reason, I don’t need to know.
Just thought I’d pose the question because I know why I do.
Why I believe in God.
Just wanted to see if you knew too. 🙂 —JD

Image

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Change Makes You Stronger

wpid-img_20140621_161426.jpgAs I ponder on my life, I think about times when life was just that, “life” filled with ups and downs, trials and tribulations, struggles, sadness and fear. Yet it was during these times that I found myself rejoicing in the Lord, giving thanks for grace and mercy he bestowed upon me.

With change, at no fault of my own, I have gone through what I find to be the most difficult time in my life. With prayer and fasting bringing me through what I called tumultuous times. During prayer with my Mom as we touched and agreed, I literally cried out in tears to the Lord because at that moment, I needed him.

I needed him to let me know everything was going to be alright. I needed him to let me know I was not alone. I needed him to comfort and guide me. I needed him. So, it wasn’t surprising after prayer, oftentimes immediately, God would show up letting me know he was right beside me. He would prove to me he was there.

It was during this time I would experience the unimaginable. God would make the impossible possible. He would turn the ordinary into extraordinary. When I least expected it. His love for me prevailed. Blessing after blessing would appear from unexpected sources, unexpected places, and unsuspecting people. He would bless me abundantly beyond measure, even when I truly felt I didn’t deserve it. He did not forsake me.

I learned I mustn’t rely on material things or people for my provision. God was to be my only source. I learned when I believe what I hear from God it activates my faith. It clears my doubts. It restores me. It helps me build up others.

To live in bondage prevents deliverance. To stray away from those who represent Christ in my life would only give the enemy control. Control he didn’t deserve. I realized when faced with a trial, I must not lose faith but be able to recognize my faith in the manner I conduct myself. I must humble myself in order for God to move. God stands for power and truth.

It took a long time but through situations and circumstances, I’ve learned to trust in God. I learned how to activate my faith without hesitation. I am getting better. I’m not fully where I need to be but I’m better at where I am supposed to be.

I am a believer in the power of God and what it is He can and will do. When things seem like they are not going to go as planned (which is more often than most), I am assured God will come right on time. In spite of lies against God’s truth the enemy attempts to convince me of when in the broken, fragile state I find myself in from time to time.

I am convinced my identity is in Christ. Not based on worldly possessions of a job, a car, a house, or who I marry, but in Christ. I am one of his disciples. My life must be a reflection of that when the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy in order to come against his attack. I have FAITH. I am safe in God.

Life can be so complicated and oftentimes, we lose our way and the sight of God. We know he’s there, but lose sight of him when we look to our circumstances but instead should look to Him. For, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19

No, he doesn’t speak and then not act. No, he doesn’t promise and not fulfill. His promise is his Word. I know. I am a witness to his goodness and mercy. I say “Yes”. When I think of all that God has brought me through, I can truly say “Thank you Jesus” for the wonderful things you have done for me in the midst of my troubles. I love you Lord, you are Alpha and Omega! I couldn’t do this thing called life without you. And second to God, I can’t forget my Mom. My heartfelt “Thank you” oh beautiful, gracious Mother. You are my rock. I ♥ Mom!!!

Trust God. He will take care of you. Have faith. Believe.

Be blessed for this is the day the Lord has made and in it we will rejoice!

“Lord, if I had ten thousand tongues it wouldn’t be enough to thank you. You’re the same yesterday, today and forever more. You’re my redeemer!” — JD

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Reflection: Testing and Endurance

Fasting has been a part of my life over the years where I have participated many times in my quest for spiritual growth, knowledge, and change. But I would participate only to the degree where I would willfully give up one thing I most desired for a certain amount of time. The fast would be approximately four hours of the day or from the time I rise until the end of the day with a minimum duration no more than a week. It was not until I discovered a fast I participate in monthly called #holdFAST that I learned about the Daniel fast.

Granted, I am a Bible reader and I know many of you may be wondering, “How could she not have known about Daniel fast?” Well, I heard of Daniel many times throughout the span of my life, but never recall hearing of the 21-day Daniel fast. And sadly but honestly, the only answer I have is I had not yet read the book of Daniel, hence, no knowledge of it. I’m still a work in process/progress.

Through my experiences of prayer and fasting, I learned it was not about eliminating foods for the sake of not eating or to be a part of something. But it was where I would make the ultimate sacrifice to God in development of my relationship with him.

It began the process of change. It brought me closer to God. I learned the meaning of sacrifice, obedience, and humility. I learned endurance, obedience, and perseverance builds character. I learned that, through sacrifice, I changed.

But it didn’t stop there. I was always looking for ways to grow spiritually. And whatever process it took to get me there, I would investigate and if it was in alignment with God’s laws, I would seek detailed instructions to participate or be a part of.

As such, I became connected to other people I had never met before in my life who shared the same Christian values and beliefs as me. It was where I was introduced to #holdFAST by a wonderful minister I met on Twitter named Kia Granberry (www.livelovekia.com)  who is also the founder of #holdFAST.

She had been fasting 21-days each month since January 2012. I was so moved by her powerful testimony that I joined in on the journey in June where I would complete the three-day fast the first three days of the month. It is now part of my life every month and has become my testimony to what prayer and fasting will do.

I learned through packets I received monthly, that HoldFAST basically was an abbreviated Daniel fast where the traditional fast is for three days but the extended fast last 21-days much like Daniel’s 21-day fast. We eat only three things, FRUITS, VEGGIES, and WHOLE GRAINS.

November will mark the 11th month of participating in #holdFAST. But I find as each month comes, temptation becomes greater where I feel like I cannot make it to reach this year’s end, which will be December.

The enemy does all he can in his attempt to convince me into believing I need to quit; in hopes of my giving up. He makes life difficult. But I know it’s nothing I can’t handle because God is on my side. And I know nothing’s too hard for God.

Today was a day of all days where it seemed like nothing was going my way. I said, “God I know you’re with me today. Even though I feel like I can’t make it through the day. The enemy’s heavy on my trail. But with your help, I will prevail. I’m covered!”

With all that I had been going through, I couldn’t help but reflect on timing and know that this is nothing but a trick of the enemy. I’m too close to the end and he’s trying his best to win. But there is no way because God will have his say.

My belief: “The harder the struggle, greater is the reward.”

I couldn’t help but go back to a time when I was faced with what I felt were similar obstacles and had to tell God that day, all that was on my mind. The words I share below are from some time ago. Yet, I felt I needed to reflect on it today as a source of inspiration to get through. Thought I’d share it with you:

It’s been a long time since I’ve needed to say. The things I am encouraged to put out here today. There are times when I can’t be quiet about what it is God has done for me. In these times, I find I want to shout to the world his goodness and mercy; thanking him for saving me.

The past week has been filled with cloud storms and rain, only to seek the Lord to make me whole again. Couldn’t help but express my thoughts in the only way I know how. As I shout out loud. Things I must say. And I hope Lord, it is okay.

Earlier this week a time came upon me when I really, really needed to talk with God. I confessed to Him how I think this life sometimes can be so hard. I told Him, “and while I know it’s nothing new, because you already know; you are YOU. You are the only one I can talk to. You are always listening; you guide me through. Please know that I say these things to you dear Lord. Only to release feelings that is null and void.”

I fell on my knees in anguish to pray and said unto him, “My heart is filled with a heavy burden, praying I find rest. In what I feel is just a test. I ask for nothing but have a small request. Fill me with confidence to do my best.”

I wake every morning thinking I have enough strength. Only to find within time my body, mind, and soul are spent. Searching as I fall asleep. For that which only you can give will surpass me; peace. By the time I awake the day has passed me by. Missed deadlines to meet, plans gone awry.

Oftentimes my heart filled with fear. Because I don’t feel like I belong here. I lie in bed with thoughts that I’ve failed. As I struggle to find hope in the smallest things, but God’s Word would prevail. Thoughts would fill my head with desire to find strength. Through your Word divinely sent.

I don’t look for pity or sympathy. I only want to express my thoughts freely. As I work to get through this day. With the hope that tomorrow will be brighter, better, as it comes without delay.

I have hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Therefore, I won’t give up. I will continue to fight regardless of what life the enemy tries to suck; out of me. Because I know one day I’ll be free. Free from anguish and agony.

Today, although it doesn’t look like, is the day. I will give all my cares to you, Jesus, because I know you will make a way. Thank you Lord, for listening and hearing my thoughts and prayers today.

That day had passed then something came unexpectedly. I felt God saying to me. “I will never leave or forsake you. I will see you through your pain; through the storm and the rain. Keep your eyes open and listen when it comes. I will send someone.”

Strangely enough, there was an encounter with a person I didn’t know. Only that his words struck a chord that my mind would not let go. As I worked to understand what this was and why it was happening to me. On the last day, God revealed it to me.

Through another encounter with my cousin Wanda who shared this message. She called at a time which was unexpected. She told me, “Whatever you’re going through is only a test. To see how well you would strive to do your best. God knows your heart. And knows what you intend to do. He only wants what is best for you. He will take all your troubles away. No matter what you see in your circumstances, come what may.” “Hold on cousin. Fast and pray. Believe and have faith. God will make a way.”

I had been participating in a Rules of Engagement prayer that was eight pages long and lasted thirty days. Along with a simple fast I would engage in. I thought, “Odd how did she know I had been fasting and praying? I had not talked to her in ages.” But God knew. He sent exactly who he needed to. To serve as confirmation to what he was about to do. To let me know he was there for me. In spite of the pain and trouble that seemed to follow me. God interceded on my behalf. He promised, “This too shall pass.”

The test became my testimony. It was a testimony of faith. Faith I held on to as I waited. Resilience and perseverance were essential too. Fasting and prayer brought me through. It works.

The ultimate revelation came when I began #holdFAST. I noticed unfamiliar things from what I experienced in the past. I offered my body to Christ; as a living sacrifice. It changed the way I would eat. I no longer longed for things that were not good for me. Foods I thought I needed were no longer important to me. Foods that were healthier became of value to me. It helped me tremendously.

The fast was so powerful it moved me to tears. I noticed how God began to remove all my fears. He began closing one door after another. It was beyond comprehension in the midst of my troubles.

I fell in love with #holdFAST and made a commitment to this day, to incorporate it as cleansing every month; needless to say.  I look forward to when the time comes. As #holdFAST begins the month of greater things to come. It changed my life completely. It helped me grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Now please don’t get me wrong. By no means am I negating the significance of other fasting methods because I still participate in others too. But #holdFAST has been the most rewarding experience that changed how I look at things and what I choose to do. I am thankful.

Thankful for what I learned. Humility wasn’t given but earned. Through my actions I learned evidence of defeat was merely a reflection of who I had become. But with faith and endurance, I would overcome. Faith was substance of things I hoped for, evidence of things I could not see. Endurance built character and defined the person God said I would be.

Throughout this journey, I learned at best, phrases I’ve coined that put my mind at rest. “Adversity affirms the assignment. Brokenness breaks barriers. Perseverance promotes purpose.” Words that kept me focused.

Only by the grace of God, I made it through. I envisioned the plan he had for my future. There was a great assignment waiting for me to complete. With God’s guidance, I will have victory!!

My reward is on the way. When the enemy comes my way, I won’t hesitate. I will receive all God has stored up for me. I trust God. I believe. God has all power. It’s in his hands. He’s faithful. God’s Word stands.

Lastly, know this:

People will see God’s glory on the outside, never knowing what you went through. That brought you to the place they now see you. The Spirit of God helped you. You will show the world how you have overcome. It is by the blood of the LAMB, God Almighty, the only one.

When it looks like a test, remember God knows best.

You may have trials. “Trials serve purpose.” You may become weary. “Tests strengthen your character.” You may have struggles. “Tests prove your faith is genuine.”  You may fall short. “Tested faith gives honor to God.”

In the end, “Testing during struggles becomes your TESTIMONY to demonstrate, ‘Great is our God.’ Have faith.”  Prayer, fasting, andTESTS SHAPE US” into the person God says we will be. Trust God. In time, you will witness, God’s Sovereignty.

James 1:3 – 6 “For you know that when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. 5 If you need wisdom — if you want to know what God wants you to do — ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

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Have Faith While You Wait

Seasons of life in the long run
Prepare us for greater things to come.
But before God gives it to you
He must see how well you do.

How well you handle it
With less, than more of what he gives you.
If you’re faithful over small things
He’ll make you ruler over many
Less does not have to be plenty.

Take stock of your blessings while you wait.
Patience, obedience is what it will take.
God will bless you, just as He promised he would do.

Seasons change.
We’ll have ups and downs
God will turn it around.
Be conscious of how you handle it while you wait
Trust God. Have faith.

Psalm 62.5 “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.”

psa.62.5.nlt 5

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Doubt builds Faith

There are times we don’t like when things don’t go our way.
We begin to have doubts and lose our faith.
It’s okay. God will answer right away.

God does not want us to be silent about our doubts.
But be careful when you talk to Him and get a chance to say.
How you feel with doubt in the way.

To doubt is not bad if we’re genuinely seeking the truth.
God listens but will silence you when doubt leads to question His love for you.

We are not here to correct God.
Nor are we here to contend with him.
Be careful not to complain when you speak to him.

The truth cannot be changed.
It will withstand any challenge you face.
Remember doubt can build faith. It’ll help you grow.

Remember Job 40:1-2

1 “Then the LORD said to Job, 2 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answer?””   job.40.1-2.nlt

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