Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lord I just want to thank you

I know that its not Thanksgiving yet but I've learned that God loves a grateful heart. Time and time again God has brought us through man hard times and trials so I couldn't help but to post this in my blog. Luke 17:15-16 {Amplified version} says: 15 Then one of them, upon seeing that he was cured, turned back, [c]recognizing and thanking and praising God with a loud voice;
16 And he fell prostrate at Jesus' feet, thanking Him [over and over]. And he was a Samaritan.

Notice in this scripture that there were 10 lepers but only one of them had the presence of mind to thank God for the miracle that he had performed for them. As you may know, leprosy is considered a debilitating skin disease and once it becomes known that you suffer with this disease you are banished from your home and forced to live far away from other humans. So this was a MAJOR MIRACLE for them because there was no other cure for this disease. Sometimes God blesses us and we get so carried away with the miracle that we forget the miracle worker. I have learned especially recently how precious God is to me. I have found myself waking up to say, "thank you Lord".

As you all know, the economy is in decline and people are losing their jobs. If you still have a job to go to, you should thank God everyday because it could be the other way. You could be unemployed with kids and don't know how you're going to make ends meet. You could be homeless with no one to turn to, but GOD continues to unleash his mercy upon us. My husband and I have struggled lately financially but God never failed us. We have two kids and after we moved away from our family it was hard to adjust for a while but even through that, God continued to uphold us with his mighty hand. Look back at how you were before God saved you, I was a prostitute, alcoholic, pill popper, liar, cheater, mistress, etc...but God took me and made something beautiful out of my life. What has he done for you, that no one else could have done? We've got so much to thank God for.

One of the worse insults to God is mumbling, grumbling, and complaining. We've been on this earth long enough to realize that everything is not going to go our way. So it is our job, even in the midst of struggles, to remember what God has ALREADY DONE and thank him for that. Luke 17:19 {Amplified version} says: And He said to him, Get up and go on your way. Your faith (your trust and confidence that spring from your belief in God) has restored you to health. In other words, because you were thankful I'm going to give you something that the others won't get. Having a thankful heart makes you stand out among other Christians. I have met people who are basically saved complainers, the thing that gets me is the fact that they fail to understand that they are their own worse enemy. We have to realize that we're responsible for whether we get a breakthrough or not, what you say in bad times determines what you get. You will be amazed at how fast God comes to the rescue of a person with a grateful heart.

In closing, I have to say that I had to learn all of this stuff the hard way unfortunately. I used to be one of those movers and shakers who never had time to thank God for his blessings. When I became sick and confined to a wheelchair, it didn't take long for me to realize that I had taken God for granted. Since the Lord delivered me and even before he delivered me, I learned not to take God for granted. I pray that none of you don't make the same mistake I made. It's amazing how thankful you become after you lose everything. Don't wait until the well runs dry to be thankful. We have to learn to look at the big picture, if things don't go well for a few days don't get all bent out of shape. Just remember what storms he's already brought you through and be grateful and believe that if he did before, he'll do the same again. God is not going to forget us, God always comes through right on time. He is faithful you can rely on him, the question is can he rely on us.

Remain blessed

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Think about what you're thinking!!

Out of all the issues I've ever had, my thoughts was my biggest issue of all. Our thoughts determine alot more than we think. I wondered why things weren't going right in my life and God told me, "Chevonne you're thoughts are killing you". Many times we blame other people for our failure when the biggest problem you'll ever have is yourself. No one can stop you from being blessed but you. You can be your own worse enemy if you're not careful. God really had to deal with me on my thoughts so that's what I'm going to share with you today.

Proverbs 23:7 {KJV} says: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. If you think you're going to fail guess what? You'll fail. If you think you'll never be delivered from something guess what? You'll never be delivered. Don't allow bad thoughts to fester in your mind too long because those thoughts could be the very thing that comes back to haunt you in the future. My deliverance from depression was delayed because all I could think about was where I had failed in my life. I felt as if there was no hope for a person who had made as many bad decisions as I had and I was right until my thoughts changed. During times of trial we have to force ourselves to agree with what God has already said in his word in spite of what things look like. We have to remember that God's way is the exact opposite of the world's way. Have you ever heard the song, "Devil says no, no...God says YES"? In other words whatever the devil says you can't overcome, God says you can overcome.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 {KJV} says: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. This means that it is our job to throw aside all thoughts that don't line up with God's word. Anytime a bad thought comes to your mind, YOU have to cast it down. One of the ways that I cast down bad thoughts is by quoting scriptures. As I have said before though, nothing from nothing leaves nothing. If you don't deposit the word daily into your heart, you won't stand a chance against a devil who will vigorously attack you. Unfortunately, the devil comes against you where you're the weakest. My weakest link was my thoughts which is where he hit me the hardest. He will continue to attack me there until I overcome that weakness.

Proverbs 14:30 {Amplified version} says: A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones. Sometimes its not the sickness that affects you the most it's what you think about that sickness that affects you the most. The pain I dealt with inside was far worse than any pain that I felt outside. Please understand that nothing will change in your life until your thoughts change. There are times when your situation will not change but as long as your thoughts line up with the word you can still have peace in the midst of any storm. My husband and I have a saying that we use which is: "God if you don't change the situation, change me". So instead of praying for God to change the situation, pray for God to change you.

Sin begins with a thought and success begins with a thought also. As I have already said previously, no one just wakes up and decides to sin. Look at some of the most successful people in the world today, they all had to believe that they could succeed before they actually succeeded. Look at people who have done nothing with their lives, they all had to think they were failures before they actually failed. This world is a very dark and negative place but we have to force ourselves to keep our eyes and our minds on Jesus. You can't look at negative things and expect to have positive thoughts. Luke 11:34 {Amplified version} says: Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness.

Think about what you're thinking. Are your thoughts producing negative or positive results? You are exactly who you think you are and the scripture above echos that statement. When a thought comes to your mind that says you can't do this or that, remind the devil of what Philippians 4:13 says (I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me). In order to make it through any given trial you must watch what you think. Watching what you think takes discipline and determination but in the end it will be worth it. You can do what appears to be impossible if you believe it and you can go anywhere in life if you believe it. Ephesians 3:20 {KJV} says: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. In other words, the God that we serve is able to go above and beyond your every wish if you believe. Many Christians have a tendency to put limits on God which only limits you. Don't trust God partially and expect to be blessed fully. You're only going to go as far as you think you can go.

One of the things that worried me the most was keeping my marriage together. All I thought about was how people who had been together for years ended up divorced. I mean people who were saved ended up not making it. The thought of this made me a nervous wreck until God reminded me to think about my thoughts. Philippians 4:8 {KJV} says: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Now my husband and I speak life over our marriage and we both think positively about our marriage. Worrying only causes your fears to come upon you. Don't get me wrong, you're not made of steel things are going to concern you but don't allow your thoughts to go against God's word. I was worried when I first left my hometown (a small town) but positive thoughts has made the transition (to a bigger town) nice and smooth. If we would have been afraid to step out of our comfort zone, we wouldn't have been in place to receive God's promise. Remember, you can either think your way to success or you can think your way to failure. So take time out and think about what you're thinking and if you're thoughts are not godly get rid of them.

Remain blessed

Monday, October 6, 2008

Down but never out!!

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 {KJV}
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Let's just face it, living in today's world can be very discouraging. Just watching the news can make a person miserable because its all so bad and hopeless. Christians we must learn to lift our eyes to the hills from which comes our help, for our help comes from the Lord. In the scripture above you can see that in spite of all the darkness, we can be down but never out. When your eyes are focused on Jesus, you can't sink no matter how devastating life can be. One of my favorite songs is called "Encourage yourself" by Donald Lawrence. Too many times we depend on others to lift us up but sometimes you have to lift yourself up. You have to speak the Word over yourself.

Not so long ago, I battled a very severe case of depression. I felt as if life was no longer worth living and I felt as if all I had ever done was a failure. God had to teach me how to go on no matter what the situation. Yes, many things had went wrong in my life but everyday I woke up was another chance to correct my many mistakes. Instead of praying against problems, I had to learn to pray for strength to deal with any given trial. The devil will throw things at us, but with God we shall overcome. Isaiah 54:17 {KJV} says: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Notice it didn't say that the weapon wouldn't be formed, it says even though the weapon will be formed it will not succeed.

In order to bounce back from trials and tribulations you must prepare ahead of time. Don't wait until a bad situation develops before you decide to run to God but everyday deposit the Word into your spirit so that it can be brought to your remembrance. Please know that nothing from nothing leaves nothing. If you don't make a deposit, don't expect to make a withdrawal. Proverbs 18:14 {Amplified version} says: The strong spirit of a man sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear? What happens if a person doesn't eat? Eventually they die from starvation, its the same way spiritually. The more you feed your spirit the stronger it will be during a struggle.

While going through that deep depression I learned to stand my ground. When thoughts of worthlessness came to mind, I had an answer from the Word of God. Let's look at Luke 4:2-4 {KJV}
2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Every time the devil spoke to Jesus, he always had an answer from the Word of God. Again if you don't make a deposit, don't expect to get a withdrawal. I just want to encourage everyone today to stand firm. When you get down, get back up...don't allow yourself to stay down. Sometimes it seems like the harder you try to live right, the more you get ridiculed. Trouble can sometimes be a sign of whether you're close to a breakthrough or not. One of my favorite scriptures to quote during troubled times is Proverbs 3:3 {KJV} But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. With God you may get down, but you'll never be out because his grace is sufficient. God's power is greater than any power the devil has.

Let's take what I call the hand test. Pretend like the room you're in represents God and his power, now take your hand and cover your eyes. It seems like your hand is bigger doesn't it, why because that's what you're focused on. Now take your hand off of your eyes and compare the size of your hand to the size of the room you're doesn't compare does it? Remember that your problems don't even compare to the power of God because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. Make a decision to be the victor and not the victim. It's time for us to victimize the devil with the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. Yeah devil you had me down but you should have killed me while you had the chance, it's too late now I'm already on my way back up again. Things may not look good right now, but I refuse to give up on God's promises. Even if he doesn't deliver me from this situation, I am fully persuaded that he can. Somehow some way this situation is for my good, so I chose to bounce back and allow nothing to shake my faith in God.

Remain blessed

Monday, September 29, 2008

Emotion versus Devotion

This is a subject that has been on my mind for a very long time. Many times a person can get so caught up in the outer appearance of salvation that they forget about what really matters to God, the heart. God begin to talk to me about the condition of my heart and I must say that it pretty much woke me up. I'm going to attempt to share with you what God shared with me and I hope that this post blesses you the way it blessed me.

Matthew 15:8 {Amplified version} says: These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. God is telling us not to just be emotional but to be deeply devoted to him with no strings attached. When you're with someone you love, you can tell when you have their undivided attention and when you don't. You can hear it in their voice and you can see it in their eyes. The worse feeling that anyone can have is when you're spending time with someone who isn't paying attention to you. This is how God feels when people say all the right things and go through the motions but fail to live it outside the church doors. Religion can make you emotional in church...the Holy Ghost will keep you devoted to God when church is over. God is looking for those who will serve him not for what he can give us but for what we can give him. However, this is something that calls for spiritual maturity on our parts.

Emotion (in my own words) is being loud, shouting, yelling, screaming, talking, and the like. Devotion is ACTION after the fact. Which one are you? Around here a trend has begin where husbands stand up in church and talk about how much they love their wives, but after service is over they're sneaking and creeping. The wives are guilty of the same thing. If you're married to a person like this doesn't it just anger you? You can talk about how you love me in church but I don't see you when we get home. Needless to say, a marriage like that wouldn't last very long. God feels the same way when we get up and testi-lie, as my Pastor used to say. "Give an honor to the spirit of Christ who is the head of my life, I thank and praise God for waking me this morning, I thank and praise God that I'm saved, sanctified and blah, blah, blah!!God is probably saying to himself, "if you lived like speak in public, you probably wouldn't be in the mess you're in". We're living in a day and age where people care more about what other people think of them than what God knows about them. A person can be ignorant enough to think that what's in the heart will never come out but that couldn't possibly be further from the truth.

Matthew 15:18 {Amplified version} says: But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. Have you ever seen someone go in the bathroom and stay for what seems to be hours and hours. What in the world are they doing? But of course, they are trying to look the best they can look. Now just think if God could get us to care about our hearts the same way we do our outward looks, we would really be able to accomplish something in him. Why do people accept leadership positions and become corrupt? Because the corruption was always there, it just took a certain situation to bring it out. Emotionally that person promised to serve, protect, honor this or that but in reality they were lying through their teeth. True devotion goes deeper than words can ever go. Matthew 15:19 {Amplified version} says: For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. How does sin come about? From the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No one just wakes up and decides to commit adultery, no one just wakes up one day and decides to kill someone, this is something that has been thought about repeatedly. As Christians we must understand that our thoughts determine where we go in life and where we go in God.

God is all about results!! He knows that a person will never be able to portray him as he is if their thoughts are not pure. Why can't you trust some Christians further than you can throw them? Because their salvation is based on emotions and not true devotion. True devotion to God makes you pray when you don't want to pray, true devotion makes you hold your peace when you want to knock the snot out of a person, and true devotion makes you do what's right even when the right thing is not yet happening to you. God doesn't care if a person never says a word in church and he doesn't care if a person never shouts, all he really cares about is being able count on us to show forth his love in any given situation. Matthew 22:37 {Amplified version} says: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). There is no room for anything else when you're truly devoted to God.

What we see and what we hear has alot to do with what we think. This is why Proverbs 4:23 {Amplified version} says: Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. If you sit around and look at things that are the opposite of what God is all about, no wonder you're emotional. Many times people think that being loud and emotional in church impresses God but that's not the case. You can't live right and think wrong. You can't listen to the wrong thing or person and expect to be fully devoted to God. We have had many arguments at church about what Christians should listen to and what they shouldn't listen to. I used to get upset when the older saints told me to watch what type of music I listen to. I was like, I'm married there's nothing wrong with listening to some slow jams with my honey bunch. God had to confronted me about that, he said many songs that people sing contain evil spirits (such as: lust, adultery, fornication, etc) that can come back to bite you later. This may be hard for you to fathom right now but I didn't say it...God did!!

Finally, ask yourself: Am I truly devoted to God or am I just a bunch of hot air? That may sound harsh but if we confront ourselves, God won't have to. If we deal with our weaknesses in private prayer, all of our bidness (int) wouldn't have to get out. In our home Bible study my husband and I discuss this very often. Spending time alone with God allows God to deal with your issues personally. Church alone will not keep you in this sin sick world, your relationship with God must be personal. Otherwise, you'll be like a person running on a treadmill...running fast but going no where. Whatever we do, let's make up our minds to do it with all our hearts. If you're going to be wrong, be SHO NUFF wrong and don't sugar coat it. If you're going to be saved, be all the way saved and don't cut corners. Emotions will get you noticed by people, true devotion is what get God's undivided attention. So if you're in need of a breakthrough, let your actions (prayer life, fasting, time in the Word, etc) do the talking.

Remain blessed

Friday, September 26, 2008

Can God trust you?

There comes a time in every Christians life when they must decide to either committ fully to God or go astray. This time has come in my life. No matter how well versed we are in scripture and no matter how long we've been saved we have to make up our minds to believe God's word NO MATTER WHAT! That means, no matter how bad the economy looks, no matter how bad the future of America looks, we have to choose to TRUST GOD! James 1:3-7 {Amplified version} says:
3 Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of [b]the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.

6 Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.
7 For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord,

These scriptures start by telling us to understand why trials and tribulations come about in our lives. Tests come to make us stronger in faith and character. Have you ever trusted a person with something valuable and they ended up destroying it? Let's just say that you loan your car to a dear friend and that friend of yours discombobulates your car..LOL!! Needless to say, you would probably feel angry and betrayed. It's the same way with God. He trusts us with blessings such as: good paying jobs, other material things, and spiritual gifts. Everytime we fail to continue to be consistent in our faith it hurts him and it makes him not trust us. Therefore, he allows certain things to happen to us in order to see how we'll respond under pressure or scrutiny. Will we continue to live right or will we become cowards and bail out. Many times our blessings are not delayed because of God, they are delayed because of our inability to be trusted with little things see Matthew 25:21 {KJV}.

Going back to James 1:4 (see above) is telling us to allow God to prove us. If we ever want to be trusted with more, we have to do it God's way and in his time. I've already said this in my previous posts, you wouldn't give a 2 year old child the keys to a Mercedez Benz would you? I certainly hope not. So why would you expect God to bless you with more this and more that if you can't even be trusted with what you already have. We must endure hardness as a good soldier (see 2 Tim 2:3). Don't faint when trouble comes, just realize that God must have great things in store for me.

James 1:6 (see above) really explain another aspect of why it is so hard to get breakthroughs. There is a song that says, "If you're gone pray don't worry, If you gone worry don't pray". This is a very true song that basically tells why certain prayers don't get answered. You can't be double minded. Don't get on your knees and pray, "Lord I place my life in your hands, I place my kids in your hands, I place my husband in your hands....", and then turn around and go crazy when problems occur. You just prayed for God to take them in his hands. So what are you worried about? If God can't take care of your family, who in the world can? We mustn't allow circumstances to block our purpose and suffocate our faith. No matter what TRUST GOD!!! Verse 7 says that a double minded person can not receive anything from God. Why? Because you haven't made up your mind yet.

Can God trust you? Can God trust you with a good paying job? Will you continue to allow good character and integrity to carry you or will you get relaxed and start cutting corners? I used to get angry with God because I felt like I was ready to advance in my career, but for some reason I kept getting turned down. Finally he told me Chevonne I can't even trust you to get to church on time, I'm not about to send you out there in my name to cut corners. OUCH HALELUJAH!! That knocked the wind out of my sail. After that, I started working harder to get to church on time and I started making sure that I took care of the little things. Many times we do the big things that make us stand out but we allow the little things to go undone and those things will surely come back to bite you later. Proverbs 15:19 {Amplified version} says: The way of the sluggard is overgrown with thorns [it pricks, lacerates, and entangles him], but the way of the righteous is plain and raised like a highway. Notice the part that says: it pricks, lacerates, and entangles him. Why? Because he left things to chance and this is what happend

How can you see where to walk in a mess like this? It's the same way when it comes to spiritual matters. Messes like this can be prevented if we clean up daily and don't allow things to pile up and come back to haunt you later. I remember seeing a show called "Wedding bloopers". The groom was dressed in his nice white tuxedo and the whole wedding was like a dream. While he was in the process of marrying the woman of his dreams, the police burst in and arrest him for past warrants. I could never imagine how embarassing that must have been to him but it could have been prevented if he had taken care of business at the appointed time. So the moral of this story is that we mustn't have things impeeding our view of God. Would you trust a blind person to drive you to the mall? NO WAY!!! So if you can't see the path that God set for you how can you be trusted.

I've already said this many times but its very important to understand that God has our best interests at heart whenever he makes decisions concerning us. Sometimes we may think that we're ready to move up but God is the only one who knows the intentions of our hearts. He knows that there are things inside of us that must be dealt with before he can trust us with his blessings. Again you wouldn't trust just anyone with your car, money, house, kids, spouse, don't expect God to trust just anyone with his miracles and blessings.

No only does God want to trust us with blessings, he also wants to trust us with trouble. If you've read the story of Job you know that God allowed the devil to afflict Job because He (God) trusted that Job would never leave him nor forsake him. At the end of the story, Job received double for his trouble because he did not faint at the sight of trouble. Did he make mistakes? Yes!! Did he give up on God? Absolutely not!!
Can God trust you?

Ask yourself:
Am I responsible in front of people and behind their backs?
Do I treat other people's property with great care and respect?
Do I panic when things don't work out the way I plan them?
Am I a doer of the Word or am I just a hearer only?
Can I be trusted with valuable gifts of the spirit such as: prophesy, interpreter, prayer warrior, etc?
Do I allow the few comments I get, go to my head?
Do I compromise my salvation in order to fit in?

These questions must be answered before any promotion or breakthrough can come. So make up your mind today and decide once and for all to allow God to have his way in your life. Don't allow anything to shake your faith and your resolve. Take care of your business and don't leave anything undone. Become a sold out Christain who doesn't waver no matter what. Grow in the spirit so that God will be able to trust you.

Remain blessed

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where is your spiritual backbone?

Do you ever find yourself questioning why something did or didn't happen to you? Do you ever get confused about why your prayers aren't answered right away? These very questions have enveloped my mind for years until I realized that my prayers were delayed and not denied. If you've ever been pregnant before you understand that it takes months for you to feel the baby moving inside of you. Just as it takes time for you to feel movement inside of you, it takes time for your dreams to become attainable.

We've discussed dreams previously but it never hurts to review certain things. How do dreams come about? God impregnates each and every one of us with a dream or vision. Everything that happens to you from that point on is to either help you achieve that dream or stop you from achieving that dream. But before you give up just remember that Romans 8:28 says: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. We all have a dream and a purpose of doing great things, but on the road to that goal there's going to be some speed bumps. We have to remember to keep the Word of God in our faces and stop looking at what's not working. Work with what you have. God knows what's best for us if we just trust him.

There are many people who have aspirations, but they never achieve anything because they're scared to step out of their comfort zones and obey God. These are the same people that we see shouting and quoting scriptures in church but when ACTION TIME comes...

you get the picture. LOL!! The main thing that I am learning daily is how to put my faith into action. My previous post was "Easier said than done"...which is very true but again we have to be determined to be a doer of the word. When things get difficult we can't just jump up in run. We must have a spiritual backbone- endurance, staying power, and perseverance.

The question that we must ask ourselves is: How bad do I want the blessings of God in my life? Jacob demonstrated perfectly the desperation that it takes in order to receive from God. Genesis 32:24-26 {Amplified Version} says:

24 And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak.
25 And when [the Man] saw that He did not prevail against [Jacob], He touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob's thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him.
26 Then He said, Let Me go, for day is breaking. But [Jacob] said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me.

Notice that it says that the man pulled Jacob's thigh out of joint. OUCH!!! Many of us would have left that man alone but not Jacob. He was so desperate for a change in his life that he didn't care about the pain and the agony. Jacob's very name stood for liar, schemer; Jacob wanted to be a better person and he got what he wanted because of his dogged perseverance. Have you ever seen children fighting over toys? Better yet, have you ever tried to go to Wal-Mart for "Midnight madness"? You know that people start fighting and trampling over each other in order to pick out what they want. That is the very same desperation that we must have when it comes to obeying God.

There comes a time in every Christians life when we have to grow up. The older you get in God, the more mature you should be. If you've been saved for 10 years, God expects you to act like it. When things go wrong, a person who's been saved for that long should respond differently than a person who's only been saved for 6 months. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. Hebrews 5:12-13 {Amplified Version} says:

12. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

You may have heard the scripture before that says: to much is given, much is required. If we want grown up blessings we have to believe God as a grown up should believe. An older Christian shouldn't still be worrying about what people think of them or how people look at them. That is so childish. At some point we have to know who we are in God and not care what anyone else says or thinks.

If I don't get any other point across I want to inspire people to have a spiritual backbone. Be determined to be all that you can be in God. Our father always has our best interests in mind. If we're going to say that we're Christians, we should be prepared to deal with or go through anything in order to prove our dedication and commitment to God. Many times as we get older in Christ we get lazy and stop spending time in God's presence. This is what causes a lack of faith when it is needed most. Many people think that going to church alone is enough to sustain our salvation but that couldn't be further from the truth. God wants our relationship with him to be personal. We're only going to receive what we're spiritually capable of handling. I hear many people praying for a new this and a new that but they fail to understand that we must mature before we can handle certain things. Would you give a three year old the keys to a Mercedes Benz? I most certainly hope not.

In conclusion, it is very important to understand how God works. How do you know how God works? By spending time in his word. Proverbs 4:20-22 {Amplified Version} says:

20 My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh

In other words, keep your eyes on the Word of God. Don't be slack when it comes to spending time daily in the Word. There is a saying: "Much prayer....must power...Little prayer....little power. I used to wonder how people were able to deal with unspeakable tragedies, and I finally figured it out. They dealt with tragedies because they had a solid spiritual backbone. They trusted that God would take care of them no matter what. Where is your spiritual backbone?

Remain blessed

Monday, September 22, 2008

Drop the past, reach for the future!!

Have you ever seen someone with a hand full of stuff, still trying to add more stuff? I mean honestly sometimes you just wonder what in the world are they thinking. Take the woman on the right for instance, it is impossible for her to put any more stuff in her hands. The only way she'll be able to pick anything else up is by dropping what she already has in her hands. It is the same way for us spiritually.

The scripture Philippians 3:13 says: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. The only way that we can advance spiritually is by dropping those things which block our path to righteousness. Things that may block your path to righteousness is: holding on to past sins, unforgiveness, resentment, and fear to name a few. Notice that the scripture tells us to forget those things which are behind because there is no way that you can possibly go forward if you keep looking back. You have read my testimony of how God delivered me from many things. What you don't know is that I still deal with the residue that those sins left behind. To this day, I still have to remind myself that God has forgiven me and that's all that matters. It's not easy to go forward and forget the past especially when people continue to remind you of it. Nevertheless, I have made up my mind that I'm going forward no matter what anyone says. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We must understand that God has good things in store for our future. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. Again, there is no way that you can have that bright future if you continue to hold on to the past. It is much easier said than done but we have to be willing to make the effort to do the Word of God and not just hear it. Being molested is not easy to forget. As a matter of fact, every time I hear of someone being molested I automatically think of my past. Because of my unwillingness to let go, I suffered many hardships. My mind was not free to think about God, all I could think of was what if...what if I would have told someone before it got out of hand...what if I had not been born...why me? Thinking about all of those questions made me miserable and depressed. No matter how bad you feel about what happened in the past, you have to understand that the only way to make amends for your past failures is by correcting them in the future.

Our past should not serve has an obstacle, it should serve as a reminder of just how much God loves us. He gave his Son so that we could be free to live the life that he has ordained for us. Luke 9:62 says: And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Why? Because you can't do two things at one time. God wants our full attention to be on him and not on the past. I know that dropping certain sins or problems can seem impossible but I'm a witness that it can be done. You have to say to yourself, "I have what God says I have, I am who God says I am, and I can do what God says I can do". Don't hang around people who won't embrace who God has made you. They will poison your spirit and cause you to miss out on the many opportunities that lie ahead. Walk in the newness of life and refuse to hold on to unnecessary burdens. God has said for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Drop the past and reach for the future.
Remain blessed

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Set your feet and don't move!

1 Corinthians 15:58 says: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]. {Amplified version}

When I read this passage of scripture, I often find myself thinking about a tree. A tree is one of the strongest resources we have on this earth. Trees can create many things without even having to add or take away anything. The resources of a tree depends totally on the strength of it's roots. If you've ever seen footage from a hurricane or tornado, you'll notice that there are trees uprooted out of the ground. The uprooted trees reveal how weak they are once you notice that the roots aren't deep enough in the ground. Many times we think that just quoting scriptures and shouting reveals our depth in God. But actually it can sometimes reveal our folly. As I have said in my previous post, when you open your mouth and say certain things God expects you to practice what you preach. Circumstances or storms of life will reveal just how rooted your really are in God.

The scripture above tells us to be immovable. That means that no matter what anyone says or does, you have to stand on the promises of God. The question that we must ask ourselves is, how can I stand on something I don't know? The answers to that question can be found in Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. {Amplified version} Meditation on the Word of God brings faith. You can't live something that you don't know. Time out of everyday must be dedicated to spending quality time in the Word of God. The more you study, the more faith you'll have in diverse situations. This scripture is not telling us to be some sort of nun or something but it is simply telling us to include God in everything that we do. Before going to work, spend time thinking on the Word of God. Before making any decision, spend time with God. When our aspirations fail its not a God failure, it's a prayer's a meditation failure. God wants us to be successful but we have to acknowledge him in all our ways so that he may direct our path. He knows business plans that no one else knows....He knows where that dream job is...He knows how to help you prosper even in a failing economy. All we have to do is spend time in his Word so that we can have the answers we need.

Just as a reminder I'll quote the above scripture again 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]. I'm going to focus on the highlighted part which lets us know that God will not forget our hard work. It's human nature to want to see immediate results, but God's way doesn't work that way. God has to allow us to go through difficult situations so that he might see our TRUE DEPTH in him. If a person has a made up mind to stand on God's Word no matter what, you'll find that your reward will come quicker. God is looking for someone to reveal himself to, he's not going to reveal his power to a person who is easily moved or easily shaken. We have to either believe the Word and do it, or continue on a path to nowhere.

Ephesians 6:13Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place] { Amplified version}. In order to stand firmly, we have to shed those things which are contrary to what God says. It says put on GOD'S complete armor. The armor of God is truth, righteousness, and persistence. When you think about it, this scripture is telling us to be radical in our belief in GOd. It means that I choose to stand on God's promises even if it means that I will be frowned upon. Abraham demonstrated this principle many times in his day, particularly when he was told that he would conceive a son of his own body. Abraham had no better sense than to trust God eventhough he knew that he and his wife were way beyond their childbearing years. He also demonstrated this when he took the very son that God promised and offered him up as a sacrifice. We have to be so sold out to God and his Word that we don't care what anyone else thinks.

In conclusion, everyday we should ask ourselves are we really planted deeply in God's word or is it just an on the surface relationship. As I said previously a tree is only as strong as its roots. A deeply rooted tree will not move no matter what storm comes. A shallow rooted tree will be blown away. A scripture that people love to quote is 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. We love to say all those Christian cliches'...."Money cometh to me now" etc, etc, etc. But nothing will come to you if your not rooted in God or spiritually mature. Even as your soul prospers means that God is not going to give a 2 year old baby a Rolls Royce. He's going to wait until that child matures and becomes more responsible and dependable. In other words, set your feet on God's word and refuse to allow the devil to move you. There is a blessing in perserverance.

Remain blessed

Easier said than done

I read the bible on a daily basis and I try to put it into action as best I can. Through my experience though, I have found that it is much easier said than done. Take the scripture James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. I often find myself saying this scripture without even thinking but as soon as something goes wrong there I am saying, "Oh Lord what are we going to do now". Another favorite scripture of mine to quote is 2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. Saying this scripture really makes one sound super Holy until PROVING TIME comes. As you have read in my previous post, I was stuck in a wheelchair for a year...Do you think that I was thinking about that scripture during that time? NOoooooo Wayyyyy!!!! I was strong when it first happened but as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months, my faith begin to weaken. I became deeply depressed and basically wanted to die. God then begin to bring to my remembrance the scriptures that I had been studying and quoting. It's not fun at all when God starts to remind you of what you told other people during their hard times. The truth is, none of us really know how we'll respond to any given obstacle until we're in it. This is why I find myself listening more to what others say instead of always jumping in trying to play missionary. I learned that you can accomplish more by what you don't say than what you do say.
Now I concentrate more on being a doer of the Word and not just a speaker of the Word. James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. We have to realize that God is going to make us back up everything that we say. It's fine to stand up in church and say, "I'm gone serve da Lawd till I die". But when death comes knocking at your door, what will you say? It's hard to hear people tell you to be quieter, if there's a such word, but its better to be silent than to be a fool. Around here if you talk alot and fail to follow through, you'll never, ever hear the end of it. People enjoy rubbing your words in your face. So I learned not to give them the rope to hang me. ;)
Words are so powerful. More powerful than I could have ever imagined. Matthew 12:37 says: For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Too much of anything isn't good. So from now on I watch what I say and who I say it to because you never know when "PROVING TIME" will come. I now pray the scripture that can be found in Proverbs 8
6 Hear, for I will speak excellent and princely things; and the opening of my lips shall be for right things.
7 For my mouth shall utter truth, and wrongdoing is detestable and loathsome to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous (upright and in right standing with God); there is nothing contrary to truth or crooked in them.

My Testimony


Learn to play piano by ear!!

Learn to play piano in a church setting!!