by Dori Cass
I have known Jesus Christ for 32 years. In those years I've accumulated a record of experiences. I have experienced answers to prayer; witnessed healing of various sorts and watched God prove to me that what he says in his word is true today!
I am one who would say...God amazes me! You cannot outdo Him! He overwhelms me! He provides and answers to the finest detail....and then some. Praise God! Look at what he has done!
So why do I doubt him? Why do I wonder? If God is so amazing and overwhelms me with his ways, why do I fight him? Why don't I trust and obey completely? Why don't I pursue him first and most?
I've wondered the same about his people Israel. When Moses arose and led God's people Israel out of slavery, his people witnessed some of the greatest revelations of God's ability. God foretold what he would do to bring his people to freedom. Ten plagues were set upon Egypt and each one came to pass just as it was foretold, proving that God is not a liar but a keeper of his word.
In the forty years the Hebrews were in the desert, God revealed himself before their very eyes! He was tangible! They saw him in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. God parted the red sea and they walked between two walls of water! He provided for them in sweetening bitter water, quail, manna that fell from heaven, water from a rock and rising against the Amalekites defeating them. And yet they did not trust God or obey him.
The reason they remained in the wilderness for a length of forty years was due to their attitude and unbelief. They lacked a heart of gratitude for what God had done for them and lacked faith in Gods divine providence. During those wandering years God took that time to teach them of his power. He tested their obedience giving them instructions to see if they would follow his word. And though God had shown himself to being as large as a tornado and as bright as a towering inferno by night, they were so stiff necked they refused to follow! But do not miss this. God also proved that his love for his people was more stubborn as he never abandoned them. At every stage of the journey God demonstrated his covenant love and commitment to his people.
And so I've wondered. With a visible, powerful God in their very midst, why did they doubt? Why did they refuse to accept God as all powerful? Why did they insist on doing it their way? I think most of us would agree we are all dumbfounded by this lack of faith. I have not seen God as a pillar of fire or a cloud funnel but I CAN testify to the following:
GOD IS A HEALING GOD! During a prayer service years ago I witnessed God heal a fragment of disc in my husbands back. One moment the bump was there for me to find and feel in his back and the next – gone. No more pain. God still heals today.
GOD IS THE KEEPER OF HIS WORD! A man with the gift of prophecy visited our church. God would point him to various people and this man was able to see into someone's past and future as directed by God. I was blessed to be called on and a word was given to me, He saw me surrounded by young women and that I was feeding them not with food though I would have food but with the word of God. I was stupefied at that point by this word because at that time I was involved in Boy Scouts with my son. Ten years later I joined youth staff which launched me into a special season of my life ministering one on one to a group of girls who came to my home each week. Some of those relationships remain today as I continue to speak into the lives of these now grown women. And here I am now writing for a magazine for women. God is not a liar.
GOD IS OUR PROVIDER! During what we refer to as our storm of '96 – my husband lost his job and we made just enough income to pay our rent but nothing else. In that year of drought, we ate better than we could provide for ourselves. Food arrived in miraculous ways! We had purposely not advertised our predicament because I wanted to see the very hand of God move. And it did. Bags of groceries arrived on our doorstep, in our car, through the mail even. There were desperate moments when utilities were turned off but just as quickly money arrived to turn them back on!
GOD IS SPECIFIC! During this same drought someone brought in bags of groceries and as I put them away I noticed that we had all we could need or want but interestingly enough there was no meat. We had hamburger helper with no hamburger. Odd that I noticed this until the following week when a relative from another state arrived for an overnight stay bringing with her a marine cooler full of beef. God had told her to butcher one of her cows and bring us some meat! Who but GOD could arrange such a transaction?
GOD RAISES THE DEAD! I have not witnessed life returning to a dead body but I have watched God sustain life. I have witnessed God take hold of a life that was dead and a marriage that was gone and resurrect it. I remember the overwhelming hopelessness I felt as I surveyed the land that was my marriage. A tornado of issues had devastated the landscape of my marriage and heart to the point that when I looked at my husband I felt nothing. My last hope was turning to God and relying upon him. I stayed to give it one last try. I don't quite know what happened exactly but over the course of time there was a little spark. A flicker of life. It was as though one blade of grass pushed through the devastated ground. This continued to happen over the months to follow until I found myself in love again with my husband. And there are many more testimonies I could share!
What about in your own life? Where did God meet you? What prayers has he answered for you? See I came to know many years ago that God admonishes us to remember. Remember Gods commands (Deuteronomy 6). Remember his works (1 Chronicles). Remember the days of old where God met you before ( Deut. 32). Remember the works he hath done (1 Chron. 16). People of biblical times were impressed upon to remember so much that they built altars with rocks to signify the place where God met them and answered their hearts cry! Write them on your doorposts, tie them around your wrists! REMEMBER!
And perhaps that is why we doubt. We forget how powerful God has been. We allow the reality of his power to be erased by the dominions of hell. Perhaps that is why we get so busy and why there is so much to make us busy. Perhaps that is why God allowed his people to remain in the desert for 40 years. They were there and he had their undivided attention. When the pathway is straight we continue walking...but when we trip over a rock, it halts us in our tracks! He wants our undivided attention and desires teachable hearts.
He stayed with them for 40 years humbling them and revealing to them the inner workings and striving of their human heart which always leads us away from God. Deuteronomy 8:3 says, “He humbled you causing you to hunger, then feeding you with manna which neither you nor your ancestors had known to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God!
Years and chapters later we hear Jesus reiterating what should be the cornerstone of our very life! In Matthew 4:4 – “Jesus answered, For it is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” I would almost add, and by every deed ever done by God.
If we never forgot, we would never doubt God. We would never let our experiences with him lose their glory! When troubles come our way we would grab hold of our faith and point it with vigor toward the mountain in our path and cast it down. We would give him the first of our day instead of the leftovers. We would remember it is best to be sustained by God rather than to be self-sustained. We would remember we have the option between struggling to exist and living. We would remember how we need him and want him to be the center point of our life and our priorities would prove that.
We say what we believe, but we do what we value.
Lord, help us to be a people who remember your glory. Help us Father to remember your stubborn love – to remember every time you have answered our cries for help and intercession. Help our lives reflect what our spirits say...my life is in you! Help me to clear my life of the clutter! Lord help my unbelief! Give me a teachable, repentant heart O Lord! Help me to put you first and to obey every word and directive given by you. In Jesus powerful name, Amen!
by Maria Breeden
Jesus died a dishonorable death so that we could walk in honor as children of God. Why do we dishonor our Creator and Savior by continually putting up with situations, circumstances, issues and relationships that bring shame to His Name?
Ways We Dishonor the Power of Christ in Our Lives
We refuse to trust in Him to lead us and guide us through his Word & Holy Spirit, instead following after our carnal thinking and worldly “advice”.
Because we are naturally self-sufficient and independent, we actually loathe humbling ourselves and admitting that our little mess is not really working that well. We have good intentions but lack the actual grace and power of God to carry it out. Actually reading the Bible, praying, listening quietly and doing what you believe God is leading requires time and effort. God gives grace if we don’t give up.
We stay in situations, circumstances, jobs and relationships that bring us down and wear us out because we feel stuck.
Our pride and fear of the unknown keeps us stuck. Stuck is another word for bondage. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Corinthians. 3:17). Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36). He did not sweat blood, get His head stuck with thorns, get beat up and spat upon, pierced in the side, and nails in His feet and hands for us to deliberately stay in situations that do not honor Him. This means we ask for grace and courage to get out, work through it, and do whatever we need to do to make it right without violating our vows and promises to God.
Allowing fear, distractions, obligations, past mistakes and crowd/people/family pleasing (what will “they” think) to keep us from using talents, gifts and abilities that He placed in us to bring Him glory and honor is another way we dishonor God.
The praise of men and the criticism of men should be taken with a grain of salt. Get excited about neither one. No human has a heaven or hell to put you in for eternity. Fear is a great hindrance. God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Jesus told us to pick up our cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23). This means actually leaving the distractions and doing what you know in your heart God told you to do.
Reasons Why We Dishonor Christ and Ourselves
Lack of Wholeness & Completeness in Christ
Being complete in Christ means you are no longer spiritually or emotionally hungry. A very hungry person will eat junk food and snacks – whatever is available. This is what the worldly lifestyle offers. This is also the same level of carnal or baby Christians, who only scratch the surface with God and live on milk instead of getting their own meat. Worldly junk food includes vain pursuits, selfish dreams, ungodly ambitions, money, materialism, sex, and career advancement to fill spiritual and emotional hunger. The cold reality is that none of these things actually matter when you die. No one says on their deathbed that they wished they had spent more time at work or if they could go online to check their bank balance one last time.
Complete means whole, entire, and full. The definition of broken is “having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order... rejected, defeated, or despairing”. Integrity is taken from the root word “integer” which in mathematics means a whole number, not a fraction. A broken person does not function in true integrity. They have internal fractions. This creates unhealthy neediness for attention, validation, position/titles, money, and love to provide a false sense of wholeness alongside nagging fears. The problem with this is that if any of their snacks/props fall apart, they will fall apart too because they lack integrity. They have to pretend they got it all together.
Failure to Allow Christ to Heal Our Brokenness
However, if a person is spiritually and emotionally complete in Christ they are also whole and thus have structural integrity on the inside. There is no need to pretend or prove anything to anyone anymore. They do not need the world’s junk food to stay alive and whole. We are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). We got that way when we accepted who He is and what He did on the cross. We received ALL of this by faith. If we received Christ—then we got ALL of Him. Not a little piece, crumb, slice or fraction. If we got ALL of Him it is high time we start living it. We bring dishonor and discredit to Him and ourselves when we choose to live fractured lives when He gave it ALL.
If we do not bring Him honor, we certainly are not honoring to ourselves. Honor God by first honoring your self as His child. You cannot be an effective mother, father, husband, wife, minister, employee, business leader or anything without getting this honor thing right first. Honor God by letting Him be God in you. Show God due honor and respect by actually doing what He said to do in His Word. Honor God with your life by making a non-negotiable decision to live the life that He gave you to the fullest, using ALL that you have been given to His Glory. Show God due honor by making the effort to actually renew your mind and allowing Him to heal your internal mess. Stop the self-inflicted pain of dining on junk food or milk or by refusing to be healed and whole because of what “They” may think. Let Him show you, lead you, guide you and heal you. Then you will walk in Honor as His child, daughter or son.
By Christina Stolaas
The rate at which humanity wastes and disregards limited resources has grown tremendously in recent decades. In our hurried lives, we crave disposable items as we move through life “on the go” day to day at an increased pace. Passionate voices behind the recycle and reuse movements have presented catchy campaigns, hard data, and persuasive reasons for us to reuse, recycle, and repurpose. Amidst a culture and society so focused on reusing tangible resources, we must not miss the brilliance in the fact that the Giver and Creator of all resources, has demonstrated a model of recycling from the beginning of time.
Truly, God is in the recycling business. All throughout the Bible we see God repurpose and reuse lives that have unbelievable amounts of garbage in them. Noah was a drunk, David an adulterer, Jonah ran from God in rebellion, Paul a murderer, the list goes on and on through our Bible genealogy of hero’s of the faith. Our faith in Jesus offers us so much more then forgiveness of sins and eternity in heaven. God’s offer to every believer is new life here on earth, an exchange of the trash of your past for a repurposed future.
Each and every one of us has baggage. We’ve hurt others. Others have hurt us. We’ve lived selfishly. We’ve been angry, hateful, jealous, bitter, prideful, lustful, and impatient. We’ve all done things we are ashamed of, and it’s easy to cringe at the thought of the garbage that is unique to our “life trashcan” being pulled out to be recycled. The enemy of our souls so easily tricks Christians into living in such a viscous shame cycle that we beg Jesus to just take our trash away!
“Dispose of it quietly...” we plead.
In Romans 8:28, it says that God works all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
God has a purpose and a redemptive plan, even in our screw-ups. I believe that one of the ways this purpose plays out most practically in our lives is when we cooperate with the way God desires to recycle our regrets, mistakes and suffering. Sadly, our world has prevalent suffering, trials, unexpected hardships and unfair circumstances that consistently weave in and out of each of our lives on an almost daily basis. None of us are exempt, and though we grapple and strive for control or predictability of our future, it can never be adequately attained.
1 Corinthians 1:4 lays out God’s recycling plan for our lives with such purpose,
"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
God guides us, strengthens us, enables us, protects us and moves us through “life’s moments” so that we can recycle our experiences of His faithfulness to help others. As God recycles our lives, He uses our testimonies to provide tangible references to the promises found in scripture. When we’ve experienced joy in the middle of heartbreaking circumstances, we exemplify hope in the darkness (Ps 30:11). When we’ve experienced provision in dire circumstances, we can testify to the God who controls all the riches in the world. (Matthew 6:31-32) When we’ve experienced His protection against those who slander or wish to harm us, we are living proof that even when others mean harm, God can shield, undo, or thwart their advances. (Genesis 50:20).
Just as one must be intentional about recycling physically here on earth, we must be equally diligent in allowing God to recycle our life garbage. We must cooperate in allowing Him to take our trash, expose it, break it down, remanufacture and repurpose it however He sees fit. We must be receptive and responsive to the still and quiet voice that leads us in this process. I truly believe God desires to waste nothing in our lives. Every experience, hardship and trial can be used to refine us, encourage others and give Him glory.
Friends, everyday you are given a choice. You can choose to wastefully trash your life experiences, or, you can be intentional about inviting God to recycle your trash and bring forth treasure.
By Danielle Erwin
I have always admired people who can go thrift shopping.
Being able to take something that someone else deemed as junk, rehab it and give it a new use or a second showing is a talent that I just don’t have.
In my defense, I’ve tried it! I’ve gone into thrift stores and second hand shops on numerous occasions. Armed with my Pinterest account and my smart phone, you’d think I’d have some luck…yea, not so much.
Effective thrifting is just not my strong suite.
So I was downright shocked and amazed when God “thrifted” me. When I looked at my life, I always say my blunders…my faults, my mis-steps; every mistake I’ve ever made. I always knew that even in the midst of my faults God could redeem me…I just never really believed that He would.
Imagine with me that you are one of those thrifty Pinterest women. You go thrifting and come upon a gorgeous piece of clothing, jewelry or a household item. You fall in love with it, not only for what it currently is but for what you believe and envision it can be. You purchase it and take it home, anxious to work your magic on it, restore it and show it off!
When you get it home and clean the item and have an opportunity to look at it more closely, you begin to see nicks and scrapes in it. Perhaps there are stains that won’t come out of the fabric or a funny seam or hemline. Rather than sighing in discouragement (like I know I would), your appreciation for the item grows even more.
You recognize that all the scrapes, stains, bumps and bruises make that item truly unique. You revel in the fact that no one else will have an item exactly like the one you have. Your mind fills with stories and imagined tales of how those scrapes, stains, bumps and bruises came to be.
When you’ve cleaned up and rehabbed the item to your liking, you sit back in admiration of the work you’ve done. You’ve taken an item that was otherwise discarded, lost and forgotten about and gave it a new purpose and a second chance.
One of my favorite saying by Patsy Clairmont is, “God uses cracked pots.”
We are all cracked pots.
We all have bumps, bruises, scars and stains from our past mistakes (and our current ones).
But God loves that about us.
I’m of the belief that God loves cracked pots and has a special place in His heart for cracked pots. Why? Because our scars and cracks show our desperate need for Him. If we could heal ourselves or rehab ourselves we would have no need for our Creator.
As soon as I stopped looking at my past and my mistakes as these horrible scars and stains on the fabric of my life, I had a new found appreciation and love for God. It took some time but I’ve grown to realize that the very scars and stains that I once despised have me unique. I now have an amazing testimony and the ability to reach women; specific women, all because of my scars.
Embrace your scars.
Embrace your wounds, your stains, your bruises…everything that reminds you of who you were or who you’re fighting to no longer be.
Remember, God uses cracked pots. He loves cracked pots.
He loves you.
By Salem Afangideh
Desire, charming, captivating are some of the root words used to describe the name “Delilah
” and looking at the story of Samson in the book of Judges shows Delilah to be the seductress who could bring down the most powerful man of God. She was every bit manipulative, sweet talking, and desirable.
When we read through the book of Judges, we tend to want to learn from women like Deborah who was such a powerful example of Godly femininity but there is also something to be learned from Delilah. Although she is a classic example of femininity used wrongly, she knew the power of femininity and was great at manipulating because of what she had.
In our modern day world where being female is considered weak and women are constantly trying to become like men, I think there is something to be said about the strength that women possess when we truly embrace our femininity. Here are a few of our “secret weapons” that can be used effectively for Gods Glory in our relationship with others:
- Our Words: Delilah single-handedly caused the most powerful man of her generation to loose his power because of her nagging and manipulative words. Every day we have so many opportunities to speak life to the men in our lives whether that is a husband, boyfriend, brother, teacher, pastor, random guy sitting next to us in class. Life and death is in the power of the tongue and by our gentle words, kind words, wise words people can be drawn closer to the heart of the Father.
Nagging and manipulative words may get you what you want at the moment, but in the long run it destroys a relationship/friendship.
- Our Love: I grew up hearing the saying that “behind every successful man is a woman” and oh how true it is! As powerful as men are, there is an extra measure of blessing to them that comes from having a woman that loves and accepts you the way you are. It is a sweet blessing to be respected, nurtured, and . Women are created with a deep capacity to love, we are made to be relational beings and that is why we can come up with several different creative ways to show love to the people around us.
Sometimes its easy to stifle our ability to love and reserve it for our (future) husband and kids, but even as single young woman we have the responsibility to channel this love to serve others in the body of Christ. Not necessarily by seeking to serve the single, good looking young men in church, but by cooking for that old couple that lives by themselves, or keeping the kids of that single mom who will probably never be able to pay you back, or writing encouraging letters to the new Christians in church, or maybe taking out one of the elderly widows for a dinner date night...There are so many unique ways that we can love others in the world around us and we need to take advantage of that because the love of a woman is a powerful gift to the world.
- Our Drive/Motivation: Delilah had set her eyes upon the money she would receive for bringing Sampson to the philistines and that motivated her to get the job done. We, as women have the powerful ability to do whatever we set our minds to do. We have an incredible opportunity to chose the things of the LORD to be passionate about and then help others to be focused on those . Rather than being driven by money, selfish gains, popularity, lets be driven by compassion and become passionate about the Church, about ending injustice in the world, about leading people to the LORD.
Time in God's presence makes a woman more beautiful!
- Our Beauty: To be the woman who caught the eyes of the most powerful man in the world, Delilah probably had it going on, but what use is it to develop and cultivate a physical beauty with a shallow heart? 1 Peter 3 says we should be women whose beauty comes from the inward radiance of our hearts. The most beautiful of women are those that though outwardly they may not meet the worlds standards of beauty, yet they reflect a beauty that literally draws people to them.
While it is important to dress up Gods temple in a beautiful way, it is more important not to obsess over the beauty that comes from makeup, jewelry, certain kinds of clothes. We NEED to spend more time with the author of beauty who makes us beautiful rather than trying to create a superficial beauty. Godly women are the most beauty of women and the world sees a radiance when they look at us. Rather than using this beauty to manipulate and draw attention to ourselves, lets us our beauty to point others to the author of beauty!
Ladies, imagine how powerful of a force Sampson and Delilah would have been together for the Kingdom if she had used her “secret weapons” for the Glory of the King?
By Chelsie Johnson
I’m a word type of girl. I love reading quotes, lyrics, and scripture that I can relate to at the present time. Recently, there has been a song that whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or overly busy I start quietly singing, “Nothing can separate. Even if I ran away. Your love never fails."
No, I don’t intentionally run away from God, but I do find myself getting too caught up in other things that I don’t make time for Him. I’m a full time student, nanny, daughter, girlfriend, friend, and sister. I shouldn’t use those as excuses to not have time for God, but can I be honest? Yes, there are times when I get so caught up in the things going on around me that by the end of the day I feel deprived of my time with God. There have many times I have to take my devotion into the bathroom with me and just sit on the counter and pour over it. At a stoplight, I’ve pulled up my Bible app and read over a couple scriptures. Recently, I started hanging scriptures up around my house with the hopes of changing them weekly, but it doesn’t always get done. I can get frustrated with myself for not spending more time with God.
I’m reminded in Romans 8:31-39 (MSG) “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It’s so encouraging to know that no matter how busy we get, no matter how much homework we have, how much time we have to take care of our loves ones-that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.
Sisters, I challenge you, in your days ahead, to make it a point to have that time with Christ. If you feel like your relationship with Him is beginning to separate, run back to Him. He is there with open arms and He understands that we often can feel busy and overwhelmed with day-to-day duties. But He also knows that if you carry Him with you during those day-to-day duties you will accomplish them at a better degree.
By Carla Cannon
Have you ever found yourself in a place and began to look around wondering or even thinking to yourself, “How did I end up…here”? Your “here” may be an abusive relationship or a bad decision that left you pregnant and your child fatherless. Or perhaps you did save yourself for your husband only to have him cheat on you and bring home a three letter word that has now flipped your entire life upside down. Perhaps you currently find yourself in a place where it appears so surreal therefore you try to sleep your life away, praying you are only having a bad dream only to wake up and realize what you are experiencing is indeed reality. No matter where you may currently find yourself, you must know there is a way out and His name is Jesus.
Maybe you have never heard of Him, so please allow me time for a brief introduction. Jesus is one who died on a cross for all humanity, was bruised for our iniquities when He personally knew no sin. Not only was he beaten and spat on, but He also endured having his hands nailed to a cross just so you and I could live again. So, yes He died on a cross, but on the third day He arose with all power in His hands.
He is known for performing many miracles such as causing blind eyes to see, feeding 5,000 people with only two fish and five loaves of bread and still having a few baskets left over.
See Jesus was no ordinary man although many referred to him as the carpenter’s son, but He is the great I AM. He is the Alpha and Omega and He is the only one who can take all of our sins, regrets and areas in which we have fallen short in and allow them to all work for our good, while in the process also forgiving us and freeing us from each of them.
See, you didn’t accidently end up at this place called “here” but you were strategically placed by God to allow Him the opportunity to prove to you who He really is in your life. You must understand God can do absolutely anything and He makes no mistakes. If He can allow Peter to walk on water, then surely He can snatch you up out of any situation you may find yourself in.
So, arise my sister from this place called “here” for this was never your destined place and you have been here far too long. God has amazing plans for your life which you know not of because sometimes we can’t see further than where we are but that is where true faith comes in effect. No longer shall you be bound in depression, low self-esteem, poor self- image, homosexuality, or anything else that has tried to hold you captive. Be free on today and know that your change is not coming but it is already here!
Destiny is calling you my sister….but the question is will you answer?
You have officially been pulled out of a place that once had you bound. So now you are free to depart from this place called……HERE.
By Jamesina Greene
“And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet RESTING PLACES.” Isaiah 32:18
There is a high level of anxiety in the air. There is a sense of overwhelming dread and despair everywhere you go. News reports abound with mostly bad news and negative stories. Receiving all of this into our five senses often leaves us feeling that there is no hope for the world. The ever increasing perpetration of evil acts by humanity against humanity each other is simply unreal at times. Innocent children are being killed on a daily basis by those who have no real justification for their behavior. The elderly in our society, who should be cherished as life treasures, are being abused and misused and often suffering in silence. In addition, even those who we look to for spiritual guidance are reportedly falling short and without exhibiting a personal need for repentance, are leading many to a place of exposure to the wrath of God.
I don’t know about you, but there are days when I just pray for rest. That’s it, nothing else. Period. I just want to rest. As women, we tend to take on the burdens and concerns of others around us. It is our divinely designed nature to want to fix things and make them right. We awaken in the morning thinking about the things we must accomplish today that will make life more comfortable for those we love. Throughout the day, we consistently put these ideas and plan into motion. When we lie down at night, we automatically do a mental check list to evaluate what we did accomplish and what we have yet to accomplish. In far too many cases, we do not get the proper rest because our mental check list are still running throughout the night. This is not the Father’s desire for you.
This constant sense of “needing to get something done” is not necessarily a good place to be. We must come to accept the fact, that there are some things that we just cannot do. There are things that we are not created to handle or fix. There are people whose lives we will not help to change. There are places that we are not meant to go. That is just the reality of the situation.
As Christians, we function from a place of compassion and love. We long to have peace with all men and we desire to love and be loved by all of those in our lives. As Christian women, we combine our nurturing selves with our redeemed selves and if we are not careful we become emotionally overwhelmed. The answer to this dilemma is to rest in the knowledge that God is STILL in control. Regardless to how it looks on the outside, God is STILL in control.
I feel compelled to encourage you today to accept the fact that our Sovereign God yet reigns. Allow yourself to relax and be at peace with His plan. Holy Spirit is wooing us into a place of peace and communion with Him. He is bidding us to enter into “sweet rest” that is found in His presence. He wants us to spend more time with Him and less time worrying about things that we cannot change.
He is the God who has given you the many ideas, desires and plan that you have. Yet, He did not give them to you so that they can control you. He has given them to you to enjoy and to bring Him glory in the earth. If what you are doing is stressing you out and manifesting in physical, emotional or spiritual illness, then I suggest that it’s time to make some readjustments. As you spend time with Him, ask Him for direction for TODAY and watch Him return you to that place of peace and sweet rest.
Be encouraged my sisters. These are the last days and we must be sure that our activities are in aligning with our divine assignment. Let us not be so busy being “active” that we are not being “productive.” Yes, these are the days that are testing our very foundational faith. But these are also the days that Holy Spirit is being pouring out upon us as never before. We are accomplishing more for the Kingdom than those before us could even dream.
Come on go with me. Let’s enter in to His presence and enjoy that sweet rest.
By Kieya Hudson
We’re all taught from an early age that God is our Father and we are children of God.
It’s so easy to say, tweet, preach and even put in our Instagram bios that God is our Father. But do we, as His children, really believe it?
It’s safe to say that fathers play a huge role in a child’s life. Throughout time and especially the word of God, we see how much impact a father makes on a child. One of the greatest father-son relationships we see is our Saviors’ relationship with the Heavenly Father. Christ shows us how important this relationship is. He even opens the model prayer for Christians with, “Our Father...” Jesus shows us something that’s often overlooked by His amazing signs and miracles. Jesus shows us relationship.
The only way we can truly understand that we are children of God is by examining our relationship with our Earthly fathers.
Since we are imperfect people, we make mistakes. Sometimes other people’s mistakes can cost us a lifetime of hurt. We allow mistakes made by our Earthly fathers to limit our relationship with our Heavenly Father. My Earthly father is an amazing man and even greater father. But even he made mistakes. When I was six, my parents separated for a period of time. My brother and I lived with my mom thousands of miles away from my dad. During that period of time, I felt confused, lost, and abandoned. Ultimately my parents reunited and are still married after almost 22 years.
That season of abandonment did a wonder on me subconsciously. Once I fully started following The Lord, I found it difficult to trust Him with my entire heart. Subconsciously, I felt that at any moment He would abandon me. One day in prayer the Lord spoke to me, “I’m not going anywhere, daughter. I won’t leave you.” Tears immediately flowed. The pain of my dad’s mistake was the roadblock in my way of fully yielding my whole heart to Him.
What mistakes did your earthly father make that is limiting your relationship with your Heavenly Father?
Precious daughter, your Father in Heaven wants your entire heart. Allow Him to heal you of your daddy’s mistakes. You’ll never know Him as your Father if you continue to harbor pain from the mistakes your earthly father has made.
Knowing God as your Father is more than just using “IAmAChildOfGod” as your Twitter name. It’s about knowing His characteristics—that He is kind, faithful, and merciful. It’s about knowing that His love for you is perfect, unfailing, and never ending. It’s about knowing that He rejoices over just one thought of you. It’s about KNOWING Him.
Today, allow the Lord to heal the wounds in your heart. Let that healing bring forgiveness to your father’s mistakes. Your father isn’t God; it’s in his nature to make mistakes, just as it’s in yours. The only perfect Father is seated in Heavenly places. Whether your father was or wasn’t there for you, know that there is no such thing as a fatherless child. He has adopted you, daughter. No matter what your past looks like, you are seated with Him at His table.
A child is secure when they know that they have a father that protects them, provides for them, and loves them. Yes, Christ came to save us—to redeem us—to reconcile us back. But He also came to grant us the same relationship that He has with the Father.
Stop seeing yourself as fatherless by worrying, doubting, and fearing. Embrace the greatest love of your Father in Heaven.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. –Psalm 68:5
By Dori Albright-Cass
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the place where people gather and comfort abides. It is the one room of the house that appeals to all senses. From the kitchen comes sustenance and life.
My mother was at home in the kitchen. It was her office. Her easel. Her sanctuary. Every meal was a masterpiece and was put together with great forethought, planning and execution. Holiday meals were my mother's world series and she hit the ball out of the park with each one.
As mom taught me how to cook, she bestowed upon me tools for life. Early on I learned the tools of the trade and how to equip myself and my kitchen for success. At her side she taught me the importance of following recipes, the gift of servitude, and the joy of family and yes, cleanliness is next to godliness. Ha.
Considering it now I see that the kitchen was the schoolroom for life. Working alongside of her in the kitchen I learned about being a wife and mother. And just recently I found the correlation between a woman's kitchen and God's heart...the holy of holies. If you'll look closely enough you, too, will find that God is in the kitchen.
Walk into any kitchen and you will find it stocked with a host of basic ingredients – ingredients that ensure success. Kitchens for centuries have had the following....curtains, an apron, a sink or basin, utensils, stove with the home fire burning– a fridge– at least one table,, counters, cups, plates, spoons, forks, knives, perhaps a butcher block, water, spices, flour, sugar, oil and bread.
Read Exodus 25 and walk through Gods Tabernacle and you find the precise recipe God gave for The Tabernacle - colorful blue, purple and red curtains, fragrant incense burnt upon the altar or table; oil made from fine spices and olive oil which was used for anointing, the bronze basin/tub, lamp-stand, table of show bread and the priests. God carefully chose each element for the Tabernacle in right proportions – all that was needed to bring right relationship between his people and himself.
Aaron and his sons were called forth to be the priests and they were consecrated. Loaves of bread were prepared with flour and oil without yeast. An animal was brought forth and butchered and prepared as an offering. Special garments were created with perfect precision to be the outerwear for the priests to wear. The priests were brought to the basin and washed. Throughout the chapter of Exodus 29 are precise instructions creating the perfect recipe if you will to bring about God’s blessing. A recipe for grace and forgiveness.
One described the heart of the home and family, the other the heart of God. Both brought into perfect unison when adhering to the recipe's given in proper proportion. Love, forgiveness, faith, patience, kindness, compassion, truth, serving others, hope, purity. With great care, forethought and planning he gave us each ingredient in good measure to bring us the sweetest tasting, most divine life we could create.
As I stand in the middle of the kitchen and glance about I see pieces of my mama...her apron, her favorite nesco roaster, spice shakers and bowls. And as I look about my kitchen I see today's reflections of God's instructions...olive oil, my potpourri scent burner, spices, bread, a table and a basin. I am aware of the elements and aware of the blessings if I follow the instructions. And I am aware of the loving instruction given by God and my mama.
“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being, but God the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.” --1 Thessalonians 1, 2, 7