18 posts categorized "Faith"

04 March 2013

Faith: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

About a week ago I was having a conversation with a coworker and she made a statement that her hairstylist friend has good hair. It was one of those conversations that started one way and ended another, we were talking about something totally unrelated but somehow she ended up sharing with me the fact that her stylist friend didn't do a good job of straightening her hair and she thinks it has to do with the stylist having good hair, therefore not knowing the fact that additional heat is needed for my coworker's, I guess not so good hair.

Quick sidebar if a stylist is indeed a professional stylist , she should be able to do hair textures aside from her own, just sayin.

Now of course the larger issue and the thing that stood out to me was the fact that my coworker referenced this woman's hair as good. Not hating on her at all in sharing this it brought the topic to mind to blog about based on the lie in this, not to bash my coworker. I'll have to do a blog on the history of the term one day I'll spare you guys for the sake of length here but for anyone unaware of the term, the issue is with the mindset that one hair type is better than another and to be very clear, if you have naturally straight euro hair (although not limited to Europeans of course) you have good hair, if you have kinky course hair we don't say bad hair well those that uses the term but that's what is implied and of course there are a plethora of made up terms to imply kinky hair = bad hair but again that's a series of posts that I'll have to revisit. Continuing when I decided to cut off my perm and wear my own natural texture,

Continue reading "Faith: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made" »

25 February 2013

Faith: God's Good Gift Inspite of Difficult Trials

I came across a great post last night over at https://princesswarriorjourney.wordpress.com titled

Good Gifts from the Father  and as the titled would imply the author Heidi shares with us God's goodness towards her in spite of a painful trial she's experiencing. Within her story, Heidi describes how what she's going through is impacting her and a process that's not only something that God is mindful of in her life, but something that He has direct responsibility for and how God delights in giving us good gifts even when allowing us to go through such difficult trials. And to say God is responsible isn't to say God brought on a difficulty but there could be something that God allowed that will work out for our good in the end.

There are certain trials that God may walk us through that can be beyond a doosey! Heidi shares in her post the fact that even in that which God is taking her through or allowing her to endure, He's still giving good gifts to her. And she speaks on how we'll not only  receive them but we are to request them of Him. That's one thing I find somewhat thrilling in what I'm experiencing myself. Still won't get into details but it's the type of trial that can break you if you don't have any desire for the things of God,  the blessing is that the strength I thought God developed in me in the early years of my walk are nothing compared to these later years and while extremely painful so seeing the growth and what I can endure, only by God's grace of course is a huge blessing. Then once delivered it'll be as if it never happened, all that'll be left are the memories including how good God was in the mist of it all.

I was thinking to myself about the Israelites. How often I've read about their foolishness and called them foolish thinking who would want to go back to slavery and how dare they not believe God......how could they not believe God after walking through dry land where it should not have been dry! Whales and such suspended in the air from where God parted the sea and somehow they were able to not believe He'd take them where He promised, and not just walking through the Red Sea but getting them out of Egypt in the 1st place and the plethora of miracles that occurred. Well if I succumb to the pain of what I'm going through or you succumb to the pain you're going through forgetting everything God has doe in your life thus far and not  holding on to the promises, we are those fools too. Don't get me wrong it's not about saying oh manna how I love thee and can't wait to eat you for the umpteenth time. But we thank God for the manna and that we're eating at all as we endure the pain of not having that what we're use to, being totally taken out of our comfort zone in their case not having the  leeks they had back in Egypt. Although we may not like it we thank God for it and we believe that God will take us to the promised land flowing with milk and honey vs. thinking the manna will be all that we'll have forever.AND even saying Lord I can't stand this stuff but I'm grateful for your provision and you've promised me Milk and Honey so I look forward to the day when you bring it to pass. Having to eat this manna only gives me a greater appreciation for what's to come. It's the choice we make however to become bitter or better.

So if you have a moment check out Heidi's post  and be encouraged by her story as I have. If you do not have the time to read it yet are facing a trial or trials that have you wondering what in the world is going on Lord where are you, hold on to what He's promised you don't go off of what you see. There are some things that God may pre-warn us we'll have to endure and others that will completely take us for a loop but in it we seek God, we wait for Him to answer and deliver, and in the meantime we obey him and hold onto his promises where we don't recognize a specific way in which He's leading us or when we're not hearing His voice at all.Examine your own heart and check that it's not sin that has you out there for sure, but don't be duped by the lie that certain things we experience is due to our sins only, sometimes it's what we're doing correctly and how God is changing us internally which doesn't always feel good.

 

God is faithful, when He says He'll never leave nor forsake us, he will never leave nor forsake us and He's not like us where He can say that and not come through so if you are His you can trust that He has you and He understand what it is you're experiencing simply trust Him and wait on His timing to bring you to the other side, to whatever your land flowing with milk and honey may be based on your specific situation.

 

Grace & Peace

11 February 2013

Faith: Unashamed Grammy Win

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 I just got finished checking my facebook page to find out Lecrae just one a Grammy! So godly proud and happy for him not just as one of my favorite artists but this win represents so much when it comes to what we're called to do as Christians.

I remember not too many years ago when Reach artists were looked at as artists that wouldn't work with secular and mentioned Christ too much in their lyrics.   I get the argument on both sides, nobody is saying veil Christ but speaking on how you have to reach the lost not talk at them or close yourself off from them. Yet it always confused me because what often times got lost is the fact that the Lecrae's of the world were the lost and that's what they were doing, speaking on the God that saved them.

Coming into present day an announcement was made by Reach Records that he would release a mixtape with (Secular) DJ Don Cannon (Who happens to be from Philly shot out Philly ehh erm) and other moves that Lecrae made that would push his "brand" further into the mainstream. When I heard about it  I was proud because I knew that would be the man you'd want to put in that position not biggin him up in that way but in seeing his faith and seeking God in what he does. Yet I'll be honest I was a little worried for him and prayed for him while also believing he sought God before doing anything.

Today these efforts have got my man a Grammy win, a broader audience (do you see all of those likes that post wasn't more than 30 minutes ago!) music produced with and by some of the best in the industry and the music is still as relevant as it's been from day one. None of these things are important as it relates to fame and money or status. It's huge as it relates to being unashamed of the gospel and spreading it among all nations, giving it to those that are sick and in need of a Physician. Having doors open that would have remained closed if it weren't for the faith to move into the "forbidden lands". I'll be honest I haven't listened to as much hip hop or followed what's going on with folks as much as I use to so I don't know the stories of who has been reached by the efforts but knowing that they're being reached and most importantly God sees and will make the increase.

We can at times seek to come up with creative ways to reach the lost when it's the Lord that sends us, not our efforts that ultimately saves them. Or we can fear the ways in which we "team up with the world" missing that it's God that's sending us therefore never moving into the unreached places. If we fix our eyes on Christ, pray stay in His word and walk in obedience we will hear from Him and do that which He's called us to do. Not all of our missions will end with Grammy wins but it will be greeted with a well done my good and faithful servant from the untoppable rewarder when we see Him face to face.

25 January 2013

Faith:There's that song again!

So I'm on the orange line platform this morning waiting on my train to take me to the workplace when God decided to have me hear I trust you again by James Fortune. Still recovering from my brokenness from the night before in which I declared to God what I am tired of, what I won't pray about anymore, how I don't get it, and while I get some things are a wait, how can you explain the varying things that have taken place in my life that's taken years with no answer and no clear direction? That's all good when things seem like they're going to fall completely apart but God somehow prevents it from happening right in the nick of time vs. when things literally are falling apart all around you, have been for a long time and it feels like God has no care about what you're dealing with and you wonder if you need to be doing more or if this really is a waiting situation. Then you remind yourself of how you tend to be a doer naturally and the massive amounts of doors that shut in yo face hence the reason you've determined it's trust God or bust. Don't think woman waiting on a husband type of when God, think Job's life falling apart type of when, Joseph in prison when, that stuff that we read about and it blesses our soul but to go through it!!!

 

Normally I'm mad encouraged when I hear this song in these moments because I know it's God. That's not to say it's God anytime I hear this song now, but when it is Him and I know this is our song for the moment, it's typically something that brings me joy. Today I wasn't feeling it but at the same time about to ball on that orange line platform and thanking God because at least that didn't go down in front of the people I commute with every morning. I listened to it but I didn't smile, didn't appreciate it  and I was still  mad. You know that mad when you're mad at the one you love but you still love them but you don't want to acknowledge it at the moment? That level of mad. But then they do something that pierces through the anger and make you feel there love and therefore you know you want to respond in kind but not ready to let go of your anger? That level mad.

 

I'm still not 100 yet, but I'm fool so I got some stuff in order right quick. That get yourself in order because this is a parent, not a friend that you're mad at! And I know I'll get there and that I heard from God once again that in spite of how chaotic everything is around me He knows and I must trust Him so I'm choosing to do just that.

 

 

 

 

08 January 2013

Faith: Trusting the Lord to fulfill His Promises Part IV

And so here we are, the last post! One thing that I want to mention to all that read this, especially all that read Parts 1-3 and now 4. Don't get stuck on my wavering faith in this PLEASE, if I may talk like a fool as Paul mentioned:) I don't lack biblical understanding as it relates to the topic and I know what it takes to walk in faith. The walking and the doing takes work! And when God allowed me to go through something a bit more difficult than I was use to (coupled with any growing and purging He's done in me while going through this process), faith wise not experience wise I've actually experienced worse while seeing God's promise on the other side of it, it completely knocked me off my feet so to speak. This was different and therefore much struggle existed in it because I was so use to having faith, God guiding it totally walking in it period. Not seeing a fulfillment lost and God being silent for so l ong. So while I have some moments I'm not proud of when it comes to wavering it's not what I don't know but how God did work to do some heart changes in me vs simply going off of what I know in His word only. I say that because although the intention and the nature is typically love, when putting oneself in a vulneralbe position like this our first reaction can  be to preach to the exposed one and try to help the person going through it but not knowing the true need of that person and I find myself correcting rather than being encouraged by it. I remember this lady once after speaking during women's ministry and I shared a story of something that happened either early in my faith or even prior to it, after all of the speakers spoke that day the hostess asked  specific people were asked to pray for us. This woman began to pray that issue over me and so I'm praying to self over her about how the Lors knows the truth and this is a past event and that the Lord would move me forward, then because I look younger than my age, she began to pray for me as if I'm a young person and the teaching was all of 15 minutes long, imagine if I shared something like this! So I say all of that to say God is in control and as hard as this has been I don't doubt Him ever to a point of total unbelief. Some of my reactions in fact had to do with feeling forsaken and to a degree being forsaken, yet for my own good. If I told it all this would be a 100 part post LOL so I'll spare you guys.  And in reality He's allowed me to suffer in ways that my savior and many who are noted in His word has suffered and for that reason I rejoice, sometimes while wounded but rejoice nevertheless. I don't discourage encouragement I just ask that it's done with much wisdom and no preaching at that which God has already restored.

 

With that said, one of the many blessings in this struggle is how it drew me closer to the Lord but also how it made me to have a sensitivity to others that struggle as I do, just as Jesus our advocate does with us. If the desire was fulfilled the 1st go round, I wouldn't have sympathy on folks like me. Again faith is one of my strongest and weakest points. So when I saw what God was showing me in this initially I prayed, then God answered my prayer with how it would be fulfilled. There was to be a wait but not to the degree that I waited but again when looking for the good, the blessing well the huge blessing is the true fulfillment is better than the original! But also the compassion that it allowed me to receive due to my own wait and struggle in hoping.

As I mentioned last post, God kept blessing me by telling me to hope. Not just believe Him but hope in exactly what He showed me. When I'd struggle, not always doubt but at times frustration. Knowing God is at work but not truly understanding or understanding why it's taking so long. As I also mentioned last post, this promise is God's idea but also until it's fulfilled there is a large amount of struggle that I have to endure as well. So it can become difficult. One day I was on my way to work on the verge of tears riding on the subway and out of nowhere the song I trust you by James Fortune & Fiya came on and I knew it was for me to hear. I say out of nowhere because my phone doesn't work on the subway and I often listen to Pandora on the ride to work. Like clockwork, I'll walk down the subway steps while listening to a song and that'll play through, another one may come on if it does it'll cut off shortly after. There has been rare occasion when it will cut on out of the blue but it'll cut back off and that happens because I didn't close out of Pandora. This time the song came on, I'd closed out of Pandora and the whole nine. Long story short this was for me to hear.

I was familiar with the song but I wouldn't have sought it out and due to a transitioning period in my walk in general some songs just became messages I already knew too well, this was the first time in a long time that one spoke to me specifically. Fast forward about two more times of discouragement, God did the same thing, this song came on or would cut short another song I was listening to and I'd say Lord I hear you loud and clear.

 

Last week while I was on my Christmas break I was in the bathroom giving myself a deep facial cleansing and just the whole girly thing and I had my phone with Pandora on. Enlarge my territory by Israel and New Breed was on and I was jammin totally encouraged in faith and encouraged that those blues were at the wayside because I was fully trusting my Lord. Wouldn't you know it, I trust you cut Israel right on off and all I could do was smile. Israel is someone that I would pick up and his music just has a way of ministering period, but God wanted to remind me of where He's gotten me to and perhaps even a reminder to stay focused on Him because there is still no sign of the end only a hope that God will bring it to pass. But He's already established the hope and He's exhorted me to trust Him and so that's what I'm going to do.

 

I cannot wait to truly reveal what this promise is in full and all of the details that go along with it. I pray that this in it's vagueness encourages for now, along with a similar post I'd put on about this. And for those that are discouraged hold on, hope do whatever you need to do to not lose sight of what God has shown you. One thing that I should mention also, in between my despair and as a means of just feeding that faith. I started to write a journal. The journal is full of prayers as well as ways in which God showed me this is His fulfillment and anything new that He shows me. When I'm frustrated I write that down to so that for one I can tell the story in detail when I'm ready:) And when i am discouraged I have the specific things God has done to reference. Even though I have my Elizabeth, my Elizabeth is still lacking in her ability to minister to me in it or to understand to the degree that God does.  And of course Satan has been a busy somebody in destroying so where I may have prayed and rested (or lack there of) in ways that weren't enough in the past. I pray and I go to work to hold onto the faith God has given me and I rest in knowing He's going to bring it to pass.

 

I'll leave you guys with the song I trust you. Anybody going through this even if not to this degree I'll be happy to pray for you. You can comment here or email me at faith215 {at}gmail{dot}com.

 

 

Grace & Peace

07 January 2013

Faith: Trusting the Lord to fulfill His Promises Part III

So post II I'd mentioned the promise that God gave to me that didn't come to pass, not the way He'd shown me initially at least. When I learned that this promise wasn't coming to pass for me my first reaction was to pray that God would restore and He as been. Well my first reaction was tears, when I got it together I prayed for restoration. And there were times in frustration that I even prayed for certain specifics to this promise that to my surprise God later showed me He heared and is answering. I apologize for the vagueness and to clarify I'm not being vague because I'm writing a book although I think it wise to not write something here than  charge for it in a book:) But I am a firm believer of keeping certain things between you and God as well as when fitting, a select few so until this promise comes to pass, that will be the leading reason to why the vagueness exists. And not just for the sake of you can't know you may jinx it or something cray. Not everyone is for you, people that even mean you well will miss God in it and judge you, because they were not given the vision and point blank at times simply lack discernment to see God in it. One of my mistakes in the lost fulfillment of this promise was not entrusting anyone close to me to pray for me that I rectified but that's the only person that knows about this until God brings it to pass. This time around I prayed for an Elizabeth and no it's not pregnancy that God promised me:). But how Elizabeth rejoiced over what God spoke over Mary's life even though it wasn't Elizabeth's promise. It may have been easier to believe based on Elizabeth's own experience and carrying John the Baptist but you'd be surprised! So long story short I prayed for and got my Elizabeth who prays with and encourages me in this as I wait.


Continuing on, God's word says in Proverbs 12:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. I'd began to become resentful of the promise due to praying for so many years and it not happening and God being silent at times coupled with  the amount of time it was taking to come to pass and at times God being silent for years not talking He didn't speak to me this week but trusting Him in that silence. One of the key faith examples God showed me biblical ly in my walk, as it compared to my own walk was the life of Joseph. What I did not take from Joseph's story was that I'd have to wait anywhere near the time He did to see God's promise fulfilled in his life. I knew it would be a wait and would require patience but whoa didn't imagine I'd still be waiting today. It would have been 7 years wait if the fulfillment happened I've lost track of how many years it's been now, 7 years stood out to me because again even in deep pain and discouragement God was speaking and 7 is the # of completion, judging by my daugther's age and when I got my house (this promise existed prior to the fulfillment of that one) it's easily been an 10-11 year wait. So some time went on before I prayed God would restore and still fulfill the promise, and He restored and is restoring but again now I know how He'll fulfill it but I have to wait and trust Him still. Due to waiting I got to a point in which I wasn't as patient, and active. There were times when I wasn't as interested and therefore wouldn't pray concerning it. But I'd beat myself up and hold onto the promise, regardless of how God chose to bring it to pass and that He would. As I mentioned God restored, One day I got an answer again, not audibly this time this time I wasn't even thinking of the situation as God's fulfillment but it stood out to me how God can quickly turn something around. The Holy Spirit bringing some of my prayers to remembrance is what allowed me to see that this was God's restoring. I was over the moon happy because He was answering in ways that I didn't even realize I'd asked Him or one specific thing that wasn't anything more than a thought that I had years ago, years prior to salvation even but God showed me He knew me when and answered this thing that I just so happened to mention to a friend of mines. So it wasn't just a restoration of the promise but in all of the time of silence, the realization that God was at work and heard me. Although I'd been encouraging myself of these things, the heart greweth sick so it was HARD!  And shortly after seeing all that I did, the answer became distant again and again with deferred hope I wasn't quite as interested in going after it. But God, again this is the specific way in which God is answering so this time it was something even harder to believe. AFter hoping and praying and not without guidance although there were some years of silence many more with answers and confirmations so for this not to happen again it was really hard. So when things got iffy I'd write it off but God would lead me to hope rather than getting angry with me due to a  lack of faith. He'd direct me to a verse, He'd lead me to an article via one of the Christian sites I visit. One time doubt crept in so much that He sent me to read the same article on the same site three separate times!! Yet I wondered if He was directing me to continue to hope in the promise or if He'd shown me what He did. Due to history, due to errors in the fulfillment that didn't happen I chose to stand on the promise and specifics God showed me. Until about this time last month when it again appeared to be snatched from me.

This time I was like that's it I'm done! While praying in the back of my mind Lord please don't pay attention to any of my insanity! I'm going to stand on this!!!! I'd stop utilizing scriptures to encourage myself and to ensure I was hoping in the Lord I was just done with the whole thing pretty much. But the thing about a promise although God gives us great promises, in this case the outcome will enrich my life greatly. He has a plan in the  mist of them, it's not just about us getting the thing He's showing us. So while I'll often times pray Lord help me to stay focused on the fact that this is your idea and not my own, the way that God gives a desire than fulfills it, makes it feel as if I came up with it and went to Him vs Him coming to me and giving this to me. So God told me to hope and while the most difficult thing to do ever, I chose to hope and although still not fulfilled, the issue that I originally saw did indeed turn around.

 

Last post in my series tomorrow:)

04 January 2013

Faith: Trusting the Lord to fulfill His Promises Part II

This is going to be a three part-er to get to the post I'd actually logged on here to give to you yesterday. I talk so much in type form it's hilarious to me compared to how much I actually talk.

 At any rate as I shared yesterday, God makes faith easy for me or at least had in the past so when He took me to another level of faith, things got quite interesting. Before I go any further, let's look at what Faith means, again for anyone that's not familiar or even those that would like for me to clarify what I'm saying faith to be vs. what the scriptures say.

 

BTW these verses that I'm posting are via the ESV translation and when it comes to this particular verse, this is my absolute favorite translation of it due to how clear it is.

 

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. I love this because we don't always have a true understanding of what Faith is,  and we can find ourselves confused, disappointed and frustrated when we do faith by our terms, although we believe we're practicing biblical faith. As an example, I may love kids therefore I decide by faith to open up a daycare.......just to find I don't like kids as much as I thought I did and that I have no clue of how to run a business and that business eventually fails that's what we'd call a blind faith. True faith is having assurance in what you hope for and conviction/confidence due to the evidence concerning the unseen. So take the opposite someone that can't stand kids, God began to put a love and a passion in that person's heart to work with kids and open a daycare and you begin to see what God's doing and recognize His voice and you declare to someone, God is showing me that I'm going to one day open a daycare. It's faith that will keep you focused and  preparing in the meantime, this story can work for someone that actually love kids as well, just used the opposite for example purposes not to say you have to hate kids then God has to make you love them for it to be faith no there are also people that just know and have from a small age something that God put in them to do and they do it, that's true faith as well. As it relates to God giving a desire to someone that may not have been thinking on caring for kids  that's my sister's story somewhat except for the part about hating kids:) And the thing about it, I'll try to tell it quickly so this doesn't become a 4 part post:) She was so confident that God had given her faith to open a daycare, she did step out on faith to get it opened. Prior to leaving her 9-5 with benefits, she made small investments into the business by buying things she'd need for the day care to get a start where she could financially and was ready to go by the time she'd left her full time job. Mind you she waited a few years prior to even doing this. Prayed, fasted the whole nine yet no matter what she tried she couldn't open this daycare, something that could easily cause her faith to waver but all she could do was question what was going on vs. thinking God didn't say anything.  She could have doubted as well I'm not sure but God can give such assurance to us that even in questioning we end up back in a place of hope due to how plainly God made the vision but due to how off reality is that doubt can creep in, especially as years roll by.

 

Remember I mentioned my mom died of cancer in the last post (if you haven't read it yet what are you doing get ova there spoken with a South Philly Italian accent!:)) my mom went into hospice at one point. And I remember saying to my mom because my sister was having outlandish issues with opening the daycare, "maybe she can't open the daycare because God needs her to assist you for now". This was actually before hospice as I think about it, my mom had more  frequent Dr. visits that my brother was able to take her to due to his ability to work from home but he could do so once a week only and my sis could take her to her other appointment due to not having a 9-5 any longer. So it was indeed God preventing it from happening due to my mother's need without giving too much detail of what would happen in the end. Can you imagine you're fully confident that God has given you the ok to leave your job a hard thing to do in general but to not have the reason you left come to pass. Eventually dependant upon one salary vs. two with no vision from God of what's happening or when this would come to pass? Let me just say to anyone that has ever doubted God while in this place do not guilt yourself. Don't guilt yourself period, take it to God but I personally had to come to grips with doubting in areas but when you look at something like this how can you have faith! Seemingly no direction, passing time, bills suffering, suffering period and God not speaking, unless God has already brought you through something like this most of us will waver in my opinion. There are those of us with unwavering faith, I've put this faith into practice (still am) in spite of what my heart felt I'd speak what I believed while having some unbelief ie I believe Lord help me in my unbelief. So no don't guilt yourself if you have some doubt, what we ought tto do is not let go of what God said while continuing to seek Him no matter how long He remains silent, sometimes that's the exact reason you're experiencing what you are to trust God despite what things look like, other times it's pruning but getting us to a faith that trusts Him and seek Him no matter what can be the goal.

 

Just wanted to put that out there we often, at least myself will use the scritpures as a guide of what not to do, If God tells me I'm going to have a child in my late age I'll believe Him thanks to Sarah's reaction, totally missed how Sarah's reaction could also aid us where we miss the mark, and that God doesn't stop at our emotions. We don't want to do things willy nilly there is still examples of prevention to follow in that story but bottom line don't write yourself off if you find you've doubted in this way and some of the best before us did so too, and see how God still brought His promise to pass in their lives.

 

Speeding the story along when my mother died the Lord blessed even in her death. Of course I'd prefer to have her here, was just saying to myself last night I want my mama! BUT because she too had a relationship with the Lord I'll see her again, and He delivered her from much suffering I later realized not just as it relates to the pain that cancer brought into her life, but other areas as well. That's why I can tell such a hard story and still crack jokes in between because I know she's better off than all of us, and I'll get to see her again. Getting back to the details, all three of her children surrounded her as she took her last breath and I would often encourage myself during that time, specifically when the hospice confirmed she was about to transition, I'd encourage myself with the fact that God knew it all and orchestrated even her last breath to perfection. My sister found her daycare location on the following year on the date of my mom's death....and this is where I take a quick pause do to getting teary eyed!

 God knew it all and He wanted her to know He knew it too and while she didn't see, He was working. Also need to mention because my sister was not working and didn't have her daycare as of yet, she was able to stay with my mother full time during the days she was in hospice, I lived there so I was able to stay at night (also linked to why I needed to live at home when I so desparately wanted to move) and my bro also would do some day and some weekends if I remember correctly. So in silence and pain God had a plan that wasn't quite as obvious to all of us.

My point in sharing this is true faith is build real, active, not just what we choose or proclaim for no apparent rhyme or reason but build on a foundation of hope given to us by the Lord Himself. So knowing this, it can be difficult to always know when we've heard from God and when we have made up something far from any direction He's taking us in. And that's not always a deep thing let me add for instance with having God show me the things He had, I'd rely on Him to show me everything, when I was out of work for a good period of time about to go stir crazy I finally got a temp assignment. When that ended I took the 1st assignment offered by my agency, under needed my payscale and not doing anything I went to college to do yet who would have thought I'd still be there 11 years later and that it was a part of God's plan for my life? My faith was in knowing that if I don't work I don't eat LOL and by me not looking at salary or the details of the position I walked into something that God had for me. I did pray so again going back to blind faith it wasn't that, but I trusted this was a provision although it wasn't as direct in the leading or detailed and ended up getting work  and so much more.

 

But there was one promise, getting to my intended post, and this may go into a part VI after all because I again type too much and still haven't gotten to the post I came on here to post:)  There was a promise that God audibly told me I'd have. As I think of it this may have been the only promise given to me audibly. Other times that I've had an audible God experience so to speak was more warning and revealing as the Holy Spirit drew me. Have to think on that more but I believe this is the one answered promise in this way. I won't get into deep detail about the promise I'm actually working on a book based around it so I'll share bit by bit here on the blog. But it's more important at this time to speak on the process vs. the details. God gave me the promise, I believed Him although doubting, doubting, doubting He'd confirm, confirm, confirm and eventually someone else got the specific outcome of that promise while the promise still remains the way in which He told me He'd fulfill it I had the pleasure of seeing another obtain it. And it wasn't due to doubt but areas in which I wasn't active or missed where I should have  been. A quick note I know that not everyone believes God still speaks audibly to people and won't be able to receive this that's fine, believe to the measure of faith God has given you. Those that believe God does be sure that what He's saying matches His word. Of course there will not be chapter and verse for your exact promise, but God will not go against His word test the spirit to see if it is from God.

 

With that I'll go on to Part III and promise to finish it up in a Part IV thought chatty I pray this is blessing someone! And look out for Part III on Monday.

 

 

03 January 2013

Faith: Trusting the Lord to fulfill His Promises Part I

The Lord has always made faith pretty easy for me, that's where my (online) name comes from both in how easy God makes faith for me, and for areas I need to grow due to how easy He makes it. I'll give an example of what I mean by He makes it easy I use to live with my mom and my  daughter, something I never anticipated doing as an adult, still being at  home and actually prior to salvation I declared I would have one child, not marry and I was going to have a successful career filled with all of the things I desired....so glad that God has changed my heart/mentality. I did have the child prior to salvation but inheriting the mind of Christ changed my outlook on how my life would go, even prior to salvation....but that's a whole other story my only point is I was a single mom living at home LOL. I'll have to speak on that in another post at a later date.

 

One day when I was still a fairly new believer I remember thinking to myself we give up all of this stuff for God what do we receive in return? I immediately repented for even thinking that, I could rattle off a ton of things I'd already gotten without giving up a thing. Now back then (compared to struggles I've had as years rolled by) it was just a thought, not one done in anger but one based on ignorance really. The ignorance in the true sense of not knowing the purpose and outcome of doing this. I'd at this point given up friendships, I didn't give up my mom but I could see areas where she wasn't for me vs God being for me 100%, I could see the benefit of letting go of certain places, people, and things but I didn't know what was going to come from it.

 

The Lord pointed me to Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. So I thought ok cool not knowing the extent that was spoken within this text. One desire I had was to have my own space. I don't believe I prayed for it but desired it badly, and to shorten this story as this isn't even the actual story I'm getting to:) I was at a singles event at my sisters church and the woman leading the workshop said to everyone in attendance, we're going to play a game, don't recall the name of the game.  She had a fish bowl or something with folded up pieces of paper in it and she said to pull out two pieces of paper and if it matches...don't recall what she said would happen but the goal was to pick out correlating scriptures. The two scriptures that I picked were Matthew 19:29 and Mark 10:29 and for those that aren't aware Mark 10:29 also says Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.  And I'll include 31 because it does indeed apply!:)  many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

 It was total confirmation to what God originally spoke to me when I'd asked what do I get out of it essentially. For some reason this confirmation resonated with me that I was going to get a house and excuse my forgetful storytelling btw. I often wish I'd kept a journal throughout my faith because while I don't forget the major details, it's easy to miss some of the exact details that would be great to know while trying to tell a story. Nevertheless fast forwarding, about a year goes by and possibly longer again with not keeping a journal. And I'm sitting on the edge of my daughter's bed thinking about this house promise and I thought to myself I must have gotten that all wrong and thought this up on my own, God probably wasn't showing me He'd give me a house oh and I should say in between time waiting for this promise to be fulfilled, I'd pray I'd proclaim God's going to give me a house and I'd argue anyone down and tell them not to speak against what the Lord was going to do. Typically based on them telling me to enjoy being home and save money NO GOD'S GON GIVE ME A HOUSE! Well in hindsight I should have saved but point was I wasn't going to settle with just Mama's house. Getting back to the story, so I had this thought going on while sitting on the side of my daughter's bed and my daughter woke up from her sleep and said to me " Mom I had a dream, God keeps His promises and you're going to have a house" My daughter was about 4 or 5 at the time. I was amazed God had also given me another promise by this time so being nosey I asked my daughter  if she knew any of the details within the house and she began to tell me names of people that would be there too,  she said "You and Me and Auntie and Nana and....she kept rattling off names and I stopped her and thank her then laughed and thought yeah that's what I get cause that ain't of God all of those extra people in my I'm grown with a kid need a house of my own....house:) Yet I was amazed by how God used this little girl and it was very clear the parts that wasn't him.

 

I did receive my house God kept His promise, and it was the house that I've lived most of my life in after my mom passed from Cancer. It was an extremely bittersweet moment. I was of course not excited to get a house while mourning my mom's death, the thought didn't come to my mind at all. Eventually it did dawn on me that God promised me a house and that He fulfilled what He said He would. Nothing like the way I would have imagined but He did it. And He's worked in my life in other ways in the same way as it relates to telling me what He'll do and then eventually fulfilling it rather the wait is a long one or short. That's why I say God makes it easy for me to have faith. When God spells it out for me and put it in dreams, a 4-5 year old's dream at that how can I doubt Him? Once getting that clarity at least, but what happens when God gives a promise, audibly speak it then it not come to pass the way He said it would then He becomes mute concerning it?

 

Part II coming tomorrow:)

24 December 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas with loads of enjoyment with family and friends, and another time of focus on what the Lord Jesus has done for us, being one born to die for us. My prayers go out to those that do not have to celebrate in the way that we often celebrate as well as those whose Christmas looks a little different this year than it did last, or like a coworker of mines who lost his dad a few years ago, whose Christmas hasn't quite been the same since that loved one has gone.

 

I pray that you would be comforted by the God that understands your pain. We often speak on how Jesus is the reason for the season. But while it's a blessing to celebrate His birth during this time, it's the one thing that people haven't tried to take Christ out of in the literal sense ( not yet and not completely at least) at the end of the day the God that we celebrate wasn't born on this day and He isn't looking around seeking to find those that celebrate His birth. Some Christians choose not to do so for one reason or another. But the point is, not to minimize Christmas for those of us that do celebrate His birth:) But to acknowledge the fact that this holiday that we often celebrate with those most dear to us can be a painful time or many.

One thing that often gets me during this time of year is the reality that Jesus was born to die, for me. That He became the payment for the sin that I deserve death for. AND that He was intimate in the process, He didn't come to earth as God full grown, went on the cross and came back in 3 days, no He was born the little babe in the manger, He lived a life as 100% man (although He is still 100% God as well) and He therefore is an advocate that is able to relate with our afflictions. I pray that He would be your comfort during this time for those that are suffering and even well beyond the holiday but everyday life, sickness, addictions, lonilness etc. I pray the God of comfort and understanding would pour out His love on you and that you will be filled with His Joy and His love as you think on the memories of Christmases of old.

Grace & Peace

Foruntous

source: (The Burlap Bungalow)

07 December 2012

Job: Wrestling with Suffering -Keeping the faith during long trials

On Monday I went through a very difficult situation and not really just on Monday but it's something that's ongoing but God is faithful and it's ultimately one of those it's between me and you Lord type of situations. I was blessed to listen to this message today Job: Wrestling with Suffering . As I examined my own suffering Job came to mind (as well as Jacob) And while I've been avoiding it, I decided to focus my studying/hearing  on Job. Avoiding it because I know I'm not suffering to that degree so I'm thinking I dare not compare ! But at the root of it, it is a Job situation although my own isn't as extreme and  it's a situation in which I needed to examine the strength of Job and how God brought him out of the suffering that He'd allowed Satan to bring into his life.

Job didn't see the conversation that was had so He didn't know that God was allowing His most faithful to be tested by Satan. All he knew was the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Initially holding on and eventually asking why. It's easy to read that and think how can he question God, but to go through it, not many would have survived what Job did and ONLY question God (although I must acknowledge God dealing with a root issue of pride in Job's questioning) so where we don't always see what God is doing in our lives we have what Job didn't have at that time, His story and others that went before us to reference and build our faith because He is now the example of God bringing deliverance and we can see that there was a plan in acti0n rather it would be one that Job would have liked or agreed with or not. God's silence didn't equate His being unaware or not being a part of why he was experiencing what he was experiencing.


Before I write out a full fledge message on this:) Check out the message if you can by John Piper if you're currently having a Job experience as well I'm praying for you and would encourage you to hold on to God regardless of what the situation is telling you to do or how it's causing you to feel. Seek God in prayer, trust Him where you don't hear and answer although it doesn't seem like it, He will bring you through. If it's taking longer than you've expected, God will bring you through hold on to truth, hold on to God's promises and not what you see and like Job you'll one day see your life restored. Hold on don't faint!