A New Song

Her voice was haunting – a song which resonated to the depth of my soul. My longings to be set free erupted from a place – once hidden – but now exposed. Did I dare step out of The Boat again? Do I trust and leave fear behind? You were there waiting for me with open arms – as I moved out of my place of comfort I knew that I would never be the same – my heart and my mind – beating with new security – I was leaving the others behind in The Boat – to live a life walking on Water – my longing for You was bigger than my inhibitions. Your Tender Mercies have carried me beyond The Shore – Your Hand of Protection was securely wrapped around my waist – I can’t remember ever feeling this safe – embraced in Love. My heart now belongs to You – all the Treasures You have placed there – are now exposed. New life – New Garment – New Fire – Burning to express my deepest thoughts. The moment we have shared in secret – now rewarded for all to see – I am Your little girl – you are my Father – Thank You for waiting!!

Voice of Redemption

I saw the sunset slowly descending into the arid desert, the view was picturesque and captivating.  At that moment a strong sensation came over me as I contemplated suicide. The fear of leaving my family behind triggered thoughts like a jigsaw puzzle – the pieces didn’t fit into my plans to be freed from a life of pain. I could see that my position did not carry any weight at the company where I had invested the last twenty years of my life – there was a “storm” raging in my emotions with waves colliding between shame and failure. There was no escape!!

I had been intoxicated with success. I gazed into the mirror – but somehow I did not recognize the person staring back at me. I had become a people pleaser, saying “yes” when my response should be “no.” I was caught up in the standards for my corporate position: seventeen hours each day just to break even in the department of respect – my colleagues were running the same race. Climbing this ladder had become arduous and my recent diagnosis did not help. I was sinking in quick sand and there was no life-line. My co-workers were oblivious – they were recycled like the wives in Hollywood. I needed Someone to peer into my soul and tell me that I could make it and that tomorrow I would enjoy the sunset. I tried to restrain my emotions as the tears welled up in my eyes – engulfed!! The dryness in my throat was an expression of my parched soul. My mind was encased like a tomb – surrounded by death!! I needed Living Water. In desperation I reached into my glove compartment to grab my revolver, holstered in a leather pouch – to finally silence the “voices” in my head. My fingers stumbled across an unfamiliar Book – my curiosity peeked. When was it placed there? I secured it in my hands and looking down I saw my name inscribed on the cover – then I opened it and on the front page these words were written “To my Husband, This is your Lifeline” I turned the page and I read “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” instantly a Light flooded my soul. I felt as if a chain had been broken – and the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders – a burden I had carried for the last decade.

I embraced my leather bound Bible and began weeping – thankful that my wife had replaced my revolver with this Beautiful Book – now a symbol of the Power of my Creator and her prayers. His Supernatural Guidance in my wife’s life had been evident since she began her new relationship with Him. I had watched her quiet life of peace and unselfishness and I secretly longed for what she had found. Today I was given a “Gift” – no longer an illusion. The darkness was finally dispelled by The True Light. For so long I had lived like a wandering vagabond – needing a Place of Refuge. Today I only hear “The Voice of Redemption”!!!

A word of warning: Suicide is an emotional battle. Some people hear “voices” telling them to harm themselves. When you give up in life because of circumstances – you don’t always have to physically kill yourself, but your hopes, dreams and determination die and this is how the Devil kills and destroys our future.

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“Die to Self”

The Lord is my Shepherd – I shall not want……..Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the “shadow of death”.

Sometimes God calls me to walk through the valley of the shadow of death – this simply means something in my life has to die. The grief can become unbearable and the sense of loss can affect my perception. He has called me to “Die to Self” to put off – to cut off things in my life which promotes destruction and keeps me from growth – moving to another level. Sometimes this process is slow, other times it can be a sudden loss – “a death”. The experience will give me the same feeling and reaction of a physical death: Shock – Fear – Uncertainty – Grief – Loneliness and wondering how I can live without that person or that thing which I had such a close relationship with. Emotional ties are strong because I had become accustomed to a certain way of life. I had become comfortable in my sin – But God says I must love Him with all my heart, my mind, my soul, my strength……
I read an article online that we cannot love someone we don’t know. When you take God seriously – you will be consumed with the things of God. You will become eager to pray – eager to obey and honor God in all things – and eager to share Jesus Christ with others. It is through these spiritual disciplines that our love for God grows and matures to the glory of God.
Today He says “It is time” What needs to die in your life? God has called me to die to my dreams – to the way I expected Him to answer a specific prayer. I am left empty – lost – confused – angry – not able to move forward. The enemy even taunts me from the side line because he wants to keep me in the fetal position as a slave to fear. Today as I walk through the valley of the “shadow of death” I am reminded of the Children of Israel as they moved through The Red Sea because something in their life had to die – their oppressor.
A Godward Life by John Piper expresses it this way: This does not mean that when we “die to self’ we become inactive or insensible, nor do we feel ourselves to be dead. Rather, dying to self means that the things of the old life are put to death, most especially the sinful ways and lifestyles we once engaged in. Dying to self is never portrayed in Scripture as something optional in the Christian life. It is the reality of the new birth; no one can come to Christ unless he is willing to see his old life crucified with Christ and begin to live anew in obedience to Him. Not only are Christians born again when we come to salvation, but we also continue dying to self as part of the process of sanctification. As such, dying to self is both a one-time event and a lifelong process.
Scripture references: Luke 10:27, Psalm 23:1 & 4, Galatians 2:20, Exodus 14:26-30

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The Meadow

The last hint of night fall has lifted like a curtain to display The Beauty of The Meadow. I meet You with new songs – I see beams of sunlight emerging from beyond the trees, yellow and white petals laden in the grassy field – fresh dew preserved the landscape throughout the night. You have shown me what is beautiful – I am amazed by your Grace – You have healed my soul in exchange for Eternity – A mystery. I am on my knees in worship. I bow in continual adoration. The earth pours out speech and I listen and escape to meet with You. While moving through The Meadow I saw a Narrow Gate and then I heard a Voice say “enter”. I remained at attention – Like a soldier – waiting to advance. The pasture was lush and vibrant with color. I stood and surveyed – forced to look in amazement – Compelled – like Moses at The Burning Bush. I heard a Voice – “This is Holy Ground”. The richness of my encounter still arrests my heart. My Father’s Creation was telling me a story – I am an eyewitness to His Glory and Majesty. I began to dance and sing in Jubilee – Ceaseless worship!!
The Meadow is a place of longing – like a Bride waits for her Groom. The king has brought me into His Chamber – He lifts the veil – to reveal my true Beauty. He is the Jewel in my heart – His Banner over me is Love. Here in The Meadow I am transformed – growing in my love for You. The fragrant petals – flowers appear – blossoms open fully to express their love. The sweet perfume of Your presence has finally awakened my love. You have captivated my heart – the fragrance of your garment covers me – my heart drips with anticipation. I am forced to go back in time and embrace Your Goodness – love that is better than wine. In The Meadow – the wind blows gently and disperses the fullness of all Your Promises. You romance me and bathe me in kisses – adorn me with jewels. I am my Beloved’s and my beloved is mine. He rescues me like an army – I am overwhelmed. His Presence – like the moon lights up my soul – shines in places only He can witness. I dance for You – abandoned all to be with You. Abundant treasures flow from Your lips – I am restored!!! Now a secret obsession – I burn but I am not consumed. In The Meadow – my soul pants for You as a deer for the water. Righteous living takes courage but You refresh my soul at The Meadow and prepare me for Your Favor. No escape from tranquility!!

Reference reading: The Song of Solomon

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My Encounter with God

I had an encounter with God in 2005 – during a time of intense struggles with illnesses brought on by stress. I had brokenness in many areas of my life and my two sons decided to take a rebellious path which ended turning my world upside down.
Looking back I can see that I was just a shell of a person. Inside I struggled with loneliness and longings; I was unable to share with many people. I blamed myself for their choices and felt it was a poor reflection on me as a mother. That year culminated with my youngest son being incarcerated – which was the beginning of a three year separation from us. Then there was the murder of his father, May 2005. Although I had a relationship with God and I knew Him personally and intimately; the cares of my own life and deep emotional wounds had placed me in a ditch. I just could not help myself.
One Monday night The Holy Spirit prompted me to attend a church service which was frankly out of the norm for me. I remember “arguing” with God and explaining to Him that I had already attended church on Sunday morning but He persisted and I was unable to “shake” the overwhelming feeling that I should listen. Sometimes God meets us in the unusual but we have to be aware of His voice and obey. I remembered that the man of God shared the story about Moses at The Burning Bush. I had no idea that God was going to heal me that night. After the completion of the lesson I remember the gentleman asking everyone to stand and hold hands with the person on either side. I don’t remember his exact words but I know he said “this Bush was burning because of a fuel less fire which did not consume the Bush”. He also said “some of you are experiencing the fire of God right now”. Immediately I felt as if someone had opened my mouth and poured a cup of scalding hot coffee directly down my throat. I could feel the fire moving and coursing through my intestines. My knees buckled under the weight of God’s Presence and I had to sit down. I did not know exactly what had happened but I knew that I had encountered God on that Monday night. He had revealed in the days and weeks that followed that I had been healed. He explained to me through the words of a song and His Word that I had encountered The Refiner’s Fire. It was a complete healing.
The following year in 2006 as I attended a church service I heard His voice inside me – He was telling me to be water baptized. This time I listened immediately – I did not “argue”. I approached the Leaders of my church and the following Wednesday evening I was water baptized. That night I shared my testimony and I observed the young man in charge of the microphone and camera equipment cry as I spoke boldly about my encounter with God and how He had healed me. During that time of decision I had faced so much opposition and struggled with fear but I knew that my encounter with God had changed my life. I have become very aware of His Presence and I desire to please Him. He is the God who sees, He is the God who hears and He is the God who heals.

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A Brief Encounter

I saw her face – Shrouded in black – draped in sorrow, like a casket. Uncertain future –demands her life – searching in darkness, for a meal, a friend, a word of hope, a reason to continue. Abandoned by mother and father – a sign displayed “will work for food” Tattered clothes – Faded, as worn as her soul – Memories of a life which could have been – Her “sentence” poverty – her “crime” a father who went M.I.A. since her birth – now captured like a P.O.W. Groping in the darkness, seeking shelter – starving for affection. She resorts to the only thing she knows – cycle of addiction – feeding an untamable animal. Now in a forced labor camp – working for another’s selfish gain – she wears her shame. Eyes cast down – fear of rejection. This “storm” has altered her life – now exposed to the elements – roller coaster of emotions, still clinging – Empty promises – Expressions of love: a first date, a dance at her wedding, a call of reassurance – dreams of your approval – fading in the distance.

One night “A Brief Encounter” She looked up – a ray of light penetrated her path. Intrigued she asked his name. His response “I Am” then a faint breeze whisk against her cheek. This profound change has lit a burning fire – unlocked the door – no longer incarcerated. Sight restored.
Now I must investigate His word. No way but up – into the “secret” place of the Most High God – Abide! – Abide! Seek His Face and live, radical healing –radical faith – Transformation – renewed mind. I am called to serve Him no matter the cost. Arrows by day – terror by night – cannot harm me. I stand as a “spectator” – I see the destruction of the wicked – I hide under the shadow of His wings. He invites me to eat at His table like when King David sought to bless the descendants of his friend Jonathan. My new life – displayed for all to see the goodness of my God. No longer standing as a “beggar” – Rescued by Grace! Such abundance!!
Scripture references Psalm 10:14, Psalm 91:8, Psalm 119:105

 

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A Promise Kept

“The Enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy – I come to bring life and life abundant” John 10:10

            Last year The Enemy stole September 4th, 2016 from me and my granddaughter Jazlyn. It was the morning of her fourth birthday and I had plans to take her to Church to celebrate by worshipping God – singing praises to Him – using my voice to honor Him and express my gratitude for His Divine Favor. I was running on empty even then – but was determined to use my life – be intentional to demonstrate to my granddaughter my love for the Lord. I wanted to plant seeds of my faith into her life, to be an example. That morning still vividly remains in my mind and heart. The Enemy sent a fiery dart – and there was nothing I could do to extinguish it.

            My granddaughter Jazlyn arrived at my home around 8 AM and it was evident that she had been surrounded by the evil of The Enemy. Nothing had prepared me for what I would see – the smells which surrounded her – I was now on heightened awareness as The Lord had captured my heart and allowed me to access the situation more closely. My husband stood as a “witness” to things which I had been sharing with him for several months. Somehow a picture can be more telling than a discussion navigated by vagueness and no point of reference to determine The Truth. The road to recovery has been hard – a mountainous challenge – like walking up the Empire State Building with a walker and an oxygen tank on my back. Last year I told a friend that I wanted to shave my head and throw dust on it. On the outside no one was aware of the danger and landmines I had avoided to keep from blowing off my limbs. There was warfare on every front in my life – I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I was driving an almost 2 hours roundtrip daily to a job that kept me in a heightened sense of awareness because of the blatant opposition and callous disrespect from employees and leaders who were left in charge – No place for THE TRUTH – just watered down religion and distasteful display of arrogance. I spent most of my time there under psychological attack – My mind was consumed with thoughts like: “Am I honoring God?” “Should I say something?” “What if I am fired for speaking The Truth?” My own fear crushed my spirit. I walked around like a wounded-warrior, suppressing the details of what I was forced to endure almost on a daily basis. The course of my life had brought me to another impasse – a fork in the road. I did not want to be affiliated with a company that had a form of godliness – but denied The Truth by suppressing it. It remained a tragic testimony throughout my tenure. I knew that God was with me – and He gave me strategic words each morning to help alleviate my nausea from the “prescription” I was forced to take on a regular basis. Almost daily I looked inside my own heart to see if surrender was an option. I embraced and determined to seek wise counsel from several mentors – to hear the unadulterated Truth from God’s Word. The Holy Spirit was my Guide – I was on an “Assignment of Grace”. Like the Apostle Paul – I had to learn how to dispense Grace – and more importantly I was in the classroom. It was time for my practical – because I needed extremely large doses of God’s Grace – to live in such lawlessness and coldhearted expressions from those who I was called to reach. God gave me a generous heart – and with much kicking and screaming – I finally surrendered to His Prescription – that is how I was called to win the souls there. Armed with The Truth each morning – Resolved to represent God and honor His Guidance I poured out my life in large measures. Each evening I would leave waist deep in mire – to continue my commute back to “Base Camp”. God rewarded me with financial freedom as He prepared me to walk away – and leave a written remembrance behind – A new platform and a voice that will live forever.

            Now I am forced to go back and revisit a promise which had not expired – I am given another opportunity to leave a “Legacy of Faith” to my granddaughter Jazlyn. Yesterday we celebrated her fifth birthday. It was a special evening for a special little girl; just four other guests were invited. It was a time to put God’s love on display. The forces of evil rushed in one year ago – and demanded to take the next generation. To STEAL innocence, – to KILL my resolve and to DESTROY a home that is built upon The Rock. The torrential rains came, the flood waters ascend but our home built upon The Rock stood firm because God in His Mercy had dispensed a generous portion of His Divine Grace. The course of my life is set – the winds and the waves have battered my boat – but my Anchor holds – and the storm knows His Name. Today we will celebrate!!!! We will sing – we will dance – we will go back in time and display the “Gift” placed in our hearts even then. This mountainous climb has taken me back up – To Ascend into The Presence of my God – Basking in His Glory – The view up here is Amazing!!!

 

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If My People Pray

Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished.  Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.  When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.  For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. (2 Chronicles 7:11-16)

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of responding to A Clarion Call by my very good friend Marilyn for God to intervene into the affairs of our lives and our Nation. The recent Storms and flood damage softened her heart and she decided to form a Prayer Chain over the phone. We simply wanted to cry out to God for His Divine Intervention.  My own preparation was done through worship and praise. As I seek to listen for the Voice of the Spirit, this is what I heard:

In your Word You said that You were looking for a man to stand in the gap and there was no one. Lord – Please allow us to stand in the gap Tonight. Let our Praise arise Tonight!! – Lord we adore You – We love You – We worship You with all our hearts. No more preconceived ideas or agendas – show out before our midst. Consuming Fire – Sweet Perfume – Our Endless God, send Your Fire Tonight!!! Cleanse us – Expose us. No more pretending – Show us your glory. Take us up to The Mountain like Moses – No veil – Uncover us – Prepare us to meet with You Tonight. Confront us with our sin – Confront us Tonight. All-powerful, All-seeing, open our hearts and look inside us with Your eyes of fire. Let us fall down at your feet. We lay prostrate like dead men. Breathe on us like dry bones in the valley. Bring these bones back to life. Make us a Great and Mighty Army – prepared to run with the foot soldiers – prepared to run with Your Word. No excuses Tonight!!! Eternity is calling us from Heaven. Send more of Your Presence. We are ready to do business with You Lord. We realize that we have all sinned – our hearts are dark and evil with thoughts of pride and vengeance. The KING has spoken. Consume our thoughts. Renew our minds. Transformation Tonight Lord. We want You to use us as vessels of Righteousness, Send Heaven down Tonight!!! We are crying out for our generation and our children and grandchildren. Please allow us to leave them a “Legacy of Faith”. Let them yearn in their hearts for what you have given to us: Generously poured out Your GRACE on us. Like Moses when he intercede for the Nation of Israel, when they continued in rebellion. Your anger burned – but Moses prayed. One man prayed and you relented in your anger. We are asking Tonight for our Nation, our Government, our Leaders, our Ministers, the Governing bodies. Expose corruption. Your word says You raise up and bring down those who oppress your children – widows and orphans. The kings heart is in Your hands Tonight. Tear down the Baal worship – Tear down the idols – Give us boldness to use Your Word – and follow Your instruction – like the prophet Elijah. Expose the Jezebel spirit, those who continue to oppress and steal from Your people. Begin with us Tonight!! We want to see change. Begin with each one of us Tonight. Pour out YOUR healing on our land. Pour it out!! Pour it out!! In the Matchless Name of Jesus!!

 

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My Ancestors – My Roots

Like shadows moving in the wind – I saw My Ancestors move from slavery to a life of freedom. I am still haunted but encouraged by their sacrifice. Their stolen families and miles of hard labor used to build another man’s dream. Their blood – crying out from the ground – saturated. Swallowed up by hatred – buried – a new generation – a seed planted so long ago. I see their reflection in my face – a symbol of the past. Every day I must fight to stay free. My Ancestors have disappeared – vanished – but their voices are still strong. Like a Trumpet they warn me of danger, prepare me for seasons of trials, persecution – war! They died knowing that the next generation would carry the torch of faith. I see visions of My Ancestors cultivating the fields – a valley of dry bones now transformed with flesh. Releasing me to leave slavery behind – move into the vastness of the open land – capturing new territories – bringing back the spoils – a bountiful harvest – Provision!!

My Ancestors tasted the violence of slavery – punishment for their humanity. They watched helplessly as their offspring were sold like cattle. Stolen children – Stolen dreams – Savage attacks and beatings. Men emasculated – disfigured from abuse. The Weeping Willows pour out tears as they bear witness to the Truth. They awakened each day to repeat the endless cycle to satisfy another man’s greed. Their sentence was hard labor. Day and night their sweat and blood nourished the land – only to reap a harvest to benefit their oppressors – those destined for destruction. They escaped through songs and spiritual hymns – ascended into worship to speak with their Creator. I have been transported into the future because of their faith.

I have a longing to sit in communion with them and learn from what they have seen and lived out – wisdom of the past. The sounds they experienced – places where their feet have tread – carry on their legacy – an ambassador of our faith. My Ancestors are no longer phantoms – ghosts, they are alive. The light of their souls are shining brightly, leading me into my Destiny. Now the struggle is over – a righteous seed was born to prepare them for freedom. A Door has been opened and I have travelled back in time – met with my ancestors on the battlefield – to fight for the Truth – a cause bigger than the Universe. Our shields of faith held high – Protection! The demonic realm has been defeated – vanquished because of My Ancestors.

 

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“Restored”

As I awakened this morning at Bettie and Melvin’s home I recognize that you can lose all sense of time – It is like going back to a place so long ago – The vastness of God’s Glory is expressed in each new day – Every breath – I am consumed – As my senses are awakened – I hear a rooster crowing – welcoming the new day with joy and adoration for the King. Yesterday I saw several deer frolicking while grazing – Birds perching on branches and flying to eat from the bounty of God’s green earth. I am indeed alive with new wonder as I share my morning with the Creator of the Universe. I see people desiring to serve each other – making time to prepare a well-planned meal – selecting from Your provision to share Your bounty with a neighbor. I have come to believe that this life is only rewarding when shared with others.

            Splashes of Love paint the landscape – Just last night I saw a tiny frog on the window-sill, headed back home – he lingered – then he jumped – then he lingered – unaware of my curiosity. The quiet solitude of the morning is strengthening me to face the Struggle – To be abandoned as I take up my “position” to praise my Awesome and Mighty God. My soul is encouraged and captivated – I am “forced” to give back my very life which has been given to me. My reward is in Heaven – No time to ponder – or seek gratitude.

I am cautioned as the forces of evil will infiltrate the day – trying to expose my fears and bombard my mind with regrets – But, I have The Avenger seated at the Right Hand of the Father – He champions the True Cause – I am exonerated – I can cast down all imaginations – I am challenged to “push” into the new day without fear – Consumed by Your Presence – RESTORED!!

Tiny tweets sound from the distance – I see a small nest of new life – mouths opened – calling attention – breakfast is served by the Hand of the Creator. His care is continual – He has not forgotten – Love demonstrated. I must make a declaration!!! – You command attention through the works of your Hand – the Universe displays Your Glory – the Magnificence of Your Splendor transports me to a different Place. I must go onward – this day is a “gift” – Your “Voice” trumpets through the clouds – I am awakened. Words escape me – unable to describe. The true value – the richness of what I see and hear – I am almost torn. The Beauty of your Holiness cannot be fathomed – You chose me to be a part of our Creation – to sing, to laugh, to cry, to eat, to sleep – as You watch over me – with Great Pleasure. You delight in me – Your child. Just yesterday – as I inspect my surroundings – I was led on a Treasure hunt – time stood still – as You allowed me to “see” Your Strength on display – a friendly courtship – a loving glance. Nature provides me with overwhelming evidence – I am surrounded by new life – No escape – the earth and its fullness You have given to me – Thank You!!

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