He’s Acquainted with My Grief : Daddy Knows

So this year has been one of the hardest years I’ve had for some time. In fact it has been a tough could of years, however I am still here. Better for it all. I can say that now – had you asked me a few months a go I probably would have side-eyed you and walked away in a full on stink.. I was hurt. I apologise to anyone who got side-eyed.. My Bad!

In a moment of deep despair and sorrow – feeling a deep sense of rejection, disappointment and betrayal, God sent me words of comfort that no other voice could speak.

I had spoken to a few sisters about the period of life that I was in, and many had offered many kind words. Many encouraged me -some with scripture, some with positive words of affirmation, others just got angry and the cause of my hurt – some seemed more angry than I was… Goodness, I had to calm them down.. like breath sister…breath!  But that’s what you call friends.

But in all honesty, none of it was working. None of it. The hurt I was feeling had sunk deep into the pits and the core of my being a place no one can reach.

The words they were offering – while kind, and true and sweet to the taste – none of it was getting to the real core of my pain. The pain I was feeling was not something I had experienced before. I was feeling more than I would express in words. And nothing adds salt to the wounds than feeling hurt and having no one that you can run to to make it all better. I would tell God.. “you mean I have to sit here, in this, by myself?” It was totally distressing. Utterly mortifying to feel like no one really got the way that I was feeling. And because no one knew how I was feeling – no one could fix it. No one.

I’ve talked previously about how I struggle with abandonment and feelings of being alone. This was all of that and a bag of chips rolled up into one messy blubbering mess. literally – BUT GOD!

I sat at my desk on evening and I heard ; Surely He has bore our griefs. He is fully acquainted with your sorrow…

It was a simple statement. Again, I knew parts of the scripture, but I went to read it in full. Isaiah 53.

I read it once.. and I read it again. And I read it again. This scripture lays out the life of Jesus from an emotional point of view. While he was about doing miracles and preaching an so on – Jesus was still very much human. He came in the form of flesh just so he could associate with how we feel – isn’t that amazing. He did that on purpose – JUST so that in times of grief and sorrow we could turn to him because he knows exactly how we feel.

I read the passage and underlined all the things he had endured – each of them related with me – deeply and genuinely. I read it in a number of translations – and it was literally like reading my present situation point for point. Feelings of being despised, rejected, turned on, avoided, pierce, crushed, oppressed, beaten, tormented, unjustly condemned, struck down, buried like a criminal.. all these things I was feeling and felt that I was totally alone in this – totally alone. But I was wrong. God is fully acquainted with my grief.

I wish I could fully articulate how liberating it felt to know that everything I was feeling – God knew and was acquainted with. So when I cry and say

“Daddy it hurts.. I gave my all and they still hurt me” He says “I know baby, I came to give my life for them and they still beat me half to death.. I know”..

When I cry and say “Lord why..? I cant do this”.. I hear Him say “I know it hurts baby, I know.. I wanted the bitter cup to pass too, I know”..

When those that hurt me walk past me like nothing happened and did noting – and I ask God “why?” – He says “I know.. my own disciples rejected me and swore blind they didn’t know me..I know rejection..I know it well baby”

And its not a sympathetic..there there, never mind.. it’s a ..I’ve been there, I’ve felt that, I’m acquainted with it, I fully feel your pain..

I just wanted to remind someone today OR tell you that you are in no shape or terms alone in your grief. Some heart ache is more that just sadness, its full on grief and sorrow you are feeling. Know that your Father is FULLY acquainted with what it is you feel right now. Nothing you are feeling is strange to Him, noting. All those feelings that are tormenting you and the feelings that tell you that you are doing life in isolation is a lie.. there is someone who has walked this road before and is walking it with you right now.. You’re talking to someone who knows…

Today He says “I know baby.. Daddy knows.. ”

God knows

Isaiah 53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

 

 

Strength of your Heart

Wait on the LORD. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the LORD! Psalm 27:14

During morning devotion – and no – that doesn’t mean I was sat on a beach front, watching the sunrise winging on a hammock in blissful silence. . . More like sat at my desk, in front of half eaten breakfast taking the few minutes I had between my 7 year old asking me to locate his left shoe, my 12 year old needing to be reminded to use deodorant today and me remembering to pack my lunch.. that I was caught by the scripture. 

You know when you are sat minding your own business and all of a sudden there is a flurry of activity and its like someone hit the download button and all of a sudden there is a surge of information and encouragement. Scriptures are just flying through your head, thoughts are being lined up that are then being layered up with more scriptures.. You don’t.. well I don’t.. even know where the scriptures are taken from but they are coming thick and fast. Almost like the Clark Kent to Superman transformation in a phone box. Often times I don’t even know what to write on which is why I have pens and post-it notes all over my home.. these moments of inspiration just take off and I need to be able to write them down as they come.. I don’t want to miss a single crumb..

So this particular morning, back to the half eaten breakfast – I hear “Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord”. I asked myself one question.. – Why, when I am waiting would my heart need strength? Why would it be promised that in my time of waiting that God would be the one to strengthen my heart while I am waiting?

I was reminded of Proverbs 13:12 that states that “Hope deferred, makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life“.

There is something somewhat sickening about waiting..There – I said it.

There is just something about waiting that is unsettling when it has been going on for some while. The proverb suggests that your heart becomes sick when something you have hoped for is delayed, and this is fact. Whether you are waiting for a bus, a delivery, or the microwave – something happens to our hearts in the state of delayed expectations. A strange mix of anxiety and confusion takes us. We know something should be happening about now, we are looking for it, listening out for it, but it’s not turned up. Then here comes the questions – Why has it not turned up? Where is it? When is it coming? How much longer will I be without? what’s going on?

All these are valid questions when waiting, however, after having asked yourself the same question for 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks, maybe 5 months, or the last 5 years, for some decades..(you get the picture) – something happens – literally – something damaging starts to happen. The questions that were once logical and rational have morphed into swards of furry that poke holes in our once whole and sound heart. Turning joyful hope into a toxic slurry of confusion and doubt if we are not careful. Having waited “too long” our heart has become sick..

broken heart.PNG

Proverbs 4:23 states this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it“. When your heart has become sick – believe me – its evident in almost every area of your life. Jesus while talking to a group of Pharisees notes that “..out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks..”(Mthw 12:34). Our heart and its contents are directly linked to what we do and what we say. A sick heart can lead us to do and say some out of Christlike-Character things.. Proverbs 15:13 tells us “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit”..

heart and mind

And this is why our heart needs strengthening – and reinforcing while we are waiting. God in His wisdom lets us know that if we can do the waiting – He will do the strengthening. This is His promise to us. He is well aware of the potentially effects of waiting for a promise given. He knows we have the tendency to become impatient and flustered and loose hope while waiting. Doubt is both toxic and hazardous in the life of the believer. As is fear – and guaranteed where you find one.. the other wont be far behind.

We owe it to ourselves to check the content of our heart and mouth in relation to things we are still waiting on God for. Have we started speaking negatively about that deferred hope? Have we sided with doubt and decided that maybe God cant? Or maybe you haven’t taken it as far as God can’t.. because that would be unheard of to find something God cant do.. so that cant be it – maybe we have consoled ourselves with the thought that God simply wont..we’ve sold our hopes because they cause us too much pain to bear. I dare not get my hopes up..

I’ll share a thought process I had concerning a wait of mines .. “I can’t, in fact I refuse to go to another wedding without a husband of my own…At LEAST a boyfriend.. and dare anyone ask me to be a bridesmaid… again.. in fact, please don’t even invite me to the wedding.. I don’t really want to know – I just can’t. I don’t want to hear how you wasn’t even looking for a husband .. “but look what the Lord did”…. No .. I’m not shouting with you, put down my tambourine and go away please.. and thank you.. #truestory .. one I’m sure a few of you can relate to. My heart had become so toxic in the season of waiting that I found it difficult to honestly (the key word there) and genuinely celebrate others who had received the answer to MY prayer…  err – excuse me!! – Anyways.. we thank God for deliverance.. I’m still single, but my heart isn’t toxic about it.. !

Now, He didn’t promise to speed things up, or put an automatic end out our wait. That wasn’t the promise. He promises to give us the ability to endure. Not something we do ourselves – something He says that He will take care of. However, should we become weary in the waiting – trust me – it happens.. Psalm 147:3 reminds us that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”.

You’ve still got to wait though. I know.. hardly the happy ending you were looking for – but know that God has prepared strength for you in His presence and His word that will strengthen and reinforce your heart while you are waiting. Even if doubt turns up with it’s BFF fear – God has the remedy for both of those.. and its usually wrapped in the demonstration of His love towards us.

Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage .. and HE WILL strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord..

Until next time..

 

 

Adoption…

So, I’m going to start this blog with a confession.

I do not understand the concept of Father… Not so much how one becomes a father, or the biological relation between two people that makes one of them a father. Growing up without my father has left me a little.. estranged.. from this concept of father.

I remember going for prayer at my home church and being encouraged to “talk to God like my father”. I did what I was there to do, and I prayed – in no particular or different way to the usual way I approached God in prayer. I recall going home and going over this statement – like a father – and I came to the conclusion that I have no clue what the pastor was on about. To do something like something else would take the need to know what that something else is in the first place. Ask me to quack like a duck, that I can do because I am familiar with ducks, and what sound they make, so I can do that – but, I don’t know father..

I’ve watched many interact with their fathers and I’ve heard many talk of their special bond and relationships with their fathers. Socially growing up hearing statements like “daddy’s little girl” and “daddy’s little princess”, but none I can resonate with, I’m not familiar with father.

I’ve been brought up by a man who I love dearly, who I call Daddy, who took me under his Dumplin’ kneading, Salt Fish frying, Bread Pudding baking arms and raised me as his own. However, there was a reminder – somewhat constant, that he – despite his love and care and dedication to me, was not my father – I am not familiar with father.

This I found a challenge in my spiritual life. I see God as God, and I see God as Sovereign, Lord, Creator, King, Judge, Ruler.. all these dominant, strong, overarching somewhat distant figures .. but there is heart to the word father that you do not get with the others, a different connection, a sense of belonging and relationship, a connection and relation. But, I struggle, because I just don’t have that natural relational connection in me to then turn to God in the same (or similar) way. I dont even know if that’s the point.. I am just not familiar with father…

SO…  I decided to stick a pin in it as it was winding me up ever so slightly – I moved on to something else.. Adoption! This I can become familiar with.. this I can do!  I sat with my King James Concordance Bible – Yes I’m old school. Looked up the word ADOPTION and read every scripture – over and over and over. I can become familiar with adoption.

ADOPTION.jpg

I went through a time of wanting to adopt a cat. I went to my local animal welfare trust and spent many weekends looking at cat after cat after cat. I never ended that process of getting one, but this process reminded me of this process of Spiritual Adoption. The adoption process is one of choice ultimately. It’s about saying –  you don’t belong to me, but I choose to make you mine. It’s about seeing what you want, and deciding to make it yours. Often times there is a chance to find out about said “thing”.. good, bad and in-between, and still, having known all about this “thing” deciding – yes – I will take this one! Where as being born to a man and him having no choice but to be called a father by default, this adoption process is about choice – I choose to do this! My own father made the choice not to do this, something I didn’t think he had choice to do.. lo and behold he found some and boy has he exercised it..

In my next few blogs I will take you through my journey and share how I have become familiar with and settled with the line of Adoption. While I still know God to be Father, for me to establish that parent-child like relationship with God that allows me to be more dependant on Him like a child would to a parent, I need to get there, and this seems to be my route into relationship that’s not so distant.

See you next time where my first scripture will be from Ezekiel 16: 8 … go read it!

Ok, I’ll be nice and quote it for you:

 “When I passed by you again, I looked at you, and noticed that it was your proper time for love. I spread my cloak over you to cover your nakedness. I made a solemn promise to you and entered into a covenant with you,” declares the Lord GOD. “You belong to me”

That’s the International Standard Version. The King James Version put it this way, and I will explain why this version hit home with me more next time:

“Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine”

See you soon. x

 

What you hold true governs you.

Truth affects our belief systems. What we believe of God is a base on what we know and what we hold to be true of God, or the version of truth that we hold about God.

What we hold true affects our Belief Systems and also governs a lot of who and what we are. It is important that we have full comprehension of where it comes from and what we hold true. Prov 23:23 suggests we buy the truth and sell it not.

In the days of the Apostles the challenge was not about believing if Jesus was who he says he was, as he was with them. The challenge was more physical torment and captivity. However, Jesus was sure to ensure his followers were very clear as to who he is when he asked them “who do YOU say that I am” Math 16; 13-20. I always find that scripture interesting as Jesus starts of with asking Peter about what he knows of the opinion of others. While this is good to know, Jesus changed the point of the question to a more important point – who do YOU say that I am? While the opinion of others is great, and being able to regurgitate the thoughts and opinions of others if finr.. when all that is done with… where do you YOU stand regarding who God is?

The enemy is looking to challenge what we know to be true about God. Knowing that he can not change who God is, he has no power to do that, but what he will do is question our understanding in aims of loosening our belt of truth with hopes that things will start to slip and drop out of place.

If the truth is compromised it has the direct reflection on the belief systems and perceptions. This was evident from the very book of Genesis. Gen 3: 1-4 the devil entered into dialogue with Eve. Now while he did not call God an outright liar, neither did he hold eve at ransom until she took the fruit, he simply suggested an alternative to what it was that God had said. He simply planted a seed. This is how quickly our belt can be loosened. And just like the natural belt when its no longer functional, parts of the garment started to drop and all of a sudden they have disobeyed God and are now hiding because they felt naked.

Their nakedness was never a problem before because they were in the presence of God, they were covered, being engulfed in the righteousness of God. Their belt was tight all this time as there was no question in who God was or what God had said, and this was evident in their belief system, and as a result governed their actions. However, as soon as that belt was made defective, the covering was dropped, and they felt naked.

2 Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Jesus provides us with an example of how to handle these situations. After 40 days of fasting, the devil looks to have a conversation with Jesus. He makes several offers to him, but each time Jesus responds with the undiluted, unquestionable word of God. This is indeed the Sword of the Spirit, sharper than any two edged sword. When these things come to challenge what the knowledge of God that we hold true, we use the word of God. Our own words wont cut it. Our own opinions wont cut it. Use the word of God.

We need to be real careful of the things that run through our mind. Rom 7:25 lets us know “So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God”. The mind is very much a battle ground. The enemy is looking to plant seeds that will simply challenge our knowledge of God. From the beginning the enemy was looking to exalt himself above God, but since that plan failed he is now looking to challenge what we know about God. He cant defy God, but he will look to loosen our belts any way he can.

My beloveds – guard your minds. Remember is a battle ground.

Supporting the Single Parents in Zion

Ministry to Single Parents.

A few months ago I shared my heart on the the topic of being a single mother in a very old school Apostolic church. Following that article I was asked to share my views on what the church need to be doing for us single mothers and indeed fathers in church. While I cant speak for the single fathers, I am sure some of the 5 points below can be crossed over into a ministry for them too.

Let me know your thoughts.. Do any of your churches “CATER” too or for your single parents, if so what does it look like?

What we need is:
1. Acceptance: Within a church that is so intently (and rightly so) on marriage and the wholeness of marriage, we are dropped in the category of the broken, raising children in broken homes. This often feels as though our family unit is somewhat second class to that of a two-parent family. It should not matter how we have come to this single parent status, the fact is we are still mothers and we are still women. We still encounter the same feeling and struggles as any other women or mothers, it’s just that out circumstances are different. It’s important that the circumstance does not overshadow the core needs that still need to be met.
2. Understanding Our Priorities: Often we are not appropriately catered to as no one really understands what our priorities are. The typical marriage or family aimed seminars don’t always cater to single parents. We often get thrown into singles seminars with the perception that singleness is our priority – no – parenting is. Doing an adequate job of getting this little life from A – B as best as humanly possible is our priority.
3. Be Practical: Physical needs must be addressed and considered before you attempt to deal with the spiritual needs. The offer of prayer is a nice one, and to know that someone is praying for us is a blessing, but practically, the needs and demands in that of a single parent home can be very overwhelming. Generally, our pressures (much like any other home) circle around; Child care, Housing, Finance and Parenting. Consider the contribution to these. Additionally, considering we are so well informed about the impact it has on girls growing up without their fathers, or for boys who grow up without their fathers – the men’s ministry should be equipped and ready to step in as male figures in their life. Offering money in this case is not the practical solution here, engage with these daddy less daughters, engage with these fatherless sons. Don’t just assume the role is being covered, and don’t accept a weekend visit from their own biological fathers to
be sufficient. Be proactive and practical in addressing the needs.
4. Then Go Spiritual: Along the journey to single parenthood some women have encountered and come through some very traumatic childhoods, harsh and abusive relationships, heart breaking break ups (and downs) of marriages. Many of us are wounded and exhausted – at times limiting our initial ability to serve. For this period of time we need just that, time, patients and most of all love. Love Covers All. Many have to learn to trust again forgive again, overcome the past, have our hearts mended while learning to forgive ourselves. This takes time. The implementation of mentors – where older women are matched with younger women who are to provide a line of accountability for her as well as a safe place to be human.
5. Allow Us To Grow: Serving in the church allows mothers to feel a part of the fellowship rather than an outcast being held up by their past. This act as a healing for the mother and adds value not only to the church but to the Kingdom. This will come via encouragement from the body to serve and personal invitation to continue to do so. If there is an identified gifting / ministry identified – fan the flame! Encourage and support the growth, support the development.

Keep Your Eyes On God

Where are your eyes? Often time the things we see go on to affect our subsequent action. It’s important that we as believers have a grip on what and where our focus is.

To be focused is to keep our attention on Him.

Matthew 14:24-31 KJV

But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

A good place to put your eyes and focus: Psalms 121:1-2 KJV I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the Lord , which made heaven and earth.

The benefits of keeping your focus on God, He’s the only one with insights into your future. Jeremiah 29:11 KJV For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

When you face trials it can be very easy, in fact too easy as its a natural human reaction to be fixated on what seems like the greater power – the problem. But God’s words provide us with the assurance we need to make a choice to focus on God who has all power.Job 23:10 KJV But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

If you wanted to know the ins and outs of a story, who better to talk to than the actual author. God has predestined every aspect of our lives to the finest details. He has planned orchestrated our life in His wisdom and love. So who better to focus on and follow than God? He knows how the story ends.. #spoileralert WE WIN! Hebrews 12:2 KJV “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”

Life is full of distractions, often the aim of which is to plant our aims and hopes in a feeble, lesser power that will ultimately fail us. The enemy knows the power we would possess and the benefits we would obtain from just having MUSTARD SEED size faith in God.

Try Looking Away From:

– Yourself; beauty,  humanity,  skills, talent, own abilities. Prov 14:12 reminds us that; “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Each of us would have our preferred method of doing things, a way that makes sense to us. But we all need to take account of the fact that we are on a journey, one that has a very particular route that we are require to keep to if we want to make it to the promise land. It’s not really about us, but what it is that God would have us do at all times. Not my will!

-Man : expectations of another humans: Jeremiah 17:5-8 , “Thus saith the Lord ; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord .  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord , and whose hope the Lord is.  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” The scripture goes on to talk about how wicked the heart can be and that it cant be trusted. Often times we assume others intentions towards us are good and would want the best for us, but this is not always the case. Again, who better to trust than your creator.
-Alternatives: stop looking for everyone else and everything else. People in the 3rd world and deprived nations only have God,  which is why they seemingly receive so much from God. They literally have no other helper. They have no plan B, they have no back-up plan, they have no other person to call other than Jesus. This is trusting the Lord with ALL your heart. Not looking at or even considering others, simply  looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12.2)

-The situation/ environment : the winds the waves, the fire. Refuse and Reject anxiety,  worried, fears. He that keepeth Israel neither slubers or sleeps. (Ps 120) He is very much aware of where you are and what you face.

-Looking back… God is Ahead!
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. Philippians 3:13.

My friend.. the wind will blow.. the storms will rage..life at times will flip you upside down. But its ok. This is life.. it’s not an all inclusive life time holiday in the Bahamas. The aim is to be presented back to God, having been born in sin, as pure gold. This is going to take some rough and tumble, some heat, some pain, some pressing, but keep your eyes on the end goal, be assured that God has got you. Be confident that He is ever present and He knows what He is doing!

What Do You Have?? – Red Sea Faith

Exodus 14 tells us of the account of the Children of Israel having come out of 400 years of slavery and now in some what of a predicament. They had made camp on the side of the sea, during this time the heart of the king of Egypt was full of regret for having let them go in the first place and had gathered 600 of his choice chariots and men of war and were set to recover the Children of Israel.

The children of Israel seeing these men in chariots and horses were very afraid. So much so they turned on Moses and asked him why he had taken them out of Egypt in the first place. They asked him if there wasn’t any graves in Egypt for them to die in why he had taken them to die in a wilderness! Moses did his best to encourage them to stand still and see the salvation of God, but at the same time he turned is concerns to God.. I often think that he too must have seen the army coming, the mountains on either side and this HUGE sea in front of them.While telling the people of God to be calm I can imagine that his own heart must have been going a mile a minute wondering to himself “God.. what now??”

This is a common position for the believer. Feeling like we have no where to turn. We cant even go back, because of the evil that way. Many of us would never consider going back due to the people and lifestyle that occupy those paths.. Cant go left or right because there are mountains there. These represent large blockages, things that seem bigger than us, situations that seem to tower over us with an impenetrable presence. Fear.. Doubt.. Shame.. The Past.. you know the mountains I talk about. In front of you .. a Sea. This can often times represent things that would look to drown us, carry us away, sweep us off our feet.. for me this is things like emotions, perceptions etc. These things move and change and can be of silent but great force if allowed the freedom to do so. They were at what seemed like a dead end.

bible-archeology-red-sea-crossing

Sometimes we are come to these dead end places in our lives, just so that God can get our attention. Moses and the Children of Israel had no where else to look. The Children of Israel had followed Moses out of Egypt. He had been the instigator of this move being driven by God. Physically they had followed him out, hence why at the first sign of trouble (and often times in there 40 yrs of wondering) they turned to Moses and looked to blame him. But Moses, knowing his position had no where else but to turn, but to God.

Sometimes we too get reliant on individuals being there to lead us out of a situation that we forget that it is GOD who has called us, its GOD who has made all the promises to be there and help us, its GOD who has seen our end from our beginning.. Sometimes these dead end situations come where we have no where to look other than UP!

And the interesting thing about it. While Moses is looking up and looking for God to intervene – God is looking right back at Moses and asking him what he has in his hands.

You see sisters.. we are a finished work. Jesus uttered three words before He died on the cross.. It, Is, Finished. All that was needed to be done was done. This plan of redemption that was put in place before the foundation of the world (remember there are no surprises to God, so the fall of man from the Garden was not the start of the plan, just part of the plan). God hasn’t got anything more to be doing now. He’s finished. This situation was not a surprise to God for Him now to try and figure a way out for them.. Moses had this rod.. probably of no real significance to him – until now..!

God told him to stretch out the thing he already had in his possession. This is an example of the finished work of God. Our deliverance is often time in our own possession. That little pot of oil that the woman had in her house – likely she felt it was of no use, not what she needed being in debt and her sons about to be taken from her. It was of such little value that when she was asked what is in your house she said – nothing.

Sisters – the means to your deliverance is already in your possession. Often times its that thing we have been doing for years, that thing we do without thinking, that little praise that you have left in you, that verse of scripture that you have remembered from Sunday School that just turns up, the one and only verse of the song you know, even the one line of a song. The rod was not only for the deliverance of Moses, but the Children of Israel. The pot of oil the mother had didn’t only get her out of debt and save her the heart ache of loosing her children, but it saved the lives of her sons.. and buy selling the oil, she was making provision for others!!!!

If you have been brought to a situation – remember the work of Calvary is one that is completed. God is not watching you enter a situation and then having to try and figure things out, your deliverance is already at hand, its already present, its already available.

I will leave you with the same question the Prophet asked the woman.. and God asked Moses… what do you have!!??

 

 

Belt of Absolute Truth

Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the whole armour of God that we might be able to fight in this spiritual warfare that we as believers are constantly engaged in. The one part of the armour that always engages me is that of the Belt of Absolute Truth..

armor-of-god-belt-of-truth

Truth:

  • The quality or state of being true
  • Fact or belief that is accepted
  • In accordance with fact or reality
  • Something that is true: Accurate, Exact, Without variation, Bring an object into exact shape or position.

Belt:

  • Worn to support or hold in clothes or carry weapons
  • Continuous band of material used in machinery to move something from one wheel to another
  • Implement of punishment

What we consider to be TRUTH affects our belief system. What we believe of God is based on what we know and hold to be true of God. Belief Systems go on to govern a lot of who and what we are. It is important that we have full comprehension of where our truth comes from and what it is we hold true. Prov 23:23 says buy the truth and sell it not.

This is why words are so impact-full on children as they believe all they are told, they hold it true. These words form the basis of what they believe they are, what they believe they are capable of. The absence of absolute truth is also damaging, as often the truth is now based on a) the opinions of others or b) ones imaginations. Often in the absence of the truth, the mind will make up in formation in aims of having something to base future actions and beliefs on. People govern their entire life on what they hold to be true. Wars are started, prejudices are established, divisions are created all over what we hold to be true.

In the days of the apostles the challenge was not so much about what they believed of Jesus to be true. It was not a challenge to prove Jesus’s existence or if He said what He said. They were with Him pretty much night and day so anything He said, they heard for themselves, the challenge on them was physical. For someone to tell them Jesus didn’t exist wouldn’t be much of a challenge as they could simply point Him out.

The challenge of who Jesus is and the words He has said is for us – now that they physical person of Jesus is no longer with us. The enemy is looking to challenge what and who you know to be true, knowing that if he can loosen that belt, other things like your breastplate of righteousness will start to slip, your sword will start to slip, you shield will slip and fall out of place. If the truth is compromised it has as direct effect and reflection on your belief system and perceptions and ultimately your level of faith.

If you read in the word of God that He is a healer, and you hold this to be true. When you encounter sickness, your Belt of Absolute Truth is holding the Sword of the Spirit firmly in place which is the Word of God that allows you to repeat and confess that by His stripes you were healed. If you didn’t hold it to be true, likely your sword would not be in place to allow you to enter into warfare against the sickness because your Belt of Absolute Truth was not adequate,it wasn’t secure enough.

Before Jesus left it was important and crucial for Him to ensure that the disciples were settled and assured in their minds as to what it was they believed. He needed to ensure the quality of their truth basis. While Jesus was with them He was able to direct, govern, steer and direct them. He was able to step in when their faith was little, or when they were sinking, or when multitudes needed to be fed, but He knew that there was coming a time that they would need to be grounded in the truth of who God is as it’s only that, that would go on to govern their belief and their level of faith.

He asked the disciples in Mark 8:27 – “Who do men say that I am?”, they gave their answers. Now while it was ok that they could repeat the opinions of others, the question was changed to establish a more important point. “who do YOU say that I am?”. What other people have to say about God and His word is not sufficient enough to base your own belief system on. The opinions of others are likely and susceptible to change. Additionally, when you are faced with war, you are not able to draw another man’s sword from their belt, this must be from you own belt. Jesus wanted to hear what their truth basis was, what their foundation was, what their grounding was based on. What do YOU know to be true?

It is important that our truth is based on the word of God – only. John 1:1 states that in the beginning was the word, and that the word was with God, and that the word WAS God. John 17:17 Jesus in prayer said “ Sanctify them through thy truth, for thy word is truth”. In these two scriptures we understand that God is His word and that His word stands as absolute truth. We understand sanctification to be the process of separation and being set apart. This is what the absolute truth of the word of God does, it separates. Separates you from doubt, from fear, from confusion, from lies, from sin to name a few. When you are presented with something that comes to challenge the word of God, the Word of God stands as truth and separates you from lies.

What happens when what we hold true is compromised? Consider it literally, if your belt is there to keep your clothes in place, if it becomes loose you’re likely to be left in compromising positions, exposed and ultimately in shame. Consider Adam and Eve in Genesis 3;4. Considering all this time their belt was tight, they knew what God had told Adam, that if you eat of the tree you shall surely die. Now when the devil came to converse with Eve he didn’t challenge IF God had said what He said, that much he could not do.. but instead he challenge WHAT God had said – in aims to loosen the belt. Adam and Eve eat of the tree and as soon as they did, as soon as the belt of truth was compromised and removed you see they automatically felt naked, and ashamed, so much so that they felt the need to cover themselves.

Before this they were fully covered, their righteousness was in place, their belt was in place, their shield was in place, their sword was in place, but as soon as that belt of absolute truth was compromised everything came out of place and they were naked, exposed and in shame.

How can we stop ourselves falling into this? 2 Cor 10:15 says “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” we have to be a )solid in what we hold true so that we are able to combat with the Sword of the Spirit and b) be vigilant to bring down every and anything that would look to exalt itself above the word and knowledge of God. We will constantly be challenged as to what we know is true, and what God can do, but if we are fully grounded in the Word of God, if we have the Word of God in our mouth we are less likely to be found naked and in shame. Your own feeling will often even look to challenge you and loosen your belt. There is no challenge to say your feelings are not real, but the basis of your reactions and further actions are based on you belt of truth – If God said it, so I believe it.

Single Mother In Church

Please know that we love God too…

For many of us who have grown up in Apostolic, Pentecostal, Old School, Foot Stamping, Hat Wearing, Hand Clapping ( you get the picture) churches, we’ve listened to message after message about the backsliders, and the girls that left church “for a man”, the ones that trimmed their way to find love, having babies out of wedlock and many other saying and labels for how a woman became a single mother. And for many of us to now be that woman who is spoken of in not so favourable light is enough a burden to carry let alone all the other things that come along with being a single mother in this day and age. But God’s grace has been sufficient, so much to the point that we are here, we turn up, we came back.

Single mother in Zion.. not a biblical concept by any means but this is how we stand, we can never seem to detach for the single mother element of who we are. Like we are the ones who have made the mistake, and while others can repent and run on with no evidence of what they did and it just remains a “Me and Jesus” testimony, but not so for us, we can’t cover this. They are in Sunday School, well dressed and on time, they are collecting offering, proudly too. They are there, front row, tambourine and drum sticks at the ready, just waiting for the next lively chorus – they are a new life, guilt free and ready to go, but little do they know how much effort it took for mummy to be at church today.

The question remains, are we really accepted when we come back with buggy and baby? Are we forgiven by the fellowship? This is important.

We know that our actions cause pain to the body let alone God our Father, but often times there is a sense of un-forgiveness that lingers. Unspoken, Nonverbal, but very present. Almost as if we are to prove ourselves before we are accepted back into the fold.

You’d have to be a prodigal daughter to know what it feels like to come home, from years of vanity and pride. Yes, we all know what happened, but there seems to be a struggle to celebrate something that only exists as a result of a sinful act. Do I hang my head in shame forever, or am I free to quote the Psalmist David and confess that “The fruit of the womb is HIS reward? Can my child, born of a sinful act still be the reward of God?

Now while our Father is good to throw down and kill anything with a heartbeat to celebrate at the return of His child, here comes the brother/sister. You’d expect them to just be glad to see you home, but that’s not always the case. There are the quiet rumbles of – why? How comes she gets that? She does not deserve that! Not only is it a hard and scary thing to lone parent, but to also return to a church where my choice(s) (In the past, under the blood and in the sea of His forgetfulness mind you) are so frowned upon – and – the monument- nay testimony of those choices follows us to church every Sunday. We can’t hide what happened, we can’t even forget about it and pretend it never happened – we have to daily make a choice to accept that the blood of Jesus covers us too. That He loves us too. That He cares for us too.

Many of us put on a brave face for church along with the rest of the attire, and if asked we will tell you and swear blind we are fine. But the truth is while we are working full time, studying at night, trying to make ends meet, trying to ensure we don’t make a mess of our child’s life, keeping up with homework so the schools don’t complain, often time feeling inadequate for the tasks at hand, as well as trying to be at church on time and enough times to stop the speculations of you backsliding again, things can become very overwhelming. Oftentimes we would just appreciate someone celebrating the fact that we have turned up in one piece.

Saints, please appreciate that us who are single mothers of this day and age do not have it like you had it back in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s even the 80’s. You who can testify of leaving you children at home while you went to prayer meeting didn’t have the threat of neighbours who would call social services for you and you would return to a note telling you where to find your children. You lived as a unit, and a community, nowadays you can’t even leave your buggy outside your house while you unload your shopping without it being stolen (true story!), and as strange as my neighbours are I wouldn’t ask them to watch my goldfish let alone my children. These are VERY different times we live in – and honestly, its hard work.

Now we are not asking you to condone our choices. We are not even asking you to sign up to a babysitting contract, but we are asking you to be mindful of the fact that while we have made mistakes, we love Jesus too. We are not defined by our missing fathers, or struggles to keep up, we are hardworking and dedicated to providing the best for our children. We are in church and bring the testimonies to church. We are still here because we love God too. We are women and we are mothers – how we got there does not define who we are in Christ.

With Love

Sisters Daily x

 

Frontline Service

In the last two month my church lost two of the original founders of our organisation. The church has been going for 50 yrs and these are the first of the pillars to be laid to rest. One a mother and one a father to the church. One a sure Deborah of her time.. full of the word WITH fire.. the other a Jeremiah of his time.. he didnt need a mic or a conference to preach sinners to repentance, often found on the high roads and town centres preaching the gospel.

I was asked to write my thoughts for a project and this is what I came up with. It fell in line nicely to tribute my Mother Flowers and Elder Clarke

What does it mean to be on the Front Line.
It’s a position our elders held for Some Time.
They took it serious it was not just for the Sunshine.
This was a call in to fight Big Time.

Their stories started often in the Night-Time. Singing songs like when His wounded hands Touched Mine.
When they were converted and took on His Bloodline.
Making Jesus Christ their Saviour took No Time.

Sin became a Past Time and automatically it was Crunch Time
This was No Time for the Sometime but High Time to fall In Line.

Being on the Front Line wasn’t always Fun TIme. But the reward of the righteous was looking Sublime
Singing songs like Jesus is on the Mainline Comforted by the fact that their God was always On Time

The lives of our forefathers that Brush Mine, taught me the importance of staying In Line Praying always and developing my relationship Over Time
Because the crown of Glory surely won’t go to the Unsigned
And between heaven and hell – just a Thin Line.

So to the young and the Old who remain on the Front Line
You stand fast and remain Online
Don’t be afraid it’s gonna be a Tough Time
But know your reward was settled in Heavens way Before Time