emergingfree

Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “faith”

Who Do You Say I Am?

Today I did something sooooooo incredibly awesome as a result of accepting an invitation to be a Guest Messenger at a church.  Listen to the message I delivered earlier today.  No worries—it’s less than 18 minutes. (LOL!)  I hope it is a blessing to you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YKJDy3sae4&feature=youtu.be

Conversational Focus

The older I become, the more I am realizing how I spend time and the conversations I am having with those whom I spend time.  It is an interesting awareness which I am finding, more and more, makes me conscious of my part in dialogues.  Let’s face it:  We, each of us, have a responsibility when communicating—as the listener and the talker.

Yeah, yeah, yeah….I know you’ve heard this before.  I had too, but recently I had an experience which reminded me that people will use you as their audience to justify their point of view and how easy it is to be that audience for them when you lose your conversational focus.

Brittney Spears Clapping

A second time they summoned the man who had been blind.  “Give glory to God,” they said.  “We know this man is a sinner.”  He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know.  One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!”  —John 9:24-25

People will see Truth in you.  They understand the value of your concurrence.  You better understand your worth—spiritually.  It has physical manifestations…and you better believe an audience that tunes in nonstop.

Women watching tv

  • A second time they summoned the man….”  Don’t sleep on this!  Just because you think a conversation is over does not mean that everyone has let it go.  Isn’t it funny how gossip seems to go on and on and on?  Truth will stop it every time though.  Don’t Get Caught Up
  • We know this man is a sinner.”  Note:  Words spoken with authority are not always words of certainty.  Truth is Truth.  It does not need a majority vote.
  • The man’s response, however, impressed within me an “Aha!”

Woman Standing On Rock

Here, I saw a perfect example of the application  of conversational focus.  In short, he was not persuaded by the excitement surrounding the discussion.  He was not influenced by the person speaking to him nor his entourage.  Fear was secondary.

Instead, this man did two things.  He listened and when he spoke, he spoke only Truth.  When you speak, do you only speak Truth?  Were you blind and now can see?

Don’t Get Caught Up

Have you ever had awareness that someone was attempting to set you up to fall—or shall I say to fail?  How do you handle those situations?  Is your response the same as it was five years ago?

girl pouting

They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.  But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.  At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.  —John 8:6-9

This passage, I ponder.  Typically, I have heard it tackle the notion(s) of judgment and/or sin.  Haven’t you heard the maxim, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?  You may have even said it yourself and watched how quickly it stopped direct, verbal allegations while saving you from considering revisiting your before I was saved days.

Kevin Hart It's About To Go Down.GIF

This passage serves as a timely mental note for me, as I am reminded of how much I have grown and how I need to continue to consciously grow.  There was a time when I would become insulted by people who would enter my space to set traps.  As a result, my response would be driven by a negative, emotional root.  (What a waste of energy!)  Fortunately, I have gained a deeper understanding of spiritual warfare.  In turn, I have learned how to quiet my emotions and at times limit my speech.  (See:  Silent, Yes Truth )  The blessing is in the knowing.

You know, it is okay to give those desiring to entrap you a chance to back away from their original plan.  This may, at times, mean positioning yourself in a non-threatening way.  Warning:  Discipline and discernment are required!

Girl with Arms Crossed

For those who persist however, do not be afraid to straighten up and SPEAK CONCISE TRUTH, not for the sake of conversation, then continue to do what you were doing.  Trust that Truth will be heard.  Remember, you are your Father’s child.

It's Handled

Don’t get caught up.  The soul saved may just be your own.

Are You A Well-Wisher?

Are you sick?  Really…are you?

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One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  —John 5:5-6

It is easy to admit when you are physically ill, isn’t it?  Feeling under the weather is a status society accepts and many times wishes of healing, prayers, and positive vibes quickly follow.  Taking medication, sipping tea, and getting plenty of rest are ready remedies to mend you to rejoin your peers in activities of life.  If only it were really THAT simple—are you sick?  Really…are you?  When was the last time you looked into your own eyes, into your own truth, to gauge your mental and spiritual well-being?  When was the last time you faced your fears and insecurities, your shortcomings and weaknesses, all of those things that hold you back from being the best YOU that you can be and asked yourself, “Do you want to get well?”  How long have you held yourself in bondage???  Seriously, do you want to get well?

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It seems like a lifetime ago now, but there was a time when I found myself totally exhausted.  Thankful I had not been in that condition for thirty-eight years, but I had been in it far too long.  The time had come for me to face my truth.  I stepped away from the distractions–from the parasitic noise I allowed to influence my life.  I surveyed my landscape, and was brutally honest about my condition.  Looking into my eyes I asked myself, “Do you want to get well?”  My answer would be life-changing.

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“YES,” my soul shouted!  Then, I cried… for two weeks.  Without my full comprehension, my cleansing had begun.  What I later realized was that with every tear I shed, a weight was being lifted.  I believe God was patiently waiting on me to get to the YES!  I needed to consciously want to get well.  THANK GOD I WANTED HEALING!

I could go on and on about the positive life-changes I have made which are a direct result of my decision to heal, and of the blessings these changes have brought.  It is all founded, however, on deepening my relationship with God and on trusting His promises.  I had compromised this focus before.  As a result, I became enervated.  Lesson learned!

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Are there things in your life, in yourself that you want healed?  Is it time for you to take a timeout—to get in a quiet place and have an honest conversation with God about your condition?  Do not sleep on YOU!  Do not sleep on HIM!  Do not get to the end of your life only to WAKE UP with a Should-a, Would-a, Could-a List.  Do you want better for your WHOLE life?  If so, do not become satisfied with simply being a get well-wisher!  God wants you healed!  Take action!  You have rested long enough!

 

Time To Build

It started as a whisper…a reocccuring remembrance of Deuteronomy 15:6:

When the Lord your God blesses you as He promised you, then you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow….

For weeks, I would be reminded of these very words.  I tried to ignore these nudges, but they only grew louder.  There was no denying that the time had come for me to consciously  get out of debt!  Why?  Well, I could list numerous reasons.  I mean really, who desires to remain in debt?  Sure, it can become comfortable—similar to walking around in circles for 40 years.  Circular walking makes me dizzy though.  I want what He has Promised!

Frog

So last year at this time, I was receiving student loan and credit card bills fully aware that I needed to PAY THEM OFF sooner than later!  I had no clue how I would do this.  Admittedly, I was not in a position where I had extra money.  (Who really has extra money though?)  Times were definitely hard and there I was being consumed by a divine  pressing that I could not disregard.  Have you ever been there?  Maybe it was not with your finances, but in any area of your life???  Have you ever felt God telling you to do something and you wanted to do it, but you did not know how?  For me, getting out of debt sooner than later would be entirely God’s work.  I would more or less be a functional spectator because it was truly outside of my control.  It really came down to me believing that God would do it if I simply followed His lead.  Once I surrendered to this belief, He revealed to me enough of the why to encourage me along the way.

Jeremiah 1.20

As I write this, I am smiling because of what happened next.  A few days after my surrender, if not the very next morning, I was watching Joyce Meyer on television.  (For those of you who may not know about the ministry God has given to her, see:  http://www.joycemeyer.org/ ) Well, I was actually listening to her because for some reason that morning I was unusually sleepy.  At the end of her broadcast, however, she announced that she was giving away a FREE book on getting out of debt.  You would have thought an alarm was blaring in my ear if you saw the way I instantly jumped out of bed.  All I had to do was email/tweet/call/contact the ministry and they would send it.  I know God did that for ME!  As I fought sleep, I did not know I was fighting to receive a blessing (but in hindsight it was clear).  I got my copy on April 30, 2015.

got FRee joyce book 4.30.15

On September 5th (2015), I paid off my credit card debt.  Today, I paid off my student loan debt.  (Thank you Joyce Meyer for allowing God to use you to bless me!)  The beginning was the hardest, but it was fun seeing the progress in both myself and in the reduced balances.  God is so awesome!  Throughout the whole process, He allowed me to treat myself (and others) regularly along the way.  He is amazing and I am in awe.

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Excitedly, I am moving on to complete the next steps of the why.  It is a process.  Be encouraged!  Be obedient!  God will provide the how!  Just trust Him!  It’s time to build!

 

Reduced Growth

Have you ever hit rock bottom?  Okay, okay…maybe not rock bottom, but have you ever felt like you had?

Rest

He must become greater; I must become less.  –John 3:30

Recently, I listened to this teaching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Lea0aLUN5Y  given by Priscilla Shirer.  (Yes!  She is one of my favorite Bible Study teachers.)  This teaching reminded me of some of the lessons I received while reading Charles Swindoll’s book entitled, Great Lives: Moses: A Man Of Selfless Dedication (Great Lives Series).  Remember, I blogged about it:  Book Review: Moses

The idea of becoming less is what is on my mind.  Becoming lessYES!!–how painfully necessary such preparation demands; how awesomely miraculous such experience propels.  I understand it with greater clarity now….  I understand why I had to grasp reduced growth.  I needed to know, to really be conscious of, the importance of uninterrupted fellowship with God—not just singing gospel songs and saying prayers, not just attending church services and reading the Bible, not just doing a Bible Study and joining a ministry.  All of these things are independently great, but I needed to get it on the basic level of trusting Him to sustain me in every way, every picosecond of every day.  Okay, Okay….Has anyone else wrestled with trust issues, or am I the only one?  (LOL!  The struggle was real.)

girl pouting

Once I got it, however, I respectfully and humbly understood that God and I are not peers.  We are not equals, nor is He a little bigger or a little stronger.  God is greater.  I am less.  He is serious and I need to be too if I want what I say I want….all that He has promised me.

Woman Praying

Without hesitation, I could share with you example after example illustrating God’s continuous (meaning “never-ending”) attention to my survival.  If you have ever hit rock bottom, or felt like you had, you know the value of someone caring that you live.  Let’s face it, people regularly pass each other and avoid making eye contact.  Saying, “Hello,” isn’t even an afterthought.

oh no

Yet, to know that even when you think you have nothing to give, nothing to barter; that even in that space and time that there is a God who still cares enough to ensure that you will eat, be housed, be clothed, be protected; that you will not only smile but you will laugh and laugh often; that you will breathe and breathe with ease because you had found rest within His greatness, all of your trust issues supernaturally fall by the wayside.  They become annoyingly heavy to carry.  You realize that in God’s peace, in His security, you do not have the weight of the world on your shoulders.  You never did.  What you called hitting rock bottom was your place of surrender.  I have been there.  It is a process necessary for rebuilding.

Blog Work

 

Don’t you just love His masterpieces!

 

Light Affects

This morning, I was reflecting on a number of things when this thought came to my consciousness, “When the light comes on, the crickets stop chirping.”

Then I read these timely verses:

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” —John 3:19-21

Woman Standing On Rock

Good versus evil?  Light versus darkness?  Truth versus lies?  Have you ever taken a moment to really consider these forces—to give proper respect to what they are and how they are?  I have been thinking…

girl pouting

about how effective and powerful Christian fellowship would be if all who profess their love for Christ fought to love each other.  Sure, it sounds easy…to love your Sister, to love your Brother.  Love, however, is an action word.  In my Wendy Williams’ voice, “How you actin’?”

Woman Yelling At Woman

There is so much devastation living in dark places, perpetrating as solid Rock for building beautiful structures upon.  No one shouts about the heap of dead fruit being produced, yet armies boldly plot to destroy healthy blooms.  Is that where the confusion resides?  Do people get a pass because they profess the same faith?  Do we not know the tree from the fruit?  No one remembers the biblical lessons about Jesus’ anger regarding making His house a den of thieves?  (You know that’s real, right?)

Woman Praying

Oh but the presence of light….  Its illumination changes the atmosphere.  Its very power is undeniable.  UNDENIABLE and formidably respected by the doers of deeds in the dark.  UNDENIABLE and contagiously inspiring to those doing deeds through God.  So, shelve your fear and radiate.  Your presence has Light affects.

Great Leaders’ Eyes

People will cheer for you when you do what they want you to do, especially if what you are doing is trendy.  They have no loyalty to you, but to that thing they want.  Understand THAT.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.  But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.  He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.  —John 2:23-25

Frog

Recently I had the blessing to be placed in a situation that confirmed my spiritual growth.  Progress makes me happy!  My change in perception provided me with spiritual protection.  I was able to see the attacks thrown at me fall by the wayside.  If I did not respect the opposition, I would have laughed.  I do respect the opposition, however, so I stood firm and discerned.  Are you at that place—the place where people can cheer or disrespect you and you receive it in the same way?  It would be nice to think that I am there consistently, but my truth is that I am not (there yet).  I do see much maturity though.  Life continues to present opportunities which enable me to measure my development.  Noting, these experiences are important.

Rest

A few days ago, I complimented a man’s temperament.  I have watched him over a course of time sit calmly when disrespected and when complimented.  I do not know what he is experiencing internally, but his outward disposition never seems to change.  He is smooth and I appreciate his example of leadership.  He exemplifies traits all great leaders have.  He understands the purpose and importance of his role.  He is clear concerning his assigned mission and committed to its completion.  In addition, he discerns the operation of people.  Sounds easy right?  Of course it does, but it requires a lot of discipline.

girl pouting

Smiling, I see progress…but I still have work to do.

All in!

We’ve Met Before

Every now and again I meet someone who says something to me, about me, that captures my attention.  My spirit recognizes his or her identity immediately, yet oftentimes my head is puzzled.  What an interesting experience.  Has this ever happened to you?

YOU LOOK FAMILIAR……

Woman Looking in Mirror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”  “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.  Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”  Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”  Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree.  You shall see greater things than that.”  He then asked, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”  —John 1:47-51 

Woman Reading Bible

I am taking these divine encounters more seriously nowadays.  In years prior, they were simply light and fun because they came with an instant sense of comfort.  Trust was automatic.  I knew the person saw ME and I, in turn, recognized the person as Family.  As I grew in faith, I began to understand that which bonded us was greater than coincidence.  I realized that these meetings were significant.  What was light and fun began to feel heavy and now meaningfulEverything works together….

“With age comes wisdom,” they say.  Now, I am more conscious of how rare these meetings occur.  Now, I am very sensitive about understanding the purpose of our encounters—acknowledging that everything is spiritual.  Truth is, the more I grow in my faith, the more I desire to connect with the people God wants me to connect with.  We shall see greater!  We will do greater…together…because we believe!  Yes, I have grown to cherish these experiences, these relationships, these people………. these whom I’ve met before.

 

 

Betrayal From A Known Place

Have you ever disowned someone you loved, someone only months before you would fight for?  I have.  I could write story after story about broken relationships—things you would relate to—but I will spare you those narratives.  There is another point-of interest that captures my attention, an area of prayer where I am growing.

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”  Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.  The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.  Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”  And he went outside and wept bitterly.  —Luke 22:60-62

At the end of every year I review my relationships, particularly those with people I consider friends.  Several years ago, I discovered that I had developed a particular pattern with a “person”.  Each year, this “person” would change, but every year I would meet someone during the same part of the year.  We would be close from the jump as if we had known each other before, but by the year’s end we would not speak.  Isn’t that strange?  How could you be so close and within twelve months be so far apart?

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Once I realized that this happened year-after-year, I began to spot this “person”.  This awareness helped me in that at the end of the year I would note the situation causing the breakdown, but because I knew it would happen I was prepared for its occurrence.  The emotional sting I felt in preceding years was no longer there.  I simply moved on, never considering that that person would care enough to mourn.  Now, I am reconsidering my stance.  (Pray for me.)

Rest

The reality of life is, no one is perfect.  People will make mistakes straining relationships with even their closest loved ones.  I have made mistakes.  You have made mistakes.  We all have made them.  This understanding, however, leads me to my point of reconsideration.  Jesus knew Peter would betray Him and therefore prayed for him.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” —Luke 22:31-32

Admittedly, there were many years when I identified this “person” and failed to pray over our relationships.  (Note, to pray for the “person” is different than praying over the “relationship”.  Both are necessary.)  This pains me really, but I thank God for growth.  I first had to learn to pay attention to divine relationships.  Then, I needed to understand how vital it is to constantly pray over them.  We have work to do!  In truth, nobody is happy about divine relationships being damaged but Satan.  Ah, but I have found the blessing in knowing betrayal from a known place so I will do better.  Will you?

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