Month: January 2017
*Oldie but Goodie*
California is no stranger when it comes to droughts. This state has experienced years of “climatic frustration,” which have major effects statewide and beyond.
I, on the other hand was currently in a dry season as it related to my singleness. In actuality, my “drought” has been going on for years. Being a thirty-something single woman, waiting on God to usher in a new season has it shares of ups and downs.
Just before the debut of this new site, I started to experience an array of emotions.
How in the world could I minister when I couldn’t stand the season I was currently assigned to? Clearly, a sudden shift in my focus brought about feelings and questions that were initially put to rest.
The minute you’re called to do something great or do greater things for God, get ready for opposition ahead.
Have you ever felt that way?
Like California, it would HAVE to be an act of God to turn things around- both emotionally…… and status wise. Because NOTHING is too hard for Him, I believe He has the remedy to end the droughts in our lives- as well as the one in California.
While waiting for our ‘suddenly’ to happen, we are called to look beyond what is visible. If you’re serious about staying on task in this season- regardless of your climatic environment, here are three things we must do and remember:
1) God is in Control. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The word of God reminds us that He never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. God is not blind to our personal events or what’s going on in the world. Although we may not understand (or have all the details), the Creator has not left His position. We can rest in knowing that.
2) Appreciate what we have. I am not saying this because I am in need, I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11). Sometimes, we never fully know what we have until it’s taken away. Instead of seeing what we lack, learning to cultivate an attitude of gratitude can help us recognize the blessings around us.
3) Power of Prayer. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6). Our dialogue with God can be powerful. Through Jesus, we have access to the Father who hears our prayers and will answer in His timing and His way. Although we may not readily see God’s Hand at work, believing that He cares about us and has the best answer, will set our Faith in motion and line our desires with His ultimate Will.
Getting the right perspective in your drought will help you realize and acknowledge even the smallest blessing(s) that God has given to you. We don’t know when He’ll send the rain, but one thing is certain- He won’t be late in doing so.
Romans 8:28 – ALL things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Question: What is God showing you in this season?
Marriage is hard. At least that’s what I hear from those who are married. And you know what? I believe them. Working at your relationship requires nonstop input and intentionality. Disappointment and mistakes will occur, because we are flawed people. Getting through bad moments and working toward the good, often helps marriages survive under pressure.
Three days ago, I was stunned by a defining moment. Going about my normal routine, I came across news that a close high school friend passed away. It had been a couple of years since we’d spoke very briefly. Plans to have dinner and catch up were turned down at the last minute…… by me. Recalling a moment of great hurt that occurred more than ten years ago, gave me false motivation to rekindle the relationship when I was ready.
However, eventually never came.
Upon hearing the news, the realization that I held a grudge for so long was now senseless!
When we allow past hurts to control us and withhold forgiveness, we ALWAYS hurt ourselves.
Ultimately we miss out on thriving in life and truly being a blessing to those around us.
Forgiveness is hard….but not impossible. Unknowingly, I allowed my pride and the enemy to keep us from reconciliation. If we want our marriages to survive, thrive, and be an example of God’s love….forgiveness is a must.
Although my friend is no longer with us, God provided lifelong lessons and reminders that will help us prepare for marriage and sustain our relationships:
- Release your hurts to God: “Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). By holding onto our pain, we allow the enemy to be in control. This verse indicates our responsibility to let go of our offenses. How do we do this? Through prayer. We may be justified in feeling an array of emotions. However, we are not justified in holding onto them. We can trust that God is big enough to carry our pain and at the same time, love the hurt away.
- Forgive as God has forgiven you: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25). Don’t allow selective amnesia of God’s Grace to you, keep you from extending it to others. Keeping in mind that Jesus’ sacrifice was done for our sins of the past, present, and future should be humbling. Because of His selflessness and Love, He paid the price of unforgiveness. His commandment still holds true for us today. If we want to be forgiven by God, we must forgive others.
- When you know better, do better: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit” (Romans 8:1). I love how God forgives us when we just don’t know. By holding ourselves hostage to mistakes we’ve made along the way, we don’t allow God’s forgiveness in. By Letting His grace flow through our lives, pride is replaced with lessons of growth. And ultimately leading to repentance and transformation.
If we want to become a great spouse and have a marriage built in Christ, dealing with unforgiveness is a great place to start. And why not begin with the friendships in your life?
With Christ, forgiveness is more than possible…it’s freedom! Look at your current relationships. Are you stuck in the past?
How can I pray for you to find healing and freedom in Christ?
picture courtesy of Flickr -https://www.flickr.com/photos/m-ann-l_photography/
Resolutions. Vision Boards. Goals. With the dawn of a new beginning, these words are on the minds of everyone. Each new year, brings about intentional steps to grow and achieve things we’ve always hoped for and desire to finish. Perhaps this year will be the year of ministry, new business ventures, or eliminating debt. Or maybe 2017 will finally be the year for love! I know many singles (including myself) have prayed and asked God if 2017 will result in meeting the One, becoming engaged, or saying I Do.
No matter what lies ahead in this upcoming year, the importance of maintaining our focus on Christ rings loud and clear. The story of Lot’s Wife in the book of Genesis gives the perfect example of our need to move forward and re-emphasize our allegiance and obedience to Him.
Genesis 19:14,17, 26
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. …….As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away……..But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Like never before, society is becoming best friends with SIN. As Believers a new year gives us another opportunity to get closer to Christ. While making our goals and resolutions we can learn from the mistake of Lot’s wife :
- Be the Light in darkness– Instead of soaring in the environment, Lot’s wife allowed her surroundings to influence her. During that time, the city of Sodom and Gomorrah was rampant with Sin. Sometimes fear keeps us silent, but never dim your light or be afraid to stand out when God has called you His.
- Align your heart with Christ- Lot’s wife knew or had an idea from right and wrong. Yet her heart was not in the right place. As she began to run forward with her husband Lot, her heart was still in Sodom and Gomorrah. Many times we can become so comfortable with sin that it sounds louder than the voice of God. Ask God to give you a clean, pure heart. To woo you back from the place you left. He’s willing and ready when you come with a repentant heart.
- Don’t Look Back- Lot and his family were given strict (and life saving) instructions from the angels as they were fleeing the city: Don’t look back and don’t stop anywhere in the plain. The lure and temptation to leave good for greater and bad for best will always present itself. However, obedience to God leads to safety, reward, and His presence in our lives. Asking God to help us keep focused on Him and all that He has for us will usher in giving God glory for the things He’s done.
God will continuously do amazing things in 2016. But if we want to be among those who prosper as God ordains, let’s be mindful that success in Christ means keeping Him first!
Remember Lot’s Wife!
Picture courtesy of Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephaniedan/
It’s the beginning of a new year. YAY! 2017 filled with so much hope and promise….as it should be. It’s another opportunity to pursue goals, reflect on potential endeavors, and take initiative in new (and old) pursuits. Whether you find yourself making a vision board or just keeping goals in mind, we must remember a couple of things in order to make our year truly prosperous.
I recall asking God for direction while preparing to write a blog post for the new year. Wanting to provide a word of inspiration that would be helpful in the days ahead was my goal. In fact, I needed a Word (as always) to guide me into the new year. Sure enough, He gave me just what I needed and what He desires for His people!
Psalm 127:1, Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
“Lord, I just want to be in your Will. If you’re not the Author of it, I don’t want to have anything to do with it.” Those were my words as I took pause and reflected on things in the past. Over the years, I could count many times where I began or pursued something (or someone….now that’s another story J ), and God was not considered in the plans. Nor, was He the Author of them. I truly believe God desires all of us to make that statement of surrender as we go into the new year. I will be the first to tell you, it’s not easy to make. However, I’ve noticed that as my relationship with Him gets closer- I find myself releasing my will and desires more readily.
We all look forward to something new and refreshing for 2017. Whether it’s the birth of new (or rekindling) relationships, jobs, or building skills for personal/ professional growth- I believe that God will open many doors of opportunities. Knowing the process of daily surrender can take time, I believe three points can keep you on the right track for success:
1)Is it a good idea or a God idea? Great ideas are never far from mind in helping others or for personal achievement. Yet, I now understand that just because a good idea has popped into my mind, doesn’t exactly mean it was given from God and that He’s directing me to go forth with it- now or never.
Proverbs 19:21, Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
2) Pray for His guidance and keep your hands open – What I love about the Holy Spirit is that He will never leave us ignorant of His Will. As we present our requests to God, we’re inviting Him into our lives- into this area of our “House”. Lord, I like this or desire to do this- what will YOU have me to do? I’ve discovered we can avoid wasting time and unnecessary drama when we ask, wait, and listen.
Philippians 4:6, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
3) Let the Peace of God rule- You might be asking how do you know when it’s God and when it’s not? God can confirm His Word or answer to you in many ways. However, no matter which way He’s coming, we can rest assure that His Peace (not ours) will be a confirming tool in our hearts. Philippians 4:7, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
If you want to make 2017 your best year EVER, consult the Master Contractor. His plans for us are far better than we could imagine. Who knows, your great idea may actually be His idea! And because He is the Author, He has already made provision for it.