THE VOICE OF HOPE

It's All Good Here ~ We create Hope with Words to bring out the "BLESSED" in you!

Receiving the Harvest


 

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we do not give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone especially to those in the family of faith. Galatians 6:9-10 NLT

 

            The Bible makes it clear that we harvest what we plant. In the last several weeks, I have been humbled to see the fruit of the labor I performed so long ago. Off and on through the last 10 years, I have been a stay at home mom. Early on, God put it on my heart to help people with their children. He gave me time, he gave me means, and he put people in my life who needed help with school drop offs, pickups, and child care. He gave me a hospitality gift and a ministry to serve other families.

            Recently, I returned to the workforce again not knowing how I was going to afford child care for three kids or get them to school because our district does not provide buses. I prayed, I sought the Lord, and to tell the truth, even though I believe in God, I did not think that was enough. In the depths of my soul, I doubted that the situation would work out.

I tried to find solutions on my own such as getting a loan for child care. I thought about turning down the job opportunity.  I thought that maybe this was not the time to try and pursue the opportunity. I was so conflicted about the direction of the situation and what I should do. The truth was I did not have to do anything at all. I finally figured out that I only had to wait.

Eventually, God made it clear that the opportunity was from Him. God put two helpers in my life just days before the job started, one for the morning drop-offs and one for the afternoon pickups. One helper is a single mom, with two kids who refused money and encouraged me to pay it forward because she knows how it is. I sneak her gifts though because I am grateful for her help. The other helper is someone I met at church over a year ago. She just retired from her job. She asked to serve. Both of these women are now friends I would do anything for. As it would turn out, two more people showed up when one of my children had a schedule change at school for a few days.

            I have been truly amazed at how God has generously provided in this situation. The fruit of the labor I performed was returned to me in abundance. God has opened my eyes to how our work pays off when we do what is right.

            Believe me I struggled to surrender to God’s plan to have other people care for my kids. I have always been there for them and now I had to fully release them into His care. It has truly been humbling to allow God to work in this situation. I can only imagine the plan He has for me, my family, and my helpers to be able to seize this opportunity.

            Be encouraged that God has a plan, a purpose, and He provides for our needs. Before I even asked, He had a plan. I only had to wait on His timing and He blessed me for it. Now I know that we eventually receive the harvest.

 

 

 

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Knowledge of the Lord is my Jackpot!


No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24

I know a few people who play the lottery every single day with hopes of winning a jackpot. I admit there are times when I feel compelled to play the lottery too especially when the jackpots have extremely high pay outs.  I think I just want the feeling of being rich for a while. When you grow up poor and limited in what you can do, you see money completely different than people who have always had it.

I am a big dreamer and I know a monetary jackpot could do a whole lot of good. I think about what I could do with the money. I think about the investments I would make that would impact the world. My dream is to open an all-girls school and start a new generation of young ladies who believe in God. I dream of being able to put my children, nieces, and nephews through college. I dream of owning a beach house where my family can come together and have a reunion in the summers. I have envisioned starting a mobile ministry that goes across country to help people in need.  I dream of starting a publishing company to help writers like me and Chanteea.

There is one thing about these lottery jackpots that is not disclosed: more money, more problems. People win the lottery and have no clue how to manage it. They squander what they win and go right back to being in the same position they were before the winning with nothing to show for it. They get bombarded with requests of money from people they no longer associate with. They feel driven to be selfish with the money.

The bottom line is that taking money from people, creating a big jackpot, and giving the money to a random winner is the world’s way of enticing people into sin. The bible is clear about money, it is fleeting. We cannot take it with us when we die. God desires that we choose him over money. Does God motivate us to do what we do, or money? The love of money is the root of so much evil. (1Timothy 6:10). As an example, remember that money was given to Judas before Jesus was arrested, beaten, and tortured.

I may never win a lottery, but I have learned this: I’m already a winner and the Lord is my jackpot. Investing my time in a relationship with God will give me more of my heart’s desires than paper that blows in the wind. God is a divine king who has a wealth of resources at his disposal. I am a princess of the Lord. All I have to do is ask and He provides for my needs. To top it off, I have an everlasting salvation that no one can take away from me.

Proverbs 1:7 says, that “fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and knowledge.” Let the Lord be your jackpot. He wants to share his wealth with you, not just materially, but intellectually. Seek Him, find Him, fear Him, worship Him, and know Him personally = Jackpot!

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The Power Source


job12_13

But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his. Job 12:13 NLT

 

Recently, I went on a lengthy road trip with my family. We traveled nearly 3,000 miles on our journey by car. During one of my driving times on the interstate, I got a good view of the road and thought about my personal journey in this life. As I made this connection in my mind, God opened my heart to see something else. He allowed me to observe the power lines on the side of the road. I noticed that several of the power lines appeared to be in a cross shape. I took the picture above and immediately thought God is moving me to write a devotion about this power line observation.

As we traveled along, God guided my thoughts and I noticed that the individual poles were all connected together. Some of the poles were not in perfect alignment, but still connected. All of the connections flowed back to a main power source.

Granted, this was not a new sighting for me as I have seen power lines all throughout my life. What made this sighting different was viewing the power lines with spiritual eyes. We can see things as they are. The power to see the work of God is by using spiritual eyes. This can only be done by making a connection with God.

God wanted me to see through spiritual eyes that believers are all connected. We are connected and derive power from each other through our faith by fellowship, scriptures, and prayer. We are connected back to the main power source which is the cross. Jesus submitted to God’s will and death on the cross so that we would believe in him and have this power connection.

We are all not going to be in perfect alignment with our individual faith. However, we are connected in our belief and to God as our main power source. If we are not connected along the power lines, we cannot experience the power at all.

What are you connected to? Are you connected to a power source of faith, believers, or God? Are you completely disconnected for some reason? What is keeping your from connecting?

Regardless of what people say or do, God wants a connection with you. People’s words and actions can discourage our faith, but we do not have to stay stuck there. People do not have ruling authority of power over our connection with God. God is the main power source that we need to connect with regardless of judgments, circumstances, and emotions.

Today, do whatever it takes to connect with God. Connect by prayer to God and pray with other believers. I will start a connection by this prayer below.

 

Prayer for Connection

Heavenly Father, Lord, we need you! We need to connect with you. We need your power to sustain us in this life. So much intake of the world on a daily basis ruins us, discourages our faith, and turns our attention away from You. We wonder where You are and how we can connect with you. Allow this prayer to establish a renewed connection to You. Show your face to us as you did to Moses. Make you presence in our lives up close and personal. Remind us of your love for us today. In Jesus’ name~ Amen!

 

1 John 4:5 MSG

Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.

 

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Accessing the Spirit of the Lord


Created by Monica Cannady using MS Powerpoint

Created by Monica Cannady using MS Powerpoint

The Lord led me on a wonderful bible study last week regarding the Spirit. I stumbled on Hosea 4:12 that says, “My people consult a wooden idol, and a diviner’s rod speaks to them. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God” (NIV). Right away my eyes fell on spirit of prostitution. In the prior verses, Hosea states that the priests, prophets, and people were sinning to the point of destruction. The spirit of prostitution that was on them and they were unable or unwilling to overcome it.

A spirit can simply be defined as an angel or a demon. Dictionary.com further defines it as a divine influence working in the human heart, feelings, or mood. The people who Hosea was addressing had a heart for prostitution and adultery.

When we are baptized as believers, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2:38, after Peter informs the crowd that they crucified Jesus he says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Although we have this amazing gift of the Holy Spirit, we are not accessing the power that the Spirit possesses. Instead, we are functioning on our own human spirit. The human spirit was contaminated when Adam and Eve ate the apple. When they physically consumed the apple, they accessed the sinful nature of mankind.

The Spirit of the Lord is embodied with power. In Exodus 35:30-35, Moses conveyed to the Israelites that the Spirit of the Lord had been given to the chosen people: “Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers”

These men are examples of being filled with the Spirit of the Lord and were given wisdom, understanding, knowledge and all kinds of skills. When we possess the Spirit of the Lord we have access to His power and these gifts too. What spirit are we accessing and why? Is it a human spirit or the Spirit of the Lord? Is it spirit we need to overcome or are we unwilling to do so?

Honestly as of late and in addition to the usual demands of life, I have felt a spirit of tension and fear as the holidays approach. In general, I fear the unexpected. Since we have moved away from our family, our holidays will be different and I do not know what to expect. There are no travel plans as usual. There are just things on my heart that I have to deal with because the human spirit tries to rule me. These are spirits that I constantly have to battle against and rebuke. The sinful human spirits take our power away. It is important to be on guard, read the Word, and stay prayed up.

I have learned to extend an invitation to God in prayer to please grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. My prayers access the Spirit’s power. If I commit my spirit to him he will rescue me. Therefore, I have to believe that the holidays will be just as wonderful because God planned it all out in advance.

Here are a few biblical references to those human spirits that we need to pray off of us.

Evil/Impure Spirits- Mark 3:11; Mark 5:2-8, Mark 7:25, 1 Timothy 4:1

Embittered Spirit – 1 Samuel 30:6; Psalm 73:21-22

Haughty Spirit- Proverbs 16:18

Anger- Ecclesiastes 7:9

In obedience, we should commit our spirit to the Lord. Our goal is live our life by the Spirit and work toward gaining the fruits of the Spirit (Romans 8:41). In doing so, our spirit can be a lamp God uses to light someone’s path. Fred Hammond’s When the Spirit of the Lord song says, “When the spirit of the lord comes upon my heart, I will dance like David danced.” Start dancing, singing, and praying today and let that song led you into accessing a godly spirit.

Prayer Starter

Heavenly Father, I want and need the power of Your Spirit. Please attend to me as I fight off the human spirit that drives me to feel fear, anger, bitterness, pride, and a multitude of sinful spirits. Help me not to succumb and dwell in the negativity around me day after day. I believe you have good plans for me and want the best for me. You have plans to prosper me and give me a future. Your love for me has no limits. In Jesus’ name I pray for your Spirit of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to come upon me this day and every day. Amen!

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NEW BEGINNINGS



Do Not Remember the former things Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ISAIAH 43;18-19

WOW! Where to begin, there is so much that has transpired since my last post and even though I titled this post New Beginnings, I don’t know where to start. I guess at the beginning, huh? (LOL)

These past few weeks, well months actually, I have lived in a very frustrated place. I am not talking about my physical home I am referring to my spiritual and mental dwelling place. So many things were happening in my life that I just didn’t understand what was going on. It was like one thing after another and people were coming and going in and out of my life-like a revolving door. It through this sister for a loop. For months I struggled and wrestled with emotions that I thought were dead but somehow decided to resurrect themselves. Thoughts and thinking patterns that I knew didn’t belong there were surfacing inside and out and I was a mess. It was a silent struggle and it was strangling me. I knew that where I was was not the place I was created to be. I begged God to set me free this internal prison.

I had been paying on my trip to go to “Woman Thou Art Loosed”, since March of this year and I always refereed to this trip as “my appointment” with God. As time grew near and life got even crazier I cried out to God even more. I remember saying to God one morning, I am not going to Atlanta for a “sprinkle, tinkle or even a touch, and I am not going for form nor fashion so if I am not going to be changed when I go then, well I don’t wanna go. At first I got kinda scared after having prayed that prayer because I had paid all my money, LOL. God is faithful though and He heard every prayer I prayed during that time and saw every tear I shed. He’s so good.

On October 2, 2012 our church sat out for Atlanta, Georgia and I was in my own little world. Thinking, wondering and praying. Even though I had such high expectations about the trip, what I would experience in the upcoming days outweighed anything I could have ever imagined. We arrived in Georgia and pulled up to the hotel and my mouth just dropped! We stayed at the Omni Hotel which is connected to the CNN Center and the Phillips Arena. I had never been in anything like this in my life. It was pure excellence, to me anyway. I felt like I belonged there. I am not talking about moving to Georgia, what I am referring to has to do with a mind-set more than anything. One of the things I felt frustrated with was the feeling of mediocrity and being stuck in the ordinariness of life . So walking in the Hotel I had that moment of, “Now this what I’m talking about.”

The first night of the conference was where God would start to answer my prayers as Bishop Jakes began to explain to me why I had been so frustrated and feeling the way I have been for months. I sat in my seat in awe of God as He brought it all together and made sense of it for me. The title of the sermon was, “The Pecking Order.” He said God told him He was sending to Atlanta 25,000 “CHICKS” that wanted out. Listening to him preach and bring everything together as if he was in my head was like almost unbelievable. God was speaking to me and I knew it. The reason I was so frustrated and uncomfortable in that place was because I was outgrowing it. I had to experience all those things so I could begin to PECK my way out. Now when he put that picture of a baby chick pecking its way out, that’s when I lost it, you see about 12 years ago God told me life was like an egg. The memory of that conversation came flooding back to my mind. I am still trying to absorb all that has happened to me during that conference. God used speaker after speaker to reach me at the point of my need and I knew when I went back home I would not be the same. Oh, I love Him.

The conference was 3 weeks ago and I am still in awe of God and how He has started the “PECKING” process in my life. Yesterday I attended a Writers Workshop and I watched as God put me in the right POSITION, by giving me the EXPOSURE, and the COURAGE, to get the KNOWLEDGE for where He is about to take me. While at this conference I walked up to the Keynote speaker from 2 years ago and began a conversation with him. While this may seem like no big deal to you it was a stepping stone for me. It was my first real experience with the change that has begun to take place in my life. You see prior to going to THE WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED Conference I would have never walked up to this man and started speaking to him. I would have wished that I had the nerve to go up to him that’s about it. God put me in the POSITION and gave me the COURAGE and I acted on it. My prayer before going to the Workshop was Lord, put me in the right place at the right time to make that divine connection with the right person who can help propel me to the next level. That man right there was the answer to my prayer!!!!! He encouraged me for a few and then told me that there are people would PAY ME to write their speeches for them!! I had all I could do not to bust when he grabbed his cell phone out of his pocket and began to call this one man who was possibly looking for someone. The person didn’t answer but a voicemail was left for him. All I know is the divine connection has been made. I am living in expectation while I wait for that email or phone call. In the mean time I will give Glory To God as He works this out!!!

I am a CHICK that is PECKING her way out! I am forgetting everything that was behind me and I am pressing on towards what God has for me. I am not the same CHANTEEA I was before that trip to Georgia. Later for the junk. I was created for greatness and I am moving towards it. This Chick has hatched and is looking forward to the New Beginning God has for her!

Maybe you are in a place of frustration right now, you know that where you are is not where you belong and you’re trying to figure out how to break free from all that is holding you back. Trust God, He hears you and in due season, your answer will come. God has a NEW BEGINNING FOR EVERYONE!!

CHIRP! CHIRP!
CHANTEEA

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Examining Motives


All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Proverbs 16:2

No matter what we are doing in our lives right now, we have a reason or a motive for doing it. Motives directly correlate to our purpose, goal, and objective in a given situation. Our motives are driven by forces of desire within us. Motives can be pure of heart or ill-conceived. Pure of heart motives will always yield a fruit of blessing. On the other hand, ill-conceived motives usually have dire consequences that follow.

For example, my primary motivation is that my family is set up to win. Every day, when we all venture out to school or work, my intent or my motive is that everyone has lunch, snacks, homework, hugs, smiles and an overall great start to the day. Great starts make happy hearts.

If I start off my day cranky and my primary objective is to make everyone around me miserable, that is an ill-conceived motive. Everyone would have a rotten start to the day, and maybe end up in trouble before the day is over.

We have a motive attached to the things we say. If we are pure of heart, it is easy to speak compassionately and humbly to people even when we are challenged in a situation.

Think about dealing with a cashier at a check- out counter. A pure of heart person will realize that this person has been on their feet likely all day and appears to be slow or disengaged from the transaction. Yet, the person does not feel the need to complain, rather compelled, to say something that helps motivate the cashier to finish their shift. This pure of heart approach yields the fruit of the blessing which is the encouragement of faith for both people involved. (Hebrews 3:13)

Ill-conceived motives bear witness to the term ill: it’s sickening, negative, disgusting, offensive, and repulsive. Ill- conceived motives drive us to speak in condescending or controlling ways to people. This motive primarily thrives on the power trip that results from internal insecurities of the person.

If we attack our spouse in an argument, we may feel a sense of relief or power because our goal was to put them in their place. If we want to intimidate someone who has embarrassed us, we may say something to make them feel threatened. If we insinuate that we know a dirty little secret about someone we may voice a hint of it aloud to provoke a reaction from that person. If we want to correct a person who is tail-gating in a car traveling behind us, we may slow down or “brake” check. All of these ill-conceived motives have dire consequences in the end.

We go about our day with some pure of heart and some ill-conceived motives. We fail to keep in mind that God has an eye on all of the motives of our heart no matter which one it is. Pure of heart motives are the ones God wants to see us practice. If do, say, or pray something with selfish motives, the Bible says we are doing so with wrong motives. (James 4:1-3)

We can only get those pure of heart motives by reading the word of God and aligning with His purpose. James 4:7-10 has the remedy for getting our motives in order:

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”

Motivation speakers have one purpose- to motivate. Let your motives be ones that motivate others in the direction of God. Practicing and professing purity prevails promptly.

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Answering the Call of Hope


“My wayward children,” says the Lord,“come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.”Jeremiah 3:22

I have been guided to study out the book of Jeremiah. I must say wow! It only takes the first three chapters to get a feel for the Lord’s anger at some people. Can you imagine being Jeremiah and listening to the Lord voice his complaint?

Have you ever had someone go off on you in their anger? Well, that’s what the Lord himself did. He communicated the anger He had toward His people who abandoned him. Don’t we always hate it when people remind us what they did for us to help us out? Well, that’s what the Lord himself did. He reminded the people that He brought them out of Egypt into a prosperous, fruitful land.

We just can’t stand it when someone tells us we have not taken care of what they have given to us. Well, that’s what the Lord himself said about his wayward people. His people squandered and defiled what He gave them and they thought nothing of it. God continued on about the idols we worship and how worthless we make ourselves by practicing idolatry. Hand in hand with idolatry is adultery. God sees us pimping ourselves out to be loved. God issued very stern punishment that instituted generational curses to the children’s children. Ouch!

As parents, we have a similar way of functioning with our kids. We set expectations for their behavior and belongings. If our kids do wrong, we let them know it. We issue appropriate consequences. The Lord, as a loving Father does the same thing. He knows that our children’s children shouldn’t suffer for our wrong doings. It’s up to us to make some conscious changes.

Two things are very clear from these chapters: God does not appreciate being abandoned, and he still wants to take care of us- mad or not. We have a Father in heaven who is so amazing like that. He gave Jeremiah the message of how to call people away from their self-inflicted hurtful lives. God has hope in us even after all we have done. In Jeremiah 3:13, God has a three-step plan for us to answer the call of hope:

#1 Acknowledge your guilt.

#2 Admit that your rebellion against the Lord your God.

#3 Confess that you refused to listen to the Lord’s voice.

Does your life seem like you have been living in the Lord’s doghouse? Has He been trying to get your attention with a situation that seems to keep going in a circle? One of my favorite scriptures in the book of Jeremiah is in 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God’s plan is not just about hope, it’s about your future and your prosperity. Maybe it’s time to have that little talk with God and implement His three-step plan. Let him fulfill his promise to you.

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Lost in Love


Help me, O LORD my God! Save me because of your unfailing love. Psalm 109:26 NLT

When I was a teenager, this guy group came on the music scene and stole my heart away- New Edition. I will never forget where I was when I first heard Candy Girl. I just knew they were singing about me. (Don’t hate…lol) The group sounded like The Jackson Five at first. Soon after that first release, all of the crazy, love dazed teenagers, like myself, could recite Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, Mike, and Ralph’s names in our sleep.

New Edition had some wonderful songs that I still love to listen to today: With You All the Way, Cool It Now, Mr. Telephone Man, Is it the End, just to name a few. The one song that hit me the hardest was Lost in Love. Again, they were singing about me right? They didn’t even know it.:)

Woman to woman, there were many men over my lifetime that I thought I was lost in love over. It didn’t matter if they were in real life or on the TV. A tall, handsome, good looking piece of eye candy was always my favorite treat. I know you must be thinking what in the world, oh Monica has issues! Sure enough I had issues alright. Truthfully, I had no idea what love was at all. Even growing up and becoming a woman of my own, I still had no idea what real love was. I knew what I thought love was. I had other people’s ideas planted in my head of what love was. Mary J was searching for it too; Real Love was one of my jams.

It was not until I learned about the love of Christ that love truly began to make sense to me. Over time, I had a new edition of my own – being lost in love with God. Little by little God began sweeping my heart away. I would lay awake at night and have little talks with Him. I started writing poetry to God and about Him. Then there were songs like I Love the Lord by Whitney Houston that I played over and over again. I began reading my Bible more than I ever had in my life. The scriptures started to make sense, my life and my purpose began to be revealed. I would pray and see my prayers answered. I started believing in miracles. I stopped watching soap operas and stopped talking to certain people. I sought after true changes for my life. God sent me friends, who sharpened me. I went from being lost in the world’s idea of love to finding the truth about love.

I can share from experience that developing a deep, loving relationship with God takes time. I had to be betrayed, manipulated, used, and abused by the so-called loves of my life before I could see and feel that God truly cares and loves me personally. I followed urges to be as ugly to people as they were to me or worse before I could embrace the love God had for me.

God has saved me countless times. God has set things up for my good even when the process to get to the good was frustrating for me. God has showed up and shown out on my behalf. He has been my offensive and my defensive coordinator in the spiritual war games. He is my refuge in times of trouble. He is attentive to my cries and counts my every tear. He wooed me out of the wilderness that I was living in for a long time. His love for a broken, faithless, adulterous woman like me is unimaginable. Through my tears, I thank him for never giving up on me even when I gave him good reason to.

No matter where you are in your walk with God, He has not given up on you. He wants everyone, including you to be saved. God doesn’t want anyone to be lost or perish. I hope that you will join me in becoming a lost in love testimony for God!

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I Know Who I AM


[The Lord said,] ” My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 New Living Translation

No one likes to admit when they are weak. At least I don’t think I know of anyone who does. Who wants to admit they’re flawed??? I mean to expose things about yourself puts you in such a vulnerable position. Exposure leads to all kinds of mental attacks. After all YOU talk to YOU more than anyone else. You know what I mean. Those conversations you have in your head about yourself. The things you tell yourself about yourself. I shared some things in my previous blogs and in doing so I found myself in that place of vulnerability. The mental attack I came under ALMOST got me, I said, ALMOST. It was like the enemy, who knows, I have a purpose tried to distract me. God would then take me back to the first blog I posted, PRESERVING IN THE FACE OF DISCOURAGEMENT, and say, keep going, I AM WITH YOU! SO with shaky hands and a trembling heart I press on.

I received an email from Tyler Perry the other day that really struck a cord with me. This email came right on time as I was being overcome with these negative thoughts and emotions. The email was entitled, “DON’T LET PEOPLE DEFINE YOU.” As I sat in my car and thought about those words that had come at the exact moment I needed to hear them, I realized it was not people, who I have allowed to define me as much as it was me allowing what people THOUGHT about me to define me.

I titled this post I KNOW WHO I AM, because there was a time in my life where I didn’t know who I was. I just felt like I was just here, I existed, for no real apparent reason. When I became a born again Christian I did so because I didn’t want to go to hell. I had read a book by Pastor John Hagee, that scared the living day lights out of me. It scared me to the point of salvation.
It wasn’t until I started attending church and reading my bible that I found out that my salvation brought me more than just a ticket to heaven. I found out that I do have purpose, I am here for a reason and that God would use everything in my life that had already happened for HIS good. I came to realize that the things I had gone through in life God would use to propel me into what He had for me and at the same point in time the enemy would try to use it to paralyze me.

My past and the events that led me to Christ is MY TESTIMONY. If God had removed all the hurdles I had to overcome in my life then I would not be properly prepared for where He is taking me. Everyone who comes to Christ has a story of how they overcame. The bible even states in Revelation 12:11, that they overcame by Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

I refuse to be defined by what the enemy thinks of me. I Am who God says I am. It took me a long time to get to this place and I will fight tooth and nail to stay here. I heard some one once say, “GOD CAN HEAL YOU EVERYWHERE YOU HURT,” and He has begun that process in my life and I will not be controlled by or defined by anything other than THE WORD OF GOD. God wants all us to experience His love and freedom, the joy and peace that can only come from walking with Him. SO if you don’t know Jesus Christ as YOUR PERSONAL SAVIOR, you can. All you have to do is pray this simple prayer and you to can proclaim to the world YOU NOW KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

Heavenly Father I come to You now acknowledging that I need a Savior. I have tried to live this life in my own strength. I believe that You sent Your only son to die on the cross for my sins so I can be free and have eternal life. (JOHN 3:16) I am asking You to come into my heart, wipe the slate clean, and give me a fresh start as well as new perspective on the life You know give me, this I ask in JESUS NAME AMEN!

Posted Below is the link to the Tyler Perry post

http://www.facebook.com/#!/thetylerperry

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Face Value


Face Value

James 4:5-7

“Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” NIV

Face the facts. Sometimes it’s hard to face the truth about ourselves. We invest so much time in rationalizing our actions and portraying an image that we would like to be rather than what we truly are.  We live so much in deceit that even when we are faced with our reality we are unable to accept it at face value.

Day in and day out we live in the lies we have created to keep us from facing the truth about ourselves. Even when people confront us about how we act or the things we say or how we say things, the truth is not received.

We have such an embedded level of deception, it becomes our reality. We are not perfect, but we think we are. We think more highly of ourselves than we should. When all is said and done, none of us should have any stones to throw but we do it every day.

There is hope for us to breakdown the stronghold of these lies and live the life God intended for us to have.

After the death of Jesus, the book of Acts chapter 2 explains how Peter and the other disciples spoke to the crowd regarding the death of Jesus. Peter said, “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

The response from the people wasn’t; no we didn’t do that. The people didn’t “flip the script” and accuse the disciples and run down their list of wrong doings. The people didn’t just dismiss what was saidand walk away.

The people were open to dissolving the cloud of deceit they were under from the accusations made against Jesus prior to his death. The people truly took Peter’s words to heart. They asked Peter; what should we do?

Peter told them,

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.”40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Three thousand people swallowed their pride, humbled themselves before God, and were baptized the same day because they knew it was time to take the death of Jesus at face value. The people were made right with God by accepting the truth at face value even though it hurt. To this day, we need to take the death of Jesus at face value. Jesus died for us. He laid down his life without even defending himself so that we could know him, know God, receive forgiveness of our sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. What a deal we get for being the sinners we are!!

Let this blog be a confirmation to you that it is time to take some things at face value. If you have heard someone tell you that what you are doing is not right or you need to change, that should be a sign to you. God is using these people to tell you about yourself as Peter did with the crowd of people.

There is hope for you to receive all that God has for you. In the sight of God, repentance signifies “surrender” toward Him. The fruit of surrender looks like this:

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47

Claim your fruit today. Take Peter’s message to heart for yourself.

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What message has God spoken through other people around you that you have not yet received?

Are you afraid to believe what has been said to you or face what you need to change?

What is the root that is actually keeping you from having your surrendered moment with God?

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