Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Chasing Joy

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

This world can be a difficult place some times; and during certain seasons of our lives, maybe more often than not. I’ve found myself moving down some good old paths as well as starting new things. I love new beginnings. But I realize new beginnings can be difficult too. New beginnings are even more difficult when you’re navigating them alone.

It’s not that I want to exclude people. In fact, I think, now more than ever, I’ve become more inclusive. But at the same time, I’ve learnt to be completely cool with being by myself. We won’t always have the pleasure of other people’s company especially the pleasure of the company of like minds. And some times, we wish, only wish, someone else would physically come alongside us on our journey. At least I feel that way.

Sometimes, I think, in the middle of all this, we have to chase joy. Joy can be elusive. We have to actively look for joy in the Lord, because the joy of the Lord is where our strength lies.It’s not an easy thing to do. Some days we just want to drown in the pool of our self pity. It’s much easier – less tasking.

Joy requires a little bit more energy than self pity, but its reward ย is so worth it. There are some dark days, when the only thoughts that come are thoughts of failure, loneliness, confusion, worthlessness, but joy is always so near if we would only reach out just a little bit.

It usually takes one painful step to get to joy. It takes looking away from all the ugly, closing your ears to the heartless voices and looking up. Just one act and then another. It begins with lifting up your head, your eyes shifting their gaze. Then you utter one word and then another. God… Lord… Father.

Father, help me. Help me. I trust You. I choose You. Help me, I have no strength of my own. Your joy is my strength. Thank You for joy. Thank You for making my life so beautiful. Thank You for never leaving me or abandoning me. I’m so glad You think of me. And You love me, and You’re with me. I cannot be brought down because You lift me up. I can never be ashamed because it is Your face that shines on me! Hallelujah! God is with me now!

So one first move, and then another. Look to Jehovah and give thanks. Thanksgiving is a wonderful expression of our faith in an amazing, unchangeable God (who is Love, by the way). So chase joy; don’t let it slip away. Chase joy in God; He is never far away from His family.

And finally, you can be a part of God’s family by calling on the Name of His Son, the Lord Jesus, who has already paid the price for your sins. Is sin a dirty word? Yes, but perfect to ascribe to us. No one, not one is righteous. We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. Call on the Lord and discover the joy of the Lord as your strength! Choose God; choose joy.

You can comment or email me directly if you have any questions about this call to God’s family. You can comment or email anyway! ย ๐Ÿ˜€ I pray that you will know God’s joy, love and mercy in Jesus Name. And so it will be.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

They Believed the Lie.

book_heart-wallpaper-1366x768.jpg“They believed the lie”. This phrase lifted out of the 2Thessalonians 2:11 verse is a foreshadowing of danger, and as well a present reminder of the fact that we could fall prey to lies. I am not merely speaking of lies that people tell, but a deception by the real enemy of mankind, which is the devil.
For many, the idea of the devil in a personified figure is laughable but for others, it is true.
In 2Corinthians 2:10 and 11, Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians to forgive a certain fellow believer and also to do so in order that “Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
Paul says this knowing full well that if the church didn’t forgive this brother, it would create an opening for hurt and all kinds of dissension and distractions. The latter part of the statement gives us insight to the mind of God for His children. He doesn’t want us ignorant of the enemy’s schemes. He wants us to be aware that we could fall into mind traps by the things we choose or choose not to believe.
Sometimes we find ourselves going down certain paths, knowing there’s something wrong but not being able to get off the path. I know this all too well. I’ve found myself believing all kinds of lies. Lies like “this is all there is to life”; lies like “you have or had no other choice”, “God doesn’t care about that part of your life”, “being pure is impossible” and so many more. There are a billion and one lies for the picking.
The thing is, we may not always immediately recognize these lies and that’s why we need a standard. For some people this may sound cliche, but the word of God ought to be our standard – our weapon against the lies of the enemy. This is what Paul calls “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” in Ephesians 6:17.
All I’m saying is, whenever you find yourself being overwhelmed by a thought or even your feelings, remember Jesus our Lord, being tempted in the wilderness by the devil. He came to Jesus with all kinds of lies wrapped up with just a tiny bit of seeming truth and attempted to overwhelm the Christ, but we know what happened in the end. Jesus said to him, “it is written…”. It is written, “the word of the Lord is a lamp to my feet”(Psalm 119:105).
What I know for sure is that God intended us to live a full life…a life of love…a life of honor. Whatever is acting as a barrier to that, we can put under the microscope of the word and see clearly. And live free!
Sometimes, all you need to do is see the truth clearly.
I dare myself to believe the word of God above my thoughts and my feelings. I dare myself to actual know the word of God about any and every one of my circumstances. And I dare you. I dare you to believe the truth.

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Like Fresh Air

I’ve recently reached a milestone in my life. Its probably the reason I’ve been moved to break my blogging silence. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I am truly happy and encouraged that God was with me through my struggles and brought me out of them. I’ve learned so many lessons in the process, but one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt is that I have to trust in God no matter what, and I have to depend on His strength. 

Even when things seem uncertain, God is able to deliver us from every kind of trouble. That’s about the most important lesson I’ve learned. 

I’ve learned other lessons as well. I’ve learned that God loves human relationships-He created them. And because He designed them, He also designed the rules of engagement. For every kind of human relationship to work, there must be boundaries. We must know those boundaries and function within them for our own good and the good of others. And if we ever find ourselves breaching the boundaries and giving birth to Ishmael, we must learn to say goodye to Ishmael, pray for our Ishmael, but wash our hands off concern for the child. This is because as God said to Abraham, Ishmael cannot share in the inheritance of Isaac. It may have seemed cruel that Abraham had to send away his own son, but it was expedient to do so. 

I’m learning not be afraid to say no, and not to ask for permission to do so. I’m learning to trust in God’s principles and in His design even when they seem contrary to my feelings. Above every person, living or dead, God is our greatest lover and biggest supporter. So let’s trust in His love and darn every human device in the name of love (which God is by the way. God is love). 

I’m so blessed and encouraged to be out in the luscious green plains. Freedom smells like fresh air! Thank you God!

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Beloved, and Loving the Wind of Change!

I’ve been navigating some difficult things this period of my life; the silence, the confusion…did I say the silence?

It seemed like on the things that mattered to me, God was silent. It seemed like God was unfair for allowing me to experience the pain I did. I struggled some and triumphed some, but I still wondered if God was with me. I knew it but I could not feel it.

Today, God opened my eyes to the thorn in my side. I said to my Father, now, in my mind, I am free, but I do not feel free. I asked Him to MAKE me free. He showed me something WAY bigger than I could ever have anticipated. He freed me from the bondage of ignorance. He blew on me a wind of change.

God made me realize that He is love, and as large as He is, He wants to pour every drop of Himself into me! So I saw through His eyes, how precious I was (am) to Him, and I began to thirst for every drop. I have become convinced – FULLY convinced – that God wants to give it ALL to me!! To Him, I am worth every drop of His amazing love. I am precious in His sight. All His love is for me to desire and receive and experience. I am the Beloved of God!

Today, I cried out to my Father, “You are just! And Your judgements are fair O God!” God is indeed just and merciful for allowing me to go through the darkness and pain. I could not see it when I was in it, but when I came out of it, I saw that it was by the mercies and love of God that He took me through the valley of darkness. I praise You God, for You are merciful; all Your ways are true!

Now, I can begin again, in full assurance of God’s love because He patiently took me through this place from which I have come. I am eternally grateful. I would have given much to know what I know today. Dear fellow sojourners, if you see me, you will see a thirsty soul, thirsty for the love of God. You will see an insatiable soul, because I will never say enough! Oh God! Your love is better than life and I want EVERY drop!

    

Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

Re Dedication

“Yet I still belong to You; You hold my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but You? I desire You more than anything on earth. My [strength] may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my life. He is mine forever.” -(Psalm 73:23-26)

I wrote the following in my journal on the 13th of June. It’s so relevant to me today.

Rededication:

  
Maybe I’m the best person to write this because I know what down looks like.

I tentatively accept the embrace of my Heavenly Father who has been waiting patiently and hopefully for my form to appear in the distance- prodigal.

LORD, lead me wherever You will. A day with You is better than a million elsewhere. Your love for me is what keeps me together in spite of myself-my self, which is sinful.

I love You back, LORD, and with everything in me. I give me wholly to You. You know everything about me. Please fill me with You. I want to be like You.

LORD, You can have everything – every moment of my life. Please accept me broken and unclean. You know how to bring light out of darkness. I’m all for You- You alone have the words of eternal life.

I accept Your own way. Every thing about it. I’m the freed and enslaved of Christ. I know You will never leave me. You will preserve me. 

Preserve me.

Amen.

Inspiration · Spiritual

Blue Days

“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ.” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Blue Days… 

Some days the sky is blue, some days I am blue, and some days the day is blue.

God is not absent when I am sad. He is not absent when I am disappointed in people. He is not absent when I am lonely. He is not absent when I am upset. He is present and constant. My feelings don’t have to be my enemy- they don’t have to rule over me, “For in this sanctuary, God is here…”* 

When I say this, I am conscious of the verse of scripture I put up at the beginning of this post: “ALWAYS BE JOYFUL.” What does that mean? I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean ALWAYS BE HAPPY. Joy isn’t happiness, which is something we mistakenly pursue. Joy is this huge blanket of peace and gratitude in knowing the constantNESS of God (pardon my grammar). That no matter what I feel, and no matter what I am going through, GOD IS HERE. God is here and He is greater than my feelings and my circumstances. That’s what joy is. That’s why it comes with prayer and thankfulness. 

I have fought my feelings as if God was asking me to be anything other than human. I have been tempted to harden myself against any disappointments and things such as that. I know what it’s like to harden myself. It’s not living; it’s more like dying. I have come to a conclusion and have said to God, “I rather know pain and be able to experience Your presence, than be hardened and know nothing at all.”

Some days the sky is blue, and some days the sky is hidden behind the clouds. But let us be joyful always, being at peace and being filled with gratitude that GOD IS HERE. He is constant. He doesn’t change when everything else changes. We don’t need to fight our feelings ๐Ÿ˜Š. We need to focus on God and who God is. And His peace that is beyond understanding will guard our hearts in Christ Jesus. Amen.
*”God is Here” song. Lyrics by Martha Munizzi

Inspiration · Life Hacks

Dear Female Person

Dear female person,

You are NOT alone. Right here, as I sit uncomfortably in my chair, I am overwhelmed with pent up passion for you, woman. I refuse to stay silent and let you walk on alone. I am a part of you, and you are a part of me; I refuse to watch you die in silence. I refuse to let you be swayed by lies about yourself. I refuse to walk with my head bent down when I could show you what it looks like to have your head lifted up-not in pride. I am angry for you when people step on you. I cry for you-I would give myself for you, woman. 

You are not who they say you are, but who HE says you are. I don’t care what woman or man told you otherwise. I am angry with them with a righteous anger for making you feel small and insignificant when you are a princess, a queen. Female person, you are not what they did to you-not what he did to you. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone-I don’t care what the statistics say. You don’t have to beg for what is already yours. 

You DON’T have to trade your diamond for bronze because someone told you your diamond is all wrong. You are unique. Your emotions are not your weakness; they are your strength. Your body is not your weakness. Your body is beautiful the way it is-you don’t have to mutilate it to fit anyone else’s mold. You are fine, woman-female person. Your brokenness is God’s opportunity to show what light looks like-what glory looks like. You bear His mark. His love is yours.

If you give yourself to the One, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for you, you’ll be right where He wants you to be-wrapped in His arms, in the shelter of His Fatherly wings. My dear, wonderful, broken, female person, God loves you. You will not be left in the pit. My sister, my friend, He won’t let you, and I won’t let you either. You are so precious-you have no idea. God took His time to design you, beautiful female person. He took His time, and saw that you were good. He was like, “Man, she beautiful. That’s what I’m talking ’bout”. 

I want to hold your hand beautiful one, and tell you to your face that you are not alone. I am with you in the journey- the good times and the hard times. And even though I may never see you, you have a God who sees you. You have a God who wants to show you the beauty that He designed in you. And those people? Forget them. What do they know? God knows, and that’s what counts. I know too, because I’m just like you.

Dear female person, lift your head up. The journey is long and hard, but you’re a winner. So lift your head up. Lift your head up. Lift your head up! Aargh! Lift your head up!

Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks

I Think I Just Owned My Life!

Oh LORD,

Please help me to embrace my life- to own every part of it. Help me to acknowledge that even the painful parts are mine.

Sometimes I’m tempted to run away from it- to deny that it is mine. Help me not to run away but to own it and give it to You. If I acknowledge it then I can say, “LORD, I give You MY pain,” and You can be Lord over it.

I’m owning it all now- everything.

It’s not easy, but I feel at home now in my own skin and in my own life. If I am pinched, it will hurt. If I’m embraced, it would put a smile on my face.

I don’t understand it all, but I think I just owned my life!

Thank You LORD! โ˜บ๏ธ

Uncategorized

Permission To Be Happy

Just as a quick note, I started this post about four or five days ago. Don’t ask me why I didn’t try to  post it sooner because I don’t know. ๐Ÿ˜€

Ok…

One lesson I’ve learned for real this time, is that to truly live, we have to be vulnerable. (I’m starting from the end here, people. Stay with me. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

I saw a video by Jefferson Bethke called “To Love Is To Be Vulnerable” some time ago. I now know that I didn’t understand what it meant. Let me explain.

The past year was the hardest and also the most revealing for me. One thing I taught myself was self protection. I learned to put up walls because I learned that I could not depend on people to make me happy. But what I didn’t know was that I COULD really be happy regardless of what I had painfully discovered.

I cheated myself of real joy and happiness. I tried to be grateful and thankful to God each day for all His blessings. But everything was not alright.

It seemed that I had to come to the point where I had to be honest with myself about my life. Even though things were going beautifully well for me, I WAS NOT HAPPY.

I called out to God in my frustration and He showed me that I had kept my heart too safe. Too safe even from love and joy and happiness. He showed me that I could be happy. Not just ok happy, but that I could be tremendously happy! I could be happy regardless of my circumstances. I could be free to be happy!

It may shock you that this revelation came as a shock to me. After being so long in the dark, something so simple seemed so profound. Wow.

This is what joy really is. It’s not weird or abstract and it’s not something we’re supposed to pretend that we have either. It’s free and nice and cute and pretty. It’s all those things and more.

Give yourself the permission to be happy. We can trust and be vulnerable because God is there to protect us. We don’t need to do that ourselves. Not when the love of our lives is watching over us, counting the hairs on our heads, keeping us safe in our sleep.

I give myself the permission to be happy. Happiness starts here and now. ๐Ÿ˜€

Thank You LORD!

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

20 September 2014 On Healing

20 September 2014

ON HEALING:

Thanksgiving is the evidence of believing. Halleluyah! Praise God! It is well with me. Thank You, LORD, for saving me.

Thank You Holy Spirit for quickening my mortal body! Thank You LORD Jesus because Your body was broken so that mine could be made whole, and Your blood was shed so that I wouldnโ€™t have to pay the price over.

The LORD is my dwelling place, and I am His dwelling place, and I am His dwelling place, no harm shall come to me. Thank You LORD!

I can trust in Your word-I believe in Your word. Your words are healing to me. Your words, O God, refresh my soul. They renew my body. Your words give me courage. Your words give me strength. I am blessed beyond measure and I am vibrant with health and life in my bones and flesh.

In all of me, God be exulted. You are all the HELP I need. My Helper, my Comforter, God my strength, I trust in You and gladly believe all that You say. So I am not alone but You are with me; โ€œThough I lay my bed in the depths, even there You ARE!โ€ย  J