Blessed wherever you Go – It’s Amazing! #FriendOfGod

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What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Ps 8:4);…and the Lord helped David wherever he went.” (1 Chr 18:6, NASB)~ What an honor, that Almighty God would concern Himself with the affairs of mankind, let alone the tasks of a single man or woman. I’ve often been inspired by some of the “high achievers” that I know. I have wondered at times how they get so much accomplished! While first mind would give credit to their work ethic, their talents and natural personality traits, excessive self-esteem, or grand skills in any discipline or organization, God, who breathed existence into time itself, the mastermind off all things, the One that is above all and who existed before the beginning was…knows when every sparrow falls, knows the count of every atom of every thing simultaneously, has promised to “never leave us nor forsake us.” Each of us is given our ‘own’ individual, personalized and specialized measure of grace. Talents and all of the benefits of human effort and stamina are great things but we must acknowledge God’s provision. High achievement in life is a special gift but not unique for God. In fact, God has promised to help us as well, that by His grace, we are who we are! It’s absolutely overwhelming to ponder the depth of His being and yet realize His consideration of us!
 
To lament on where we are right now and where God has brought us, it’s absolutely certain just how much He has been there for us; helping us, leading us, blessing us and working things out for us. I can’t keep track of how many times God has moved me into a position that avoids trouble – keeping me out of harm’s way although I might have even seen it coming; and even more that I didn’t even KNOW was coming until I turned a corner; or finally, what could have come but He rebuked FOR MY SAKE; walking with me and even CARRYING me through the valley of the shadow of death! I absolutely believe that having a relationship with Him, although I don’t always maintain it to my best, comes with an incomparable benefit. God truly blesses us in all things and in all times, even ‘through’ our struggles (yes, the struggles..the fact that we live to look back on it proves that He blesses us IN it and THROUGH it).
 
So, let’s start with acknowledging God today.  Let’s ask our Friend to help us…wherever we go. In asking, commit to go in the paths of His righteousness and not to lean on our own understanding (Prov 3:5-6). Pray that we do not grieve nor quench the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30), thwarting God’s desire to answer our prayers. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness before we seek any other matters of this world (Matt 6:33). And, in faith and thanksgiving, believe that the Lord will help you…wherever you go. Lord how excellent is thy name in ALL the Earth!
 
Who am I that You are mindful of me; That You hear me when I call?
Is it true that You are thinking of me?
How You love me it’s amazing!!!
“Friend of God” – by Israel Houghton

When all else fails and the bottom falls out; Remember that #GodIs

The Lord He is

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. (Psa 27:7-10)~ There comes a situation in everyone’s life where our “Godly Wisdom” speaks out the same answer, regardless of any other convictions…even those that are closest to us, and love us the most; even our parents have that point of telling us.. “Pray” because even they can’t be there for us. God’s best time to help those that trust in Him, is when all other means of help fails. He is a surer and better Friend than even our parents are, or could be. He knew before He even created us (Jer 1:5) that specific point in time where our “moment in life” would come where HE would be the only answer for us, so God planted a “homing” signal within us…”Seek my face!”. We all have within each of us a presence just waiting to be called on but we instead make the mistake because of the desire of our flesh to walk in the flesh, to rely on those things or people… which can’t help us and in many cases, may even purposely hurt us. Some people love you enough but can’t do anything for you. Other people will hurt you, mock you, humiliate you and judge you. But God will heal you, magnify you and justify you. He knows the sound of our prayer and He sustains us through come what may. There is no problem, situation nor circumstance that exceeds His ability and desire to meet your need. When Jesus was here, He not only gave us prayer to use but He demonstrated its use and its effectiveness. Friend, whatever it is, you can pray about it!! Use the “homing signal” because all else won’t sustain you but in prayer you will find God’s hand to cover you, protect you and guide you!  And know that in and through it all, whatever you may need – He IS; and He will NEVER leave or forsake you!  May you find peace and joy… in Him!

#Fear or #Faith – You DO Have a Choice!

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For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)~~ God has given us the spirit of power, of courage and resolution, to boldly face difficulties and dangers; the spirit of love to Him, which will carry us through opposition, and the spirit of a sound mind, peace and quietness of mind. The Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion, a timid or cowardly disposition, or of slavish fears. We are likely to bear our afflictions well, when we acknowledge our strength and power from God and the ability of those gifts to enable us to bear tribulations. You have all you need to overcome anything that could possibly push you toward fear, but your faith is required in the truth…because faith casts out fear! Faith is based on the TRUTHS you KNOW where fear is based on falsehoods that attempt to challenge the truth with man’s interpretations that instill fear and confusion and change with the times. The truth of God never changes no matter what the times. His Word is everlasting and uncompromising. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever (Isa 40:8). Fear Not, Only Believe! —  May we find courage in Him, to stand up and be counted, to stand up for others who cannot stand up for themselves. To stand up for ourselves when it is needful to do so. Let us fear nothing more than we fear the Lord. Let us love nothing more than we love Him, for then we shall fear nothing. Let us have no other God before Him, whether nation or party or state or church; no position nor possession shall we let replace Him. No circumstance nor situation shall we let circumvent our FAITH in Him! Let us seek no other peace but the peace which is of Him, and may we be its instruments, opening our eyes and our ears and our hearts, so that we should know always what work of peace we should do in His name. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength (Isa 26:3-4)! Fear or Faith – You DO have a choice!

Take CARE of, not advantage of the #WeakerVessel

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Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man (Gen 2:22-23)~~ God, as her Father, brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help meet for him. That woman, who is of God’s making by special grace, and of God’s bringing by special providence, is likely to prove a help meet for a man. She was given purpose by God and as was God’s intent, must be taken CARE of, not taken advantage of. Women, the help for man from God, become the wives and mothers that bring forth generations – following the Will of God, to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth (Gen 1:28). They are meant by God, as ‘help’ to the man, to be look after us in our purpose. A gift of divine benefit, women must be looked after by us that their purpose (to help …. us) may be fulfilled rather than hindered. Yes, MAN, God created HER to look after you and take care of you! How could we possibly abuse what God has given us to help us???

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church (Eph 5:28-29). As men, it is imperative that we exist with the woman standing beside us, dwelling with us in a presiding position. The man is to take his place as the head, according to God’s order, but by no means is the woman to be dishonored, disrespected or abused as minions or subjects to us! It takes commitment and surrender to God’s order on the part of both man and woman to come to a place of true understanding. This is the basis for seeing one’s her as a vessel to honor, respect and care for because she is weaker. That women are usually physically weaker is undeniable, but that certainly does not mean she is less valuable or that she does not have equal access to grace. Rather, it is a basis for a man to treat a woman with understanding, tenderness, and patience.

It’s my prayer that we as men come to a better place of how we treat women ~ because as we degrade, destroy, disrespect and disregard them, we ultimately do so to ourselves! 

Life Happens … #ButGod

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“But God . . .” The revelation of the Almighty that makes the course of adversity stop in its tracks as He intervenes and speaks His will:

  • “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive”  ~~ (Gen. 50:20).
  • “Their beauty shall be consumed in the grave . . . . But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave” ~~ (Ps. 49:14-15).
  • “My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” ~~ (Ps. 73:26).
  • “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” ~~ (Rom. 5:7-8).
  • “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard . . . the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” ~~ (1 Cor. 2:9-10).
Whenever you feel discouraged, whenever you feel the weight of the world coming down on you, whenever you feel like you’re going deeper and deeper into a hole –  look to the hills from whence your help comes (Ps 121:1) and remember the times when a “but God” intervention happened and be reassured of God’s love and involvement in the lives of those who love Him.

Creator of the universe Who reigns in awesome majesty: How can it be that You’re involved With such a one as me? Who am I that you are mindful of me? (Ps 8:4)

-But God-

The best way to get love is to first GIVE it – – #SeekFirstTheKingdom – –

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…but the greatest of these is love (1 Cor 13:13)~~ There are a lot of ways we can approach life. Many will say we should focus on getting ‘ours’ by any means necessary. The way of the flesh: selfishness, pride and the “me-first” approach take the way of focusing on what we GET and pursues the intent of “receiving”, even if it’s at the expense of others. We want it all and we want it now. We don’t care how anyone else feels about it as long as we get ours. When we don’t get ours, we not only express our displeasure, we take vengeance on anyone or anything that stood in the way of our happiness and we make sure their causing our displeasure is well exposed and in today’s world…well documented! But our own contributions are nonexistent in every way. At what point did we give anything? Did we sow any good into the life of another? Did we take the way of love or were we just focused on what we were receiving (or not receiving)? The Way of Love will not be impatient or rude. Love won’t be jealous and it doesn’t focus on its own achievements or its own needs, ignoring the feelings and needs of others. It doesn’t insist that everything be done its own way and doesn’t punish when this doesn’t happen. Love isn’t irritable or resentful. It doesn’t “bring back up” when you’ve “messed up”. It doesn’t try to hide the truth. Love doesn’t give up on you, calling you a lost cause. Love doesn’t doubt you. Love doesn’t leave you. Love doesn’t walk away from your emotions….AND, Love never fails at doing ALL of these things! Focus on love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you’ll know without a doubt that love covers a multitude. Every situation is an opportunity to respond with love. How do I ‘love’ in this situation? There are a lot of ways we could do things, but when we take the way of love, the best result always comes out…for us as well as others. Remember, Jesus gave two specific commandments, rooted in love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:37-39). Notice, this is about DOING and GIVING…He never said anything about “getting”. God First LOVED! He didn’t demand it and then give His in return. There my friend is our model example! If the kingdom of God is rooted in Love, does it not make sense that we too GIVE Love first? Matthew 6:33 reminds us: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you! Love first and Love you shall receive!

Blessings!

Having a #BadDay – You have to see the Blessing in it! #GodsPlan —

Blessings in Disguise

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa 55:8-9).~~ It is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done in your life, but it is quite another to accept His will. Many of us talk a good game about wanting His will for our lives, but once it is revealed, we get scared and we run away from it; We let fear take over; Or we refuse to accept it because God’s will actually isn’t what we wanted at all. I can say all of this because I’ve been there and in many ways, I am there right now. I’ve long prayed for God’s will and purpose to be revealed in my life, but I never really took into consideration how I would respond to the revelation. I realize that not only should my prayer be, “Thy will be done” but also, “Let me accept thy will.”

It is easy to become negative, frustrated and angry when things don’t go our way or work as WE have planned. But, what we need to remember is that GOD’s plan for our day, better yet, our life is always greater than our own, even when we can’t see it in the moment. His blessings don’t always come in the ways we expect. But God is always at work in our lives and sometimes we just need to adjust our perspective or our vision to see where He is working. Some of the biggest blessings in my life have come from situations that were less than perfect in my own view, in fact, often they come from the most difficult of times. It just reiterates to me that I need to look at where God is working and recognize the hidden blessings in even the most difficult of situations. God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good! As much as we THINK we know what’s better for us, we eventually find out that God only knows!
So, the next time you get upset because things aren’t going YOUR way.. keep in mind that it could very well be going GOD’S way! When we follow HIS way, we can surely expect that we will not come to a position of regretting our own will before we acknowledge His…saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but THINE be done (Luke 22:42).
 – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Ths 5:16-18) –
Trust His Plan

#KeepStill – #Chillax Take the day off and #Rest in the Lord –

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As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Ps 42:1-2)~ We need Him, so desperately. We need Him after all of our abilities have been expended. We need Him, because the subtle diversion of our life’s activities can become detrimental to our spiritual health. Even after all our goals have been accomplished, our unfailing need for Him will never be satisfied to the fullest. What I love in all of this is that God knows us better than anyone else. He knows that we need to be saved, oftentimes from our very own selves. He knows that even though our intentions are good, we can get lost in the excessive amount of activities we engage in daily and fall prey to our fears and our internal vices. That’s why He calls us away from the hustle and bustle of life; drawing us near with a desire to be close to Him, where He may refresh, recharge and restore us! Don’t forego that opportunity to get some Downtime, Vacation, Rest, Alone-Time! That may just be God calling you to rest in Him! See, God works with us in the company of…Himself! Get in His presence, adore His grace and mercy, be in awe of His creation, keep still and see His salvation! 

What are you hungry for; thirsty for; craving for – that #Jesus can’t fulfill? –

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My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (Ps 42:2)~~ We are living in the last days and the Bible calls it evil days. Satan has a variety of things to offer us. There are all kinds of evil things out there. We see the people hungering after and giving in to evil addictions and lifestyles that are destroying their lives. Remember the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Our desires for those things of evil play right into the will of the devil. Every single person has in himself a longing for God, his creator. That is why we see people searching for the truth everywhere. But the influence and confusion of evil creates the illusion whereby we are searching for the truths of life in the wrong places. This is why we need to seek through Christ, the living God for Him to fill us from the hunger and thirst for the Way, the Truth and the Life – which He Himself is (John 14:6). When you have a longing for Jesus, no one needs to tell you to do the things of God; You cannot help but be in the things of God. When you hunger and thirst for God, all you will want to be is in His presence all the time. You will be in prayer and fellowship with Him. When you have a relationship with God, your heart’s deepest craving and your soul’s greatest longing will be to know more about Jesus and His word. You will want to fellowship with Jesus more and more and spend time with His word. God fills the people who Hunger for Him. 

Mean, Angry, Bitter, Hateful, Hurtful, Rude! Why #YouMadBro ?? #BeHappy

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Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Eph 4:29)~~ People have always been rude, some will tell you that’s just human nature. But rudeness has gone to a whole new level especially since the advent of social media! What people seemed ashamed to say to someone’s face can now be easily posted on Facebook, or tweeted, or typed anonymously on a blog or web forum.

Why are people so ‘mad’ today; So mean today? Maybe we have watched too many reality TV slugfests; listened to too many politically charged sparring sessions on talk radio; found entertainment on all of the gossip shows on television or read too many hateful comments online. It certainly seems that all this toxic dialogue has desensitized us, and we just don’t care about or just don’t know how to bite our lips and say anything kind. And while I’d love to say that Christians are immune to this epidemic of harsh conversation, that’s just not the case. Sometimes we are just as mean as everyone else, even if we don’t drop F-bombs as often.

Many of us used to hear from parents and grandparents the old adage “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!”. Yes, there used to be rules for arguing, but today— the gloves are off, all verbal, written, texted, tweeted posted, snap-chatted and kik’ed weapons are allowed and there are no referees. It’s an all-out free-for-all!

What we need is a restoration of the qualities of the great commandments of our Savior – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself (Matt 22:37,39); What we need is a revival of genuine love.

So many of us need to let go of unforgiveness. The main reason people have anger seething under the surface of their hearts is they have not forgiven people who hurt them. Holding resentment in your heart is not only unhealthy for you (it can cause stress and lead to different forms of disease); it is also toxic for those around you, because they are subjected to your bitter venom when you speak. Forgive people quickly and allow the sweetness of God’s love to neutralize the poison. People today need to get healing from past abuse in order to stop the abuse they dish out. Many people are verbal abusers because they were abused, bullied, rejected or judged in the past. If that was your story, you can break the cycle through the power of Christ. Let Him teach you how to love people, even if you or no one in your past knew how. Also, seek the wise counsel of a mature mentor who can model Christian love to you, and take the risk of building healthy friendships.

My friend, ask God to renew your heart – “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps 51:10). God wants to put His very heart inside you, but He can’t until you make room by getting rid of every hateful attitude. Open your heart wide, and let His love invade the places you have closed. His fervent love can change a bitter, angry, cynical critic into a kind, gentle, affectionate lover of people. Finally, go on a fast from negativity!! Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2); Take every thought captive (2 Cor 10:5) – choose to love. Many Christians fast at the beginning of each year to ask God for personal revival. But you can fast from anything you want and still be spiritually unchanged if you are complaining, grumbling, criticizing or spewing hateful words from your mouth every day. Ask God to set a guard over your mouth to instantly convict you of unkind words and actions that quench the Holy Spirit – Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips (Ps 141:3)! 

Heart, Mind and Mouth – Be Happy – Be Blessed – Be a Blessing!