Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Son

My friend sent this to me in an email and I thought I would share this with you.

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, fromPicasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art..


When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just beforeChristmas,
There was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands..
He said, 'Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly.... He often talked about you, and your love for art..' The young man held out this package. 'I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.'
The father
Opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.. 'Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift.'
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.
On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. 'We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?'
There was silence...
   Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, 'We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.'
But the auctioneer persisted. 'Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?'
Another voice angrily. 'We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Gogh's, theRembrandts. Get on with the    
          Real bids!'
But still the auctioneer continued. 'The son! The son! Who'll take the son?'
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. 'I'll give $10 for the painting...' Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
'We have $10, who will bid $20?'
'Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters.'
The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.
They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.
The auctioneer pounded the gavel.. 'Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!'
A man sitting on the second row shouted, 'Now let's get on with the collection!'
The auctioneer laid down his gavel. 'I'm sorry, the auction is over.'
'What about the paintings?'
'I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will... I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.
The man who took the son gets everything!'
God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: 'The son, the son, who'll take the son?'
Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

    God Bless.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sing O Barren One- For The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Have you ever been in a place where you needed to just shout so loud that only God would really understand how loud you were really shouting because no one else could hear you.....

I needed to give something to God. Something I had carried for 6 to 7 years. I gave it over to him and repented sincerely. Prayed earnestly. I cried unto Him as I was reading my bible. I heard my favorite words cleans me with hyssop and I went to Psalms 51. Tears staining the pages of my bible and shirt. Crying uncontrollably I knew I had been forgiven and He was giving me a new heart and creating right spirit within me.

As the Spirit of the Lord moved, I heard Isaiah, Sing o barren one and I knew it was Isaiah 54. I went and read it out of my inspirational bible and when I was done all I could do was cry the more. You see God had delivered me Sunday morning. God said, He is doing a new thing in me. He is rebuilding the city and because He loves me He took me to Ezekiel 36:26-38 the text he introduced me to 6 years ago which didn't make any since to me then, but is understood now.

I have never known God to give me a personal promise as I have heard others say God has done for them. Although I knew that all of Gods promises were mine. But I asked God "Did you ever give me a personal promise?" Nothing ever came to mind so I figured I had all of Gods promises anyway whether I received a personal one or not.

Well, in January 2009 God gave me a Four-fold promise.

1.Blessings are REAL
2.That He shall send me help from the Sanctuary-Psalms 20:2
3.He is going to give me the desires of my heart Psalms 37:4-7
3.He will fulfill all of my purpose for Him Psalms 138:8

Two month later I received a confirmation from the Lord through a friend on my birthday. I found my birthday email on this past Sunday, which I had printed off nine months ago.

The thoughts shared in my birthday email were the following from a sermon preached from Zachariah 4:1-10. My friend unaware of the original Four-fold promise of God shared the following.

1.God will empower you (by His Spirit)
2.God will remove obstacles
3.God gives promises
4.God gives hope

Two four-fold promises given exactly two months apart. The email with the second four-fold promise was found exactly at the time of God revealing to me that He has me in the palm of his hands. Confirming it the more as re-read my email. I tell you. I had three goals this year and one goal was to know God so intimately that I could see His face and I wouldn't have to go looking for him. All I can say is I want more and more and more of Jesus. I can not get enough of Him. I don't go looking for Him because He is with me all the time. I greet them in the morning, talk with them about what some would consider the menial things of the day, like what am I wearing to work or church or what am I eating today or I don't feel well today. Or Lord, Thank you for the Sunshine beyond the clouds and for riding to school with me. For the trees and grass and you know the menial things most forget about in life... Moreover,The revelation of who He is makes me desire His presence. It's about true worship.... knowing Him in The Spirit Knowing Him as The Truth.... and Worshipping Him in Both because HE IS.

He is,Always will be,and Always Shall Be the Lord that perfects that which concerns YOU and me. and I am sooooo thankful. Are you?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lost but on your way...

I am in the habit of asking the Holy Spirit questions like "what am I wearing to church next Sabbath?", "What would you like for me to do today for you?" or "Where am I worshipping on Sabbath?". Well, the conversation began Friday morning as I am brushing my teeth,and it goes forward like this.

Me- Lord, I am not interested in attending the conference, however, I know you already know this. How about New life?


Me-Niles-Philadelphia! I don't even know where that is, I don't want to go there Lord, wherever there is.

Holy Spirit-Niles Philadelphia.

Me-(Extremely anxious now, because he is sending me straight out of my comfort zone.) Now, I began to negotiate, how about I go back to the Nations.


Me-Lord, I don't like this feeling...it is uncomfortable. Niles-Philadelphia it is.

End conversation.

I processed all day what God was doing. I knew he had something he wanted to tell me that I was not going to get anywhere else.

Sabbath evening has come, I have prepared and ready to rest. I lay down with my word, my journal and spiritual formations book. I began to journal. I realized after about 30 minutes of writing I was holding my pen and sleeping. I woke, turned off my light and went back to sleep. it's about 8pm. At 11:24 pm the Lord woke me out of my sleep with a vivid picture of a friend. I prayed and turned back over. Well, needless to say he wanted to talk and I wanted to sleep but sleep would not come again until 3:40 am.

What the Spirit of the Lord wanted to do for me began at 11:24 pm. He spoke about Himself, he told me about Life beyond Regret, The Practice of Confession and The Guided Life, Receiving Guidance from Him, The Holy Spirit. He then took me to a sermon my father preached one week before he died, and I must say this was the most difficult because I did not think I could make it through the video. Nevertheless, I did and he taught me about Grace and the Reading of the Will. I return to sleep shortly after.

I am driving to church this morning following my mapquest directions to Niles-Philadelphia. I was okay until I thought a I took a wrong turn and pulled over to turn around and I asked

Me- Holy Spirit, am I going the right way cause I don't like being lost. I looked down at my directions and He said "keep going in the direction you were before you pulled over." So, I did.

Driving...I enter the city of Niles...my turn comes up and what do you know DETOUR.

Me- oh, Jesus what do I do now. I follow the detour hoping the street is parallel to the original street I was on.

Holy Spirit-follow the car in front of you.

I follow the car to the light but the light changed and the car turned left and I sat there not knowing what I was supposed to do. I looked at my direction and relized I was at the street I was supposed to take my turn on. It said to go East on Main. Now the street sign said Main street but no east or west and I am geographically challenged without a GPS. So, the light turns green and I go right and realize it was the wrong turn so I turn around and go in the other direction.

Me-Lord,I'm lost again because of this detour.

I keep driving straight looking for Broadway street and all I see it streets named after numbers. I keep driving and then I said.

Me- Lord, I am lost for the 3rd time.

then I heard this voice whom I knew was not the Spirit of God...just go home.

Me-Lord, show me the way, I'm still anxious, I hit a detour, got lost three times but I'm not going home show me the way.

I took a deep breath, pulled my car over and turned around and went in the direction from whence I came. Just as I was pulling into the business district, the Spirit said..

Holy Spirit-Look up.

I look up and there was the street I was looking for. I missed it but I found it. I turned the next corner and the corner after that and was at my destination. I arrived at Niles-Philadelphia 15 minutes late but right on time for the Spirit of God to finish the conversation he started with me the night before. It was powerful. And when I entered the church, the Dean of Admissions (whom I did not know he was),introduced himself and I in return and he said your not at New life this morning. I said, "I tried, but the Holy Spirit said no, and told me to come worship here this morning" he smiled and said Praise God. I said, I am.

The sermon was entitled "through the ups and downs" I laughed inside like Sarah did...The children's story even lined up with what God was saying to me..."Things that go together" I laughed again...
Then the analogy of the rollercoaster did it for me....Once your strapped in....you can't get off till the end of the ride....

John Ortber is the auther of The Life You've Always Wanted and you can find those chapters on the Holy Spirit and Confession in his book.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Underwriting a term not used outside of businesses and agencies who perform this action on a daily basis. Nevertheless, it is a term which should be considered by anyone who evaluates their life.
Introspection, another term I use daily. Lately, when thinking about my investments. Evaluating my returns, debt and values [appreciation/depreciation]. Being ones own underwriter is important, I was reminded of this from a visit home.

In my early adult years I did not underwrite my life and I went bankrupt on more occasions than I care to remember. Making deposits where I expected high dividends and not investing in areas that I should have and knew were profitable; only to be disappointed at the end of the month when I reviewed my statement of life. Then tax season arrives and I am looking for a refund from some of my investments throughout the year but what I receive is a notice from the IRS [Insignificant Rogue Souls] who audit(remind you of all your poor yearly expenditures,want receipts, dates and transaction)me. Then they send me a bill of what I owe them. It was all I could do not to go away but I decided I was not making anymore investments and opened a Savings account instead.

This was great, keeping my deposits in one area, slow growing dividends but growing, no debt, returns monthly went directly into my account. Great I tell you, it was great, but it was too safe. Self-investment is good but it can't get in the way of life investments.

It was at this time I needed investment counseling. I learned the importance of determining my worth. However, this determination took a few years to perfect... and it still is not perfected, moreover it is a continual reassessment. Sometimes daily, monthly and there have been hourly reassessments. The point is are you underwriting your life. One important aspect is I have 24/7 support access and I use Him quite often{there is never a busy signal,no automated voice or voicemail}. I recommend him to everyone I come in contact with. So I recommend him to you too:)

I've made investments lately which I am paying high dividends,however all is not a loss because other investments have returned higher than I could have ever expected. A few adjustments here and tweaks there and the end of the month statement will be pleasing to my sight.

Think about it... how important is underwriting to you?

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Blessing

Thursday, October 15, 2009, I attended my 2 pm Spiritual Formations class aka Personal Spirituality and Faith. I walked in the classroom and thought I had walked into the incorrect classroom, when the professor noticed my puzzled face and said, your in the right place if your looking for Personal Spirituality and Faith. I continued to my seat. Exhausted and recuperating from a long road trip I sat and waited for class to begin...

Lecture begins, Dr. Hall a seminary professor introduces himself and states he is standing in for Dr. Kidder, who is unable to teach the class today. It was at that moment that I said I'm going home. I don't need to be here today. Although my brain was saying lets go my body was not obeying the command. If you can imagine a struggle there definitely was one.

You wrestle not against flesh and blood is what I heard....For your struggle is against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. There was a fight and the flesh was losing. I did not understand why until Dr. Hall begin to talk about the one spiritual discipline that goes unnoticed. The Spiritual Discipline of Blessings.

Here are some thoughts from his lecture...

A recent edition of Christianity today listed over 30 spiritual disciplines
Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline list 12
There is One that is ignored

In search of the Blessing

Gen 27:34
“Bless me—me too, my father!

Without the Blessing Kids Can Grow Up to be . . .

Seekers—People who are constantly search for intimacy, but are seldom able to tolerate it
Shattered—live is marked by fear, depression, anxiety and emotional withdrawal
Smothers—Like a sponge suck every bit of energy from everyone else looking to have their unmet needs met
Angry—still emotionally chained to their parents through an unforgiving spirit which they take into other relationships
Detached—spend a life time protecting themselves from ever being hurt be someone again
The driven—seek to earn the blessing as perfectionist and workaholics
The seduced—look for lost love in all the wrong places

This is where the tears began to well up in my eyes..... I wondered does everyone in the world fall into one of these categories or is there someone out there who has experienced a perfectly well childhood and grown to be well balanced adults...

Dr. Hall then proceed to further explain the blessings of yesterday and today.

The Blessing Yesterday and Today
The Significance of the Blessing Biblically
How often do you think the word bless or blessing appear in scripture? (he asked this question and I answered 600, I was close and he was impressed)
Around 700 times

OT word for Blessing-Berakah
The transmittal or endowment of the power of God’s goodness and favor
Usually through the spoken word and often accompanied by the laying on of hands
Hebrews believed that the spoken word carried with it great power for good or for evil
Words once spoken had a life of their own
When a word of blessing was given, the speaker could not retract it
Gen 27

NT word for Blessing-eulogeo
From which we get the words eulogy and eulogize
Means “to speak well of” or “to express praise”
Most often the act of calling down God’s gracious power on someone
Luke 24:48-51
(sadly we do this when they are dead and gone an unable to appreciate the blessing of expressions or praise for them) a little backwards don't you think. I do.

Four types of Blessings

Spoken by God to people promising His favor (ex. Abraham)
Spoken by people to God—when we speak well of or express praise to God than we are blessing Him (Ps 103:2)
Spoken by God or people over things (Deut 28:4-5)
Spoken by one person to another, often in the name of God (Num 6:24-26)

Our Focus

Spoken by one person to another, often in the name of God (Num 6:24-26)

Within this last category of blessing—the word can have two meanings

General meaning—best kept in mind by the literal translation—to speak well of, to express praise
Luke 6:28

Specific meaning—the intentional act of speaking God’s favor and power into someone’s life, often accompanied by the symbolic act of laying on of hands

Gen 48:8-49:28
Mark 10:16

5 Powerful Relationship Aspects included in the Blessings

Meaningful touch
A spoken message
Attaching high value to the one being blessed
Picturing a special future for the one being blessed
An active commitment to fulfill the blessing

Each of these area Dr. Hall took the time to elaborate on....here is what was said...

Meaningful touch
An essential element in the biblical blessing
Touching was a graphic picture of transferring power or blessing form one person to another
A key to communicating warmth, personal acceptance, and affirmation
Jesus and the blessing of meaningful touch
Mark 10:13-16
UCLA study found that to maintain emotional and physical health, Men and women need 8 to 10 meaningful touches a day
Matt 8:1-4

A spoken message
Incredible power to build up or to tear down
James 3:5-6
Sticks and Stones
To see the blessing bloom in the life of others—Spouse, children, friends we need to verbalize our message. Good intentions aside, good words are necessary to provide genuine acceptance
Hard to give to others what we did not experience

Attaching high value to the one being blessed

Words we speak day in and day out in casual conversation, creates an atmosphere that either chokes and poisons the spirit of those we are in relationship with or blesses them
Prov 18:21
We have the daily choice of speaking death or life
Death-destroying their self-esteem with negative labels, nicknames, household reps, or self-fulfilling prophecies
Life—words that build up and bless others
How often get lost in daily shuffle of just living
Eph 4:29

Expressing High Value

You are important you matter
Prov 3:27-28

Picturing a Special Future
Gen 27:28-29
Letting them know that they have something to look forward to

An active commitment
James 2:15-16
Commit them to the Lord
Commit ourselves to their best interest

Words of Hope
Year locust have eaten—Joel 2:25
You can start with a clean slate today—Phil 3:13
Countless people are waiting for someone to speak God’s blessing into their lives—Start today

Friends, and I do not use this word lightly. If I call you friend it is because you have earned a place within my heart and you are endeared to me. There is enough wisdom here in this lesson alone to keep you busy for the next year. Before I left Syracuse in August 2009 a woman approached me and said I have a word for you from the Lord. I humbly sat down and begin to pray silently to myself and waited for her to speak... she opened her mouth an prayed. She then proceeded to tell me as she called me by name that Blessings are real. She repeatedly said it until confirmed I heard what she said. She said God wants you to understand that they(blessings) are real do you hear Him. I listened intently, she said some other things and our conversation was finished. I believe God has Prophets/Prophetess who do what God tells them to do when he want them to do it. She spoke that word to me in January 2009 and what has resonated with me the most is Reshana, Blessings are REAL!

So, if you follow me, the class on Thursday was God speaking(reminding me) into me what he said to nine months ago and all I wanted to do was leave and go home. Hence, the struggle. When I thought of blessings, I thought of the monetary kind, health you know the ones we are all so concerned about. But what I took from that class that day is the five relational aspects included in blessings. There were other areas in which God continues to help me with, but I did not realize how much power lies within those 5 aspects until I thought about my FRIENDS. Something, I have been thinking about lately. I share this lecture and my experience as a hope that you are blessed with a profound sense to put into action those 5 relational aspects of blessings....because they are REAL.

I also would like to thank Dr. Hall for being a willing vessel that day, because he did not have to teach our class.... it could have easily been canceled. But you see, I believe in providence. God knows exactly what his children need and when they need it. He knows what I, Reshana needs. Thank you God, and thank you Dr. Hall.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

God which mountain are you climbing for me today? because I'm right behind you.

I attended Pioneer Memorial Church this morning on the suggestion of one of the Deans of the college for Sabbath worship. It was a wonderful experience after I got over the initial nerve racking anxiety. I tell you, I never thought I had a problem with this before but it has proven to me that yes, I do.

I will save you the initial details of my freaking out experience and get down to the nitty gritty of things, shall I say. First, I would suggest you catalog this website into your fav's somewhere or podcast area www.pmcchurch.tv . Today's sermon was a continuation, and I look forward to getting session one.

Let's Go to 1 Samuel 1:14 "Lessons from the White Spider" II (the answers will be capitalized)

I am not going to re-preach Pastor Nelson sermon, I'm going to give you the exact same lessons to live by that he gave the congregation this morning.

Lesson # 1- God isn't dependent on NUMBERS. vs 14:6

-Leviticus 26:8

Lesson #2-COURAGE is contagious. vs 14:6

-Theodore Roosevelt: "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Lesson #3- With God you must climb with an "ADVANCE MENTALITY" vs 7-9

-Erwin Raphael McManus: Somehow Jonathan understood that when you're moving with God, you must move with and advance mentality. You move forward unless God tell you to stop. You advance unless God tells you to wait. There are certain things that you do not need permission to do. You've already been commissioned to do them [What would that be?] There are certain things you do not need a calling to do. You've already been commanded to do them" (Seizing Your Divine Moment 155)

Lesson #4-For some mountaintops the greatest challenge is the ARRIVAL, not the ascent. vs 11-12

-Elijah (Mt Carmel Experience-->[ top of the mountain] threat of death from Queen Jezebel ->ran for his life--> series of emotional events.

-"In the valley of humiliation, where men [and women] depend on God to teach them ad to guide their every step, there is comparative safety. But the men [and women] who stand, as it were, on a lofty pinnacle [mountain]...-these are in gravest peril. Unless such [people] make God their DEPENDENTS, they will surely fall." (PK 60)

Lesson #5- LEADERS must LEAD. vs 12

-John Maxwell: "Leadership is INFLUENCE- nothing more, nothing less."

-1 Corinthians 11:1-"Follow MY example, as I follow the example of CHRIST."

Lesson #6-Speak FAITH into your climb and battle. vs 12

-Exodus 14:13,14- "Do not be afraid. Stand firm. The LORD will FIGHT for you; you need only stand still."

- 2 Chronicles 20:15- "Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the BATTLE is not yours, but God's."

-2 Chronicles 32:7,8- "With us is the LORD our God to help us and to FIGHT our BATTLES."

-1 John 5:4- "This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our FAITH."

-Almighty power is not in our FAITH; our faith is in the power of the ALMIGHTY.

Lesson #7- Stay "right behind" your divine Jonathan

"Climb up after Me"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trusting in the MAN with the Plan

Have you ever seen the movie final destination? I have and praise him....I am not on that path....I'm on Gods.

This morning I left NY at 4:23 am after a few hours of sleep. I awoke, reminisced for a few moments, prayed, dressed said my thank you and good byes. My twin and I were on the road. I had first drive. I drove from Syracuse to 96 miles outside of Toledo, Ohio. I was getting sleepy by then. We stopped gassed up the car and Ralph took over. I prayed through our travel, talked to the lord and was thinking through some scriptures. I was updating my progress along the way via face book and talking with my sister, Renee. As we continued on, I was reading Psalms 62 and verse 8

Psalm 62:8 (New International Version)

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Just as I finished reading the last word, my brother said, the tire just blew, I said where, he said on the trailer, driver side. We pulled over, we were in a dangerous spot on the highway. The car shook fiercely as the trucks flew by at 70 plus miles per hour...(thanks to Indiana's speed limit). We sat there for a minute. I said, to the lord, okay, Lord we have a blown tire. My brother said we have to get out of the car. Its not safe. So we got out. Now, mind you one hour prior to this my cell phone was fully charged. When I went to call the trailer company for roadside assistance my phone battery began to die. I said, Lord, hold this battery life long enough for me to get this information to the operator. Midway through the call the phone died. I didnt have enough power to call them back but I had enough to leave a message on my sisters voice mail to pray.

One hour passed, we sat there, I was in the most peaceful state, singing one of my favorite 5 2 life songs, praising God, thanking him that the trailer didn't flip over and that my first reaction wasn't a complaint but a thank you. I told my brother you know people don't stop anymore to see if you need help... I wonder why that is..... he replied, I dont know... I sat down on the very hot side rail about 20 ft away from the car for safety reasons and this car drove by with some young people in it who waved at me. I wave back with a smile. I thought that was nice. Soon after that, a white van pulled up and Ed got out and said you two okay, we said yes, and asked if he was from the trailer company. He replied, no. He said he would send us some help. We both said thank you. Not ten minutes passed and a big Red truck pulled up and with a nice man who had been married to his wife for 30 years and I didnt get his name but he stayed there with us the entire time. His truck was equipped with one of those big yellow arrows that tells you to get over in the other lane. He said, your car is safe now, you can sit in it if you like. I trusted him. I returned to my car. We waited another hour, in that time the state trooper showed up and asked if the tow company had come and they hadn't. I asked the gentlemen in the big Red truck if I could use his cell phone to call the company again and I did. He was able to give them our exact location. The tow company was there in no time. When the tow man showed up, I asked him his name, he said Lee, I said Lee, I said a prayer for you. He said thank you and I will continue to pray for you until you are done. He smiled. God kept him, us and the man in the big red truck. The Red truck and tow truck waited till we were safely in our car and on our way. Now, here is the run down,

1. My tire blew on my trailer
2. It did not flip over and kill my twin and I
3. A fully charged phone died
4. I missed my housing appointment
5. I met three new people and prayed for them
6. The significance of the Three Men, the colors White and Red is overwhelming(I can't even begin to break that down for you right now)
7. I arrived at my appointed destination, B-S, Michigan at the Fullness of time.
8. I had the opportunity to spend the evening with my brother and sister-n-law and niece.
So all I can say is, Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,a]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[a] whob]" style="font-size: 0.75em; line-height: 0.5em; ">[b] have been called according to his purpose.

& Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Faith-Believe it or Not

What is Faith?

Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. Faith is the reason we remember great people who lived in the past. It is by Faith we understand that the whole world was made by God's command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen.

Some examples:

  • By faith Abel offered God a better Sacrifice than Cain, God said he was pleased with the gifts Abel offered and called Abel a good man because of his faith. Abel died, but through his faith he is still speaking.
  • It was by faith that Enoch was taken to heaven so he would not die. He could not be found cause God had taken him away.
  • It was faith that Abraham obeyed God's call to go to another place God promised to give him. He left his own country not knowing where he was to go.
  • It was by faith that Moses parents hid him for three month after he was born.
  • It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of the king of Egypt daughter. He chose to suffer with God's people instead of enjoying sin for a short time.
  • It was by faith that Moses left Egypt and was not afraid of the kings anger, Moses continued strong as if he could see the God that no one can see.
  • If was by faith that Moses prepared the Passover and spread the blood on the doors so the one who brings death would not kill the firstborn of Israel.
  • It was by faith that the people crossed the Red Sea as if it were dry land.
So, Do I need to give more examples? I do not have time to tell you about Barak, Gideon, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the Prophets. Through their faith the defeated kingdoms. They did what was right, received God's promises and shut the mouths of lions. -hebrews 11:1-33 NCV

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Is this something I can do

Letting go and letting God can be challenging.  I have experienced this from time to time in my past and currently in my present . However, I have learned that God positions me in situations that are favorable and teach me how intimate He wants to be with me. I love this time with him and I leave these moments different from when I began. My current lesson is learning how to be still and enjoy the relationships he is setting up in my life. Connecting with people who I have known but did not know them on a personal level. I am enjoying this learning experience and I am taking in each sweet moment. These are the precious times we share with our God, but never underestimate or overestimate these opportunities with Him. These are teaching moments. It is good to take in what He has for us, but first things are first and that simply is getting out of Gods way, so He can do what he does best and thats being God.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fear and Trembling

I'm a Christian. I've been a Christian since 1996 although I knew of God in my childhood. I was baptized into the Baptist denomination as a child under the care of my mother. She instilled in my siblings and I the importance of a foundation. Not just any foundation but one that is built upon the Rock, the Rock of Jesus Christ. So, I knew God.

Now as an adult I find myself in a very different area in my relationship with my friend and Savior. Trembling would best describe what is going on within me. From the top of my head to the soles of my feet, my every being is trembling. I have a better understanding of the saying, Work out your Soul Salvation with fear and trembling". Philippians 2:12

So, why am I trembling? I am trembling at the thought of not being saved. (I will allow you to meditate on this for a moment)

I'm 36 years young and since I was a child I believed everyone had to go before the Ancient of Days for them self in Judgement. I pictured this big ending to the world, everyone standing, fearfully awaiting their turn to stand and be judged  and found just or unjust, sinner or saved. This ideology has been BLOWN clear out of the water for me tonight. So much so, I am shaking! You must be asking yourself why is she shaking. I'm shaking because I realized the Judgement that I thought I understood to be true is not going to take place at the end of the world because it is going on right now. For some reason my mind did not understand this before tonight. Either I did not understand the Word of God or maybe I was reading in the wrong places. However, my eyes have been opened. The house of God has to be judged first. Why did I think this was going to happen at the end, I dunno. But now I am beginning to  understand the 2ND advent and what it really means

I understand why John says "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" 1 John 2:1. Jesus is pleading for(me and you) the subjects of His grace, Satan accuses them(me and you) before God as transgressors. My lone thought was, "Oh God" please do not let me be found wanting. This is so serious, everything and when I say everything I really mean EVERYTHING, is taken into account, some examples are every secret thing whether it be good or whether is be evil, every idle word we speak we give an account for, wasted moments unimproved opportunities, the influence exerted for good or for evil and its FAR-REACHING RESULTS. (that alone is enough to make one vomit, such as myself) These are just a few. Just like every good deed is recorded every evil deed is too.

Now, I'm not trembling because I don't believe my name is not in the book of life, I trembling because I want to be sure my name remains in the book of life, no one knows when his or her name is going to come before God, is there anything that I have not repented for, ask for forgiveness for that would remove my name from the book of life. One sin not repented of can wipe out all of your righteous deeds. (Again, something to think about) Now your probably saying, That is not the kind of God I serve. My God is a forgiving God. I will not disagree with this, He is a forgiving God, his word says so, however, you have to do your part and ask for the forgiveness so you can receive the forgiveness. You can only be pardoned if you ask to be.

So, you see why this is so important. I couldn't sleep tonight because I was going over in my thoughts, my life, my actions, my deeds, my misgivings, my unfinished business, broken promises, idled time, unimproved opportunities, and sinful deeds. My love, good deeds, the talents I have been given and questioning if I have used them and not buried them.  I needed to share this with you.

The law of God is the standard by which the characters and the lives of men will be tested in the judgement says the wise man: "Fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man for God shall bring every work into judgement." Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

 For other reference read Malachi 3:16, Revelation 20:12, Luke 10:20, and Philippians 4:3 however there are so many more.

I leave you with this, and this is my prayer, "Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service." Nehemiah 13:14.

I hope this provides you with insight enough to take into account from this moment forward how you intend to carry out your life. I'm also speaking to MYSELF!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A whispered Prayer and A Timely reply

A while back, I remembered a devotional thought I had read, it came as a random thought but what I remembered most about the story is the guy washing toilets. I can't pinpoint the exact time when I had read the story, but I remember saying , it would be nice to read it again. 

Well, this morning as I was breezing through my emails, I see, "Washing Toilets". I said, with the excited quivering in my spirit, I read this before and low and behold when I clicked on the link it was the same story. 

Why am I telling you this? Because, God is timely! a quiet thought within,was heard by God; The Holy Spirit.  Months had passed and today was the day He gave me the story again. God is timely in all that He does for us. I hope my sharing this with you, this morning, you will see He is timely for you as well.

Be blessed my friends. 

Washing Toilets
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

..."those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled' (Dan 5:19).

Paul desired a career in the building industry. Early in his career, he was working with a large ministry to help direct several of their construction projects. As the projects were completed, Paul was asked to stay on for future projects. To keep him busy he was given a number of jobs - one of which was cleaning toilets. He recalls getting down on his knees each day and complaining to the Lord, "Lord, I'm a college graduate!" Discouraged, Paul told the Lord, "I will not leave here until You promote me. Please give me contentment with my circumstance."Paul felt totally forgotten by God. A few months later, Paul received a phone call from a man in the Midwest who owned five successful businesses who wanted to interview Paul for a job. This came as a total surprise to Paul. As he drove to the interview, he told the Lord, "I only want your will in my life, nothing else. I am content to remain obscure for the rest of my life if I have You. You must override my lack of experience for me to get this job."

The owner of the company asked Paul a surprising question: "If I asked you to clean a toilet, what would you do?" Paul sat there, stunned. He wanted to burst out laughing. Paul assured him that he would simply pick up a sponge and start cleaning. Amazingly, Paul was hired even though other candidates were more qualified. After several months of success Paul asked his boss why he hired him. His boss replied, "Paul, I still have a large stack of applications from people who wanted this job. Do you remember the first question I asked you in the interview? I asked each one the same question. You were the only one who said he would clean the toilet. Paul, I am a wealthy man, but I grew up dirt poor. I clean my own toilets at home. I can't have people running my businesses who are too proud to clean a toilet." Sometimes God places us in situations to see if we will be faithful in those before He is willing to promote us to greater things.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Familiar Spirits

Just a  thought passing through my mind and I thought I would share.

You know when you have been delivered from some drastic habit, sin (secret or not) or that one thing you just know you will never return too. Nothing could persuade you to return to that thing that kept you down so long that you care not to remember the amount of time. Well, hold on too that thought.

What happens when you know you know that you will not return there, things are going well in your life and then it happens. That THING rears its ugly head. You are entertained for a few moments, the flesh is enjoying the momentary thoughts and then The Spirit of God intervenes into  your joyful thoughts (of what if's and maybe I might) and  gently you hear "Is this a door you would choose to open again" Your flesh toys with that for a moment, you contemplate "well maybe this is how its suppose to be". Then ever so gently the Spirit of God says, "don't open a door that has been shut nor one where you have no power to close again".

Here is my thought. Opening  a pandora box of emotions, feelings, regrets,  to a familiar spirit can be devastating to your soul. It can cost you your life physically and/or spiritually. How willing are you to return to that which you once knew? Is it that intriguing that you would turn your back on the Man who delivered you. It's something to think about.

Never, ever, ever, underestimate the power of familiar spirits. In other words never underestimate the evil ones schemes to entice you. He KNOWS what you like, what makes you feel good, what makes you cry, and what makes you beg. It is that deep. 

You have to train yourself (study) to recognize the familiar spirit for whom it is and call it by name and rebuke it in the Sovereign name of Jesus.  If you find yourself "stuck" in a sense call someone who is  God fearing to help you Spiritually to remember from whence you came and why you do not want to return.

Thank you too my God fearing friend who reminded me of such things and helped me to remember just how close I am to my blessing. Praise God for my Good Friend.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Whose Fight is it anyway...Part 2

Every day that I draw nearer to the manifestation of the promise of my return to Andrews University God made to me 7 years ago things which are not of my own doing or under my own control have been coming my way.

I began this week with one of my students who struggles with conflict resolution. She is determined to settle all her issues with beat downs. I finally said to her that you young lady have not time to waste. Your on your last leg literally in this school and one minor infraction and you will oust yourself right out of school with only 35 days left of the year. I told her in simple terms in which she understands, XXX, you are to have No Distractions, No Attractions, and No Infractions. This is your mantra for the next 35 days. (Unbeknownst to her it only takes 21 days to make or break a habit) I'm helping her daily to make this a good habit. In doing this, I realized that I not only was speaking to her but God in turn was speaking to me.

"Nothing, Reshana, can distract you from your purpose". Nothing! absolutely, positively nothing. (emphasis mine). So, I have paid close attention to all that has transpired in the last few weeks of my life. My youngest son, who is distracted by demonic activity but gives them other names such as anger, frustration, etc, my eldest son who seems to have lost a sensible respect for me and doesn't realize it until a day or so later when he calls and apologizes, and my daughter who although successful in her education, has a issue with appreciation of the blessings God has bestowed upon her, and me dealing with the demon called depression who continually works at keeping me focused on the loss of my father instead of me celebrating the legacy he left behind that has passed along to me. 

I had been struggling since mid March, a quietness came over me and hovered there for a while, I could'nt pray, or I didn't want to pray but in my mind I knew God could see beyond the exterior into what was really going on in my heart. He reminded me of conversations I had with a friend who said "God hurts with you and he understands your anger, he understands your not wanting to talk to Him, He understands" it was then that I began to remember that My Father knows me, He loves me and I love Him, and we have a relationship that is just for us. During this time, I also realized that I did not know what I liked to do for pleasure anymore. I couldn't remember the things that made me happy, the things I liked to do. I talked to God and told him I'm lost within myself. I have forgotten the things I love. I turned my head and looked toward my plants. I touched the leaves, put my hand in the soil and I remembered, I love the smell of fresh soil on plants, I love the things that are alive and support life, I love to read and write but I had not taken time to do so. I began to remember.

I purposely purchased two books, one for pleasure and one that was recommended for my youngest son to read. The first book called The Shack and the other called This Present Darkness. I devoured The Shack it was so good. A wonderful page turner. I gleaned alot from that experience. However, when I decided I would read the second book this disdain came over me and I couldn't pick up the book lest known read it. Every time I passed the book, I would hear a light voice say read the book. I knew who the voice belong too. I replied, something is keeping me from picking this book up. It was about a week later, the light voice returned and said read the book. So I moved past what I was feeling and picked up the book. I opened the book and began reading and this overwhelming heaviness sat on me. I put the book down and the heaviness lifted. I didn't pick the book up again until a few days later. I read past my feelings, fears and anxieties. The book was slow to me in the beginning, and I was losing interest. But again the light voice said keep reading. I reached chapter 5 and my eyes began to open. I understood that depression had called complacency to assist him in keeping me from reading this book.

I read last night and fatigue came over me, I prayed and continued to read, in the middle of the chapter I was impressed to call my youngest son and have a conversation with him about not giving up or giving in to anything or anyone who was not of God. He understood. He shared that he was praying more, talking to God more and reading His word. I told him to continue to do this, because your battle is not against flesh and blood son, its against the rulers and principalities and spirits in high places. He asked me to continue to pray for him and we hung up the phone. I prayed, and prayed and prayed some more...after awhile, I began to break out in these red blotches on my skin. My body became itchy and I got out of bed and laid hands on myself. Rebuking the enemy in Jesus name. Anointed myself, prayed some more and went back to reading the book.

I share this experience with you for one purpose and one purpose only, that you would not be deceived. Satan is REAL. He dispatches legions of demons to distract us from the call God has on our lives. That is his soul purpose for his existence here. To take any and everyone he can out with him to death. He attacks those who fight against him in prayer and supplication to God. He works to wear down the Saints of God. I realized for over a month I had been giving in to my feelings. Giving in to depression and to those spiritual things that are not of God. The Holy Spirit never left my side, I was protected the entire time but it was my responsibility  to choose whom I was going to listen too. I am thankful that I know the voice of God and that I adhere to Him.

I share those experiences regarding my children not to oust them in anyway but to hopefully be a witness to you that demons show up in any fashion in which to keep you off kilter. He comes through life experiences, trials, tribulations, friends, family, co-workers, Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Members, Politicians, Racism, Movies, Music, Even YOU.  You name it, if you give him a venue he is going to take it. Keep praying for those you love, your prayers don't die. Prayers of my family members before me are still being answered today, and when I am gone my prayers will be answered as well until God returns. If you don't glean anything else from this testimony, glean this, No Distractions, No Attractions and No Infractions. Remember the story of Sampson and Delilah.

Blessings my friends, and to close, I would like to share that God has shown me the deliverance of my youngest son, and promised me years ago through his word Isaiah 54:13 that, "All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace". That is a promise my friends, one that I remember and hold on too when what I see doesn't come close to what is promised. Thank God seeing is not Believing. Hold on until your change comes.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Whose fight is it anyway?

There are struggles you would not understand if you were not walking with Jesus. I'm not referring to the everyday issues...you know the flesh and blood kind. I'm speaking to those things which you have no control over. I was struggling for a few weeks, wavering in my trust in him because what I felt and seen seemed impossible to overcome.
I was sent a reminder that inspite of my feelings, inspite of what I have seen before me, inspite of the very dim light I may have seen at the end of the tunnel, inspite of myself, I have to rely on the only person who is able to handle all my situations and see me through. Especially, those in which I personally did not place myself into. Being obedient to God is a good thing, it's better than sacrifice and fasting. In obedience you may suffer consequences. I have been obedient. I have done what God has instructed me to do and because of my obedience I have been attack from every direction.

It was not until God reaffirmed His word in me through a friend that I realized I serve an Almighty God. The following helped me to understand that God will send help from the Sanctuary, Empower you by his Spirit, Move Obstacles out of your way and give you Hope about your future.

He says “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 7 Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!”

5in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now. 6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 7For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me. Philippians 1:5-7

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Need I say more...Nope.

Be Blessed my friends.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TPP:The Pruning Process

Since my last entry on the 15th, I've studied John 15: 1-11 in conjunction with Bruce Wilkinson's book Secrets of The Vine. I read this book some years ago and gleaned what I needed from it. However, when God has a word for you, you have to go with it. The conversation I had with God regarding the true vine and the vine dresser was the beginning of a continued conversation that began a few years prior when I read Wilkinson's book. Funny how the lord picks up right where he left off, no time has passed for him spiritually speaking, because he is time, however that's a whole different conversation, but time has passed for me. Not enough that I forgot what we discussed then but enough to allow me to process, digest and excrete the gifts in which he stored in me then.
The pruning process can be a very painful experience. The strength of the pain all depends on your response to the cutting. However, it is still a painful process. As I refreshed myself in the book, I read and read and read some more until God spoke and said "this is where you are". The author, begins by breaking down the word of who the true vine and vine dresser are. He continues by discussing the array of fruit that grows on the vines which hang from the branches.

Now imagine, you're standing in a beautiful orchard of grapes. The most gorgeous green leafy vines and plump purple grapes. You look down and you see the vine, you think to yourself, "this is Jesus", your eyes move up toward the branches, "this is me" you turn to your left and then to your right and you notice the green leaves and the bunches of fruit that are hanging from the branches "fruit, those things in my life that are produced because of my love for God, some through good works, because of my faith and obedience" then you hold your head up and notice the many rows of vines and its various amount of fruit, "God The Father he attends to the vineyard". "Jesus, the true vine, the vine dresser is his Father, God, I am the branches and the fruit is what I produce".

Your next thought is why, why should I have to endure the pruning shears when I am doing so well. Well there was a time when you produced no fruit at all, you felt the pain in various ways but you didn't know exactly why. Somewhere deep down inside you get to the point where you have no other alternatives and you call on God, realizing he should have been your first call. "If your life consistently bears no fruit, God will intervene to discipline you".

So you have cleaned up your act and now you are bearing some fruit. But how much fruit are you bearing. Before your basket was empty, so you had "no fruit", now your basket has a few grapes in it, awe you have "fruit", but that's not enough because you desire "more fruit" well if your life bears some fruit, God will intervene to prune you, why, because you asked to bear more fruit. Okay, so now, you have arrived your okay with the amount of fruit you have grown and harvested, all is well, God is pleased and I'm good. You have met your hearts desire.

So what happens when Gods desire for you intervenes again so you can bear "much fruit" for him. This is where I am. A few months ago, I began to talk to God about my desire to openly pray at work without the feeling I would be fired for opening our meeting up in prayer before we began. I told the lord how I felt and that this was a struggle for me because I needed to do this but I cant do it in the position I'm in now I will be fired. I shared with God that I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am in the right field of work, however, I realize I am working for the wrong organization. I continued by pleading with God to fix this for me.

Little did I realize that I had opened the door to another pruning adventure. The first two to 40 + times were hard and painful enough, now what have I got myself into. I said, see that is why you have to be careful what you ask for, why couldn't I just be content with where I was. And a still small voice said, because you desire more and more means growing.

God needed me to move somethings out of my life. Things that distracted me, things that I needed to heal from, things that I had to let go of, like fear the reverencing kind. He needed me to trust him more. I already trusted him. I trusted him to take care of me and my family, my job, my ministry everything. But God said, More, I desire more of you. Soon after my journey began. Things began to test my faith, some I passed and some I didn't. I began to journal my experiences with God, some of which you have been privy too. One of my entry I wrote to Him saying "Father how much of whats mine have you already asked for and I have given it it you". I've surrendered my life, my relationships, my right to marriage, my children and grandchildren, my sex life, my job. Lord what else do I have to give. Is there anything I need to give to you that I have not given?

His response, was a little overwhelming. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. This was a two part response from God, he wants me to accept the first part of this statement literally. Secondly, I need act on the second part of the statement. I responded, more of me lord, more of me. I need you.

Therefore, this area of pruning is a process of love, He desires for me to abide in him. To be able to remain, closely connected, settling in for the long term of being together. (now that was deep for me). Bruce Wilkinson's stated, In the seasoning of chastising and pruning, the vine dresser is proactive. He pursues, He initiates. Our role is to respond.

So, how does one abide? There is a 180 degree shift in who initiates the movement toward fruit fullness at the highest level. To abide we must act. Abiding is not, I repeat not doing more to make more fruit, however, we must do something and it wont come easily. In abiding, its always our move.

*There is a promise and practice of abiding.

*If you stay connected to him, if you draw spiritual nourishment from him, if you allow the power that flows through him to flow through you, nothing will hold you back from reaching the most abundant life possible.

*How many of us have been serving Jesus a long time and your not tired yet?

*In abiding, what happens on the surface doesn't count; its whats happening inside that does.

Abiding begins with visible spiritual disciplines, prayer, bible reading, and daily meditation are just few. I read Gods word, I read Bruce Wilkinson's book and what I have written is a portion of my experience. It's not about how I feel, its about my need for more of God. How about you?