Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Be The Gift

A couple of years ago I saw an advertisement for Victoria’s Secret that said, ‘Be The Gift.’ Of course, it was an ad of a woman dressed in VS items and on top of her head she had a big red bow. The ad was suggesting something that we really don’t need to go into here, but I will say this, God can turn everything around and use it for His glory if we’re open to receive.

Certainly, when it comes to giving no one can outdo God. Bow or no bow. Big or little. God gave His only Son. Really think about that for a moment. How many of us, if we had 10 sons, would give one up? But God gave His ONLY One, Jesus Christ, to die for us. God loved us so much (love is demonstrated), that He gave. He saw the sin in the world and in spite of how holy He is and the fact that He HAS to turn away from it, He yet wanted to do something about it. Hear this… in spite of how “holy” we are and that we SHOULD turn away from sin, we STILL should want to do something about it. Here’s a suggestion, maybe intercede? But anyway, God saw a need and He met that need by giving of Himself.

My husband, Minister Jeff, did an Encouraging Word just today called “Today, Love Someone” and in it he said that love is expressed through giving. (I will say it again, love is demonstrated). God loved and God gave. He presented us with a gift. The gift of Jesus Christ, Who came as a newborn baby to grow up as we do, to live a sinless life, and to die. Just so we might have eternal life. God started all the gift-giving over 2000 years ago with Jesus and as we celebrate Christmas, we should keep in mind the tremendous sacrifice that Jesus made. The awesome gift that God gave us. The Bible says that every good and every perfect gift comes from above. And it all started with Jesus. The Word is true. What a good and perfect gift He is!!!

This is the time of the year that many celebrate the birth of Jesus, born into the world on what we have to come to call Christmas Day. But we should also celebrate Jesus death and resurrection. Because without Him completing the work that God sent Him to do, without Him “being the gift,” we would not have eternal life.

And that alone should be enough to move us to want to give something back to Him. And as I think about that Victoria Secret ad, “Be The Gift” that is what I believe God wants us to do. BE THE GIFT. And we can do that by living according to the Word, living the way God would have us to, responding the way that shows forth His goodness in the earth.

We can be the gift by allowing the Word to take root in our hearts, because when we do that the manifestation of the Spirit of God shall come. We can be the gift when we forgive, when we can pardon the sins of others (and I mean really look past them, faults and all). We can be the gift, when we smile at someone, or say a kind word instead of a harsh one. The Bible says soft words turn away wrath.

We can be the gift, that good and perfect gift, when we let the Spirit of God have His way in us and through us. And as we do that, we, just like God did over 2000 years ago, can present the world with a gift. The gift of salvation. The gift of Jesus Christ, and all He has to offer.

So I encourage you to be the gift, show forth the gift that you have received, that someone else might want to receive it also.

God is good, y’all and He’s real.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do you hear what I hear is an old Christmas song sung for many years by many people. There are a few versions that I like, particularly, CeCe Winans, Whitney Houston and Yolanda Adams. After hearing the song so many times and so many years and for the first time a couple of weeks ago, after actually listening to the words, God gave me a real appreciation of it. I had never realized what the song was saying. You know how you can hear things and just not listen to it. And it’s strange because I actually really liked the song, but I never knew the meaning of it until now.

But the song sings of the birth of Jesus Christ and what His birth would bring. Each verse leads up to the next.

The first verse speaks of the night wind talking to the little lamb, asking him (the little lamb) if he sees what he sees, way up in the sky. A star, that looks like it’s dancing in the night, with a tail as big as a kite. And what the night wind is talking about and is seeing is the star that shone above the manger. Can you see that?
Then the little lamb sees what the night wind is speaking of and he shares it with the shepherd boy and he asks the shepherd boy if he hears what he hears. A ringing in the sky, a song that is high above the trees, with a voice as big as the sea. And what the little lamb is talking about and hearing are the angels that have announced that Jesus was born and are now singing and rejoicing over His birth. Can you hear that?

Then the shepherd boy hears what the little lamb heard and he shares it with the mighty king and he asks the mighty king, which I believe is representative of the wise men, do you know what I know. The shepherd boy says in your palace, and makes a point to say warm palace, mighty king, do you know what I know. That a Child has been born and He is shivering in the cold (while you’re warm, king), the Child shivers in the cold. And then the shepherd boy says, let us bring Him silver and gold. And I believe that the silver represents the basic need and the gold is the extra. (Like Jesus tells us we shall have milk and honey. Our need met and our desires). So the shepherd boy says, do you know what I know. Do you know that?

Then the mighty king catches on what the night wind saw, and the little lamb heard and the shepherd boy knew and he goes to the people, everywhere (us)… and tells them to listen to what he says… And he says to us, pray for peace, everywhere.. because the Child that was born that is sleeping in the night was bringing us (people everywhere) goodness and light.

The love of God and the light of the world. Jesus Christ. The Word revealed.
What God has spoken to me through this song, back then and now is for us to go, to share, to pass on Jesus. His love. His peace. His joy. His Word. Why He came.
Help someone today to see what you see, to hear what you hear, and know not only what you know, but WHO you know. Jesus. Encourage them to listen to what you say, to what God says, that Christ the Savior IS born and because of that we have and they can have eternal life.

I hear the Lord… do you?

God is good and He’s real in everything.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Thursday, December 3, 2009

God WILL Come Down!

Genesis 11:5 reads, “But the Lord came down to see the city and tower which the sons of men had built.” This Scripture and a few others have been speaking to my heart recently. Specifically, ‘the Lord came down.’

There is nothing that God does not know but yet in His omniscience (all embracing knowledge) He makes it a point to come down and see what is going on. And not only that but to do something about it. Side note. Sometimes we go and see what is going on with something and when we get there we can’t or many times, we don’t, do a thing about it. BUT GOD. Not God. If He’s coming down to see about something, you better believe that He is going to do something.

But anyway, in this particular instance, God decided to come down and see what the people were doing. He knew that they were building a tower, but if they were allowed to keep doing that, there would be no stopping them and it would open the door to all sorts of things for them to do. And that was not good because their motives were not right. Know this that if you are in agreement, if you are WITH one accord, there is extreme power at your disposal. We don’t truly understand how much we can do if we would simply get in agreement, especially WITH the Word of God. But they were not operating under the commandment of God, so because of that God had to come down to confuse their language and break their communication. And the work ceased because they could no longer understand each other. Hear this, the work ceases because we can no longer understand each other… you are on one page and I am on another. But that’s a message by itself, so we will save that for another time.

God came down when Sodom and Gomorrah became evil. The Bible says “And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” (Genesis 18:20-21) And God came down and we know the rest of the story He had a discussion with Abraham and destroyed the whole city but not until after He knew Abraham was safe. God will come down and bring judgment with Him, but He will give His people the opportunity to be saved from it. Lot’s wife had the opportunity but because she looked back when she wasn’t supposed to, she was not saved. Hear this. You have opportunity to be delivered from some things but because you choose to look back (backslide) you are not. Jesus came down to save us (and deliver us)! Hallelujah!

God comes down to speak to us. He comes down to encourage us. He came down and visited with Abraham to personally pronounce the blessing upon His life. He wanted Abraham to know how He was going to make possible the covenant He had given to Abraham. He came down and spoke to Abraham to let Him know that he and his wife Sarai would bear a son and through his son, all the nations of the world would be blessed.

Jesus came down from heaven to comfort the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The pre-incarnate Jesus came down to stand in the midst of the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The Bible says there were four men in that furnace. He came down to shut the lion’s mouth when Daniel was in the lion’s den.

We have to know that in the very same way God comes down for us. He cares about us. He loves us so much that when we find ourselves someplace we don’t need to be (and I am talking spiritually for the most part), thinking things that we don’t need to be thinking about, worrying about stuff, being afraid and doubtful, losing faith and hope, He comes down. When someone has mistreated us, caused us to lose sleep, to cry, to hurt, God sees that and He will come down and address it. (Remember Aaron and Miriam who spoke about the man of God, Moses… God came down and had a little talk with them).

We have to know that He WILL come down for us and that He does. Because He lets us know when He does. He’ll send someone to come and speak a Word to us when we thought the world forgot about us. He’ll send messages of hope through the internet and emails and text messages, just when we need it. And not a second too late, we’ll receive an envelope in the mail or cash delivered through the hand of a stranger. That’s God coming down.

Someone we have been praying for, who the doctors have said there is nothing else we could do, suddenly gets better. And it’s immediate. Instantaneous HEALING! Miraculous healing! That’s God coming down and doing something about what the doctors have said, letting the world know, “Let God be true and every man be a liar.” When there is turmoil and chaos all around us and all we want is some peace, then all of a sudden a Word is spoken and silence fills the air. That’s God. That’s the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. That’s Him stepping in the situation.

Even though God knows everything, God chooses to come down to get a closer look at what is going on. And when He does, He judges the matter firsthand. And in some instances it brings judgment, and in some, comfort. But God loves you and He WILL come down for you. You are important to Him and worth coming down for. Know that today. I do.

God is good and He is real.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween IS NOT Christmas!

I believe I finally figured out what it is this year that is bothering me so much about Halloween. People are actually treating it like Christmas. And not only people, people who are confessing or professing I should say, to know Christ. To be Christians. Just so you will know, Halloween IS NOT Christmas!

In my driving, I have seen neighborhoods where people have put up decorations for Halloween, as if it was Christmas. I mean lights, balloons and ornaments all over the lawn. I have seen headless horsemen; a cut off head with supposedly blood coming out of it, hanging from a tree; graveyard headstones; all kinds of things. What is this?! I’ve also seen this giant balloon-like Frankenstein monster on a cart, filling up a yard and the moment I saw it, I asked the Lord to cast down every imagination that will try to exalt itself against the knowledge of His Word. Namely, I continued, “Take that thing down. Send a mighty wind and tear it down! (I haven’t seen it up in the last week or so, just so you know).

Anyway, people are being fooled. They are being bamboozled, hoodwinked, deceived, however you want to say it. And as much as they may not be aware they are buying into death and all those other d’s that come with the enemy of their souls, destruction, doom, depression, and so on.

Ok, you might be saying, “it’s not about all that, it’s just a holiday and it’s just a time for the kids to have fun.” And to that I will say this, “it’s the devil’s holiday and it’s not only the kids having fun.” In Hosea 4:6, God says His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. What you don’t know WILL hurt you. The Bible says that we should avoid all wicked customs. Read it for yourself, Deuteronomy 18:9-14. We, especially as Christians, should in no way, shape or form, align ourselves or associate with anything evil. Anything of the devil. Including and especially Halloween. We are to make no place for the devil. Ephesians 6:12 says we wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. What is that, but evil?! What is that but the devil? And if we are wrestling against him, why are some of us choosing to dance with him? Why are we attending his party?

If you find yourself here, you must ask yourself, if he were a person, would you invite the enemy of your soul to a celebration in your honor? Then why would you go to his?

Yes, I once celebrated Halloween. I took part in the whole shebang. All of the festivities. And I allowed my children to do so. The buying of the candy, the tricks and the treats, all of it. But God! I thank God that He has spared me and brought me into the knowledge of His Word. We must do all of His Word. Not just the parts we like and not just the parts we agree with. That is really what this comes down to today. Either you belong to the Lord or you don’t. Either you are going to believe His Word or you won’t. God has placed before you life and death. He encourages us to choose life. And that is following after Jesus Christ and Him alone.

The devil was thrown out of heaven because he wanted to be like God. He wanted to be God. And here he is now cast down to earth and people, Christians even, are treating him like a god. God alone is worthy of our adoration. Reconsider this day and don’t buy into the hype. Don’t dance with the devil, don’t play with him and don’t party with him.

“But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.” (2 Timothy 2:19 NLT).

It’s a must!

Be blessed and sincere in your knowledge of the Lord.

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E

Monday, October 26, 2009

DIAGNOSIS: Devil Is A Liar!

Praise the name of the Lord! For He is my Rock, He is my Fortress, He is my Deliverer. In Him will I Trust. What an awesome God we serve. True to His Word!

For most of the weekend I found myself in a hospital bed, on a heart monitor, taking a number of tests… EKG, ECG, Cat scan, Sonogram, blood work and more blood work… only for them to determine that the devil is a liar! Once again God is exalted and the devil is defeated in my life!

God is good! On Saturday after going shopping with my husband I came home and I was in tremendous pain. Severe chest pain, accompanied with problems breathing. My husband took me to the E.R. where they quickly gave me an EKG, hooked me up to a heart monitor, IV fluids and begin a round of doses of Nitroglycerin. For those who are not aware as I wasn’t, that it is to open your arteries and everything inside of you, so your blood can flow quickly. While it may heal one area, it causes another to suffer. So while it caused my chest pain to subside it caused my head to ache (and possibly) my back.

But anyway, the doctors thought something was wrong with my heart. The nurse that was attending to me, as well, because she had said, that though the EKG was not showing anything often times in black women, symptoms of a heart attack are hidden, so they’ve got to look deeper. And deeper is what they did. After putting me through hours of testing and on and off again pain, turns out the diagnosis was (for me anyway), the devil is a liar!

Just as soon as my husband learned I was in pain, he began to pray. On our way home, then on our way to the doctor, he was praying while I was confessing thank You Jesus. Thank You Jesus! You are the Lord God Who heals me. You said so, I believe Your Word! (Isn’t it funny how this attack came not even 24 hours after the day I wrote about reminding God of His Word, “God You Said It, Remember?” The enemy of your soul knows what you believe too)!

Anyway, on the way to the hospital and even after we arrived there, prayers of thanksgiving and the Word was confessed over my life. And I believe that was why the pain was coming and going. When it first started it would not leave my body. I could not sit down straight in the car ride, on the couch, or anything and I certainly could not lean back, because when I did it felt like something or someone was leaning on my chest with a boulder! I have never felt anything like that in my life. And the only way I got a little relief, was by leaning forward with my legs folded. (And trust me we were not meant to sit like this… just so you know).

The hospital did decide to keep me overnight to monitor my heart because they wanted to be sure. And I did put up somewhat of a fight because I really wanted to go to church on Sunday morning. I did not want to spend my Sunday morning up in somebody’s hospital bed. That is not what God intended. But there I was. With a heart monitor, oxygen in my nose, an IV on my hand and a helpful dose of Percocet. But tell me my God ain’t good!

At 2:00 am on Sunday, I had what I did not know would be, my last bout of pain. I woke up, (bless the Lord!) and I was in severe pain. I called for the nurse and waited for her to bring me my Percocet. But she didn’t bring it right away because I could not have any more until 2:30. So I sat there talking to the Lord, reminding Him of His Word, speaking to the pain in my body telling it that it must go, rebuking the devil and all his attempts. The nurse came in shortly after and gave me one last dose of Percocet. And I sat up for the remaining of the night (early morning), until they came in with another machine and to take some more blood.

More tests and a couple of hours later, the pain had completely disappeared. And I knew I was healed and that was just yet another attack from the enemy, attempting to kill, steal and to destroy. Know this that the enemy is not your friend. He is a spirit. And he wants nothing more but to see you dead. I mean it. Dead. He wants your spirit dead (but we are alive in Christ). He wants your finances dead, He wants your relationships dead, He wants you dead. And he will do everything in his power to destroy you and he will succeed if you let him. When you feel pain and anything contrary to the Word of God, know that those things are from him. He is trying to steal from you. But don’t let him. Speak the Word of God over yourself. Speak the Word over your pain. Come at him the same way he is coming at you. "Yeah, devil, my body hurts (you can’t deny that), but my God is a healer. He said that He will take sickness from my midst! So you can get on out of here with that. You are a liar and there is no truth in you!"

When all of this was happening, I was surprised at my reaction. I wasn’t afraid where at another time I might have been and I thank God. I read so many things about heart attacks and how to recognize them and all, and I never conceded to having one. Because I read something else. (I shall not die but live to declare the glory of the Lord!) The truth. The Word of God. And I’ve come to know something else. God is good. And He’s a healer. And He loves me and that is the report (and the diagnosis) I believe. Anything else won’t work.

So Sunday evening, just a little over 24 hours later I was discharged with an “unknown” diagnosis. And I walked out of that hospital on my own two feet, painless, with the t-shirt my husband had brought for me to wear home (and how appropriate)… ipray. Enough said.

God is good. For real! And He’s a healer!

A servant of the Lord,

Sis. E