Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Not About You

Far too often, when problems arise in our lives, we get all bent out of shape and cry the Lord Why Me? song.  Well, today I'm scratching the record and helping you to realize that your trials aren't even really about you.  They serve a much bigger purpose than just to annoy you.

God is helping me to realize that every thing I've gone through, or what I'm currently experiencing in my life, serves the purpose of gaining valuable life lessons and wisdom to help someone else.  It's not even about me.  God doesn't inflict us with hardship and unpleasant situations just for the heck of it.  No.  There's purpose in everything that God allows.  So please, don't for a second think that God is just picking on you because He has nothing better to do.  He's picked you out to teach, grow and develop you so that you will be able to pick up your sister.  I know how frustrating it can be when it seems like as soon as one storm passes in your life, here come a Hurricane Katrina and you're flooded with adversity...no pun intended.

It's so easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you're drowing in anguish and sometimes you just want to go under and allow the current to wash you away, but I want to encourage you to stay afloat.  Someone is depending on you to pull through so that you can pull them through.  You see, God uses our misery and turns it into ministry.  It's in the hurt, pain, shame and guilt that God brings us through, where ministry is birthed.  Someone needs to know your story.  Don't be ashamed of where you've been, or where you are, because it's exactly where someone else is today and they need your help in holding on.

Whether you've been a victim of rape, molestation, addiction...whatever your case may be...God allowed it so that you can help the next person.  Don't keep all God has taught you through your trials to yourself, but use it to glorify God.  It's not about you, but it's about the lives that are changed through God's power within you.

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Freedom In Letting Go

I am was one of those people who had the hardest time letting go.  From items I deemed sentimental to hurt and disappointment.  If someone hurt me, I held on to it. If I experienced pain, I held on to it.  If a relationship that I felt was important to me ended, I held on to it. For many, many years I was weighed down by the baggage I carried in my heart that I just couldn't let go of.  Not being able to let go invited bitterness, hatred and resentment to fester in my heart and caused me to not be able to excel in Christ.  For a long time, I couldn't hear God speaking to my heart because I'd crowded Him out with all the mess I allowed to take root.  I can imagine, all those times I cried God where are you?  He was probably saying I'm here, but because you've got all this stuff piled on top of me, you can't hear me.

It brings to mind this show I like to watch called Hoarders.  It depicts the lives of extreme hoarders, people who buy or collect things excessively.  The collecting is so bad that they have piles and piles of things in every space of their homes, so much so that they literally have to climb over stuff just to get from one room to the next.  Their beds, couches, stoves, floors, bathrooms, garages...every space, is compacted, all because they can't let go.  This causes their marriages to fall apart, they lose friends and their overall progression in life comes to a halt because they are so weighed down by all this stuff  they don't need, but can't get rid of.

This is much the case with many today.  There is so much packed in your heart and God is trying to manuever His way through it all.  So many are internal hoarders.   I was one, but no longer do I hold on to things that hold me down and keep me from growing in Christ.  By the end of the one hour show, the person decides to accept help and have their homes cleared of all the things they've accumulated through the years and, in doing so, they experience a freedom like never before and things begin to be restored in their life. There is such a freedom in letting go. But Keisha, you don't understand. You don't know what I've been through.  I can't let it go...I don't even know how to let it go.  Let me tell you, no one understands your hurt better than God and He's standing right there with open arms saying "Give it to me, my child. Let me free you from all your hurt, pain and disappointments." 

Gaining the ability to let go takes a lot of prayer, fasting and meditating on God's word.  It's a process and clearly does not happen in an hour, or overnight.  Become steadfast in your prayer time and sincerely cry out to God for help in letting go.  Ask God to free your heart of every person, situation or thing that holds you down and keeps you from moving forward along your path of purpose.  I promise, God will deliver you and you will experience such freedom.  Your heart will be free to love; free to live; free to serve; free to praise; free to worship; free to fulfill God's purpose for your life.  If you don't let go and allow God to heal your heart, you will find yourself stuck in the same place, while everyone around you seems to be moving forward.

Whether it's a relationship that just didn't work, hurt from a loved one, pain from the past, church hurt...let it go.  The New Living Translation of Hebrews 12:1 says "...strip off every weight that slows us down..."  Anything that hinders you from moving forward is a weight.  Today, I encourage you to strip it off.  Your place of freedom awaits you!

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!


Monday, March 22, 2010

It Doesn't Matter

Today, I just want to encourage you a little bit!

I want you to know that it doesn't matter...

It doesn't matter how grim things may look right now; it doesn't matter what diagnosis the doctor gave you; it doesn't matter that your marriage ended in divorce; it doesn't matter that your name has been scandalized by false rumors; it doesn't matter that you've been told you'll never amount to anything; it doesn't matter how many times you've failed; it doesn't matter that you can't seem to win for losing...nope, it doesn't matter.

Why, you ask?

You see, as a child of the Most High God, your life is in His hands and it only matters what He has planned for your life.   Two scriptures come to mind:

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11, NLT

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."  Romans 8:28, NLT

Do not allow the situations in your life, past or present, to cause you to believe that your life holds no value in God's Kingdom.  God has great purpose for your life...these trials are but a stepping stone to your place of promise, purpose, prosperity and productivity.  The enemy will try to convince you that this is as good as it gets; oh, but he is a liar.  Because you belong to the greater one, you are destined for greatness.  As long as you love and live wholeheartedly for God, He will give you a future and a hope.

Go ahead and endure your trials because on the other side is life more abudantly.  Hear me.  IT DOES NOT MATTER where you've been, where you are or what you're going through...God's got you covered and it's all going to work out for your good.  God is birthing ministry in you.  Trust and believe that when you come out...and you WILL come out... you will be much better, stronger and wiser than you were before.

Go ahead and give God an advance praise!!

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Don't Fall For It

On last evening, I had a serious craving for my favorite dish...spaghetti!!  Well, my husband claims he hates spaghetti. So, I usually only cook it when he's working out of town.  Not this time!  I wanted spaghetti and spaghetti I was determined to have.  So, I devised a little plan.  I'd use all of my same ingredients, except I'd use penne pasta instead of spaghetti noodles.  I cooked my ground chuck and mixed in my garlic, diced tomatoes, oregano and basil.  Once that was all done I stirred in my sauce and mixed it all together.  To make it look not like spaghetti, I put the penne pasta at the bottom of my baking dish, poured my meat sauce on top and covered it with mozarella cheese.  I popped it in the oven for a good 20 minutes and tada, there it was...Keisha's Spaghetti-less Spaghetti! 

I fixed my husband a nice helping and took it to him with a big smile on my face.  "This looks good...what is it?" he says.  I responded, "Oh, it's a Keisha's original."  In a matter of minutes, his plate was completely empty and he was asking for seconds.  He had no idea that he'd just demolished and enjoyed the very dish he hates.  Had he paid any attention to what was in front of him, he woud have realized it was just spaghetti presented a little differently. Instead, he saw how good it looked, dug in and went back for more.

You're probably thinking, how deceitful of you to trick your husband like that. It was all innocently harmless and there's a lesson behind it.

The enemy works the same way in our lives.  He tricks us into falling for things we don't necessarily like.  He presents traps to us, but because we are so enthused by what it looks like, how it feels or how much we want it, we dig right into it and keep going back for more and more.  Before we know it, we find ourselves enjoying the very thing God hates...sin.

The devil is a professional trickster...he is good at what he does and will stop at nothing to trip up God's children.  A scripture comes to mind - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8)  It is imperative that you keep your spiritual eyes open and alert at all times, because the devil is looking for the perfect opportunity to catch you slipping so that he can deceive you into believing something is good for you, when in actuality, it's a setup to get you caught up.  And when you become caught up, it pulls you away from the things of Christ and causes you to become disconnected from Him.  I know, because I've been there.

You see, the enemy presents things to us that are appealing to the three points of life - the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).  That is, what we see, what we feel and what we want.  This is why we must be diligent in our quest to stay close to Christ so that we may be able to decipher what comes from Satan and what comes from God.

Satan is on a rampage and he is determined to destroy the body of Christ.  People are falling prey to his tricks everyday.  Now, this isn't to say that any of us are sinless, because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  But, when sin becomes enjoyable and there is no remorse or conviction within you, the enemy has deceived you into becoming caught up.  Hear this, we all struggle with something,  But hopefully, in the midst of your struggle, you are yet crying out to God and seeking Him for total deliverance, so that your life may be pleasing in His sight.

Stay in God's word, stay on your knees and keep your mind stayed on Him.  Ask God to sharpen your discernment so that you will be able to know and see the enemy at work in your life and not give in to his tricks.

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just Think

There's a saying we hear in church that usually sends the praisers into a Holy Ghost fit!!  When I think of the goodness of Jesus and ALL He's done for me, my soul cries Hallelujah...wait a minute, don't start shouting yet!!

This morning, I got up and my heart was feeling a bit heavy.  Although I prayed about it, the heaviness didn't instantly go away.  So, I made my way to work and once I got into my office I opened up Windows Media Player and started my mixed gospel playlist.  A few songs into my playlist and "I can't hold it" (Byron Cage) comes on.  One of my favorite lines in the song is I can't hold it, you don't know how much the Lord has done for me!  My mind began to think about just how much God has done for me and I felt the spirit of heaviness lifting from my heart.  God indeed gave me a garment of praise for my spirit of heaviness. (Isaiah 61:3)

I know that God has done so many wonderful things for you.  All you have to do is just think about His goodness and a true praise should birth in your spirit.  So often we become busy with the busyness of life and don't take time to really think about all that God has done for us.

I don't know about you, but God has done great things for me and if He never does another thing, He has already done more than enough. He has picked me up, turned me around, placed my feet on solid ground...you don't know like I know what He's done for me!  I feel a praise on the inside...anybody wanna praise Him with me?!

Today, I want you to just think...think about nothing but the goodness of Jesus and all He has done for you.  As you think, send up the highest praise to Him.  He inhabits the praises of His people, you know?!

Here's a little something to help you get your praise on... :-)

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's Not Over

Let me begin by saying, when you open your heart to hear from God, He will indeed speak. God's love is so amazing!

There's this the more I pray, the worse it seems to become situation I've been dealing with for quite some time now.  Lately, it appears to have intensified and become seemingly unbearable.  I must admit that I have contemplated throwing in the towel; however, I know that is not what God wants me to do.  Sometimes I feel like I've done all I can do and it's not getting better so this is it!!! 

I've been crying out to God about this situation and He ever so sweetly whispered to my spirit It's not over until I say it's over...

So many times, after we've prayed and prayed about something that in no wise seems to get better, we say  Ok, I'm done with this...my fight with this is over!  But God says not so.  Giving up is not an option to the believers of Christ.  Scripture says that we must endure hardness as a good soldier (2 Timothy 2:3) and a good soldier never quits.  A good solider is relentless and fights to the finish.

Today, I just want to encourage you as I encourage myself...is that alright?!

When situations in your life look like they've come to a dead end, God is saying It's not over...
When you've prayed and fasted until it seems all your energy is gone, God is saying It's not over...
When the doctor has given up you or your loved one, God is saying It's not over...
When every business attempt has not prevailed, God is saying It's not over...
When every door in your life is closed and you can't seem to find a breakthrough, God is saying It's not over...

You see, God is in control of every situation in our lives. I know sometimes it looks like He has completely forgotten about your hardship and has allowed it to go totally haywire, but this is when you must begin to walk by faith and not by sight.  It doesn't matter what it looks like or how it feels, God is able to turn it around.  Always remember that God has the final say.

The referee hasn't blown the whistle just yet...there's still some fight left in you.  Keep praying, keep fighting, keep trusting, keep believing, keep going...It's not over until God says it's over.  You will be victorious!

Just as I believe that God is working this situation out for me, I just know that He's doing the same for you!

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Short Sabbatical

Hi everyone!

I haven't blogged in about a week.  In case you're wondering why, here's the reason...

God has been tugging at my heart about a few things in my life.  He's revealing some things to me, pulling me away from some things and people and drawing me closer to Him.  Though I welcome God's perfect will to be done in my life, transition is not always an easy process.  I'm just being honest...

When God is shifting things in your life, sometimes you need to take a moment to commune with Him so that He may give you clarity and clear direction.  This is where I am.

So, I'm taking some time to allow God to pour into my spirit, so that His will is clear to me.  Far too often, we jump ahead of God and make a mess of things all because we don't take time to listen.

I will be back...soon, and the posts will be more regular.  Right now, I really just need to hear God...I'm sure you understand.  I admonish you all to do the same...take a moment to hear God...open your heart and listen.

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Move Forward

This morning I woke up with two words ringing in my spirit - MOVE FORWARD.

Far too often we allow the guilt of the past to hold us back.  We allow the enemy to infiltrate our mind and convince us that we are no good in the eyes of Christ because of choices we made that produced negative results.  Because of this, many suffer from depression and feelings of low self-esteem which stunts their growth both naturally and spiritually.  I know, because I've been there.

It is Satan's desire to keep you bound by feelings of guilt and keep the remnants of your past fresh in your memory.  By doing so, he keeps you from moving forward.  Anything stuck in the past cannot move forward into the future.  One thing I had to come to grips with was the fact that I was my own worst enemy.  Yes, Satan is our adversary; however, he only has as much power as we allow him to have in our lives.

Maybe you've had a couple of babies out of wedlock, chose bad relationships, fell into a life of drugs or alcohol or whatever your case may be, but is God's mercy not more powerful that your bad choices?  Is God not able to forgive you and cast your sins into the sea of forgetfulness?  God is a merciful God and His mercy is renewed daily.  Every day you wake up, God gives you brand new mercy.

So, if God can forgive you, move on and see you great, why continue to allow the enemy to keep you in bondage? 

Today, I want to encourage you to acccept God's forgiveness, forgive yourself and let it go so that you move forward and enjoy the fullness of Christ.  You are valuable to God and He wants to use you for His glory.  There is greatness in you, despite your past.  Ask God to help you see yourself the way He sees you. Today is the day to move forward and leave the past where it belongs...in the past.  God has great things in store for you, but you must begin to move forward.

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fill Your Spiritual Tank

Why is it that in the midst of adversity, instead of drawing nigh to God, we sometimes scale back? When things are going good in our lives we have no problem praying, praising or living for God; however, as soon as things get out of whack, we tend to lose sight of the very things that give us the strength and fortitude to endure. How can we expect to make it through the hard times in our lives if we fail to consistently fill ourselves with the things that give us spiritual and emotional strength, such as prayer, fasting and studying God’s word? Think about this – You fill your car with gas at the beginning of the week, but by the week’s end you have driven your car so much that the gas you put in at the beginning of the week has been completely exhausted. Without another fill-up your car would inevitably shut down because it is impossible for it to run on an empty tank.

Well, the same concept applies to us, as Christians. Every now and then we need a spiritual fill-up. Sometimes, after going through struggle after struggle, while yet trying to live a holy life, we become spiritually exhausted. Because we are running on empty, we shut-down. We become so bogged down by our problems that we can’t muster up the strength to remain consistent in what keeps our spirit lifted and going strong. If we fail to be consistent in filling our cars when the tank is low, we will find that when we need it to take us on a long stretch it will not have enough fuel to power the engine, and therefore, will not make it. By the same token, when we fail to be continuous in our praying, fasting or studying, we lose the strength to stay in the press.

Scripture tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10b) How do you maintain the joy of the Lord? By never ceasing to pray, intently studying God’s word, going on an occasional fast, continually praising God, etc… These are ways to allow God to replenish your spirit and give you that extra fuel you need to keep going. You can’t afford to allow yourself to become spiritually empty, running on mere fumes. When your spirit is low, it gives Satan the perfect opportunity to bombard your mind and drain you of whatever strength you have left and before you know it, you are down in the dumps.

Purpose in your heart to remain steadfast in God and become habitual in seeking His presence to be prevalent in your life. Don’t wait until your spiritual gas-light is beaming to ask God to fill your cup, but position yourself for a continued outpour through your consistent longing for him.

Til we meet again...

Live more...worry less...laugh often!!