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It’s All God’s Time

Ecclesiastes 3.jpg

Ecclesiastes 3:1 starts  with “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun.”   In just one verse, we move from a season into a time and then, for a purpose.  My season of harvest may be your season of planting.  My time of weeping may be your time to laugh.  No matter what time “zone” either of us may be experiencing,  it’s all God’s time.

God is the Creator of us all.  He speaks things into existence and He knows the beginning and the end.  As believers, we know that God is in control of all things and at all times; we know He has a master plan.  We know that what He has purposed will prevail.  We know that all He has purposed for you, for me, and for this world will come to pass.

God knew there would be times when some of us would agree with each other and there would be times when we would not  see eye to eye.  However, for those of us who believe, we must be in agreement that as things happen, whether we like them or not, that God is always in control.  He is aware of every activity under the sun and everything in its own season will be done according to God’s time.

As seasons change and as time moves on, God is always with us.  He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us.  Will you trust God in your present season?  Will you give Him praise not only during the good times but also during the bad times? Will you glorify His name even when you may not understand what is going on?

Psalm 118:24 says this is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Whether this is your season to reap or to sow, or whether it’s your time to speak or to be silent, it’s all God’s time.  Trust Him in this season to do what He has already purposed in your life.  Embrace your current season in a way that will show Him honor.

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Dear Lord, thank You for all you have done in my life. Thank You for allowing me to see different seasons and to grow and prosper in each one of them.  Lord, thank You for all the times You have kept me, even when I would not consider spending time with You.  Thank You for the times You turned my midnight into day.  Lord, I need You all the time. I know that You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and that all time belongs to You! In the mighty and wonderful name of Jesus, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Now, God?

It’s been well over a year since I published a post on this blog.  Many things have occurred in my life since I wrote ” Moving Forward”.  I have moved to another state, gone through a divorce, become an empty nester and most recently, I celebrated my 55th birthday!  Over these months, I have thought about writing, I have wanted to write and I have been blessed with many topics to write about. However, for some reason, I have not been able to write. Even when I have tried to write, I could get no further than a few sentences.  In fact, I am in awe right now that I have finished a complete paragraph.  Praise God!

I have been asking God when do I get to write again?  I have been asking, what now, God, for so many areas of my life which also include continuing with writing this blog. Over and over again, I kept hearing, “be still” or “not yet”.  I have been spending quite a bit of time alone talking to God and trying to declutter my own thoughts so I could clearly hear Him. From my own spiritual perspective, I felt like I was stuck! I’ve been reading the Word of God, listening to message after message, reading devotional after devotional, playing worship music and trying to utter prayers in hopes of moving things along. As much of this as I have done, I kept feeling like I was stuck, like I was not really moving forward.

So today, the question, “What Now, God”, arose in my spirit again. After I left church service and thought about the Word that was ministered to us today, I kept asking “what now?”  This was not the theme of today’s message at church, but as I thought about some of the things the pastor said, I kept thinking what now, God?  And now, this evening as I powered on my laptop, and I started to draft this post, I started to read 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20 verse 12 when Jehoshaphat said “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You”!  Jehoshaphat was surrounded by his enemies. He was stuck, but yet He knew something had to be done.  He felt powerless, but yet he knew he could go to God and ask, what now?  (Of course, that’s not quite how he phrased it.)

And the Lord answered him with don’t be afraid or dismayed at how great the multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s!

Are you feeling powerless? Stuck? Is your back up against a wall? Heavy burdened? If so, it’s ok for you to ask, what now, God? Then, listen for His voice to say, my child, you don’t have to feel stuck, you don’t have to feel like I have left you alone, you don’t have to think that I brought you this far to leave you!  The Lord is saying to you, stop thinking that you won’t be healed, or you won’t overcome the depression or you won’t be delivered from the addiction or you won’t be set free from the shame or guilt.  Stop looking at how  the enemy has come at you with health issues, bad thoughts, family troubles and financial burdens.  Don’t let the enemy make you feel like you can’t finish school, or that you won’t get the job or the promotion. Let God work all of that out for you, let Him fight the battle for you!

In verses 16 and 17, God gave Jehoshaphat clear instructions about the next day. God said, tomorrow go down against them, you will see them coming up against you. God said, but you don’t have to fight, just position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

Did you get all of that?  When you feel surrounded by the attacks on your life, when you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, when your flesh is getting weak, ask God “what now” and get in position for your breakthrough! Your enemy is not prepared for your “what now” prayer!

God says, He is going to ambush those attacks coming against you. He is going to move you from that place of being stuck to victory!  He is going to defeat your enemy and scatter your naysayers.  You need to start praising HIM this evening for what HE is going to do tomorrow!  In verse 21,  Jehoshaphat appointed some to sing  for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness.  Their praise was “give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love endures forever.”

This is your notice, you have been appointed to praise Him!  Tomorrow is your day of victory!

When we ask, what now, God?   He answers with  “This is not your battle, this is the Lord’s battle and God will fight for you!”

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Dear Lord,  I thank You for my “what now” moment and that I can look to You for guidance, protection and a strategy for my circumstances. I thank You for letting me know this is not my battle, but Yours.  I thank You for getting me out of this place of being stuck and surrounded, and for ambushing my enemy!  Lord, I am going to praise You right now for the victory!  Lord, because You are fighting my battle for me, I have a great expectancy for tomorrow!  In the mighty name of  Jesus, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

Release (Let Go)

In the beginning of 2013, I wrote three words down in one of my journals.  They were Release, Restore and Rejoice!  Although I try to stay away from making New Year’s resolutions,  I guess I could consider these words as my resolutions for this year.  As we enter into the last few months of 2013, God has reminded me of these words in order for me to reflect on where I am now.  Today’s post is on the word Release and upcoming posts will tie in Restore and Rejoice!

“Release” means to escape from confinement or to be set free!  It also means to allow something to move or to flow freely.  Ask yourself this question, what or who are you holding on to that is not allowing you to move freely in your relationship with God?   What is restricting you from moving forward? Notice that I asked what are “you” holding on to!

Sometimes we find ourselves trapped  because we continue to hold on to what is familiar or what feels comfortable in our lives.   Our mindset is not to change because we feel everything is okay just as it is.   We hold on to crutches such as past hurts, failures, disappointments, and rejections.   Sometimes we think just because we messed up in the past that we can’t do any better or that we are not deserving of anything better. We, unfortunately, allow ourselves to think that just because we have failed  a few times in this life, that we will never get it right. Or we allow ourselves to think that just because it is comfortable or familiar to us, that we do not need a change.  So, what do we do?  We continue to do the same things and we continue to hold onto the past as if there is no hope for a better outcome or a better future.

God does not want us to hold on to past hurts and failures.  He does not want us to feel restricted or confined.   It is time to release and let go!  There are times we will not forgive ourselves even though God has already forgiven us!  It is time to forgive ourselves, forgive others and move on!  It is time to walk freely in the blessings God has for us! God wants us to lean and depend on Him. He wants us to draw closer to Him; to feel His love and feel His presence in our lives.  How can we do this if we continue to hold on to things that weigh us down or hold us back?  Jeremiah 29:11-13 says:

“For I know the thoughts and plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, ” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart.”

God has a future filled with His promises just waiting for you.  Are you hindering yourself from receiving all of your blessings?  Are you holding onto some things you should have released a long time ago?  Release and turn them over to God. Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” 

As we get ready to close out another year in just a few short months, think about what it is you need to release.  Spend time in prayer and meditate on God’s word.  Are there some  issues and fears that you don’t need to take over into another year with you?  Fears, doubts, hesitations and past failures will restrict you from moving forward.  It’s time to release and let go!

crutches

PRAYER

Dear Lord, grant me discernment and guide me as I let go of those things that are restricting me in my walk with You.  Set me free from things that I am holding on to that are preventing me from moving forward.   I am releasing the crutches of failure, hurt, negativity and disappointment.  I am leaning, depending and trusting on You. Lord, help me to forgive myself. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace and mercy in my life; thank You for forgiving me.  Today, I am releasing and letting go. I am moving forward!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed! (John 8:36)

Where Did The Time Go?

Just a few months ago I was eagerly anticipating my youngest daughter’s graduation from high school.  When that day and that moment arrived,  my heart was filled with mixed emotions.  I was a proud mother to see her stand before her graduating class and deliver the commencement address; but I also knew it was time to let her go.  I kept asking God where did the time go?  It seems like You just gave her to me and now. . .

And now, here  we are already in September and she has completed 2 weeks in college.  Where did the time go? I now have two in college and one beginning  his Senior year in high school.   I have watched my three children grow from babies into young adults and I can’t help but to marvel as to how the time has flown by.

It seems like it was just yesterday when I was taking them to  daycare and kindergarten.  I must admit the thought of my children not being home every night has been tough at times.  Over the years I have gotten comfortable in knowing they were safe and secure in their rooms and close by if I needed to look in on them.  Now,  I’m watching my son go out in the evenings to hang out with his friends knowing that within less than a year he will also be on his way to college.  There is so much going on in the world these days, that it’s only natural you want to protect your loved ones at all times, especially your children.  You want to keep them close by as if nothing could happen to them at home, school,  church or in places we call familiar.

The Sunday afternoon I had to leave Cecily at a college 4 hours from home, I had my emotions in check (or at least I thought I did!) I was so busy running around trying to make sure she had everything she needed before we left, that I did not have much time to think about getting emotional.  Just two years before I had taken her sister to school and figured I know how this works now; I can handle it! I’m a big girl! I’ve got this all under control!

Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened. As soon as it came time to give our hugs goodbye, I realized this was it. This was the moment of letting go!   Where did the 18 years go?  When I saw Cecily hugging her brother and sister goodbye, the tears just started to flow.  I could not stop them!  As I hugged her and the tears continued to flow, I said another prayer over my child and her new journey in life.  I gave thanks to the Lord for blessing me with her.  I  told Him that I was trusting Him even more to keep watch over her.

 You see, I needed this reassurance for me more so than I needed it for Cecily. For the past 18 years I’ve known this day would come. I’ve known that my assignment was to raise Cecily as best I could and to encourage her to have her own relationship with God.  He tells us in Isaiah 55 (NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

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Cecily Elise Matthews, although I am marveling at how fast the time has flown by, I know you are in God’s hands and you will continue to flourish.  He has a greater purpose and plan for you and it will be fulfilled.  Because of this, I am ok with the letting go and allowing you to grow and prosper according to His divine will. You are a blessing to me and I am blessed because you call me mommy!

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The link below is a post I had the opportunity to write when my oldest daughter graduated from high school 2 years ago. The words “Take Courage” still resonate within me today.  Thanks, to my sister Change Agents, Renee and Roslyn! Love you both!

http://doubleportioninspiration.blogspot.com/2011/06/take-courage.html

He Knows All About Me!

13 For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139)

Psalm 139 is one of my favorite Psalms.   It clearly tells me that God knows all about me.  He knew me  even before my mother and father met.  When I really take time to think on that, I can’t help but to be in awe of how amazing my God is!  The scripture above  tells me that He knit me together in my mother’s womb.  The word knit means to unite, bond, fuse or even to mend.  To me, that means He took the time to consider how He wanted me to look physically; not just at birth but as I would grow older.  He  took the time to consider how He wanted me to sound when I would speak.  He knew what He wanted my smile to look like on my face.  He decided the shape of my eyes and what color they would be.  He took time to consider my height and how I would walk.  He took the time to make me just the way He wanted me to be!

Psalm 139 states He created my inmost being!  Not only did He knit me together in the physical, He also took the time to consider my behavior, my thoughts, my dreams and my desires!  He went so far as to put me together to know how I would deal with  a broken heart, neglect, abandonment and abuse.  Even before He allowed me to be birthed, God reached down into the depths of my soul and He created me!

He created me in such a fashion that I cannot hide from Him.  I cannot hide from His love even when it is hard for me to love myself.  I cannot hide from His grace and His mercy, even when I mess up along the way.  I cannot hide from His comfort, when the tears are streaming down my face.  I cannot hide from Him when I am angry or disappointed, because He is the One who is always there to give me peace.   He knows all about me!

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful,  I know that full well. (Psalm 139)

Dear Lord, I thank You for taking the time to create me the way You want me to be.  I know that I am still a work in progress, but you already know what the finished product of me will be. I am thankful that You were mindful of me and you have given me this life with all the joys and heartaches to make me stronger in You. I am thankful that you are always with me and that you know my thoughts even before I think them.  Father, I am thankful that I cannot hide from you because where would I be without you on my side!  Thank you Dear Lord, for letting me know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made!  You know this because You know all about me!  You created me to be your daughter! In Jesus, name I am forever grateful!

The Lord’s Special Day!

Don't give up

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to dinner with a dear friend and her 8-year-old daughter, Layla.  Before our food came to the table, I asked Layla if she would say the blessing.  Without hesitation she gave me this big grin and asked us to bow our heads.  It was if she knew I was going to ask her to pray.   We bowed our heads and Layla proceeded to thank the Lord for His special day.  She said it was a great day and everything was good because it was His special day.  You could hear the joy in Layla’s voice telling God about His special day.  I can’t tell you how many times she said to the Lord that it was His special day but as you can see it was enough for me to write about it. ( And, yes, she did eventually bless the food!)

The Lord gives us a new day every morning when He so graciously wakes us up.  With each day, He gives us another chance to correct the wrongs we have done and seek forgiveness. Everyday, He gives us another chance to let our family and friends know that we love them.   He gives us another chance to spend time in His presence and to worship Him.  For the last couple of weeks, I have looked at each day differently.   I knew before that particular evening that I am not promised each new day, but something hit deep inside me when Layla kept saying it was the Lord’s special day.  It was not just another Monday.  It was not either of our birthdays.  The restaurant where we were dining was not at all spectacular.  But, as Layla so eloquently spoke it, it was the Lord’s special day!  We were blessed to be enjoying each other’s company.  We were blessed to be able to talk about the Lord. And most importantly, we were blessed because it was the Lord’s special day.

The Bible says

Genesis 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Lamentations 2:22-23  It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.

Psalm 19:1-2 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night uttereth knowledge.

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which He made. And God blessed the seventh day, sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.

Psalm 118:24  This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it.

The Lord blesses us with His special day every morning! We need to embrace each day with joy and gratefulness.  Mondays should be no different from Fridays simply because He creates each day.  I am thankful each day that He wakes me up no matter what comes my way.  Each day is His special day and He gives me another opportunity each time He wakes me up in the morning.

At the end of our meal, Layla, asked to pray again!  She still had more she wanted to speak to the Lord about His special day. This time she prayed for her parents, her grandparents and all of her friends, and she prayed for me.   It was obvious Layla had a good day and although it was about to come to an end, she was excited about the next day.  She was excited about the next day because she knew it was going to be the Lord’s special day!

He Won’t Let You Give Up!

Psalm 116

1-6 I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: “Please, God!” I cried out. “Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me. 7-8 I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;  And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.” (The Message Bible)

Are you feeling like you are ready to give up on yourself? Are you ready to give up on your hopes and your dreams?  Have you experienced so many disappointments that you just don’t care anymore? Do you feel like you are a disappointment?  When you reach these points in your life, what do you do? Sometimes your closest friends and family don’t understand how you feel or what you are going through.

Has someone betrayed you? Don’t give up!  Jesus was betrayed too but He did not let this stop Him from what He had to do.  Have the doctors given you a bad medical report? Don’t give up! God is a healer! Ask Him to heal your body.  Are you out of work and can’t seem to make ends meet?  Don’t give up! Trust God to supply your every need. Have you made poor choices and bad decisions that have pushed you into a dark corner? Don’t give up!  God’s love for you is unconditional.  His love is full of grace and mercy. Ask Him to forgive you and then seek Him for direction.

God wants you to know He is with you.  Take all of your troubles to Him. Let Him hear your cries and let Him wipe away all of your tears. He truly cares about you and your outcome.  Don’t give up!  Allow Him to bless your soul and your spirit. Let Him save you!  Tell God you trust Him.  He won’t let you give up!