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The Truth of the Matter

The Path to Destiny

TThere are many paths that we can take in this life, but the path the leads to destiny is often on the road less traveled. Check out my latest video blog post as I share the revelation I received while walking at the park. God Bless!

 

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Hearing the Voice of God

 

There are two types of Christians: those who seek God’s guidance on everything before they make a move, and those who take bold leaps of faith and pray they grow wings on the way down.  When it comes to making major decisions, I find myself on the latter side of the spectrum.

I’m not one of those Christians who thinks I need a word from God on every detail of my life. Somethings really are up to us. If you want to cut your hair, buy a new car or try a new menu item, by all means, do it. Unless it will have an impact on God’s plan for your life, he really does give us free rein to make normal everyday decisions.  We’re not robots after all.

However, it is important to recognize when God’s hand is working in your situation. It is in those times that being able to recognize his voice over your own (or the voice of the enemy) will help you stay on the right path and avoid unnecessary heartache and distress.

So How Do You Hear From God?

There are many ways that God speaks to his children. Sometimes his answer comes from that inner voice of wisdom that wasn’t there before. I’ve had times where I was completely confused about something and then the answer just came to me plain and clear. It used to blow my mind, but as I matured in Christ I began to recognize those sudden moments of clarity as the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. Basically, it means God has stepped in and provided the answer.

Other times, it comes through ministers or from reading the Bible (the Old Testament provides great insight into the mindset of God). Recently, I was dealing with a tough situation that I didn’t quite understand. I had hit a brick wall in my life and no matter how hard I tried I was not able to move it. Of course, this frustrated me to no end. I had no idea what God was doing. I felt like I was having a Job experience (but not to that extreme, thankfully.)

I didn’t know what to do so I got angry, I cried, I gave up and then I got up and sought God again.  Why are you taking me through this, was my constant cry. It took me going to church one night and hearing one line in a sermon that echoed the words God had placed in my spirit all year-long about something I needed to do, but never got around to doing it.

I would like to say that after that night I realized the answer and then went about fixing the problem, but like the true procrastinator that I am, I pondered on it a little further and as a result stayed stuck in my situation just that much longer. It took me hearing the same one line from two other ministers before I finally realized God was speaking to me about my situation. I can truly say that once I went about fixing the problem, that hard place broke and I was able to move forward.

“God is not nearly as concerned about the place as he is about preparing you for the place.”

That was one of those times where I had to seek God for an answer because I didn’t know how to move forward. Then there are those times where I know how to move forward, but I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do. Times that call for major moves such as a change in career, location, church home, or relationship scare me to death and although after each one I resolve to never do it again, I always find myself faced with the challenge of once again stepping out into the unknown, because as a child of God we ought to always be moving forward.

God has so much in store for our lives that we do him a disservice when we settle for less out of fear of what’s up ahead. God knows all things and we know God…that’s all the assurance I ever need. Man looks at your seemingly irrational decisions, your confused mind, and your bold moves but God looks at the silent meditations of your heart and at exactly what is the driving force behind those decisions.

Some say when you don’t know what to do, do something. Others say that’s a terrible idea. I say, when you don’t know what to do, seek God’s voice continuously for wisdom and guidance, and if you still don’t know what to do…go with what your heart is telling you and rest in the blessed assurance that when you step out on faith, with the right intentions,  Jesus will never let you fail.  He might reroute you if that was not the way you should go, but he will also give you the wisdom needed to get back on track.

The Why’s of Life

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Every now and then events happen in life that leave us dumbfounded. An unexpected loss of a loved one, a failed business venture or a situation that didn’t quite work out in our favor will leave us questioning God; but I’ve come to find that seemingly good things in foresight end up being not so great in hindsight, because if it were the best thing for you…why wouldn’t God want you to have it? In spite of how it may seem, God does not take pleasure in our pain. He does, however, take pleasure in our spiritual growth and maturity. And i
f we look closely at our lives some of our most pressing questions can be answered by 3 simple words of faith…trust in God.  

Heartache and Pain…Why?

Situations that happen in the lives of the people around us, although it may affect us, isn’t necessarily something that God is doing to us. The loss of a loved one can be devastating, and if you don’t perceive it correctly you can become bitter and blame God for taking away the one person you felt you needed in this life, but God doesn’t look at death the way we do. He knows that the only person we truly need is Jesus, and no matter who comes and goes he will forever remain. Jesus is the provision for our pain. As the scripture says, weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning…if you allow it. If you don’t settle into bitterness and blame God for taking someone through the natural process of life and death and into life everlasting, you will find joy again.

It didn’t work out in my favor…Why?

There was a time where I was trusting God to bring me out of a pressing place, and when he didn’t do it, I began to question the purpose of prayer. I knew that God’s will for my life was far greater than my plan and that no amount of begging and pleading was going to change that, but in the midst of it all…God changed me. The miracles that he performed in my life during that time left me speechless and in awe of who he really is. Now when it comes to hard times, I’d rather suffer a little while longer just to see the hand of God move in my life than to take the easy road and enjoy temporary happiness that could never be sustained without him; it takes going through a pressing place to bring forth that level of maturity.

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain…” –John 15:16

Why me…because you are chosen for the life you lead.

Why not me…because God has so much more in store.

Why this battle…because you are more than a conqueror.

Why not move this mountain…because then you will never know how high you can climb.

In the end, this life is temporary but God’s plan is eternal. It’s easy to throw yourself a pity party, hang out with your fears, and blame him for everything that is not going right in your life when the truth of the matter is, there are things in this life we won’t always understand. It’s one of the mysteries of God’s plan that will be revealed to us on that great day of glory, but while we are on this earth we have a purpose to fulfill, and God knows just what it takes to get us from one level to the next. Sometimes it takes a push and other times it takes a pull, but it’s all meant to get us to arrive on time at our divine destination.

So the next time you are tempted to settle into your sorrows and complain, try turning your y’s into u’s and watch God transform your life in unimaginable ways. Thank U Jesus for your never-ending love, thank U for your saving grace, and thank U for bringing me to it so that you can show yourself more than capable of seeing me through it!

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Life’s Disappointments

Recently I posted a quote that stated: “There’s no need to beg and plead with God, he wants to bless you. Lay that problem at his feet and walk in the confidence of knowing that he is working it out on your behalf.” Soon after, I found myself sitting at my desk silently whispering “please God please” about something I was waiting for him to do in my life, and I just had to stop and laugh. Needless to say, it’s often easier to give advice than to follow your own – kind of the do as I say and not as I do syndrome – but the truth of the matter is: In this life, your plans won’t always coincide with God’s will and when this happens feelings of disappointment, frustration and dare I say…anger are soon to follow.

Anger because God had the power to work that thing out in your favor, and didn’t. Frustration because once again you stepped out on faith and fell flat on our face; and disappointment because the scripture says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, yet you are left feeling weak and defeated.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.–Proverbs 19:21

It’s a terrible feeling to set your sights on something, go after it with all you got, and have it not work out the way you hoped. Believe me, I have been down that road a time or three. I’ve had job interviews where I fasted and prayed, went to the interview with my stomach growling from hunger…and still didn’t get the job. But somewhere during the process I felt in my spirit that it was not the right job for me, and I proceeded anyway because the alternative, staying where I was, seemed far worse.

Fortunately for us, our heavenly father doesn’t operate in the land of good enough, and he won’t give you every little desire that sweeps across your heart. You can beg and plead with him in prayer but he already knows if that request is the best thing for you, or if it will lead to a dead-end road. Desperate prayers are often the product of fear or impatience. Fear of being trapped in a bad situation, or desperation to get out. Either way, God holds the map and the key, once the lessons have been learned and the purpose has been served, then and only then will he bring you out.

The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. – Isaiah 58:11

Not everyone is guided by his strong hand, but if you have a calling on your life to be more and do more, then expect him to keep a tight rein on your path. It’s the dessert experiences, or as I call them, the Karate Kid “wax on wax off” moments of life that teaches us all those invaluable lessons we wouldn’t have learned otherwise. It has been in the most trying times of my life that I have grown and matured the most.

Life’s Disappointments often lead way to God’s Divine Appointment

Life is about transformation…And yes, it comes with its own set of disappointments and setbacks, heartaches and headaches but rest assured, whenever God takes you through a process not only will he restore you in the end, but he will transform your mind until the desires of your heart begin to match the desires of his. Then there will be less wrong turns and more right decisions; less begging and pleading in prayer and more seeking and thanking, because spiritual maturity takes place at the point where you can trade in your will for his…knowing that his will is best.

Have faith in the process!

 

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God’s Positioning System

It’s true…sometimes your GPS gets it wrong. Whether due to an outdated map or the recent relocation of a business, I’ve had many times where I’ve heard that small voice echo: arriving at destination on the right – only to find that my destination was nowhere in sight, and what then? There’s a certain degree of disorientation that comes from suddenly realizing you have been headed in the wrong direction, or thinking you have reached the end of your journey only to find you have several more miles to go.

The same holds true on the road of life. We get a dream in our heart that we know is going to come to pass. We ponder on it, we pray about it, but when we finally decide to boldly go forth in that direction…it turns out to be the wrong turn. This usually leads to feelings of disappointment and despair because when we lose our way, we think God has lost our way, but this is not true.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God…”-Isaiah 43:2

Uncertain paths are a part of life. Roads we think will lead us to our destiny often turn out to be dead ends. The people we counted on to accompany us on our journey turn back and leave, and suddenly we find ourselves traveling alone-but unlike the GPS in your car that offers no further guidance after the point of arrival, God steps in and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, redirects our lives like only He can.

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust” – Psalm 91:2

Turning back from the path you had originally planned is not always easy. Sometimes it can be downright painful, but God in his infinite wisdom will allow you to shed a few tears for a moment in order to save you heartache for a lifetime. You have to trust that he will lead you out of the darkness and into his marvelous light!

Feeling Lost in Your Current Direction?

Our Heavenly Father is the ultimate Global Positioning System – No matter where you are on the globe, or what you may be dealing with, God is more than able to get your life back on track – because he not only sees us but he sees those things inside of us that even we have yet to realize; and when you allow him, he will guide your life in such a way that eventually you too will hear that small voice on the inside say…Arriving at divine destination on the right. Keep the Faith!

 

 

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Faith-isms

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“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6

What is Faith?

Faith is believing that God can in spite of the voice in your head that tells you he can’t.

Faith is knowing God has your best interest at heart, even when it hurts your heart.

Faith is the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Faith is pressing forward when everything in you wants to turn back.

Faith is the truly understanding that greater is the ending of a thing than its beginning.

Faith is the overwhelming sense of peace in the midst of a trial.

Faith doesn’t just see the present, but have vision for the future.

Faith silences the voice of doubt.

Faith dispels fear.

Faith sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

Faith is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Faith moves mountains

Because Faith…moves God.

Do you have any Faith-isms you would like to add to the list?  This blog is an open forum for discussion. Be sure to signup to receive notifications of responses and new posts.

It is my sincere prayer that you discover the faith that makes you whole!

Are you Weak and Wimpy or a Bold Warrior for Jesus?

And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 2:6

I was watching a news story about the Christians who were beheaded in Iran and it was a troubling sight to see. As they marched out onto the beach in orange jumpsuits with their executioners wearing all black walking beside them, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through their minds.

For the Christian man…were there any second thoughts? Did he contemplate what if heaven wasn’t real or if Jesus wasn’t the way the truth and the life. Did he think to himself what if to be absent from the body isn’t to be present with the Lord? And how did he feel knowing that this moment of truth would be the last moment he ever experienced here on earth? It takes a special kind of strength to not only walk by faith, but to stand in the face of persecution, and having done all to stand…stand some more. Although they were kneeling at the time execution, I‘m sure the holy spirit within them was standing tall.

For the masked executioners…Do they really believe that taking the lives of innocent people in the name of God will bring glory to his name, or that when their time come to pass from this life to the next, that the all-knowing, all-seeing God will be standing at the gates of heaven saying…well done?  I just had to wonder what kind of sleep does a person get after cutting someone’s throat and watching them die.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. John 4:23

God is seeking true worshipers in this hour- they that will worship him even in the face of their fears.  We all have a choice to make in this life. We have to choose to run this Christian race and to go against the grain and preach Jesus in a world that is constantly trying to erase his name, but with every story of terror I’m starting to see the faces of God’s people change – from pride to fear. We fear the things of this world so much that we are given it power over the living God. Failing to realize that the only way we truly lose is if we allow fear to cause us to deny him.

Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to our soul, our core being. Save your fear for God, who holds our entire life, body and soul, in his hands.  Matthew 10:16-17.

Don’t be deceived, Jesus still has all power in his hands, and he has not lost control or given it up to those who claim to have all power in theirs. If we read the book of revelations and the warnings of the prophets we will begin to understand that these things must happen in order for the scriptures to be fulfilled.

So what does it mean to be a bold warrior for Jesus?…it means to take a stand for righteousness sake. To not let the threat of danger cause you to shrink back in fear from all he is calling you to be. It means to run on and see what the end is going to be – knowing that he will never leave you nor forsake you.

A time is coming where even Christians in America will be persecuted because of our faith. The question becomes, will you stand in the face of persecution or shrink back in fear. Are you a bold warrior for Jesus… or do you just go to church?

Stay alert! This is hazardous work we are being assigned too. We’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove. Don’t be immature. Some people will point the finger at our motives; others will smear our reputation, just because you believe in me.

When people realize it is the living God we are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on us, even people in our own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success we are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before we’ve run out of choices, the Son of Man will have arrived. – Matthew 10:16-23

 

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God of My Tight Places: Thank You for Setting me Free!

breakingfree  Looking back over my life I can’t help but smile in amazement. I am amazed, not just at the things God has brought me through, but of the many ways he has brought me out. Even those times when I didn’t want to come out, or know how to get out, he reached his loving hands of mercy down into my tight places and pulled me out.

Unhealthy relationships, dead-end jobs, and unfruitful friendships are all tight places we find ourselves stuck in at certain points in our lives, and just as an infant curves to the shape of his mother’s wound, we too bend and curve to conform to the limitations of the world around us. We then pray and cry out to God to fix it, or expand the wound, to meet our growing needs. But the God who sits high and looks low knows that not only has that tight place carried you as far as it can go, but what’s waiting on the other side is so much more.

God has brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” – 2 Samuel 22:20

Do you know that God delights in you? He delights in your growth, your deliverance, and your future happiness, but often times when we are stuck in undesirable situations instead of seeking God for guidance, we seek him for support – we ask him to support us in our dysfunction and some how make it functional again – but he loves us far too much to grant that request. Instead, he intervenes in our lives and begins the painful process of bringing us out.

“For I know the plans I have for you…” Jeremiah 29:11

Once God sets deliverance in motion there’s nothing much we can do to stop it.  If a baby could grab hold of his mother’s wound and stay there for life…he would. Nobody likes being pushed forward in an uncertain direction, but having faith in God means trusting him to lead and guide you. It means knowing that if he brings you to it, he will faithfully see you through it – right into his perfect will.

A baby thinks the wound is great, until he experiences what’s on the other side!

I’m sure when the infant receives that final push that sets him free there is an internal sigh of relief; just as we too are relieved when God brings us out of our uncomfortable situations and into the abundance of life that he has in store for us. And when you look back at it, it’s almost hard to conceive that you once allowed yourself to settle for such a small thing; the feeling of appreciation is so great that you can’t help but say … God of my tight places thank you for setting me free!

Don’t Settle in Your Fears

So many times in life we settle for things, people and situations that don’t feed us or help us grow, when God has so much more in store. And why do we do this, because of one word…fear.  View a snippet of my latest inspirational video entitled, Don’t Settle in Your Fears, and be inspired!

 

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The next topic will touch on the very serious issue of Christians who commit suicide. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart, and hearing your thoughts as well. Thanks for stopping by and be blessed.

 

 

Fear Got Your Tongue: Why Have the Christians Lost Their Voice?

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Increasingly, I am seeing a shifting in the tides. Christians who were once bold and vocal in their beliefs have suddenly gone mute, conforming to the ways and systems of this world as if winning the approval of others was the great commission of the church. Anyone who has seen a CNN Facebook post on religion knows all too well how the world feels about the things of God – but it’s getting harder to decipher how the believers feel. What happened to let the redeemed of the Lord say so? Or be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind? We quote these scriptures by the mouthful, but when it comes to putting our faith in action…we are at a sudden loss for words.

Why have the Christians lost their voice? Because they don’t recognize the power that lies within. “But you are of God, dear children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Last year, on the first night in my new apartment I took some boxes to the dumpster. In the morning my leg started to itch and a big red bump appeared. Assuming it was a mosquito bite, I continued about my day. Three days later that bump had grown into a dark circle that stretched from the front of my leg to the back; but fearing a big bill from the E.R., I decided to wait it out and go to church instead. On my way to the car the strangest thing happened, my leg jerked suddenly and hit the front end of the bumper right in the middle of my wound. The pain was so unbearable that I had no choice but to go to the hospital (how many already know that was the power of God at work?) I didn’t know the seriousness of my condition, but God did. He already knew what I would soon find out, that mosquito bite was in fact the deadly flesh eating bacteria MRSA. – The doctor quickly prepped me right there in the hallway and made an incision in the middle of my leg to drain the built up fluid. The nurse literally stabbed me in the arm with a huge needle. It was the worse pain of my life…but they were saving my life, and it never would have happened in time if I hadn’t “accidentally” bumped my leg on the way to church.

I was given orders to see the infectious disease specialist in two days and was warned that I would be hospitalized if it there were no signs of improvement. My head was spinning at the thought of life, my life, the one I had yet to fully live, being over. But instead of crying about it I went home and tapped into the source of my strength. I put my hand over my leg and spoke the words of Isaiah 53:5 “he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes I am healed.” I recited that continuously over the next two days and when I went back for my follow-up visit the doctor was surprised to see that my leg wound had already begun to heal. I’ll never forget her words: You will be just fine. You must have a great immune system. All I could think was yes; the blood of Jesus is a great immune system indeed!

The one thing I learned from that situation is there is power in the word of God. I also begin to fully understand that the devil is defeated and under our feet. The only power that he truly has is what we give him, and sadly we are giving him far too much.

So why have the Christians lost their voice…because they no longer hear God’s voice

Instead we hear the voice of our fears, the voice of our shame, and the voice of the enemy who will stop at nothing to keep us from becoming all that God has called us to be. Will you let him win? Now is not the time for Christians to shrink back in fear, but to stand strong and win souls for the kingdom.

Let’s regain our voice and be true representatives of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

 

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