Friday, August 8, 2014

Crisis, Courage and Celebration

Psalm 31:24 KJV
[24] Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord .

Have you ever experienced a day that was filled with planned celebratory events only to have something interrupt your plans? In the midst of all the preparing to celebrate there arise a crisis? It was suppose to be a notable celebratory day that would serve in your memory for the rest of you days.

Recently, I experienced this. My family was preparing to celebrate by husband's retirement on this particular day. As he went off to work to attend  a couple of meetings, the plan was to meet me at the practice for his retirement ceremony. My oldest son was going the local college to turn in paperwork for the upcoming year, as I stayed behind to work on a couple of projects. I planned to finish my projects then go get a few things for our celebratory family dinner, make a few more calls, locate a place to hold a gathering within the coming weeks for my husband's retirement celebration and so on. After everyone left the house I settled down and attempted to complete my list. Thirty minutes into the "list", I received a call. A call that no parent wants to hear.
"Ma'am, your son has been in an accident."
The words ringing in my ear, life paused. I was speechless. My thoughts were many and quick but no words came out of my mouth. The gentleman assured me that my son was okay and that he was apparently shook up but he appear to be physically fine. The images that flooded my mind's eye were overwhelming as I attempted to process how was I going to get to my son. After all, he was driving my car because his needed gas and the school was almost thirty minutes away. The situation was intensified when I could not get in touch with my husband and my cell phone needed to be charged.

Getting into my son's car I prayed, "Lord you are God. You promised me that no harm will over take me nor disaster come near my dwelling place (Psalm 91:10). I choose to walk in faith. I thank you for my son's life an for getting me there safe." I took a deep breath, exhaled and started his car and drove to meet my son. As I did I heard, "Courage."

As I drove I felt myself begin to become overwhelmed with mixed emotions. Anxious to hear from my husband. Again, I inhaled, exhaled and prayed aloud, "Lord, you said be anxious for nothing and to present my request to you in prayer and thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6). Your Word says, it is your will that in everything, I am to give you thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18)."
Inhale, exhale... Again I heard, "Courage."

Truthfully, I knew the Holy Spirit was at work. I sensed His overwhelming presence. I just wanted a hand to hold... I made one more call (cell phone battery at 10%). They answered.
You must know beloved in times like these every word you speak matters! Every word has the power to effect the situation. After a brief greeting, I simply told her that I need prayer to keep my focus. Her words of comfort and peace confirmed what I already knew .
Still the sound of "Courage", took authority over any noise that attempted to dictate my focus.

I am grateful that my son was alright. I was grateful for the gentleman that stopped to be there with my son through this difficult time. I am grateful for the words that held my hands. I am even more grateful for the Holy Spirit, as He spoke to me all along  to "be of good courage".

As I reflect on the past week, it has been revealed to me that although we experience crisis they ironically points us to Christ. The phonemic similarity of the word "crisis" gives settle indicator that one will either call upon Christ in the midst of the crisis as Lord over us even in midst of the crisis or will choose to blame Him for it and walk away. Often times referred to as a "crisis of belief" are the moments in our lives
that can either draw us closer to God and increase our faith or  cause us to walk away.  Our decision in a crisis is often  instinctual. Because  crisis doesn't usually allow time to create a plan of action. Instead we  tend to respond or react instinctively to what is happening. I am now well aware that my time prior to the experience has great impact on my decision. If our time prior to the crisis is any time spent exposing ourselves to the Lord and His Word it makes it that much easier to respond to the crisis in faith than reacting to it. It is because of the exposure to the Word of God we willfully hide in our hearts that will enable us to pray the Word and to hear His word spoken to us. As we understand this, also understand that these decisions will effect the outcome.  It doesn't change the fact that there is a crisis but it will alter the effects that the situation has on you.

My day was not a day of superheroes that altered the crisis. It was the supernatural Word of God that altered me, comforted me and empowered me to face an uncertain situation with courage.
Our scripture says to "be of good courage" meaning to prevail, be secure,  and to grow. When facing situations and circumstances that seems difficult, unbearable, undesirable, and challenging know that it is Him that is strengthening you to do so. Know that you have the strength needed for whatever you face already within you. This strength and assurance allows you to wait on Him with great expectations not doubts ruled by fears. There is a quote that says "courage is not the absence of fear but the acquired ability to move beyond fear".  In a crisis you may experience some apprehensions but walk in faith, towards God anyway knowing that you are strengthened each step of the way. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ever Increasing Faith

James 1:4 AMP
[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.

"But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work..." As I read this scripture I read it as  "but let Faith have full play and do a thorough work... "
Faith is not an emotion or the ability to mentally agree. Faith is the foundation upon which God works. 

Many of us ask God for increase in various areas of our lives. However, we have stifled the possibilities  for increase by our very own beliefs. Or shall I say, the way we "think". What we must understand is this: belief is not faith and faith is more than believing. Belief is mentally agreeing with and idea, a theory or a concept. That's it. It requires nothing more than to mentally agrees. Faith moves beyond that. Faith is stimulated by hope and is the catalyst for miracles.

Hebrews 11:1 KJV
[1] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is having convictions so deep within us that we instinctively act upon them, reguardless of what it looks like or what others may say. Faith is conviction that will yield the endurance needed to manifest the supernatural.  Faith causes us to be consistent. The kind of constancy that envokes steadfastness.  It causes our actions to line up completely and in total agreement with our conviction.  It also causes us to exercise commitment. Commitment that builds up our spiritual tenacity; endurance. This building up in turns, produces patience. 

There are times when our lives are shaken and drastically alter for a moment. It is then we have the power and authority as believers to walk in faith. Walking in faith is applying the Word of God to our situation without doubt. Walking in faith nullifies the weapons launched against us, causing a rippled effect in our lives and those around us. As they that witness our faith in action the manifestation of the supernatural increases and causing an  increase our faith even more.  A walk in faith will always depict a picture of increase.  Faith is ever increasing, within us and in the lives around us. 

Reflect for a moment have what you taken a stance to belive and transition to a realm of faith? Has it caused your convictions to demonstrate consistancy and commitment?  Are you experiencing increase?  Our thoughts will not get the supernatural mainfested in our lives unless it lines up with the Word of God and fueled by faith.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

God Is Love

 There are many opportunities for life in this world to oppose God and His sovereignty. There are just as many attempts to discredit Him. God is Love. For us to fully understand the statment "We have been conditioned to believe that situations, circumstances and choices can cause God to neglect us. Many never really understanding God's love for us supersedes all." We must first go back to understanding His nature.  

1 John 4:8,16 KJV
[8] He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. [16] And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

God is Love. Everything He reproduce is out of his Love for you and I. Though the world has picked up a condesending image of God as being an authoritive heartless dictator, does it mean that it is true? Think for a moment. Where does that image come from? Who are the ones upholding the image? Could it be that this image came from fear, manipulation, or control. Could it have come from displeased unrulely people that want to do things their way without accountability or consequence or even rid themselves of guilt?

Even as we look into the Old Testament we see the acts of God as a means of love. He knew that humanity would have many failed attemepts but because of his love and commitment to the children of Israel He held them accountable for their actions. What, did you think "stinking thinking" was a criteria for good stewardship of the promise land? No, in order for any of us to receive and walk in the promises of God we must have a thought life that mirror His. Therefore accountability, self-control, self- discipline, faith, and wisdom must be the criteria. Otherwise we would mishandle and deform His character. For the promises and blessings of God are merely a part of Himself. 

The omnipotent God knew that we won't fully understand. That's why the record of His love is availble through the Word. In the scriptures He illustrates Himself to us by being the primary example from which all others are to follow.

Romans 5:8 KJV
[8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 KJV
[16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

As in any relationship the more time spent, the greater the level of sacrifice the more difficult it is to just stop loving. Therefore, God being Love and having done more than any of us could fully understands reminds usthrough the Apostle Paul, 

Romans 8:38-39 AMP
[38] For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, [39] Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Just as with any relationship, it takes two. Therefore what you get out of the relationship depends on you also. Will you receive the Love of God today? Are you willing to commit yourself to a love that is pure and holy and without false pretense? A Love that heals, restores, refreshes you and gives you rest? I know there may be some sting or hurt that the word love has caused you in the past but understand Beloved, that God love for you was established before your existence and nothing can turn His heart for you away. I invite you to know Him as the Lover of your soul. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Declare Your Independence

2 Corinthians 3:15-18 NLT
[15] Yes, even today when they read Moses' writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand. [16] But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. [17] For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. [18] So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.(emphasis added)

As those in the United States celebrate the forefathers that instituted the Declaration of Independence let us not forget that those that have fought and died for freedom.
Each year I reflect on this thought: "there have been many lives taken in an effort to bring me freedom but only one has given me a freedom that is eternal".

As I reflect on the liberties that have been drafted, constituted and fought for I can't do so without understanding that many are still in bondage. Yes, even in the "Land of the Free". 

Can a person be in bondage and be free? Yes. Can a person be free and still live in bondage? Yes again .
Unless you have receive Christ as Lord and Savior you are bound by this world. The history of the United States indicate that they fought for independence from another country that had governmental rule over them. They were not satisfied with just relocating to another part of the world. There was a war fought and contractual documentation of their declared independence! Same is true for your Spiritual freedom.
There is a governmental rule that Jesus Christ defeated alone. The  declaration of the believers' independence is the Word of God!!

Colossians 2:13-15 NLT
[13] You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. [14] He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. [15] In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

The Spirit of The Lord brings you freedom from the bondage of sin and all the residue it leaves. You see beloved, where the Spirit of The Lord is there is repentance, redemption, reconciliation, restoration and revival. 

Receive your freedom today.
Walk in your freedom today.
Proclaim to others true freedom.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

What More Do We Need?

Romans 8:31-39 MSG
[31-39] So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us---who was raised to life for us!---is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing---nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable---absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

What more do you need? 
This is my favorite scripture because this scripture reveals and reminds us of an " all-knowing" God, full of compassion, grace and mercy. His unfailing and unconditional love towards His children is so great that we often miss it. We have been conditioned to believe that situations, circumstances and choices can cause God to neglect us. Many never really understanding God's love for us supersedes all. 

1 Peter 4:8 says that love covers a multitude of sins. Although the scripture is speaking of our need to exercise a forgiving love, it reflects the God-kind-of love. After all God is the leading expert on love and forgiveness. It was His love that not only removed our sins but gave us a resurrected and renewed life.  Many of us aren't able to express or experience this love because we are unwilling to forgive. It is because we are unable to forgive that we are challenged in our thinking. We have a hard time believing that God could even express His love for us in such an unconditional way. It becomes a challenge to accept that His love is so strong, so powerful, so great that nothing has the ability to seperate us from Him. Nothing! 

Beloved we have all experienced rejection but do not allow those experiences to dictate who God is or what His capabilities are! Turn your rejection into a love that will cover a "multitude of sin". Remember Jesus was dipised and rejected. He was closely familiar with grief. But it was love that allowed Him to be the ultimate sacrifice that removed sin and extended grace. His love heals, deliverers and set captive free. His love restores and repurposes; giving life to lifeless situations.  Notice his ministry; his service was for the "unloveable"!  Just think what a different world this would be if we chose to service the unlovable with an unconditional love.

When I became a parent I had a better understanding of this. When my children were babies I didn't stop loving them because they cried, needed a diaper change, spit up or got sick. When they were young toddlers I didn't stop loving them because they had temper tantrums. As they experienced childhood, I didn't stop loving them because they tested limits and household boundaries. Nor did I stop loving them as teenagers because of their independent thinking which lead to rebellion. Nor have I stopped loving them as adults because they choose to live life independently of me. They all have made interestingly irrational decisions but it doesn't make them "bad" or unlovable! It is an expressed unconditional love that confirms within themselves that "I belong to something greater than myself" and  "I can, I will " attitude emerges. This scripture passage has this effect on me. It doesn't matter if I trip, stubble or fall I can get back up knowing that God has not forsaken me!

John 3:16 KJV
[16] For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8 KJV
[8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 Will you receive God's word on today? Will you make a decision to receive His love today?
 Send me an email and share your story with me.
blkdbutterfly@gmail.com 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Listen, He is Calling You


Romans 8:29-30 MSG
[29-30] God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

It just is amazingly awesome to get a glimpse of God's sovereignty! As previously read, God not only created you and I but He has an actual plan for our lives. He, considering all things, mapped out our lives that it would fit into His plan of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). We see here, spelled out in the Message version of the Bible, that Jesus, his Son set the standard of restoring humanity unto the true and living God. It is Jesus's example, that the ministry of reconciliation and restoration is revealed. God in all His Glory desires for you and I to be apart of that! How exciting is that? We were invited before we were even born, even before we "got it right". Wait, we were invited before our attempts to become perfect were manifested! I am inspired to see that God wanted me to be apart of what He is doing before I knew what I was doing.

We read here that we are a manifested thought of God's. A thought that came to life and given a name by which He called forth to do what He predestined us to do. I am in awe of how when God calls you by name it's with great intent. Have you ever had someone call your name just to be saying it without any intent? Or better yet say nevermind? Well, that aggravates me and I am so glad God doesn't do that.

When you were formed (ever so strategically) in your mother's womb, it was for a purpose. Everything God does is with a purpose. He called you then to be someone. He created you and destined you for greatness. Unlike the world's definition of greatness, God's greatness is to be a part of a eternal plan. 
I believe that the name God calls you by is the authentic being He created you to be. Your original name...the authentic you. The name that reflects His character for all to see. So no matter what name or labels you've acquired your true identity was establiahed as greatness in Him. Your are his!

God is so God that He not only called you but He justified you. He established you and verified you to become on the foundations of Himself. He even promises to be with you through the process of becoming the authentic you He created you to be. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. Seuss that says, "Why fit in when you are born to stand out!"  Understand that the glory He receives is not in our doing as much as is is in living a life that points others to him. We do that when we live an authentic life in true relationship with Him. It was once said to me that "religion is mankind's attempt to find God", but God doesn't need to be found! He simply is and the Sovereign God has purposely thought you into existence, strategically placed you in your mothers womb to be birth in this world to be apart of an eternally great plan! Simply being an authentic person in relationship with Him and pointing others to Him by reflecting His likeness; His character brings Him glory.

Monday, June 2, 2014

With This In Mind

Romans 8:29 AMP
[29] For those whom He foreknew of whom He was aware and loved beforehand, He also destined from the beginning foreordaining them to be molded into the image of His Son and share inwardly His likeness, that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.

The last time we met, I shared with you the simple truth, that no matter the circumstances, nevermind the situation, things and individuals that seemingly upset our lives, it's all good! The Word of God assures the believers that it will still workout for our good!!!

So today let me begin with an apology to those that were reading my blog frequently and regularly. I also would like to thank those of you that support my blog and expressed your concerns and hopes of reading more postings from me. 

As we know life can throw us a series of curveballs. You would think, we would get to a place in our understanding to expect the unexpected. Life shouldn't take us by surprise but in fact it does sometimes. It is easy to get lost in the affairs of this world. The everyday task of living in this world can overwhelm us at times  but beloved remember we are not of this world. This is not our final destination. I am grateful that God "foreknew"! 

The scripture says the He foreordained; predetermined for us to be molded into the image of Jesus Christ and share in his likeness. Understanding that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God (his thoughts revealed to mankind) we can be certain that it is no happenstance that this passage comes after telling us that "all things work together for our good".  

May I propose that because He is so God that He, having "foreknew and preordained", can say to us ahead of time, "Beloved everything will workout. In fact it is going to workout in your favor, for your good. Do you know why? Because I foreknew. I preordained; predetermined and predestined; predesigned your life with all that in mind. My mind, not yours (Isaiah 55:8-9). I prepared and laid the master plans, a fool-proof plan (Jeremiah 29:11) of your life taking all those things into consideration. So get yourself together and know that you're a champion. Walk out your preordained; predetermined path without fear of defeat and failure as a means to an end. Instead move forward understanding that the challenges, setbacks or disappointments you face are molding you more into the likeness of the Son."

Do we focus too much attention, investing too much time in those seemingly "upsets"? When we should be continually working in our purpose and moving towards our destiny? He told us- no He assured us that, all things work together for our good! Now here in verse 29, He shares his perspective with us, why and how. It is for our good because as we mature, we began to learn of His ways and as we learn of His ways, we begin to develop more of Christ likeness, his character. God uses our lives to reflect Himself in the earth through you and I. As we continue our journey with its ups and downs we are should be challenged. Without the challenge we wouldn't have a need to change our perspectives or our outlooks. These challenges encourage a transformation into the likeness of Christ, the manifestation of God in the Earth.