Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Relax, It's Magic!



I believe in magic.  I believe that a spark exists in all of us that when cultivated can spur us on to do great, noble, wonderful things despite hurdles, counter forces and popular opinion.  The magic I speak of is not Disney branded magic, it is not ushered in by a clicking of “ruby slippers”.  This magic does not emanate from a “Fellowship of the Ring” nor is it properly described as “the Force.”  Though my name is not Harry Potter, I see/feel/wield magic all around me.  

There is magic in Christianity.  There is good and evil.  There is sorcery, miraculous healing, battles to the death.  There is intrigue and resurrection and super natural power that takes the form of the most unlikely characters.

Each of us are lead characters in our own saga.  We like all super heroes/heroines are given supernatural gifts at birth from an all Powerful Force.  We like all supers must cultivate these gifts through study, training, and mentorships with other great warriors.  After our training we are set up to face a series of tests that grow in difficulty.  Sometimes we get wounded so badly that we have to retreat.  Other times we barely defeat the Evil One - appearing so bruised at the final battle scene that we can hardly stand.

What I know is that no matter the test, my God has already ensured that I will win- meaning I will learn what I need to learn to move up a little higher in my development.  My only job is to train diligently, try my best, remain obedient to the Principals of God, and discipline myself to spend daily quiet time with God to be refreshed, renewed and ready to meet the next challenge.

We don’t have to look to Hollywood for our next adventure.  We are the heroine/hero of this Epic Life Story and we have all we need to triumph!  

Ephesians 6:10-18

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A New Reality

Reality TV theatrics are being adopted by the general population at an alarming rate.  The pattern is simple: A feels slighted because of something B said or did; A seeks advice from C; B seeks advice from D;  Soon thereafter A and B encounter each other and the "hair puling" ensues.  

But, what would have happened if after feeling slighted, A and B went (separately) to a neutral omnipresent G for advice before taking any action?  What if after receiving guidance, A and B followed the advice of G to resolve the conflict instead of taking matters into their own hands? 

Since we are finite beings we can never fully understand the complexities of our neighbors, friends, colleagues, family members, enemies.  Truth is relative and has many sides.  Therefore it is best to seek advice from an omnipotent being who knows all the angles instead of a mere mortal.  

The God that I serve is so accessible that I can actually converse with him like I converse with a good girl friend.  I can share my fears, my disappointments and my hurts with my God.  I can seek forgiveness for my missed opportunities.  I can ask for help to fix a complicated situation.  I can seek specific guidance on issues as mundane as where to get my lashes done.  I can also seek guidance on life altering issues like: whether to quit my job to pursue a hobby full time.

Seeking help from God requires a listening ear, discipline, patience and obedience.

But, God promises to answer us.  And He never goes back on His word.

"Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you." Matthew 7:7

To clarify, God’s timing while perfect is not akin to our timing.  In other words, He does not always answer immediately. But He will answer in time enough to act.  We must then learn to WAIT on God before taking matters into our own hands.

“Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret, it leads only to evildoing. 9 For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.” Psalm 37:7-9

While we wait, we are not to wait idly.  Instead, we must work to cultivate a listening ear.  This means, we must spend consistent time with GOD to learn to distinguish His voice from the chatter of others.  We must spend consistent time praising GOD, thanking GOD, reflecting with GOD on each day’s activities in order to spot patterns in how He interacts with us.  In other words, we must pray constantly.

14 Dear brothers, warn those who are lazy, comfort those who are frightened, take tender care of those who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to everyone else. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Always keep on praying. 18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18

In my walk with God, I have discovered that He speaks to me in several ways: 1) personally by sending messages that pop into to my mind like a new idea; 2) through advice from other Spiritual Warriors (other believers with faith that has tested over many many years); 3) through vivid and detailed dreams; and 4) through patterns in my life that seem to repeat (upon reflection, I can gauge a lesson from these acts).

Because I try my best to set aside quiet time to sit with God, I am being rewarded.  I am developing a listening ear.  I am learning how to hear God’s direct guidance and advice in real time. 

There is an alternative REALITY in Christ, darling.

Seize it for yourself today.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Don't Worry. Be Happy.

Lately sleep eludes me.  Each night it is the same.  My eyes flutter open around 3 am and anxiety grips me.  I am worried.  How will I do it?  How will I rise to meet the newest challenge?  Who told me that I could produce a tv show, work full time and teach a law class?  Who is gonna pay for all of this?  Am I insane?

The thing about God (and the Holy Spirit) is that the more time we spend with Him, the more we begin to rely on Him to help us reach our goals. And the more goals we reach, the more we begin to ask God for greater and greater things.

The sense of HOPELESSNESS or even HELPLESSNESS  that we feel when we step outside of our comfort zone is understandable.  But, we must combat this feeling with FAITH.

And 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

Faith is Hope in the face of seemingly unsurmountable obstacles.  Faith is knowing  with certainty that ALL WILL WORK OUT IN THE END even when all seems lost.  Faith is knowing that God, his angels and principalities are ever present even when we can feel nothing but discomfort.

Faith enables us to work effectively.  

But we do a disservice to ourselves when we work believing that our work is what makes the difference between success and failure.  Yes, our work is required.  But it is God’s work, it is the work of His Spirit that enables us to reach our goals.

If it is God’s work that ensures success, we should continue to dream BIG in faith come what may.  

There is no need to worry about the outcome.  God has already taken care of the outcome.  

So when those thoughts of inadequacy molest you, combat them with the knowledge that God will provide whatever is needed when it is needed.  Rest…knowing that God will intervene so long as we do our part: pray in faith for the desires of our hearts, seek God’s guidance, act when directed and be obedient to the Word of God.


It’s out of our hands.  Whew, what a relief, darling!  

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A 2ND PARADIGM SHIFT

This week during my quiet time with God, I believe I had another paradigm shift.  

EUREKA!

  1. You never have to summon God to come to your aid  

In actuality, God is ever present.  He is here within you and around you.  During the times that we feel distant from God, we should simply pray that the scales will be removed from our eyes so that we can better “see” Him.  

  1. God’s Power is Never Stagnant

God Power is really God’s Will in Motion in our lives.  In order to access God Power you need only do one thing, move “self” out of the way.  God Power is free flowing when we abandon our will and allow God’s will to take precedent.  

How?  The only way I know to learn to embrace God’s Will as opposed to our own will is to learn to trust God.  If you trust God, you will trust Him to lead.  

But how can you trust God if you do not know Him?  

When you read the word of God, you learn about the character of God (His likes and His dislikes).  You learn about the behavior that is pleasing to God.  You learn how God delights in giving His children the desires of their hearts.  You learn that He will not abandon his people even when they make mistakes.  You learn how to identify the people of God in a fallen world.  You learn about the miracles of God that occur even now.  

And GUESS WHAT? Over time, you learn how good God is.  The more time you spend talking to God and learning of God, the more you realize that God only does good things.  And then you start gradually relying on God more and more.  First you assign God small tasks, e.g., assistance paying bills, healing for a friend, a path forward at work.  Soon you learn to pray more and more effectively and then you start to see God move on the things you have entrusted to Him (not always in the way you want but always in a good way). Now, you start to relax.  You are now eager to abandon your strategies for success opting to let this Awesome GOD take the lead.  

And darling, at that moment (the moment you move over to the passenger seat), you will be AMAZED at what God Power will do for you and for those you entrust to Him.


I am a witness, darling.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A PARADIGM SHIFT

Like most folks, I struggle to remain optimistic in the face of disappointment, heartbreak and challenges.  While I am learning to rely more on SPIRIT and less on my own ability, I notice with a sigh that the higher I get, the more trouble I see.  “Is this as good as it gets,” I wonder?  

The truth is that the Christian journey is fraught with difficulty.  The idea that life on this side of glory will be difficult is not make believe. IT IS A PROMISE.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. John 16:33

The good news is that if we commit ourselves to growing in the SPIRIT, we will face these challenges with POWER that will enable us to triumph: come what may.

Triumphing, though can take many forms.  Sometimes, triumphing does not mean an immediate removal of an obstacle.  Rather, to triumph can take the form of a paradigm shift.  

This week, I hit upon an interesting point that did wonders for my outlook.  

When challenges abound and prayers seem to go unanswered, don’t abandon your Spiritual practices.  Instead, turn your focus inward.  Why? When you switch your attention away from your problem and direct it towards improving yourself, you unlock Spirit Power.  Once this GOD Power is released miracles will happen.  I am a witness.

This concept of “an imprisoned GOD” represents a paradigm shift for me.  When I am confronted with financial difficulty, discord in my personal relationships or missed opportunities, I MUST NOT give up.  Instead, I should look within.  ALL REFORM BEGINS WITH SELF.  

Instead of simply asking for relief, ask God to show you the things within yourself that need to be righted.  Once you receive your marching orders, get busy working on these things with Joy and Rejoicing.

You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will remain--so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.  John 15:16


Help is on the way, darling.  It is a promise.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

FAITH EVOLUTION CON'T


I do believe that right now, at this very moment, I am in a unique but precarious position.  Daily, I feel as though I were perched on the age of a very tall precipice: gilded airbrushed tip toes dangerously close to the edge.  I can see off in the distance, my Emerald City: all of those glittery goals and ridiculous time tables that I have set for myself.  The goals akin to bench marks represent what success looks like to me. 

If I could, I would jump up right now in my purple Betsey Johnson pajamas and run, full throttle toward my goals.   But, that would be FOLLY.  Who begins a journey without supplies, without a compass, without shoes?  

Thankfully the journey (my journey), from Northeast to the Emerald City is divinely orchestrated.   

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.  Jeremiah 29:11

My task: to put one foot in front of the other, sure that when I set aside time daily to commune with God, I will be guided, directed, protected and loved.

I am a witness that when you seek God daily, He will impart wisdom; the type of insight that can enable you to take a step forward even when it appears that you will walk right off the cliff.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  James 1:5

This week like the week before, I spent my quiet time with God seeking clarity on what constitutes faith.  The book of Luke provides some guidance.

According to Luke chapter 11, faith is evidenced by importunity.  It is persistence (without anxiety) in your ask.  

Remember the proverb about the man who had no bread to offer his houseguest.  Instead of fretting, he went to his friend’s house and repeatedly knocked on the friend’s door.  Eventually the friend answered and gave the man some bread.  

The obvious lesson is that we must be persistent when we ask God for assistance.   But the the more latent lesson is this: God’s very nature is such that He (like a good friend) delights in giving gifts to His beloved.  In fact, God’s gifts bear witness to His very character.  Consequently, we can approach God boldly knowing with certainty that He will answer.

5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Luke 11:5-13

God is ever present to provide us with “our daily bread,” all that we need to exceed our goals. We need only ask God for help in real time with laughter and no anxiety.

He will answer.  Be persistent.  Be prayerful.  Be patient. 


It is a promise, darling.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

FAITH EVOLUTION

(dedicated to Dr. A. Petersen for her encouraging words)

The Christian journey is never stagnate.  Every day that you spend reading, dissecting and pondering the Word of God, is another day of growth.  

For example, while I know that it is impossible to please God without Faith, I am constantly refining my concept of what FAITH actually looks like in my day to day life.

And 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

Accordingly, my definition for FAITH is based on core statements excerpted from the Bible and from sermons that I have heard over the years combined with my own personal experiences (of what works and what doesn’t.) 

To me, FAITH is: 

  1. knowing with certainty that everything will work out for the best; 
  2. knowing with certainty that God (Holy Spirit, Jesus, assembly of Angels) is ever present to come to my aid, even when I cannot perceive God with my senses;  
  3. the absence of anxiety or worry in the face of difficulty; 
  4. being able to rest during the appointed time; and
  5. joy and laughter in the face of disappointment, betrayal, death (This joy is not manufactured but is gifted by God when you live in the Spirit).

Within the last month or so, I can now add a new point of clarification to my ever evolving definition of Faith.  

No. 6:
Faith is NOT taking matters into your own hands unless directed to do so.

This is BIG.

At my core, I am really a risk taker.  I may not mountain climb or parasail, but I take risks all the time with my career, with my finances, my projects.  For example, I will readily spend my last dollar on a pair of sparkly earrings if I needed them for a specific event, photoshoot or a present for a friend.  My reasoning would be, “surely God will send more resources for rent, car insurance, groceries.  Everything will work out for the good.  Right?”  Well…not always, darling. Read the fine print.

There really is a difference between FAITH and FOLLY.

Remember the God that we encounter in the Old Testament is the same God we encounter in the New Testament.  Our God is a God of order.  Every occurrence has its season.  There is a time and place for everything.

When it comes to giving, there is also an appointed time.

We are told to give to Caesar his due.  Meaning we must pay our debts.

14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 
Is it right to pay the imperial tax[b] to Caesar or not? 

15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 

16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”  And they were amazed at him.  Mark 12 14-17

We are told to pay our tithes to the church.

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.  Malachi 3:8-10

We are told to take care of the poor.

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.  Deuteronomy 15:11

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’ Leviticus 23:22

‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.  Leviticus 25:35

….Back to those sparkly earrings….

Faith in God to provide all that we need or want necessitates that we will not deviate from God’s rules in order to have our own way.  In other words, even though I want/need the sparkly earrings, job promotion, car payment, food for the week, I may not take matters into my own hands outside of God’s laws to obtain them.  In fact, I am bound by the Laws of God.  Faith means that I must trust God to provide me with the desires of my heart in His own way and in His own time. 

We are told to ask God for whatever we want.  Then wait on Him for the victory.

You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.  John 14:14

If I want sparkly earrings, I should ask God for them.  I should then do my part to prepare for the blessing (learn about sparkly earrings, where to purchase, how much they are, what I will wear with them).  And finally, I must cultivate a lifestyle that will enable me to listen to God for direction as to how and when to obtain them (e.g., I must go to Him in prayer daily in order to develop a listening ear).

Taking matters into my own hands…deciding not to pay rent to afford sparkly earrings, orchestrating a plot to steal them, refraining from giving to the poor to justify them, or failing to take care of my family to obtain them is not FAITH.  This is FOLLY and it is not God’s way.

All we have to do for a VICTORY on Earth is to ask a benevolent GOD…wait in Faith…and do our part (pray and study the Word of God)!  

It is a promise, darling.