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DAY 33 SOUL FAST – CONTINUING

DAY 33 SOUL FAST – CONTINUING

VALIDATING ME

Only I can validate me, my own life and existence this side of Heaven by what I do here on earth. What I don’t want to do is leave a legacy of pain and dysfunction for my children to inherit.  I’ve come to realize that the work that I do on myself has a monumental effect on my children and everyone that I come in contact with. Walking through the fire of purification, feeling the pain of disconnecting from the attachment to this world is the only way to get to the other side – healing for my soul. I don’t know if this makes any sense…the pain that I felt putting bandaids on my deep wounds and pretending everything was all good was far more painful than the pain I feel from allowing God to heal me. Going through His healing process is a good hurt albeit painful as well. I can’t imagine believing and serving a God who didn’t have the power to deliver me and radically change my life. To me, that would be stupid. Why would I purposely set myself up for more hurt, suffering and disillusionment. I’ve had enough of that to last my whole life through.

The whole purpose of going on this 40 Day Soul Fast, was to get rid of all the residual junk in my life so that I can experience God in a deeper more profound way. I want the life that God says I can have not something that I settle for because I don’t have the guts to leap from the window of my life into the arms of God. What I want, I don’t want just for myself. I want it for my children and everybody I know. Especially, those that I’ve watched suffer for years and have been unable to tap God and break free from the things that they are held captive to. I just see existing. The depth of my relationship with God depends entirely upon me. I believe that in order to tap God, I have to aspire to be like Him. I don’t believe that I can be empowered by Him and live any way that I want to. The Book says that He is the same yesterday, today and forever more. He hasn’t changed. His word has not evolved to the point of supporting wrong living in His name.

BEING SET APART

For me the 40 Day Soul Fast is the foundation of my personal sanctification. The more time that I spend time with God through His word, the clearer the picture gets. The process of sanctification is the catalyst to Spiritual Empowerment. It is the only way to the standard of righteousness required to fulfill the call of God on my life and to leave the legacy I desire to my children. The spiritual legacy that I’ve been given has been a buffer from the world. I believe that it’s the only reason that I’m still here. I lived to testify about it, when so many that I know are gone; lost to the world in one way or another the opportunity to get it right with God gone. My children have had the opportunity to see me on both sides of the fence. They like me better on the right side I use my experiences on the wrong side as a tool to highlight the benefits of right living – righteousness. There are some things they will never do – my suffering was not in vain! Nevertheless, I can’t live their lives for them. Some things they’ll have to experience for themselves. All I can do is set the bar – it’s a high one for them to reach for. That coupled with living a good Christian life before them. Setting a standard for them to follow – to pass on to their children.  My greatest hope – my continuous prayer is that the baton will not be dropped but will continue to pass on to generation after generation – continue.

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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Life, Religion, Uncategorized

 

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DAY 32 SOUL FAST – PARTNERING

DAY 32 SOUL FAST – PARTNERING

JOINED IN SPIRIT

What I love about this 40 Day Soul Fast is that each day it reaffirms something that God has already revealed the importance of. Confirmation from a source outside of myself is necessary part of my process. I have many acquaintances; however, the people that I have meaningful relationships with are those that I’m joined to in spirit to by our faith in God. For me these partnerships are an essential part of my journey. People that can speak a word of life into my spirit. Encourage me with the word of God; and also bring me back into line when I get off track by that same word. Although I know scores of good church going folks, there are only a handful that I’m truly connected with. I have found that I can’t nor do I want to live in the world by myself. The wonderful thing about this leg of the journey is that God has blessed me with a partner in spirit – my housemate. It’s already made an incredible difference in my life to have a solid spiritual foundation – a prayer covering on my home front.  We have peace in our home because we are both in line with God and actively pursuing His will for our lives. Our environment is charged with the Spirit of God. A wonderful change from the conflict, chaos and confusion of being surrounded by people at times whose journey was in direct conflict to mine. I found the people that I surround myself with – that I partner with either bring to my life spiritual nourishment or toxicity.  Atmosphere is everything thus I choose carefully. One well or misplaced person in my life can be of help or a hinderance on the road to destiny.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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DAY 31 SOUL FAST – HELPING

DAY 31 SOUL FAST – HELPING

WHAT I DO BEST

I begin this week with a new determination – a resolve to continue pressing forward into the home stretch of The 40 Day Soul Fast. I never imagined that it would take my whole summer to complete. Day thirty-one’s focus is on what I do best – helping others. Growing up, we didn’t have much, but we always had more than somebody. Being raised on the pew and with  several generations of ministry ungirding me, I was trained to be there for others – to serve. It’s so deeply ingrained in me, that when I’m not helping other people, I just don’t feel right. The challenge for me is not helping others but finding balance; time for myself and family. I have found that being of service – of use to others is not about finding a local homeless shelter and putting in the work with the downtrodden. I have done that, as well as worked in/with soup kitchens, single mothers, dope fiends, drunks, prostitutes, community agencies, etc., etc., etc.! What I’ve discovered at least for me is that God’s work through me continues to evolve as I do. I’m excited as I expectantly look forward to this next chapter unfolding. I’ve been working on developing it for the past year. In the meantime as I work towards the longterm, I’m always willing to take an interim assignment.  The biggest factor in being used by God to make a difference in somebody’s life is WILLINGNESS. In order for God’s will to be done thru me I stand willing to be taken out of my comfort zone. I’m willing to be inconvenienced – I will get out of my bed at dark thirty, bundle my son up and ride out into the night. I will go the extra mile when required to make sure somebody’s okay before I move on. When God tells me to, I will reach into my pocket and give someone every bill and dime in it without counting it first, and trust God for my provision. I don’t have to be recognized, and no, you don’t owe me anything. God takes very good care of me. I pray that I never wake up and find myself unwilling to do what I can for somebody who truly needs it; that my humanity is never diminished to that point, where it’s all about me and no else matters.

 
 

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DAY 30 SOUL FAST – COMPASSION

DAY 30 SOUL FAST – COMPASSION

WASHED ASHORE

As I slowly regain consciousness, my face smashed in the wet sand, the waves gently nudging me to get up.  I open my eyes, spitting out the salty water of the world and breathing in God. I’ve been in this place for more than a week. My mind, body, emotions and spirit are completely depleted of their natural resources. On day thirty of the Soul Fast, I find myself completely overwhelmed – washed ashore. Dr. Trimm, said this would be a period of blessing unlike anything I’ve ever experienced – life altering. I hung onto that hope from mid Spring Semester to it’s end. What I’ve been through the last few days, have altered my personal definition of what a blessing from God is.  Generally, when I think of a blessing from God, I think of something tangible – material, i.e., stuff. According to the Ancient Hebrew Research Center, “The extended meaning of this word is to do or give something of value to another.” It doesn’t define what “value” is.  God has redefined it for me.

CRAIG’S LIST PSYCHO THRILLER

When I have time, the movies I most enjoy watching are psycho thrillers. I love the suspense, the unpredictability, the psychology of the psycho paths that some dedicated profiler is trying to outwit and bring to justice. Sometimes it’s a jail cell,  often it ends with the perpetrator occupying a slab at the morgue, and when there is a sequel –  disappears until another day. I could not have fathomed that when God blessed me – translating me from the bungalow in a quaint close nit community near the local college to the estate I now share with a devout Christian woman and her two children, that it would be the backdrop of a Craig’s List psycho thriller. I had no idea that I would be given a starring role.  As I am still recovering from this ordeal, I’m grateful that my mind has necessarily detached itself from it.

Just before I came to live at The Light House, which our estate is so named, my housemate, “Ann” responded to a post on Craig’s List. She needed a live in to take care of her mother. Her mother’s house is adjacent to ours on the property too.  She needed someone who was strong enough to help manage the mother’s care as she has a bad back and is unable to do so. “Jim,” presented himself as a Christian who had been out of fellowship for a bit and anxious to get back on course. He said that this setup would be ideal as he wanted to go back to school and would be taking online courses in the fall so he’d be home most of the time. He wasn’t a male nurse; however, he had some experience providing caregiving. She hired him, things seemed to be going well then they began to quickly transform. It became obvious that Jim wasn’t qualified for the job. Being the kind person she is, Ann, tried to bring him up to speed. Some things he absolutely refused to do that were essential to her mother’s care like prepare balanced meals. His idea of lunch was a corn dog and a bag of cookies. When Ann began to question him he became belligerent, verbally abusive, and extremely aggressive to the point that she was afraid to go to her own mother’s house.

One day, I asked her if she was okay. That’s all it took for the tears and the story to come forth. The larger picture for her was that this interaction with the caregiver guy, Jim, took her back to a place of deep wounding and unresolved hurt. It took her back to the abuse that she was subjected to by her ex-husband, “Tom,” while they were married. When Jim talked stupid to her, she actually heard, “Tom.” When Jim would rear up on her, she remembered Tom hitting her. The fear that I saw, was the fear of an abused woman, who could not walk out of that place within herself and through this alone. There’s more, that I won’t get into – this was a complete, total mind screw. Not only of Ann but the manipulation of her Mom too. That place that Jim took them to was dark and scary. He was in control or so he thought.

Because she needed someone right away to care for her Mom, she did not do all the stuff she should have: reference checks, background checks, etc. As we’d later find out, this guy had three criminal charges in Riverside County, CA.

DOING THE RIGHT THING

When I looked into the face of my housemate as this was unfolding, and saw the magnitude of her fear, my heart was moved with compassion. As the enemy came in like a flood, threatening the lives of us all it never occurred to me to take my eight year old son and go visit my Mom until the smoke cleared and the dust settled. This was real life and that wasn’t about to happen! How is it that God would give me, a virtual stranger, the responsibility for the lives of three generations of a family? I now understand how crime scenes happen. Crazy people know how to stay just out of reach of the police; and when they are ready to make their move the police are too late and everybody’s dead. Over the course of two days Jim sent over 400 threatening text messages demanding money to stop the harassment that the police called “freedom of speech.” He also stole three guns from the house.

Perhaps the redeeming factor to my repertoire of sin is that God has sent me to walk with others thru seasons of hard testing and trials. God has placed me in situations throughout my life that I just could not walk away from – not and be able to live with myself in the aftermath.  I know what it’s like to be abandoned and left for dead. I wasn’t going to stand by and let this nut hold an old woman hostage in her own house, continue to terrorize Ann or put fear in the hearts of her children! I was filled with righteous indignation – what a coward. However, what I couldn’t do is fight this battle for Ann. Even with her permission, I wasn’t going to go down to her Mom’s house and put him out.  She had to do it for herself and her kids needed to see her empowered, in control, and standing up to protect the homestead.

THE REAL BLESSING

The last few days have been quiet on the home front. Hopefully, this melodrama is truly over. The real blessing in it all was this past Sunday, the Grandmother celebrated her 86th birthday surrounded by her children, grandchildren and scores of extended family members and friends. Ann was able to push past her fear that had her bound and find the strength within herself to overcome the abuse in her life. Her four children were able to find a place a safety and the security of knowing that their mother could protect them.

The real blessing for me was learning how to take care of myself in the aftermath of ministry…that I didn’t have to drown after swimming that family to shore. That was not required.

A WORD OF CAUTION

Needless to say, our house is on lockdown day and night as we pick up the pieces of our lives and move forward. The man who wreaked such havoc in our lives: his initials are TTS; DOB 8/3/66; Drivers license has a Palm Springs address. He is a white male, approximately 5’8″ tall – 160 lbs. Clean cut, well kept and articulate. It’s worth the extra time to check out any potential live in caregiver. I thank God for seeing us thru this and pray that no one goes thru what we did.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Christianity, Life, Uncategorized

 

DAY 29 SOUL FAST – SOWING

DAY 29 SOUL FAST – SOWING

BLACK OR WHITE

My mother is very simplistic in her approach to life. The lens in which she views the world is either black or white. My mother used to always say that I would reap what I sowed. A simple phrase that reflected her displeasure and disappointment with my then life outside of the will of God. She’s not well read, so I doubt that she’s ever read this quote

Sow a thought, and you reap an act; sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit and your reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny” Charles Reade

MY MIND WAS AN EMPTY FIELD

When I consider Charles Reade’s words, I can look back over my life and see my successes and defeats from a different perspective. Things that I didn’t understand make perfect sense now. I now have the answers that escaped me to the “whys.” At one point in my life my mind was but an empty field. At some point, no doubt before birth the cultivation of it began. Seeds were sowed into it from various sources (mom, dad, siblings, teachers, neighbors, etc) and my thought of myself and the world around me began to take form. Those thoughts were fertilized or deprived nutrients as I grew that brought about certain behaviors. As the garden of my mind was tended and sharecropped by the educational system, some weeds were pulled, others overlooked all growing up together to produce a myriad of habits. Some of these habits stymied while others flourished creating the character that’s now present- visible for all to see.The character as long as it remains unhindered in its current state by the undesirable parts of itself that grew up along with it will walk into destiny. Now, that quite a bit of food for thought.

SOMETIMES I STRUGGLE

Sometimes, I struggle because of the seeds that have been planted in my by God and the world. Sometimes they war against each other. The challenge is continuously pulling up the world’s weeds i.e.,  it’s ideology, habits, etc.;and nurturing, watering the seed of the word that is planted deep within me that has had to struggle to survive amidst the tares.

 
 

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DAY 28 SOUL FAST-POTENTIAL

DAY 28 SOUL FAST-POTENTIAL

Potential is the segue between where I am and where God wants me to be. A continuum to my destination. In other words more consistent, intentional action is required of me until arrive. I don’t believe that happenstance will deliver me to destiny’s door. If that were true I would have already arrived. Nor would I have to spend the countless hours each week that I do preparing myself for the new. The Book says it best, “…I do not account of myself to have laid hold; but one thing I do: Forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before, I pursue toward the goal for the prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.” Philippians 3:13-14. And the mission for today, continues…

 

 

 

 
 

DAY 27 SOUL FAST – LEGISLATING

DAY 27 SOUL FAST – LEGISLATING

I AM WHO GOD SAYS I AM

Over these past many weeks of this 40 Day Soul Fast, one of my biggest challenges has been believing the God who I believe; and believing who I am in Him. Believing who I am beyond intellect, on a heart level – in my soul. The revelation – the epiphany for me was that until I believed that I am who God says I am, at my core that I would never possess the spiritual power to do what God says I can do through Christ. Understanding this regulates my fundamental ability to legislate as an heir to the Kingdom of God. To declare and decree with authority. When I got it, it made me truly realize that my words that I speak have tremendous power and are the catalyst to destiny as long as they are spoken from a pure heart, intent and motive. Declaring the word of God in line with His will over my life, my loved ones and situations to bring manifestation of His plan and/or to bring about change in the world. God meant for the power of His word in my mouth to extend beyond me.

RESPONSIBILITY

Now here’s the hard part – where the struggle takes place for me –  R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y for that! It’s all mine. How far I evolve in Christ, is directly connected to me being responsible for my own existence as a Spiritual being. It’s one thing to understand who I am but it’s quite another to walk in it. To walk in the right shoes on a daily basis. To put on the Melba God has destined me to be; not the one He found on the side of the road.  First of all it has meant placing a value on it. It has to have meaning to me. I protect that which I value most. I’m reminded of this verse in the Book, “Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6 AMP. How many times has that happened to me? My relationship with God is sacred – holy. I don’t have to justify it but I must treasure it. It’s complex enough understanding all the dynamics myself. It’s not necessary for me to hold it up for scrutiny, ridicule or examination. In fact it’s the measuring tool by which everything else in my life should be evaluated and set in order. Perhaps the larger issue for me is being fully responsible for the truth of my life that it reveals. Being set apart to God and for the work of the Kingdom is the highest honor I can attain, when I put everything in perspective. So why is it that I’ve made this journey called life harder than it needed to be?

 
 
 
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