Your Greatest Sacrifice…

What could we give the Creator of the Universe that would demonstrate just how much we love Him? Let’s consider the scriptures:

Our money, our time-while valuable here, doesn’t carry the weight of a broken and repentant heart. How amazing is the Lord in that He wants our broken and messed up selves? He wants us to take our broken and sin filled selves and lay before Him. We are the greatest sacrifice, the greatest gift we could give the Lord! He wants the nooks and crannies of our lives that we insist on hiding. He wants the destructive thoughts. He wants us-stain filled and all!

From the heart flows the wellspring of life, it’s no wonder that this is our greatest sacrifice! We spend our lives giving our hearts to humans who are designed to fail us, careers that will eventually end, and relationships that cannot save. We have to first start with the One who created us in our mothers wombs, the One who died for us, the One who defeated the grave for us. He wants your heart!

Sisters, let’s lay our broken selves before the Lord God Almighty. Let’s take our weak spirits, our weaknesses, our stinky thoughts and lay them at the feet of Yahweh! This our greatest sacrifice: our beautiful, broken, and complex selves.

Peace and Blessings

Kept by the King…

Dear sister, don’t you know that you are kept by the King? This world will tell you that you are alone, forgotten, and neglected-do not fall for Satan and his host of lies. You are in the hands of the King!

We aren’t talking about some artificial government official. Our King does not bow to this world and it’s ways. Our King sits high above and on a throne-not a man made one but a heavenly throne. The King who keeps us-the King who keeps you-is above all of these earthly things. We must wrap ourselves in this truth:

His protection is guaranteed. We do not have to be fearful of this world, our King keeps us. His provision is assured. We do not have to be concerned about how we will received what we need. His presence is cemented, He promises to never leave nor forsake us.

We are kept by the King! Let this truth mark your identity and existence. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you are not. You do not have to prove you are worthy. You do not have to compete with anyone else, the King is keeping you!

Through all of your trials and obstacles, you are in the Father’s hand! Hold your head up, woman of God-the Father keeps you! You are in His right hand! You have not been abandoned, you have not been left alone-you have a King who is keeping you and blessing you beyond all measure.

Dear sister, you are kept by the King.

Peace and Blessings

Testify!

At times when a person is on trial, their lawyer may call on a character witness. This character witness gives a testimony about how much of a good person the individual may be. They speak about their good works and they may also give stories about their good deeds. A great character witness can sway the jury or public opinion about the matter or issue.

A character witness provides a solid testimony. Believers are character witnesses for Christ. Our testimony have the power to encourage hurting hearts. Our testimony has the power to plant a seed that will grow someone up in Christ. Our testimony can destroy the works of the devil!

Friend, it is your testimony that proclaims the amazing work of Jesus Christ! Your testimony is living, breathing and active proof that the blood still works! The saints of old are etched into the Bible for a reason but please don’t forsake your powerful story! Your story matters too!

Our lives, once redeemed by the Lord, points towards His salvation, His goodness, and His greatness. Our lives tell of redemption and restoration. Our stories proclaim that what’s lost can be found, that we may have been blind at one time-but now we see!

So go on sister, testify! Tell the world what the Lord has done for you!

May this be our proclamation!

Peace and Blessings

Hide and Seek…

What a fun game! When the seeker hits 10, they are coming to find you. It is the goal to find all those whom are hiding and the true winner of the game is the one who cannot be found. How well are you able to hide? That is the mission of the one hiding. While we are hiding, our ears are more attuned to who is coming. While hiding, we are more alert and watchful so that we are not caught.

In this world that is full of attention seekers, we may struggle to see the benefits of being unseen. We may wonder why we aren’t seen. We may feel like we are missing out. We feel like no one cares for us, so far from the truth! Sometimes God hides us for our protection. Sometimes we are hidden for developing purpose. Sometimes He hides us, so that we can seek Him.

And let’s be clear: This is true in being hidden in Christ, not hiding FROM God! We are not talking about Adam and Eve being ashamed of their nakedness in Genesis 3 and hiding from God in the garden. As believers in the Lord’s sovereignty, we should want to be hidden in God through Jesus Christ!

Think about it, hiding heightens your hearing and strengthen your vision. In Christ, we hide so that we seek Him out the more. We hide so that we can hear His songs. We hide so we can seek. Being hidden in God helps eliminates the distractions and the noise. Being hidden IN God is all about us surrendering to His will and His way. Being hidden in God through Jesus Christ gives Him the room to increase while we decrease. Being hidden in God draws others nearer to Him.

Let’s be intentional about hiding in the Lord so that we can seek Him out.

Peace and Blessings

Tarrying Tears…

Crying is exhausting. Your nose starts running, your head eventually hurts, and your eyes get red. Usually, at times, after you wipe your eyes and nose, and the crying cease, you get clarity and understanding. After a season of tears, you usually will have a clearer mind and you are able to articulate and express yourself.

There is power in tarrying with your tears. Tears of sorrow and tears of joy both can produce harvest. The tears of sorrow can be therapeutic and the tears of joy can be words you cannot say. There is a harvest for your tears:

In certain seasons, you may have to tarrying with your tears-in your devotional time, in prayer, and in your quiet time with the Lord. Don’t let people write you off as a crybaby or emotional, quite the contrary!

Your tears will reap a harvest of songs of joy! Your tears matter to the heart of God! Your tears will build up your children and your loved ones whom you are concerned about. Your tears are healing your land even right now!

Tarry with those tears. Labor with those tears. Reap those tears-the harvest is coming! It will be plentiful and bountiful! Your weeping is not in vain and the Lord hears the words of your tears!

And as He hears your tears, as you tarrying with them, know that the Lord is coming soon to wipe them all away (Rev. 7:17). The tarry is worth the harvest.

Peace and Blessings

Welcome…

Welcome is a greeting that we often extend to those who enter into our space. We ensure that our space is presentable and inviting. We smile and we exude warmth and kindness as we greet those who come into our space. There tends to be a level of excitement when we get to invite someone into our home or our place.

This level of excitement should be extended to the Lord as we invite Him in. The beauty of the Lord is that He doesn’t require the finest linen. The Lord doesn’t require us to have the best food, the cleanest home, and the best decor. He simply requires a clean heart and a renewed spirit:

Do you long to welcome the Lord? This is how we welcome the Lord into our presence! We humble ourselves and kneel before Him. We seek His face above all us. We don’t have to be perfect to be perfected. As we kneel before Him and seek His face, we will be cleaned and made whole. A willing spirit welcomes the Lord.

As we pray, as we fast, as we read the Word of God-we invite the Lord into our space. As we extend forgiveness and show love, the Lord is invited into our hearts. Our lives and demeanor expresses our desire to be filled and be led by the Holy Spirit. We create a welcoming environment for the Lord with repentance and joy. Praise and thanksgiving creates an sweet smelling aroma for the Lord to let Him know that we desire Him!

May our lives bow before the Father and let Him know that He is welcomed here!

Peace and Blessings

The Art of Stillness…

Stillness is an art nowadays. We live in a world where a response is always warranted. We HAVE to shop in the stores on Black Friday. We MUST travel during the summer. No wonder quarantining and stay at home orders really hit this world where it hurts: in it’s busy bee mentality.

But the Lord communicates a different message: we don’t always have to be moving, we don’t always have to be fighting, we don’t have to always be busy.

We can be still.

Being still requires more energy than movement. Moving and responding is in our DNA. Stillness is contrary to everything we know. This is why it is an art, it has to be crafted. Stillness has to be practiced.

Stillness requires us to silence the distractions of our lives. Stillness requires us to rest instead of move. Stillness mandates a renewing of our mind. We can adequately rest in Christ as we are being still. We can trust in the Lord and His majesty as we become still.

Be still and know that He is Lord. Your demanding schedule has to bow to Him. Your overbooked social life has to bow to Him. Your overwhelming responsibilities must kneel before the Savior.

Be still and know that He will fight for you, respond for you, and advocate for you. Be still and know that He is by your side. Be still without conviction because God the Father knows that we fight better when we are well rested. The Father knows that stillness positions our heart and mind to hear from Him.

Be still and know that He is the Lord, your God.

Peace and Blessings

Brokenness…

No matter how broken we may feel, we have to know that the Lord is near us. Brokenness tends to place us in a humble and submissive state. As we are broken, the Lord is able to speak to us, sing over us, and comfort us back to good health.

Isn’t it good to know that the Lord can put broken things back together again?! Have you ever tried to put a broken vase back together again? Even if you successfully accomplish the task, it is still vulnerable to breaking again. We should rejoice even now that He is not us! What breaks before Him, He can put back together again-making us even better than we were before! To God be the glory!

Our brokenness can refine us, strengthen us, and renew us! That same spirit that is crushed by the troubles of life, He will make light as a feather. The broken spirit has the potential to shine brighter than ever before!

If you are feeling broken, know that the Father is near. Know that as you cry and fret, He is right there beside you. You are not alone. The brokenness we experience places us in the position to be molded and handcrafted to be stronger and wiser.

Let your brokenness cause you to cling to the Father, He is waiting for you…

Peace and Blessings

Unto the Lord…

Think about a gloomy Saturday afternoon. You have the option to either use the day for cleaning or use the day to lounge around-what do you choose? Why do you make the choice you do? Are you cleaning because you want to make sure your home is clean or are you cleaning because you feel ashamed when you don’t? Are you choosing to lounge around because you had a hard week and you need the self-care or because you are just being lazy?

Neither choice is necessarily a bad thing, however, you must consider to whom you are making the choice. If you clean, is it out of service to your family? If you lounge around, is it for self-care and good mental health? Consider to who would be the beneficiary of the choice.

As you preach, as you write, as you serve in the 20 ministries at church-to whom are you dedicating your time, effort, and energy? Is it to the Pastor or to the fellow church members? Is it to the number of likes? Or is it unto the Lord?

Consider this exhortation:

If we are not serving the Lord, all this is in vain. Yes we want people to be drawn to Christ and sure, we enjoy helping others but our service must be to the Lord, alone. If we are more concerned with likes or people, your time and effort goes wasted. There is no one on the Earth that has a Heaven or a Hell to put us in, therefore, our service cannot and should not be unto anyone but the Lord, our God. He, alone, is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He, alone, is Alpha and Omega. He, alone, deserves all of the glory.

Unto the Lord is our life’s mission statement. Unto the Lord is the reason behind our decisions. We clean because in our service to our families, we are working unto the Lord. We take care of ourselves with mental health days because we are attending to our temple for the Lord’s sake. Unto the Lord has to be our drive or we are working in vain.

Why are you doing what you do-unto man or unto the Lord?

Peace and Blessings

Storyteller…

Many cultures have a resident storyteller. For some, it is the elder of the family. For others, there is an designated individual. But the storyteller gives an oral history for the community, family, tribe, etc. They tell of the good times and of the bad. The history lives on because of the storyteller.

As believers, we should be the storytellers of our family, that assignment has been given to us because we have been redeemed!

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,” Psalm 107:2

The redeemed (that’s us) are the storytellers of our families and of our communities. We can tell of the goodness of the Lord. As the redeemed, we tell of how the Lord, our God, snatched us from the hands of the enemy. As the redeemed, we must tell our loved ones about the faithfulness of God.

Will the redeemed of the Lord say so?!

We must designate ourselves to be the storytellers of our families. Why? Because we must realize that those under us, those with whom we leave our stories, will learn that they too can overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.

Friends, this is why we tell the story! The story of our salvation, the story of how we stumbled, and the story of how God brought us through the rough times all point back to God our Savior. He is the Creator of our stories, He is the reason why we tell our stories and He is the sole reason how we were able to overcome. It was our testimony and our declaration that saw us through. The blood of Jesus cements our place as the resident storytellers for our loved ones! We are redeemed because the Lord saved us.

Redeemed, go on ahead and say so! Tell about how the Lord saved you, how the Lord spared us, and how the Lord loves you!

Peace and Blessings