Life Without God First Is No Life At All

This blog post was started a month ago and I never took time to get back to it until today. So please forgive me for not being consistent. The past year has been really tough and then Hurricane Florence damaged my home but God is a provider and I know He has this. I wrote this when I was out of work and sitting on the beach the Saturday before the hurricane hit North Carolina. I pray that my words are not hurtful but helpful because it’s taking courage to share so much of my personal life. But I told God to use me in any way that needs. So here is my latest hearts cry…..Much Love to you All!

Life Without God First Is No Life At All

When life gets tough and you’re down and out it’s at that moment when you realize who really cares. For years I’ve been the prayer Warrior for so many; but the hardest person to pray for is yourself. When you are caught in a world wind of attack after attack or perhaps test after test; either way I have learned all too well that if you don’t take time for God by staying in his word and prayed up, you will lose all sense of self.

Being run down physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually gave Satan the doorway to pounce in and to take me out. I know all too well because I’m sitting in my favorite place as I write this and I had to make myself come to the beach. And you all know I love it here and would live here if I could. But I physically had to make myself go to the beach over the summer too! This is totally out of character for me. Depression and Social Anxiety had hit me hard and didn’t want to be around people. I felt worthless until I listened to a CD on the way to the beach, titled Peace and Healing, recorded by a precious sister in Christ. The words spoken where Gods words about me and His thoughts of me. These lifted my spirit and reminded me who I am and to whom I belong, but I just still couldn’t make my way back to where I needed to be.

Staying so busy over the summer I didn’t take time for myself and it took its toll on me. Severe crippling headaches, complete exhaustion, sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, chest pain and elevated blood pressure soon escalated into a trip to the emergency room with stroke-like symptoms on the Saturday before I was to return back to work from summer break. And then about $8,000 later it was determined that I was having neurological migraines which cause stroke-like symptoms which are induced by stress. 

Once again looking out for others before I look out for myself; school started back and I postponed a follow-up with my doctor. I didn’t want to leave my co-workers hanging those first two weeks of school because it’s extremely crazy at the beginning of year. So I waited two weeks more to see my doctor. By that time I was a complete wreck and she took me out of work for the rest of that week. I know you are probably saying “she should have missed work and taken care of herself”. Well that’s the point of my story. I am so into making sure everyone else is OK, that I fail to look out for myself. It was during this time off that I found out who cared and who cared less. And believe me this was painful but opened my eyes.

The doctor told me that my blood pressure was elevated but that it was fine. However the depression that I was experiencing was causing me not to sleep and had done so for several months; in turn causing depression to be worse. It was a vicious cycle. Thanks to a very special lady feeling in her spirit that something was wrong; my precious friend offered me an opportunity for a few days of peace and quiet at her beach home. And since the doctor had taken me out of work the rest of that week I accepted this mini vacation. To breathe in the Ocean air aided my healing. I knew not one person there so I was able to keep to myself without worrying what others might say or think for I looked a wreck. Sometimes you just need to get away to be close to God and enjoy his magnificent creations. 

I’ve been someone who has worried about hurting others feelings or even saying no. But God has revealed to me that it’s okay to look out for me. Because without doing so  I’m definitely no good for anyone! I promise you people will take and take until you’re drained and it doesn’t matter if it’s family, coworkers, friends, Etc. There has to be a line drawn when doing for others never let it become all about them for in doing so we lose our-self. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t’ suppose to be all about ourselves, but you have to have a balance in your life. When we loose our-self; we in turn become disconnected, withdrawn and even start putting God on the back burner. I know because this is exactly what happened with me. Therefore, He must always be first!

Ladies, when you are physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually drained it’s a struggle to feel human again. Best thing to do is do what you can, ask for help and just simply admit we are not Wonder Woman and we can’t do all; regardless of how bad we want too sometimes. It’s ok to say no! It’s ok to stand up for our rights and stop being dumped on! Ladies, God designed us to nurture and care but he gave us a brain to take care of ourselves too.  

I’m learning it’s okay to disconnect and take some me time. Sometimes you just have to not answer the telephone, ignore text messages and voicemail and log out of social media and spend that time with God.When you reach the point where you don’t stand up for yourself and you always feel obligated or find it impossible to say no or to simply ask for help then that’s when you need to step back and question who are you doing this for! Also ask yourself am I going to be effective if I continue at this pace? Am I being true to self or anyone that I am trying to help?

God does say to look out for others but we must look out for us too. Stay in the word, in prayer and never let the cares of the world become more important than God. It’s when we do that the enemy comes right in to destroy us. If we give an itch he takes a mile. 

So much happened over the summer break from work and school. Consumed I was and is an understatement! I know everyone has busy lives and things going on but here is my summer in a nutshell. I’m not complaining, just wanted to share with you when everything hits you at once and you don’t stay in the word and in prayer how easy it is for satan to sneak right in. We must stay armored up at all times.

1. 7 1/2 weeks of radiation for my mom with me taking her 3 to 4 days a week @ 100 miles traveled a day and being gone anywhere from 3 hours to 6 hours.

2. First two days of summer break consist of decorating for VBS. Then the first full week I helped teach 3 and 4 year old kids from 6:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and then next week is when Mom started her radiation.

3. I had about three days of just sitting on the beach for a few hours in about five walks down the beach.

4. Not much sleep, was cranky and pushing myself.

5. 2 1/2 acre yard to mow. And it was wet most of the summer. Needed to do repairs to my home, and my pool was flat to the ground and no time for it.

6. I had no air condition except for window unit until close to the end of July. Therefore I was unable to cook in the house because it was really too hot inside and about 85 degrees  inside most days.

7. Headaches and exhaustion I didn’t even feel like going to church most of the time and I missed more services than I wanted.

8. Then Satan used someone to try and tear me apart from church family.

With everything going on I was still trying to be mom and dad and do everything myself. Unfortunately, I have discovered I am not Wonder Woman!! I can’t do it all but I know a God who can and will supply all my needs. My friends, just remember a life without God first is no life at all! I may have missed the mark over the summer. And I may have not been pursuing God as I should have; but He continued to pursue me. He never left my side, Praise His Holy Name! Don’t allow yourself to stay so busy doing for everyone else that you fail to do for you and your household. Ask for help when it’s needed, stay in Gods Word and stay prayed up– never leave God for He loves  you more than anyone ever will! And remember it’s ok to say NO!

***Ephesians 6:11- Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

***1 Timothy 5:8 – Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, had denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

My dear precious friend thank you so very much. Words can never express my gratitude for your love and generosity. You and your family are truly God sent and wonderful blessings in my life! 

To God Be All the Glory, Honor & Praise! 

Much Love to you All !

Donna

Surfing the Christian Life in Ever-Changing Tides

The ocean is choppy as the high tide slowly washes ashore. And as I sit here talking with God; I am reminded that life is much the same way. Not smooth and things that we desire seem to come slowly. God has reminded me too that as it is a process for the ocean tide to change; it’s a process for our lives also. As a Christian, our growth and maturity come slowly; for we do not become mature over night in life and we defiantly can’t become a mature Christian overnight either. It’s an ever-growing relationship as we dive into the Word, die to the flesh, spend time in prayer and getting to know the Father more intimately each day.

Accepting Christ  as my Lord and Savior in January 2008; I hadn’t a clue as to how I was suppose to act, behave or even what to do as a Christian. And believe me; I got a lot of things wrong. When I accepted Christ, He deposited seed into me for the calling He has placed upon my life. However, it has been up to me to nurture those seeds so that the calling grows thus bringing a harvest. Slowly we are getting there as there have been set backs and complete wipe outs in my walk. And each time, I asked God to forgive me and I too have had to ask others to forgive me because I was surfing this Christian walk all wrong. I was guilty of using Bible verses to show others they were wrong, I was judgmental, prideful, arrogant, disobedient, controlling, angry, hateful, unthankful, unholy, lustful, selfish and self-centered. These things just don’t change overnight. God changes us but we have to want it and be willing to receive correction.

 The enemy will remind us of our past even through our senses; I call these triggers because it sets you back to a particular place or person from the past. He uses these to try and throw us off our Christian walk by speaking to our flesh. It’s a constant battle between the spirit and the flesh and I failed more times than I want to admit. But I have learned when you wipe out; get back up and ride again.

***2 Timothy 3:2 (KJV) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.

*** Ephesians 4:19 (NIV)They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

***Colossians 1:21 (NIV) Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.

Fast forward to now; as I look back over the past 10 years, it’s been a choppy ride. However, I have learned many things from life lessons and the wisdom and knowledge that have been deposited into me through the highs and the lows. As I dig deeper into the things of God, nuggets of wisdom are placed into my spirit. God is cheering me on for He is my biggest cheerleader. He wants us all to succeed in our walk with Him and in life.  Whereas satan wants us to fail at everything and completely wipe out and stay down. Sometimes it feels like for every step forward we get knocked back three, but we are winners through Christ. We only loose when we give up!

I have realized that our greatest sermons come from our life experiences; thus using our own testimony. As this is the life that we lived so what better way to help someone who is going through than to have experienced it for ourselves. Not that we are proud of our past; but being an overcomer we are able to help others overcome the same. Not to be prideful but to witness in humility from the lessons learned the hard way, as we now live a life for God completely changed with evidence seen in our daily lives.  

I want to please God in all that I do, say, think, etc. and I pray daily that He never takes the Holy Spirit from me. Ten years ago I didn’t even realize that the Holy Spirit would even reside within me, but now I can’t imagine a life with out Him! Over the last decade there have been many trials and tribulations; some that were major set backs as I turned from God to live in the flesh. It’s a daily battle to overcome fleshly desires and no one is immune; but the Holy Spirits guidance, makes it possible.

I can’t say that every fleshly desire is conquered as of yet; as I am reminded daily of my past, what I lost, what I don’t have and that I am alone (meaning no husband or companion). Our Heavenly Father will give us the desires of our heart, just to show us that perhaps that is not what we truly want. But you know… I am good with alone as I grow and dance with God. For I know at the appointed time regardless of how slow it may seem to me the Father will allow my husband to cut in. It’s my place to seek God above any other relationship, for God is a jealous God and wants us to desire to be with Him more than any other. And although I desire to be married with a large family; my greatest desire is to continue dancing with God and being used to glorify Him with everything I do. Just as it is with the ever-changing tide of the ocean, so has been my walk with God but praise the Lord I am changing and maturing every day. Maturity in Christ takes time….time in the Word, time in prayer and time alone with the Father desiring His Best for Us!

Keep on surfing as the tides in life change and if you wipe out; get back up, repent and ride again!

To God Be All the Glory, Honor & Praise!

Love to You All,

Donna

Relentless Love in a Fleshly World

When God asked me to start writing this blog almost 2 years ago; I was very hesitant. Afraid to share the deepest and darkest truths of my life, but trusting God I proceeded. This wasn’t something I wanted to do, but God needed me to do so that not only would I heal, but help others. Believe me reliving secrets that I had chosen to forget not only hurt me but gets me lots of stares and talking behind my back. This bothered me at first but then I realized that being obedient to God was more important and I was receiving healing.

Through it all I finally realized I am more than what the world says I am, more than my past, more than just that shy-scared little girl, more than my bad choices, and more than who I had settled to be. My past doesn’t’ define who I am! However, the enemy will continually try to place you in the past by any means he can. His schemes are unrelenting but with God all things are possible; even standing for what is right when it means standing alone.

One thing for sure is that Gods love is relentless! He never leaves us or forsakes us; even when it feels like He has. I remind myself often that it’s when the teacher is silent that I am being tested. One awesome thing about test is when we pass one; we can move onto the next and not repeat that one again. Strength has definitely come from obedience and although I don’t understand this world sometimes, God carries me through always!

When I said the enemy will remind us of our past; here is an example:

I was recently asked out by someone who I had seen but I didn’t know him. At first he was saying all the right things through messages but after just 2 conversations by phone and carefully paying attention to the words (the fruit) that came out of his mouth, I realized that perhaps this nice Christian man wasn’t walking with God as close as I desire. I have asked God to guide me in dating for I don’t want to date just anyone. I don’t know about men but for a woman, heart connections are made when they start spending time with a man. And I don’t want heart connections made that are not of God. I want to save my heart for my husband; therefore I have to ask the Holy Spirit for direction for I want to make right choices. Sometimes our fleshly nature wants to fight but thank God I listened this time.

***Galatians 5:17(NIV) For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Being upfront and honest I told this man that my walk with God is the most important relationship that I will ever have. Then I proceeded to tell him that I don’t drink, don’t’ smoke, don’t spend nights, and that I don’t lay down and snuggle or have sex until I am married to the man. His response was “I hope you understand. I want someone affectionate like me.!” Well I got my answer and I completely understand. He was more interested in my body than my heart! Thank God I was obedient and bold enough to stand up for what is right!

Truth is I am very affectionate person but will only be that affectionate with my husband. Now the old me made lots of bad choices and snuggled just a little too quickly; but praise God I am not who I use to be!  At that moment is when I realized that this man was either a trap of the enemy to set me up for failure or a test from God on obedience. However my love for God is greater than the desires of my flesh. Oh how I long for a husband but I want the right one (the man God has hand picked for me). As of now my one true love is God and as I dance with Him, he will allow the right one to cut in at the right time.

***Romans 8:5(NIV)Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

***1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV) Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

As painstakingly tough as it may be to do the right thing, it is so worth it in the end. For settling for Mr. or Mrs. Wrong only brings heartache and boy do I know all about that! And when loneliness strikes us and the desire hits to have a person in the natural to love and hold us we might be apt to settle. But don’t! If physical is all we or they desire then that is exactly what will have to keep your relationship together; that is not true love. At my older age I have realized that what feels good right now may not make you feel good later. I want someone who loves me for my heart and not my body. We must control our flesh or it will control us and put us on a spiritual, physical, emotional and mental path of destruction.

***James 4:7 (NIV) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

***Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Ladies and gentlemen guard your heart above all else, for out of it flows life! Be watchful and ask God to guide you for the enemy seeks to kill, steal and destroy. Everyone who asks you out may not be good for you – test the spirits and be upfront. If you have a personal relationship with God then honor Him as your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Pray and ask God to prepare you and your future spouse for one another. Until then dance with God for He is our one true love that will never leave us. Wait for the one that loves you too much to disrespect you and your body, wait for the one who loves God first and more than he/she will ever love you. Wait for the one who will pray with and for you; wait for the one who leads you closer to God! It is so worth the wait to have the marriage you have dreamed of and a marriage made in Heaven!

To God Be All the Glory, Honor & Praise!

Much Love to You All!

Your Waiting Sister in Christ,

Donna

 

***Galatians 5:22-26

***John 10:10

***1 John 4:1-6

***Deuteronomy 5:33

Growing Pains

A long read but well worth it!

Growing up can be difficult with many harsh lessons along the way especially if we don’t listen to our parents for they try to teach us. The same can happen as an adult when we grow and mature in Christ. Developing that deep relationship with God takes you places you never dreamed and will open your eyes to the ugly truths we dare to face or even want to admit. Our Heavenly Father loves us even as He is correcting us; however we must be teachable and willing to receive the correction. And believe me; this can be very painful! Some of those harsh truths about ourselves are hard to swallow. But when God calls you out on it; you know you better listen.

One of Samantha’s friends is planning to get married and Samantha is to be in the wedding. Therefore all of the young ladies that are in the wedding are to meet in a city about 3 hours from here to try on dresses. This day just happens to be on the same weekend of our ladies conference at church. So when she told me about this; immediately I said, “That’s the conference weekend we can’t go! Aren’t you suppose to dance? Isn’t there another weekend you all can do this?” Little did I realize that my not so baby girl was planning to spend the night there and mama wasn’t wanted on this trip.

You see she has never driven any long distance alone so I assumed that I was going to go with her. Afraid to let her go alone and drive this distance it was hard for this single mama bear to swallow. It’s tough when your baby doesn’t need or want you for everything anymore, especially when you have been the only constant in her life and she in yours. Little did I know, but we both had some growing up going on and God was about to get me straight.

     ***Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Panic mode hit after I realized Samantha didn’t want me to go. She’s grown up and ready to spread her wings and fly, but gosh it hurt! All I could think of was she’s never driven this far before and that drive alone wasn’t good for her. I guess I was really trying to wiggle my way into this trip. I was upset with her and afraid at the same time over this. But after telling her I would feel better if a friend at least rode with her; she got a female friend to go and my precious daughter has already booked their room. Wow, she has really grown up and it seems like over night!

     ***Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes  to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

     ***Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A few weeks ago as I was sitting in a church service, before I knew Samantha’s friend was going with her, God spanked me good fashioned. It was a time of correction for me! I was thinking about this entire ordeal and was upset with her over it. But being mama bear I was mostly afraid something would happen if she went alone. Everything popped into my head from someone kidnapping her, to the car breaking down, to her getting lost, in a wreck or worse! Panic and fear had set in! But that Sunday morning in church God spoke to me and said, “Why do you not trust me?” “How do you expect to teach others to trust me when you don’t even trust me to take care of Samantha?” WOW!!  Just WOW!!  Talking about a revelation! That hit me like a ton of bricks!

I thought about what God said to me and He then reminded me that He gave His only Son for me. And that I don’t truly trust Him, if I can’t trust Him with my most prized earthly gift. After all, He gave me this precious gift and He has always taken care of us. He also reminded me that I pray for the safety of others all the time and that I can do the same for her. After reflecting on what God had said I had to repent to our Father and I had to ask Samantha to forgive me. Growing pains hurt but God is molding me as I grow in my relationship with Him.

All of this took place before summer break from school started; I got busy and didn’t think about it again until this past Sunday. As I was getting ready for church; God reminded me once again of this revelation of not trusting Him to protect Samantha. I tell her all the time that ALL things are possible to those who believe. And you know what, if I truly believe this then I should have no problem believing Gods got her and will protect her. After all she is His and He loves her more than me. So next weekend my not so little girl will take her first of many trips without her mama and guess what, she will be just fine! Gods got her and she is graced with divine favor and protection for she is a precious jewel in His eyes.

     ***Matthew 21:22 (NKJV) And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

     ***Matthew 19:26 (NIV) Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Growing pains hurt but they are much needed for us to mature as adults and as Gods Chosen Vessels. We are called so we must be willing to receive correction when and where it is needed. Sometimes we are blinded and can’t see those ugly truths about ourselves; and as painful as it was to face; I thank God that He called me out to correct me! My prayer is that He continues to mold me and shape me by calling me out on any other ugly truths that I am blinded to!

     ***1 John 2:3-6(KJV) And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

    ***Romans 8:32 (AMP) He who did not spare {even} His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

     ***Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV) Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

It’s hard to face the ugly truth about ourselves; but it is much needed for us and those around us for correction to be done. It’s impossible to teach what you aren’t living! May God guide you and bless you as you grow and mature. Mama’s and Daddy’s our baby girls and boys grow up and we must be willing to let go. God gave them to us to train them up to send them out, not to hold them in bondage and never let them go. They can’t make a life of their own and see how far they can fly if we don’t cut the strings. God has great plans for their lives and as tough as it is to see our babies leave the nest, if we hold too tight we might loose them forever. Let go and trust God for He will never fail us! His Word never returns void as He is faithful and His promises are always true!

I share all of this and my previous post with you because God ask me to. And in obedience my prayer is that it helps someone in their life and their walk with God. If just one soul can be saved then all the ugly stares and snickers behind my back will be so worth it all. I do it all for my Father to let you know that He can change a person & a life! If you need a change in your life today, ask Him to come into it and be Lord! I promise, it’s the best decision you will ever make!!

If you need to talk with me, please comment  with your name, number and email address as they are only seen by me until I post and that I would not do to you. 

To God Be All the Glory!

Much Love,

Donna

Swimming Gracefully Through the Storms

I have never learned to swim; however before I was pregnant with Samantha her daddy tried to teach me. But after she was born I never attempted again for the fear of my head being under water. Life is much like this; we try something and if it don’t work then we become fearful and never attempt it again or perhaps we are just fearful of our head being under water and decide it’s much easier to bail out than to stick it out. Some good examples of this might be a marriage, a new relationship, singing in public, etc… I am guilty of all three and so much more!

The past few weeks have been filled with many challenges; not only physically but spiritually. It was raining on Monday afternoon as I was driving to see my parents. Just down the road is a pond where one beautiful duck was swimming all alone through the pouring rain. Right then it was as if God spoke to my heart and said “As the ducks swim in the rain ever so gracefully; that is what you are to do too.” I then realized that the storms raging in my own life don’t have to control me; but God has given me the ability to be in control when everything is out of control!

When the storms of life are pounding on us we are to be just as graceful as the ducks and swim through regardless of how hard it may get, as we trust in our Heavenly Father. This often seems like more than we can do. Just like that duck, at times we may feel we are all alone but God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. And He promises to give us peace if we submit to Him and give Him our burdens. God is a gentleman and will not simply take your burdens; he doesn’t intrude or push himself on you. However, He will carry the load if we will only hand it over.

We were never created to deal with stuff of this world. But Adam and Eve allowed stuff to enter into a perfect world; thus separating us from God. But Jesus was born into the world, died and arose on the third day (Resurrection Day) so that we have a way to be reconnected to God our Father, while the Holy Spirit guides and comforts us. It’s a choice to deal with stuff on our own; we have someone to handle it for us if we will only surrender! However, most of us are stubborn and think we can do this thing called life on own on! I am here to declare, that I can’t and I need God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in every moment for eternity!

Life can be full of many different challenges at home with our spouse, our kids, our parents, our friends, etc… and the challenges within the work place dealing with work issues and with coworkers; sometimes it’s just overwhelming! Stuff (issues) can arise any and everywhere but we can swim gracefully through the storms by pressing into God or we can bail out (failing again) we can react as the rest of the world with outburst of words or walking away from a marriage (failing again) or we can be fearful and just not try (thus loosing out on what could be the greatest blessing coming our way).

 Sometimes we may just have to have our head submerged under that water as we swim through these storms. And we mustn’t be afraid to try because our lifeguard walks on water and he will surely not let us drown. He wants to bless us with the best; but we have to trust the process. Every storm we face is part of the process of growth and maturity in Christ. We have two options; pass or fail. If we fail the test we will have to repeat it; but if we pass He is rejoicing over us and promotion comes. God can’t bless us with greater until we are spiritually mature enough to handle it!

Keep swimming through the storms for they don’t last forever. The secret is to give the storm to God and just trust the process. I don’t know about you but I am tired of failing and it’s time I learn to swim gracefully with God!

To God be the Honor, Glory & Praise!

All My Love,

Donna

 

***James 1:2-4 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

***1 Peter 1:6-9 (NIV) In all this you greatly rejoice, through now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

*** James 1:12 (KJV) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

***Genesis 2:18, 21- 22(NIV) 18:The Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”  ……21So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

***1 Corinthians 7:28 (NIV) But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

What Seeds Are We Harvesting?

When planting a garden we choose what we would like to grow and harvest. What if we just picked up any old seed and threw it out into the yard to see what would come up? Well that is what we are doing when we stray away from the word of God and speak words of doubt, negativity, destruction and death. Out of every word spoken we will either speak life or death.

When our words are not faith filled and we speak out of anger or caught up in the generational curses that were passed down and we accept it as what is; then it’s like a garden mixture with weeds all in the mix. Our bad attitude and words are those weeds and these tend to choke the life out of anything trying to live.  When this happens we get trapped into thinking this is the way it is and we seem to think there is no way out. That is when we have to remember to whom we belong. And remember that He has given us the power to be free from all chains of bondage. We do not have to settle for poverty, divorce, depression, anger, sickness, lack in any area of our lives for this is not the will of God. He has given us dominion over ALL things! But we must choose to speak life over our situations, our life, our marriage, our family, our health, etc. Call those things that aren’t as if they are!  See it in the spiritual realm for that’s what gives birth in the natural… that’s what FAITH can do!

***Genesis 1:26 (KJV) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

*** Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV) This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

*** Romans 4:17 (KJV) As it is written, I have made thee a Father of many nations, before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Sitting at my kitchen table Friday morning, drinking coffee and overlooking my vegetable garden through the windows of my back doors. I was reminded that we reap what we sow; not only that, but how we tend to what is sown effects the outcome. Our children are effected and taught by the seeds that we plant such as our attitude, actions, reactions, words of condemnation, hate, bitterness, anger, rage, depression, drug use, alcohol use, physical abuse, how we treat others including our pastor, how we treat our spouse and our parents, what we watch on TV, what we read, and the music we listen to, etc. Our kids are watching us and do as we do, not as we say. But who are we to demand that they do different than us? What are we doing to make sure that their lives turn out for the better? What are we doing to lead them closer to God? Or are we leading them straight to hell?

Children learn by example and what we have to remember is that those precious young children look up to us and in thinking this is how it is suppose to be; copy what we do. Kids are taught and what we show them is what they learn. They will copy what we do and say. And the way that we behave will affect them. If we behave and speak words of life then our children can grow up in a healthy and happy way. But if we speak and act negatively they may act out negatively, be fearful, depressed, anxious, defiant, and or aggressive. Everything we do and say will affect them one way or another.

When Samantha was a little girl and unable to learn well; I didn’t understand why she couldn’t get it. The words I used and the way that I spoke to her made her feel terrible about herself. I wasn’t living for God back then but still I should have known better! However, the words I used were seeds that I was speaking over her life. My attitude, actions, and reactions towards her were seeds that harvested a field of insecurity and doubt with feelings of unworthiness that I had planted into her little mind. She felt like she was stupid, unlovable and would never accomplish a thing in her life. Sad part is a few teachers made her feel this way too. But I was her mom; the only person she had at home and I failed her for many years! But God made a way! However before God made a way; I led her straight to an emotional and physiological death; to the place where she felt ugly, unworthy of love and had actually believed that negative responses were normal in love and it was ok to accept such in her own personal relationships. It’s taken years to change her thinking and God has moved mightily in her life and in mine. I’m not perfect by no means and the old self tries to rear it’s ugly head sometimes, but I have to daily remind myself that my flesh is under my feet and I don’t live that way anymore.

***Proverbs 18:21(KJV) Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

***Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

*** Hebrews 11:3 (KJV) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Now after sharing this ugly part of my life and being ever so real with you think about your life. Are you acting in a way that leads your seed (your children, grandchildren) to an eternal life or a life of death on earth and for eternity? How are we leading by example? What are we going to harvest? What seeds have been sown? What do you want for you, your children and your children’s children? Look at your heart for everything you do flows from it.

Change is possible for everyone. God is the great physician that heals everything. If you don’t know him today as your personal Savior; that is the place to start to change your life and the life of your future seed.  Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and to come into your heart to be Lord of your life. If you have accepted Him and just need to ask for forgiveness and help in any area of your life, just call out to Him! Repent = ask for forgiveness and turn from your wicked ways. God is full of love, mercy and grace and wants a personal relationship with you. Have faith in the unseen for the rewards are eternal! Choice to speak words of life from this day forward and never turn back. There is nothing in Egypt worth loosing your life! 

*** Isaiah 55:11 (KJV) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Today, if you you don’t know God as your personal Savior and would like me to pray with you; please write in the comments section and I will get back with you. Your comments are safe; no one can see them unless I allow them to be posted. And I promise I will not allow personal comments to be posted. God wants to invite you into His kingdom today, He loves you and is awaiting for you to invite Him in!

To God Be ALL the Glory!

May Gods presence prevail in you today!

Much Love to You All,

Donna

Warnings In The Word

They say patience is a virtue and God is working on this with me. We live in a society of now; everyone wants everything right now. But as I walk in my relationship with God, submitting myself to Him, I am learning to be patient. I realized that being in a hurry all of the time we are more apt to miss the mark and the wonderful opportunities that God is wanting to bless us with. As a teenager I just wanted to date, fall in love, get grown, get married and live happily ever after. My rush and impatience (not waiting on God but running from Him) led me down a dark and lonely road! 

***James 1:4 (KJV) But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Monday as I was laying on the beach I just happened to look up and see the keep off Dunes $500 fine sign. God let me know that this is a warning sign as it is red and white. He also reminded me that His words are written in red and that just like that sign if we fail to obey there is a fine to pay. His Word (Holy Bible) contains warnings, guidance and information but it is up to us to choose for we are given free will.

Spring break is upon us and what was to be a relaxing day at the beach on Monday started out with what seemed like everything going wrong, only to see that it was part of Gods plan. Samantha and I left home later than planned, ran a couple of errands and then we hit road construction in several different places. In one place we had to wait what seemed like forever and as bad as I hate to admit it, I could feel my patience wearing thin. Once they finally let us drive, I could hear the tar debris hitting Samantha’s car as we drove. I knew that it had most likely put blemishes on the car. However before we had reached this particular location; we had already gone through two places where there was rocky gravel and potholes. I was hoping that we were through with all of the road construction. But as I drove God started revealing to me why we have to go through the things that we do sometimes. 

Continuing to drive we ran into more construction where D.O.T. was working and I was beginning to think we were never going to make it to the beach. However this time we didn’t have to wait very long. And it was at this point that God really started speaking to me. He let me know that when we have roadblocks or setbacks in our life that’s when he’s doing construction on us. And as I sat in traffic with my patience wearing thin; God was working on me. As I felt that irritation arise I immediately asked Him to forgive me and He reminded me that I must be patient and that this set back was for my own protection. 

Thinking about what God had said; I then thought about how the car had been blemished from the tar but it will still get me to where I want to go. Then I thought about how my life has been and how sometimes I am not sure if I can really be used to further God’s Kingdom. But He reminded me that even with blemishes; for example my impatience, I can still keep moving forward as I had repented of that deed. It doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside or where we came from; it’s our heart that matters. We just have to submit ourselves to Him and be obedient. Just like all of the road signs that are put out for construction, speed limit, yield, etc. we have a road map (The Bible) and it is filled with many different signs – information, warnings, regulatory and guidance. 

Road construction signs are everywhere when D.O.T. or the cable company are out working. As inconvenient as it may seem even when we are stuck in traffic, God can use these times to speak to us, to mold us and prepare us for what is to come. God used something as simple as road construction traffic to let me see that He is working on me, protecting me by changing me from the inside out to prepare me for the future.

When we feel like we are reaching a dead-end or perhaps feel that Satan is throwing something our way it’s easy to blame it on satan and give him the credit. But just perhaps it is God testing us to help us grow; to see where we are and to see where we need to be. God let me know that even though I have bumps, bruises and blemishes along the way he’s been molding me into the woman of God that he created me to be.

***Hebrews 12:6 (NIV)because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.

***Proverbs 3:12 (NIV)because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Regardless of what we face; we must remember to continue praising God through the storms. It’s through those storms that he is strengthening us to get us where we need to be in our walk. Learning by trials and tribulation we see our strengths and weaknesses thus knowing what needs work. None of us are perfect and we won’t be until we reach Heaven. In the meantime the Word of God (Holy Bible) is the road map to our eternal home; although there is only one way to reach Heaven and that is through Jesus with the completed work upon the cross.

***James 1:12 (NIV)Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

The sign posted on the beach lets us know that there is a fine to pay for not obeying the law. And so do all the other signs along the way such as road construction ahead, one lane ahead, men working, etc.. As followers of  Christ we are ongoing construction sites and we must be patient as God is constructing us. It’s a learning process…it takes us a while sometimes and he uses different means to teach us. So next time you are stuck in traffic or get delayed just remember to be patient and let God protect and prepare you for your destiny. Don’t be in such a rush that you end up on a dark and lonely road; thus paying for it in the end.

***Isaiah 30:18 (ESV) Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of Justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

May the blessings of God continue to pour out upon you and your house!

To God be all the glory, honor and praise!

Much Love,

Donna

 

Little Foxes Spoil the Vines but You Can Arise and Shine

 This morning started out in such a foul way. Everything was just so off and the enemy took it and ran with it. To the point that I almost skipped church because of everything that took place. I shared on Facebook that it’s the little foxes that spoil the vines. And the things that happened this morning were such small things but I acted in such an ungodly way that I was then embarrassed and ashamed. And at that point I didn’t feel worthy to sit in Gods house today. It is so hard to forgive yourself when you have acted in just a childish and ungodly fashion.

….Solomon 2:15 (NIV) Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

Feeling unworthy to be in Gods house; I had to remember I am His house as the Holy Spirit lives in me. However, the enemy was screaming at me; it’s then a battlefield of the mind , that I have done it now because a true child of God wouldn’t have lost it thus, yelling at their child over dishes and a shirt! But as I said it’s the little foxes that spoil the vines. Was it all worth loosing my joy??!!  NO!!! These minor details are two things that drive me nuts. Did I handle it correctly; NO! Did I learn a lesson; YES! 

A very smart man said this week that when we miss up, write it down and the lesson  learned  and use it to help us grow. So this is exactly what I am doing but glorifying God in all of it. Just after asking Samantha for forgiveness; apologizing to Khloe for being rude in front of  her and after asking forgiveness from God, I wrote a post. In the Proverbs 27 Women Sharpening Women group{God asked me to create for Him 2 weeks ago}I shared the following message:

“When the enemy comes at you and you lose it. Then you get in your prayer closet where you ask God to forgive you and to give you a Word this morning!”

“Ladies, I’m just being real this morning. Sometimes it’s just the little things in life that throws us out of sorts. God is working on me to handle those small things in a different way, in a Godly way. I even said I wasn’t going to church this morning because of little things that had happened. But I know it was a trick of the enemy to try to keep me away today. So I prayed, ask God to forgive me and I’m getting ready for church!”  ……. The picture with this blog is the message I received when I opened my Bible…Arise, shine;  For  your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1

I didn’t feel worthy enough to be with God’s people today but that is exactly what the enemy wanted. He was trying his best to keep me separated, in condemnation, depressed and at a loss of joy. You see if the enemy can keep us apart from others and make us feel unworthy; then its hard to praise God, pray or even read the Word. Thus destroying us and keeping us from infecting others with the glorious gospel.

 However, our God is greater and in the end I went to church and was suppose to be there. Was it hard it praise God? YES it was but I remembered what I have learned over the years… when you don’t feel like doing it, do it anyway. For when you are able to praise God when don’t feel like it, it makes satan mad and God is rejoicing because we are going against our flesh. Because trust me although God had forgiven me the enemy was still there trying to remind me of how I had acted this morning; thus making it difficult to raise my hands to God and praise Him! But the message was right on time! And the lessons I learned this morning at home and in church is one I will not forget! Lesson Learned… it’s time I arise and shine!

The message was about being commissioned  for God. I have a mission, a mandate, a message and have been sealed with a promise. I am more than what I have become! It’s so easy to get discouraged and to give up! We have a job to do for God and our ministry starts in us and then in our home. We are to live the Word in front of our children and spouse if we are blessed to have them!

Some of us have believed the lies of the enemy that we are of no effect and do not have a purpose. But I have learned that we each have a purpose on this earth for the Kingdom of God. We must first surrender. He sees us, His children righteous, holy and blameless; as satan is trying to deceive us. God has formed, fashioned and equipped me for such a time as this! No matter how much I have blown it, this does not stop my commission! I am to take the gospel to the world. Pastor Jim said “Everybody can touch somebody and the first one is at home!  We are teaching one to reach many!”

Oh just so you know how God works!…… the enemy may have thought that my post this morning would shown people that I am weak; but I had two sisters write me on the post. The first one said “As Pastor Arnold use to say, FIDO.. Forget it Drive On! “ I so needed to hear this and will remember this from now on because as a Child of God; I am not perfect and will miss the mark again. But I will remember the lessons learned today! The second Sister really needed my post today as she said the following: “Thank you, Donna! I needed that this morning. I’m tired after a busy few day of  travel and wedding celebration! I’m fighting the seasonal crud! I’m coming up with excuses to stay comfy in my sweats on the couch. Thank you – I’m heading to church to worship our wonderful God. “

Being so transparent and sharing my morning with my Proverbs 27 Sisters; God took something bad and used it for His Glory! My second sister went to church to hear the word of God and to be with her brother and sisters in Christ. If she had stayed home; she would have missed out on what God had for her. And I too; if I had stayed home I would have missed out on what God had for me today!

 I told Samantha that “The little foxes that spoil the vines” means that I have to learn to deal with those little things in a Godly way so that I am ready to receive the gift God has for me. God has a husband chosen for me; this I know! But, what good will it be if he and I get together and I am still not handling things as I should. With three divorces behind me; I do not want another divorce! I want a marriage that honors the Father and it be used to minister to the world and  to our children that marriage is good!

My first place of ministry is in my home; if I can’t minister to my husband and children; then I most defiantly can’t minister to the world. God has just given me revelation as I am sitting here writing! Praise God!!  …….The valuable vineyard can be destroyed by the little foxes (my attitude, actions, reactions, how I handle things). I must catch the foxes that spoil the vines; in other words I must take preventative measures to prevent any harm to come to our love and our marriage. By this, I must press in to God and seek Him and learn to trust Him and not act in the flesh! I must overcome my fleshly desires to act or react in an ungodly way! God wants to bless me with my forever earthly husband and best friend; however I must be ready to receive this beautiful gift He has for me!

…Judges 15:4(NIV) So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails.

…Psalm 63:10 (AMP)They shall be given over to the power of  the sword: They shall be a portion for foxes.

…Ezekiel 13:4(KJV) O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.

Solomon 2:14 – 15(NIV) My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

Lessons learned …. I love it when God gives me revelation knowledge. He is waiting on me!

So whatever you are going through today, trust God! As I am asking Him to deliver me from such actions and attitudes that are unpleasing to Him; think for a moment. Is there anything that needs improvement in your life? What is holding back the promises? What foxes are spoiling your vineyard? It’s our time to arise and shine…. Catch those foxes before they catch you! Let’s stop allowing satan to steal our promises of God!

 

To God Be All the Glory & Honor!

Much Love,

Donna

Miracles in the Midst of Trials

Life has a funny way of working out sometimes and as I sit and write tonight my mind is racing with thoughts. I have seen the move of God in mighty ways within the past couple of months. Bad things happen and we don’t know why. But one thing for sure is that God will always make something good out of every bad situation. It may not feel like it at that particular moment; but in the end we see what God can do. I say everyday now; “Father show me your glory”!

***Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Many of you know that my precious momma was diagnosed with cancer last September. But what you don’t know is that her only living brother was diagnosed with cancer approximately one month after her surgery. By the time we found out about him; Momma and I had gone through many conversations about why she possibly had to go through this. I was constantly reminding her that God has her in the palm of His hand and that she is possibly going to have to help someone else who was going to have to go through cancer. Upon finding out about my Uncle Robert she told me “I now know why I am  having to go through all of this surgery and chemo…I have to help him”.

In the beginning, when she found out about her cancer; she wanted no part of surgery, chemo or nothing! It was one of the most difficult times we have had to experience as a family. Feeling absolutely helpless but yet wanting to help. The only thing I could do was pray with and for her and for our family. Many emotions came rushing in like a flood for all of us. And for me, I felt at times as if I was the pillar; the strong one to hold it all together in front of my momma but I fell completely apart on the way home every time. Many nights I laid in bed and cried out to God!  I knew that He had her and that there had to be a reason for everything that was happening; but for a few months it was hard to swallow.

As difficult as the journey has been both emotionally and physically for a while; I have realized that God is in control. And He took a bad situation and created good from it. My momma and I are now close again and we talk every day; sometimes twice a day. Our family has become closer and momma has found a new strength within herself. She is a true champion and warrior and I admire her strength and courage. But this story doesn’t end with this.

As momma’s chemo started back in December; I learned that a dear brother at church had cancer. Then my pastors son, then a church sisters mom, etc… the list kept growing. I had been going to intercessory prayer because I know the importance of praying and interceding for others. Lives and situations can change with just one prayer but every week we added to our list. God is faithful and He hears and answers our prayers!

You see in praying for others; I asked God to use me. I said “send me I will go” well in doing so one Sunday morning God told me to go pray for my brother who had cancer. Pastor Joyce was praying with him and God told me to go pray too. I didn’t want to go up because I hate being seen and I knew too that the service was Facebook Live. Being hesitant, God reminded me of what I had told him. So I went and prayed and another brother came up behind me and the three of us prayed for our brother. Something happened that morning at the alter. There was a peace that fell and all four of us felt it! Our Brother received his healing at that alter that morning! When he went in for surgery; the mass was gone. Praise God! He was healed!!

Fast forward a sister in the church was healed from thyroid cancer and her 5 year old daughter healed from five auto immune diseases. Pastors son healed from cancer. Someone very special to me was given a bad report of cancerous cells but she came to church and we had a healing evangelist pray with her and he told her not to worry; she would get a good report. Praise God, she did! The biopsy showed no sign of cancer, they said it wasn’t like what the previous test had shown. Then a brother at church was told by his sister one weekend that she had cancer and was given nine months to live. The next Wednesday night he shared with the church what he had been told and he stood in for his sister as the elders prayed for her. That Friday he received a telephone call from his sister and the final report from the test showed no signs of cancer! Healed in Jesus Name!

God is no respecter of persons as two of the healed had not been attending church. He loves us all and He uses these miracles to show himself real to unbelievers to allow them to believe. I have read several Facebook post about several other healings from cancer within the family of friends. He is just a way maker!!!

I know we all ask, why do bad things have to happen! And I have heard many say why does God do this to us but what I will tell you is God doesn’t cause these things to happen. But just as Job in the Bible went through so much trial… satan put it on him and yes God allowed it with conditions. Remember satan only wants to kill, steal and destroy us. He wants us to give up and die. However warriors don’t quit!

The testing of faith refines us, proves to satan and to the world who we are, to bless us, and to help us grow.  Just within the past few days, God has given me revelation on the fact that we must have storms in our life to help us grow. In growing we learn to persevere and are able to help others who are going through.

***1 Peter 4:12-13(NIV) Dear friends do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

***Isaiah 41:10 –So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

***Philippians 4:19(NIV) And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Just remember when the storms come don’t panic, seek the Lord for guidance in prayer and in His Word, keep praising and worshipping, be around prayer warriors, keep an attitude of gratitude, encourage yourself, don’t give up on life, take care of yourself, and trust God, no matter what!.  The storms come to bring the rain so that we may grow! It’s how we decide to handle the storm that determines the harvest!

God is still in the miracle making business. Bad things may happen but He is always with us and something good will come from it. In the movie “I Can Only Imagine” Bart found his calling from much pain and suffering. Will you dare to trust Him? Our choices determine our outcome! Keep praying and Trusting!

***Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

To God Be All the Glory, Honor & Praise!

Much Love To You All,

Donna