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War 

  
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

http://bible.com/114/eph.6.12.nkjv

When you are trying to walk in light and speak life into situations a few things happen. You are tested on what you believe, what you see, what you think. I am humbled by my recent life experiences. I have been in spiritual warfare so heavy and I found myself unprepared and unsuspecting. Perhaps I had become so complacent in my walk, slightly arrogant in my faith and closeness with the Lord. I went from I need you for everything to well no God only theses things and areas. Funny how my ability to give an encouraging word to others did not manifest daily as went through my most recent battle. Everything I knew and know to be true about God was questioned, twisted so to speak. I begin to see myself as one of little faith as my tribulations and trials became bigger. Fighting spiritual battles in the flesh is impossible. I repeat impossible. I knew this but day after day I wrestled with the enemy, I showed up for every fight. I stood on the frontline without my breastplate of righteousness, my belt of truth, my shield of faith, and my sword. I suddenly found myself back peddled into a space of repetition. Like a hamster on a wheel trying to save a loved one that really wasn’t for me to save.  The doubt created in the circumstance was only one that the enemy could devise. Even though I knew it I saw this movie before so to speak and I knew how it would end I found myself believing I could alter the ending. This time would be different. He didn’t mean to throw that pot, he accidentally pushed me, his anger is just a struggle…it will get better. If he didn’t love me he wouldn’t buy me nice expensive things. A purse is not worth enduring a flying pot. 3 diamond rings is not worth devastation and lack of peace. It will get better I said, but It didn’t. Now here I lay wounded, heartbroken, a bit fragile, and wondering how had I gotten myself so caught up.  We have all been there all done that… Or have we? Some run at the flags, some see them and take it as a personal mission to fix a person, and sadly many stay and many die. Domestic violence is real. It happens daily and many live in secret and shame because of fear of the abuser and embarrassment among loved ones. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Im free. I’m safe. I’m healing and my trust and faith in God along with loving friends and family helped me through. The war though still continues. This is the last time I will be in an abusive relationship. I will still stand on the frontline. This time I will be clothed in the armor.  The weak areas that I desperately tried to hide from God have been uncovered and I am positive that He will restore. I’m writing to get this out, but I’m also rejoicing because I have a praise on my lips and joy in my heart. I’m thankful for the life I have been given and eternally grateful that what was meant for evil and designed to destroy drew me closer to the lover of my soul and captain of my sea: Jesus Christ. Your story may not be my story, but the instruction manual is still the same yesterday, today , and forever. So I pray my loins stay girded and you all are girded as well. Peace and Blessings.
Written in love

Be Blessed

Truth

5 Blessing 5 months

It’s been months since I wrote, 5 to be exact. Funny how 5 symbolizes God’s grace, goodness, and favor. Ironically what kept me from writing was choosing Love. I know I always seem to be on this chase and pursuit of Love. Love comes from God and I have plenty of that all around and so again I find myself loving someone who could not and did not stay. I’m trying to spread that love and it’s a challenge. So was it really love anyway. Yes, it was and is. But sometimes things just can’t work, especially if working with a different definition and a different source.  A topic for another day. While I would love to rehash the account. I won’t. It’s something I released  to the Lord. In the midst of my heart condition around dating issues God showed up! 1) God led me to a new church home for enhanced spiritual nurturing and teaching I had become weak. 2) I received a job another blessing! After months of searching I had stopped. Then someone sought me out for a job. Praise God. 3) My case closed for my volunteer work and the child I work with will be adopted! 4) I was blessed with a new place to live 5) I celebrated 35 years in September. So yup that’s 5 things that happened in 5 months while the obstacles were humongous my God is bigger. He gave me so many “hugs” along the way. So much encouragement even through my tears! So as I approach Thanksgiving and I reflect on these past few months. I am reminded about alignment and the plans I have for myself. I planned to fall in love and be married because 35 was approaching. I planned to stay at my former job for more than 4 years. I planned to have children. BUT, Jeremiah 29:11 NLT reminded me : For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This scripture always gives me comfort because it means that God always has my best interest in mind. It  helps me sleep at night for sure! It reminds me that in Him I live, and I’m nothing without him. 

Ask and You Will Receive

Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Last night, I had a long conversation with God. There are many nights when I just go to bed thankful. Thankful for the days and years I have experienced. I always become so overwhelmed with God’s goodness, and His grace extended to me. Some days when I am just still, not running errand after errand, and checking off my to do list, I have time to meditate on purpose and plan. It’s been officially 4 months since job separation. I have enjoyed not going to a 9 to 5. I enjoy planning my days, I enjoy giving my time and attention to the things I neglected so much when I was working. I love the way my spirit feels in the morning. I can say God what would you like me to do today, and it does not involve an outlook calendar or a 2 hour meeting about a meeting to have a meeting about the 2 hour meeting. I enjoy talking to strangers, and catering to those who have less than I do. It’s almost as if my level of sensitivity to others needs has increased. I find myself wondering how this came to be. Then just as I am basking in God’s goodness and grace toward me, I am reminded how much, the Lord has granted me when I delight myself in Him. I am shown how much of my worry and anxiousness is removed when I take complete joy in being in his presence. I lose myself in His word, I stand confidently in His promises, and when I speak life, it gives me life. I sing his word and it puts me at ease. I dance to glorify him. When I speak His truth into myself and others it makes my heart so happy. There is something about God’s will that is perfect and on time in every way. The prayers of yesterday that I prayed so long ago, seem to be manifesting right now. The prayers that brought me prostrate on the altar are being answered. What I asked for in His name is coming to past. It’s exciting and scary though for me. I say to myself, God is watching little bitty old me, little bitty Deniece. He is ordering my little feet with his humongous footprints.

I am reminded

John 16:23-24(NKJV)

23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

So I made up my mind to take it all to Him in Prayer, to ask for everything in His name. I will always get an answer, and the more answers I receive the more I will realize just how aligned to His will I truly am. Whether his answer be Yes or No, both answers contribute to a larger outcome of our purpose and plans.

I guess what I am saying this morning is just ask in His name and then sit back and see what He does. Don’t second guess what He tells you because no one knows better or more than God the plans He has for your life. Short entry today.

Be Blessed and Loved Beyond Measure

written with Love,

Truth

Choosing Love

When I think about the goodness of God and all He has done for me, my soul cries hallelujah. I look back over my life and I have endured more pain then I care to think about, but I have also experienced an even larger amount of joy. Some of my most painful moments shared  several commonalities. In other words I often  experienced this pain because of

1) a poor choice/decision I made
2) a refusal to align with God’s will
3) a false understanding and misrepresentation of love and happiness: what it feels like, what it looks like, what it does for you and what it makes you do for others and most important where it comes from!
4) lack of communication
(To God in prayer and to the perpetrators involved)

I recall a time when I met someone who looked good on paper, but was lacking every great quality that I desired in a companion. I often wondered why is it so hard to find a loving companion. Why is everything taking so long, why hasn’t he crawled through my window (because clearly he doesn’t frequent my local grocery store, Starbucks and any other place I have graced my presence with.) Sometimes Love is right in your face though. It comes from the least expected places and from people you least expect. Here is the reality, I want to be spoiled, I want to be courted, but above all else I want to be appreciated, not just for what I look like, but for who I am, what I am about. I want acceptance for being just me. I want my husband to know that I am a gift from heaven and that he is also my gift. I want to be protected and cared for so I can nurture and support my husband and children. I want children. I want my life and that of my family to glorify God in a mighty way.  I admire married couples who have been married for years, they make an effort daily to love their partner for who they are, they run the race of life together. For affairs of love and relationships, I speak love and give life to all current circumstances. I leave you all with these scriptures. So the next time you find yourself in a conflict of relationship or circumstance  ask  yourself if  any of the four commonalities I mentioned above occurred  ( be honest too, I trust you) . Then meditate on these below.

1. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”- 1 Peter 4:8
2. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12
3. “Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”- Ephesians 4:2-3
4. “For I know the plans I have for you, ‘Declare The Lord,’ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11

5. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”- Mark 10:9

It’s hard enough running alone, so running together is a blessing.  I choose love this day and everyday for my family, friends, and loved ones.
Written with Love,
Truth

Check Your Company

I Corinthians 15:33-34

Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

All week long the Lord has been dealing with me about habits and the company I keep. Naturally, I decided to meditate on this and see what my manna from Heaven says. So in my humble opinion, I have the greatest friends and support group around me. I live thousands of miles away from my hometown in Boston, but I have managed to find me a great church family, some lifelong friends whom I now consider family : shoutouts to Young Palmer, Killah K, Brownie and Waffle. P.s I’m big on nicknames so these have been used to protect the innocent. I spend so much time with
these 4 people and we just click. If you have ever had some really great framily (friends+family) then you know what I’m talking about. These people keep me on my toes and sharpen me spiritually. Then there are my friends and family back home WAY too many to name. I think about the good habits I’ve developed. Those are easy. Before Christ though I had some pretty bad habits…I was bitter, angry, drank too  much, cussed too much, fought too much, I smoked nasty cigarettes, yes (I know gross). I got in my own way all the time, because I believed I was in complete control of anything and everything around me. I was stressed sometimes even depressed. The best thing I ever did was exchange my company I kept. For starters I had to recognize God and recognize that He gave His only son for me. Do you know how much pressure and burdens were lifted from me, just in acknowledging Christ as my Savior. Receiving God’s love and developing a relationship with Him literally forced me to check my company and exchange it for ultimate comforting company: Jesus and his Holy Spirit. The Bible says Be Not Deceived Evil Company corrupts Good Habits. Have you ever backslid into a poor habit, or found your oh so saved self doing things you used to do and then wondering what happened? Well, I have and I had to self evaluate and check my company. Checking your company is not always checking your immediate circle of friends or family either, sometimes checking your company is doing a spiritual read of the holy spirit that dwells in you . IS IT PRESENT AND BEING FED? In other words…what have you been pouring into yourself spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Are you spending enough time with God and asking Him to keep you. There is a song that says “oh to be kept by Jesus
It sings about being in the company of the Lord. We must do this daily. It’s easy to blame our shortcomings, backsliding, and iniquities on others and circumstances, but let us not be deceived that all influences are always other men. YOU (myself included can be your own worse enemy). Nurture yourself regularly and know what God has in store for you. It’s okay to ask others for advice but God has the final say and knows the plans He has for you!

Jeremiah.29.11.nkjv
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord , thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Check your company, your first line of defense and first “person” in your presence should be the Holy Spirit. Its here to guide you. So try to steer away from evil company that corrupts good habits. The best way to do this is to be spiritually strong. Evil spirits can’t be around Good spirits very long.  Scripture tells us  at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, but it will help if people actually see Jesus in you and that they recognize you dwell in the company of the most high. Just a bit of food for thought!
Be Blessed,
Written with Love
TRUTH

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Love Letters from Heaven

Luke 17:1-4 NKJV

Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!  It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.  Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you,  rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

I am on the struggle bus with forgiving people who have done wrong to me or offended me in some way. Part of it is because I spend so much time trying not to offend others, that when it happens to me I go straight to the why did this person do this to me? Why was I the recipient of x,y,z. It’s a sort of woe is me pity party. My Daddy says to me ” why not you princess?” Now excluding the royal title that my Daddy has given me, because princesses become queens and are to be treated as such…He does have a point. I mean I am just an extraordinary peculiar child of God right? So why would I believe that I won’t experience some sort of strife, offense, or trial?  I mean to prove I am more than a conqueror I clearly need some battles that I’ve fought and won to prove it. Even knowing this time and time again I have become a doubting Thomas and held grudges that are blocking my blessings. I’ve been in the rathole of explanation and why, and usually the person or circumstance I have questioned is peacefully sleeping and carrying on with or without me. Which in turn makes me aggrivated with myself for allowing something to disturb my peace and joy. What’s even more annoying is that I will eventually forgive the person(s) and even the circumstances but I won’t forget. Now the latter I wish I did better. Forgetting would not stir up the old wounds or make the emotions feel so real! As if it happened today when it was 3 months or even a year plus ago. It amazes me how people are able to do this and the tendency can be to remember the negative. But recalling the positive seems harder. Even if the initial re-interaction is positive, one can quickly remember the offenses that caused a circumstance or relation to go sour. Jesus tells us to rebuke the person/thing that causes us offense and to forgive them if they repent. The key piece is the one I have been missing here: Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you,  rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” Yes,”if he repents”. I swear I just had the biggest Epiphany like 10 years late! That rathole that I climb in is because I give people opportunities to be forgiven by me. Yes I know that sounds arrogant, but what I mean is I have literally told someone they offended me/hurt me and I will bring it up over and over again wanting an apology or explanation, and some folks will know they did me wrong but will not give me the satisfaction of an apology or I made a mistake etc. I am not God, so my ability to bring about conviction is umm limited meaning…I can’t. But He can, especially with a believer!…. Nonbelievers can be hard (not impossible), but I have had more success with reconciliation, forgiveness, and even forgetting when I stand on God’s word about my offenses not necessarily my emotions. The reality is that I  am in love with God and his truth, so most times my pain and affliction arises from what goes against the truths that I have knowledge of. My affictions come from straddling and compromise. In other words, when someone offends the faith fibers that are embedded in my mind and rest on my heart I feel it and react. Now some may say its a reaction of the flesh and sometimes it can be, like if I cuss you out, but for me its because of an offense to my spirit the Holy Spirit. The tendency for me is to want to avenge  against the other person (only in my mind). But my beef is never really with them, its the fact that I am now misaligned to God or I compromised my walk to please said person(s) or circumstances knowing Good and Well I should have been pleasing El Shaddai. Then there is the forgiving as many times as your offender repents. At first this sounds irrational, but its actually a lesson in How God loves me and loves you. This scripture is a mirror of the way God loves me and forgives me: as often and as many times as I repent. Look at God! His word not only gives instruction but its a personal love letter to His children to show his heart and intentions. That is how I view His word love notes from Heaven. So imagine how you would feel if someone or something took love notes that you treasure and tore them to shreds…I imagine you would not be happy! This entry is to my offenders, you may not understand why I go off or think I’m too passionate, but stop tearing up my love letters from God. If you take a soldier’s gun, you should prepare to shoot and kill him/her. If he/she’s not dead then be prepared for the infantry that comes to his/her rescue they are higher and more powerful. The power of prayer, praise, worship, love and forgiveness and repentance far outweighs any personal offense that could be given. Stay encouraged.
Be Blessed.
Written with love,
Truth