What a joy it is today. We have been working on ourselves inside out. We have found that we must first love ourselves before we can love others. We can care, be concerned, but truly until we experience self-love, the triggers, barriers that we have will be lifted and we then, will be able to provide that AGAPE love for our sisters and brothers.
As we love ourselves, we begin to see people with different eyes – without judgments just as Christ sees us. We are peaceful in time of trouble, we take action to help preserve life, and we empower and make disciples. We do that now, but we are selective – not all is because of us not loving ourselves; it is cultural, social economic, gender based and community.
With the availability of social technology, we are allowed to peek into the lives of others in real time and use our value system to determine what their values should be.
My heart has been broken. I have seen as well as you, so many tragedies in just this decade than I have seen in my entire lifetime and I was born in the 50’s. Look at the world -Family on family crime, atrocities against children, anguish amongst races, anger and dissension within our Christian community, and God help us with other faith traditions.
Today, I ask you to designate this day as a day of Prayer for all people. Start within your circle, using no judgments; if there is someone you want to come to Jesus, please pray for them for just that; not that they have sinned and fallen short as we all have, not because they have hurt you, but because you earnestly want them to experience the gifts and blessings that God has for them as reported and promised in Jeremiah 29 (MSG):
“This is GOD’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. “
After those prayers move out of your circle and pray. Pray when you see trash on the street that we learn to love and care for our planet; pray as you are in traffic and you see people around you; Pray today like you have never prayed before and watch God – watch God!
I am raw and wide open today. Anyone else like that? I have stepped over the threshold and I will not turn back.
What does that mean – where I have placed a period [.], I am now committed to “being continued”. Whatever is comfortable, I am now willing to shake up and shake loose, and I am working hard on turning anxiety into excitement. With those changes comes emotions. I am filled with expectation of what is possible.
I have no clue how I am going to be moving forward, but I am going to trust God – and this is how it is going to look:
Praying, reading and committing to God’s word with intimacy – I want scripture to be real; That my friends is the logical, methodical me. However, the rest of my facets, are going to be white knuckling, walking the floor, being quite, releasing tears, staring into space, fighting the elevator music that the enemy slips in, talking aloud and screaming, begging God, pain from growth, remembering I am not running anything, trying to quit, placing and the removing the periods. You get the picture (smile).
And guess what, I am still filled with expectation of what is possible.
Today, I will begin to add this to my daily pray and unbelief: Lord, help me in my unbelief! I know that you are here and you lead me and guide me.
What will you do today?
Aww shucks now Day 36 and the tapes started playing. Anyone else had that experience lately?
This scripture is so important during this journey and we use it all the time, BUT God. I am going to give you two versions today because both are so incredibly powerful that it is needed.
1 John 4:4 (KJV) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
4-6 My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception.
Understand the trigger can be anything and it can manifest any way. You can be alert and vigilant, tracking your every move, and the tapes will start to play in the background and suggestions can become reality. As women, I do hope you can relate to this.
Yesterday, I decided to weigh myself and why? I can go months without doing that. Let see, I only just got back in action with working out and eating what is right for my body this week and already blood sugar and blood pressure are in check, swelling (inflammation) is null and void. So I weigh and eek no change.
I thought I processed it but I did not and emotional eating [EGO] was the agenda, except there is a different outcome than usual:
1. I went to yoga with intent of visiting a restaurant that sells sushi – now nothing is wrong with veggie sushi, but I had already justified in my head that I was going to get something fried. Mind you, I was out of control and unaware of the tape that was playing. Went to go, and I couldn’t find it – It has not moved; It is not a new town, it is in the same shopping center, but I did not see it. Further, after I did not see it, I did not turn and go look for it. But I was not done.
2. Then decided to go buy some potato wedges as I passed a store on the way home, because the elevator music that we really don’t pay attention to was playing, saying you need something. Paid for them, took them to dress them and they were lukewarm and not appetizing, so I returned them; At the same time, bought a cup of coffee and got in the car, took a sip and thought, your sugar and blood pressure are great – this will throw them off, so out it went.
CAUTION: There are old tapes that have previous behaviors embedded in the mind and they are astute in how to play in your mind to render you helpless. Think on that – we have done things and wondered why.
BUT GOD, I had prayed and live with daily, this affirmation: I will not dig up what I planted in faith, because Greater is He that is within me. God is in me, God has me and God will keep me in perfect peace!
It is laid out in God’s word for us: Eph 2:4-10
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
I went home – mouth had an acid taste from the coffee. I was safe in my home with the food I purchased to prepare for this evening, which had nothing to do with those two places and guess what I was not hungry when I got home.
Curative: Pray, be mindful of the emotional things that pull my triggers and use my clothes from here on out to determine my changes – weigh when I go to the doctor, which will be in July and keep working. I have to shut the tapes down. Blessing to you.
What curatives are you going to put in place? God bless you. Have a wonderful communion Sunday and give it to God.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the transition of Muhammad Ali, who graced himself with the title ” The Greatest”.
His journey was one of the most colorful tapestries of life that this world has ever seen. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville Ky during the Jim Crow era, American Hero when he won the 1960 Olympics and continued to fight and win 6 times as a professional. And then quickly villianized in 1967 when he converted to Islam, became an conscientious objector and refused to go to Vietnam, stripped of his boxing title, convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five years in prison.
Was he a broken man? shamed or disgraced? No, by no means. He stood for his convictions; He used his anger and turned it into strengths – strength of character to encourage and empower the world to grow, to think on their own, to become ” The Greatest” and then he once again becomes the world’s Hero.
In 2009, his wife read an essay of his personal philosophy of life, which is the focus this morning and for our time together:
“I never thought of the possibility of failing, only of the fame and glory I was going to get when I won,” Ali wrote. “I could see it. I could almost feel it. When I proclaimed that I was the greatest of all time, I believed in myself, and I still do.”
In spite of his personal triumphs, trials, tribulations, regrets and victories, he remain steadfast in believing in himself and his faith tradition.
Within you is that flame, that light of greatness. You are God’s daughter, no longer bound by the limitations that we often feel are placed on us by others, but most importantly by ourselves.
Take today and Celebrate the life of this man and express Gratitude to God for you. I celebrate you, my sisters. When I am with you, there is so much beauty and energy that you infuse me with. You bring me life; Today bring you life and BELIEVE in you. No more dreams deferred – Yes, these bones are alive!
Love Others as You Love Yourself. Reflection. This is such a powerful moment for us to catch our breathe and breath.
How did that make you feel? Elated, anxious, angry, confused, excited, happy, joyful or even sad.
First, let’s have a moment – we are taught that it is selfish to think of ourselves especially as women – we are wombs of life, whether we bear children or not -we are expected to give care above all things.
I have heard that when a woman takes care of her self, terms such as narcissistic, selfish, prideful, conceited are attached to her and yes, those people do exist. But many times a person who loves themselves are none of those things, they practice self care, they don’t get caught up in drama, they mind their business, they don’t complain and actually they are excellent in guarding their tongues. They value themselves and subsequently they value all others.
It is not to say that life has been a crystal stair for them; by no means NO. It has been filled with sorrows, disappointments, pain but somehow, someway they have been able to obtain a peace that exceeds understanding – they are anchored and I will say in their relationship with the creator of them. I say that because it is universal – it transcends all faith traditions, circumstances and even in cultures where women are not treated well; it is in the Social Service offices, or even in prisons. It is not the one who is the loudest or the most seen, it is the woman, who holds her countenance with movements of a ballerina, grace and beauty, no matter what her size, age, race or circumstance.
There are women in the Bible who exude confidence – obviously, we think of Deborah – she was fierce, amazing, wife, mother, judge I applaud her and of course; Vashti, regal, beautiful and made a decision to forego her comforts and was banished – confident and loving of herself; We recognize Priscilla and Tryphena and Tryphos – women of means who followed and supported Jesus. These are woman who took a stand, but what about those women in the bible, who through their trials and tribulations also show us with their connection to our source, they too achieved Love of self to give Love to others – Manoah’s wife – Samson’s mother; Rizpah (Saul’s concubine) she sacrificed everything even death by standing until her sons and their cousins were given a proper burial; Jarius’s Daughter, Sara, Leah, Esther, the woman at the well, just to name a few and all of the unnamed women who have helped shape life.
You, my sister are one of those women who have helped shape life. Today, count the ways that you love yourself. Tape on your mirror, “I am in love with me.” say it throughout the day for at least 500 times ( yup)! This may prove to be difficult and I understand, but it is not conceited.
If your paper is blank or you find it difficult to say, perhaps the following will give you the shove to think about you differently:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. [write something on that paper because the Devil does not get any victory]
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. [ you have confessed your sins, received salvation; you believe in God, now believe God]
We love because he first loved us [ you are worthy of love and let it begin within]
Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” [Do you love others?]
When is the last time that you hugged yourself and gave you a kiss of love – Try it!!
Good Day! Wow, we have come a ways and now we are winding down. We have discussed our relationships with parts of ourselves, with others and with God. In that we have dealt with the mind and the soul.
Today, we are going to go forward and discuss our body – our Temples, our Vessels of Honor.
I don’t know about any of you, but when I got active in church, I gained weight. Was it that I thought being ‘Holy’ was enough, did I get lazy because I was always at bible study or on my knees ( really not true, just an example)- what was the cause?
Okay, let me unpack this a bit – so I stopped clubbing, didn’t drink much, and eventually let that go, we do not eat at bible study
( but I betcha, if food was served, the church might be full 🙂 ), So what was it.
The church has been said to be a hospital – where sick people come to be healed; we bring all of our stuff with us – remember God’s Witness Protection Program? And to be frankly honest, we keep it, we stuff, and we add new stuff, because now we are in a body of believers who can and have affected us and not always in a positive way.
We meet ourselves in the people whom we encounter- the self that we don’t care for within us, and we take that home and feed it and we get sick, and we get tired and we hurt, and we have pain and…. whatever the reason, emphasis is not as a whole is placed on Temple Maintenance, being Godly Stewards over our bodies.
I feel that this is such a sensitive issue. Clergy does not always address this because it might offend. Frankly as clergy, it will require a change within some of us as well, because we must be the change that we want to see and preach about. It is so easy to say, “you need to fellowship among believers, you need to tithe, but let a preacher tell you that you need to lose/gain weight, eat better, don’t eat any more chocolate and we will no longer serve any fried food or sweets at the church dinners,” then all hell is going to break loose, so we dance around it and say in a very Holy ethereal voice ” You know your Temple is the Temple of the Holy Ghost” and leave it with that.
On this first day of June, think about your body, then about your body systems and how they are functioning, think about the blood that Jesus shed and His declaration that He is within us. Is Jesus’ blood able to flow through each body system, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, etc freely – has those triggers prohibited complete healing so that the SON shines brightly within? Is Jesus comfortable in your body? Are you? Transparent – I am not comfortable in mine at this time.
Today remember this:
Pray, talk to God and asked Him for His comfort, which He gives, freely. You may still be in pain, go back over these past 31 days for comfort.
Understand that our flesh has defeated us so many times, but God’s strength never runs out. So borrow His. Today, ask God for guidance on anything that is going on within your temple from an ache to disease and lean on Him for ” For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” ( Matt 11:30 NLT)
Picture it – the yoke, the shackle that the enemy attacks us with is weighted down, we cannot hold our heads up, we constantly bend our shoulders,to the point where we almost crawl and slither and we are in pain. Choose today – not tomorrow or later – TODAY!
God will do these things:
Show us how to do with Him what we can not do alone.
Help us to disengage the self-limiting thinking in our heads.
Help us to find the strength to keep going when we feel like giving up on ourselves and feel there is no hope .
This is your permanent and unshakable identity: You are God’s beloved. Matthew 3:17 – “We are the beloved sons and daughters of God just as Jesus is the Beloved Son” (Henri Nouwen)
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
If you did this exercise from Day 21, what was your outcome?
“Make this a visual exercise – if you for any reason have any any self-limiting, negative such as anger, hurt, past, whatever causes you stress, take a sticky note, index card or your choice of medium, write it plain, and paste it on your daily mirror. You know the one that is your first thing in the morning, the beat your face, that mirror. “
From my experience – the first time I did it ( I repeat it periodically), I had enough room to see a part of my face, but I was covered. Here is the result from the Holy Spirit speaking – ” This was necessary for you to do – the enemy wants you to be in darkness and by giving into those thoughts, having those reactions, being hard on you, is where the enemy wants you to remain. It clothed you in darkness and light cannot occupy you. Seeing the results, lets you know how you engage darkness every day.”
I was shocked but enlightened. I could only remove the stickers when I worked through the issues. The first time I did it, it took me 59 days to have a clear mirror. I saved the notes so that I could review what caused me to have to paste on the mirror – for awhile, there was some of the same. Now, they are deeper thoughts that I would never have uncovered had I not began. Layers were being shed.
If you did not engage, please think about doing it God is really in control. You are His and He is yours. The truth is we are already whole and perfect and all love.
During this journey, you may have experienced rage, shame, depression, anxiety, fear – etc. Thank God for those experiences, and allow those things to exit from your soul, because the deception is being shed, there is no Truth in those things. The God in you will remain. You are God’s Uniqueness.
Throughout this journey, you have been examining yourself, your relationships with others and your relationship with God – I hope it has been good. Soon, this daily communication will end, BUT God, will always be here to communicate with us.
Please read this scripture passionately. If you unable to bring up the passion, read it until it resonates with your soul. Commit it to memory, as this is the one scripture that carries me through the mirror exercise. God Bless and have a wonderful day!
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a]) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Exercise and test. As we move forward, let’s commit to abstinence from any, any (double any is intentional) negative or self-limiting thoughts.
Make this a visual exercise – if you for any reason have any any self-limiting, negative such as anger, hurt, past, whatever causes you stress, take a sticky note, index card or your choice of medium, write it plain, and paste it on your daily mirror. You know the one that is your first thing in the morning, the beat your face, that mirror.
Do this for the next 10 days; keep your note paper with you so that you can jot down those feelings, emotions, justifications, and paste them on that mirror.
You, I, daily will encounter ourselves. Now, for you to truly have active release by faith, please actively engage this exercise. Email me any questions, observations or concerns.
Throughout these days, remember not to write the end of the story. It is not yours to do. We are His, the author and the finisher!