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DAY 37 SOUL FAST – TOLERANCE

DAY 37 SOUL FAST – TOLERANCE

Wow, everyday of this 40 Day Soul Fast I get exactly the word that I need. Tolerance is not about me condoning bad behavior, lifestyles I don’t necessarily agree with or things I think are wrong. It’s about me accepting each person’s God given right to choose what is right or wrong for themselves, believe what they want to believe and decide their own individual destiny. Everyone must choose their own path and I’ve got to be alright with that. It is not my job to fix people, only God can do that, and only if person allows Him to. My job as a human being is to love  and accept other human beings right where they are.

 

 
 

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DAY 35 SOUL FAST – MORALITY

DAY 35 SOUL FAST – MORALITY

Today’s lesson sums everything up very nicely and speaks to my heart’s desire – TO DO THE RIGHT THING, according to the word of God. When I fall short, as I often do, what brings me back into alignment is knowing that’s God’s expectation for me. That supersedes what I may want to do and society justifies. My goal is to live a decent, morally (not politically) correct life before God and my children. I’m human, fallible yet today I’m ever willing as I pray, “create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Christianity, Life, Uncategorized

 

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DAY 25 SOUL FAST – BECOMING

DAY 25 SOUL FAST – BECOMING

Stepping into God’s capacity, His plan is a bit overwhelming. It requires of me complete trust in Him and being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being willing to ride or die with Him beyond the finite possibilities of my own mind into the infinite realm of possibility that is beyond any impossibility that I could ever imagine. Beyond my desire for myself into His desire for me. I cannot realistically imagine the future that awaits me – that’s already been shaped, formed, sculpted by the Creator of the Universe. To become who I already am!

 

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DAY 17 SOUL FAST – RECEIVING

listening

 

I talk to people all of the time. However, it is a rare occasion indeed, that I have the pleasure of engaging in meaningful conversation. Over the past semester, I met a new friend who had an interest in filmmaking. Since this is my thing, I asked her if she’d like to come to the Lunafest Film Festival with me. To my surprise, I actually met someone who talks as much or more than I do. From the moment we began the drive we talked non-stop. We arrived an hour early. The reception hadn’t begun, however everything was all set up. The Festival sponsors welcomed us in. They gave us their pitch for and received an additional donation from each of for the cause the Festival supported. We were set up with scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. We then settled onto a leaning post where our conversation continued. We were so immersed in conversation that we didn’t notice the other three hundred and ninety-eight film goers enter the room. The only time that there was a lull in the conversation, was during the film series. Afterwards, we talked the entire fifty miles back to my house; and then sat outside another hour. Whew! Boy was I tired. That was a personal record for me. All total, we shared about eight hours of EFFORTLESS conversation. It just happened, flowed naturally.

My conversations with God, have not been as easy or engaging. At least not for Him. More or less, I’ve done all the talking. Rambling on and on. Talking at Him not to Him with no interval. He hasn’t been able to get a word in edgewise. To make matters worse, when I’m done I get up without excusing myself and just leave. Wow! If I was on the receiving end of that, I would think how rude! The embarrassing part of this for me, is that I’m breaking all of the rules of conversation that I’m trying to teach my eight year old son. It’s hard for my son to remember that an essential part of good conversation is listening. You hear with ears; but listen with your heart.

What I’ve found most amazing about this Soul Fast is that I intuitively find myself at the next junction, even before I know where it is. Each night after my son has been put to bed, I sit alone in the quiet of the night. There’s not much residue of the day left in my thoughts. This process has helped me to detach a great measure from the overwhelming amount of information that I was bombarded with online. As I sit with myself in the darkness, I’m uncomfortable in the silence. I guess that I’m waiting for God to break through it with rants that resemble my own. He hasn’t done that. He’s been quiet; waiting to see I suppose, that He has my undivided attention. Am I’m really listening? Perhaps after all of these years of being the other half of a virtually one-sided conversation He’s at a loss of where to begin. I can’t imagine what I’ve missed all of these many years. Listening for God’s still small voice is the only way to RECEIVE His impartation to me of divine wisdom and knowledge. Thus far, I haven’t heard anything. On this seventeen day, I’m actively listening; however, I’m unsure how long He’ll make me wait before He speaks to me.

 

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DAY 16 SOUL FAST – BELIEVING

Believe

 

Each time that I’ve evolved to a new level of accomplishment, being, change – I decided to with resolve. It was necessary. I was determined to and so it was. Was the catalyst for the change that happened in my life God or me? In some instances, I’m not sure. Especially, since I find myself struggling to break the plane of mediocrity into the dynamic, divine realm of Spiritual empowerment. Sometimes, I feel as if my car has slipped down unto an incline on soft soil. No matter how hard I hit the accelerator, I’m slinging dirt from up under my wheels. My car isn’t going more than a few inches before it slides back to exactly the same spot. I’m not sliding down hill, but yet I’m not moving forward either. At least not in the way I want or need to.

So the question before me is why have I only been able to accomplish some of what God has tasked me with? Why haven’t I made leaps and bounds in the kingdom? Why am I not yet a living legend but rather still a legend in the making? Perhaps because greatness can only be achieved by engaging in faith that is activated by a real belief in God. That’s what the great ones possessed. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David all had this in common. I cannot be convinced, that I don’t believe in God! That’s the fundamental element of who I am. With My basic belief being established, perhaps my real issue is selective believing. Believing in a God that’s comfortable to me. However, can I believe Him all the time for things that are outside of my ability to see with my natural eyes? Can I believe Him to accomplish things that I can only be done with His undergirding and empowerment? Things that He has to bankroll in the spirit. I’m not talking about the presumptuous faith, given in many examples that compares it with a chair. I sit in any chair, without checking its structure, because I’m sure that it’ll hold my weight. I do this, because I know, that based on my experience that I can assume that any chair will hold me.

I hate listening to this example every time I hear it. It’s not a good example. It over simplifies my relationship with God. God cannot take me past where I believe I can go. He may plan to, but if I cannot envision myself there – it won’t happen. My active belief is required. It cannot be static. What it boils down to is, do I in fact believe the God that I profess to believe? The truth. If I believed that God is who He says He is; and that He can do what He says He can do. Then I in turn would believe, unequivocally that I am who God says I am. I can do what God says I can do. I would not be drowning in the lake of mediocrity right about now! Real belief in God happens through deep, meaningful relationship with Him. How else can I really get know Him? In this relationship with Him there are boundaries. If I continue to behave independently of Him our relationship doesn’t fare well. My relationship with Him has been only limited by me. It would be a cop out to say that it didn’t work because of Him; then blame Him for my shortcomings and failures. In actuality it’s been my lack of commitment to the relationship that has stifled me. Sometimes, my spirit hasn’t even been willing coupled with my flesh being weak. If I can just tell the truth, there were many things that I enjoyed doing in the world. It’s been hard to give some stuff up, pick up my cross and follow Him. So my challenge is to BELIEVE the God, I profess to believe! Not when it feels good or is convenient. I have to believe He is who He is and means what He says when it means reordering my life and submitting myself wholly to Him. Believe Him enough to trust that the things that He’s asking me to give up aren’t conducive to the healthy, productive lifestyle that I want my children to model. There’s no comparison even where I am now, not having attained God’s optimal life for myself to my best day living in the world. I believe that the only way to live a life of true authenticity is through Christ.

 

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DAY 15 SOUL FAST – SENSES

 

selfcontrol

Peace is to JOY as drama is to unrest. Chaos is to confusion as love is to happiness. I’ve lived on each end of the emotional spectrum. Some places in between as well. They’ve been tough to manage at times. Appropriate, misplaced as well. Whether right or wrong, I’ve always been able to justify them in my mind, as long as I was getting what I thought I couldn’t do without. Searching for love and happiness has driven me to make many wrong choices. My desire for peace and joy has as well. In each instance, I could justify and defend what I did. Even when the outcome hurt someone else. That’s happened quite a bit too. Being ruled by emotions has always eventually led to personal disaster. It left no room for me to exercise my good sense or reason. God gave me the ability to SENSE – to feel, so that I could enjoy life. When I’ve failed to exercise self-control, they’ve served as a means of oppression; robbing me of the joy they were designed to give me. Anytime that I’m operating from a place other than my spiritual center, I’m off balance. Realigning myself is not as easy as it seems. Reeling in feelings that have been out there is difficult – especially when they are wrong.

This Jesus journey can be rough. It’s not always easy to ascribe to integrity and righteousness. Heaven help me, there are some people that I just don’t like. During this past year when I was taking night classes, I left my son in the care of one of my church sisters that I thought I could trust. Her boyfriend felt like he needed to discipline my eight year old son and choked him. The police told me from the beginning that it was one of those cases that they’d probably not be able to bring to trial. They were right. I went through the roof!  My understanding was zero. My first thoughts were not vengeance is mine saith the Lord. Nor were my feelings those of forgiveness. Talk about a test – that was it! God had to really work with me on that one. He still is. No matter where I go to get groceries, I see them and they always smile and say “hello.” Part of exercising self- control in this instance is cutting my shopping short and leaving the store.

I have to tune in carefully to my emotions. They will deceive me if I let them. I had a colleague that I got along with fabulously well. We worked great together and became friends. We could laugh and talk for hours if time permitted. There was never a lull in the conversation. He was interesting, fun to be around, and wasn’t bad on the eyes either. As time passed, I realized that we were spending a lot of time together. Perhaps too much. Everything was above board. However, I’m single – he’s married. So I thought it best if I put some distance between us for posterity’s sake. I didn’t want or need the slightest inkling of any indiscretion. Even though his wife knew me and said she had no issues with our friendship. In this instance, wisdom prevailed. I can’t always say it has. I know me and also human nature. Given the right set of circumstances anyone can be vulnerable. In this season of my life my mantra is to do no harm. I seek redemption, not from sin. I know that I’m saved. I know that God has forgiven me for the intentional/unintentional harm that I’ve caused people. I find healing in repairing the breaches; in restoring whatever relationships that I can. I’ve left some too deeply wounded to even want to see or speak to me. My due diligence in those circumstances is to quietly close the door behind me. To leave them alone and look for opportunities in my day to day where I can make it up. It’s not required; however, it brings me much joy.

 

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DAY 14 SOUL FAST – IMAGING

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When I was younger, travelling in a southern state visiting with my mother’s kin folk, somewhere in the conversation I’d hear, ”you look just like your momma, girl!” At times in my life, when I wasn’t acting the way my mother thought I should, she’d say, “you’re just like your daddy!” You reckon?! Undoubtedly, all such declarations were true. When I was conceived, through DNA replication my parent’s cells were duplicated and disbursed to me. I didn’t have the least bit of control, over what physical or character traits I received from either of them. I’m sure if I did, I would have chosen different ones from each. I used to resent those remarks, as my children do now. So I make it a point never to make comparisons to my children of their father or me. At least, I try not to. However, at this point in my life, I’m not mad about it. I am okay with who I am.  The interesting thing is that I haven’t heard my mother make those remarks for many a moon. I’m her daughter now!

Through my conversion experience, I was born again. In other words, I was given an influx of new DNA by God via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In theory, I took off the old Melba and was made brand new. In actuality, during the transference process; I was not made fully aware of exactly what I was given. I didn’t know who the new me was supposed to be. Nor did I know, what I had. This new DNA contained God’s essence. Everything that He is. His IMAGE. The problem was that my behavior didn’t change at least right away. In some respects it got worst, just as someone who has received a kidney transplant. As the kidney is acclimating itself to the body, often times the body rejects it. The body recognizes it as a kidney, but not the same malfunctioning kidney that it’s accustomed to. The new, functioning kidney is foreign. My biggest barrier to change has always been the unfamiliarity of it. It just makes me feel funny. Change has been good in my life, nevertheless uncomfortable. At times it’s been so uncomfortable that it was easier going backwards than forward.

What I love about Christianity is that it’s all inclusive. God extends the invitation of sonship, figuratively speaking, to anyone who wants it. I don’t have to be an Ivy League graduate, nor do I have to provide a bank statement. All I need do, is come from wherever I am, just as I am. God will receive me with open arms. However, His expectation is that I not remain the same. It would be a tragic end, after all that I’ve been through in the world, to end the journey in the same condition that I started it. To not grow. With all of God’s vast, unlimited resources available to me, to not tap into them. The question is, how do I do that? This is a question that I’ve personally pondered for some time. As a matter a fact that’s why I’m on this 40 Day Soul Fast, because I haven’t quite got there.

When I had gotten down the road a ways on this journey, I realized that something very important was missing. Something was wrong. Although I attended church regularly, my life was still not working. Part of the reason was my process in studying the Bible. I read it not to extract its truth, but looking for loopholes that would allow me to keep doing what I wanted to do. I wanted to redress my old lifestyle. Just pretty it up a little bit. I skipped over the parts that I didn’t like. The parts that highlighted the stuff that I was doing, that I knew was wrong. I began asking a simple question of every person, I thought I should know. The people that seemed thoroughly enmeshed in church. I asked ministers, deacons, and old people. I got a different answer from each. None of the answers I received, answered my question. I had no choice, but to do the research myself. One day I went to a half price book store, near a college campus and found just what I needed. It was a Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. Once I started studying it, I’ve never had to ask anyone that question again. I started studying to fix myself. Whatever, I was going thru, I sought and found the answer there. My process of healing had begun. It brought me thru deliverance, healing for my body and allowed me to restore my sanity.

On Day 14 of this Soul Fast, it’s the tool that I delve into at the beginning and end of each day. Gleaning from it the trues of who I really am in Christ. What it means to carry the DNA of the King of Kings. What it means to be an heir to this kingdom – this Royal Priesthood. Discovering what it means to be made in the image of God. What that actually looks like by His standards? What characteristics should I be exuding on a consistent basis? What is my greater responsibility in this world as child of God? After all, it’s not about me. God has called me for a great and noble purpose. One that I intend to fulfill.

 

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