Strength in My Weakness 

September 12, 2017
Strength in My Weakness 
2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ rest upon me. 
Each year on the first day of January, we tend to look back and reflect on the year we just ended. Some have yearly marks they like to celebrate of overcoming and reflect on that year. Just last week I celebrated one of those marks. As I stood upon that mountain top and staked my one year flag of recovery from my hysterectomy into the dirt, I looked back at how the path spoke volume of my pilgrimage. I could see where I started off strong, but my weakness quickly took over my journey. Throughout my traveling on this recovery road, there was evidence of only one set of footprints, because God had to carry me through some rough patches. There were deep impressions of drag marks where I had felt reluctant to move on. Along my path were fire pits, because I had camped out in those spots, when the road ahead seemed to hard to travel. Patches of beautiful gardens bloomed as I travel in the result of my faith growing. Unfortunately there were lone fruit trees with flies swarming around rotten fruits, resulting in my bad attitude along my journey. As I stood on top of my one year mountain and looked over these evidence of my rough recovery, I paused and ask God to forgive me for my failure and allowing my weakness to overcome me. God graciously reminded me of His love and that in my weakness, His strength shined through. I was reminded that I did not travel that road alone, He was by my side and carried me the whole way through. At those campsites He gave me rest, (Psalm 23:2). The beautiful gardens were a result of my faith and the moments I was quite and could hear God leading me, (Psalm 23:3, Psalm 46:10). The drag marks and rotten fruit that was behind me now, is truth that God’s strength sustained me and carried me through. Often times we look for God only when the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing, but the truth is God is the same God on the mountain top as He was in the valley. No matter where we are on this journey, God is always with us and seeing us through to the next journey, (Psalm 139). 
Lord, there was a sense of peace that washed over me when I hit my one year mark on my recovery. It was a sense of thankfulness that the year was behind and the journey ahead was only going to get better. I am grateful that You, Lord never gave up on me and kept me hidden under Your mighty wings. Lord may I never forget that You are always an arm reach, an ear length and love given away to me at all times, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

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Celebrating Victories 

Psalm 40:2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. 
Psalm 18:19 He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me. 
Throughout the Bible you can find acknowledgments of feast that the Israelites celebrated yearly of their victories over their enemies. 

Today is one of those celebrations for me. 1 year ago I was delivered from cervical cancer..”that I did not know I even had until my post-op appointment a week later.” I thought I was having a normal hysterectomy due to endometriosis. So today is a very special day for me..it was the day God not only healed me, but He delivered me from my enemy. I also have another important date I celebrate every year. Today I am 6 years 8 months and 4 days delivered from addiction..another day that God split the Red Sea and delivered me from my enemy and healed my heart. Anytime God delivers us from the enemy’s grip..is a day of celebration and should not be taken lightly. The recovery of my surgery was hard..but looking over this year, one thing is clear..I have a testimony of God’s saving grace and deliverance that Satan himself can not take away from me. My testimony is a celebration of how mighty my God is! Thank You, Jesus. I am looking forward to this new year and what is to come in the Lord 🙌🏻 Psalm 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah

The Sift that Stregthens 

September 6, 2017
The Sift that Strengthens 
Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. 
I remember my thoughts the first time I read the story of Peter denying Jesus, (Luke 22:54-61) “what was going through his mind when he denied Christ, the very Savior who called him the rock and spoke authority over the gates of hell not prevailing against the church He would build upon that particular rock, (Matthew 16:18).

The expression, walk a mile in their shoe and you will understand became clear to me days and months after my own sifting as wheat. Looking back over this year, I can see where I stumbled and where my feet slipped. I know for a fact that Satan himself was up to no good when I sat across the desk from the doctor telling me I would need to have a total hysterectomy. Sure I prayed the prayers and read the Word and tried preparing myself for what was to come with this type of surgery. I went into this season with a heart full of I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, (Philippians 4:13), only to find myself on my knees praying to make it just through the next hour. As minutes, hours, days and months passed during my recovery, I found myself angry at God for what I was going through. I never thought I would tell God I was mad at Him. I may have not denied Christ as Peter did, but I denied His goodness He had for me, (Jeremiah 29:11). 

 Not knowing I had just been sifted by Satan, slowly my prayers became faint, my Bible started to collect dust and my walk became weak. All the while I was mad, Jesus sat at the right hand of God praying for me. Today my heart could not be more full of love for my Savior, matter of fact it overflows. During that time of my anger I could not hear from God, but the moment I was still in His Word and in prayer (Psalm 46:10), He reminded me of my purpose. I am the church and upon this church hell will not prevail. God used the cervical cancer He saved me from, that Satan had planned to destroy me with, as my greatest testimony of how great God is. Peter could not understand why Jesus was going to die on the cross, he thought Jesus was building His kingdom here on earth. Though I have the Bible to reference to that God is for me, I still stumbled like the rock Peter. What gives me spiritual goose bumps, is that if you read on in Peter’s story, you read where he rose up from his stumble and preached at Pentecost that resulted in three thousand coming to know Jesus Christ, (Acts 2:14-41). I don’t know what you are disappointed in yourself right now on how you did not handle temptation well and how you may feel that you have let God down. But know this that we serve a God that uses our sifting not to just strengthen our faith, but to send us out with a testimony of His amazing grace. 
Lord, I am grateful for Your healing touch over my mind, heart and body. I praise You for saving me and for allowing the sifting of wheat to strengthen my faith. Lord may I never take Your sacrifice on the cross lightly, I pray that my testimonies of Your grace will always point to the cross, in Jesus name I pray, Amen 

A Double Mind makes A Weak Spirit 

September 1, 2017 
A Double Mind makes A Weak Spirit 
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
We read in Matthew 16:13, that Jesus took His disciples off to the side at the coast of Caesarea Philippi and He ask them, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? Each of His disciples had a different answer of who people say Jesus is, some said John the Baptist, others said Elias, Jeremiah or one of the prophets, (Matthew 16:14). Then Jesus twist the question around on His disciple in Matthew 16:15, and ask them, whom do you say I am. Suddenly the question became personal for each of the disciples. Who was Jesus to them? Peter gave the best answer, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, (Matthew 16:16). That definitely sounds like an answer we believers would give if we were ask by Jesus, whom do you say I am?No more then 5 verses down, Peter is rebuking Jesus from going to the cross and dying for all the world, (Matthew 16:22). 

WOW, doesn’t that sound familiar, how quick are we to encourage another in Christ, only to turn around and question His plans for our lives. This month marks one year since my full hysterectomy, I spent the better part of this year questioning God of His plans for my life. Though I was spared of death from cervical cancer, I felt trapped in an endless battle of mind over matter, this often left me feeling discouraged for questioning God for His saving grace. I felt as though I was being double minded, (James 1:8). It’s so easy to live on the mountain top and praise God when life is good, but it’s in the valley where our faith takes on a new direction and where we truly learn who Jesus is. Jesus is my healer, sustainer, comforter, Savior, grace giver, mercy deliver and the Great I am that burns deep within me. We can trust that Jesus will be the same tomorrow as He is today and forever, (Hebrews 13:8).
Lord, let me never forget that You, the same God who spoke the world into existence, moved mountains on my behalf a year ago to spend another day glorifying Your mighty hand upon my life. I praise You for the valley that has brought abundant growth in my faith, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Trusting God’s Purpose 

August 30, 2017 
Trusting God’s Purpose 
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
I have been doing a women’s Bible study over women of the Bible. This week’s study is over the mother of Moses, Jochebed. As I read Exodus 2, God zeroed me in on the faith that Moses’ mother displayed, as she laid her three month old baby inside a basket that would carry him down stream to a new future, (Exodus 2:3). This future was one she had placed her trust in to save her baby from the death grip of Pharaoh. Her faith and trust was all God needed to save not just Moses from Pharaoh, but as well all the Israelites. Jochebed was not able to protect her baby from death, but by the grace of God she was given the gift of nursing him after he was found in the river and adopted by the very daughter of the Pharaoh; who had ordered the death of all the baby boys of the Hebrew nation, (Exodus 1:22, 2:5-10). 

I have read the salvation story of Moses many times, and never really focused on his mother’s amazing faith. Her trust in the Lord exceed far greater then her fear of the unknown. She knew that Moses only chance of survival was in a basket she made with love, covered in prayer and trusted in the very waters that God had created. I found myself asking, do I place this same kind of trust and faith in God’s purpose for my children’s lives, as Jochebed did? Jeremiah 29:11 is not just a personal promise, it is a promise to my children as well, that God’s purpose for their lives far exceed greater then my dreams I have for them as their mother, (Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts). 
Lord, as a mother I worry about my children and their future. Reading and meditating on Exodus 2 has given me the comfort I need as a mother to trust in You for the unknown in my children’s lives. Father I pray to have faith as Your servant Jochebed did, I pray to place my children in Your hands and release their futures to Your purpose, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Don’t look back, God has better ahead! 

July 26, 2017
Don’t look back, God has better ahead! 
Genesis 19:26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
There is an expression that goes, (don’t judge another until you have walked a mile in their shoes). I could not tell you how many time I have read the story of Lot’s wife and how she was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back. I would always think, why would she look back how foolish was it of her to make that choice. If there is one thing I have learned over this past year and the season I have just come through, is we all have that foolish moment on our walk with Christ, when we have looked back, while God is leading us forward. I believe the written Words in the Bible, don’t truly become real for us, until we actually walk a mile in the character’s shoes. 

Lot’s wife has one key role in God’s Word, to help us understand the importance of following His commands. Though she was not the mother of many nations, or the orphan that was placed in the palace for such a time as this. She was however, placed in a situation where one wrong choice turned her into a pillar of salt. There will be times on our Christian walk that God will lead us out of a season and tell us not to look back. No, we will not turn into a pillar of salt, but we can get stuck in what was behind rather then looking ahead of what is to come. Though Lot’s wife’s name was never mentioned and her role in God’s Word was very small, the monument of salt she left behind was very powerful, it is a reminder that nothing behind us is worth the time we lose from looking back at, when God has better things for us ahead. Our Christian walk was made to walk forward, as the past fades in the distance of the valley and the map becomes clear of God’s plans on the mountain top of victory. 
Father, thank You for gracing me through this season I just came through. I understand now why, You tell us not to look back. We can only move forward in Your grace to finish the race that You have laid out for us. I am grateful that even though I may have been stunt for a season, I came out stronger. There are seasons for test and seasons for growth, I can feel my faith growing, thank You, in Jesus name, Amen.

God sees each of His children 

July 21, 2017
God sees each of His children 
Genesis 16:13b And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me
Hagar is the handmaiden of Sarah, that was forced to have a child with Abraham in order to please her master, who was barren. Of course like every good soap, once Hager became pregnant, Sarah became jealous and she regretted ever giving her husband to another woman to bring him the gift of child, that only she should deliver. God had already told Sarah, she would be the mother of many nations, but like all of us, she could not wait on God’s timing and decided to speed up the process. Anytime we step outside of God’s will and take matters into our own hands, we make a mess and then try hiding it under the rug. Sarah cast Hager out, pregnant, alone and scared to die in the wilderness. 

Last week I read Sarah’s story and was moved by how God’s timing is always prefect and that we can rejoice with laughter as other’s celebrate with us of God’s fulfilled promises. This week when I look at Hager’s situation, I know she did not have a surprise baby shower with lots of family and friends to help her, instead she has been handed the short end of the stick. She was an Egyptian handmaiden with no rights, she could not speak for herself and was expected to disappear with the unborn child that was conceived out of impatience, but later regretted out of bitterness. What makes the story of Hager so important, is that when she had no one to turn to and no place to go, God arrived at His prefect timing to speak life over her, her unborn child and situation. Hager who was a slave to the very woman God had promised to be the mother of many nations. Was not seen, heard or even given equal rights by others, found herself in the eyes of God, her creator who sees, hears and knows her by name, who counts her just as important to His kingdom as Sarah. 

Each of us have people in our lives that we may feel we shadow and that no one can see us past their talents, beauty, authority and the higher position they may hold. Know this no matter who you are, rich or poor, young or old, shy or outspoken, what ever your talents maybe, God sees you and in His kingdom you serve an important part of the gospel of Christ and His promise of salvation. 
Lord, thank You for the story of Hager and the reminder that none of Your children gone unseen. Help me to always remember that I hold an important part in Your kingdom, and no matter what situation I find myself in, You are always there with me, in Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Rejoice in Deliverance 

July 12, 2017
Rejoice in Deliverance 
Genesis 21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.
Sarah was no stranger to heartache, she had wanted a baby so bad that she gave her handmaid to Abraham to conceive a child, (Genesis 16:2) but that plan only back fired on her, (Genesis 16:5). Even when God promised her that she would bare a child in old age, she laugh at the thought of being a grandmother mom, (Genesis 18:12). But when the Lord delivered His precious promise, the only thing she could do was rejoice with laughter, and this rejoicing sparked a fire that cause others to laugh with joy along side her. 

God will deliver His promises in our lives and like Sarah His deliverance always causes for a standing ovation. I too experience my own rejoicing in the Lord last fall. What I had thought was a normal hysterectomy procedure, was actually God delivering me from cervical cancer, that not even my doctor had known was hidden inside my endometriosis. This deliverance caused my family, friends and church to stop and rejoice in the Lord with a loud uplifting praise of His healing touch. God’s deliverance comes in different shapes, forms and sizes. Some cry to remind us of His promise of deliverance, (Genesis 17:16) and others are silent reminding us that God is always in control and He will deliver and heal us in His timing, (Proverbs 3:5-6). 
Lord, I lift my eyes up to You, for You are my help in every season. I rejoice in Your grand deliverance over my health, life and salvation. Thank You, Lord for Your perfect timing. I pray to continue rejoicing over Your healing touch, so that others may know, I serve a mighty God that can part waters, bring dry bones to life and prepare a table for us before our enemies, in Jesus name I praise and pray, Amen. 

He Knows My Name 

July 10, 2017
He Knows My Name 
Isaiah 43:1 But now this saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 
Throughout the Bible, God gives His people names that offer an understanding of their worth to Him. 

As you read throughout Scripture, you will find your name written in His Word of who you are in His kingdom. We are His “treasured possessions,” (Exodus 19:5). We are the “people of His inheritance,” (Deuteronomy 4:20). We are the “sons of the living God,” (Hosea 1:10). We are His “friends,” (John 15:15). No matter what your given name is, God knows your name, and He calls you to Him by your name and you belong to Him, (Isaiah 43:1). 

The greatest weapon we have against the kingdom of darkness is knowing who we are in Christ. As children of God, we are not who Satan and the world says we are. We can stand firm in Christ identity under every attack of the enemy. As a child of God we are not our past and our failures. We are the redeemed of the Lord. His chosen generation a royal priesthood, (1 Peter 2:9). We are so loved by God, Who will never abandon nor forsake His beloved children, (Hebrews 13:5). We are blessed and favored! 
Father, as I read Your names for me I agree with your Word. I receive Your truth of who I am in the Lord. I pray to deepen my understanding, I pray for Your help to learn and discover who I am in Christ. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Fit Into The Armor

July 9, 1017 
Fit Into The Armor 
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
I have read the armor of God verses in Ephesians 6:11-18 so many times and I have even acted out placing each piece of this holy armor on me in the morning as I have prayed for protection for the day. Then as my day gets going, I allow pieces of my armor to fall off at times only to lose my security against Satan’s attacks. I would then question my faith and faithfulness, thinking I am not good enough to wear this sacred family heirloom. That is not the truth, God’s armor is a one size fits all. This holy armor fits the smallest to the largest, the youngest to the oldest. There is no requirement of how good or even the amount of work you do in order to have the permission to wear God’s armor. The only requirement that He does ask of us, is that we fit into the armor and not make the armor fit us. Often times when we have prayed for protection against our enemy, we place the armor on, only long enough to wear it past the enemy’s line and then take it off when we think we can defeat him ourselves. God’s armor is not to be worn as a disguise. His sacred armor is to be worn as a symbol that we are covered in the blood of the lamb, guarded by the seal of the Holy Spirit and loved by God, who will still protect His fully armored child, because the battle truly does belong to Him. 
Lord, I have tried many times to make Your armor fit my needs, instead of fitting my heart into Your armor. Thank You for laying this devotion on my heart tonight, and guiding me through Ephesians 6 to better understand Your plans of protection over my heart, mind and spirit, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.