Reflect on this declarative statement:
“Lord, Here I am.”
Have a God’s Way today.
Have you noticed as you being doing this work, that people are reacting differently? Just as you are moving out of your comfort zone, the way you have been for so long and now you are changing is affecting someone’s comfort zone.
Our comfort zones are a way of operating and understanding our world within which we feel safe and everyone’s comfort zone is unique.
Some things which might be safe to one person will strike fear into the heart of another. In the same way changes will stretch the comfort zones of some people and might be hardly noticed by others.
Are your changes comfortable for you and receiving Celebration from others or causing conflict for someone else?
One of my changes was not to respond to everything – just keep my mouth shut. For a few people, it went unnoticed ( they probably stopped listening to me a long time ago lol) For a few, it was ” are you okay”; ” you feel alright”; the classic one – “did you hear me”. I took a deep breath and said, “I am very well, I want to hear what you have to say.” One person started sharing more, which was a change for her and it was such a delight. Another person got silent and crossed her arms. I then asked “are you okay?” and in what was perceived by me, I do not know the intent, it was my perception, I was told ” well you always have some contribution, what is wrong with you?” I gently said, “I need to listen.”
My change was too sudden and it appeared to have caused some stress and anxiety. I cannot begin to tell you all that she was thinking or feeling, but clearly, from my perception, there was something there.
You noticed I said perception – that is key – we can not write the end of the story because of what we think and that is the same with us making changes. Changes can be disorienting and even as we are changing for our good and we know our who, why and what, we still need to consider likely reactions and responses, EVEN from ourselves!
Remember in the valley of Dry Bones – that was a communal resurrection and victory.
It is generally acknowledged that some stretching of people’s comfort zones is healthy. Indeed some gentle challenge may build confidence as people realize they are capable of more than they realized. For instance, you have always done the grocery shopping and now have decided that the other adults need to now assist. You may be positively surprised that those things that we always we did, can be done just as well by some one else. Change does require us to give up our control as well – we don’t always have to be in charge.
For some, there have been some sudden changes and it may have caused some challenges. Unfortunately, this may have resulted in persons retreating to where they feel safe and may have become very reluctant to adapt.
Pause and pray, pray and pause. You can not think for someone else, but you can pray for release and ask God to provide you with a joyful spirit through this time. Some of the changes you are making needed to be abrupt – no one needs to be verbally, mentally or physically abused. However some changes are gradual even for us – Hey, we still got old tapes in our heads, that are just itching to turn up the volume so it takes time.
For you and others, be gentle with yourself, gradually and , gently stretch boundaries, building your confidence to grow as well as in all relationships. Remember this change is like diet number 591 zillion that we have said we were going to do and then we go back to old habits – being gradual will stick.
Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.
Are you changing? Is the glory of the Lord upon you? Are you feeling burdens lifting and chains broken? Are you able to communicate with someone who in the past that communication may have been difficult?
God is truly amazing! As we shed, grow, glow and uplift, we are in God’s hands, covered by the blood, the love of Jesus, I am reminded that this is the miracle that Jesus Christ can do for every one, and is ready to do for us, if we will let Him. Isaiah 61:3 provides us with this wonderful transformation; Reflect on the ways which we are affected.
“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Day 25 – What shall I do? I apologize for the lateness of this devotional. That is a real and intense question for me today and it includes what can I live with? This situation requires effectual and fervent prayer. The way I understand this verse from James is that I must pray with passion and intensity. It is not to just simply go through the motions of prayer, because really that is not the only element – for it is the prayers of a righteous person that are effective. So daily, I am asking God to search me and create in me a clean heart.
Transparency is also required. By being open about my weaknesses with you as well as God, influences how effective my and if you employ the same, our prayer lives will be effective in any situation.
These past 24 days have been preparation for me to be in prayer, to listen for that small still voice and only move when God says move. With that come questions from me.
While, I am prepared, am I ready? I have identified those tapes that can play, but am I strong enough to not allow them to turn up the volume? Will I become fearful and give control over to my emotions that have been with me ever so long? Will I try to write the end of the story? I am stepping out on faith in this matter, or am I?
Right now, I hear the ifs and I am saying “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” (Job 13:15) because I must accept what God allows. And this is hard; I am being transparent. I have the “why”, “If then”,. Maaaaaaaan thoughts What I don’t have is anger or rage and that is huge for me.
I remembered that our sister Esther said, “if I perish, I perish!” So I had a talk with her and she reminded me before she even uttered that statement, she got with her sisters, fasted and prayed. Was she up for it or did she have doubts? Well yeah, her uncle Mordecai was not subtle in his approach and she was in the palace under false pretenses.
God asked Ezekiel ” will these dry bones live” and through Ezekiel faith, God reconnected and recalibrated the nation – Can these bones live?
So my MPC sisters will you pray for and with me as I need an answer from the Lord, a plan. I need to be clear that it is from God and then I need to do it!
I know now that although I did not want to write and surely not publish my letter to pain; pulling out stuff I was not even aware of how I was processing it. And publishing it as a devotional is part of God’s plan for such a time of this.
I need Thee, oh, I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; Oh, bless me now, my Savior! I come to Thee. I need you my sisters as well to be with me as Esther’s were.
Survival -the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances
If you look closely, you’ll spot viv in the middle of survival. That’s part of the Latin verb vivere, meaning “to live.” You might recognize it from words like vivid “lively” and vivacious “full of life.” Combine it with sur- (over) and you’ll grasp the essence of survival: to keep existing despite hardship.
Survival has become for some a mundane word – I made it through, I survived, oh I got through that – but with the previous paragraph, it is a verb – an active way of being – vivid, lively, full of life in Christ Jesus! It is not that we just made it through and look like we have come through a war torn country and were sustain by grasses and water – we have the blood of Jesus following through our veins. We get to be full of life – the viv and to do it over and over again – the sur. I think that is GREAT and POWERFUL NEWS.
While I am a fan of contemporary music, hymns are very important to me. Hymns tell scriptures and all verses should be sung as they feed one to another with the refrain tying it all together.
This one written in 1887 – gives us the words to sur ( over and over again) viv ( vividly being full of life ). This hymn actually is replicated of Numbers 21:8 – The reference is to the serpent who given the opportunity would not want you to be alive in Christ Jesus.
I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah!
This message unto you I’ll give,
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.” Refrain:
“Look and live,” my brother, live,
Look to Jesus now, and live;
’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah!
It is only that you “look and live.”
I’ve a message full of love, hallelujah!
A message, O my friend, for you,
’Tis a message from above, hallelujah!
Jesus said it, and I know ’tis true.
Life is offered unto you, hallelujah!
Eternal life thy soul shall have,
If you’ll only look to Him, hallelujah!
Look to Jesus who alone can save.
I will tell you how I came, hallelujah!
To Jesus when He made me whole—
’Twas believing on His name, hallelujah!
I trusted and He saved my soul.
Are you living or existing – Life is offered unto you – look and live. Blessings to you today
This is my 3rd attempt to post. What’s up with that. I already know, I want to post something that I want, but it is not what is given in my prayer and there is no getting around it – obviously.
I, me, Jacki wanted to post about the tongue; it is coming soon, just not today.
So here it is, transparency 101
Yesterday, while sitting in church, I was given an assignment and to publish it – #feelingvunerable and provide it as an example for you in and on your journey.
You have been a part of me for so long, that I have accepted you as a part of me, without question. I have allowed you privileges that had I just stopped, paused and prayed, God would, by love, removed, resolved, filled me, But I accepted, held on and thus lived with you unconditionally.
As a child I began to hold in, what a simple question, would have resolved, but I did not ask. Even though my mother taught me to pray and told me that with God all things are possible, I did not understand. As a teen, I looked at my world and began the process of I can’t, I won’t, not because I couldn’t, but I allowed fear to become my friend and as an adult, we became one and the same.
Those fears became comfortable , an excuse to defer dreams and to settle sometimes to abuse from others as well as abuse of self. I did, Thank God, removed myself from physical abuse, but I stayed in an abusive relationship with me!
I abused me by hiding my pain, through over eating, shopping, not being a good steward over anything God blessed me with; for me this abuse was so prevalent because it manifested physical illness, thyroid, diabetes, heart disease, bouts of depression, bound up, and it all comes down to not fully embracing our God, our Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Dry bones, can they live?
By God’s, grace, prayers of my mother and father, family prayers, your and finally mine, Pain, you no longer are a comfortable friend, in fact, you are not my friend at all.
You see as a small child, I attended Sunday School with my Aunt Helen, and the superintent Mr. Busey, always,always, sang ” What a Friend We have in Jesus”. I know every word and in my worst, God would bring that song into my being. I didn’t know then, but God was not going to force anything, God was being sober and diligent in keeping the promises that were made upon the creation of this earth, creation of me and you as the reader.
Pain, you were never that; your goal is only to inflict, gouge and destroy and leave helpless and now I see that with eyes wide open, wounded, but healing, FOUND. I have now embraced Your helper -Holy Spirit. Without embracing, I could never have begun the healing process, believed in the gifts, and most importantly physical healing.
I now fully believe, even when I falter, even when I fail, I believe because God you are Glorious!
My sisters I have shared me and yes, I did shed for you to see even feeling vulnerable to share my struggles (come on God, really, my other post would have been just fine – That’s love, huh), please, write your letter and remember and commit these words to your soul from Martha Munizzi’s song Glorious ” I was created to make Your praise Glorious. Yes I was, yes I was.”
Praying your strength today.
Thank you, Dear Lord for carrying me through everything in my life. Today, my desire is to believe, affirm and be strengthened by:
Walking in Your light and accepting your promises. You love me just as I am and I too will learn to love me as You love me; Not attacking myself; Embracing Your teachings to forgive everyone and everything and most of all to forgive myself. I release guilt and I breathe out fear. I will not be afraid of these changes that are coming forth through the Holy Spirit.
Your light shines brightly within me and from this day forward, I no longer need to seek attention from others or approval. I long for You; my Needs now are to live in Your grace and mercy and not crave anything from anyone or any situation any longer.
I desire to fully emit the love that You are and that I become one with You in pure joy. But, most of all I want to trust.
Your words soothe my soul ” Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” – Thank You Lord for your words of comfort, protection and love from John 14. In Jesus name it is done. AMEN!
P.S. The first graphic is from a minister partner and friend Rev Anthony!
Day 11. Wellness Wednesday!
I have been meditating on this passage of scripture – 1Peter 5: 7-9:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering.”
Yes, this is a time for our viligence. I, however focused on verse 9 because we are reminded that we are not in this alone – throughout this world, there are so many as well. It is communal. Remember our vision, our transformation is one that doesn’t just focus on us as individuals but as whole! The whole premise of the valley of dry bones!
Today, may I suggest, that we affirm:
💓To be VIGILANT, I watch my thoughts.
💓I assume 100% responsibility for my thoughts.
💓 I am not a victim of the world I see because I can choose to change my thoughts and thereby change my world.
💓 Being vigilant also opens the doorway for God’s help because I can choose once again and ask Him for it.
💓When I choose God’s guidance, the whole universe bends to help me through the power of His Love.
💓Herein lies the peace of God.
Remember, you are not alone in this journey. My prayers are that all is well with you. We have been working hard and may feel some mental and physical exhaustion. Take some time for you to stretch, smile and breathe deeply and exhale.
You are love and loved!
How to rid of triggers is a question you may be asking from Saturday’s session- Start by not writing the end of the story! Only God knows the end – live in today only and for some, it will be second by second.
Drop your need for outcomes (writing the end of the story). Drop agendas. Drop your definitions. Drop SELF-CRITICISM. And Drop to your knees (physically or symbolically) with gratitude for the possibilities before you, already present and as sleek as panthers. Enter this given, holy moment and emerge into a God inspired future.
Reference for the panther – they are elusive animals, not caught up in the daily behavior of any other cat – they behave in a manner of grace and daily release from the past and live only in the day.