Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Absent of Perfection

My husband and I made our first trip to a Christmas Tree farm this year and it is something to experience, in a good way of course. Looking at all the trees, 25 acres worth (and I think we just about hit every one of them), trying to decide on the perfect tree. And after about an hour or so, we finally picked one and brought it home and set it up, admiring its stance, its fullness and its scent.

Then I was reminded of the tree we purchased last year. It had been our first real Christmas tree in the 28 years we’ve been married. I’ve always had a real tree growing up and he has had the opportunity to have had both, but in all our years together, we’ve always had an artificial tree.

Well, we put up the tree, enjoying the natural scent of the tree, that smell we have come to know as Christmas, and we put the lights on the tree, realizing how hard it was to balance them. Having an artificial tree for so long, I forgot about the difficulty of stringing the lights on the tree to try and create some sort of visual balance. But after a while, I guess about an hour or so, we got the lights on and went about doing other things. My husband going outside to gather leaves and me, venturing out to do some more decorating.

When we came back in, my husband took a look at the tree and said, “I have to get used to it.” He said he liked the tree but he couldn’t wait for the branches to fill out. And I agreed. But as we stood there looking at the tree, he said something like, ‘you know we expect the tree to be all perfect, but it’s not going to be the perfect shape like the artificial tree. That’s just not realistic.’

And that’s when I got the revelation… we take trees from their natural state. But a natural state, in a tree’s own habitat is not perfect in our eyes. It has some flaws. There may be a bald spot, there may be lopsidedness, a couple of branches might be missing, and the trunk might be stubby. It might be fat, it might be skinny. But that is the tree’s natural state. That is how it grew to be. And we know this, but then we put it in our houses we somehow expect the tree to look just like the artificial one, like the man-made one. Perfect in shape, size, having just the right amount of layers, branches coming in the right form as it gets to the top of the tree. But it’s man-made. It is man’s idea of how a tree should look. It is man’s idea of perfection. And man even manufactures the “pine tree” smell so that we have the smell of Christmas on an artificial tree.

And this is when God really began to speak… He said, you do the same thing, in a variety of ways. God says that we are His creation, fearfully and wonderfully made. He says we are the apple of His eye. But we throw what God says about us out the window and we look unto man, who says we are not good enough. Who says, we have to manufacture ourselves to look good. From the top of our heads to the soles of our feet, we buy into it.

We get wigs, nose jobs, body enhancements (to remove the lumps), all to try and make us look like we’re perfect in the eyes of men. According to man’s standards. But in our natural state, in the state that God has made us, we are perfect, because He created us the way we are. Yes some of us are, many of us are in fact, out of shape. We may have a bald spot, we may be a little topsy turvy, have an extra bulge here or there, and a little bit of lopsidedness, sideways and upwards, but you know what, in the eyes of God, we are perfect. Just as He said we are. FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE. And we have a God who loves us and admires us in whatever imperfect shape we feel we may be in.

So while our tree may not be perfect; it may not be the tallest, it may not be the fullest, it may not be the greenest, and it may even have the best shape, but I will admire it and enjoy it simply because it is ours, absent of its perfection; it is the tree we have chosen.

And you are the ONE that God has chosen, absent of the world’s perfection, but fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and perfect in His eyes.

Be encouraged. God is real and He loves you as imperfect as you are.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He Put It In Writing

What do we do when we have a complaint against a company? What about when we have something to say and don’t quite know how to say it? What about when you want to express the way you feel deep within, what do you do then? Put it in writing.

Well, God put His Word in writing. He had something to say, something that was on His heart and He said it. In writing. In His Word, The Bible.

I was reading the Book of Jeremiah, chapter 36, where God gave His Word to the prophet Jeremiah to declare to the people of Judah. God was warning them about the judgment that was about to come on them, if they did not turn from their wicked ways. Much of what God is doing today through many of His servants. And God spoke the Word and told Jeremiah to write it down in a scroll and to take it before the people. Now the Bible says, Jeremiah was forbidden to go into the Lord’s house to declare the Word because people didn’t like him and more than likely they would either lock him up or kill him. So Jeremiah used wisdom and gave the scroll to Baruch, a messenger, to read before the people.

Baruch read it to the people and the king’s “people” heard of it and thought it should be read to the king. And the scroll was read before the king, King Jehoakim (who did evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father, Josiah). And every time he heard a page of the scroll he did not like, he burned it. Every page he did not like he burned it. THREE separate occasions he did this. Burned pages of the scroll.

And God said, this is the same thing we do. Every time we choose to ignore the Word of God, the Word He took the time to write and to declare, we are burning the page. Every time we choose to do what we want to do instead of what we know to do is right, we burn the page. Every time we put our will above God’s will. We burn the page.

Every time God sends His prophet, His messenger, to declare a Word to us and we refuse to take heed or let it change our lives, we are burning the pages of the scroll.

God put His Word in writing. We are without excuse. And every time we downplay its value, its meaning; every time we forget about it, disagree with it, we are burning it.

God says that He loved us so much that He gave His Son and He took the time to tell us. To share with us His heart. By putting it in writing. And every time we ignore His Word, we are like King Jehoiakim burning the pages that we don’t like. And not only that, burning a hole in the heart of God.

God is real. And so is His Word.

Be blessed and be obedient.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I refuse to believe

I refuse to believe that you don’t know

I refuse to believe that you haven’t a clue

That there is a God in heaven.

I refuse to believe it

I refuse to believe that there is no God

When I am able to open my eyes and see the home that He has made for me and the beautiful people that He has placed in my life

When I can look around and see all the sorrow in the world, and in the midst of it all yet see His comfort.

I refuse to believe that you don’t see that too. Even if just sometimes.

I refuse to believe it

I refuse to believe that God doesn’t exist

When the whole earth declares His glory.

When all of creation functions because of His hand, night turns into day, day into night, time and time again, without fail.

When the birds sing a song even in the rain… God’s the reason why they sing

You can’t tell me He doesn’t exist. I refuse to believe it

I refuse to believe that I don’t have a Creator

When I look at the world and I see everything perfectly put in place

Clouds in the sky that don’t fall down, that look as though they are so close you could touch them and so full that you could even sit on them, when they are nothing more than tiny droplets of water forming a mist.

Stars in the sky that look as if they were placed there by hand. Little dots that shine so bright, they can light up a dark street.

The sun, a burning fire set in the sky. Impossible to stare at with bare eyes. And just ONE! Big enough that can be seen all over the earth, yet small enough for you to believe it is only where you are.

Flowing oceans, river banks and seas that seem to have no end, that somehow know when to stop so it doesn’t overtake the land.

I refuse to believe you can’t see that. That it doesn’t cause you to wonder at the majesty of it all.

You can’t tell me that there is no God

I refuse to believe that.

I refuse to believe you

When you tell me you don’t know that there is a God

Contrary to what you think, a woman did not give you life and no man can take it away

It is God who breathed life into man and gave him a soul.

It was God who formed the woman and determined how she would give birth to you. She didn’t come to be because her mother made her, somebody made her mother. God did it.

It is God who gives you the very air you breathe; your next moment of life is in His hands.

There is a God.

A God who was, is and is to come.

And I refuse to believe anything else.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Tell Me You Love Me

I don't want you to tell me you love me. I want you to show me.

Why so short with me? I don’t need your temper, I need your patience and gentleness. I am not perfect but I am being perfected.

Love is patient, and is kind.

Why are you secretly desiring that I fail? That things would stop working out for me.

Love is not envious.

Don’t brag about what you have done for me already and take pride in that. We can always do more.

Love does not boast.

Don’t tell me you love me, show me.

Talking about me does not honor me. It pulls me down in the sight of others and lifts you up. Does that really make you feel good?

Love is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It does not try to make itself look good, especially at the sake of someone else.

Yeah, I said some things that you did not like. But don’t be so quick to get mad. What you prefer does not make what I did, wrong.

Stop counting how many times that happened. Or this happened. All that matters is that it happened. Let's just fix that.

Love does not keep track of wrongs.

No, don’t tell me you love me. Show me.

Stop taking sides and rejoicing in how many things you can do without me. And in how many ways you can say it. You know what really happened. Face the truth and deal with it.

Love rejoices in the truth.

Stop hurting me, I don’t want to hurt anymore. I wouldn’t do what you’re doing to my worst enemy. Even they treat me better than you are.

Don’t doubt what I say, take me for who I am. And Whose I am.

Love always protects, always trusts. ALWAYS.

Love always hopes, it always endures. ALWAYS.

Love always believes. ALWAYS.

You gave up on love a long time ago. You gave up trying to love me. It got too hard for you. And doesn’t quite fit in with the things you want to do.

But I love you. And I will yet continue to love you and continue to hold on.

And I don’t need you to tell me you love me.

Because I believe that one day you will show me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

He Likes Me

Bless the Lord!
Just wanted you all to know that I wrote this back in January. As God shared through my husband today’s encouraging word, this was brought to my remembrance. Thought it was time to share. Be blessed and encouraged. God loves you!!!

He Likes Me

Yesterday my husband and I spent the day together doing some errands and shopping. At one point towards the end of the day we were sitting in his car and he was getting ready to back out of the parking space, but he was looking at me and smiling. So I asked, “You like me?” He nodded his head and then he said, “A lot.”

It made me smile. Really, it made me blush. So I told him I was going to post that as my Facebook status and I did. And a couple of people responded, clicking they liked what I said, or making some other comment. Someone posted that they hope when they are married so long their husband would tell them the same thing, (my husband and I have been married for 27 years). For the most people got a chuckle out of it.

When you think about it, it is “cute” that after all this time my husband still likes me. We’re blessed that God has kept us together for so long and we actually still like each other. But when I got to start really meditating on this and didn’t really know I was of course, that is when God spoke to me about it.

The Bible commands us to love. We are to love one another, for love is of God. We are to love and to do good to our enemies. And we all know how hard it is to love, especially when we deem someone unlovable. (Okay, I’m the only one who has done that.. yeah, okay). There are those people that we say, make it impossible for us to love them. BUT GOD MAKES IT POSSIBLE. Because He said, if you love Me, keep My commandments. So we just go on and love them because that is what we are supposed to do.

What got me in all this, was this, God commands us to love people. But He didn’t say that we had to like people. We have to live at peace with them, the Bible says, we have to do good to them, especially those who despitefully use us, but we don’t have to like them. Some might say that this goes hand in hand, that you can’t have one without the other. But I beg to differ.

We can love someone, as the Bible says, be patient with them, be kind to them, forgive them, protect them, nurture them, trust them, and sincerely want the best for them. But yet and still, not like them. We can do all those things and yet not want to fellowship with them, not want to spend time with them, not laugh at their jokes, and yet be walking in the Word and will of God, as long as we are loving them the way the Bible says so.

We can love them, but we do not have to like them.

So when my husband told me that he likes me, he was telling me this, he likes spending time with me, being around me, looking at my face, making me laugh. He likes getting to know me. He likes learning what makes me tick. Discovering (still) what I like to eat, my habits, and hobbies. He likes me. Now of course there are things that he does not like about me, but that does not stop him from liking me. There are things that we don’t like about others and it can stop us from liking the person. We make the choice. And his was to like me in spite of me.

So then I thought about this… we say that we love God, but do we like Him? Do we like Him enough to want to spend time with Him? Do we like Him enough to want to get to know Him better? Do we like Him as we read about Him in His Word? Do we like His character? His truth? Do we want to know what makes Him tick? What’s on His heart? Do we take the time to find out His desires? His Will? If we did, then we would really be able to love Him. We would like Him so much that we could not help but love Him.

I love God. And I like God. And I thank God that GOD not only loves me, but He likes me too. He likes who I am; He likes who He’s making me to be. He likes my personality. He likes what I look like (even though sometimes I don’t). He likes me.

And I thank God for my husband. I thank God that he likes me. Because I know that he doesn’t have to. He chooses to. And you know what I like him too… a lot!

God is real. And He likes you too!

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Today’s Encouraging Word:
“He Likes Me”


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

His Eye Is On You

Bless the Lord o my soul and forget not all His benefits!

I was reminded of something last week that God had spoken to my heart, several years ago. (God will sometimes remind you of things that He has spoken to you in the past, to encourage you to keep moving towards your future).

But anyway, I was living in Virginia at the time (and I shared this with a couple of people before, but it's a good reminder).... Our children had this small inflatable pool.. I'm sure you know the kind, you can buy them at Wal-Mart and you can inflate them and it is just the right size for a couple of little ones up to about 7-8. But we had this pool in the backyard and normally we cover it up or empty it when it wasn't in use. But this particular time we had not done so.

I was in my bathroom at the time, praying, (yeah, wherever I could find a quiet place, that's was my prayer closet). And I was praying and asking the Lord for a breakthrough. I was tired, tired of being broke, tired of fighting, just tired of the way it appeared to be going. And I really felt like giving up. (Giving up is NEVER the solution to a problem, no matter how you choose to do so.. your problem will remain unless you deal with it). But this is how I felt at the time. And all of a sudden I heard this whimpering. I can't even explain what it sounded like, but it was like a crying out. And it was very faint. I got up, looked out my bathroom window and there in the pool was a squirrel. Somehow I guess he had fallen in the water and he was frantically trying to get out. But he couldn't!

I ran out of the bathroom and got my husband and told him about the squirrel, and said, "We got to help him. We got to help him. He's drowning." My husband then tried to get that squirrel out of the water. He tried putting a stick in the water to help the squirrel jump out, he tried cornering the squirrel to give him the ability to ease out over one spot of the pool to get out, and he tried draining some of the water out. But fear, hopelessness and frustration was all over the squirrel and all he kept doing was crying. He didn't know we were trying to help him. Eventually, my husband figured out a way to get him out and the squirrel ran off soaking wet but relieved.

As we went back in the house and I went back to my prayer closet I thought to myself that would have been a dreadful thing for my 6-year old son to see. (I was glad it was really early in the morning). I thanked God for allowing us to get that squirrel out of the water and to stop him from drowning. The poor squirrel was on the verge of drowning, and desperately crying out for help. And God made sure that I heard him.

And that is when God spoke to me. He said I may feel like I am drowning. He said, "it may feel like you are crying out and no one is hearing you. You may feel frustrated. You may feel hopeless. You may not even see how someone may be trying to help you. You may even be afraid, but I've got you. My eye is on you. I will not let you drown."

All I could do was cry. And as I did I thought about the song, His Eye Is On The Sparrow. And thought about the person that wrote that song, (I don't know who it was), and I know that they had to have an experience like this. That at some point in their life they felt like they could not go on, that they were crying out for help and nobody heard them. Nobody cared. But God.

He showed Himself. He showed them He cares. And He reminded them of how he watches over the birds of the air. So how much more does He watch over you? And I realize that it wasn't just a song. God's eye IS on the sparrow and I KNOW, He watches me.

Be blessed. Stay encouraged. Your help is on the way.

God is real and He loves you.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sick People Need A Doctor

One of my sisters in Christ posted something last week based on the Scripture‎, Matthew 9:12, “But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” The version she used, says it this way, "IT IS NOT THE HEALTHY WHO NEED A DOCTOR, BUT THE SICK!" and it jumped off the page at me because God had spoken this Word in my Spirit years ago and He reminded me of it just last week.

One night, my son Joseph was very sick and as I went to pray for him and meditate on my Scriptures for the night, God revealed something to me. Joseph had a doctor’s appointment that day and he was fine prior to going to the doctor. But after leaving the doctor’s office, he became ill. He had a headache, a fever of 102 degrees and he was lethargic, weak. God said that unaware he picked up a germ in the place that is supposed to make him well. The place that is supposed to make him well. BUT sick people go there. They go to the place that will make them well. The doctor’s office, the hospital, and the church. Sick people go to church.

And God spoke two things in this,… In this day and age where times are getting more and more evil, we’ve got to make sure we have on the full armor of God. We’ve got to be prepared. Just as in a doctor’s office, many pediatric offices have waiting areas for those that are sick patient visits and those that are well patient visits. They know that the sick will infect the healthy. And God knows that the sick will infect the healthy in the church, too. So we have to have on God’s full armor to protect us from sickness.

Sick people come to church to receive healing, but they need healing from all sorts of illnesses, things. Many come with “spirits” attached to them. Alcoholism, attitude problems, sexual impurities, all sorts of sicknesses. They come burdened down with sin. With hostility, anger, resentment, bitterness. And we who are stronger, healthy, have got to be prepared and must be ready for them. We’ve got to know that we can easily pick up a germ from anywhere, but if we are prepared we won’t keep it. We can fight it off, because God has given us the power to do so. The power to love them through it. The power to pray for them. The Bible says, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man, availeth much… God makes tremendous power available to those who seek Him and we must continue to do so, even the more, to rid ourselves of “unwanted germs” and get this, to help anyone else get rid of theirs. Which is the second thing, God said.

It is not the healthy that need a doctor it is the sick. People come to church because they recognize the need for a Savior. They recognize that without God, they cannot do anything. Without God in their life, their life really has no meaning. They recognize that life is hard and they cannot live it VICTORIOUSLY without help. They realize that they are hurting and no man on this earth can fill the void that they have so they come to church. Seeking help. Seeking God. The sick come to church for healing. To seek the doctor, the MASTER PHYSICIAN, Who is the only one that can heal them. And we as the church and even those outside of the church, should recognize and appreciate that. When we see someone fall short, someone hurting, we need to be pray for them, that’s why we see it. I said it before, God doesn't just show you stuff so you can talk about it. He shows it to you so you can do something about it. They need help. They need deliverance. And where else will they get it? The household of God. The church.

I go to church because I know I have a need for a Savior. I have a hurt that only He can heal. I want to be made better that I could be better for somebody else. To be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend, a better person. And get this, a better Christian.

I went to God that night on behalf of my son and asked Him to touch him like only He could. To raise him up and take the fever away and make him better. And then I went to bed and when I woke up, Joseph was himself again. Praise God! God answered my prayer and healed him.

I recognize that sometimes I am sick too. And Jesus is the only one who can make me whole. It is not the healthy that need a doctor, it is the sick. It is not those who are perfect that need a Savior, it is the ones who want to be perfected that need Him.

Perfect me Lord. Heal me Lord. I stand in need of you today and every day that You give me.

God is real.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No More Surrogates

I saw a movie with Bruce Willis a few months back, called The Surrogate. A surrogate is someone who takes the place of another. It’s a substitute. We often hear the term for women who want to have babies but for some reason cannot, so they hire a surrogate. Someone who will take their place in carrying the baby for them. But anyway, I saw this movie and as I shared it with my church, it stuck with me especially as the Lord began to reveal some things to me.

In the movie, normal people, every day people, live their lives through surrogates. In this sort of virtual reality box, the surrogate goes to work for them, they play for them, they cook for them, and they even go on vacation for them. People totally live their lives through their surrogate. Except for Bruce Willis, who for whatever reason chooses to return to his “normality” when he gets home. But people are able to live through these surrogates through whatever form they want, you can have a black one, you can have a white one, you can be tall, short, beautiful (as society defines it), perfect body, with no flaws whatsoever (on the outside, anyway). But you can live pretty much as anybody you desire. You actually go to the store and shop for a surrogate.

And the surrogates that most people were living through (as I saw in the movie) were entirely opposite of who the actual person was. A heavy set older man lived his life as a beautiful young lady. Now of course, this is a whole OTHER topic that we won’t get into right now, but anyway, you get my point. Whoever you wanted to be, you were able to be through this surrogate. But it was a misrepresentation of who you actually were. You were fake. False. And nothing you claimed to be.

So of course first I thought about Christians. And some of you may dislike what I am going to say, but I have to say it. (Tell the truth and shame the devil!) Some of us are fake. Some of us misrepresent who we are. Some of us do an injustice to the One we say we serve. Christ. Which may very well explain why some unbelievers get a bad taste in their mouths about Christians.

Yes, I am talking about Christians. Those who profess to know Jesus Christ. Those who profess that they have confessed Him as Lord AND Savior, but live their lives doing what they want to do. So Jesus is Savior, but He is not really Lord. You want Him to save you but you don’t want Him telling you what to do. Christians.

Some of us are living our lives as a surrogate. On the outside we may sound like a Christian to an extent, until trouble comes our way, and squeezes out what’s really on the inside of us. What we really believe comes out and it does not quite line up with what we say we believe or better yet, WHO we say we believe in.

Then I thought about people on social networking sites, in particular, Facebook. There a lot of people who are living their lives as a surrogate. They’re not real. They profess or act like or talk like they are one way, but if you know them, if you’ve seen them in person, they’re not that way at all. Or vice versa, you see them one way or know them to be one way, but “over the internet” don’t seem that way at all. Who are you? You show people who you want them to think you are, but God knows who you really are and it’s time the two of you come face to face, so that the you, you really are can be delivered from the you, you say you are.

People are hiding behind surrogates. Pretending to be something they are not. Some of them are bullies, or so they think. They say things, post statuses that they would NEVER say in a person’s presence. They’re surrogates and that makes them, cowards. False.

It’s time out for that. It’s time out for pretense. It’s time to get it right. If you believe in Jesus, then act like you do. If you want to be a bully over the web, try and be one in person and see how far that will get you. Come out, come out whoever you are. Stop hiding. And stop playing virtual reality games. No more surrogates.

At the end of the movie the computer crashes and all the people have no choice but to come out of their “boxes” and live their own lives. And you should see them, because they’re like zombies. They have been living for so long pretending to be something that they’re not, that they don’t even know who they really are. Don’t let this happen to you.

God says time is short. He knows who you are. There are no surrogates with Him. He also knows Who He is and He knows who are His. We serve a real God, and we’ve got to be real. No more surrogate Christians. No more surrogates, period.

God is good and He’s real. And He’s really good. But you’ve got to know that He wants us right and He wants us real, too. Do it today while you have the chance.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tears of a Clown

"Now if there’s a smile on my face, it’s only there trying to fool the public,
But when it comes down to fooling you, now honey, that’s quite a different subject.
Don’t let my glad expression, give you the wrong impression, cause really I’m sad.
I’m sadder than sad.
Cause you’re gone and you hurt me so bad…
Like a clown I appear to be glad.
Now there’s some sad things known to man,
but ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown, when there’s no one around."

These were the words I heard while riding in the car with my daughter one day. And as I sat there and forced myself to listen, the Holy Ghost grabbed me and spoke this in my spirit…

Many of you know that I am an active face-booker. Yea, I admit, I like it. I have my farm and my restaurant and my apartment and I try to keep it up to date, but for the most part it affords me the opportunity to be a witness to share Jesus and His love with anyone with an open heart. And I am so grateful for the tremendous ways that God continues to show Himself through it all.

But anyway, just a couple of days before I heard this song, I saw a post to pray for Sis. So and So, because she had attempted suicide. And immediately I began to pray for her and even posted a prayer for others to stand in agreement with me. A day or so later, someone posted that she was okay and thanked everyone for their prayers. Bless God!

I wondered what would have made this person want to kill herself. What could have been so bad, (she thought), would want to make her take her life. She had always been one who had posted Scriptures, words of encouragement and even videos to try and encourage someone else. And here she was in so much pain herself that she wanted to die. And I remember thinking and asking the Lord, why? What in the world, Lord? She’s an encourager. And that’s when it was revealed to me because then I heard this song, “Tears of A Clown.”

It’s a song by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles sang way back in, 1970??? And as I listened the words began to minister to me. Just like a clown, people can appear to be smiling, appear to have it all together, appear to have it all under control, but in a lonely room they cry the tears of a clown. A clown makes people laugh. They make people smile. That’s what they do. And they wear these painted smiles on their faces because no matter what, they know what they are called to do and know that they can’t cheer someone else up if they themselves are not cheerful. SO they put on this face that they are, but deep down inside, things can be hurting them. That no one knows about or sees. And that is what happened with this person. They are an encourager. God called them to be so. It’s a gift that He placed in them. But in order that they may carry it out, they sometimes have to put on a face that all is well with their world. Because they know that God is yet good, but somewhere between relaying that to others and applying it for themselves, it gets distorted and they end up sad inside. Even if just for a little while.

And God made me realize this…. Yes, sometimes we’ve got to encourage ourselves. And someone who has the gift of encouragement knows that all too well, and they do it most of the time. But there are times where THEY themselves need encouragement. They put so much of themselves, so much energy, so much time (often), to encourage someone else. To pray for someone else that they may be strengthened, that sometimes they can drain themselves and have nothing left, and end up in a place they should not be. God said be aware of that.

We have people all around us (hopefully) who are always trying to encourage someone. You have people that you know, that you know, that you know, that if you called on them at any given time, they would pray for you, they would have a word that would speak life to you; they would have an answer to your problem. God said take note of them. Pray for them. Give THEM a word of encouragement every now and then. It doesn’t take a lot. Acknowledge what they do and just say thank you for encouraging me today.

“Just like Pagliacci did
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the public eye
but in the lonely room I cry
the tears of a clown
when there's no one around.”

Keep that in mind the next time you see or hear a word of encouragement from someone. They may be hurting on the inside and crying when there’s no one around, the tears of a clown.

God is good. And I was just brought to tears at the goodness and the realness of God, Who can use a simple song to reach us wherever we are and whoever we might be pretending to be.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Say A Prayer For Me, Jesus

Grace and peace.

I've shared recently how music is the voice of God and so many times a song just ministers to my heart when God wants me to get something. The song is called "Say A Prayer" and it is by Donald Lawrence. You know we go through things and somehow we manage just to sit back and let them happen to us, without asking for intercession or saying anything to anybody. Not really wanting to say anything because we want to be what my husband and minister likes to term, "Super Christians" and put on the facade that all is well and NOTHING CAN STOP ME. And that is all well and good. It's a good thing to hold your head up and endure through your trails and tribulations. It's a great testimony when you are "growing through" something and the whole world does not have to know it. Glory to God! But you know what we are not here by ourselves. We are all just as much dependent on each other as we are dependent on Jesus, that is why the Bible says do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together in the house of the Lord. We feed each other. We nourish each other and we strengthen each other. And God has put that in each and every one of His children, (those who desire to do His will). This is what I heard, (just to tell you how good God is) "Lord, I come to You. I ask You to grant my request. The prayer I pray today is different from the rest. The enemy is threatened by the gift You placed in me. Hear my earnest prayer, cover me. Jesus say a prayer for me. You know what I need. Go before the Father and intercede for me. The enemy desires to sift me as wheat. But like You did for Peter, say a prayer for me." And this is what God spoke to me... He has placed gifts in His children. Gifts to encourage others, through whatever means He deems necessary. But if we ourselves are discouraged, others cannot be encouraged, because we are the ones that God has ordained to come across their path and to speak a word of life into their situations. To give them hope. To strengthen them in the journey. And God said to ask Him for help when we are down that we may continue strong in the faith that others may continue to develop in their faith. He said I need you to be where I want you to be. And then He reminded me that the enemy of my soul wants nothing more but to steal, kill and destroy me.

God had me listen to the song and then He directed me to the Scripture (Luke 22:31,32) it says that Jesus is speaking to Peter and the rest of His disciples and He tells them that He has equipped them to go forward and to declare the gospel and to do His works, and then He tells them that the enemy, Satan has asked for them, that He desires to sift them as wheat (the amplified says this "Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain," and then Jesus goes on with the remarkable part and He says, but be encouraged, because I have prayed for you." And then He goes on and He says, "But I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren."

Get this in your spirit, because just as Jesus was speaking to Peter and His disciples back then He is speaking to us today. He has equipped us to go forward and to share the Good News of His gospel. He has put in us His heart to do His will and though we may get discouraged, we may get shaken along the way, we may "grow through" He is yet mindful of the wor that He has begun in us and faithful to complete it and He is interceding on our behalf. He is praying for us. He is praying for you especially! Isn't that a glorious thing!

Ask Jesus to pray for you. To say a prayer for you. Jesus, say a prayer for me. Say a prayer for me Jesus that the enemy won't rule over my soul, when my feelings get hurt. Say a prayer for me Jesus, that this setback, this disappointment, this sickness, this fall, won't kill me. Say a prayer for me Jesus that my failure to believe at this moment, won't destroy me. Say a prayer for me that my faith won't fail. That I may go on after myself being strengthened, encourage someone else. Say a prayer for me Jesus because the enemy of my soul wants nothing more but to steal, kill and destroy. He wants nothing more but to see me dead. And not just physical, spiritual. Pray for me Jesus. I know the enemy wants to tear me apart, he wants to break my spirit, he wants to hurt my body, and take my mind.... that I can't help anyone else.

Last week was a hard one for me, I suffered some emotional setback in the beginning of the week, I suffered an illness (BY HIS STRIPES I AM HEALED), and even took a fall (physical), but thank God Who always causes me to triumph in Christ Jesus!!!! Jesus said a prayer for me and He opened my eyes and helped me to see, the enemy has no hold.

The song goes on to say this, "For those that you called, you fully equipped. To fight the wind and the waves and captain the ship. So I don't mind the storm... I'm willing to sail. God, cover me, that my faith won't fail. Jesus say a prayer for me. You know what I need. Go before the Father and intercede for me. The enemy desires to sift me as wheat. But like you did for Peter say a prayer for me."

I shall not die but live to declare the glory the Lord! In Jesus' name!

God is good and He is real. Just in case you didn't know.
Be encouraged.
A servant of the Lord,
Si. E


Monday, August 16, 2010

In The Blink Of An Eye

One day recently I was driving back home from some errands and I remember stopping at the light and sitting there waiting for the light to change. Sometimes at lights we have a tendency (well, at least I do) to drift away into thought. We may take a glance at our surroundings and for a quick moment it may cause us to think about something else. I believe that is what happened to me, because in the next second, in the blink of an eye, coming right towards the left of me in the divider of the road was a car. As I looked the door of the car was dented in and partly off of the hinge. And it all happened so quickly, I did not see it coming. 

In the blink of an eye, right there, right next to me, so close I could almost reach out and touch them. And I did not see it. Hear me, ‘I blinked’ and I did not see it. I then saw the man in the car right in front of me (who turned out to be a cop in an unmarked car, because he then put his flashing light on top of the car) speak to the driver of the car in the divider. And as the light changed I saw another car about 10 feet away in the intersection completely damaged. Totaled. Front smashed in and all. So not only had they had an accident and made noise in doing so, in the blink of an eye, I did not hear or see a thing. Mind you, my windows were up, the music was playing, the air was blasting, but yet I did not even notice. 

Now two things… first, it scared me that I could be in a thought so far away that this could have happened and I did not see it, given its proximity, and (2) just the utter quickness of it all. It was an actual blink of an eye. ‘How long,’ I have asked myself, ‘could the light have been?’ 

As I passed them I asked the Lord to cover the drivers and prayed that they would walk away from the accident “scratch-free,” and I thanked Him for covering me. I went home and I told my children about it and after them “laughing at Mommy” I brushed it off and thought it was done. But then God began to speak…. In the blink of an eye. We take life for granted. Things are going well and all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, the Lord said, it could change. All it takes is one moment for someone to stop breathing; one decision can change your life forever. In the blink of an eye. One second and life as you know it, is no longer. 

God said treasure your life. Value your life. Every single moment that you have. Make wise decisions. Take the time to really consider them. He said, Value the good in your life. Value the people in your life. And then He said, in the blink of an eye, there will come a day, where your time will be up. Your days are numbered. A man is appointed to die once. Make sure you are where you need to be with Me. He said in the blink of an eye, there will be a day, when Jesus will return, and those who are in Him shall be caught up in the sky to meet Him in the air. In the blink of an eye, no one knows the time or the hour that Jesus shall return but He IS returning. In the blink of an eye. And we need to be ready for it. 

God said value your life. Value living. And live like there is no tomorrow. Make the right decisions today while you have the chance. Tomorrow may not come for you. In the blink of an eye, it can all be taken away. 

God spoke so much to my heart with that simple phrase and that one incident. And if it wasn’t for His grace, I could have been gone in the blink of an eye. There is so much that can be said for this. So much more. But value life. Do not take right now for granted. Someone needs you. Someone loves you and someone needs to know that you love them. Time out for foolishness and unforgiveness and bitterness and resentment. And hostility towards someone because they don’t respond that you expect them to. Appreciate them anyway. Love them anyway. Oh, that the Lord would teach us to number our days!!! 

God is good. And I thank Him for His grace. And I thank Him that He doesn’t blink! He’s real. Yes, deep in my soul, He’s real. 

Be blessed. 

A servant of the Lord, 
Sis. E

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Get In Focus

My husband and I were watching one of the nature channels, where they had a show called, Hunter and The Hunted. And they were showing tigers in this particular scene. And what struck me was how the hunter gets so focused on one particular target and goes after it. Seeing absolutely nothing else. The tiger had his eye set on this particular deer and all these other deer were right there, much easier to catch than what he had his eye on. But he kept focused, determined to catch what he caught sight of failing to see all the other deer. And God said to me, sometimes we can be so focused on something that we fail to see anything else around us. And I said. “Wow.” We get so focused on something and fail to see the blessing that is right before our very eyes. That is right in our grasp.

And that can be a dangerous thing. Because if our focus is not in the right place, we may end up with something that God did not desire us to have in the first place. And as I put this together I hear the Spirit speak of relationships. Sometimes people zoom in on a person, for all the wrong reasons, but they want them so badly, that they fail to see anything else. They fail to see how that person may be treating someone else. They fail to see how the person overreacts because someone stepped on their toe or they waited too long in line at the grocery store. Or even the fact that they may have some baggage that you were not quite ready for. But for whatever reason, the relationship does not last AND you end up hurting, in more ways than one. Nine times out of10, it is because your focus was in the wrong place. So it’s important that we focus on the right thing, otherwise we may miss what God has for us. We may miss the blessing that is right before our very eyes but are somehow failing to see.

But that wasn’t the best part… God had me to say it again…. “Sometimes we can be so focused on something that we fail to see anything else.” And I said, “Okay, Lord…, what?” God said say it again. And I said, “Sometimes we can be so focused on something that we fail to see anything else.” And I still did not get it. So He said say it again but this time change it around. And as I began to say it again, “Sometimes we can be so focused on something…. How, Lord, change it how?” And He said, sometimes you can get so focused on something that you fail to see anything else. FOCUS ON ME. Sometimes you can get so focused on ME, that you fail to see anything else!”

And that’s when I got the revelation. Hallelujah! If we get focused on God, we will fail to see anything else. If we get focused on God, we will fail to see the faults of others. We will fail to yield to our flesh. If we get focused on the Word, we will fail to believe the tricks of the enemy. If we get so focused on doing the Word, we will fail to do anything contrary to it. If we get so focused on the Will of God, we will fail at doing things our own way. If we get so focused on God, we won’t fail at having the life of victory that He promised is ours!

And I can’t even remember whether or not that tiger got the deer that he wanted, but most of the time, whatever we focus on we will receive.
God is so good. If we would just keep Him in focus, nothing else will truly matter. Because our focus will be where it should be. Our focus will be on the right thing and it will get us the RIGHT things.

Bless the Lord! God is real, even in the Animal Kingdom, and He loves you. Get Him in focus.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

He Taught Us How

Praise the Lord, saints of God!

I want you to know today that God cares about you so much. He desires that you be in health even as your soul prospers. He desires that you be strengthened and encouraged. He wants you to walk in total victory over the enemy. That whatever he may throw your way you will be able to overcome. Because God has given you the power to do so. He taught you how. We just got to remember that and do what we were taught to do.

I start off there because God just dropped that in my spirit as I began to write what He had given me over the last few days. God is real. And He just wants to love on us and let us know just how real He is and just how much He cares about our walk with Him.

Many of you know that my daughter Jasmine recently graduated from Pitt and has since been accepted into Harvard Law School and God blessed my husband and I to be able to purchase a brand new Mini-Cooper for her, to celebrate her and let her know just how godly proud we are of her accomplishments. It was something that she desired since she was a freshman in high school and the joy on her face when she received it was unspeakable! She could not be thankful enough and it was all over her. And as I saw that, God said to me, “Imagine how I feel when I have granted you the desire of your heart, and you express your gratitude.” And all I could say was, “Wow!” Just to glimpse of the Father’s love for me, what an awesome thing! But in the same instant realize the magnitude of the hurt He feels when He gives us a good thing and we’re ungrateful, or we act like it’s nothing, or we were supposed to have it, or even squander it.

Anyway, I mention all this, one because I just have to testify of the Lord’s goodness! Because God is good and He is worthy of all praise and honor and glory for the great things He does for the children of men! And two, to bring you to my point of writing in the first place.

I had the privilege of riding with Jas in her mini back to Pittsburgh as she sets herself to enjoy some of her summer with her friends, and for anybody that knows her, knows that she likes to listen to old music, I mean some from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Her favorite being Michael Jackson, of course. Well, she shared the honor of allowing me to listen to Going Back To Indiana and Rockin’ Robin to name a few and I did without saying much, as I realized that I was in her space and I actually enjoyed listening. But then after awhile (bless the Lord!) she played my kind of music… gospel! And my soul was blessed for the remainder of the 5 ½ hour ride.

But anyway, a particular song came on, “Oh Happy Day,” a familiar song, heard many many times before. But this version was from the movie, Sister Act II. And I really got the chance to actually listen to it. Sometimes we can hear things without listening. Just like see things without watching. But it is something about being still, with nothing else to do to distract you, but to listen. Hear what I am saying. The Scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God.” The Holy Ghost had me just where I needed to be. It had been some kind of couple of weeks for me, but here I was. Still. (Oh, the Father’s love for me). Ready to listen. Ready to hear. Hallelujah! And God began to speak to me through that song, and as I was listening to the words, the Holy Spirit began to minister.

The song was playing and as I first began to hear the words, “Oh Happy Day, Oh Happy Day… when Jesus washed. When He washed. When Jesus washed. He washed my sins away,” almost immediately it grabbed my attention. Jesus WASHED my sins away! Thank You Lord! But it didn’t stop there.

Then the next verse said, “He taught me how, to watch, fight and pray! Oh Happy Day!” “Yes,” I said, “Jesus taught me how to WATCH, FIGHT AND PRAY! “ Some versions say, walk right and pray, some say, wash, fight and pray. But whatever, the key is HE TAUGHT HOW TO DO IT. How to watch. “Be not ignorant of Satan’s devices “(2 Corinthians 2:11) “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong “(1 Corinthians 16:12-13).

He taught us how to fight. Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” He taught us how to pray, “Pray without ceasing.” “When you stand praying, forgive…” “Our Father which art in heaven.” Hallelujah! He taught us how! Thank You Jesus! But it didn’t stop there….

And then the song went on, and this is what really caught me…. He taught me, “And to live REJOICING… every day! “ Then I got the revelation!!! Praise the Lord! Jesus not only saved us and washed us and taught us how to watch, fight and pray. But He taught us how to LIVE….. REJOICING! How to live in victory! How to live in joy! In peace. How to love LIFE! Live rejoicing. The Scripture says, “Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again, I say, rejoice!” There’s a reason for that. If we rejoice in the Lord, always, if we live REJOICING, we will not be defeated. We will not be discouraged. We will not be let down. We will not lose! We cannot lose.

Trouble can be on our every side. The enemy can come in like a flood. But the Lord will inhabit our praises. He will inhabit our situation. So the standard will be lifted against the enemy and he will not prevail. The troubles will come and surround us, but no harm will come near us for God is with us!! He said He inhabits the praises of His people. If we are praising Him, if we are rejoicing in the Lord, always, He has taken up residence with us! He is already on the scene. All we need to do is to do what we were taught, live REJOICING! Make the decision to live REJOICING. Look out for the enemy of your soul, you know he’s coming, especially if you decided to live for the Lord… and fight. Put on your armor and stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. And pray and keep on praying. That’s how we live rejoicing. And that’s what a happy day is. When we live rejoicing!

Oh, yes, it was a happy day when Jesus washed. When Jesus saved me. But God is so so good. And He cares about us so very much, that it will be a happy day when we decide to live it rejoicing! He taught us how.

God is real. And He loves you!

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ask for Permission, Instead of Forgiveness

It is much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I first heard this just right after sharing ‘Let Your Choice Be God’s Choice,’ when a person replied “Sometimes we think it is easier to ask forgiveness that it is to ask permission.” Then I heard it again just a few days later when someone posted it as a facebook status. And if that wasn’t enough for me, I heard it a third time, while I was watching a TV show, Flash Forward, and the team of agents wanted to go into CIA territory to investigate something, and they were debating it and someone said, “It is much easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”

Now I don’t know who coined the phrase. I don’t know how long it’s been around or anything else, but I do know that when God wants to make a statement and He really wants us to get something, He confirms it, and He does that by putting it in the mouth of two or three witnesses, time and time again.

Sometimes we know what we should do, and I venture to say, OFTEN times we know what we should NOT do, but because we don’t want anyone, especially God, to tell us so, we operate as if it is much better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I believe God wants so much for us to believe Him and to take Him at His Word, that He really does want the best for us. That He really really loves us and wants us to have life and that more abundantly. But because we take this in our own hands we miss what God wants to give us. Because we make decisions to do some things based on our “immature” belief of what we think will happen, we miss the greater thing that God has for us. God sees everything. He has determined our future from the beginning.

God said this to me, and he who has an ear, needs to hear this, “You want so much to do some things. You want some things and because somehow you believe that I do not want you to have what you want or do what you want to do, you go ahead and do what you want to get them. You go ahead and do the thing that you want to do. Foolishly ready and willing, supposedly, to suffer the consequences later.

You have a relationship with Me. You believe you know Me. And because You know that I am a forgiving God, you know that I am a loving God and you truly believe that I will never do anything that will cause you any pain, you plunge ahead and do what you want to do, fully aware that there may be consequences, but not fearing them because of Who you believe Me to be.

But what you are failing to realize is this, Who you think that I Am or Who you know Me to be, I AM not at all. You really don’t know Me as you should. Because if you did, if you knew Me to be Who I AM, God, your God, your Lord, you will not do what you wanted to do, but what you believed that I thought was best for you. And you would know that by asking Me. By asking of My permission instead of seeking My forgiveness.

And what this boils down to is trust,” saith the Lord. “If You really trusted Me, you would know without a doubt that I want what is best for you. That I only want what is best for you. And My permission would be granted to you freely if what you want falls in line with what I want for you.”

God said that we convince ourselves that we can deal with the consequences. That we can face them, no matter what they will be. After all, God loves us. How much would He make us suffer? And as Minister Jeff says, we believe we can 1 John 1 and 9 everything and God will forgive us and we can move on.

Yes, God is a loving God. Yes, God is a forgiving God. But God is also a just God. He is also a sovereign God and a jealous God. And He will not allow us to put anything before Him. It’s in His Word. Thou shalt not have any god before Me. And a god is considered anything that we worship, even our own ideas.

What we have to understand is that everything we do has a consequence, good and bad. And if it against God’s will for our life and we knowingly do it anyway, He has got to correct us. And correction is often painful.

God said that He had to correct Moses when Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it and yelled at the children of Israel. Moses put his will above God’s when he allowed himself to get angry. He did not humble himself in the sight of the people and show forth God’s greatness. In some way, Moses was saying through his action, it was much easier to ask for God’s forgiveness than to ask for God’s permission. Which so many of us do, when we make up our minds, when we make conscious decisions to do what we want first, and suffer the consequences later.

God said, that what we also fail to realize is this, that thing we wanted so much to have, He would have given us much better than that. If only we had sought Him first and asked His permission instead of HIs forgiveness. He said, “When my Son was in the garden, it was not easy to do what He was about to do, and He could have just as easily turned away from doing it, but He didn’t. What did He do? He asked my permission, ‘Father if it be thy will, take this cup away from Me, but nevertheless, Your will be done.’ He knew Me. He knew that what I have asked of Him to do had a purpose and He trusted that I had nothing but the best planned for Him. And He received the best, the greater gift, for now He is sitting at My right hand, as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. “

God loves you so very much. He only wants what is best for you. Dare to believe Him and trust Him so you want have to ask for forgiveness.

God is real.

Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E