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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “spiritual”

A Prophet’s Question

Have you ever wondered if you have rejected a message from God because it was delivered by a person you have dismissed as being too righteous, or too holy, or too plain, or too strange, or too this or too that?

“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears!  You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!  Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute?  They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One.  And now you have betrayed and murdered him — you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”  —Acts 7:51-53

A few years ago, I was having a conversation with a wise man in which he said, “People always reject prophets.”

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He does not know it, but periodically I think deeply about his words.  He motivated me to study the prophets in the Bible and the situations surrounding their rejection.  I learned why Jeremiah is sometimes referred to as the “Weeping Prophet”.  Empathy will make your cries gut-wrenching and ironically silent at the same time.

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It makes me uneasy to think that there may have been times when I have rejected, or will reject, a Word delivered to me by a prophet.  Do you wonder about this?  Were there times when you believe you had a God-inspired Word that was rejected by people, by fellow Christians?  Where do people talk about this?  I once heard the saying, “It is tough to be friends with a true prophet.”  It may be, but a true prophet will lead you right.  Now, that is my REAL question, to both myself and to you, “Don’t you want to be led right?”  Yes, I do!

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Wicked People

There was a time when I thought all people were good people.  Then I thought, some people were troubled.  Now I understand, there are those who are evil.  Sometimes, they wear sheep’s clothing.   Other times, they do not.  Beware!

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This man [Jesus of Nazareth] was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  —Acts 2:23

It was not easy for me to accept the notion that wicked people exist.  If in a group, I would be the one trying to understand why one person would intentionally hurt another, why one person would intentionally be cruel to another, why one person would intentionally break the spirit of another—particularly when the two profess the same faith as I.

“How could this be,” I would think.

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Where is the love?

I would search to identify the why, not the wicked.  [You will know them by their fruit, I have come to rely upon.]  Truth is, some are wicked.  They are not crazy.  They are not demented.  They are not touchedThey are evil.  It is spiritual and as my spiritual awareness heightens, so does my respect for the spiritual realm.

Maturity has allowed me to accept people for who they are—not how they are with me.  There is always a spiritual conversation occuring, even when not conscious to us.  Because of this, I constantly pray for discernment.

Woman Praying

Do not be deceived:  Wicked people will work with you when you are working for their purpose.  Such agreement may not be obvious to you (immediately, if ever).  Know your helpmates and their spiritual significance.  It is a matter of life or death.

 

You Are Hated

Do you concede the notion that you are hated?  Seriously, have you ever settled yourself enough to acknowledge that you are detested, and then to understand why?  Have you ever fought to emerge pass the hurt and pain, the shock and self-doubt to maturely and boldly stand in your creation?  Have you ever made such awareness not about you, finding comfort in He which you reflect?

Women Thinking

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  This is why the world hates you.  —John 15:19

In sanctuaries, we valiantly profess our love for Christ.  That is always easy to do in environments where we think we are the majority.  Would you be so loud if you knew you were surrounded by wolves in sheep clothing?  Are you as brave when you are in the world?  Spirits recognize spirits, even when one does not do so consciously, no matter the conditions.

Have you ever shown up somewhere and people become uncomfortable?  Your mere presence causes a shift in the atmosphere—sometimes it is pleasant and other times you know to be on heighten alert.   Do not be deceived in thinking such changes are because you are well-liked or disliked.  It is spiritual.  Are you amongst your Family or have you found yourself in the midst of the clan of another?  Know your truth!  Spirits do.

Friends

For me, it became vital to understand the spiritual nature of hate.  Sometimes it is easy to identify.  Other times, it will masquerade as a friend or ally.  However it appears, it is a formidable opponent.  Love and hate cannot share the same space contently.  There is no compromise.  Life lives!  Are you living according to your faith and His purpose?  Sure, there may be times when you feel as if you are all alone.  Know that you are not.  There will be times when you will feel outnumbered.  Remember, Light shines upon darkness.  Do not become distracted by hate.  You have a purpose founded in love.  You have work to do, a work much bigger than you.  You have been chosen to stand out, to not surrender to hate, envy, or jealousy.  So YES, you are hated!!!  You are hated because you are different from that which the world purports.  Now that that is understood, carry on.

Me 12.30.15 talking to group

All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.  —John 16:1

 

Words Of Comfort

I had not noticed it until I picked up my Bible to prepare for my next blog entry—this blog entry….  I was to read, beginning at the 14th chapter of John.  Finding my placement, there it was:

Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  —John 14:1

Woman Reading Bible

These were the words which comforted me, just days ago, as I stared at them inside my cousin’s coffin.  No really, they soothed my soul.  You see, tears fell uncontrollably when I first saw my cousin’s lifeless body.  I had a hard time walking down the aisle at the funeral home only to sit in the front row at the Family Viewing.  The reality of not being greeted by her always welcoming smile and hospitality, wit and wisdom was setting in.  These were things I always received when visiting this Georgian city, one where my ancestors were instrumental in its development and discovery.  I guess I took for granted that this cousin would always be there.  Reality was setting in, however.  There is a season for all things.

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So, there I sat—crying and staring, staring and crying.  Then, I noticed the words that were inscribed inside her coffin. I began to remember their meaning, Jesus’ instruction.  Knowing my cousin, I am confident that her soul is rejoicing.

Face

Yes, I will continue to miss her.  I will not be sad, however.  She would not want me to be unhappy.  Instead, I will be encouraged by her life and by the way in which she lived here on earth.  Her ability to touch hundreds, if not thousands, of lives across generations, professions, socio-economic brackets, and political affiliations is simply remarkable.  I did not know the extent of the reach of her assignment until her death, and through death I know she still lives.  My heart is not troubled.  Jesus promised then, and He reiterates it now as I note the timing of my preparation for this blog entry.  Words of Comfort.

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?

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!

 

Reduced Growth

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

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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!

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