Monday, January 23, 2017

God's Hand on Your Life

Esther 4:14 

Have you ever wondered why things happen the way they do, and primarily to you?  I know I do! And this is good or bad.  Sometimes I wonder how in the world did I get here! "Wow, God I am so blessed you love me so much!  Thank you!!" And sometimes I wonder, Lord what in the world am I doing here? Why did this happen me, and now what am I suppose to do?   Most of us don't pay that much attention to the small things that happen in our life,  but we are definitely wide awake for the big ones.  Good, and not so Good.   But all of them play an intricate part in the assignments and destination the Lord has for us. 

I've been studying providence this week. And it seems this study pops up at least once a year for me! I definitely know what providence means.  However, I always have to refresh my memory on how it works.   About every 6 to 7 years it seems my life change is some major way.  And some times sooner than that.  As a matter of fact,  for the last 3 years a LOT of changes have taken place, and before I can wrap my mind around what to do with the last thing that happened here comes something else.   I have to remind myself that God is always in control!  Sometimes we  are so  busy being "responsible" and  "smart' trying to plan the perfect life , or future for ourselves that we forget to factor in the "God factor!"  We forget to figure in that God has already planned out our lives. God says when, where, and He says how, and how much!  Yes it sounds good to say " I know God has a plan for my life ,  but very few people want to know what that is! And especially if they feel their lives are already going well.   

If you want to know how providence works, check out the book  of Esther Chapters 1-4. The power of God's Providence was so obvious in this story His name didn't have to be mentioned.  In these first 4 chapters  The Queen of Persia was fired, and replaced with an orphan "Jewish"girl name Esther who gained favor from her Persian King.  Keep in mind that the Jewish people were in captivity at this time.  Esther's uncle Mordecai,who also worked at the palace made a very powerful enemy named Haman.  Haman was angry because Mordecai refused to bow down to him in the court yards. He was so angry that he issued a death sentence for him, and all the Jewish people living in Persia. Once Mordecai found out he began to mourn,  and he sent word to Esther so she could help her people.  For a brief moment it seemed Esther was going to sit in her place of privilege and not do anything to save them. But Mordecai had to remind her perhaps why she was so privileged to make it where she was. He forced Esther to see the hand of God on her life and why the events unfolded for her the way they had. Thank God she listened and seized the opportunity! Thank God she paid attention and rode the wave of providence all the way to complete victory!  Because of her privileged position Esther was able to save all the Jews in Persia, have the threat assassinated, and turned many Persian people who were not believers to the LORD God! Wow, look at what she was able to accomplish for so many people, for God, and herself because she was willing to see God's hand working in her life.   

It is these kinds of stories that snaps me back to why I am really here. Yes its nice to have things go the way we plan them when it works out. But many times the things we plan won't work out, because they don't fit in-line with the providence of God.  It's' good to make plans, but we have to be willing to pull out the easer, and make revisions as God starts to turn the course a little bit. We can't be married to our plans. And as a matter of fact, we should try to figure out best we can what God's plans are first!  I heard a preacher say that God's Providence rarely runs in a straight line. Boy is this not the truth!  But one thing is certain, if we live our lives aware that we are here for God's purpose, and not our own, we will ALWAYS be happy with how things turn out.  Remember God's plan is perfect and there's something in it for everyone.  It all works out perfectly if we follow Him.  

Remember Romans 8:28, and welcome God's Hand on you life.   

Monday, January 9, 2017

FIGHT BACK






I can recall at the age of 5  having my first opportunity to put into practice what my mother and my aunts taught me about fighting back. It seems, that I came out of the womb to them teaching me how to fight back.  So I'm a kindergartner  and I found myself in the grips of a  mischievous, and relentless little boy that was determined to lift my skirt, and  look under my dress. (Yes they start  that young!) I have to this day vivid memories of me yelling "stop, quit-it".  I remember going in circles for what felt like forever  trying to get out of the boy's arms, but he would not let me go.  I know my mother was close by, but apparently she wasn't close enough when this broke out. I can recall a fear coming over me. The fear of not knowing what was going to happen if I lost the struggle with this little boy. I also remember that I wasn't fighting back.  Yelling stop, and pulling away was not getting the job done.  I'm sure you've heard of the term "fight or flight" as a natural defense mechanism. Well I was trying to run and couldn't? So I had to fight. I took my free arm and drew it ALL the way back, came around, and smacked this little boy so hard in the face that I surprised myself!!?  It was so loud that it appear to echo,  and I'm not exaggerating. The next thing I know the little boy had loosed his grip, and ran off yelling and crying to his mother! I couldn't it worked?   My mom, being a third party witness has a similar account of this story, and now we both laugh about it.  Needless to say moving forward I learned to use what my momma taught me! Lol. 



As children of God we are sometimes conflicted on how we should fight back effectively.  Although fighting back naturally may make us feel good about standing up for ourselves, it does very little to amend the problem in the spiritual realm.   

Ephesians 6:12 says: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places(or the heavenly places). 

So, it is no wonder that we are faced with complexed issues that some of the smartest, and most powerful people in our governments can't fix! Mass shootings on innocent people.  Twisted vigilante  justice against innocent  officers.  Trigger happy policemen killing unarmed surrendered citizens.   Prejudice, racism and hate. These are all natural issues that we have no idea how to fight and win  physically.  That is because this is a spiritual fight, and one that only the children of God can suit up for.  

True believers are the light of this world, and we carry the strength of God within us. So we as Christians must be properly prepared.  Yes, we know we are called to love. But unfortunately many believe that love doesn't involve standing up for the standards of God, or fighting back with the Word of God.  Read Ephesians 6:12-18.   There is a list telling us how to defend,  and offend.  

In order to fight back effectively, we must be righteous through Jesus Christ.  

Also, it is the truth of the Word, and our shield of faith, which protects us from false doctrines, and lies that are presented in the form of human reason. 

We must protect our minds, with the truth that our salvation is safe with Christ.  When we have the assurance of who we belong to, and what our Father has already done we can win the battle against Satan.  Then finally, but most importantly we must use the ONLY offensive weapon in our arsenal, the sword of the Spirit.  Meaning you're gonna have to swing! If we don’t know how to "use" the Word of God to fight back it's like having a loaded gun in our hands and refusing to fire at the threat.  The Word of God is how the Children of God fight back spiritually. This is the only way to to fight against the evil forces that use people to commit horrible ungodly acts. It is also how we fight to win the personal battles in our lives.  Read  Luke 4: 1-13 where Jesus used the word of God only, to fight back against the temptation of the devil. But take note, it first says "He was filled with the Spirit". If you are carnal, or someone who likes to play both sides of the fence...Warning, this may not work for you. Take self inventory and make sure you are exercising your spiritual disciplines according to Ephesian chapter 6.   This is why it is extremely important to know the word of God, apply the word of God, and put it on repeat! It is the only way that we will be able to fight back and win.   

  We must be protected and armed with the Word of God.  We have to know  exactly how to use every verse, command,  promise of God, and truth of God to destroy the lies of the enemy, and stop his attacks against God's people.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

When God places a Fork in your Road...



Life is funny.  It's full of lessons and our lives are constantly speaking to us. Whether it speaks through signs, other people or dreams.  God is always audible in some way.  Life can also be tricky.  By that I mean, God has it so fixed that you will never completely figure it all out. This is why we must rely on the Lord daily.   Satan is there to ensure you are confused and second guessing every major decision, and doubting God when it doesn't turn out the way you hoped.  Just know that we will always be chasing after answers, it may not be to the same issues, but trust me new ventures will always arise!   Have you ever been 110%  sure that you should take this job, marry this person, attend that school, or choose this career?   Of course you have!  We  all have  dreams and plans  and that is all great,  but what I've learned is that we can't be  married to the path that we are on.  God is always shaking things up, but for good so we don't have to be afraid.  It is God's way of stretching us and expanding who we are. It is how He develops us spiritually and draw us closer to His ultimate plan for our lives.  But man when He sits that fork in the road....It can be confusing and scary.  My first thoughts are "What is going on? Why? And what do I do now? " I'm sure you can relate!  

The actions and steps we took last season may not be needed for this new season. Sure the path we were on may have worked perfectly for years,  but now that course has ended and it's time to take another route.  I chose the photograph above because it speaks to me.   Observe how the path leading up to the fork appears to be more open. It is wider, and as it forks, the different paths are more narrow and leads into an unknown wilderness.  But,  although it is unknown the paths are lit!  Both of them!   So a choice has to be made, which way should  I go?  At this moment in life the biggest mistake that one could make is to proceed without acknowledging God first, and consulting Him for our next steps.  Take this time at the mouth of your fork to rest, and reflect, and acknowledge God. Sit right at the base of that fork and take that time to listen. 

We are often in a hurry to "make it happen", and to power through life so that we can always appear to have everything figured out. Well news flash. No one has it all figured out. A lot of people are just going through the motions, and hoping it will all work out. Some are running off  fumes waiting until they run completely out of gas and ideas!  But we as children of God don't have to operate this way.  Proverbs 3:6 says In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Path is plural. Do you see that? Meaning during your life time you will be placed on many different paths. We aren't meant to travel the same path year after year after year after year!  So He places the fork, forcing us to take a different path.  But remember the photograph above. Both paths are lit, and they are also narrow.  So our response is not so much, "oh my goodness, and what do "I" do now?  But a matter of asking "God what do "you" want me to  do now?"  When God steers our path in a different direction it is a time for us to scale down and take no one with us as we enter this new journey, but God. There isn't much room for anyone else because all people will do is cloud your ability to hear what God is saying to you.   With two lit paths it says that either way could be a good choice, but be certain, for you one is far better than the other! So please inquire of God.  This way you are covered by your obedience. And if you just so happen to take the incorrect route.  God will see to it that you get back on track, because you took the time to acknowledge him first.  Romans 8:28 says And we know, that All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.   Remember who and what you are called to.  

Blessings, and until next time, Keep God first.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How Do You Please God?


Answer this question: Is God satisfied with your life?  Take a minute to think about that.  There are many who feel that charity and good deeds is what makes God pleased with their lives. This is not  not totally off track, however this in itself does not please God.  Enoch seemed to simply this very complex question.  How can I know if my life is pleasing to God.  Hebrews 11:5 says that

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”;[fn] for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  

Genesis 5:24 says,  And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Hebrews 11:6 also says without Faith it is impossible to please God, for we first must believe that He is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. 

There is not many details in the bible about Enoch's life. However his testimony of pleasing God landed him in the Hall of faith in the book of Hebrews. His faith walk was so strong that Moses could not ignore it in the genealogy of Adam in the old testament.  What makes Enoch's story so alluring and mystical is that in both accounts the bible says that God "took" Him.  Meaning Enoch got an early rapture out of here that's how well He had mastered pleasing God.   Rev. 4;11 gives us a glimpse into why God was so pleased with Enoch.  It's Says;

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (KJV)

The second half of that scripture sums up the reason for our existence! God created all things, and for His pleasure.  Pleasure meaning.. fellowship or company and will.   We were created to do the will of God, and share in His inheritance.  In Rev 4:11  these 24  elders where casting their own crowns at the feet of God's throne. Which shows us the relationship is not one sided. We will be handsomely rewarded. They had crowns of victory and of overcoming for Christ, and they willing gave God all the glory and credit for their victories.  It pleases God to bless us, but our will must come subject to  His.     

 Many of us have it backwards, we seem to forget that we are not here to just work, find a spouse, have kids, pursue riches and die.  We are not here for our own agenda. But to fulfill God's agenda.  Enoch walked with God. And in walking with God He understood God's heart and will. He was in agreement with God.  Many of us don't even consult God about our day. We move throughout life as if everything is about us and what we want to do. We don't ask God anything. We live to ourselves and for our own happiness.  We tend to leave God out, and when we hit a bump in the road, or see something  we want we ask God to agree with us!  

 This is  not the plan of God for man. When we live this way our life is not pleasing to God.  Matthew 6;33 tells us to seek God first, and everything you need and desire will be fulfilled.   Enoch had this down to a science and he fulfilled the purpose of God.   His entire body and soul was taken up. Enoch had completed His assignment, and God was  well pleased!      

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bring in God's Harvest!



Do you ever wonder what your  contribution is  to the Kingdom of God?  The question "What is my life's purpose?" Is probably one of the most popular questions asked by many today.   Why am I here, what is my gift, talent, or assignment on this earth? The answer to these questions are key to our success in the earth,  but some  people go a lifetime never knowing.  And even if you have some clue, there is still a desire to continue the discovery until full maturity. 

  I can recall asking these same questions a few years after the Lord  saved me back in August of 1993. I was so excited to be saved, and knowing that I was on my way to heaven was enough to satisfy me, initially.  But it didn't take long before I desired to know and want more.  So I began searching, and let me tell you boy did I ever find out!  There was so much work to do, it was all around just coming from diverse directions. Then my question became not what but  How!?  When I began to work in my initial calling it  produced fruit, and then more work, and  then more fruit and the cycle continues.  This is why in the Kingdom of God there is no shortage of work! 



In John 4:35 Jesus is telling us that all we have to do is look.  Lift up your eyes and see, look at the fields(the world, and the lost souls in it) for they are ripe for Harvest!   Have you ever worked in a garden, or atleast seen a garden lol? Let me ask you another  question. What happens to ripe vegetables that are not picked, but left out?  The answer, they become spoiled rotten and then they die!  They are then gathered and tossed away because they are no longer good to eat.   Man, what a waste right?  What's the point of planting the seed, and fertilizing, watering, and tending if we're going to be too lazy to pick them when they are ready.  There are many people who are in danger of being spoiled by lust, adultery, fornication, hate, entitlement and selfishness, and they have no idea how to avoid this impending death.  Well,  Jesus  has already done the hard work. He  already died,for all man kind, and has given us eternal life. (1 John 5:11) It is our job to share this good news!

The early Churches were established and lead by 1st century christians who continued to plant seeds by building  on that foundation.  They were teaching and preaching the gospel everywhere.  They were martyred for their message, but it continued to spread like wildfire!    Yes many people know of Jesus. But many are waiting for someone to "show" them Jesus through their uncompromising actions.  They are waiting for you and me to show them that Jesus does live!  That Christianity is not just another religion.  Lets show them. Lets bring in God's Harvest!

SaveSave
SaveSave

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The National Day of Prayer


"Thank you Lord God for the grace and mercy that you have extended to our nation. Please forgive us for the comprise that we have allowed. You, Lord God are the standard by which we live, move , and have our being.

Thank you for the true spiritual leaders that you have put in place to lead your people back to you.

Thank you for Your Spirit that give us the strength and the boldness to stand for you in the face of a nation that will try to sweep you under the rug, and pull you back out when it is convenient.

 Lord you are God, the one and only true God. Please lead this nation back to you. Have mercy on us, guide our leaders, give them wise spiritual counsel on a daily basis.

The spiritual leaders that you have put in place as counsel in Washington Lord increase their boldness, remove the spirit of fear and compromise and speak freely through them.

 God protect our military men and woman, saved them and award them grace for their sacrifice to this country. If they have not accepted you as their  personal Lord and savior, Jesus we pray that you please draw them, seek them out, and bless them with an encounter that they will never forget.

 Bless the believers  "in-deed" to show your love, forgiveness, and sacrifice continuously representing you.  Because You are Love.  Bless us to stand for righteous standards that you have plainly laid out in your Holy Bible. Lord please continue to extend your mercy and cover us with grace for the current believers and those to come. We are your people, please protect us.  There are so many here that serve you with a pure and loving heart. Lord keep us safe.  We are grateful for every blessing, we thank you for your love throughout the generations.

I pray these prayers

In your precious son Jesus name, Amen."

Monday, March 28, 2016

Husbands LOVE your wives: Wives RESPECT your husbands.


Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto theLord.  23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as  Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wise be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.




Coming up on 19 years of marriage I am often asked; "what makes a marriage last today?."   Ironically, this is not my first marriage.( Shocker? That is definitely another post for another day.)  But I will say, in my first marriage I had NO idea what real love was, and neither did my husband at the time. We were very young in age, as well as spiritually immature.  So I must preface by saying I am no expert, and neither is my husband of 19 years.  We are still on this journey.  However, we have grown together in love with Christ as our center, and we have learned some very helpful and valuable things along the  way.  

In the book of  Ephesians, Apostle Paul gives God's expectation for  both husband and wife on what their role is in a  marriage.  Love and Respect!   Its just that simple. So why have we made marriage so complicated that  some  hear the word marriage, and it  sends them running in fear?  Its due to the lack of  Love and Respect that married couples have for one another.   Sure I can hear many women saying, "well, you have to earn respect." Who wants to respect or submit to a disrespectful, jealous, or controlling tyrant?" And like wise men may be saying, "I do love my wife." "I come home every night don't I?" "I'm working everyday and paying bills, and providing for my family"  "I don't cheat on her?"  "That should say that I Love my wife." Although both of these points of views can be understood, they do not release either party from effectively loving and respecting their spouse, as is lined out in Scripture. 
My husband and I several years ago in China Town




LOVE AND RESPECT

The photo above is one of my favorite because of the story behind it! We were on vacation in New York. We went shopping in China town and I wore the wrong kind of shoes for the journey.  It didn't take long before my feet were screaming! My little flat feet were in so much pain I was complaining every 10 minutes about how bad my feet hurt. Unfortunately we were too far away from our Manhattan hotel to go back and get comfy shoes. My husband looked at me with concern and said "aww my poor baby, come on lets go get you some comfortable shoes"  We walked into a nearby Payless shoe store (yes payless honey,  I could care less about brand names at the time). Our money was tight on this trip, we were already budgeting and trying to keep from going in the hole on this trip so for my sweetheart to buy me a new pair of shoes that we did not budget for to keep me comfortable spoke volumes to me.  This small act sent my respect radar WAY up!!!  And I could not have loved Him more in this moment.  He loved me enough, to  empathized with my pain. He set our lack of funds to the side, and got his baby a comfortable pair of shoes so she would be happy and stop complaining! lol.  Bottom line. We both were happy.  He "showed" me that He loved me in that moment(of course I know he loves me, but women love reminders ALL the time. lol!)  and I showed him the honor and respect he "deserved" the rest of the day. Whatever he asked me I did it lovingly and willingly.   Those shoes were not expensive, but it was what it symbolized to me. 

The Opposite of Love and Respect

   My husband could have scolded  me for choosing to wear the wrong shoes that day. He could have said "stop complaining Chan!? You're ruining the experience for the other couple with us?  OR,   He could have asked me to suck it up and make better choices next time.   In return I could have(And WOULD have) snapped and fussed  back at him for being insensitive.  Because although true, I should have chosen better shoes, pointing that out would not help the current situation.  Respect for that observation would not have been given lol.  

  Thank God none of that happened!  He empathized, showed his love, and got me a comfortable pair of shoes! Senseless argument avoided.   Now this is just a simple  example of what an exchange of love and respect looks like.

There are many factors that will explain why its so complicated for married couples to love and show respect, but ultimately whether you believe in keeping The Lord, and HIs word the center of your marriage or not. These two attributes will always be at the forefront of every successful marriage. It makes it easier for the wife to submit to a loving husband, and Husband to show love to a respectful wife.