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“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

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

Talk to God First

It’s so easy out of confusion, frustration and fear to run and talk to everyone else when we are going through trials and tribulations. Sometimes speaking to people makes the situation worse especially  when you have not prayed about it. The opinions of others will convolute your mind. OTHER Personal experiences come into play and then you are even more confused then you were before you spoke. I’ve done this many times over the years, not always realizing that God didn’t allow  me  that trial to ask someone else about it, He tossed me  that trial because He knew  I could handle it. He wanted my attention to converse with him on the altar. Now I converse with  God all day long over things  that often don’t matter much. Little things, but God can handle all things. He can handle broken friendships and relationships,.He can handle crazy bosses, He can handle 10 year old pains, He can conquer addictions, He can Heal the sick. Sometimes we get so caught up in the anointing and blessings He gives us that we forget, we didn’t get there on our own. I had a crazy week of spiritual warfare and I approached it in my flesh at first . Then I remember that Prayer is the ultimate powerful weapon that I possess. I remembered that when I pray things really do happen!  I remembered that prayer will ease and calm my fears, quiet storms, and manifest miracles. I remembered that God placed wise Godly people in my path to speak life into me, to guide me and to love on me in my weaknesses. I rejoiced in having that type of support.
So I meditate on this:

Job 5:8 NKJV
“But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause—

And this
Job 15:8 NKJV

Have you heard the counsel of God? Do you limit wisdom to yourself?

As wise as I think I am, I can sometimes limit wisdom to myself , not recognizing that Wisdom comes from God and our life experiences. Trying to walk in our own wisdom is like turning on a garbage disposal sticking our hands inside  and expecting our hands not to be marred and scarred. The great thing about this week, is that everyone  I encountered prayed with and for me to shift the atmosphere. Stepping outside of myself and circumstances made me realize that I have an assignment. The spiritual  warfare that I’m experiencing is because I’m on assignment to sharpen iron in my circle of influence and beyond but for starters it’s my circle of influence and myself . So so how wonderful it was that when I called my sisters in Christ to speak they already knew they needed to pray with me. AFTER ALL the Devil is in the details. I never really thought about what that meant. But I do know that the more one rehashes or retells a scenario the larger and more painful it becomes, it’s like giving power and strength to the problem instead giving it to God. I’ve done this plenty of times. So the next time a conflict arises and issues come upon you, Talk to God first and don’t seek counsel from the wicked, seek it from the Saints that know, love, and serve the God you have come to love. Then watch Him move with infinite  power and wisdom.
Written with Love,
Truth

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Prayer Warrior Worry

Romans 12:12 KJV

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Colossians 4:2 NKJV

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

Ugh. Spiritual Frustration. So I consider myself to be prayer warrior. Lord knows I can get a prayer through, move a mountain, toss a trial, and breakdown strongholds. I’ve done it with the best weapon I have :my bible scriptures and the muscle located between my lips. I even finished a book given to me “A Better Way to Pray” (thank you T!) Daily I’m raising up petitions unto the Lord on behalf of others and then I will slide in a prayer or two for me.  Sometime later ( but kinda quickly) I’m hearing that those prayers for others have  been answered, that problem went away, that breakthrough came, or that blessing poured out! I rejoice too as if it were my own prayers and desires for my life answered. But then I get in my feelings with God about it. I am being so honest right now…. Sometimes I’m seriously like “Jesus, I prayed in your name, I spoke the word which brings life and manifestation, I know you can and you will and have interceded on my behalf to God….so ummmm what gives?  There is a song that says “I don’t mind waiting on the Lord”….I can sing it from the depth of my soul…but the truth is waiting is really hard for me to do! Being still is hard for me to do. Here I am asking the Lord to order my steps and guide me, but the period of waiting is the part that’s causes excitement and anxiety. Have you ever felt this way?  In some ways the feeling between the two are polar opposite. One day I’m excited and another day I may be anxious. Well I have figured out that my anxiousness pretty much cancels my prayer. Meaning I pick it back up when I’m anxious even though I laid it at his feet. My anxiousness falters my faith :|. Guilty on all charges! So as I struggle(d) with what I call spiritual frustration, I decided to look at scripture regarding prayer. Now prayer appears in the bible 113 times…the action to pray or some variation of it appears over 300 times and there are about 650 prayers in the bible. This clearly depends on your version. Either way the two scriptures above are what spoke to me. I read the NKJV when studying. So reading one line of scripture doesn’t really cut it so I read the whole chapters and ooh did I get both a spanking and a hug from God!

Romans 12:12 is an excerpt from chapter 12 that deals with Behaving like a Christian. This was my hug from God because I do believe that despite my many flaws my life reflects my faith walk with God and my discipleship. BUT! Yes remember early I just said I don’t like waiting! Well clearly the patient in tribulation has not been priority on my list of to dos. Patiently waiting should not be confused with being busy bound! I am the queen of being busy bound. What does that mean? It means I will pick up any and every activity to keep me busy in an effort to mask my “patiently waiting” and mess around and be so bound that what I originally asked and prayed for is….DELAYED! Ouch and Amen. This came to me at 3:30 am this morning.

Now Collosians was my big spanking. I thank God daily for my blessings. The Grace that is afforded to me is often very overwhelming… So my spanking came with being vigilant in thanksgiving as I continue in prayer. In other words, sometimes I pray like God has forgotten me, like He has never done anything for me, or like He won’t answer. Not on purpose, but when I’m so bound by the busyness, I approach the throne defeated unable to bask in  thanksgiving and His  Grace. Shame on me for that. Yay God! As I have meditated on these scriptures, I’m realizing that the prayers of others that I intercede for are answered because I approach them with my faith ferociously. I feel like a Lioness going into prayer on behalf of a brother or sister. But then when its time for me, I act like a wimpy cat! Now you may not agree but if this is you too, drop me a line or two:).  As believers we must approach God with a humble heart but because He knows our heart, he knows if we really believe the prayer we are asking for. Our faith in the prayer is a factor. Truth be told often times its not answered because its not His will for your life. One of the easiest things to say is Not my Will but Thy Will be Done. But sometimes its the Hardest to adhere to.  Pray for me, the struggle is soooo real!
Written in Love
Truth

Prayer, Praise, and Obedience: Soldier Directives

God is amazing. Truly truly amazing. I woke up this morning thinking about how truly amazing He is. This week is Holy Week for Christians. As a Christian you are bound to be preparing for Resurrection Sunday or “Easter” as the world recognizes it. You will doll up your kids to say their speech and prepare them for the play. You will run to and fro to be sure that everything is in order this week to celebrate that He has risen. Some of us have been fasting and praying for lent being careful to put down the poor habits or luxuries that we have picked up or overindulged in just to show our dedication/discipline to the Lord and express  penitence. The reflection on who God is, what Jesus did on the cross for everyone is just amazing, self-less, and loving. Have you ever just sat alone and read the execution of Jesus on the cross? I have and it has brought me to tears many times. I like to believe it’s because I love God oh so much, and I do! But another part of it is a bit selfish too, because I know what my walk as a Christian has been like. Sure it’s been joy lots of joy! But there has also been lots of pain, misunderstanding, and wrongdoing by myself and others. Unspeakable things that not everyone has the stomach to endure. There are still lots of unanswered questions as I mature in my faith. As a child if I asked  “why” of my mother or asked a question that she could not answer/would not answer; she’d say “because I said so” and pretty much end the conversation.  I dreaded hearing this because all I wanted was an answer. I wanted to understand. God does this to His children all of the time. But the full answer is “because I said so, because I love you, and because I know what’s best for you, and I know the outcome. ” If you are not praising/shouting right now…you missed it. It brings me comfort to know

1). Jesus died on the cross, so ALL not some of my sins are forgiven.

Isaiah 38:17 Indeed it was for my own peace
That I had great bitterness; But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

 

2) He has given me purpose and assignment. There are things that God has called me (and only me) specifically to do, things that He has called you (only you) specifically to do…so DO them.

Exodus 9:16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.

3) Take comfort in knowing that you are victorious in all things especially when you are aligned to God’s will in your life.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Yesterday I had my heart set on seeing “Get Hard” Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart’s new movie. Yes as saved as I am, I still laugh at stereotypical jokes with sexual innuendos. I had it all planned. I was going to go to breakfast, catch a movie, get my nails done, eyebrows waxed, and prepare for my interview for today. While sitting at the breakfast bar,  I met a sister in Christ. How did I know, because ole girl prayed over her food and she was glowing with the joy of the Lord. Now she could have been praying to someone else, but ending a prayer in Jesus name confirmed it. She ordered these grits that I had been wanting to try, but I am picky about my grits; so I tend to stay with my traditional (butter, salt, pepper, and sometimes cheese.) I asked her about the grits which she confirmed are delicious, and the rest of the meal turned into a friendly chat and conversation about God, work, who we were and where we came from etc. As breakfast is coming to an end, she mentions she is going to see Do You Believe? WAIT! WAIT a minute. Now I had seen a preview of this movie  about two weeks ago. I wanted to go see it and kept postponing just like I had been postponing ordering those grits. It’s about God, the cross etc. Same film company that did “God’s not Dead”. She asked if I wanted to join her and I said I was going to the movies as well, to see Get Hard. Can I tell you this…This still small voice asked me would I rather see a movie about God or comedy about jail and homophobia. Now truth moment…I did want to see the movie I intended on seeing, but I didn’t want to postpone seeing something that I knew would bless me beyond just a laugh. So I switched gears and went to see the movie. It blessed me. Long story short, new friend, fresh anointing, and a book club invite for tomorrow focused on PRAYER! This may not excite you, but it excites me because I had been praying for God to strengthen my prayer life so I will be more fruitful in my labor and look how He answered. Amazing right? Yes. Amen walls.

Now the movie was a blessing and a tear jerk-er. Think of the movie Crash covered with anointing oil, holy water, and scripture :-). Every person in this world has a cross to bear. Jesus paid it all with His death and resurrection.  We are called to serve, to spread the gospel, share it with someone. Life hurts, this is the reality. People live, die, cheat, steal, lie, disappointment, and can be self-serving; but People can also love, help, encourage, be honest, be giving, and have a genuine interest in changing the world for the better just because. Stop entertaining people and things for short-term thrills. Pay attention to those that are hurting. I often have strangers (yes strangers) come and tell me everything that is going on with them. I don’t know these people from a hole in the wall. It used to freak me out and I would wonder why they felt compelled to share with me. I’ve concluded it’s probably because they need prayer, it’s because they need encouragement, and for some reason they know I can provide it. So I do and I will in obedience.

As I write today, the Lord has been dealing with me about prayer, praise and obedience.  He has been testing and stretching my faith in Him. Filtering different aspects of my life. This process though…it kinda sucks. I mean even knowing all of the above that small annoying child in me is saying “But Why?” Only now, it brings me joy that He is even considering me worthy as a soldier to counter spiritual warfare.

To God Be the Glory

Written with Love

Truth

Unfitting Rib Cages

It’s trending y’all. This is my rib! This is her, this is him #rib blah blah blah. Can we talk about how this rib has been placed in some really unfitting rib-cages. Peep the track record: I was once engaged (I called it off! praise God for common sense and dreams bigger than a one bed room apartment on Commonwealth Avenue and an obsessive older man 10 years my senior ouch!). Then my 2.5 year relationship with someone who I considered to be the love of my  young college life. Our break-up was so devastating that it changed my whole life, my first real heartbreak. You know the one: not eating, not sleeping, going through boxes of tissue, and walking around looking like a walking dead extra? Yeah that one. I got over him slowly though by entertaining an on again and off again relationship for 6 years with a commitment phobe, ladies man (community penis provider), aspiring actor, and just a confused handsome man with so much potential but not enough ambition to drive it. The drama of this one relationship includes tales of slashed tires, cat-fights, jealous women and men, and a lifetime of empty broken promises that I so desperately wanted to be real. They weren’t though. Christ saved me from this madness. During this relationship I was desperately seeking love in all the wrong places. I gave my life to Christ at 26…how fitting 2+6= 8. Eight is the number for new beginnings, and everything about my life changed in the best way possible. (Remind me to share how the Lord spoke to me, it’s a great testimony for another day and the inspiration for “My Perfect Love”.) I finally broke free from the foolishness, met some wonderful friends with code names, my sweet Vixens: Undercover, Cheah, Fashionista, Caliente, Mama, and now most recently Melody!  (2008 was the start of the best bond I have had with female friends in a LONG time). They nicknamed me “Truth”. Anyway Christ cleaned me up real nice, changed my walk, talk and swag so to speak and I was on my way! I had my first A.D. healthy relationship with a wonderful man. I thought he was everything I wanted and more. He was good to me! Shoot he even made the Facebook page, and y’all know that makes stuff legit :-). But seriously, it was the first healthy dating relationship in my new life and my new walk that was a reflection of God moving in my life so I thought. It was long distance though, and it was “killing us “to be so far away. Eventually someone was going to have to move, and he assured me if I picked the place he would follow…I picked and he didn’t follow. I also had the chance to see him more often in his own space (due to an employment transition)  and realized he had some major flaws that I didn’t see and they were ones I couldn’t deal with. 1) Liar/potential cheater…so I found love letter(s) somewhat in the open while cleaning the condo from an ex who had been visiting in between my  bi-monthly visits *side-eye* 2) Indecisive over simple things. 3) Only attended church when I was with him. 3) Selfish (there are too many layers of this last one). In a nutshell, the time we spent together was to put on his “best” self…but he was different when we had longer doses of each other.  4) Chronic long-term relationship dweller, but no real desire to be married (I found this out during a heated argument even though he kept asking me what kind of wedding I wanted WTH?) He wanted to travel the world (he did this frequently while we dated). Him not coming to my current location was the end.

Like Mary, I sat at Jesus feet literally for 3 years, joined every ministry my heart had the courage and faith to endure, and I ignored and avoided men like the plague. The thought of dating brought nausea, anxiety, and pain…like alot of it. So I decided to wrap myself in whom loves me most the Lord. Having gone through another heartbreak recently with a man whom I thought to be the “one”…I don’t use this term lightly I am sadly disappointed by the outcome. This time though I am partially to blame…So all those years sitting at the Lord’s feet, the wounds that were healed “that baggage”…well this man got all of the unpacked baggage all at once AND then some. I forgot the scripture by His stripes I am healed apparently, because I was just an emotional mess with him, waiting for him to mess up, looking for anything and everything to disprove the legitimacy of our relationship. When you look for stuff you find it. He had his flaws, but it was stuff I could deal with. Anyway when I am emotional I write poetry. I wrote A Prose for “The One” with him as inspiration, but I changed the title to protect the innocent or guilty lol depending on how you look at it. This is really a poem for my Rib Cage whomever that is, is beyond me:

Genesis 2:21-22

 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

But even in my waiting, I am becoming who I was created to be…so what was fear and anxiety is now faith and anticipation for the blessings God has crafted just for me. Even if he doesn’t bless me with that rib-cage, He has already done more than enough and I have more than enough with Him. My heart beat says purpose, so when I wake up and I can still feel it beating and the warmth of my blood in my veins then I already know He is not done with me yet.

Have a great day y’all!

Written with Love

Truth